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Re: Strange Billing Practice by Medical Provider

Who should get the "deductible" amount paid by the patient. I understand that the physician/provider should get the contractual "copay". He she should also receive the contracted insurance claim approved amount for the services. But - shouldn't the deductible amount be fairly al...
by deanbrew
Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strange Billing Practice by Medical Provider
Replies: 37
Views: 2443

Re: The boglehead way to buy furniture

If you have the time, patience and inclination, go to estate sales and auction houses. You can buy quality furniture incredibly cheaply. Pennies on the dollar. But you have to be willing to spend a fair amount of time searching on auctionzip.com and similar websites to find stuff that interests you,...
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The boglehead way to buy furniture
Replies: 54
Views: 4062

Re: Strange Billing Practice by Medical Provider

My kids used to see an allergy specialist who simply refused to deal with insurance. Everyone paid their full charge on a monthly basis and took care of their own insurance submissions. I would wait until the end of the year and send in all 12 months worth of receipts and then deal with my insurance...
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strange Billing Practice by Medical Provider
Replies: 37
Views: 2443

Re: Anyone have a house with a pool?

But seriously, a neighbor of mine with young kids recently paid to have her pool filled in because the stress of worrying about her kids falling in it was killing her. Seems crazy to me. How about teaching the kids to swim? Seems more reasonable than filling in the pool. When my kids were teenagers...
by deanbrew
Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a house with a pool?
Replies: 32
Views: 2362

Re: Anyone have a house with a pool?

I certainly wouldn't talk anyone into a pool, or out of one, for that matter. We have an inground pool because my wife loves it. I could do without. But I have to say it really isn't that expensive to maintain or operate. The best decision was changing from chlorine to a SWG (salt water generation) ...
by deanbrew
Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a house with a pool?
Replies: 32
Views: 2362

Re: The Calculus of DIY

The outside door handle broke on my son's car. The stealer wanted $350 to fix it, which I found outrageous. Look on the internet, and the problem is that new handles do not come pre-painted. They only come in black, ready to be painted. But I can buy an OEM one for under $30 and online car forums sh...
by deanbrew
Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Calculus of DIY
Replies: 9
Views: 1164

Re: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?

I appreciate everyone's responses, and had no idea that this inherited IRA account couldn't stay on a "hold" pattern until my wife hits normal withdrawal age. Not at all intuitive, is it? I'm going to send copies of the first and last statements to my accountant and see what he has to say....
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?
Replies: 17
Views: 1013

Re: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?

an inherited IRA behaves differently from a personal IRA - Your wife likely should be taking RMD's based on her own life expectancy. Hopefully you have not co-mingled the funds with her own IRA. I'll have to ask our accountant and lawyer when I get a chance, but I'm pretty sure they would have told...
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?
Replies: 17
Views: 1013

Re: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?

pshonore wrote:
Aren't inherited IRAs subject to RMDs??[/quote]


I'm not exactly sure what you are asking. My wife will have to start taking required withdrawals once she hits 70.5 years old, just like with her other retirement accounts. Am I misunderstanding your question/concern?
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?
Replies: 17
Views: 1013

Re: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?

My wife and I have both received inheritances in the past. In both cases, all assets (properties, stocks, etc.) were liquidated and all taxes were handled by the deceased estate attorney before any proceeds were disbursed. We didn't have to pay any taxes, as they were taken care of before disburseme...
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?
Replies: 17
Views: 1013

Re: contingent beneficiary for life insurance

My wife and I both have the beneficiary named as "estate of the insured" on our policies. If one of us dies, the estate (all assets) automatically goes to the other. If both of us die at the same time, "the estate" is handled according to our will. This was devised by our lawyer ...
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: contingent beneficiary for life insurance
Replies: 8
Views: 564

Re: Kitchen "Backsplash" question

We have put laminate on our backsplashes in our most recent two houses. It holds up great and is very easy to clean. You can buy laminate in many colors and designs. We have a copper-color one with a subtle pattern. Not as cheap as paint, but less expensive and easier to care for than tile.
by deanbrew
Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen "Backsplash" question
Replies: 14
Views: 1932

Re: How long can a 1995 Chevrolet Beretta last?

Longer than I would want to drive it.
by deanbrew
Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long can a 1995 Chevrolet Beretta last?
Replies: 10
Views: 817

Re: Gas station etiquette

Wow! We have unanimity after 19 posts. Amazing. I won't upset the apple cart. The OP was entirely in the right to take an open position. So long as he didn't whip the car into the spot in front of someone else approaching, then no harm / no foul. I have had drivers give me dirty looks because my car...
by deanbrew
Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station etiquette
Replies: 46
Views: 2930

Re: Establishing "Small Business" and Cheating IRS?

Has this acquaintance ever turned into a friend? If not, retain counsel. Then visit: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Whistleblower-Informant-Award "If the IRS uses information provided by the whistleblower, it can award the whistleblower up to 30 percent of the additional tax, penalty and other amounts...
by deanbrew
Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Establishing "Small Business" and Cheating IRS?
Replies: 11
Views: 1140

Re: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon

Anyone know of dealers that let you take the car to the freeway? Many thanks. I would think just about every dealer would allow you to try it on the highway (as long as it wasn't 30 miles away). Nope. The Toyota dealers around (with dealerships right next to the freeway) have specific inside-the-ci...
by deanbrew
Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon
Replies: 52
Views: 4163

Re: Subaru Blues

I can't read her mind, but I'm thinking that she has basically lost confidence in the brand at this point and is worried about more problems and more repairs down the road with her present vehicle, as this seemed to be her experience with her previous Outback. Why it took getting to this point, rat...
by deanbrew
Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Blues
Replies: 87
Views: 7949

Re: Subaru Blues

So, the car had a computer problem and Subaru will cover it under warranty at no cost to the owner. Bastards!! How dare they? Should I add :wink: ? It is clear that the neighbor doesn't like the vehicle and wants an excuse to get rid of it, likely at significant cost. It always costs money to sell a...
by deanbrew
Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Blues
Replies: 87
Views: 7949

Re: Is it me, or are "collectibles" worthless in 2014?

My wife's dad and mom attended auctions and bought a lot of stuff from the mid-70s until about 2000. Everything from antiques to china/glassware to woodworking items to collectibles. My FIL passed away in 2002 and all of it was appraised to settle the estate. I have no doubt that the appraiser "...
by deanbrew
Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it me, or are "collectibles" worthless in 2014?
Replies: 79
Views: 6147

Re: Subaru Blues

The subaru engine is notorious for oil leaks. Your use of "is" should probably be changed to "was". There is a growing consensus that Subaru has figured out the oil leak/consumption problem starting with the 2010 engine redesign. Possibly too early to tell, but owners of newer v...
by deanbrew
Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Blues
Replies: 87
Views: 7949

Re: Subaru Blues

Reviews are one thing, but personal experience tends to weigh heavily even if it is a sample size of 1. Unfortunately, my personal experience so far is the two-strike outcome for this acquaintance with Subarus and I don't think reading a bunch of reviews will easily trump that in my mind. If I knew...
by deanbrew
Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Blues
Replies: 87
Views: 7949

Re: Subaru Blues

May I know what Subaru model that you own ? 2011 Subaru Legacy Limited with 4-cylinder engine and CVT transmission. Mine is a fifth generation Legacy (built from 2010-2014). Although some people complain about the CVT, I like it. It allows engine revs to drop way down during highway cruising, impro...
by deanbrew
Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Blues
Replies: 87
Views: 7949

Re: Subaru Blues

If I choose a Toyota or Honda I'm afraid I will be forever dissatisfied. Care to explain? This comment seems out in left field. Honda and Toyota are viewed by most as the overall most reliable vehicles you can buy. K.I.S. I'll let optimpessim explain for himself, but I've never really liked any Toy...
by deanbrew
Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Blues
Replies: 87
Views: 7949

Re: Subaru Blues

I am looking to buy a new car as well and read that Subaru's in general are reliable but one thing that concerned me was reviews which said that they have lot of road noise and a harsh ride. I am planning to use that as a commuter car so a comfortable ride and quite cabin are important to me. Any f...
by deanbrew
Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Blues
Replies: 87
Views: 7949

Re: Subaru Blues

It's now on my "Do Not Buy" list after hearing this narrative. I would say that every single brand and every single model should be on your list, then. Any car can have a problem or breakdown. FWIW, I have a 2011 Subaru Legacy and have had zero problems over 3.5 years and 39k miles. Consi...
by deanbrew
Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Blues
Replies: 87
Views: 7949

Re: Simplisafe Home Security Systems

I agree, as long as the burglar is not familiar with SimpliSafe and/or that you have a SimpliSafe system. I also agree that there are worse architectures than the one they use, but my preference would be that the monitoring station be alerted as soon as the alarm is tripped, and then acts upon it i...
by deanbrew
Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplisafe Home Security Systems
Replies: 34
Views: 2416

Re: Wash D.C. speed camera - how accurate?

As mentioned, camera tickets are not moving violations and do not result in points on your license. That's a huge factor when deciding whether to fight a ticket. For this reason, I can't imagine it will be worthwhile to fight, though I certainly wish you luck and would love to see you hammer to spee...
by deanbrew
Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wash D.C. speed camera - how accurate?
Replies: 40
Views: 2439

Re: Simplisafe Home Security Systems

Glad to see this thread. I've been researching alarm systems and have pretty much decided on the Simplisafe one. Glad to see the positive accounts, and I believe I've made the right decision. Sachman - if you can wait, you may want to hold out for deals around Black Friday on their kit I'm not sure ...
by deanbrew
Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplisafe Home Security Systems
Replies: 34
Views: 2416

Re: Minivan time! Opinions on 2013 Town & Country, Please

We bought a 2004 Chrysler T&C for $9000 with 45k miles in 2008. Today, it has 168k miles. We did not get a warranty and have had no major issues with it. When we were buying we considered the Sienna and Odyssey and both were nearly double the price of the caravans and T&C's. Since you were ...
by deanbrew
Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan time! Opinions on 2013 Town & Country, Please
Replies: 23
Views: 2026

Re: Minivan time! Opinions on 2013 Town & Country, Please

I didn't register that you were looking at used vehicles. It should have, since you indicated a 2013 model. Any new vehicles would almost certainly be either 2014 or 2015 versions. Since you are looking at used, I suspect the best value would be a Dodge or Chrysler. I've never found much value in b...
by deanbrew
Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan time! Opinions on 2013 Town & Country, Please
Replies: 23
Views: 2026

Re: Sandals or similar?

If I wanted an upscale AI in Negril Jamaica I would do Couples Swept Away. Love their stretch of beach. My wife and I stayed at Couples Swept Away last year and had a wonderful time. The food and service were definitely a couple of steps up from past stays at Beaches and Riu resorts we've visited. ...
by deanbrew
Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sandals or similar [vacation resort]?
Replies: 15
Views: 1357

Re: Would you tip this tour guide?

Well, this was a fairly difficult situation from all perspectives, hitting on all sorts of hot buttons. There is no denying that the center of the rearmost row is the worst seat, even downplaying body sizes. Carrying seven is simply too many for this vehicle. I would certainly make my discomfort app...
by deanbrew
Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you tip this tour guide?
Replies: 22
Views: 2217

Re: Minivan time! Opinions on 2013 Town & Country, Please

We have some time and it is safe to assume the stock of used cars will be different when we are able to purchase. I suppose we will reconsider once we have a more clear view of the budget and what is available when we can purchase. But we are certainly looking for a used (or CPO) year or 2 old mode...
by deanbrew
Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan time! Opinions on 2013 Town & Country, Please
Replies: 23
Views: 2026

Re: Minivan time! Opinions on 2013 Town & Country, Please

My wife and I got a sitter one day and test drove all of the modern minivans. Though many friends really like their Hondas or Toyotas, we came to a quick consensus on the Town & Country. Mostly based on interior design and features for the buck. We did not enjoy the interior space of the Honda ...
by deanbrew
Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan time! Opinions on 2013 Town & Country, Please
Replies: 23
Views: 2026

Re: Summer indoor humidity levels

I have a thermometer/hygrometer that shows the current, high and low readings over the past 24 hours. Typically, it shows that the humidity is somewhere between 44 and 53 percent when the AC is on. I live in PA (pretty high humidity in the summer) and have the AC set at 73. So my readings are about ...
by deanbrew
Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer indoor humidity levels
Replies: 18
Views: 1197

Re: Replacing my Central Heat and A/C system................

Unless there are known problems, I think 16 years is quite a bit too early to do a preemptive replacement. There is no reason the furnace shouldn't last another 10 years, and perhaps the A/C, too. I think the OP is worrying too much, given that he already winterizes the house before leaving.
by deanbrew
Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing my Central Heat and A/C system..................
Replies: 16
Views: 1817

Re: auto financing

I'd go with the used one and pay cash, but that's just me. $6,000 or $7,000 is real money. I have a 2012 Odyssey (recently bought used for $23K) and it is great! The first two years of a warranty aren't worth much in my opinion - not much is likely to go wrong. That's exactly the point. You get thr...
by deanbrew
Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: auto financing
Replies: 3
Views: 382

Re: auto financing

Used car prices are relatively high now. On top of that, you are looking at a Honda Odyssey, which holds its value quite well. I wouldn't dream of buying a two year old used Odyssey at that price. Buy new and pick your color and enjoy the full warranty period and new car smell. You shouldn't have to...
by deanbrew
Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: auto financing
Replies: 3
Views: 382

Re: Assistance Requested! First Time to US + NYC/DC

A lot of DC is very much unsafe. What tourist attractions do you know that are in unsafe areas? It's not that they're in unsafe areas... it's that they're unsafe-area-adjacent. A block or two in the wrong direction is a huge mistake (not unlike many other cities... just that in DC the unsafe areas ...
by deanbrew
Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Assistance Requested! First Time to US + NYC/DC
Replies: 15
Views: 978

Re: Solar Farm, anybody buy in?

A few years ago it was about 52% coal, 25% nuclear, 12% renewable, 9% natural gas, 2% hydro, 1% other. With the number of wind farms I would assume renewable has inched up a bit at the cost of a few birds. Renewable has probably inched up the tiniest bit, but that's almost completely due to counter...
by deanbrew
Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Farm, anybody buy in?
Replies: 53
Views: 3791

Re: Home Appraisal

Not to pick on the OP, but his question is analogous to complaining that it only took five minutes to drop off my tax return data at my accountant's office. How can an accountant prepare my taxes in five minutes. He didn't. For most home appraisals, the inspection represents probably 10 percent of t...
by deanbrew
Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Appraisal
Replies: 20
Views: 1501

Re: First time home buyer ?'s

1. You don't need to wait months. Most lenders like to see at least two paychecks showing current wage income. That probably means one month. As mentioned, they will also call your employer to verify employment. 2. I don't think you need to worry about either the debt amount or payment, given your s...
by deanbrew
Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First time home buyer ?'s
Replies: 15
Views: 1096

Re: 2015 Subaru Forester, which trim/options?

I have a 2011 Subaru Legacy and I went with the Limited trim mainly for the leather seats. I have had leather on my last several cars, and really like how it feels and holds up. I don't want to go back to cloth seats. As for the new Forester, if I'm reading the trim level data right, you get the sun...
by deanbrew
Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2015 Subaru Forester, which trim/options?
Replies: 16
Views: 1795

Re: Dumb 3rd grade math question about beach house rental

But then there would have been no point in creating a meaningless "minimum stay." The cost is split equally, whether you stay one night or ten. The problem was using the words minimum stay. Don't say it if you don't mean it. I guess we need clarification from the OP, who wrote: "So w...
by deanbrew
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dumb 3rd grade math question about beach house rental
Replies: 61
Views: 5023

Re: Dumb 3rd grade math question about beach house rental

sscritic, you are reading the original post far differently than I. I have split vacation houses and timeshares many times with other couples. Never, ever, did anyone assume they could pay by the night, or pay less for a shortened stay. Each couple pays for their share of the total cost - period. If...
by deanbrew
Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dumb 3rd grade math question about beach house rental
Replies: 61
Views: 5023

Re: Dumb 3rd grade math question about beach house rental

Every couple pays a third. Because the eight days people are preventing the remaining two days from being used. Exactly right. These are not hotel rooms that can be rented out by the night. The third couple should not expect a discount because they are only using eight nights out of the ten availab...
by deanbrew
Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dumb 3rd grade math question about beach house rental
Replies: 61
Views: 5023

Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

I use speech recognition almost exclusively on my Galaxy G5. 99%+ accuracy. I have the Samsung Galaxy S4 and use the voice recognition about half the time and type the other half. The voice recognition is surprisingly accurate. I'm not sure why/how the OP can type on the tiny fixed keys but not on ...
by deanbrew
Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android smartphone with physical keyboard
Replies: 44
Views: 2500

Re: Hints on Tri-Tip

I assumed he fat-fingered the numbers and meant 125. I'm hoping that's the case. A hunk of meat will continue to cook after you take it off the grill or out of the oven. Most will come up ten degrees or even more, depending on how hot the fire/oven and outside of the roast/steak is. So, if you like...
by deanbrew
Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hints on Tri-Tip [Cooking]
Replies: 29
Views: 2378

Re: Diminishing Returns of Fuel Efficiency

You've also bought a hedge against higher oil prices. Of course oil prices can also fall (and have been doing so, just lately, after the market got over the shock of Mosul: turns out even ISIS (however you call it) will sell oil to outsiders to fund itself). Yes, I vividly remember buying an "...
by deanbrew
Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diminishing Returns of Fuel Efficiency
Replies: 11
Views: 1468

Re: Fed up with ATT

You don't say how much you spend now on your landline. You can check out Vonage, Ooma and Magic Jack and see if you can port (transfer) your number to them. I'm fairly certain you can with Vonage, as they have the most established VOIP operation. I use Vonage, hooked up to my cable modem, and pay ab...
by deanbrew
Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fed up with ATT
Replies: 53
Views: 4887
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