Search found 1611 matches

by Rupert
Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing Disagreement - Stark Law
Replies: 35
Views: 1255

Re: Medical Billing Disagreement - Stark Law

Doctors' offices are different because they don't bill for their time like lawyers, but I bet on a daily/weekly/monthly basis basis they have revenue targets to cover their overhead and salaries. Should they pass on the $100 revenue from wart cream so that they can charge you $100 later to look at ...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Never had a credit card, should I get one?
Replies: 71
Views: 2297

Re: Never had a credit card, should I get one?

bertilak, Rupert, OP is trying to charge taxes and utilities to his credit card. I should have been more clear to say many government agencies and utilities charge fees, and not general merchants. Approximately 24K amounts to ALL of our spending in a year. (Remember, we live in flyover country, it'...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing Disagreement - Stark Law
Replies: 35
Views: 1255

Re: Medical Billing Disagreement - Stark Law

I'm sorry I don't know the answer to your questions, but I wanted to add that you should never let a dermatologist pop a zit when you're in for an office visit. That is also "surgery," as I once found out the hard way.
by Rupert
Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Never had a credit card, should I get one?
Replies: 71
Views: 2297

Re: Never had a credit card, should I get one?

There is a cost to using credit cards, and many companies pass that cost on to you, so you wind up paying MORE using a credit card. What cost? Not a single merchant I patronize charges more for credit card purchases these days. Only one (a small business that sells breakfast muffins and coffee) req...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: should I scrap my car after this accident
Replies: 19
Views: 768

Re: should I scrap my car after this accident

Resale value on your repaired car will not be practically nothing. It's still a low-mileage Volvo, which is a well-made car, and someone will buy it. Personally, I would have it repaired and keep driving it. Body shops can work miracles these days on wrecked cars.
by Rupert
Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Never had a credit card, should I get one?
Replies: 71
Views: 2297

Re: Never had a credit card, should I get one?

Get Dave Ramsey out of your head. His advice is great for people in debt. It has little to no application to people who are disciplined spenders/savers, such as Bogleheads. You should get a credit card for cash back (you really are throwing money away without one) and to establish credit history. Wh...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: parking lot fender bender question
Replies: 6
Views: 554

Re: parking lot fender bender question

I do disagree with trying to settle outside your insurance. Those three people could come back a few months from now and claim that your son caused them expensive and permanent injuries and sue you and him and the owner of the truck your son was driving. Insurance exists, in part, to protect you fro...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stymied by my High Deductible policy, HAS, and the American medical system.
Replies: 40
Views: 2515

Re: Stymied by my High Deductible policy, HAS, and the American medical system.

Welcome to the healthcare racket. You can go in for a physical and ask for only basic labs covered by under preventative (lipids, glucose) but the doctor can order whatever tests he wants to see and then you are required to pay for them. I think this is why many people don't bother going in for the...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Still Struggling to Understand How Bonds Work
Replies: 10
Views: 994

Re: Still Struggling to Understand How Bonds Work

Bond prices and yields tend to move in opposite directions. So if prices go up, yields will typically fall. Bond traders are more interested in prices, as they make money in the buying and selling. So rising prices is a rally as far as they are concerned. As a bond owner, though, you have to look at...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why nobody understands importance of high-deductible insurance?
Replies: 115
Views: 9922

Re: Why nobody understands importance of high-deductible insurance?

...My main point from this whole exchange is that without insurance, you don't even have to negotiate. They have a separate price for you and it is far lower that any rate an insurance company can get you.... Now perhaps its not the same for drug prescriptions. If no one had insurance, it might be....
by Rupert
Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stymied by my High Deductible policy, HAS, and the American medical system.
Replies: 40
Views: 2515

Re: Stymied by my High Deductible policy, HAS, and the American medical system.

You don't understand "bloodwork," which is a really broad category of medical tests, some expensive, some not. But you have made some very astute, even provocative, observations about the state of our present healthcare system, the first of which is that healthcare and free markets don't e...
by Rupert
Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If I decide to overpay on mortgage payment
Replies: 43
Views: 3706

Re: If I decide to overpay on mortgage payment

Paying some of the principal early does reduce the amount of interest charged... But not by nearly as much as most people think. Let's look at the initial case. If I pay a month's worth of principal early and I do not re-amortize, I have reduced the amount of interest I pay by whatever the interest...
by Rupert
Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Amount needed for retiring this year
Replies: 11
Views: 1652

Re: Retirement Amount needed for retiring this year

What are your plans for health insurance? It's very hard to predict health insurance premiums going forward. This article may interest you in that regard: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/us/politics/congressional-budget-office-affordable-care-act.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&c...
by Rupert
Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance company "outdoor steps need a railing"
Replies: 56
Views: 7737

Re: Insurance company "outdoor steps need a railing"

Is there really language in standard insurance contracts that give the insurance company carte blanche to dictate safety upgrades over and above what the law dictates? I find that hard to believe. Need to go reread that old contract. Yes. It is the language that lets them drop you as a client if yo...
by Rupert
Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto insurance Premium too High?
Replies: 24
Views: 1821

Re: Auto insurance Premium too High?

In Houston, you're in an area prone to hurricanes. That means you should shop your homeowners first and tack on the auto when it substantially reduces the homeowners premium. Many insurance companies, Geico included last time I checked (which admittedly has been a few years ago), will not write home...
by Rupert
Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare insurance premium AND payroll tax ?
Replies: 11
Views: 685

Re: Medicare insurance premium AND payroll tax ?

It depends on the employer and the particular insurance plan they have chosen. Read your health insurance contract. It will tell you what is required of you. At my office, employees must enroll in Medicare Part A when they turn 65. That's typical for small companies, I think. And, btw, there's no su...
by Rupert
Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 24 hour stop over at LHR, what all can I visit in London?
Replies: 31
Views: 1716

Re: 24 hour stop over at LHR, what all can I visit in London?

Have you ever been to London before? If you haven't and you only have a day, I'd take one of those organized bus tours. Tacky, I know, but it really is a good way to "skim" the sights. Then on your second visit, you'll won't feel any pressure to see a famous sight that you're not deeply in...
by Rupert
Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: France or Switzerland
Replies: 50
Views: 4477

Re: France or Switzerland

If your wife is afraid, then you shouldn't go. It doesn't really matter if her fear is rational or not; if she feels it, she feels it. And there are many other places to go in the world. But would she feel better if you avoided, say, Paris and stuck to moral rural areas in France? Alsace, for examp...
by Rupert
Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what local pharmacy?
Replies: 57
Views: 2784

Re: what local pharmacy?

What part of the country are you in? In my region, Southeastern US, I'd highly recommend Publix. They go out of their way to help you get the lowest price via coupons, etc., for your prescriptions.
by Rupert
Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiree health care premium before reaching medicare age
Replies: 17
Views: 1159

Re: Retiree health care premium before reaching medicare age

Given that the ACA is about to be repealed and we have no idea what will replace it, what people are paying now will not be particularly helpful to you going forward. It is impossible to predict healthcare costs even a few years out at this time.
by Rupert
Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance company "outdoor steps need a railing"
Replies: 56
Views: 7737

Re: Insurance company "outdoor steps need a railing"

Is there really language in standard insurance contracts that give the insurance company carte blanche to dictate safety upgrades over and above what the law dictates? I find that hard to believe. Need to go reread that old contract. Yes. It is the language that lets them drop you as a client if yo...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance company "outdoor steps need a railing"
Replies: 56
Views: 7737

Re: Insurance company "outdoor steps need a railing"

jes58 wrote:I put a temp railing up for my homeowners photos then took it down, lol.


So you committed insurance fraud then? I don't think I'd admit that in an online forum.
by Rupert
Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Diminished Value: report through own or other party's insurance?
Replies: 13
Views: 1061

Re: Diminished Value: report through own or other party's insurance?

I was in a car accident many years ago that resulted in significant damage to my car. The other party was at fault, but he only had enough insurance to cover the repairs. I filed a diminished value claim under my insurance. The insurance company tried to keep delaying things, hoping I woud go away....
by Rupert
Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund Question
Replies: 25
Views: 1950

Re: Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund Question

VBIRX is a completely fine choice for holding part of your emergency fund. The ability to write checks on it is handy when you need money quickly. You don't have to hold your entire emergency fund there. I recommend splitting up your emergency savings into different accounts, such as your checking a...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance company "outdoor steps need a railing"
Replies: 56
Views: 7737

Re: Insurance company "outdoor steps need a railing"

What right do they have to enforce the new building code? None, but they do have a right not to sell you an insurance policy if they deem you too high a risk. These inspections are becoming more common. State Farm, which is the largest insurer in my region, started doing them about 10 years ago. I ...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Miami -Florida Keys visit - Late January- Suggestions
Replies: 22
Views: 1450

Re: Miami -Florida Keys visit - Late January- Suggestions

I can highly recommend the Mermaid & the Alligator B&B in Key West.
by Rupert
Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of getting tires from Costco
Replies: 54
Views: 3297

Re: Thinking of getting tires from Costco

simplesimon: Even really really good tires only last 50,000 miles or so. And 8-year-old tires would almost certainly show signs of dry rot even if there's lots of tread left. So those probably weren't the original tires. Factory tires, i.e., those installed by the mfr on new cars, often only last 30...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Denied Checking Account by Citibank
Replies: 15
Views: 1859

Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Hmmm, it could relate to the fact that you opened another account just two weeks ago. The bank's computer may have flagged it as suspicious, a possible check kiting scheme in the offing.
by Rupert
Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: France or Switzerland
Replies: 50
Views: 4477

Re: France or Switzerland

If your wife is afraid, then you shouldn't go. It doesn't really matter if her fear is rational or not; if she feels it, she feels it. And there are many other places to go in the world. But would she feel better if you avoided, say, Paris and stuck to moral rural areas in France? Alsace, for exampl...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of getting tires from Costco
Replies: 54
Views: 3297

Re: Thinking of getting tires from Costco

I've gotten all my tires at Costco for about 15 years now. Just fine and great service. What exactly is "great" about the service? I love Costco (between in-store purchases and travel we spent close to $25,000 there in the last year), but the service for their tire center is abysmal; poss...
by Rupert
Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else having trouble with unrequested CVS auto-refills?
Replies: 55
Views: 2522

Re: Anyone else having trouble with unrequested CVS auto-refills?

CVS has huge problems. My BCBS plan just dropped them entirely as a preferred provider. They, along with at least 13 other BCBS plans, have just partnered, via their affiliate Prime Therapeutics, with Walgreens.
by Rupert
Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weight machine vs free weight
Replies: 64
Views: 3656

Re: Weight machine vs free weight

There's more risk of injury with free weights as we age. The machines force you to use proper form (assuming you follow the directions on the machines, of course). That said, a set of adjustable-weight dumbbells are nice to have around the house for days when you just can't get to the gym. They don'...
by Rupert
Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laundry lifestyle creep
Replies: 48
Views: 6528

Re: Laundry lifestyle creep

Dottie57 wrote:I never knew laundry had a lifestyle. :confused


This thread definitely ranks right up there with the recent thread on how to save money on toilet brushes.
by Rupert
Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally
Replies: 34
Views: 1884

Re: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally

If I were going to keep cars for 15+ years, I'd definitely go with the most reliable brands on the market, i.e., not a Volvo. I'd also go with a car that is very popular, something like a Camry or Accord, because when they break due to age (and every car eventually will), you're more likely to find ...
by Rupert
Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Goal achieved - what next? healthcare?
Replies: 8
Views: 1507

Re: Goal achieved - what next? healthcare?

The price and availability of healthcare in this country will prevent many people from retiring early. The only rational plan as I see it (unless you are very very wealthy; think top 1%, not just upper middle class) is to plan to continue working until you are eligible for Medicare or whatever repla...
by Rupert
Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to replace shower arm pipe? Plumbing question.
Replies: 26
Views: 1470

Re: How to replace shower arm pipe? Plumbing question.

It's a DIY job if you're strong enough to turn it. It's going to be tough because it's been there so long. Lubricate first with something like WD-40 and let it soak in. Be careful installing the new one. You can easily scratch the finish; so use a towel or rag under your pliers.
by Rupert
Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laundry lifestyle creep
Replies: 48
Views: 6528

Re: Laundry lifestyle creep

What has become most important to us is to avoid fragrances and colorings and other non-functional additives as much as possible. It's not always easy. :annoyed RM +1. Costco's Kirkland-brand Free & Clear detergent is good (or at least good enough for my household). Comparable to All Free &...
by Rupert
Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need disability insurance
Replies: 28
Views: 2605

Re: Do we need disability insurance

.... A little off topic - I read that if you pay for disability insurance with pre-tax dollars, and you end up collecting, the money comes out as taxed. Is that true? How does the company i.e. Guardian verify that one did or did not pay the premium pre or post tax? You may want to start a new threa...
by Rupert
Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is driving for uber worth it for side money?
Replies: 66
Views: 9881

Re: Is driving for uber worth it for side money?

Just curious -- Those of you who have driven for Uber or Lyft, how much did you pay for auto insurance? Are some drivers assuming the risk of bankruptcy by driving without acquiring commercial insurance?
by Rupert
Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it safe to use debit cards? Anybody here have one compromised?
Replies: 67
Views: 4502

Re: Is it safe to use debit cards? Anybody here have one compromised?

Are debit cards mainly used by people who can't get credit? Credit Union credit card can be paid off online within days after use by transfer from savings or checking accounts at the Credit Union. Bank of America credit card can generate portable limited use numbers online for use in online purchas...
by Rupert
Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 228
Views: 13573

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

What is your average annual budget/spending for vacations (Family of 2-4)? I am trying to step up a little bit on my vacation spending (live a little!) but do want to spend too much. Currently I am thinking 8-10k for three people. Without knowing your income and our incomes, the responses to your q...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to gauge quality of healthcare network?
Replies: 5
Views: 335

Re: How to gauge quality of healthcare network?

Don't judge the network by the dentists in it as many/most dentists don't participate in any networks. I have great health insurance but have never used an in-network dentist. As in your case, all the in-network dentists seem to be in low-income neighborhoods. Just pay the difference between what yo...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reasons to Increase AA and take more risk
Replies: 10
Views: 864

Re: Reasons to Increase AA and take more risk

I haven't increased my allocation to equities but I have, due to poor bond performance in recent years, allowed my allocation to drift from 70/30 more towards 75/25. I guess it's more of a conscious decision not to rebalance than it is a change in asset allocation, although the effect is the same. I...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: selling property without real estate agent
Replies: 19
Views: 1418

Re: selling property without real estate agent

In some areas, sales of real estate typically involve attorneys. In other areas, attorneys are rarely involved. Ask the closing agent what the practice is in your area. They likely have an attorney on staff or on call to draft legal documents necessary for the closing anyway.
by Rupert
Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime shipping to post office for pickup?
Replies: 18
Views: 1183

Re: Amazon Prime shipping to post office for pickup?

Yep, it was UPS Surepost. Amazon uses it sometimes. In my neighborhood, though, the USPS delivers the package to your door. For some inexplicable reason, it takes them a couple of extra days though; so I never get those packages in 2 days. I rarely receive Amazon Prime packages in 2 days anymore.
by Rupert
Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Complaint + Switching to HDHP for Child Birth Costs?
Replies: 25
Views: 1283

Re: Medical Complaint + Switching to HDHP for Child Birth Costs?

The doctor's office doesn't know if the lab is in *your* network. They are struggling to meet the documentation requirements of the different insurers to try and get paid. The insurance company business model is to pay as little as possible in claims while charging as much in premiums as possible. ...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opening first taxable account. Any issues with my plan?
Replies: 13
Views: 678

Re: Opening first taxable account. Any issues with my plan?

You'll want the portion of your taxable account devoted to retirement savings to work with the asset allocation you've chosen for your existing retirement accounts. In other words, if you've chose a 60/40 allocation for retirement savings, make sure your new investments aren't inconsistent with it. ...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opening first taxable account. Any issues with my plan?
Replies: 13
Views: 678

Re: Opening first taxable account. Any issues with my plan?

The main issue I perceive is that you don't seem to know what this money is FOR. Is is for retirement, college expenses, an emergency, a new car in 5 years, or something else?
by Rupert
Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Complaint + Switching to HDHP for Child Birth Costs?
Replies: 25
Views: 1283

Re: Medical Complaint + Switching to HDHP for Child Birth Costs?

It would make sense to switch if your child is born with health issues that will require unusual amounts of medical care. If you have a healthy baby, the HDHP is probably fine. Even with a healthy child, you will be in the doctor's office a lot the first couple of years for well-baby visits and sick...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of upgrading primary residence, do you recommend?
Replies: 29
Views: 2080

Re: Thinking of upgrading primary residence, do you recommend?

I try to keep things simple. If you have to cut back on retirement savings to afford the house, then you can't afford the house. Simple. I also think it's not wise to think that you'll really want to downsize in 10 years. Kids who go off to college these days tend to move back home when college is o...

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