Search found 75 matches

by ctuser1
Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help with medical insurance planning
Replies: 6
Views: 501

Re: Need help with medical insurance planning

I don't understand, Option1 for spouse beats OP's even with the working spouse surcharge? Lower premium and lower OOP max and higher employer contribution to HSA. There are some non-financial considerations. My DD2 goes in for ABA therapy after school. The provider for this is in-network with my in...
by ctuser1
Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help with medical insurance planning
Replies: 6
Views: 501

Re: Need help with medical insurance planning

It rarely makes sense to double cover people with insurance from employers, especially if the primary is a decent plan. Agree, I did it once long time ago and regretted doing so. Huge amount of paperwork hassle that all our providers complained about, and zero extra savings. In fact, there are some...
by ctuser1
Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help with medical insurance planning
Replies: 6
Views: 501

Need help with medical insurance planning

My wife is going to change jobs. She has one offer where the medical insurance looks excellent. It is not yet a done deal (she hasn't accepted yet). But, assuming she takes this offer, I wanted to understand how we could strategize with her and my insurance. Our medical needs DD2 is autistic. Her AB...
by ctuser1
Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for Car experts - how urgent/important are these maintenance items
Replies: 36
Views: 3444

Re: Question for Car experts - how urgent/important are these maintenance items

Fwiw, I'm amazed that the original wiper blades are still working well on our 2016 4Runner and 2016 Avalon. I want to replace them, but they don't need it. Off topic - but FYI for Toyota owners: You don't need to replace the full wiper blades on Toyotas. You can replace just the rubber thingy's ins...
by ctuser1
Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for Car experts - how urgent/important are these maintenance items
Replies: 36
Views: 3444

Question for Car experts - how urgent/important are these maintenance items

I have a 2016 Sienna that I recently took in for 45k mile service to the dealership. Besides the regular $44 bill, two other maintenance items were recommended: 1. CS12 Belt (Alternator) replacement Apparently the belt is showing signs of crack. It should not break (per the technician), but may soon...
by ctuser1
Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance Issues - suggestions?
Replies: 16
Views: 1028

Re: Insurance Issues - suggestions?

I have no particular expertise, but your citation above says that the patient’s primary care physician must certify that s/he has a developmental disability to get coverage. Do you know if such a certification was provided to your insurance? Yes. It was provided! The insurance company has also done...
by ctuser1
Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance Issues - suggestions?
Replies: 16
Views: 1028

Re: Insurance Issues - suggestions?

The original denial stated "ANESTHESIA FOR THE TREATMENT OF CARIES IS NOT A COVERED BENEFIT". The response to appeal stated: I've finished reviewing the appeal from ------- for: Anthem to provide benefits for anesthesia on a dental procedure. I understand an appeal was requested because you don't ag...
by ctuser1
Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance Issues - suggestions?
Replies: 16
Views: 1028

Insurance Issues - suggestions?

I have an autistic child. She has developed some dental cavities that need to be addressed. She would not normally cooperate with the dentist - so it was recommended that she goes under general anesthesia for this procedure. I live in CT, where there is a law apparently asking the medical insurance ...
by ctuser1
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody here who uses WageWorks commuter card?
Replies: 4
Views: 552

Anybody here who uses WageWorks commuter card?

I commute to NYC. Till this month I used to directly fund a Metro North mail-and-ride account from my paycheck. From next month, I am planning to use the WageWorks commuter debit card offered as an option by my employer. For the purposes of this discussion, let's assume I pay the following for ticke...
by ctuser1
Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did humanity ever make good Gas cans
Replies: 70
Views: 6607

Re: Did humanity ever make good Gas cans

It started leaking first from the joint. I checked the gasket and it *seems* (at least visually) intact. Could be a sloppy molding. Could be a crummy gasket. Could be you need to tighten the cap. Thanks for this suggestion. Looks like the majority of the problem was indeed the gasket that was not s...
by ctuser1
Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did humanity ever make good Gas cans
Replies: 70
Views: 6607

Re: Did humanity ever make good Gas cans

The gas can I have is this one: https://www.amazon.com/Briggs-Stratton-Smart-Fill-Gallon-Gas/dp/B001RUO5QW/ Based on the suggestions up-thread, I am debating between one of the two approaches: 1. Replacement spout like this one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YP3YTXM, as suggested by fire5soon. This w...
by ctuser1
Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did humanity ever make good Gas cans
Replies: 70
Views: 6607

Re: Did humanity ever make good Gas cans

Is it the spout that leaks, or the joint? For the current one I have - it leaks from two separate places. There is the spout that leaks close to where there is a round thing I need to rotate in place to allow the gas to flow. The joint leaks too. It started leaking first from the joint. I checked t...
by ctuser1
Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did humanity ever make good Gas cans
Replies: 70
Views: 6607

Re: Did humanity ever make good Gas cans

I do just fine with cheap cans but the pour spouts are horrible due to law changes several years ago. I buy replacement pour spouts on Amazon pretty cheaply and have been satisfied. It *is* the pour sprout that always leaks for me. The plastic bottom is fine. On my third one in the last few years a...
by ctuser1
Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did humanity ever make good Gas cans
Replies: 70
Views: 6607

Did humanity ever make good Gas cans

I buy the cheap 2 Gallon Gas Cans from Walmart!! I've also tried one from Autozone one time. It was as cheaply constructed as the Walmart ones, although with a much higher list price. I had an item return credit burning a hole in my wallet - so splurged on this overpriced crap. All of them are cheap...
by ctuser1
Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Boiler - which brands? Cost?
Replies: 7
Views: 530

Re: Gas Boiler - which brands? Cost?

Did you ever spec out how much it will cost to remove the boiler and tank? For me, both the tank (275 Gal) and the large boiler are very accessible. Basically our house is a "Raised Ranch" where the "basement" is entirely above ground. The oil tank is in the garage and the boiler is in a room inside...
by ctuser1
Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Boiler - which brands? Cost?
Replies: 7
Views: 530

Re: Gas Boiler - which brands? Cost?

Thank you for the detailed response.
The utility company is sending someone to talk to me next Monday. Loads of reading to do for me before that so that I am ready with all the questions.
by ctuser1
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Boiler - which brands? Cost?
Replies: 7
Views: 530

Gas Boiler - which brands? Cost?

I live in CT. The utility is bringing gas to our street this year. I currently have a Heating Oil boiler. I want to get rid of it and go Gas. My question is, which brand(s) of boilers are known to be the reliable, efficient for our climate? I need something that is 94% AFUE for the utility rebate ( ...
by ctuser1
Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the boglehead threshold for refinancing your mortgage?
Replies: 6
Views: 1074

Re: What is the boglehead threshold for refinancing your mortgage?

Information About You and Your House  How Long Do You Expect to Stay in Your House 10.0 years  Income Tax Bracket 39.00% (federal + state marginal tax rate)  Pre-tax Rate of Interest on Savings 2.00%  After-tax Rate of Interest on Savings 1.22%  Current Value of House $300,000 Loan Information Curre...
by ctuser1
Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the boglehead threshold for refinancing your mortgage?
Replies: 6
Views: 1074

Re: What is the boglehead threshold for refinancing your mortgage?

Thanks a lot!

I did play around with this calculator, and the sweet spot seems to be somewhere around 50 basis point rate difference.
by ctuser1
Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the boglehead threshold for refinancing your mortgage?
Replies: 6
Views: 1074

What is the boglehead threshold for refinancing your mortgage?

I am wishfully looking at the 10-year treasury yield and hoping it will bring back the mortgage rates from 2016 back. I purchased our home in 2016 Dec and missed the super-low rates by a couple of months. My first pre-qual letter listed the rate as 2.38% for a 15 year mortgage. I ended up with a 3.2...
by ctuser1
Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:48 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Is it better for Chinese Citizens to buy VT or VWRD?
Replies: 6
Views: 715

Re: Is it better for Chinese Citizens to buy VT or VWRD?

Not an expert - but doesn't estate tax issues still come into play if you hold VWRD through some US broker that holds the assets in a "US Situs" entity?

e.g. IB.

Just curious. I am firmly situated in US with all the good, the bad and the ugly that comes with it.
by ctuser1
Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)
Replies: 17
Views: 938

Re: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)

Thank you bsteiner for the incredibly informative journal article (a lot for me to chew through) and your professional opinion on this matter. The trust for the child with special needs is for the most part the same as the trust for the child without special needs. The principal difference is that, ...
by ctuser1
Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)
Replies: 17
Views: 938

Re: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)

As a side note, you may also want to look at conservatorship for your younger child, if you haven’t already. I did some looking around, and this seems a rather complicated topic. In my state, you can be either a guardian (and that too either a "plenary guardian" or a "limited guardian"), or a conse...
by ctuser1
Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)
Replies: 17
Views: 938

Re: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)

Just when I thought I had it all figured out... but I guess it is better to know now. My younger daughter has autism. We were planning on splitting our estate 50/50 between my two daughters, with younger daughter's share going into a special needs trust. But presumably at least some of the inherita...
by ctuser1
Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)
Replies: 17
Views: 938

Re: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)

Something I don't know enough about is disabled child social security. I think once you retire your child can switch from SSI/medicaid to SSDI/medicare on your record which I think would mean all the asset and income limits go away, and I'm not sure if any of this matters. I don't know if that's tr...
by ctuser1
Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)
Replies: 17
Views: 938

Re: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)

Reviving an old thread because I have dug up new information and strategies in my research that is related to the original topic. It seems that the new ABLE accounts are fantastic when they are used in conjunction with SNT's. ABLE Accounts: 1. In most states, are subject to medicaid clawback. There ...
by ctuser1
Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Mutual fund tax efficiency - how well does it work in bear markets?
Replies: 4
Views: 495

Vanguard Mutual fund tax efficiency - how well does it work in bear markets?

Vanguard is known for their patented method to siphon off taxable basis from their mutual funds to their ETFs, which are inherently tax efficient. They have a patent on this. A detailed article from Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2019-vanguard-mutual-fund-tax-dodge/ This article expla...
by ctuser1
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate to Seattle or NYC
Replies: 132
Views: 7693

Re: Relocate to Seattle or NYC

I would be concerned with a 1.5 hour commute each way because what happens if OP wants to change jobs and the new job requires one to come into the office every day? Commuting by train is a very different thing compared to driving, or even bus! Tons of people do 2-hour each way commute to NYC!! I c...
by ctuser1
Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate to Seattle or NYC
Replies: 132
Views: 7693

Re: Relocate to Seattle or NYC

There are loads of economic reasons for moving to NYC even if you have to live in a suburb and don't much care for the cultural scene there! Two words - flexibility and options!! The sheer size and depth of the economy, that too concentrated in a smallish area, offer a whole lot of flexibility!! NYC...
by ctuser1
Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate to Seattle or NYC
Replies: 132
Views: 7693

Re: Relocate to Seattle or NYC

Thank you for detailed response. Its really helpful. I prefer to drive for 1 to 1.25 hours. Work location is close to 23rd street station. Striking the balance of commute, budget and good school looks like a big challenge in NYC. I will check on these location with spouse and pick one. Thanks again...
by ctuser1
Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate to Seattle or NYC
Replies: 132
Views: 7693

Re: Relocate to Seattle or NYC

I don't think rats are a major issue for OP.

He mentioned he'll live in the suburbs. The only place he will see rats (lots of them) are int the platforms in Penn or GCT and in the subway.

I sometimes think I have even started to recognize a few of the individual rats in the GCT by now. :shock:
by ctuser1
Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate to Seattle or NYC
Replies: 132
Views: 7693

Re: Relocate to Seattle or NYC

Except for train traffic where you are stuck 2-3 hours due to construction or train re-routing. Not to mention complete New Yorker incompetence to even let you know that a train is not working. I commuted 4 years on 405 freeway in Los Angeles and 2 years in NY Subway. By far I would rather be stuck...
by ctuser1
Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate to Seattle or NYC
Replies: 132
Views: 7693

Re: Relocate to Seattle or NYC

+1 for NYC. If you can work from home at least 2 days a week, then I'd suggest CT, NJ or upstate NY. If schools are very important, then there are some ultra-competitive school districts in NJ that are very highly rated - much like a good school would look like in India or China. I personally don't ...
by ctuser1
Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Balance Billing (?) by Dentist
Replies: 14
Views: 1513

Re: Balance Billing (?) by Dentist

Request a refund from the dentist office of the amount you paid above the $58 negotiated rate. Did that! The office manager tells me "it is legal to charge our rate for not-covered services". I guess I need to next call up Metlife and see if they will intervene. Any suggestions on any state agencie...
by ctuser1
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Balance Billing (?) by Dentist
Replies: 14
Views: 1513

Balance Billing (?) by Dentist

State: CT. Dental Insurance: Metlife. Dentist is in-network with Metlife. Kid #1 goes in for some dental restoration work. Dentist used laughing gas, which is apparently not covered by our plan with Metlife. Dental office insists on payment of "estimated costs after insurance" before we leave the of...
by ctuser1
Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is your guys’ fees for your 401k?
Replies: 96
Views: 5992

Re: How much is your guys’ fees for your 401k?

4 separate employers, and 4 separate 401k providers so far as far as my career goes. I've Never had to pay any 401k fee separate from the fund ERs. I never knew it's even a thing to ask employees a fee separate from ERs on the funds!! :shock: Now that I know it happens - I need to take a closer look...
by ctuser1
Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)
Replies: 17
Views: 938

Re: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)

I'm interested in learning more about the taxation of IRA/401k distributions within a trust. My interpretation is that they are subject to higher taxes than an individual (non dependent) would be but this is something I'm not sure about. Usually, the IRA would be subject to an accelerated withdrawa...
by ctuser1
Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?
Replies: 73
Views: 3946

Re: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?

Ok...looked closer. What you are forgetting about is that in scenario 1 you did save on the money you put into the HSA and then spent. You got a tax benefit there that is not part of your calculations. If you factor it in, they come out the same. That is a good point! If you "spent" that tax benefi...
by ctuser1
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?
Replies: 73
Views: 3946

Re: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?

I am not sure I followed what you have above, but I am pretty sure the Roth will yield the same result at the end as well, assuming tax rates stay the same. Everything hinges on this part: "This would result in a tax saving of $1.75k at tax time, since HSA goes in tax free, whereas Roth does not." ...
by ctuser1
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?
Replies: 73
Views: 3946

Re: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?

ok...Nice analysis. A few small mistakes that actually will demonstrate my point. 1) "All of the above are before tax." - Not actually true as some of the money was Roth money that would have been contributed post-tax. However, no harm on that point. We can assume all is tax-deffered for this examp...
by ctuser1
Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: losing medicaid, needing to go on affordable care act
Replies: 13
Views: 1633

Re: losing medicaid, needing to go on affordable care act

I will be helping a friend of the family, who is very low income, navigate some insurance issues. She was on SSI and medicaid. She now turned 62, and is receiving social security survivor income of $20,000 annually. This pushes her just beyond medicaid eligibility and needs to go the ACA route. I a...
by ctuser1
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?
Replies: 73
Views: 3946

Re: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?

I don't know. I think people are overestimating the 'needle moved' by not spending the HSA right away when possible. You're already getting the biggest tax break --- no taxes ever on principal. Otherwise it might be 5% gain rate, which would otherwise be taxed at maybe 25% .... that's 1% of money d...
by ctuser1
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?
Replies: 73
Views: 3946

Re: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?

Maybe my question can be simplified. Assuming all my tax-advantaged accounts (401K, 403B, Roth IRAs, HSAs) are all equal as far as choices and fees (just making this assumption to clarify the choice), then would it be adviseable to first max out everything listed above before paying medical bills w...
by ctuser1
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?
Replies: 73
Views: 3946

Re: HSA - 2 parts: contribute and spend. When to spend?

We need a "spending order" made up by the experts. Half-*** rookie attempt at a spending order: 1. HSA It loses tax protections (as far as I understand) at the death of both spouses. Not only that, if passed on to kids, it becomes immediately taxable as income - which is scary! No RMD based on benef...
by ctuser1
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What lifestyle creep made you happier?
Replies: 412
Views: 47641

Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Moving from an apartment to SFH. Apt (750Sqft) -> $1250/month Raised Ranch SFH (1200sqft upper floor + 600 sqft finished above-ground basement) -> $3200/month carrying cost according to my spreadsheet. DW and the kids seem to enjoy the house more and are much happier for it. That + the marginally im...
by ctuser1
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)
Replies: 17
Views: 938

SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)

Background: We have an autistic child (younger one), 8 and a typical one (older child), 10. Me: 40. DW: 38. I am currently in the research phase of "estate planning", especially how to fund the special needs for the younger child beyond whatever public assistance may be available. Total NW right now...
by ctuser1
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco or Sam's Club?
Replies: 134
Views: 9780

Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

BJs. Its local for me, prices are similar AND they explicitly allow coupon stacking (their own coupons + manufacturer coupons). We also have a costco nearby. Once in a while, when I need to get a new set of tires I will get a membership. I try them for a month or two, but invariably end up returning...
by ctuser1
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving out of state, what to do with 529 Plan, tax exempt bonds?
Replies: 9
Views: 932

Re: Moving out of state, what to do with 529 Plan, tax exempt bonds?

Oh one other thing! Rolling over CT 529 balance to NYS plan is fine and dandy, and is what you would likely want to do anyway because of the better quality investments available in the NYS plan. CHET does NOT tax you on the gains when you do such a rollover. I have not done this yet, so don't know a...
by ctuser1
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving out of state, what to do with 529 Plan, tax exempt bonds?
Replies: 9
Views: 932

Re: Moving out of state, what to do with 529 Plan, tax exempt bonds?

If you live in CT and work in NYC, then you can contribute $10k CT State Tax Free in the CHET plan, and $10k NY State tax Free in the NYS plan. Money grows tax free for education in both. You don't exactly get to double dip on the state tax breaks due to how you get credits on NY taxes paid in CT. ...