Search found 3166 matches

by magellan
Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare cost - Office Visit - negotiated insurance rate higher than cash rate?
Replies: 58
Views: 5440

Re: Healthcare cost - Office Visit established patient

This is the downside to these HDHPs--they are often cheap, offer few discounts, and likely won't pay much unless you require an inpatient admission. I've never seen an insurer offer a HDHP that doesn't discount provider services by the exact same amount as their lower deductible plans. As long as y...
by magellan
Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Deductible Health Plan Question
Replies: 12
Views: 1273

Re: High Deductible Health Plan Question

As I understand it, HDHP deductibles must be applied per calendar year and cannot be applied per incident under the rules of the Affordable Care Act.

Even before ACA, I don't think per incident deductibles were prevalent, except perhaps with temporary foreign travel policies.
by magellan
Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare cost - Office Visit - negotiated insurance rate higher than cash rate?
Replies: 58
Views: 5440

Re: Healthcare cost - Office Visit - negotiated insurance rate higher than cash rate?

If you think about it, if someone purchases a HDP ( because of the benefit to them) how is it fair that the provider performs the service, gets paid zero from the insurance company, receives a significantly reduced allowance for his services and then has to try and collect the bill. For me, this is...
by magellan
Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free Windows 10 Upgrade, Yes or No?
Replies: 329
Views: 29474

Re: Free Windows 10 Upgrade, Yes or No?

You probably will want to run the Win10 upgrade on the laptop HDD and make sure it's activated before swapping out the drive and doing a clean install of Win10. (Just Skip the prompt for a product key during install.) I wouldn't expect just the replacement drive to invalidate the hardware match, si...
by magellan
Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free Windows 10 Upgrade, Yes or No?
Replies: 329
Views: 29474

Re: Free Windows 10 Upgrade, Yes or No?

I successfully upgraded a windows 8.1 laptop to windows 10 and it was remarkably uneventful. Everything just worked. Yay! Since that worked, I bought a dell latitude laptop on ebay that will replace an aging home server I use for a bunch of misc things. The new laptop doesn't come with an HDD, but i...
by magellan
Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CDs vs. treasury bonds
Replies: 99
Views: 7191

Re: CDs vs. treasury bonds

But this time, I'll have to disagree in that corporates generally will NOT hold up in times of need--they do not behave like treasuries, but rather like equities (especially the further down the credit range you go). I don't have the time to go back to every bear market, but in 2008, they did not h...
by magellan
Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pfau: Why Bond Funds Don't Belong in Retirement Portfolios
Replies: 119
Views: 10840

Re: Pfau: Why Bond Funds Don't Belong in Retirement Portfolios

Quoting the Tomlinson article referenced in an earlier posting: AIG was (and remains) a diversified financial conglomerate, and the huge losses from credit default swaps were concentrated in its financial products division. The insurance subsidiaries of AIG that sold annuities remained reasonably h...
by magellan
Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pfau: Why Bond Funds Don't Belong in Retirement Portfolios
Replies: 119
Views: 10840

Re: Pfau: Why Bond Funds Don't Belong in Retirement Portfolios

Why not just fund another year with cash, and another etc. until you are funding your entire retirement with cash? IMO, it probably doesn't make sense to purchase a life annuity as long as the annual expense & overhead cost of the annuity is higher than the value of mortality credits that you e...
by magellan
Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Food safety - broken refrigerator
Replies: 20
Views: 1180

Re: Food safety - broken refrigerator

I keep bread type stuff in the freezer and microwave it as needed. This is a great tip. I do the same thing when I make bread in a bread maker. To make the bread easier to thaw, I put the slices into reusable ziplock bags with 4 pairs of slices per bag. Freezing home baked desserts like cookies and...
by magellan
Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast wants me to buy a new modem (I think)
Replies: 53
Views: 2843

Re: Comcast wants me to buy a new modem (I think)

Even with a low broadband plan, upgrading to a Docsis 3.x modem can increase throughput if the cable plant is congested in your area or there is a problem with the channel that your older modem locks onto. Docsis 3.0 does dynamic load balancing across the multiple channels to reduce congestion and i...
by magellan
Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast wants me to buy a new modem (I think)
Replies: 53
Views: 2843

Re: Comcast wants me to buy a new modem (I think)

And letting strangers use your connection is a bad idea for liability reasons. Not to mention that as Comcast rolls out bandwidth caps with hefty charges for data overages, a stranger leeching your bandwidth could cost you a lot of money! It doesn't work this way. It's a separate network that comca...
by magellan
Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast wants me to buy a new modem (I think)
Replies: 53
Views: 2843

Re: Comcast wants me to buy a new modem (I think)

Getting the customers to pay for your global hotspot network?! Deliciously evil. :twisted: Although I gotta say, the network is vast and it's very convenient for folks with tablets or restricted data on a phone. I think all of comcast's retail business internet customers also serve up the wifi hots...
by magellan
Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home energy monitoring
Replies: 29
Views: 2129

Re: Home energy monitoring

I still have about 1 kW of vampire power though - 24 kWh a day - which is huge. That makes me feel much better about my 500 watt vampire load. The most surprising load was a steady 50 watts for the oil burner (even when it's idle). Then there's more mundane stuff like routers, cable modems, network...
by magellan
Wed Aug 05, 2015 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home energy monitoring
Replies: 29
Views: 2129

Re: Home energy monitoring

I was interested in the same thing and as usual, I turned the idea into a hobby... I used an Efergy energy monitor for electricity, a bunch of wireless thermometers, a wireless Owl electricity monitor tied to my oil burner circuit, a USB RTL-SDR receiver, and a low cost Raspberry Pi computer that lo...
by magellan
Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New PC - Buy Office or use free alternatives
Replies: 49
Views: 4175

Re: New PC - Buy Office or use free alternatives

If it's only for home use I would use Libre Office. $220 is too much to pay for a barely different product. I'm a big fan of Libre Office for light users. However, Office Home and Student 2013 can be purchased for around $100-$120 on Amazon and Ebay. Also, you can get a free 120-day trial of Office...
by magellan
Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prepaid Cell Plan USA
Replies: 30
Views: 2814

Re: Prepaid Cell Plan USA

I'll be taking a look at Airvoice though at $9/mo my H2O cell service doesn't rise to the top of budget review urgency :happy One minor caveat is that Airvoice is 3G only while H2O offers 4G LTE. So you do get something for that extra $.04 per mb. High speed usually isn't so important on pay per mb...
by magellan
Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prepaid Cell Plan USA
Replies: 30
Views: 2814

Re: Prepaid Cell Plan USA

Check with Airvoice. Better than H2O, same ATT network. I recently switched to Airvoice from a T-Mobile paygo plan and so far it's working out great. Airvoice has 2 cheap plans for infrequent users. The $10 a month 250 minute plan charges $.04 for minutes, $.02 for texts, and $.06 per MB for data. ...
by magellan
Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New A/C Install
Replies: 13
Views: 1179

Re: New A/C Install

The payback on a high SEER system is very dependent on how you use your a/c. Higher SEER ratings come from increased cycling efficiency and better efficiency at running with lower btu output (eg running at 1/2 capacity). When running at maximum output capacity, the raw cost of putting cooling btus i...
by magellan
Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Tax Reporting
Replies: 12
Views: 1477

Re: NH - HSA not subject to Interest & Dividends Tax

So I decided to also ask about HSAs. I was told specifically that HSAs are exempt from the interest and dividends tax under RSA 77:4-b. Note: this was not some telephone customer service rep, but rather knowledgeable DAR staff. Thanks for the follow up. It's great to finally get a definitive answer.
by magellan
Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is 7200 rpm hard drive that much faster than 5400 rpm?
Replies: 50
Views: 2872

Re: is 7200 rpm hard drive that much faster than 5400 rpm?

Not that they don't, but they are way more reliable than spinning disks in my experience. I don't think we can say for sure that SSDs are more reliable than HDDs. The data is very mixed and in reliability bakeoffs, the winner is dependent on the test setup. Also, the reliability of SSDs seems to va...
by magellan
Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rx Savings Card - Too Good to Be True?
Replies: 23
Views: 1752

Re: Rx Savings Card - Too Good to Be True?

IMO, if you get a new or one-time prescription and have a high deductible plan or high rx copays, it's essential to use Google before you go to the pharmacy to see what discount coupons are available and where the best deal is. The difference in final price can be staggering. GoodRx is often a good ...
by magellan
Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on medical bills
Replies: 12
Views: 1528

Re: Advice on medical bills

First, I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Having seen a spouse and close family member go through this, I'm more familiar with this than I wish I was. I wish you the very best during your treatment and recovery. Perhaps you're already past this point, but one suggestion is to make sure you wait...
by magellan
Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator repair issue
Replies: 8
Views: 974

Re: Refrigerator repair issue

Was your freezer coil completely defrosted when they replaced the timer? The first sign of my freezer coil freezing up in my side-by-side fridge was the freezer fan running at high speed. I've read that a freezer's normal defrost cycle isn't strong enough to defrost a completely frozen coil. After a...
by magellan
Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mini-split air conditioner
Replies: 15
Views: 1764

Re: Mini-split air conditioner

Perhaps this isn't an option, but have you considered installing booster fans inside the ductwork to increase airflow to the second floor?
by magellan
Sat Jul 11, 2015 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: kitchenaid vs. bosch dishwasher
Replies: 61
Views: 3508

Re: kitchenaid vs. bosch dishwasher

I can tell you that the controller board on a kitchen aid is 250 dollars (actually I think it was 220+ tax and I am rounding up). And a screw driver isn't going to help:) I have no clue how often you hit a cheap repair (some seal, latch, replacing a rack) versus the expensive ones (motor dies, cont...
by magellan
Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: standby generators
Replies: 9
Views: 1309

Re: standby generators

No regrets other than I wish I would have went with a 12k and covered the AC. Unfortunately with all NG gas appliances and 2 NG shop heaters my entire gas service including the main line from the road and the gas meter would have needed upsized if I went with a larger generator. If you decide to in...
by magellan
Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Annoying problem with Lollipop (new Android 5.1 OS)
Replies: 52
Views: 5870

Re: Annoying problem with Lollipop (new Android 5.1 OS)

Can you imagine the outcry if this happened with Apple? No need to imagine... Apple Pulls iOS 8.0.1 Update After Disastrous Rollout Lollipop is looking like Android's 'Windows Vista' release. That's not as much of a condemnation as it may seem. While the Vista rollout was also a disaster, the archi...
by magellan
Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Annoying problem with Lollipop (new Android 5.1 OS)
Replies: 52
Views: 5870

Re: Annoying problem with Lollipop (new Android 5.1 OS)

What I don't get is that the Nexus and my Moto X 1st gen are both Google phones, and Android is a Google OS. You would kinda think they could get it right at least with their own dammed phones wouldn't you? You'd think they would, but relatively speaking, your upgrade is a success story. I have a O...
by magellan
Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart phone data usage
Replies: 54
Views: 5752

Re: Smart phone data usage

IMO, the first step is to figure out which network(s) provide adequate data coverage in your area. Depending on where you live and hang out, this might limit your choice to just one or two of the major networks (verizon, att, t-mobile, sprint). This will likely drive your phone choice as well. A net...
by magellan
Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Angie's List [for home repair]
Replies: 21
Views: 2830

Re: Angie's List

BBB is useless. It is of the businesses, by the business, and for the businesses. Many excellent small businesses are not listed. Big business that are locally notorious for cheesy practices get good ratings. The only thing they might be good for is dispute resolution--I've never tried it; but I su...
by magellan
Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician Independent contractor - LLC vs S corp vs other
Replies: 99
Views: 9583

Re: Physician Independent contractor - LLC vs S corp vs other

I usually recommend someone pay a professional for the first year as a template and then decide after that if they feel comfortable in subsequent years. +1 on this unless you're very confident about your tax prep skills and willing to do a bunch of work to educate yourself on all the rules. Also be...
by magellan
Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone have experience with Anthem EPO?
Replies: 3
Views: 441

Re: Anyone have experience with Anthem EPO?

Do you know if the PPO and EPO use the exact same provider network? How good is the HMO's network? Some health insurance plans have a great nationwide network that includes every top medical center you could think of. Others have a very limited network that excludes many top providers. If you get ba...
by magellan
Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did I get a cheaper crown because I had dental insurance?
Replies: 8
Views: 1800

Re: Did I get a cheaper crown because I had dental insurance?

Did you think you would pay for a Honda and get a Ferrari? ... Just remember...you didn't get a cheaper crown...you got a Boglehead crown! :oops: IMO, this misses the mark. Bogleheads don't like funds with high expense ratios because high fees typically don't add value. It's not that we're cheap or...
by magellan
Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A/C efficiency question
Replies: 31
Views: 3443

Re: A/C efficiency question

The other nice thing about using deep setbacks with a/c is that the system will dehumidify a lot better when running in long cycles compared to shorter maintenance cycles. During a typical cycle, it takes the evaporator coils several minutes to reach their lowest operating temperature. During this t...
by magellan
Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiree Healthcare before Medicare choices ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1314

Re: Retiree Healthcare before Medicare choices ?

My understanding is that non-Obamacare policies are medically underwitten, however, so that availability/price of coverage may vary between individuals. AFAIK, medical underwriting is no longer allowed for any health insurance plans intended to last a year or longer. I think there may be some excep...
by magellan
Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A/C efficiency question
Replies: 31
Views: 3443

Re: A/C efficiency question

I wonder how much extra energy is consumed cooling the house back to 75 from 80 (or higher). I don't have a clue, but at some point there is a trade off. Hoping someone here has studied this For most heating and cooling systems, you'll generally save energy with any temperature setback of any lengt...
by magellan
Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Steps to Close a Company
Replies: 5
Views: 796

Re: Steps to Close a Company

You might want to check if your state charges a filing fee to close a business before you do final disbursements.
by magellan
Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowner insurance deductible savings data
Replies: 4
Views: 665

Re: Homeowner insurance deductible savings data

Interesting data points. I wonder if this pricing is actuarially fair, or if insurers adjust prices for strategic reasons to steer business in one direction or the other. If the pricing is fair it makes sense to choose the largest deductible you can afford, since you avoid paying insurer overhead an...
by magellan
Sat May 30, 2015 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: .
Replies: 5
Views: 768

Re: Water puddling around house

IMO, it's tough to talk in generalities with this type of thing. Runoff and drainage problems have lots of causes and lots of solutions. Some problems can be expensive to fix while others can be nearly trivial. For example, my last house got water in the basement after every heavy rain. One expert w...
by magellan
Fri May 29, 2015 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 5000 btu open window air conditioner
Replies: 13
Views: 1451

Re: 5000 btu open window air conditioner

Even a seriously oversized window unit will have no problem drying out the air in the process of cooling down a well overheated room. Are you sure this is true? I've read a few times in the past if you oversize too much - the unit will cool down the room to the desired temperature and shut off BEFO...
by magellan
Thu May 28, 2015 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 5000 btu open window air conditioner
Replies: 13
Views: 1451

Re: 5000 btu open window air conditioner

IMO, choosing the right size for a window ac unit depends on how you plan to use it. If you tend to maintain a steady temperature, it is important that the unit's capacity is well matched to the heat gain of the room for reasons other posters have mentioned. OTOH, window units are often used very di...
by magellan
Thu May 28, 2015 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest host to buy and sponsor a domain name?
Replies: 13
Views: 1133

Re: Cheapest host to buy and sponsor a domain name?

If you are planning to host then it makes sense to register at the same place as hosting provider - they will register for free in some cases. I am currently with dreamhost and they have been fine so far. I volunteer with SCORE and over the years I've helped several small business clients move thei...
by magellan
Thu May 28, 2015 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest host to buy and sponsor a domain name?
Replies: 13
Views: 1133

Re: Cheapest host to buy and sponsor a domain name?

... it was OBVIOUS GoDaddy sold my name, phone number and address to every dirty pimp who who have them to make a buck on me. I got calls on my cell (I listed it on my site, didn't have a landline at the time-they must have lifted it from there) from at least to two dozen people/companies trying to...
by magellan
Thu May 28, 2015 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good e-mail manager?
Replies: 10
Views: 987

Re: Good e-mail manager?

If your reason for wanting your email stored locally vs using a cloud-based provider is only concern over data loss, you might consider the hybrid solution of using a cloud provider with a regular backup with thunderbird. Of course, if the concern is about privacy, a cloud provider is probably a non...
by magellan
Thu May 28, 2015 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SSD + HDD good option for upgrading desktop PC?
Replies: 47
Views: 4509

Re: SSD + HDD good option for upgrading desktop PC?

IMO, if you need to reinstall the OS on a desktop, adding an SSD is a no-brainer. The real decisions are probably 1) whether to use multiple partitions on the SSD, and 2) how to carve up your user data storage between the SSD and HDD. Personally, I prefer to segment off the OS in its own partition o...
by magellan
Sun May 24, 2015 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi [Thermostat] - Security Issues?
Replies: 9
Views: 1050

Re: WiFi Tstat - Security Issues?

It is either case 2 or case 3. How do I tell the difference? The t-stat is made by Honeywell. The easiest way to tell is to log into your router and disable universal plug n play (UPnP) . Then reboot everything and see if you can still use the cloud app and see updates from the t-stat. If everythin...
by magellan
Sat May 23, 2015 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most effective wifi upgrade for range/speed?
Replies: 27
Views: 2641

Re: Most effective wifi upgrade for range/speed?

I saw a huge improvement in 2.4ghz range going from a g to n. However, I found n's 5ghz range to be very finicky. Unless I was practically in the same room as the router, I often got better range/throughput using 2.4ghz instead of 5ghz. OTOH, the upgrade to ac made a huge difference with 5ghz range ...
by magellan
Sat May 23, 2015 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi [Thermostat] - Security Issues?
Replies: 9
Views: 1050

Re: WiFi Tstat - Security Issues?

You mentioned that you access the t-stat using a web interface. Generally, there are three different models for how this can work, and they each have different security issues. In all cases, it's assumed that you use robust passwords. Case 1 - The web interface is provided (served) by the t-stat its...
by magellan
Mon May 18, 2015 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare Sharing Ministry A No Brainer?
Replies: 49
Views: 3751

Re: Healthcare Sharing Ministry A No Brainer?

I think you might have your understanding wrong here. Family deductible is the most the family will have to pay in deductibles. You're right. Thanks for setting me straight on that. I saw that the OP said they'd have a $9k deductible and didn't realize that it works that way now for family policies...
by magellan
Mon May 18, 2015 7:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Asset Allocation if you've "won the game"
Replies: 86
Views: 9275

Re: Best Asset Allocation if you've "won the game"

The lesson about knowing when enough is enough can be learned from the following incident. In March of 2003, I was in Rochester, Minn., for a seminar based on my book, "Rational Investing in Irrational Times, How to Avoid the Costly Mistakes Even Smart People Make." During my visit, I met...

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