Search found 468 matches

by Artful Dodger
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stop paying on life insurance policy?
Replies: 27
Views: 1826

Re: Stop paying on life insurance policy?

What do you think? 1) this is "cheap insurance" so just keep paying it, at least through the next 5 years (and then see if they start jacking up the rate) This they will definitely do, so you're really just deciding for the next five years. 2) consider just stopping paying now given that I don't "ne...
by Artful Dodger
Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Regrets from canceling whole life insurance policy - anyone out there?
Replies: 27
Views: 2797

Re: Regrets from canceling whole life insurance policy - anyone out there?

So I've read countless Boglehead posts about the negative aspects of Whole Life insurance and the associated "Education Tax" that folks have endured. I'm 90% convinced to cancel our policy, but I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has canceled, but now regrets their decision. There may not be ...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Group life insurance through work
Replies: 20
Views: 1509

Re: Group life insurance through work

Thanks for the input. I have been in touch with a broker, and I am getting 10 years term policy. My current insurance from work will expire at the end of this year. I am hoping to start my new coverage mid-December, I will have one to two weeks overlap. I am blessed to be in a good health. I signed...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State retirement pensions thoughts?
Replies: 35
Views: 3422

Re: State retirement pensions thoughts?

My wife's plan is in the bottom five as as far as financial soundness. She only worked 17 years, then quit in the early 90s to be able to spend more time with the kids, so her pension is fairly small. But, she and I were able to come back on the state employee benefit plans when she turned 60, which...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term Care Insurance
Replies: 184
Views: 8689

Re: Long-term Care Insurance

In general, there are two triggers that cause benefits to be approved, either cognitive disability, or not being able to perform two actives of daily living (examples - feeding yourself, continence, transferring yourself, bathing, dressing, bathing). I'm facing this situation right now with my moth...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Actively Managed Bond Funds
Replies: 24
Views: 1569

Re: Actively Managed Bond Funds

I chose some time ago to use Fidelity's Total Bond Fund (FTBFX) instead of a bond index fund. For what it's worth, I just compared the performance to the Vanguard BND fund. BND has a .05% expense ratio. FTBFX is at .45%. Average annual returns for BND 1 yr -2.12%, 3 yrs .96%, 5 yrs 1.76%, 10 yrs 3.8...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term Care Insurance
Replies: 184
Views: 8689

Re: Long-term Care Insurance

For those who advocate self insurance, make sure your heirs or appointed trustee knows what facilities you want and has authority to get you admitted, access to your accounts to pay bills, etc. This is true regardless of whether you self insure or not. I definitely agree. I was responding to a post...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term Care Insurance
Replies: 184
Views: 8689

Re: Long-term Care Insurance

I am very confused about long term care insurance. Many different products and many different possible future needs. Makes me think I should not touch them with a ten-foot pole. It's not that complicated. I think it is a pretty murky area for most of us... I'll see if I can learn the details by fin...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term Care Insurance
Replies: 184
Views: 8689

Re: Long-term Care Insurance

My experience was that once my parents got to the point of needing the LTC insurance, they were ALSO incapable of jumping through the application of benefit hoops. You must pair this with a younger generation having medical power of attorney AND acting as designated contact within the LTC policy. A...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: need advice with HSA account MAX contribution
Replies: 5
Views: 520

Re: need advice with HSA account MAX contribution

You'll be able to contribute the max amount for 2018, $6900, due to the last month rule. You can contribute that amount anytime up to the 2018 tax filing deadline. You can then make a contribution for 2019, after Jan. 1. If you're signed up through September, the safe approach would be to contribute...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HMO vs HDHP/HSA. Should I switch?
Replies: 21
Views: 976

Re: HMO vs HDHP/HSA. Should I switch?

Looks to me to be a no brainer. As long as you are happy with the HMO providers and have fairly normal RX costs, I’d stay with the HMO.
by Artful Dodger
Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need more than Original Medicare?
Replies: 108
Views: 5738

Re: Do I need more than Original Medicare?

You might consider getting a High Deductible Plan F. Last time I looked, rates were about 60% below the regular Plan F. This way you have all the benefits of plan F, but are subject to a $2240 deductible. As noted previously, there are significant daily copays for hospital and SNF care after 60 days...
by Artful Dodger
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3807
Views: 1076986

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

A Star Is Born. Great movie. Very impressed by both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.
by Artful Dodger
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Coverage-ACA and Medicare
Replies: 15
Views: 1344

Re: Health Coverage-ACA and Medicare

We don't claim her as a dependent any longer. Alas, at 24 she ages out. As I mentioned, she has a job, pays her own bills, carries own car insurance, etc. Some day she might actually move out but given the rents in Socal, we have a feeling she will be with us for a while! Great idea to call agency ...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Major Medical Expenses under HDHP
Replies: 31
Views: 3082

Re: First Major Medical Expenses under HDHP

Alright, so I went to the hospital, came home. I've only gotten the one bill in writing so far, which is from an umbrella organization that no doubt manages the department I went to, billing me for what my insurance didn't cover. When you say "negotiate with the provider" am I speaking with my insu...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare Decision
Replies: 8
Views: 1318

Re: Healthcare Decision

Thank you for the responses. As a clarification, my employer coverage stopped as of October 13, so I have 60 days, until December 13 to sign up for COBRA. This year my income is way over the ACA minimum, but next year I should be able to control withdrawals from retirement accounts and utilize non-...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare Decision
Replies: 8
Views: 1318

Re: Healthcare Decision

I'm newly retired and facing a choice of healthcare coverage. I was in a high deductible plan with HSA previously and was offered Cobra, which I have to decide upon by a December deadline. The cost for me and my wife would be $1,300. I visited one of the kiosks in the mall and obtained some informa...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Major Medical Expenses under HDHP
Replies: 31
Views: 3082

Re: First Major Medical Expenses under HDHP

Hi everyone. Thanks for all of the responses! I left some stuff out not realizing that it might be important: -I am maxing out each my 401k, Roth IRA and HSA at the moment. Retirement savings is the largest single expense I have right now, and it took no small amount of courage to build up to maxin...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning first international trip - London/Paris
Replies: 67
Views: 3296

Re: Planning first international trip - London/Paris

We did a Paris & London trip last year, end of August to early September. Five nights in Paris, four in London. I really enjoyed both, and had not been in either since I was in high school. If I had more time, I would have done a week in both, or just done 10-14 days in either with some side trips t...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Major Medical Expenses under HDHP
Replies: 31
Views: 3082

Re: First Major Medical Expenses under HDHP

Just because you have $5000 bill, doesn't mean you have to pay it all at once, or pay any late interest. If one big bill, call the provider, and see if you can pay off in 12 months with no interest. They'll probably take you up on the offer (and be thrilled). If there are a mix of bills, tackle the ...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting depressed with all this saving. :-(
Replies: 38
Views: 6338

Re: Getting depressed with all this saving. :-(

Looks like you're doing well with the automatic part of investing / savings. My goal was always to get the investing on auto-pilot, then splurge a little on living. In our case it was usually more experiences / travel. In your case, it is high end audio. If you could write a check for the car, a set...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: What keeps you up at night?
Replies: 56
Views: 6033

Re: Retirees: What keeps you up at night?

I'm not retired yet, but am close. I learned about asset allocation the hard way, during the 2008 financial crisis. When I started rebuilding, I set a 70/30 allocation, then a couple of years ago, moved to mid fifties in equities. I've also set up a bucket of bonds and CDs to cover 100% of my needed...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3405
Views: 1013826

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Reckoning by John Grisham. Overwritten, repetitious, a quarter or more is a history book of the Bataan death march. Where has the real John Grisham gone or who wrote the books of his early career that made him famous? The Firm, The Client and the Rainmaker are my three favorites of his. It's be...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No increase in LTC Insurance Premiums again this year
Replies: 9
Views: 1100

Re: No increase in LTC Insurance Premiums again this year

We went 9 years with no increase from Genworth, then a 50% pop last year. We could have switched from 5% compound increase to 3% compound, and the increase would have been 24%. I'm keeping the 5%, and will evaluate dropping to 3% if another increase.
by Artful Dodger
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which HDHP plan is better, Blue Cross or United
Replies: 30
Views: 1616

Re: Which HDHP plan is better, Blue Cross or United

It's enrollment time and I have the option of 2 different high deductible plans, they both have basically exactly the same specifications, deductibles, etc, and same price...just that one is through Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the other is United Health Care...I'm just wondering if there is anyone ...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]
Replies: 923
Views: 100119

Re: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]

^^^ No question - Breaking Bad. +1 Far better than Ozark (or anything else for that matter.) I was originally intimidated by how many seasons it is, but so many people have recommended it that I guess I have to try it. See you in a couple years.. :D It's only about 60 episodes. Traditional TV shows...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best location to rent in Rome for vacation?
Replies: 7
Views: 712

Re: Best location to rent in Rome for vacation?

We've been to Rome many times, and have stayed both in apartments and hotels. Below is a map from Lonely Planet and also a map of the centro storico (central tourist area or "old town") of Rome from the airbnb website. https://www.lonelyplanet.com/maps/europe/italy/rome/ https://www.airbnb.com/locat...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Care Options for 26 year old
Replies: 38
Views: 1991

Re: Health Care Options for 26 year old

I think that makes sense.

You might try calling -

The State's Health Benefits Coordinator for Medicaid and/or NJ FamilyCare can be reached toll free at 1-800-701-0710 .
by Artful Dodger
Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal taxes in retirement
Replies: 25
Views: 2451

Re: Federal taxes in retirement

Is your estimated rent income net of expenses and depreciation? Yes net of expenses, not sure how depreciation works into it. I expect it works in our favor? Rent income is likely higher by a couple hundred at least, I've just used that figure for a while, have since bought another house that is +3...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which HDHP plan is better, Blue Cross or United
Replies: 30
Views: 1616

Re: Which HDHP plan is better, Blue Cross or United

As noted in other replies, this tends to be location specific. BCBS is different than other national carriers, as they started as local prepaid health plans. Many have merged, but you still have a lot of different corporate entities around the country. But, since you're in Chicago, I'm familiar with...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal taxes in retirement
Replies: 25
Views: 2451

Re: Federal taxes in retirement

Is your estimated rent income net of expenses and depreciation?
by Artful Dodger
Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Care Options for 26 year old
Replies: 38
Views: 1991

Re: Health Care Options for 26 year old

I would probably address these to the New Jersey marketplace or healthcare.gov, as HHS actually runs the NJ exchange. But, in general... 1. She will be in school for the first half of 2020 and hopefully working soon after......will that have an effect on Medicaid eligibility for the first half of 20...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Care Options for 26 year old
Replies: 38
Views: 1991

Re: Health Care Options for 26 year old

As mnnice and dodecahedron noted, Medicaid will likely be the best option. New Jersey is an expansion state and residence and monthly income determines eligibility, not place of school or work. She could contact them now, and find out when she needs to apply. Some schools have student medical progr...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Care Options for 26 year old
Replies: 38
Views: 1991

Re: Health Care Options for 26 year old

As mnnice and dodecahedron noted, Medicaid will likely be the best option. New Jersey is an expansion state and residence and monthly income determines eligibility, not place of school or work. She could contact them now, and find out when she needs to apply. Some schools have student medical progra...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?
Replies: 58
Views: 5965

Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Yesterday I flew into the Salt Lake City airport where I met my elderly father, uncle, and his wife as the first step of our vacation. My dad had reserved a car from Hertz, an Infiniti QX70. At the Hertz counter the clerk gave us the standard upsell to a larger vehicle, a Land Rover Discovery for $...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3405
Views: 1013826

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I am on a cycle of re reading old classics that enjoyed years ago. And to be more specific, there were two books which years ago brought tears to my eyes at ending which I read in past weeks just to see if would occur again, kind of like a test of my now much older sensibilities. The Age of Innocen...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3405
Views: 1013826

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Re-reading Lord of the Rings for the 7th or 8th time. I'm actually reading some, but mostly listening to the Audible version, skillfully narrated by Rob Inglis. Hanging out with Merry, Pippin and Treebeard right now.
by Artful Dodger
Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term Care Insurance
Replies: 184
Views: 8689

Re: Long-term Care Insurance

From the OP... I know that the market for LTC has been evolving since these products first came out and the premiums are much higher than they were. However, my understanding is that the reason for this is that insurance companies greatly under estimated persistence (the percentage of policy holders...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: short term insurance between jobs
Replies: 10
Views: 559

Re: short term insurance between jobs

Sorry but I'm not sure if I understand below. I haven't received information yet, but I'm pretty sure they will offer COBRA we are a large company. I'm awaiting more information from them. Are you saying I have 60 days to decide COBRA or not? My last day is Oct 24th, and new start date is Nov 5th, ...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: short term insurance between jobs
Replies: 10
Views: 559

Re: short term insurance between jobs

COBRA? COBRA Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (1985). It's the law that requires employers (those with at least 20 employees) to offer employees the right to continue on their medical plan up to 18 months. As PJW noted, there is normally a 60 period to elect coverage from either your last da...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancun in a few weeks
Replies: 48
Views: 3183

Re: Cancun in a few weeks

Was considering taking a laptop, now considering the chaos in the Cancun airport may now just leave it home! It's not really that chaotic. You are in a foreign country with a different language, so it is a little confusing, but the airport is pretty much like most high tourist area foreign country ...
by Artful Dodger
Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term Care Insurance
Replies: 184
Views: 8689

Re: Long-term Care Insurance

Hello - The more I read about long-term care insurance, the more I think it is probably a good thing to have. My wife and I have one child and I just don't want to put the onus on him to care for us if/when that becomes necessary and I don't want him or us in an awkward position of having to spend ...
by Artful Dodger
Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Placing mother in nursing home - advice
Replies: 37
Views: 3881

Re: Placing mother in nursing home - advice

If you and your sister are going to be in the same city, that is the city your mom should be in, so look for a facility in your city. Speak to an elder care attorney, but I believe once she depletes her assets, she will be eligible for Medicaid, which does cover nursing homes. I would sell the hous...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black suit with dark brown shoes?
Replies: 59
Views: 4046

Re: Black suit with dark brown shoes?

I'm with the majority here. It's a formal function and black shoes are called for.

I would be comfortable with cordovans or darker brown shoes with navy blue, but not black.

Unless you're wearing a Brioni suit and some Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, then all bets are off. :twisted:
by Artful Dodger
Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone else noticed that HDHP are actually better for those needing expensive Rx?
Replies: 18
Views: 2313

Re: Has anyone else noticed that HDHP are actually better for those needing expensive Rx?

I never thought of this before, but these assistance programs are another item that in theory, one must prove that they did not receive when providing documentation for HSA qualified withdrawals if one is audited. I take it many of them work with the pharmacy benefit managers to pay them directly s...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone else noticed that HDHP are actually better for those needing expensive Rx?
Replies: 18
Views: 2313

Re: Has anyone else noticed that HDHP are actually better for those needing expensive Rx?

I never thought of this before, but these assistance programs are another item that in theory, one must prove that they did not receive when providing documentation for HSA qualified withdrawals if one is audited. I take it many of them work with the pharmacy benefit managers to pay them directly s...
by Artful Dodger
Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3405
Views: 1013826

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Nicolas wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:26 pm
Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward. Just downloaded it on Kindle today and finished chapters 1-9 this morning. It's really interesting!
I agree. Picked up earlier this week, and up to page 150. Well researched and, at least to me, even handed.
by Artful Dodger
Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime - Value?
Replies: 89
Views: 7556

Re: Amazon Prime - Value?

Reading this thread, I'm starting to think I must be a real spendthrift. Cancelling your subscription for a $20 annual increase? The other day, wife and I stopped into a wine bar, and had two glasses of wine. With tax and tip ~$33. Regarding the video service, I get lots of use out of it. Last few m...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]
Replies: 923
Views: 100119

Re: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]

Currently watching "Yes, Minister" ... 1982, but my local PBS airs it and I haven't watched it before. It's brilliant. Just finished "Jack Ryan" (exactly what you'd expect. Not brilliant, but entertaining with high production values) and Killjoys (started out as mindless entertainment, but has evol...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue
Replies: 656
Views: 96505

Re: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue

Sorry, but I haven't read all the previous posts. I did want to ask a question. We've been considering a CRV. I did a google search for this issue and saw a site that indicated this was an issue for the 2015-2018 model years as well as an attorney's ad looking for owners of 2016-2018 models. We were...