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Re: In the event that your employer is hacked...

Here's the actionable bit - I've done some work for Sony in the past, not as a regular employee, but I was definitely paid by one of their business entities, so at minimum, my SSN and one of my former addresses is in the records of the corporation. As a contractor, it might be a good idea to get an...
by magellan
Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In the event that your employer is hacked...
Replies: 4
Views: 427

Re: ACA insurance Q... for 26 yo child coming off my insuran

It's also worth considering an HSA qualified plan. Between the lower premiums and the tax savings, an HDHP coupled with an HSA can work out great. Even if money is tight for your daughter, contributing the difference in premiums between a higher cost plan and the HDHP can be a good way to build up a...
by magellan
Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA insurance Q... for 26 yo child coming off my insurance
Replies: 4
Views: 291

Re: We cut the (Cable/Satellite TV) Cord!

wander wrote:I have no OTA signal available and have to stay with basic cable just for local TV. I need information about local closures during snow storm.

Many local TV stations post storm closure information on their websites.
by magellan
Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We cut the (Cable/Satellite TV) Cord!
Replies: 37
Views: 3059

Re: Two Policies Under ACA Exchange

You can definitely buy two separate policies on the exchange, but I don't know how the subsidy calculations work in that case.
by magellan
Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Policies Under ACA Exchange
Replies: 4
Views: 621

Re: Legal Protections Question (Rental Property)

Now, how does the division of the LLC from personal finances function? In interest of this being a financial investment, how does the positive cash flow from the property eventually pay out? Are you drawing a "management fee" from the profits? Are all profits tied up and/or reinvested int...
by magellan
Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legal Protections Question (Rental Property)
Replies: 29
Views: 1837

Re: Legal Protections Question (Rental Property)

Johno wrote:The LLC has its own tax return ...

It might, but it might not. Often a single member LLC is set up as an IRS disregarded entity and its income and expenses are reported directly on the owner's schedule C.
by magellan
Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legal Protections Question (Rental Property)
Replies: 29
Views: 1837

Re: Uneven Home Heating. Can I Adjust Furnace Valves?

Reubin wrote:I live in a 40 year old home, 3 levels, with single zone oil baseboard heating.

I'd interpret this to mean the OP has one thermostat for the entire house.
by magellan
Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uneven Home Heating. Can I Adjust Furnace Valves?
Replies: 22
Views: 1904

Re: Uneven Home Heating. Can I Adjust Furnace Valves?

When you bring the plumber in to check for air in the system and make sure those three valves are set correctly, it might be worth it to get an estimate for splitting the system into two or more zones. It'll probably cost at least $1k in the best case, but since you don't use the lower level, you ma...
by magellan
Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uneven Home Heating. Can I Adjust Furnace Valves?
Replies: 22
Views: 1904

Re: Erroneous NY Ezpass violation - Any tips?

Go to the web site, find the customer service number and call them. Been there. Done that. I was ready with my transponder ID, transaction ID, toll plaza number, etc. I expected they'd look it all up in their system and apologize for the mistake. Hah! They weren't interested. All they could do was ...
by magellan
Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Erroneous NY Ezpass violation - Any tips?
Replies: 11
Views: 986

Re: Erroneous NY Ezpass violation - Any tips?

I'm having a hard time understanding the issue. Normally EZ Pass just deducts charges from your account when they think you've gone through a toll booth with a faulty transponder or whatever. Their system messed up and I have no idea what happened. They successfully charged my ezpass account for th...
by magellan
Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Erroneous NY Ezpass violation - Any tips?
Replies: 11
Views: 986

Erroneous NY Ezpass violation - Any tips?

On the ride home from the Bogleheads conference this year, New York's ez-pass system apparently malfunctioned and we received a letter about a toll violation with a request for payment of around $6 shortly after we got home. I looked through our online ezpass account history and found that our accou...
by magellan
Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Erroneous NY Ezpass violation - Any tips?
Replies: 11
Views: 986

Re: Smartphone questions

I preordered Oneplus one. It's one of the best phone made in 2014 for off contract phone cheap $350, cost 1/2 the price of other flagship phones but the same specs as Galaxy S5, LG G3, HTC one M8. There are newer phones with a little better specs but it costs double than Oneplus one (not worth the ...
by magellan
Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smartphone questions
Replies: 107
Views: 9841

Re: I'm scared - online hacking

Another idea is to make a plan for if you are locked out of your accounts for a couple of weeks. As I understand it, it took Sony almost a week to restore their systems after the latest attack. In the case of a hack on your own account, you'll likely get your money back eventually, but there may be ...
by magellan
Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm scared - online hacking
Replies: 44
Views: 4836

Re: I'm scared - online hacking

What else can I do, if anything? 1) Check online account activity relatively frequently - say at least once a month. 2) If supported by your bank or CC, create email or SMS alerts to notify you of activity that could possibly be suspicious. This means different things for different people and for d...
by magellan
Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm scared - online hacking
Replies: 44
Views: 4836

Re: Is this true re. HSA-eligible health insurance plans?

The article is outdated. That's how insurance used to work but not anymore. Medical underwriting isn't allowed on individual health insurance policies. However, you can only switch plans once a year during the limited open enrollment window unless you have a qualifying event like change of address, ...
by magellan
Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this true re. HSA-eligible health insurance plans?
Replies: 1
Views: 461

Re: Tell me about FitBit - is it worth having?

DW got a Garmin vivofit several months ago and is very happy with it. She uses it all the time. We just finished a vacation in Europe and it was great to be able to track how far we walked each day as we were touring. DW went with the vivofit over the fitbit because vivofit has an LCD Display that s...
by magellan
Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fitbit, Vivofit, or other?
Replies: 55
Views: 2261

Re: smartphone over wifi - still possible?

4) The problem is that if your smartphone accidentally uses mobile data and you do not have a data plan, it could be very expensive. Smartphones are designed to automatically use data for all kinds of things and it's not always easy or possible to completely disable the mobile data functionality if...
by magellan
Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: smartphone over wifi - still possible?
Replies: 31
Views: 2614

Re: smartphone over wifi - still possible?

Keep your dumb phone or get a dumb phone from another carrier. No data plan. Buy an Android tablet. There are $100 7 inch tablets with 1280x800 screens. Nearly all tablets are Wi-Fi only. Yup, you'll have to carry two things around with you. Compensation: It's much easier to do web surfing/mail rea...
by magellan
Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: smartphone over wifi - still possible?
Replies: 31
Views: 2614

Re: smartphone over wifi - still possible?

I do actually want to use data occasionally, when I use my phone as a satnav. If you don't have a data plan, a $5 app called MapsWithMe Pro is great for offline maps, including turn-by-turn navigation. I've used this app across the US and in several other countries. Even if your phone comes with a ...
by magellan
Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: smartphone over wifi - still possible?
Replies: 31
Views: 2614

Re: smartphone over wifi - still possible?

My latest AT&T contract ends this month, and I'd like to switch from a dumb phone with no data to a smartphone, but I don't want to pay for data. I have heard that it was once possible to use a smartphone with wifi, to surf the net and check email, but then thought I saw that the carriers were ...
by magellan
Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: smartphone over wifi - still possible?
Replies: 31
Views: 2614

Re: Sole proprietor or other forms?

You might want to check out http://www.score.org to see if there's a local SCORE chapter near you that offers free face-to-face small business advice. There are lots of factors to consider in terms of choosing the most appropriate business organization, however if your main concern is liability prot...
by magellan
Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sole proprietor or other forms?
Replies: 7
Views: 947

Re: ACA 2015 Policies Available

I'm thinking that the other bills were pretty substantial, when you consider they included bills from the doctors, but who knows. You may be right. It just doesn't detail them enough for us to know. IMO, this case serves more as a warning to young invincibles that going uninsured is a recipe for fi...
by magellan
Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA 2015 Policies Available
Replies: 12
Views: 1483

Re: ACA 2015 Policies Available

[url]"Woman taken to 'wrong' hospital faces bankruptcy" Wrong as in out of network, when she was unconscious and without anyone along who knew her insurance. Balance billing is a real problem and getting a plan with a broad network is a much safer bet if you can afford it. Folks with empl...
by magellan
Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA 2015 Policies Available
Replies: 12
Views: 1483

Re: New car purchase- "documentation fee" and "registration

The location of each dealership determines the total tax, which is usually comprised of the state tax + county tax + local/city tax. I'm sure this is dependent on geography, but in our area vehicle taxes are handled at registration time. For example, NH doesn't have a sales tax but Mass and Maine d...
by magellan
Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car purchase- "documentation fee" and "registration fee"
Replies: 28
Views: 2911

Re: ACA 2015 Policies Available

Transferred to ICU for 4 days, told billing about being out of network and they assured me not to worry. A few weeks later received a large bill from the provider. If you don't mind sharing, approximately how much was the bill? Did it ever get resolved or is it still in dispute? Most people don't r...
by magellan
Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA 2015 Policies Available
Replies: 12
Views: 1483

Re: ACA 2015 Policies Available

The UHC plan does not cover out of network except for emergency care and network is limited to my state. So if I am traveling out of state and go to the ER where I am admitted is it all covered (hospital, surgery, anesthesiologiest, etc)? Think something like appendicitis or heart attack or somethi...
by magellan
Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA 2015 Policies Available
Replies: 12
Views: 1483

Re: New car purchase- "documentation fee" and "registration

That said, my friend wants a base model with no options. In that case, would there be any point in asking for the VIN? I never ask a dealer for the VIN directly. I check each local dealer's new car inventory as listed on their website to see if they have a car I want. If they do, I copy that car's ...
by magellan
Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car purchase- "documentation fee" and "registration fee"
Replies: 28
Views: 2911

Re: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??

I am mostly interested in comparisons between on and off exchange, and any specific experiences in VA. Thanks, Magellan. For a list of off-exchange policies, visit the link below and enter your zip code and information. You'll need to say you had a qualifying event to see 2014 prices. I just clicke...
by magellan
Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??
Replies: 105
Views: 11782

Re: New car purchase- "documentation fee" and "registration

As others have said, use the exact phrase "out-the-door price" in your communications. Don't say price with "no extra fees" or when you pick up the vehicle they'll say "This $300 charge isn't a fee, it's for the trunk mats that were already on the vehicle." I've found &...
by magellan
Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car purchase- "documentation fee" and "registration fee"
Replies: 28
Views: 2911

Re: Why do HY Savings and CD rates dominate short-term bonds

The price of (most) CD's or HY savings accounts are very stable and while they might produce more return than similar duration bonds they don't have the same negative correlation with equities. My sense is that any 'negative correlation' benefit that might show up with the bond approach would be an...
by magellan
Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do HY Savings and CD rates dominate short-term bonds?
Replies: 26
Views: 3131

Re: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??

...makes it hard to get responses that are pertinent to the original question. On that front, how are you doing with the on-topic responses so far? Have you been able to look at the 2014 plans on healthcare.gov to see the plans and prices? Did the calculator I posted about make sense? Do you have a...
by magellan
Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??
Replies: 105
Views: 11782

Re: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??

I am skeptical that one that costs an extra $50-100/month could be the difference between poor narrow networks and good large networks. Am I wrong? Anthem took a lot of heat last year for their limited network plans, which were all they offered to individuals in many states, both on and off the exc...
by magellan
Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??
Replies: 105
Views: 11782

Re: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??

I don't know about VA specifically, but this Forbes article discusses a study that says typically the different levels of ACA plans all use the same network whether you buy Bronze, Gold, or whatnot. It seems top quality networks just aren't for sale at any price on the exchanges . That's a great ar...
by magellan
Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??
Replies: 105
Views: 11782

Re: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??

Yes, people who receive benefits (welfare) and make $100k can (sometimes) pay their premiums. Exact data isn't available yet, but most estimates are that at least 80-90% of ACA policyholders have stayed current on their premium payments. So sometimes is a stretch. I believe my non-aca individual po...
by magellan
Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??
Replies: 105
Views: 11782

Re: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??

Some plans pay at or below Medicaid plus Medicaid doesn't have a large deductible that has to be paid by a patient that can barely pay their monthly premiums. I don't know of any stats that say ACA patients are more likely than others to be in a category of can 'barely pay their monthly premiums'. ...
by magellan
Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??
Replies: 105
Views: 11782

Re: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??

Does the ACA impose any additional requirement for a plan to be included on the exchange that it does not apply to a (non-grandfathered) plan that is not listed on the exchange? I believe the main difference is a technicality in the rules for canceling coverage when someone doesn't pay their premiu...
by magellan
Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??
Replies: 105
Views: 11782

Re: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??

I am getting ready, this month, to make a decision about AHA for 2015 I am retired, so I will not have earned income. Unearned income will be 30,000 or less based on my best estimates. Does anyone have advice, experience, or a link that will have me make the best decision ... AHA or private insuran...
by magellan
Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??
Replies: 105
Views: 11782

Re: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??

Deleted - On second thought my comment was probably too political and didn't serve a practical purpose.
by magellan
Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??
Replies: 105
Views: 11782

Re: Supreme Court Blues

One side note is that ACA premiums include a built-in fee to cover the cost of running the exchange website. As I understand it, if a state has their own exchange website, they get the fee, if they use the federal website, the fee goes back to the feds. So a decision by a state to switch from a fede...
by magellan
Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Supreme Court Blues
Replies: 34
Views: 2209

Re: Supreme Court Blues

If you live in Massachusetts, which had a well-functioning universal access system in place even before ACA, I am not sure I'd worry too much. I am 61 and very happy with my unsubsidized ACA plan in NY, but my late husband and I had budgeted for healthcare even before ACA dramatically lowered my co...
by magellan
Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Supreme Court Blues
Replies: 34
Views: 2209

Re: Supreme Court Blues

You don't say which state you live in. If your state has a state run exchange, this won't impact you at all. Even if your state currently uses the federal exchange, it could convert to a state run exchange. There are also some states with 'partnership exchanges' that are technically state regulated,...
by magellan
Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Supreme Court Blues
Replies: 34
Views: 2209

Re: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??

Aside from relatively benign coverage requirements and some limitations on insurer profit margins, ACA plan construction is fundamentally market driven. Reimbursements and premiums are not set by the government. Insurers seem to have decided that the best way to maximize profits is to offer the lowe...
by magellan
Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??
Replies: 105
Views: 11782

Re: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??

We didn't have an option for private individual plans due to pre-existing conditions (we are healthy and active at age 55, but prior health experiences knocked us out of the individual non-ACA market). In the US, it is illegal for an insurance company to offer new health insurance coverage that's c...
by magellan
Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??
Replies: 105
Views: 11782

Re: Intel 7260 wireless AC card in laptop ?

Thanks. That's a noteworthy suggestion, especially when considering my aversion to Window 8 and it's presence on all the new laptops. I was very slow to move to Windows 8 and agree that initially it was a disaster. Frankly, the decisions MS made with the UI defied logic and it makes total sense tha...
by magellan
Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I avoid laptops w/ Intel 7260 wireless AC card ?
Replies: 15
Views: 1814

Re: Electricity costs going up

Re: Choosing a power supplier With some help from google, you can find handy websites that list local suppliers and rates. This is like shopping for airfare or a hotel. Use google and be a smart shopper. Here's one website I just found on google: https://www.chooseenergy.com/ Be sure to stay on top ...
by magellan
Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electricity costs going up
Replies: 46
Views: 3660

Re: Electricity costs going up

I agree the main reason for skyrocketing electricity prices in New England is limited ng pipeline capacity. IMO, it's really of a perfect storm with several factors: 1) Limited natural gas pipeline capacity 2) New ng demand for home heating from conversion of oil systems to ng is exacerbating pipeli...
by magellan
Sat Nov 08, 2014 7:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electricity costs going up
Replies: 46
Views: 3660

Re: What do you set your thermostat to (in F)?

At night we set the upstairs thermostat to 62 degrees or so. A little colder is ok, but not much warmer now that we have the winter down on the bed. DW and I both sleep best when the room is cooler, so this low setting saves some money and optimizes comfort. For downstairs, we adjust the daytime the...
by magellan
Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you set your thermostat to (in F)?
Replies: 81
Views: 4604

Re: SEC Yield, YTM, Distribution Yield, Current Yield

A fund that bought those bonds at par in the past would have a distribution yield of the average coupon divided by average price, so roughly 4/110 = 3.6% (ignoring expenses). But a fund that bought today would have a distribution yield of about (4 - 2) / 110 = 1.8%. Does that sound about right? Kev...
by magellan
Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC Yield, YTM, Distribution Yield, Current Yield
Replies: 68
Views: 8037

Re: SEC Yield, YTM, Distribution Yield, Current Yield

The problem is that the amortization/accretion effects have tax consequences even if there is no cash flow. I believe that funds have to distribute the taxable amount without regard to cash flow. I can't exactly tell where you're agreeing with Kevin and where you're disagreeing. You both mention th...
by magellan
Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC Yield, YTM, Distribution Yield, Current Yield
Replies: 68
Views: 8037

Re: SEC Yield, YTM, Distribution Yield, Current Yield

A fund that bought those bonds at par in the past would have a distribution yield of the average coupon divided by average price, so roughly 4/110 = 3.6% (ignoring expenses). But a fund that bought today would have a distribution yield of about (4 - 2) / 110 = 1.8%. Does that sound about right? It ...
by magellan
Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SEC Yield, YTM, Distribution Yield, Current Yield
Replies: 68
Views: 8037
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