Search found 3408 matches

by magellan
Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Musk Says Tesla’s Solar Shingles Will Cost Less Than a Dumb Roof"
Replies: 78
Views: 8219

Re: "Musk Says Tesla’s Solar Shingles Will Cost Less Than a Dumb Roof"

...I also don't believe very many more people are going to buy his electric cars; there will probably come a point where sales growth will trickle. IMO, it's all but certain that within a couple decades, most new cars will be electric. The trajectory is baked in and the transformation will be drive...
by magellan
Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ethernet Question
Replies: 12
Views: 1396

Re: Ethernet Question

A big question is whether the cable will be exposed to sunlight. If the cable won't be in the sun, I'd probably go with a flat cable like this one . These flat cables will be much easier to run through a window and bend around corners compared to an outdoor cable. The downside is that an indoor rate...
by magellan
Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 11503

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

OK, so why don't the insurance companies raise rates and let the consumer pay a larger share instead of just leaving the exchange? It hasn't gotten much press, but I think most of the companies running away from the exchanges are relatively new entrants to the non-group market. Humana, Aetna, and U...
by magellan
Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 11503

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

It seems ACA is designed to increase costs over time; the govt guarantees "paying" customers to private insurers, who are free to price plans as high as they want? This gets to the heart of why the law is so complex. The law counts on competition between insurers to prevent gaming and spi...
by magellan
Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 11503

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

No way people earning less than 100% of poverty level are going to be paying for individual coverage without subsidies. I think the expansion population earns between 100% and 138% of poverty, but your point still applies. I've read that this population often works at least partly off the books and...
by magellan
Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 11503

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

OK, I can buy that, but the amount insurance companies are losing on ObamaCare is significant. If losing money is laughable, losing billions is hilarious. I never said losing money is laughable. It's all about context. IMO, there are two major reasons for the chaos in some individual marketplaces t...
by magellan
Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 11503

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

Nice to know I'm in the 0.6% who actually buys insurance on the open market without a subsidy. No wonder no one ever talks about my situation. I'm right there with you. Although to be fair, news reporting this year seems to be better. In the past, they constantly quoted the "85% of people get ...
by magellan
Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 11503

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

The insurance companies have made out like bandits in the last few years. I don't think this is true. Many insurance companies have had steep losses from ObamaCare and have exited the exchange(s). I think you're both right. The acasignups.net website built this great pie chart that puts the relativ...
by magellan
Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 11503

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

It seems that this requirement would cause an increase in the number of insured folks in their early to mid 20's. It does. The downside is that it takes a lot of healthy young people out of the individual insurance market and that causes rates to be higher than they would be without that provision....
by magellan
Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 11503

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

I doubt many truly rich people are taking subsidies. Early retirees with maybe $1M to $3M in assets (no pensions) are often eligible for subsidies, but I would not consider someone in that category "rich." I'm using vague terminology on purpose because this isn't black and white. I was tr...
by magellan
Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 11503

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

All that wil happen is rich people will take just enough out to stay under and get all the subsidy they can. If the market completely bifurcates as many expect, these rich people would have to accept low-quality medicaid-like insurance in exchange for the subsidy, since that will be the only choice...
by magellan
Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting healthcare prices before enrolling
Replies: 19
Views: 1357

Re: Getting healthcare prices before enrolling

The insurance company is charged $805 for every 30 day refill. I pay $45. On Healthcare.gov it lets you put in prescriptions to see which plans cover that drug. I mt says none available cover it. Not sure what that means for me. Wow, that's an expensive drug. The lack of inclusion in any ACA plan f...
by magellan
Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting healthcare prices before enrolling
Replies: 19
Views: 1357

Re: Getting healthcare prices before enrolling

On the Rx side, you have to figure out whether it makes sense to use the insurance or buy the medicine without insurance using a discount card or from an online canadian pharmacy. So the first step is to price your prescriptions using GoodRx.com and canadadrugs.com to see what kind of prices you'll ...
by magellan
Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 11503

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

We just got our annual increase letter. It's going to be $101. A 29% increase. Way more than has happened in previous years. This varies by state, but in our state, premiums for grandfathered plans are tiered based on 5 yr age brackets. This is just how it worked before Obamacare. So people ages 40...
by magellan
Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA Penalty Exemption and Short-Term Coverage = Reduced Costs
Replies: 1
Views: 295

Re: ACA Penalty Exemption and Short-Term Coverage = Reduced Costs

Does the short term plan have the possibility of an HSA deduction? Assuming no, and assuming they could make a $7,750 HSA contribution with an ACA plan and get a 30-40% tax break, their total savings with the short term plan would drop from $7,700 down to under $5k. Further, if they're self employed...
by magellan
Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 11503

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

I have no idea how often this happens - but here, for us, twice. Our result for 2017 from this resulted in a 38% increase in net premium, when the gross premium was only up around 21%. Since I haven't heard others with this exception, perhaps its rare everywhere else. I think what's happening is th...
by magellan
Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 11503

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

The question is, what if there is only one silver plan? There's probably some rule about how that's handled, but I don't think that's likely to ever happen. Each insurer usually offers several plans at each metal level. In fact, in more competitive markets, there's a thing called 'silver spamming' ...
by magellan
Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 11503

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

...you have to have a silver plan to get the premium, and as you pointed out... As I understand it, the amount of premium subsidy you get is based on the cost of the second lowest priced silver plan in your area. However, you can choose a plan with a different metal level and apply your subsidy to ...
by magellan
Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2017 ACA plan previews
Replies: 172
Views: 10958

Re: 2017 ACA plan previews

2. ACA is awful. But, as someone who had an individual policy pre-ACA, I can assure you the individual market back then was worse. Coverage was routinely "non-renewed" if the insured had large expenses; yearly or lifetime maximums were enforced. This point is key in ACA discussions. I've ...
by magellan
Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mirai malware botnet
Replies: 12
Views: 1441

Re: Mirai malware botnet

With a good router/firewall There are a lot of routers available with high name recognition. How does one judge "goodness" when it comes security? Are there any ratings? My feeling is that getting a device from a major brand that's super popular is probably the safest bet. With this appro...
by magellan
Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mirai malware botnet
Replies: 12
Views: 1441

Re: Mirai malware botnet

The key takeaway from this incident is that you must have a robust router/firewall between your home network and your ISP. Don't rely on ISP provided equipment, especially if it's locked down and doesn't let you verify settings. If your ISP requires their router to be used and it's locked down, put ...
by magellan
Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car dealer "Internet Sales Department" - Useless?
Replies: 58
Views: 5627

Re: Car dealer "Internet Sales Department" - Useless?

If the dealer's website lists their inventory with VINs, don't request a quote based on options or colors. Just tell them that their online inventory shows a VIN that meets your needs, you'd like to buy it, and want an out-the-door price for that specific VIN. It's fine to reiterate the options/colo...
by magellan
Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare costs and self funding
Replies: 96
Views: 6223

Re: Healthcare costs and self funding

Not so fast. You can't just move to the next zip code over . . . Thanks for looking this up. I hadn't heard about the change requiring insurance coverage to be in force prior to the move. As long as they beef up verification to prevent outright lying, that really should shut down most of the gaming.
by magellan
Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare costs and self funding
Replies: 96
Views: 6223

Re: Healthcare costs and self funding

Yes, I looked it up. Healthcare.gov says moving to a different zip code or county is an example of a qualifying event. This adds a new dimension to my retirement planning. Thanks for enlightening me. Heck, all the good hospitals and doctors are in different counties. But that leaves you exposed to ...
by magellan
Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare costs and self funding
Replies: 96
Views: 6223

Re: Healthcare costs and self funding

Amazing. Moving one county over is a qualifying event. I didn't know this. So the minute I get diagnosed I sell the house and move closer to where the hospital is and file for insurance. I think you at least have to move to a different county, but don't quote me on that. It all depends on how your ...
by magellan
Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare costs and self funding
Replies: 96
Views: 6223

Re: Healthcare costs and self funding

To buy outside of that time, you need a qualifying event (lost employee insurance etc). However, in practice, almost anyone can buy insurance at any time due to the "etc". I don't think that's quite accurate. The list of qualifying events is very bounded. The problem insurers are complain...
by magellan
Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two stage Snowblowers -- 22" or 28+"?
Replies: 32
Views: 1681

Re: Two stage Snowblowers -- 22" or 28+"?

200 feet? I'd get a truck and plow. That's huge. I'm thinking about a 28 incher for my 25 foot driveway. I agree that wider is better, but for me, driveway length wasn't as big of a factor as I thought it would be. Of course, I do have a 32" Ariens pro model. My driveway is almost 400' long an...
by magellan
Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lifecycle investing: it depends on the insurance market being very efficient, right?
Replies: 17
Views: 1991

Re: Lifecycle investing: it depends on the insurance market being very efficient, right?

Immediate annuities are insured by the states with varying limits. Based on my understanding, that's not quite accurate. Many states have created guaranty associations, but these are actually industry funded and not state funded or state guaranteed. They should work as intended in cases where an is...
by magellan
Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 3 month health insurance gap between jobs several questions
Replies: 11
Views: 1186

Re: 3 month health insurance gap between jobs several questions

2) How can I find providers that offer insurance plans that are NOT listed on my state's insurance exchange? Usually, the cheapest plans are the ones on the exchange. You can go to the company website of each provider listed on the exchange to see if there are any off-exchange only options. Off-exc...
by magellan
Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 3 month health insurance gap between jobs several questions
Replies: 11
Views: 1186

Re: 3 month health insurance gap between jobs several questions

What's the cost of the cheapest individual policy on the exchange? At age 30, it may be just a couple hundred a month. You have to do the math on the various Cobra/penalty/ACA policy combinations. If doing the Cobra delayed-election leaves you owing a penalty, the best bet may be to start coverage w...
by magellan
Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Out of Pocket Costs for Employer Self Insured Medical Plans
Replies: 17
Views: 854

Re: Out of Pocket Costs for Employer Self Insured Medical Plans

I don't think the self-insured aspect is important. The issue is that the plan has a provider network that doesn't meet the OP's needs and they're getting a lot of services from out of network providers. When you get services from an out of network provider, you are fully responsible for the amount ...
by magellan
Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?
Replies: 30
Views: 2360

Re: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?

Keep funds in US (1.1% inflation expectation): 1% interest - .3% tax cost - 1.1% inflation loss = .4% net loss The inflation rate in the US doesn't matter for someone who doesn't live in the US. You should be using the South African inflation rate in this calculation. IMO, this isn't quite right. A...
by magellan
Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay a 1099 contractor or incorporate?
Replies: 18
Views: 1539

Re: Stay a 1099 contractor or incorporate?

I carry professional liability insurance, so I feel pretty comfortable in terms of my liability... This is key. Just so others know, about how much does your professional liability policy cost and what are the limits? Many small business owners get bamboozled into incorporating on the premise that ...
by magellan
Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?
Replies: 30
Views: 2360

Re: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?

I know the interest is taxable on my U.S. return but the favorable exchange seems too good to pass up. IMO, the biggest problem with this plan is taxes. The inflation rate in South Africa has been running at around 6-7% per year. So the entire 5.5% in interest is likely to be eaten up by inflation,...
by magellan
Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator issues - Temperature & Other
Replies: 22
Views: 1661

Re: Refrigerator issues - Temperature & Other

Since you've had so many freezing issues, I wouldn't be surprised if the evaporator coil in the freezer has ice build up that's reducing airflow. Most side-by-sides have one circulation fan that pushes air across the evaporator coil in the back of the freezer and into both the freezer and the refrig...
by magellan
Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your cell phone bill?
Replies: 179
Views: 13475

Re: How much is your cell phone bill?

Carrier: Airvoice Wireless (AT&T MVNO) Monthly fee: $1 Talk/text: 10 cents per minute/text Data: 6.6 cents per MB, No LTE (21Mbps max speed w/HSPA+) Average cost per month: $4 I use google voice for all talk and text and use just under 50MB of data a month on average. I make a point not to do vi...
by magellan
Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lifecycle investing: it depends on the insurance market being very efficient, right?
Replies: 17
Views: 1991

Re: Lifecycle investing: it depends on the insurance market being very efficient, right?

Is there a real possibility that annuity payments could be lower not just because of the low rate environment, but because other parts of the insurance company are suffering? As more people purchase annuities, might their investments subsidize other portions of the insurance companies' poorly-perfo...
by magellan
Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lifecycle investing: it depends on the insurance market being very efficient, right?
Replies: 17
Views: 1991

Re: Lifecycle investing: it depends on the insurance market being very efficient, right?

So if your plan is to buy a SPIA when you're 75, you're going to be at the mercy of interest rates in effect at that time. This is true for sure, but the interest rate risk does get lower the longer you wait. I did some some quick calculations based on the rough annuity payout formula posted by Bob...
by magellan
Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good news for CA healthcare consumers - AB 72
Replies: 11
Views: 1717

Re: Good news for CA healthcare consumers - AB 72

As an aside, I was recently at an in network hospital for a test and before I would let them do it, I asked if they could confirm that the radiologist would be in network. After giving me the info, the receptionist said that SHE herself had just been burned by this. Apparently, the insurance plan th...
by magellan
Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good news for CA healthcare consumers - AB 72
Replies: 11
Views: 1717

Re: Good news for CA healthcare consumers - AB 72

Emergency services are excluded from the above requirement unfortunately. I think the ACA may have already mandated something similar to this for emergency services, at least on the insurance side of things. As I understand it, insurers aren't allowed to charge you more than the in-network deductib...
by magellan
Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Licensing Trademarked Material
Replies: 10
Views: 756

Re: Licensing Trademarked Material

A question: did Andy Warhol have permission from Campbell's soup?? Based on some quick googling, the answer is No. However, Campbell Soup Company got the Warhol Foundation's permission when they produced soup cans with special 50th anniversary celebration labels featuring Warhol's work. http://www....
by magellan
Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Licensing Trademarked Material
Replies: 10
Views: 756

Re: Licensing Trademarked Material

Any reason why you said trademarked rather than copyrighted? IANAL, but as I understand it, trademark law deals with restrictions on using the mark of a commercial brand in a way that causes confusion in the marketplace. For example, it's illegal to put gucci markings on a knock off handbag and try ...
by magellan
Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Roll Your Own" Longevity Insurance (i.e. Deferred Annuity)?
Replies: 37
Views: 2366

Re: "Roll Your Own" Longevity Insurance (i.e. Deferred Annuity)?

This is no different from jjface's suggestion and has the same problems I've already outlined with his. The main problem you mentioned is that the remaining part of the retiree's portfolio may be depleted early. The same risk is present in the deferred annuity case, but in that case there's no opti...
by magellan
Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Roll Your Own" Longevity Insurance (i.e. Deferred Annuity)?
Replies: 37
Views: 2366

Re: "Roll Your Own" Longevity Insurance (i.e. Deferred Annuity)?

A 60 year old can get a deferred annuity starting in 25 years time paying $27,629 a month for $500,000 today. That $27,629 assuming 2.5% annual inflation is worth $14,903 today. The killer problem with deferred annuities on the market today is that we have NO idea how much standard of living their ...
by magellan
Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Roll Your Own" Longevity Insurance (i.e. Deferred Annuity)?
Replies: 37
Views: 2366

Re: "Roll Your Own" Longevity Insurance (i.e. Deferred Annuity)?

It can be helpful to separate out the investment component of a deferred annuity from the insurance component. Deferred annuities are sort of like whole life insurance, while an SPIA is more like term insurance. Deferred annuities have a lot of investment product and very little insurance product. S...
by magellan
Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unexpected Comparison - High Deductible Plan F to Regular Plan F in New York
Replies: 6
Views: 609

Re: Unexpected Comparison - High Deductible Plan F to Regular Plan F in New York

I'm not positive that this is true with medigap plans, but another factor that may be helping the high deductible plan is that insurers usually price in overhead and profit as a percent of premium dollars paid. The lower you pay in premiums, the lower your charge for insurer overhead and profit. Usu...
by magellan
Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What rate of return do you use when planning for retirement?
Replies: 139
Views: 15646

Re: What rate of return do you use when planning for retirement?

Do you use a normal or lognormal distribution? Another thing on my list of things to do that does not get done is do a comparison of the two to see if it makes enough difference to matter. Other distributions with fatter tails than these are also on my list. Maybe when I retire... :) I use a normal...
by magellan
Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What rate of return do you use when planning for retirement?
Replies: 139
Views: 15646

Re: What rate of return do you use when planning for retirement?

I presume return is real? Yes, it is. As someone else said, the image came from the Flexible Retirement Planner. (Full disclosure - I'm the developer of the planner/website owner). The graph was produced by starting with the planner's default inputs and changing the following: - Current Age -> 65 -...
by magellan
Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What rate of return do you use when planning for retirement?
Replies: 139
Views: 15646

Re: What rate of return do you use when planning for retirement?

Below is a graph that shows the impact of sequence of returns risk on a withdrawal strategy, assuming various rates of returns. This is to hopefully show that considering only rate of return without adjusting for volatility can lead to surprises. The graph shows the likelihood of success of a 4% wit...
by magellan
Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doctor takes HMO but not PPO insurance?
Replies: 58
Views: 3391

Re: Doctor takes HMO but not PPO insurance?

boglerocks wrote:...because they have a "special agreement with HMO".

I wonder if that's code for "contractually obligated." Perhaps their agreement with the HMO plan doesn't let them turn people away but the one with the PPO does?

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