Search found 3146 matches

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: 1717

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: 1493

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: 909

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: 1692

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: 3215

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: 1245

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: 5669

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: 5669

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: 5606

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: 2756

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: 8902

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: 433

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: 1752

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: 3379

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: 1296

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: 3379

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: 785

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: 635

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: 763

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: 1407

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: 1407

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: 1094

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: 1094

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: 962

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: 4400

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: 1015

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: 2621

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: 1015

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: 3656

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: 9160

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...
by magellan
Mon May 18, 2015 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Asset Allocation if you've "won the game"
Replies: 86
Views: 9160

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

Is your simulation basically on a $1M starting portfolio and $40,000 represents the classic 4% rule? I would think it is because that is what the success rates roughly look like in most of the studies published. Wade Pfau should have similar results in his papers. That was the idea, however I shoul...
by magellan
Mon May 18, 2015 8:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Asset Allocation if you've "won the game"
Replies: 86
Views: 9160

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

IMO, the real challenge is in figuring out what it means to have 'won the game'. Most retirees would be happier if they could spend a little more than they're currently spending. The enjoyment folks get out of having more to spend doesn't really decrease that much with their absolute level of spendi...
by magellan
Sun May 17, 2015 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare Sharing Ministry A No Brainer?
Replies: 49
Views: 3656

Re: Healthcare Sharing Ministry A No Brainer?

HCSM payments are in a gray area in regards to the deduction - I will be deducting them though, so there is some risk there. I'm not so sure they are in a gray area in CA. I did a quick google search and I didn't come up with a single source that said a deduction is allowed. https://mychristiancare...
by magellan
Sun May 17, 2015 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare Sharing Ministry A No Brainer?
Replies: 49
Views: 3656

Re: Healthcare Sharing Ministry A No Brainer?

I did a quick check at coveredca.com and it looks like a 29 year old can get an individual $4500 deductible bronze HSA plan for between $190 and $220 per month. If you and your wife each get policies, you'll still pay around $400 a month, but you'll each have separate $4500 deductibles. You can then...
by magellan
Sun May 17, 2015 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare Sharing Ministry A No Brainer?
Replies: 49
Views: 3656

Re: Healthcare Sharing Ministry A No Brainer?

Don't forget that physicals and other well-care are provided without charges that apply to your deductible. Good point. For a youngish couple, the total cost of annual physicals, well care blood tests, mammography, and other cancer screenings could range from $700-$1000 at insurance company negotia...
by magellan
Fri May 15, 2015 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 197
Views: 17572

Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

AAA wrote:I'm all for safety, however, but I'm not sure that I trust software-based automatic systems very much.

Maybe I've got this wrong, but my understanding is that you can't buy a new car today that doesn't have a software controlled engine and braking system.
by magellan
Fri May 15, 2015 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 197
Views: 17572

Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

To word the question slightly differently, is it rational to buy a $50k vehicle primarily for its safety features? I think the answer to that is clearly no. I'm not sure such a blanket statement can be supported. Everyone will have their own cost vs. benefit situation. For some, spending $50k for a...
by magellan
Fri May 15, 2015 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 197
Views: 17572

Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

So my question is this: if I pay thousands of dollars to add safety options such as lane change monitoring, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, etc. to my new vehicle, how much will this actually improve my chances of not getting killed in a car accident over my lifet...
by magellan
Thu May 14, 2015 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6
Replies: 49
Views: 3597

Re: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6

The upgrade will only gain you a few years. I have seen hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on "futureproofing" that has never been used and was eventually abandoned in place. Don't spend money on tech you don't have plans to use immediately. This sounds too pessimistic to me. When we ...
by magellan
Thu May 14, 2015 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is the Post Office slowing down First Class Parcel delivery?
Replies: 25
Views: 2724

Re: Is the Post Office slowing down first class parcel delivery?

This google search has lots of links discussing it: https://www.google.com/#q=first+class+parcel+service+slow+down I made an ebay purchase in March that was shipped first class parcel and it took almost 3 weeks to arrive. I had assumed it was lost as the tracking hadn't been updated in almost 2 week...
by magellan
Thu May 14, 2015 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SPIA for mom?
Replies: 33
Views: 2074

Re: SPIA for mom?

Now assuming I had bought the SPIA today with the $130,000. That $680 is worth $584 real after 10 years (assuming 1.5% inflation). $722 - $584 is a difference of $138 a month. However, for the last 10 years mom has been able to spend $680 a month (in nominal terms) vs $300 with the CD ladder (in re...
by magellan
Thu May 14, 2015 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SPIA for mom?
Replies: 33
Views: 2074

Re: SPIA for mom?

But, my impression is that the 2015 SPIA market is way too competitive to allow 15% loads. IMO, it's not quite right to think of this as a load. That implies that the insurance company and salespeople are making that much in profit, which I don't think they are. The fact is, an annuity is a much mo...
by magellan
Thu May 14, 2015 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SPIA for mom?
Replies: 33
Views: 2074

Re: SPIA for mom?

Independent wrote:Somehow, you saw the 80-85% but missed the 90-94%.

I was interpolating. If you look on page 1308, table 3, you'll see that once you take insurer credit risk into account, the present value is around 85% even using the annuitant mortality table.
by magellan
Thu May 14, 2015 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6
Replies: 49
Views: 3597

Re: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6

One other thought - It might be worth asking the builder if the same installer is used for cat 5e and for cat 6 and whether they use a device to certify that the installation meets spec. Most electricians will run networking cable, but many don't have the gear or the know-how to verify that the inst...
by magellan
Thu May 14, 2015 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SPIA for mom?
Replies: 33
Views: 2074

Re: SPIA for mom?

Please provide a cite. There is a vast literature on annuities and I've never seen anything like this. This 1999 research paper by Mitchell, et al. took a crack at the problem and here's what they found: This paper presents new evidence on the expected discounted value of payments for annuity polic...
by magellan
Thu May 14, 2015 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SPIA for mom?
Replies: 33
Views: 2074

Re: SPIA for mom?

It sounds like your mom would like to set up a safe income floor of $300 to last a lifetime. The next task is to figure out the best way to do that. IMO, SPIAs aren't usually the best bet for someone who's only 66 years old. It's often better to wait until age 75 or 80 to purchase an SPIA. These are...
by magellan
Wed May 13, 2015 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6
Replies: 49
Views: 3597

Re: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6

It might be worth trying to get them to run cat 6 cable, but terminate it to cat 5e standards. As another poster said, the raw cable cost isn't that different. The higher cost may be legit, assuming they actually validate the install to cat 6 or cat 6a standards. Apparently, a cat 5e installation ne...
by magellan
Tue May 12, 2015 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions on securing house during vacation
Replies: 11
Views: 882

Re: Questions on securing house during vacation

A wifi camera in the basement can be handy too, especially a pan/tilt model so you can remotely scan the entire basement for problems. Most of these cameras have infrared lights so you don't even need to leave a light on. If you have a camera in the main house and you don't have a way to monitor the...
by magellan
Tue May 12, 2015 8:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitized so much already ... doubting value of delaying S.S.
Replies: 19
Views: 1906

Re: Annuitized so much already ... doubting value of delaying S.S.

It seems as if you have enough of an investment portfolio that you can spend more in your younger retirement years and delay collecting both SS. IMO, this is key. The amount you can safely spend in your early years of retirement doesn't seem very dependent on whether you take SS sooner or later. Th...
by magellan
Mon May 11, 2015 6:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swedroe: Credit Risk Not Worth It
Replies: 43
Views: 5704

Re: Swedroe: Credit Risk Not Worth It

Could you give a more precise mathematical definition of "this 'smoothing out' magic from diversification" and explanation of how and why it "happens over a period of years or decades, and not days or months"? Otherwise, the way you have been discussing this comes across as bein...

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