Search found 100 matches

by docbrown
Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me understand what happens with the new law and ACA subsidies
Replies: 80
Views: 5636

Re: Help me understand what happen with the new law and ACA subsidies

Actionable items: Get a job with group insurance Marry someone with group insurance And for those of us who prefer to be self-employed, the choices are? I've bought my own health insurance my entire adult life, because I've never had a job. I was doing this well before the ACA. So if I'm pushed out...
by docbrown
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Books on setting up a 401k-solo and managing it
Replies: 14
Views: 734

Re: Books on setting up a 401k-solo and managing it

Last I checked, Ascensus will charge you about $200 per year (could be higher now) to manage the documents related to your self-administered 401k.
by docbrown
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Worth moving existing i401k from Vanguard elsewhere?
Replies: 9
Views: 533

Re: Worth moving existing i401k from Vanguard elsewhere?

BogleFanGal wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:43 am
Have about $175k there, with a year or two more of contributions, I'm guessing.
If this was me, I would keep the plan at Vanguard for another year or two until I stop contributing, then close the plan and transfer the assets to an IRA and/or Roth IRA as required and switch to Admiral funds then.
by docbrown
Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is a “bond bubble”?
Replies: 35
Views: 3229

Re: What is a “bond bubble”?

Stormbringer wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:37 am
That makes me think then that a ladder of individual bonds might be superior for capital preservation than a bond fund.
Why not just buy a bond fund and let someone else manage the ladder for you?
by docbrown
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 227
Views: 27257

Re: Identity theft

That's a terrible situation. You need to lock everything down and definitely get a police report. Here is a thread I found on another message board, but I believe there is good information on identity theft here at Bogleheads: This is an excellent list. I don't know if it's my place to make such a ...
by docbrown
Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?
Replies: 125
Views: 7397

Re: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?

I'm probably beating a dead horse, but here's how ludicrous this is: ON THE PHONE BEFORE THE VISIT Them: You must pay us in one of our approved forms or we'll raise the price by a factor of 23. You: Do you accept checks from Bank XYZ? That's all I have. Them: Yes, we accept checks from Bank XYZ. AFT...
by docbrown
Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?
Replies: 125
Views: 7397

Re: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?

Dude2 wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:52 am
A nice trick would be to go in for a cheaper (routine) office visit to test the system before trying a more expensive procedure.
Funny thing is, this was a routine office visit! Just talking! $345 for two of 'em!
by docbrown
Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?
Replies: 125
Views: 7397

Re: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?

Why take it out on the Doctor? You received the service, correct? His staff told me three times that they accept my insurance. They do not accept my insurance. I received services, but I received them under false pretenses. Well, mistaken pretenses. I'm sure they are decent people. If I told you th...
by docbrown
Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?
Replies: 125
Views: 7397

Re: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?

Ask the office for their cash price and explain it to them nicely. Then pay it and move on. It's a learning experience. $345 is a pretty cheap way to learn that you don't have such a great insurance policy. As to what will happen if you don't pay? It will be sent to collections. Pay your bills. But...
by docbrown
Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Caught by speed camera
Replies: 49
Views: 2688

Re: Caught by speed camera

If it's not reported to the state or to your insurance company, maybe that's because the ticket is not legally defensible. I think the person who was driving the car should pay the ticket. And I think that you should tell the town to kindly provide evidence proving who was driving the car, and then ...
by docbrown
Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?
Replies: 125
Views: 7397

Re: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?

The posters stating you should have contacted your insurance company may have a valid point and no doubt you will be doing that in the future, but I am with you on this docbrown. Hooray! So back to my first question -- when this unpaid bill shows up on my credit report, will I be treated like a lep...
by docbrown
Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?
Replies: 125
Views: 7397

Re: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?

When you send the doctor's bill you paid to your insurance company, under the provisions of out of network service won't you be reimbursed to some extent by your insurance carrier? Nope! I already checked. By the way, I am not a big user of insurance, so this is pretty new to me. Also the plans ava...
by docbrown
Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?
Replies: 125
Views: 7397

Re: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?

I understand what you're all saying. Only the insurance company knows for sure. You have to jump through the correct hoops. But look at the bigger picture here. What kind of a world is this where nobody knows what things actually cost, and the people who do the work and want to get paid can't even t...
by docbrown
Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?
Replies: 125
Views: 7397

Re: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?

Perhaps they do not make sense to you because you do not want them too. In all medical insurances I have ever had or been exposed to there is a contracted provider rate and there is a lesser rate for a physician who is not in their network. For those physicians you will have a much larger co-pay or...
by docbrown
Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?
Replies: 125
Views: 7397

Re: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?

How many flavors of .. as an example, Blue Cross do you think are out there? Do they all offer the same coverage? I am familiar with the complexities of plan offerings, but billing should be able to make it clear: here's what we accept so you can tell people the right thing. Because that's a thing ...
by docbrown
Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?
Replies: 125
Views: 7397

Re: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?

The doctor's office can't be totally familiar with all the details of all variations of every insurer's policies. Policies can vary considerably. But surely the billing department can produce a list: we accept this, and not that. Speaking of billing -- intrigued by the promise of a 30% cash discoun...
by docbrown
Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?
Replies: 125
Views: 7397

Re: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?

Next time, don't ask the Dr office, contact insurance to make sure Dr is in-network. Each insurance company may have different provider networks for different plans/policies. Pay the bill. This doctor was listed in their provider directory. It's amazing how they can claim that it's not within their...
by docbrown
Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?
Replies: 125
Views: 7397

Re: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?

Have you considered that they do accept your insurance, but at the out of network rate. The words you are saying do not make sense. The out of network rate is their normal non-insured rate, so I might as well not even have insurance. How could that possibly constitute "accepting" my insurance? If a...
by docbrown
Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?
Replies: 125
Views: 7397

What will happen if I refuse to pay a medical bill?

I have never not paid a bill in my life. I have never been late. In fact I often pay bills early. But I have a bill I'm pretty sure I'm not going to pay, ever. I needed to see a doctor. His office assured me that they accept my insurance. I asked them again before I saw the doctor. I also called the...
by docbrown
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?
Replies: 27
Views: 4596

Re: 28 Year Old having a Crisis, how am I doing?

You could challenge yourself by quitting your job and becoming an entrepreneur. Make your own dream come true instead of someone else's.
by docbrown
Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Third Federal Savings doing constant credit inquiry
Replies: 3
Views: 358

Re: Third Federal Savings doing constant credit inquiry

https://www.optoutprescreen.com/ Also call the credit card companies you do business with and ask them to stop sending new offers. Amex does that frequently. Had they not stopped, I would have canceled my card. I don't need businesses creating work for me in the form of sending waste to my house th...
by docbrown
Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard advisor on dividends
Replies: 71
Views: 7568

Re: Vanguard advisor on dividends

What I noticed was both my Grandfather & Mom were always checking their checkbook register for their balance. If the money wasn't in the check book register, they didn't have it. Even though they had $thousands in savings. (For some reason the checkbook register was a obsession to them?) What you d...
by docbrown
Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?
Replies: 43
Views: 2855

Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

I wonder if there was ever a drawing in which the expected value of the ticket was greater than the cost of the ticket, maybe by just a cent or two. Like when those massive jackpots happen occasionally.

I have never bought one and don't expect I ever will.
by docbrown
Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?
Replies: 275
Views: 24231

Re: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?

Skydiving rig. I don't regret getting my A license, but skydiving is fairly boring if you aren't turned on by practicing and performing pointless formations in freefall. Driving to the DZ where there is no running water or food, then spending an hour and a half or more per jump waiting for the plane...
by docbrown
Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do Index Funds Distort Market Valuations?
Replies: 113
Views: 8394

Re: Do Index Funds Distort Market Valuations?

Hope this way of thinking about the market by breaking apart TSM helps. Writing it helped me clarify my thoughts. Thanks for this discussion. It really opened my eyes. I have to read a lot more on this subject before I can make any intelligent comments, or even decide whether and to what degree I a...
by docbrown
Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Prevent mail theft; sign for USPS Informed Delivery]
Replies: 187
Views: 11895

Re: Postal Service -- "informed delivery"

So contact the places sending you junk mail and ask that they take you off their mailing list and not sell or rent your contact information to others. How hard is that. My solution required a lot less work. I view marketing as an unasked for intrusion into my life, so I feel zero responsibility to ...
by docbrown
Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Prevent mail theft; sign for USPS Informed Delivery]
Replies: 187
Views: 11895

Re: Postal Service -- "informed delivery"

This would have been useful 20 years ago. Today, all of my USPS mail could go straight into the trash and I wouldn't miss anything important. What we really need is a way to opt out of bulk mail like they have in the Netherlands. We can't have that because it would kill the USPS. The Post Office was...
by docbrown
Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Home Bias Blues: Investors really should get out more. The reasons for sticking to local stocks are fewer by the day."
Replies: 52
Views: 4915

Re: "Home Bias Blues: Investors really should get out more. The reasons for sticking to local stocks are fewer by the da

Maybe... that sounds like a very unusual situation in the U.S. though. What state is that? Would the companies in this state generally be considered lower risk than what you'd be adding to it in a broader portfolio? I was being facetious. It's not an unusual situation though. Some states have a hig...
by docbrown
Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Home Bias Blues: Investors really should get out more. The reasons for sticking to local stocks are fewer by the day."
Replies: 52
Views: 4915

Re: "Home Bias Blues: Investors really should get out more. The reasons for sticking to local stocks are fewer by the da

JoMoney wrote:On the other hand, if international stocks have different risks, expenses, and tax implications than domestic... Maybe it's not a 'free lunch'.
Investing in U.S. stocks outside my home state involves different risks, expenses, and tax implications... so maybe I should stick to my own state.
by docbrown
Tue May 02, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k administrator requiring net worth
Replies: 40
Views: 3135

Re: 401k administrator requiring net worth

mrsytf wrote:I would not lie. I would continue to refuse and state my case.


I like that attitude. Don't give an inch. Although I would be highly tempted to write hilarious or impossible answers just for fun.
by docbrown
Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relatively "Safe" Place to Earn 2.5%-4%
Replies: 24
Views: 3657

Re: Relatively "Safe" Place to Earn 2.5%-4%

Bogle_Feet wrote:28% SPY / 72% BND


Your chart is wrong!

Portfolio 1 = 100% Total Stock Market
Portfolio 2 = 28% Total Stock Market + 72% Total Bond Market
4% per year withdrawal
Inflation adjusted

Image
by docbrown
Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legality of renters posting reviews of a condominium complex?
Replies: 82
Views: 4386

Re: Legality of renters posting reviews of a condominium complex?

I fully agree the building has to go after the problems. That is another can of worms I do not want to discuss here. I just want to know if it is legal/correct for renters to review a condominium complex. To me they only have right to review their particular unit and landlord. A review for the enti...
by docbrown
Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best investments for risk-averse retiree
Replies: 31
Views: 2453

Re: Best investments for risk-averse retiree

If you're risk-averse then you diversify into bonds. When stocks fall, money runs to the safety of bonds. Putting money in CD's is not investing. Does this look "risky"? Your chart is wrong. Portfolio 1 = 100% Total Stock Market Portfolio 2 = 28% Total Stock Market + 72% Total Bond Market...
by docbrown
Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suspicious organic products
Replies: 101
Views: 7076

Re: Suspicious organic products

I knew what I wrote would get the reaction it got. That is why I said "To each his own." I agree with you. Less of anything unknown, new, and nutritionally unnecessary is certainly good. It's the precautionary principle. Many of those compounds just haven't been around long enough for us ...
by docbrown
Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suspicious organic products
Replies: 101
Views: 7076

Re: Suspicious organic products

The reason rice has too much heavy metal ingredients is because most comes from areas around Mississipi river which is heavily polluted, You can eat gluten free without eating a lot of rice. In fact, I eat gluten free and I hardly ever have rice. Most of the processed products that are labeled glut...
by docbrown
Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to ask back the book I lent to a Director?
Replies: 45
Views: 3389

Re: How to ask back the book I lent to a Director?

Don't unintentionally create tension over $7-9. To me, the issue is neither the $9 nor the question of whether one should be generous. I personally give many things away with no expectation of return, so I am not the petty type. The issue is letting people get away with things because they have a c...
by docbrown
Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to ask back the book I lent to a Director?
Replies: 45
Views: 3389

Re: How to ask back the book I lent to a Director?

Are you going to let her walk all over you because of her position? It's your property and you have every right to expect it to be returned. This is a tiny but telling example of how organizing people into hierarchical groups is poisonous. The alphas get away with stuff both minor and major because ...
by docbrown
Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving away from Betterment
Replies: 13
Views: 1327

Re: Moving away from Betterment

Yes. You don't need to let them manage your entire portfolio to benefit from TLH. Betterment uses a short list of funds, and just make sure you don't own those outside of Betterment. Since you already have a simple portfolio, and Vanguard offers many indexes and funds of funds, this should be easy....
by docbrown
Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving away from Betterment
Replies: 13
Views: 1327

Re: Moving away from Betterment

I'm not using TLH at Betterment. They are not managing my entire portfolio, and I really didn't want to deal with the hassles of figuring out wash sale rules. Is this a mistake? Yes. You don't need to let them manage your entire portfolio to benefit from TLH. Betterment uses a short list of funds, ...
by docbrown
Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving away from Betterment
Replies: 13
Views: 1327

Re: Moving away from Betterment

Have you considered whether tax loss harvesting is saving you more money than the fees are costing you? Since you contribute regularly to taxable accounts, you are ideally suited to take advantage of TLH.
by docbrown
Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern
Replies: 388
Views: 46457

Re: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern

bzargarcia wrote:I can go back to a Excel or Numbers spreadsheet, but it isn't as valuable or useful.


Spreadsheets can be very useful and valuable. My spreadsheets compute every line on my tax returns. When I receive even a single dollar of new income, I know instantly how much of it will be taxed.
by docbrown
Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total World expense ratio lowered
Replies: 29
Views: 4725

Re: Total World expense ratio lowered

Awesome! I've been waiting months for this change to happen to my favorite, and only, equity fund. The blended expense ratio for 60% VTI and 40% VXUS (per Vanguard's recommendations) is 0.074%. So 0.11% for VT is not much more to pay for a truly set it and forget it investment. And it should go down...
by docbrown
Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Betterment just raised their costs.
Replies: 191
Views: 20379

Re: Betterment just raised their costs.

Now that I think about it, I am actually really disappointed. Betterment is charging more for calls to their CFPs as well as "Additional account monitoring by our team of licensed experts". The promise of the roboadvisor was to let AI do the work and render humans less necessary. This isn'...
by docbrown
Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express didn't waive annual fee, next step?
Replies: 22
Views: 3608

Re: American Express didn't waive annual fee, next step?

Tried tonight, front line rep just said they can drop me to the regular blue cash, went to supervisor, no luck either, not even a statement credit. She stated they no longer are waiving fees, don't believe that. I plan on trying again. Anyone have ideas? If you spend more than $263 per month at gro...
by docbrown
Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Betterment just raised their costs.
Replies: 191
Views: 20379

Re: Betterment just raised their costs.

That's too bad. I tried them for a short while but went back to Vanguard because the idea of an AUM fee just bothered me philosophically. Now, instead of being closer to the range of "so small, the service will make you more" it's in the territory of "going to make a difference."...
by docbrown
Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stocks/ETFs in Brokerage that would stand strong against a crash
Replies: 10
Views: 926

Re: Stocks/ETFs in Brokerage that would stand strong against a crash

My predictable response is that the OP probably has the wrong asset allocation. If you need a lower percentage of stocks to sleep better at night, perhaps you should make that change before you panic during a crash.
by docbrown
Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Earmarking in Vanguard
Replies: 11
Views: 881

Re: Earmarking in Vanguard

I believe that you can open more than one brokerage account with Vanguard and segregate assets that way. Or keep play money in a different fund. Personally, I would just manage it with a spreadsheet. Money is fungible and budgeting or the envelope system has never made sense to me.
by docbrown
Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay in paid-off starter house vs. dream house+work a few more years
Replies: 51
Views: 3638

Re: Stay in paid-off starter house vs. dream house+work a few more years

I don't know what you should do, but I know what I would do. I would not spend even one more year in any job anywhere so I could have the privilege of higher heating bills and higher property taxes. And I happen to be a lover of architecture, not some philistine. My personal freedom and free time ar...
by docbrown
Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I leave Ameriprise?
Replies: 58
Views: 6693

Re: Should I leave Ameriprise?

I'm not really sure what to make of all this at this point. Friendships are more important than a couple hundred dollars. But at the same time I feel like I would be justified asking him to also credit me for the lousy backloaded/high ER funds he sold me over the past 4 years!, and shouldn't feel g...
by docbrown
Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Emerging Markets: Human Rights
Replies: 17
Views: 1141

Re: Investing in Emerging Markets: Human Rights

There is some sound logic in what you write (using their dividends against them) however you overlook the fact that owning their shares via index will generally result in higher stock price which has a positive impact for said company. So to your comment about not seeing how it helps, by avoiding o...