Search found 1183 matches

by deanbrew
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Limited Pay Life Insurance
Replies: 9
Views: 386

Re: Limited Pay Life Insurance

My questions are as follows: 1. I don't know much about life insurance (other than keeping it and your investments separate), but this doesn't seem quite as scammy as whole life generally does. Does it seem correct that they'd pay $300,000 over 5 years for a policy that will pay them a $800,000 dea...
by deanbrew
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance to 15-Year Fixed or Not?
Replies: 10
Views: 487

Re: Refinance to 15-Year Fixed or Not?

I think I would definitely refinance to a fixed rate loan if I were you. The risk of interest rates going up and your ARM adjustments is too significant. I would also look carefully at 15, 20, 25 and 30 year loans. Yes, the interest rate on a 15 year loan is probably the lowest, but you are locked i...
by deanbrew
Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you want to set up a payment plan for that?
Replies: 19
Views: 2375

Re: Did you want to set up a payment plan for that?

I'm a little surprised at the replies here. Yes, Bogleheads, with their generally high incomes and generally high savings rates can just eat $200 - $1000 expenses in stride. Just write a check or swipe your credit card and pay the bill at the end of the month. A huge chunk of this country does not ...
by deanbrew
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you want to set up a payment plan for that?
Replies: 19
Views: 2375

Re: Did you want to set up a payment plan for that?

No, I pay cash for a car, but finance the phone. :D The difference is I get a monthly bill from Verizon anyways so folding in the cost of the phone (at zero interest) makes no difference to me. When I pay cash for car I do it so I won't get a monthly bill. Exactly. Why pay the full price of the pho...
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 106
Views: 10265

Re: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter

I would tip the same dollar amount on Tuesday as you would the regular price the other days. Another reason the percentage standard is flawed.
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 106
Views: 10265

Re: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter

There's a #4 variation which I see at Asian restaurants. - Full service, but PAY at the counter. I give a traditional tip in that situation. I also typically tip 10% at buffets if the waitstaff was good. But for counter service? No. Mexican restaurants are often like that too, it seems. I tip the f...
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 106
Views: 10265

Re: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter

White Coat Investor wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:40 pm


I definitely DO NOT tip in advance. That's bizarre. What are you going to do if the service sucks, ask for your money back?
I agree. I also hate the policy with the automatic 18 percent tip. I nearly always get lousy service with the automatic tip.
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 106
Views: 10265

Re: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter

Last, I do think there's a social pressure component in that we tip because we come face-to-face with the server. For example, many of my friends are generous tippers in restaurants and bars, but do not tip the hotel housekeeper, which I think is a substantially more difficult job with less pay. Th...
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 106
Views: 10265

Re: Tipping where you order at the counter

Why wouldn't you tip for #3? Someone is serving you food and cleaning up afterwards. Because I expect them to paid a regular wage and not some stupid 1/4 minimum wage + tips. Fair enough, I guess. But I definitely tip for #3. It's hard to know how they are being paid, I grant you. Is there a rule t...
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 106
Views: 10265

Re: Tipping where you order at the counter

FraggleRock wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:04 pm
123 = No
Why wouldn't you tip for #3? Someone is serving you food and cleaning up afterwards.
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 106
Views: 10265

Re: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter

Your nearby cafe where the owner takes all the tips, for himself. That is an afront to me. That is unethical, unreasonable, and wrong in so many ways. I would not eat there if I knew is for a fact. I would tell them that also. So wrong. I agree that it is unethical. When I eat there I either leave ...
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 106
Views: 10265

Re: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter

Probably #3 - BUT I do not have the situation of take-out at a "regular" type restaurant, but observe this when eating at some. At some places (such as Silver Diner in this area), I observe wait staff place the takeout order, get it after order complete, wrap/bag it and collect the payment. Such fo...
by deanbrew
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14638

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Worrying about the CSRs will only come into play if congress does something to restore the CSRs, right? Aren't these subsidies not being paid/funded as of now? The insurance companies are required to provide CSRs regardless. All this court decision and the Trump Administration agreeing to comply do...
by deanbrew
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14638

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

The insurance companies are required to provide CSRs regardless. All this court decision and the Trump Administration agreeing to comply does is change who pays. Now instead of the federal government, it will be the insurances companies who pay. Except, it is really the rate payers who will end up ...
by deanbrew
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14638

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

How do you guys get your MAGI so low to qualify for subsidy? Is there a trick? Individual plans suck so much in my area, I want to keep my group plan as long as I can... The biggest thing I did in 2016 was change my retirement plan from a SEP-IRA to a Solo 401k and plow about four times as much int...
by deanbrew
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14638

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

You can get your ACA premium tax credit as a refund, but I'm not sure why you would want to give the government a tax free loan. Just be aware that if your MAGI will be < 250%, you can not get the Cost Sharing Reduction retroactively. That's good to keep in mind. We were at 262% in 2015, and expect...
by deanbrew
Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14638

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

That's so good to know; Just to clarify, is this correct in that no income information is provided until you do your tax return; even if you file for an extension? We have always bought the policy on the exchange but never qualified for a subsidy before (zero coupon municipal bonds). I haven't file...
by deanbrew
Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14638

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Tanelorn..I agree with your last post. The self payers are getting creamed under the ACA. Those with employer paid coverage aren't seeing it and many don't realize how bad it is. And those people getting ACA subsidies also aren't seeing it since their premiums are capped at a percentage of income a...
by deanbrew
Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14638

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Doesn't this reduce the size of your subsidy (assuming some of the money you are pulling out of your investments to pay the full premium had some gains)? It seems you are ending up with a higher MAGI (thus reducing subsidy) by not taking the upfront PTC. Would it make more sense to take the subsidy...
by deanbrew
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14638

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Has anyone applied on exchange but not take the subsidy until they did their taxes? I've done exactly that the past two years. My wife and I are both self employed, and we have rental properties, so we don't know what our gross income, expenses and MAGI will be 13 months in advance. So, we pay the ...
by deanbrew
Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14638

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

So if you buy it off the exchange, is it still without regard to preexisting conditions? By contacting the company directly? I will have no subsidy and there is only one company offering plans (65804). For the most part, yes. Most policies are ACA-compliant, even if they are sold off of the ACA exc...
by deanbrew
Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14638

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

My insurer isn't offering the same exact plan, but the closest one (slightly higher deductibles and max OOP) costs $2,172 per month, which is 56 percent higher than what I'm paying now. That would be $26,064 in premiums with a maximum out-of-pocket of $14,700. That means my health insurance/care bil...
by deanbrew
Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14638

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

I have to admit I'm a little confused. Are people using the terms "subsidies" and "tax credits" interchangeably? I thought subsidies pertained to low-income people and tax credits pertained to mid-level earners, and that they were two different parts of ACA. I was aware of the $96k income cliff last...
by deanbrew
Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: metal roof: standing seam vs interlocking panels
Replies: 15
Views: 1377

Re: metal roof: standing seam vs interlocking panels

Keep this in mind since your in snow country. The standing seem metal roof makes an amazing snow slide! Depending on roof height and pitch, the snow comes off like a rocket. Make sure you talk to a good roofer about putting stop rails up. Either on the whole house or just over doorways so you don’t...
by deanbrew
Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help picking apart whole life insurance cash value
Replies: 39
Views: 1744

Re: Help picking apart whole life insurance cash value

+1 I have two permanent life policies. More than a decade on both of them and negative 15% on one and negative 27% on the other. IF you think you can "out-spreadsheet" the insurance actuaries, then go ahead and buy the policies. Post your experience here and we can all learn with you. By those figu...
by deanbrew
Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole Life Insurance
Replies: 36
Views: 1696

Re: Whole Life Insurance

If you have analyzed a WL policy and it looks good you have not done it right. As is typical of WL threads the analysis misunderstands terms, guarantees, hidden fees, etc. These products are not junk for no reason. That is a very broad and general statement. And not true for many existing policies ...
by deanbrew
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Buying, Time to grow up.
Replies: 59
Views: 5066

Re: Car Buying, Time to grow up.

So I have the best quote I have been able to find. It is only saving me around 500 bucks which is a decent chunk of change to me (will cover a lot of the new car insurance for 6 months). Is it weird that I am feeling a small bit guilty for going to make the purchase at a different dealership than a...
by deanbrew
Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone taken a mid-career sabbatical?
Replies: 47
Views: 6976

Re: Anyone taken a mid-career sabbatical?

My mother worked in the office at a school district. Strictly speaking, she didn't get summers off like teachers did, but the district was very lenient with employees taking summer vacations. She would take my brother and I across country to visit her family every other year, usually for 4 to 6 week...
by deanbrew
Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Buying, Time to grow up.
Replies: 59
Views: 5066

Re: Car Buying, Time to grow up.

If there are particular features of a new car that you want or do not want, and a dealer tries to sell you one on the lot with or without such features, hold your ground and that dealer (to make the sale) will do an exchange with another dealer. Of course, they don't like doing it, BUT they will of...
by deanbrew
Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Buying, Time to grow up.
Replies: 59
Views: 5066

Re: Car Buying, Time to grow up.

I think I have made up my mind and am going to go with the Civic EX. :D Just doing my part now to make sure I am getting a decent deal by contacting other Honda Dealerships in the area. Believe it or not, the out the door price I received from the first dealership that I visited has been the best p...
by deanbrew
Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lien on property in foreclosure
Replies: 9
Views: 986

Re: Lien on property in foreclosure

It will soon go to auction, and I am cautiously hopeful that the proceeds will exceed the taxes owed by $50-75k, but who knows. I doubt I want to burden myself with the effort of bidding/buying for the sake of "saving" $10k. These two statements seem to be contradictory. If it's worth $50-75k, why ...
by deanbrew
Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lien on property in foreclosure
Replies: 9
Views: 986

Re: Lien on property in foreclosure

What some such lienholders do, when in a secondary position is make a bid on the property in order to try to get a sale at a better price. In some cases, such a secondary lienholder will actually purchase the property - satisfy the higher priority lien - then sell the property in a way that will ge...
by deanbrew
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Buying, Time to grow up.
Replies: 59
Views: 5066

Re: Car Buying, Time to grow up.

But, I am off topic... if I’m buying a car, I look for ones that have a great stereo, are quiet on the freeway, and handle well. You have to figure out what is important to you. Pretty much every newer car out there is going to be decent for >100,000 miles. At an average of 20 mph, one will spend 5...
by deanbrew
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Buying, Time to grow up.
Replies: 59
Views: 5066

Re: Car Buying, Time to grow up.

wander wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:47 pm
Buy a Honda Civic and drive it for 300,000 miles, stay out of car troubles and have more money in your brokerage account.
Sounds like a sentence. Some people like cars and like driving.
by deanbrew
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Buying, Time to grow up.
Replies: 59
Views: 5066

Re: Car Buying, Time to grow up.

You don't indicate your income or ongoing expenses (housing, insurance, etc.). My advice, and what I did when I was your age, is never buy a car you can't afford to pay off with a 3-year car loan. If you need a longer loan to get payments you can afford, you are buying too much car. And then keep th...
by deanbrew
Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Prevent mail theft; sign for USPS Informed Delivery]
Replies: 188
Views: 13169

Re: [Prevent mail theft; sign for USPS Informed Delivery]

I tried it for a few weeks and shut it down. It was inaccurate and caused me headaches worrying about lost mail which eventually showed up 2-3 days later. For me, time is too precious to spend it on such activities which are more of a gimmick than being helpful. It's not available in my zip code, b...
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?
Replies: 95
Views: 6545

Re: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?

Disappointed by the lack of true frugal bourbon drinkers here. There is only one answer for the dollar-for-dollar best bourbon available, and that is Bulleit in the 1.75 liter bottle . It costs $40. Note that they also make rye for the same price, which I'd recommend for you cocktail drinkers. This...
by deanbrew
Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury Car Purchase
Replies: 47
Views: 3831

Re: Luxury Car Purchase

I don't know much about RR cars, but if the OP is correct that the depreciation curve has flattened out, it doesn't sound like a big deal to buy a used one that has already depreciated. The opportunity cost of not having the $130k invested should be considered, but it sounds like he has plenty of in...
by deanbrew
Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury Car Purchase
Replies: 47
Views: 3831

Re: Luxury Car Purchase

A multi millionaire asking a frugal financial forum if he should buy a Rolls Royce on his first post makes me wonder if he’s trolling.
Or he set up a new account to see how many posts it would take to get to the standard advice to buy a Camry or Accord and drive it for 200k miles. :wink:
by deanbrew
Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC AC and furnace replacement quandary
Replies: 21
Views: 2582

Re: HVAC AC and furnace replacement quandary

Great to hear! Second opinions aren't only for medical issues.
by deanbrew
Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 9467

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

For that, we could rent. Usership not Ownership -- people don't even buy new cars now, they lease them, so that's a very small step. This was mentioned a couple of times, and it's not true. More people are leasing cars now, but it's still a sizeable minority. In 2016, 30 percent of new vehicle "sal...
by deanbrew
Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 9467

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

I would like to drive one sometime, but I don't know anybody who owns one. I shopped for a new car this summer, and I don't even recall seeing any at any of the dealers I visited. Well, dealers won't have one, because Tesla doesn't work through dealers. Look online to see where the nearest sales of...
by deanbrew
Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 9467

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Either of you guys ever drive an EV? If not, you don't understand the initial 'fun' comment. I do, and I am NOT a hypermiler. I drive electric golf carts often. Does that count? :wink: :P No, I haven't driven an EV, but I do know that the off-line acceleration is great, due to all of the torque bei...
by deanbrew
Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 9467

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

I just bought a 2017 Leaf for under $12K total, after rebates and credits, including taxes and fees. It is the first car I've ever driven that is truly fun to drive. I'm sad for you. I guess fun comes in all shapes and sizes. I suppose the definition of "fun" could include maximizing "fuel" mileage...
by deanbrew
Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax customer information leak
Replies: 711
Views: 50397

Re: Equifax customer information leak

The website says I was impacted and let me enroll in the protection plan. When I entered my wife's info, it says she is probably impacted and can enroll after 9/13/17.
by deanbrew
Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Prevent mail theft; sign for USPS Informed Delivery]
Replies: 188
Views: 13169

Re: Postal Service -- "informed delivery"

I just tried to sign up and got a message that "Your ZIP Code is not eligible" and "Your address is not eligible for Informed Delivery. We update our lists weekly, please try again next week."

Anyone else have this issue?
by deanbrew
Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC AC and furnace replacement quandary
Replies: 21
Views: 2582

Re: HVAC AC and furnace replacement quandary

Personally, 14 years old seems pretty young to replace unless you have been having issues with the furnace. They have almost no moving parts so there really isn't a lot to wear out. There also probably isn't a huge increase in efficiency gains which will make the payback period on them decades long...
by deanbrew
Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 9467

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Neither of us have done a single trip over 140 miles all year long, even though both our cars have more than enough range to do so. Long trips like represent much less than 5% of the use case overall. There are now more level 2 chargers than gas stations in the US. I drove more than 140 miles twice...
by deanbrew
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 9467

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

"Sorry, Grandma. Can't come to visit over the holidays. You live 140 miles away and my car can only go 115 miles. But, hey, I'm good 95 percent of the time." According to the Dept of Transportation, people take 1,305 personal car trips per year, on average. 5 percent of that would be 65 trips per ye...
by deanbrew
Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 9467

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

I think your summary is incorrect. Limited range of EVs make them impracticable for a some people, most people don't drive hundreds of miles a day. But do most people want to spend $30k or $40k on a vehicle that CANNOT drive hundreds of miles a day? That is a very significant limitation. A critical...