Search found 411 matches

by HereToLearn
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math
Replies: 118
Views: 8000

Re: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math

This would be true only if everything else was equal. But you are talking about two different insurers, likely with completely different networks, different max OOP, and different levels of copays/coinsurance as well once the deductible - if any - is met. There are really quite a few variables to t...
by HereToLearn
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Short-term money needs for Executor of Estate
Replies: 57
Views: 3562

Re: Short-term money needs for Executor of Estate

Any suggestions for how much cash to have in a dedicated joint account for final expenses? This is assuming no mortgage, all bills current, x months of utilities and homeowners insurance, prepaid “final expenses” (uh, I hate the euphemisms of the funeral industry), current on any healthcare expense...
by HereToLearn
Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math
Replies: 118
Views: 8000

Re: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math

We’ve been using our HDHP + HSA for about 10 years. We’ve never dipped into the HSA at all. We are a family of five with 3 boys. Two are teenagers. During that timeframe I think we’ve had 3 emergency room trips including a broken leg and 5 staples in a head wound. There have been routine doctor vis...
by HereToLearn
Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math
Replies: 118
Views: 8000

Re: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math

I probably should have googled before posting. I am not sure why the BC Illinois plan page linked earlier (https://www.bcbsil.com/country/hsa_qualifies.htm) includes incorrect information (perhaps the info is out of date?), but I just found this by searching: https://www.irs.gov/publications/p969#en...
by HereToLearn
Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math
Replies: 118
Views: 8000

Re: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math

Based on the info you linked above, my plan is not HSA-eligible. Adding the $8000 HSA contribution back into MAGI will push me over the premium subsidy cliff, hence, my concern. I am guessing that the insurer does not understand the distinction? I can't imagine that the deductible and OOP limits va...
by HereToLearn
Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math
Replies: 118
Views: 8000

Re: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math

Based on the info you linked above, my plan is not HSA-eligible. Adding the $8000 HSA contribution back into MAGI will push me over the premium subsidy cliff, hence, my concern. I am guessing that the insurer does not understand the distinction? I can't imagine that the deductible and OOP limits va...
by HereToLearn
Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math
Replies: 118
Views: 8000

Re: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math

Up until this year, we've always used my wife's company HDHP as I was self employed. The deductible was $2500 and the company contributed $500 match to HSA. She was laid off, so this year we on the ACA Silver plan $450/mo. that has deductible 3x of her old companies, but miraculously does not count...
by HereToLearn
Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Short-term money needs for Executor of Estate
Replies: 57
Views: 3562

Re: Short-term money needs for Executor of Estate

I was joint on my mother's checking & savings accounts. She had been keeping a lot of money there, but I transferred it over to her brokerage account so that she could earn at least a small amount of interest. I should have retained more in the checking, as I ran through money fairly quickly paying ...
by HereToLearn
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best prepaid debit card for a teen
Replies: 23
Views: 1196

Re: Best prepaid debit card for a teen

I do not have debit cards so cannot offer any advice. I would hate to pay $5/month just to have access to a card. I had a CC issued for each of my children during their late HS years. The downside of these cards was that they had full access to my credit limit, but I trusted them fully and they neve...
by HereToLearn
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 50 or 75 gallon water heater?
Replies: 67
Views: 3964

Re: 50 or 75 gallon water heater?

We currently have a 21 year old, 75 gallon gas water heater located in the basement of our home. Being that it's 21 years old, I'm considering having it replaced. When I got on estimate to have it replaced with another 75 gallon heater (State Water Heater model SGS675XRRS), the total estimate was $...
by HereToLearn
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport photos cheap
Replies: 52
Views: 2529

Re: Passport photos cheap

Take your own picture, upload to epassportphoto.com for proper formatting, then print it at cvs/walgreens for $0.19 on a 4x6 sheet (it'll contain 4 photos). I've been doing it for years. Those folks have gotten a lot more stringent at the passport office (or I am failing at photography :oops: ) but...
by HereToLearn
Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport photos cheap
Replies: 52
Views: 2529

Re: Passport photos cheap

Take your own picture, upload to epassportphoto.com for proper formatting, then print it at cvs/walgreens for $0.19 on a 4x6 sheet (it'll contain 4 photos). I've been doing it for years. Those folks have gotten a lot more stringent at the passport office (or I am failing at photography :oops: ) but...
by HereToLearn
Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island
Replies: 18
Views: 1232

Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

A couple of people have suggested avoiding the NYC area from 4pm-7pm. I would bump 4pm back to 2pm as the latest time you want to cross the TZ or GWB. While those bridges will may be fine at 3pm, Long Island will not be OK at 4pm, so you want to get out ahead of the nightmare Long Island traffic. I ...
by HereToLearn
Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 22 Years Old - Which credit card to begin with?
Replies: 44
Views: 2973

Re: 22 Years Old - Which credit card to begin with?

First, Citibank double cash is VERY selective, they don't like giving that card out to college students with little credit record, don't bother. My son was rejected for that but accepted at 2 other cards given same info. Discover is almost useless, while widely used in the US, not everywhere in the...
by HereToLearn
Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scanning photos yourself
Replies: 17
Views: 1731

Re: Scanning photos yourself

How do you achieve almost complete darkness? Just in case I ever return to using my old Epson V700.
by HereToLearn
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you buy a house without a garage?
Replies: 95
Views: 5918

Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

It seems to me there are a few strikes against this house, and I would not purchase it. A garage is very useful in the NYC suburbs. Everyone else has already listed all of the reasons why you do not want to have to shovel off your car, or struggle with an umbrella entering or exiting the house and c...
by HereToLearn
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 for multiple kids: Any advantage to splitting unequally?
Replies: 18
Views: 1344

Re: 529 for multiple kids: Any advantage to splitting unequally?

More options/control when it comes time for withdrawals, given the straight pro-rated formula on gains within each account? I've been considering something similar, setting up a new additional 529 account for each kid for the next batch of funding, and then maybe again in a few years. When the time...
by HereToLearn
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 for multiple kids: Any advantage to splitting unequally?
Replies: 18
Views: 1344

Re: 529 for multiple kids: Any advantage to splitting unequally?

More options/control when it comes time for withdrawals, given the straight pro-rated formula on gains within each account? I've been considering something similar, setting up a new additional 529 account for each kid for the next batch of funding, and then maybe again in a few years. When the time...
by HereToLearn
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 for multiple kids: Any advantage to splitting unequally?
Replies: 18
Views: 1344

Re: 529 for multiple kids: Any advantage to splitting unequally?

We have three 529s and two kids. One has 40% of the assets, one has 15% of the assets, and the third has 35% of the total 529 assets. The rationale as to why we have 3 529s and 2 kids is left as a thought exercise to the reader. (Hint: We will not have more kids.) More options/control when it comes...
by HereToLearn
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a small inexpensive laser printer?
Replies: 39
Views: 2437

Re: Recommend a small inexpensive laser printer?

Re: toner running low. I assume that I am not the only one who takes the cartridge out and tips it from side to side to distribute the contents so as to ensure even printing across the full page. It can print for months after the low toner light appears.
by HereToLearn
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Double ovens, please advise on these options, have gone through 2 ovens in under 10 years.!
Replies: 49
Views: 3103

Re: Double ovens, please advise on these options, have gone through 2 ovens in under 10 years.!

The advantage of french door is convenience and safety because you dont have to lean over the oven door to access what is in oven. For that reason, it is easier if you need to baste items in the oven or turn them over because you no longer have the oven door blocking ur access. Thank you! I tend to...
by HereToLearn
Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a small inexpensive laser printer?
Replies: 39
Views: 2437

Re: Recommend a small inexpensive laser printer?

I find my Brother Laser printer that also copies and scans to be really useful. It isn't small though. But if there ever was a situation where copies and scans might come in handy you might consider going that way. I don't find faxing to be super useful but you can also get a Brother that will do f...
by HereToLearn
Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a small inexpensive laser printer?
Replies: 39
Views: 2437

Re: Recommend a small inexpensive laser printer?

Brother makes a nice B&W laser with a small footprint. I sent one off to college with my son and it worked through all four years.

I don't think I paid more than $60 for it during a summer/early back-to-school sale at Staples.
by HereToLearn
Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Double ovens, please advise on these options, have gone through 2 ovens in under 10 years.!
Replies: 49
Views: 3103

Re: Double ovens, please advise on these options, have gone through 2 ovens in under 10 years.!

What is the advantage of the French door ovens? I have not used one or even seen one in a friend's house.
by HereToLearn
Thu May 30, 2019 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford to pay for our kid's college (at all)?
Replies: 234
Views: 14600

Re: Can we afford to pay for our kid's college (at all)?

Cut son from insurance and get him a catastrophic health plan when he goes to college. Cutting son from insurance could be a very poor decision. OP needs to cover his young daughter and in most places with which I am familiar, the cost of dependent child coverage (up to age 26) is independent of th...
by HereToLearn
Thu May 30, 2019 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford to pay for our kid's college (at all)?
Replies: 234
Views: 14600

Re: Can we afford to pay for our kid's college (at all)?

After much thought, think we have a plan. Pay off Heloc to have more cash flow. (Should be able to pay off before end of year) Try and budget more and limit vacation to $x amount each year to visit family. Save up in taxable to the max. Transfer $ from taxable when needed to 529 to get 4.63% tax cr...
by HereToLearn
Wed May 29, 2019 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Double ovens, please advise on these options, have gone through 2 ovens in under 10 years.!
Replies: 49
Views: 3103

Re: Double ovens, please advise on these options, have gone through 2 ovens in under 10 years!

We had an expensive Miele and hated it. Extremely noisy and persistent fan, poor cooking of some baked goods, and failed in six years. Happier with good ol GE. We’re considering the 30 in. GE Cafe Double French Door Electric Wall Ovens. While I’m wary of Consumer Report ratings, the ovens are top r...
by HereToLearn
Tue May 28, 2019 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FDIC Insurance Limits
Replies: 12
Views: 669

Re: FDIC Insurance Limits

I thought that the limit was $250K per beneficiary. I cannot recall where I read that but I remember confirming at the time.
by HereToLearn
Tue May 28, 2019 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Double ovens, please advise on these options, have gone through 2 ovens in under 10 years.!
Replies: 49
Views: 3103

Re: Double ovens, please advise on these options, have gone through 2 ovens in under 10 years.!

Can you buy a floor model? Touch base with local appliance stores and HD/Lowe's to find out when they typically replace the floor models.

I agree that no new appliance is built to last the way appliances purchased 20+ years ago were. Good luck.
by HereToLearn
Tue May 28, 2019 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford to pay for our kid's college (at all)?
Replies: 234
Views: 14600

Re: Can we afford to pay for our kid's college (at all)?

$30k in 529 divided by 4 years = $7500 per year $12,500 per semester. It does matter somewhat how you organize this. The student loan of $5,500, the $3,000 from a summer job, and parents the remaining $4,000 for the first semester. The second semester, use the $7,500 from 529, $2,500 from parents a...
by HereToLearn
Tue May 28, 2019 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford to pay for our kid's college (at all)?
Replies: 234
Views: 14600

Re: Can we afford to pay for our kid's college (at all)?

Right now not putting $s in taxable. Want to have the Heloc paid off by end of the year. Mortgage is a refi. Hope to maybe downsize once kids are out of house. Would be good to get out from under our dream house, but would have to move to nearby town with worse schools. Job situation is real good w...
by HereToLearn
Tue May 28, 2019 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford to pay for our kid's college (at all)?
Replies: 234
Views: 14600

Re: Can we afford to pay for our kid's college (at all)?

I'd suggest something like this: Annual cost of attendance: $25K Funds from 529: $7.5K From Federal loans (to son): $6.5K From son's summer/PT work: $5K From parents' cash flow (if GPA > 3.3): $6K If his SAT scores are very high relative to the average at his college, provided he works hard, there ...
by HereToLearn
Tue May 28, 2019 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Printing quality pictures taken from phone?
Replies: 19
Views: 1162

Re: Printing quality pictures taken from phone?

Phone photos taken outside during daylight hours will produce great reprints. You won't have much luck with indoor photos with a phone camera. As others have said, make sure you download the files as actual size. I am an iPhone and Mac user so do not know the software available on PCs. (Assuming her...
by HereToLearn
Sun May 26, 2019 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 withdrawal strategy for niece
Replies: 11
Views: 955

Re: 529 withdrawal strategy for niece

Good point, regarding the AOTC. Her single parent would definitely qualify in terms of MAGI. So reading the IRS webpage on AOTC , it doesn't mention exclusion of 529 funds, but I gather from your posts that the credit would be for expenses minus 529 and financial aid...and since 529 funds aren't co...
by HereToLearn
Sun May 26, 2019 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to upgrade 2nd car in 1.5 car household?
Replies: 22
Views: 1679

Re: Worth it to upgrade 2nd car in 1.5 car household?

Will there be a need to have two safe & reliable cars once the baby is born? Will someone be driving the baby to day care?
by HereToLearn
Sat May 25, 2019 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on 529 and usage
Replies: 6
Views: 725

Re: Question on 529 and usage

You can pay the university and then have the 529 plan reimburse you. However, the school may not allow use of a CC without charging a fee.
by HereToLearn
Wed May 22, 2019 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payable On Death Account to Complement Will
Replies: 66
Views: 3458

Re: Payable On Death Account to Compliment Will

... I believe that most wills allow for compensation, but many well intentioned family members who "volunteer" to serve as executor decline such compensation. Is this the case? ... Most Wills are silent, in which case executors are entitled to commissions (compensation). About half the states have ...
by HereToLearn
Wed May 22, 2019 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payable On Death Account to Complement Will
Replies: 66
Views: 3458

Re: Payable On Death Account to Compliment Will

Having just settled (most of) my mother's estate, I have to say that I was one who blindly agreed to the executor role without fully realizing all the role entailed. You are correct that there were some serious bills to pay within weeks of her death: funeral & luncheon, property taxes, current cred...
by HereToLearn
Tue May 21, 2019 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payable On Death Account to Complement Will
Replies: 66
Views: 3458

Re: Payable On Death Account to Compliment Will

When the bulk of the assets pass by beneficiary designation, unknown final expenses including taxes, final cc bills, final medical bills, funeral/burial costs etc may not have adequate funding from the limited assets subject to probate. If that happens, paying all the final costs including executor...
by HereToLearn
Mon May 20, 2019 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Change health insurance plans and lose contribution towards deductible?
Replies: 4
Views: 410

Re: Change health insurance plans and lose contribution towards deductible?

Let's say someone changes jobs in July of a given year. Prior to July, they had a health insurance plan with a deductible and out of pocket max for the year - and they had paid $x towards that deductible. Now in July, they change jobs and start a new health insurance plan. New health plan means new...
by HereToLearn
Sat May 18, 2019 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Qualified Educational Expenses
Replies: 6
Views: 487

Re: 529 Qualified Educational Expenses

I will answer your last question first. Yes, the student must be considered enrolled at least half time during the summer session to take qualified education expenses for room and board during that period. How much of a qualified educational expense can be little more challenging. If the college or...
by HereToLearn
Sat May 18, 2019 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Qualified Educational Expenses
Replies: 6
Views: 487

Re: 529 Qualified Educational Expenses

I don't know the answer but my guess is no. I think you could get away with reimbursing for a 12 month lease as long as the total of the 12 months' payments does not exceed the university's published two semester room charge. However, 'get away with' is not advice you should follow. I am curious to ...
by HereToLearn
Mon May 13, 2019 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Do you have working carbon monoxide detectors?
Replies: 44
Views: 2352

Re: PSA: Do you have working carbon monoxide detectors?

"Smoke detectors, as well as the typical CO detector, should be replaced after 10 years of service." Absolutely true and is part of the new laws around us for these devices - there are very clear instructions on where to affix these as well as how high in the room. The CO detector plugged in near t...
by HereToLearn
Sat May 11, 2019 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we take out student loan
Replies: 10
Views: 1032

Re: Should we take out student loan

Agree about not taking unsubsidized loan. Re: Credit Cards. You may want to have her apply for the card now while she is still home with you. I found it easier to help educate my children about CCs while they were living at home. I had them set up auto-pay out of their checking accounts as I figured...
by HereToLearn
Wed May 08, 2019 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Expenses
Replies: 232
Views: 11559

Re: College Expenses

But it cost like one for OOS Then, go to one of your in-state flagships public university. It's not UT Is your kid = National Merit Finalist? He most likely will be. Why? I refuse to engage in another ridiculous discussion with Klang Fool. I am guessing that based on your response to him that you d...
by HereToLearn
Wed May 08, 2019 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Expenses
Replies: 232
Views: 11559

Re: College Expenses

But it cost like one for OOS Then, go to one of your in-state flagships public university. It's not UT Is your kid = National Merit Finalist? He most likely will be. Why? I refuse to engage in another ridiculous discussion with Klang Fool. I am guessing that based on your response to him that you d...
by HereToLearn
Mon May 06, 2019 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will vs POD?
Replies: 16
Views: 1903

Re: Will vs POD?

.....If you want to be buried in a nice place make sure you have that planned and sufficient assets in the probate estate to pay for it..... Well, even if you don't care and end up buried in a crummy place - you need to leave enough in your estate to pay a) Executor's fee (usually based on a percen...
by HereToLearn
Sun May 05, 2019 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Expenses
Replies: 232
Views: 11559

Re: College Expenses

Beware — if your older child gets into private U with s nice merit package, younger child may also wish to apply and join older child and may get NO money so you are full pay. This happened to both our family and s good friend. It was a very expensive surprise to both of us! Fortunately both famili...
by HereToLearn
Sun May 05, 2019 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Expenses
Replies: 232
Views: 11559

Re: College Expenses

HereToLearn, Bingo! My daughter studied at VCU of Richmond, VA. She had to walk past many homeless people on her way to classes. It was a life-changing experience for her. KlangFool Have you been to New Haven lately? Plenty of homeless people on Yale campus also, not that it’s a selling point. I do...
by HereToLearn
Sun May 05, 2019 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Expenses
Replies: 232
Views: 11559

Re: College Expenses

<< if a kid can go to an Ivy League school like Harvard then I think it is worth the money. >> I disagreed. It does not make any sense to pay that much for an undergraduate degree. If the kid is good, he/she can get the employer to pay for the Harvard MBA. If the kid is not good enough to get the e...