Search found 3366 matches

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: 1922

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: 1922

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: 1922

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: 5
Views: 460

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: 14463

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: 14463

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: 14463

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: 3050

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?
by magellan
Sat Jul 30, 2016 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYS Law: Should Umbrella Insurance Policy Cover Value of Retirement Accounts?
Replies: 7
Views: 883

Re: NYS Law: Should Umbrella Insurance Policy Cover Value of Retirement Accounts?

kenner wrote:There is something to be said for protecting your family's future in a litigious society.

I agree. I didn't mean to suggest there's anything wrong with a belt and suspenders approach, where you buy a reasonable amount of insurance coverage and also take appropriate steps to protect assets.
by magellan
Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYS Law: Should Umbrella Insurance Policy Cover Value of Retirement Accounts?
Replies: 7
Views: 883

Re: NYS Law: Should Umbrella Insurance Policy Cover Value of Retirement Accounts?

If you cause a loss, either you or your insurance company should pay for those damages, regardless of your net worth or the your asset-protection strategy. Very well said. This is a values thing of course, but it seems to me that unless you're living on the edge of survival, it's not right to plan ...
by magellan
Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doctor takes HMO but not PPO insurance?
Replies: 58
Views: 3050

Re: Doctor takes HMO but not PPO insurance?

One other caveat with PPOs is that they usually maintain separate deductibles and out of pocket maximums for in-network vs out of network care. So if you need medical care that spans both in and out of network providers, your deductible and out of pocket maximums are effectively doubled. As an examp...
by magellan
Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doctor takes HMO but not PPO insurance?
Replies: 58
Views: 3050

Re: Doctor takes HMO but not PPO insurance?

One clarification on HMOs is that many HMOs no longer require a referral from a primary care doctor to see a specialist. This was the original design of HMOs and consumers hated this feature so many insurers responded by eliminating the referral requirement.
by magellan
Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Does Vanguard "Remember" My Computer?
Replies: 41
Views: 3105

Re: How Does Vanguard "Remember" My Computer?

This isn't right. It probably uses cookies and IP. Since Vanguard seems to recognize a device even if cookies are cleared or when incognito mode is used, but doesn't recognize the same device when using a different browser, it might be using IP plus some type of browser fingerprinting (eg OS, brows...
by magellan
Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Does Vanguard "Remember" My Computer?
Replies: 41
Views: 3105

Re: How Does Vanguard "Remember" My Computer?

As for folks saying that Vanguard cannot see your MAC address directly, so what? Turn off javascript and see how far you get at vanguard.com I could be wrong, but I don't think javascript is of much use for extracting a client mac address... http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3385/mac-addresses-in-...
by magellan
Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why keep HSA funds uninvested to avoid fees?
Replies: 11
Views: 1285

Re: Why keep HSA funds uninvested to avoid fees?

And 1.5% completely risk-free isn't a bad return; Total Bond Market, which has some interest-rate risk, is yielding 1.94%. When I learned that a local credit union has no fees plus pays 2% on HSAs with balances above $10k, I took this a step further and went all-in with a cash only HSA account. I c...
by magellan
Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you want to know if your doctor doesn't take your insurance?
Replies: 59
Views: 2967

Re: Would you want to know if your doctor doesn't take your insurance?

Sorry I guess I didn't make it clear that I am talking about procedures done when a patient is admitted to the hospital unexpectedly and needs surgery quickly, often in a few hours. There is no time or mechanism for anyone other than me to do those things. The patient is stuck and so am I. As I und...
by magellan
Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very tough career choice (ego, startup, San Francisco Bay Area)
Replies: 52
Views: 5547

Re: Very tough career choice (ego, startup, San Francisco Bay Area)

It's impossible to know the true situation you're in, but one thing that may be getting missed is that managing an engineering organization is only partly about technical capability and managing engineers. A huge part of leading an engineering organization involves interfacing with others on the exe...
by magellan
Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Blue Shield of California - HMO vs. PPO
Replies: 26
Views: 2946

Re: Blue Shield of California - HMO vs. PPO

If we go with the HSA PPO, my wife's employer will make their own contributions to the HSA. Those contributions bring the up-front cost of the PPO down to the level of the HMO. In other words, our PPO premiums minus employer contributions to HSA = our HMO premiums. Of course the PPO will still cost...
by magellan
Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace timing belt and water pump - dealer or indepedent?
Replies: 20
Views: 1362

Re: Replace timing belt and water pump - dealer or indepedent?

We had a timing belt/water pump replaced on a Rav4 about 5 years ago. The quote I got from my normal independent shop seemed high so for the heck of it I got a quote from the Toyota dealer. Much to my surprise, the Toyota dealer quote was about 20% lower than the independent shop, so I gave the job ...
by magellan
Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculating Imputed Rental Income from Owned Home
Replies: 26
Views: 1997

Re: Calculating Imputed Rental Income from Owned Home

Assuming a 2% real return on housing might be a bit optimistic. Robert Shiller seems to think the long term historical real return is closer to 0% https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case%E2%80%93Shiller_index Also, I think you'd probably want to add in a factor for the depreciation or 'consumption' of th...
by magellan
Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Utility Stocks - Why doing so well?
Replies: 21
Views: 2389

Re: Utility Stocks - Why doing so well?

Which entity would be considered the electric utility in the future? The owner of a power generation plant, the broker who manages the real-time energy exchange platform, the owner of the distribution facilities, the entity that manages a customer's account, etc.? Or would they all, collectively, b...
by magellan
Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Utility Stocks - Why doing so well?
Replies: 21
Views: 2389

Re: Utility Stocks - Why doing so well?

An interesting thing to me, at least w.r.t. electric utilities, is that the next decade or so is likely to be one of the most tumultuous periods in 50 or more years. The age-old model of a handful of huge generating stations providing power to millions of consumers is about to get turned on its head...
by magellan
Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New HVAC Unit - Low, Medium or high end
Replies: 15
Views: 2515

Re: New HVAC Unit - Low, Medium or high end

ThankYouJack wrote:An account is needed to view the link.

Sorry about that. Try this link and click the result with an article titled Ductless mini splits may not be as efficient as we thought
https://www.google.com/#q=ductless+mini ... ingadvisor
by magellan
Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New HVAC Unit - Low, Medium or high end
Replies: 15
Views: 2515

Re: New HVAC Unit - Low, Medium or high end

So I wonder how much each SEER (or especially HSPF) is likely to save annually. It's probably not that drastic of a difference but worth considering With cooling, most of the savings of a high SEER unit is from improved cycling efficiency and higher efficiency when the unit isn't running 'all out'....
by magellan
Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber Car and the real cost of driving
Replies: 71
Views: 9240

Re: Uber Car and the real cost of driving

Here is an interesting story about how Uber just starts operating even without a city permit. They are big enough that they can just ignore the law in some cases. http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2014/11/06/uber-starts-car-service-in-little-rock-without-city-board-approval The key dist...
by magellan
Sun May 29, 2016 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Depot pricing policy?
Replies: 26
Views: 3187

Re: Home Depot pricing policy?

Something similar happened to me with a large HP printer that I bought from samsclub online. About 3 weeks after I bought it, the price dropped by $80. Since the return policy was 30 days for any reason, I thought for sure I'd get a credit with a quick call to online customer support. Apparently, th...
by magellan
Sun May 29, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA better than PPO in all scenarios
Replies: 14
Views: 1848

Re: HSA better than PPO in all scenarios

I cannot analyze the data but I wonder about your terminology. I had a PPO with the Health Savings Account. There's no conflict. I question this. There are very specific requirements a plan must have in order for you to be able to contribute to (note, not use!) an HSA. These are typically called HD...
by magellan
Sat May 14, 2016 7:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NY Times article on the "tip of the iceberg" that is Puerto Rico
Replies: 76
Views: 11872

Re: NY Times article on the "tip of the iceberg" that is Puerto Rico

As others have mentioned, sometimes taxable bonds can be a better bet than risky munis, even in taxable. One twist on this idea is to use asset location to minimize taxes. This is accomplished by holding only the lowest yielding part of your bond portfolio in taxable. So say you want your bond portf...
by magellan
Sat May 14, 2016 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car purchasing tax reciprocity with Massachusetts
Replies: 28
Views: 3105

Re: Car purchasing tax reciprocity with Massachusetts

Does PA offer a temporary plate that could be used to get the vehicle to MA? Usually, you don't need to pay sales tax or turn in the title to get a temporary tag that's valid for a week or two. The challenge is that only some states offer them. Also, you probably need to check that all the states yo...
by magellan
Fri May 13, 2016 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon Mitigation System
Replies: 24
Views: 1910

Re: Radon Mitigation System

It's basically just drilling into the floor of the basement, putting a PVC pipe with a fan on the inside, and then venting the air from under the slab to the outside. I'm not an expert, but I believe best-practices now say the fan should be in the attic or be outside. Never in the basement. The pro...
by magellan
Fri May 13, 2016 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon Mitigation System
Replies: 24
Views: 1910

Re: Radon Mitigation System

The risk to non-smokers at 4 is negligible...you're done. I can't argue too strongly against this, especially since the risk data is pretty fuzzy and the OP's levels are already pretty low. OTOH, here's another perspective. Many health expenditure decisions are based on a cost per quality adjusted ...
by magellan
Fri May 13, 2016 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon Mitigation System
Replies: 24
Views: 1910

Re: Radon Mitigation System

It might be worth considering whether anyone in the house is/was a smoker when evaluating radon risk and how much mitigation to do. The risk posed by radon seems to be greatly increased for smokers. For example, the EPA estimates that exposure to a radon level of 4 pCi/L over a lifetime could result...
by magellan
Tue May 03, 2016 6:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transitioning Family Members from HSA to ACA
Replies: 7
Views: 977

Re: Transitioning Family Members from HSA to ACA

If you aren't eligible for subsidies, start with the ACA marketplace to browse plans and learn about insurers offering plans in your area, but then cut out the middleman and purchase the insurance directly through the insurer's website. Also, some insurers offer plans on their website that aren't av...
by magellan
Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2014 just starting asking for "Intuit ID Password"
Replies: 16
Views: 1424

Re: Quicken 2014 just starting asking for "Intuit ID Password"

I guess we all use and experience Quicken differently. I went through the mandatory IntuitID grief several years ago. I thought this was required of anyone wanting to use any of Quicken's online features for at least the last 3-5 years. I forget if it was when I updated to Q2012 or Q2014, but it was...
by magellan
Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of stone patio
Replies: 17
Views: 2855

Re: Cost of stone patio

For the ignorant, why is concrete less preferable to sand? I would have thought concrete would offer better longevity and perhaps less maintenance (occasional pressure wash)? I think it'd be nearly impossible to prevent the concrete from cracking over time. The pavers in any large patio will move a...
by magellan
Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of stone patio
Replies: 17
Views: 2855

Re: Cost of stone patio

...just don't like the maintenance it requires. i read that you can have landscape mesh laid down to prevent weeds. that and roundup would do it i think. We had a 20x20 paver patio installed in sand/crushed stone about 16 years ago and we're very happy with it. It's aging amazingly well. For mainte...
by magellan
Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it possible to repair rotted wood on a structure?
Replies: 16
Views: 2084

Re: Is it possible to repair rotted wood on a structure?

It's tough to tell the extent of the damage from the photos. Repairing rot with filler can be very time consuming. Obviously, the more problems areas you have, the more time it'll take. The time adds up. There's time for the initial clean out plus time for at least 2 or 3 applications of filler with...
by magellan
Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi Booster
Replies: 22
Views: 1723

Re: Wifi Booster

Even if the connections seem to be on different channels, on the 2.4 Ghz band, the channels overlap. If both computers are connecting to the same router, they'll both be sharing the same channel or channels. The router sets the channel or channels that get used. Bandwidth sharing among all the comp...
by magellan
Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi Booster
Replies: 22
Views: 1723

Re: Wifi Booster

Here are some things to try: - Move the router to a different spot in the same room. Get a long ethernet cable and explore other locations and also higher vs lower. This can make a huge difference if there's an obstruction like a chimney or appliance between the router and your laptop. - If you're u...
by magellan
Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free Windows 10 Upgrade, Yes or No?
Replies: 528
Views: 64030

Re: Free Windows 10 Upgrade, Yes or No?

I was pleasantly surprised that the upgrade of my 3 year old laptop to windows 10 added support for wireless screen mirroring (to my tv through my Roku). Windows 8 has built-in screen mirroring support, but for windows 7 users the upgrade to 10 adds this feature as long as your wireless card support...
by magellan
Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar City Sales-pitch
Replies: 43
Views: 5036

Re: Solar City Sales-pitch

That's the pitch by the solar companies, but in the real world, solar (and wind) can have production cut sharply across an area when the weather changes (clouds appear or wind stops/gets too strong to use safely). The linked article was about Hawaii. Their grid, or really grids since each Island ha...
by magellan
Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Easy way to estimate grade (steepness) of a drive?
Replies: 16
Views: 1468

Re: Easy way to estimate grade (steepness) of a drive?

Another quick measurement tip - If it looks anything like this driveway, the slope is likely more than 6%... http://www.cyburbia.org/gallery/data/504/medium/19Homes-2.jpg http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=25606 (Apparently, despite some initial disbelief, the photo is apparently real. ...
by magellan
Sun Apr 03, 2016 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Easy way to estimate grade (steepness) of a drive?
Replies: 16
Views: 1468

Re: Easy way to estimate grade (steepness) of a drive?

Maybe you could go old school. I think this works... 1) find a clear rectangular container that's 12 or so inches long and 4 or more inches deep. 2) on the outside of the container, draw two vertical lines exactly 12 inches apart. 3) fill the container half full of water 4) place the container on th...
by magellan
Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar City Sales-pitch
Replies: 43
Views: 5036

Re: Solar City Sales-pitch

...as solar generation depends on the grid to sell excess but does not pay its share to maintain the grid. This is a misleading talking point that utilities and other special interests have been pushing lately. Don't take the bait. It's not an accurate assessment of how the economics work for two r...
by magellan
Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle [may have said] TIPS give you "income risk"
Replies: 58
Views: 5182

Re: Jack Bogle says TIPS give you "income risk"

It's tough to dissect the quote without context, but it wouldn't surprise me if he used 'income' to mean 'portfolio withdrawals.' Many retirees think of the two terms as one in the same. Also, in the past, Mr. Bogle has favored TBM, including corporates, over a Treasuries only bond portfolio. With a...
by magellan
Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another medical billing surprise-Colonosocopy
Replies: 61
Views: 8537

Re: Another medical billing surprise-Colonosocopy

The insurance companies, while recording record breaking profits, continue to suggest the problem is the doctors and the hospitals, yet healthcare reimbursement is shrinking at alarming rates. I don't like to defend insurance companies, but the idea that replacing insurers with a cash-for-service m...
by magellan
Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle [may have said] TIPS give you "income risk"
Replies: 58
Views: 5182

Re: Jack Bogle says TIPS give you "income risk"

TIPS to me sound a bit like Insurance.. or a hedge.. like a commodity.. somewhat like investing in "Gold". Usually when people think of a hedge or insurance, they think of something that doesn't just protect itself, but rather defeases a specific risk across the whole portfolio. If unexpe...
by magellan
Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dishwasher recommendation.
Replies: 44
Views: 3543

Re: Dishwasher recommendation.

The replacement panel put in under warranty+deductible still works today, but one of the LEDs* is out. IIRC, retail replacement cost of PCB is around $300. I have not been impressed with many white-goods electronics and embedded firmware designs against temperature, humidity, and vibration operatin...
by magellan
Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cost of $1000 per Month Inflation-Adjusted Income?
Replies: 67
Views: 8155

Re: Cost of $1000 per Month Inflation-Adjusted Income?

25-YR TIPS LADDER + INFLATION-INDEXED SPIA Total Cost = $375,000 to $400,000 I based my cost estimate on a very rough annuity quote, which is why I put in so much padding. I don't have access to the Vanguard quote site right now, but if you have access it might be worth getting a real quote for an ...
by magellan
Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting up an LLC for a small business
Replies: 29
Views: 2457

Re: Setting up an LLC for a small business

I suggest she contact her local SCORE office to set up a free mentoring session: https://www.score.org/ SCORE is a US government funded non-profit that operates in partnership with the US Small Business Administration to help small businesses get started and grow. They have a nationwide network of v...

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