Search found 5042 matches

by madbrain
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-pay accumulators in new health plans
Replies: 0
Views: 66

Co-pay accumulators in new health plans

I haven't seen this topic mentioned in this forum before, but I thought it was important to know about, as it's one more pitfall of the US healthcare system. And it's open enrollment time for many people in the US right now. Here is an article describing it : https://www.drugchannels.net/2018/01/cop...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??
Replies: 77
Views: 6935

Re: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??

$45,000 Before savings That is much better than before. Good to see Tesla finally allowing people to opt out of the $9K long range option ! The $45K doesn't include the $1200 destination charges, though. So it's really $46,200 . Plus about $4,600 in CA sales tax. Less $10K for federal & state incen...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: BofA/Merrill Edge or Chase Sapphire Banking/CPC?
Replies: 55
Views: 5143

Re: BofA/Merrill Edge or Chase Sapphire Banking/CPC?

Plus BofA always seemed more evil so I enjoy being a non-paying customer of theirs more. BofA is definitely more evil. When you eventually run into an issue with them, you will regret this decision. I closed my Premium Rewards card after they declined a dispute. I'm out $140 for a charge I didn't m...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you consider 'enough'?
Replies: 66
Views: 6632

Re: What do you consider 'enough'?

Depends. Retiring on Mars might be expensive.
by madbrain
Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??
Replies: 77
Views: 6935

Re: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??

Oh so I see 2012 Volts start around $8k on Autotrader, etc, so figurw i'd get 7 or 8 if I sell it myself. OK, I guess that makes sense. Just not sure how your math adds up for upgrading to a new Volt LT and only spending an extra $7K. Volt LT MSRP is $33K. Let's say you get $6K off that which is ty...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Top stocks of 2000 trail the market over the next 18 years
Replies: 37
Views: 2323

Re: Top stocks of 2000 trail the market over the next 18 years

I worked for 4 out of those 10 . I guess that's why I'm still working !
by madbrain
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??
Replies: 77
Views: 6935

Re: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??

Well done, madbrain. So, I've been looking at it this way: Volt LT - vast improvement over my current '12 Volt LT, awesome value, very low risk proposition even if I get swept up in the gotta-have-it latest-greatest thing a few years from now. $7k spent (after I sell my old car, consider rebate/cre...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I buy a Tesla?
Replies: 121
Views: 9550

Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Your billable time is too valuable to be hanging around a charging station. Gas and get to work! :D I say just the opposite. Your billable time is too valuable to be wasted filling an archaic ICE vehicle when it could be charging while you sleep every night. Also, those gasoline fumes from pumps sm...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??
Replies: 77
Views: 6935

Re: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??

I wouldn't put any value on the Tesla autopilot, especially not expecting full self-driving to ever be available as an upgrade. Hardware is like not sufficient today, and may not be able to be retrofitted when it is. And it might still be a decade+ before it is, beyond the useful life of most cars. ...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 5% ESPP
Replies: 16
Views: 1027

Re: 5% ESPP

With 5% off average, you could withdraw from the ESPP shortly before the end of the period if the price declined, and request a return of your contributions. Then enroll again for the next period. I had an ESPP at my previous company with 5% off the last day of the period. No holding period, but it ...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you ever buy a lottery ticket?
Replies: 32
Views: 1240

Re: Would you ever buy a lottery ticket?

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:36 pm
+1 - I usually buy when I fill up the car gas tank.
Same. But I drive an electric car.
by madbrain
Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kaiser or CareFirst
Replies: 39
Views: 1952

Re: Kaiser or CareFirst

dm200 wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:36 pm
You know you are old when employer plans did not have an annual "deductible" ;)
I have never had a deductible on any Kaiser employer plan so far in over 20 years.
Other plans usually do have deductibles.
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9560

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

If you are legally married, all medical premiums are supposed to be charged pre-tax. The employer is in error. Some other benefits, such as disability and life insurance, might be charged after-tax basis. There is often an option to select which one you want. If you pay the premium after-tax, the b...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year
Replies: 39
Views: 3961

Re: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year

No, unfortunately, I'm not mixing anything up. The wording I. The letter from HealthNet was very clear. In 2018, there was not a single bronze plan available for under $650 (just pulled up my old sign up sheet) in San Diego with the exception of the Medical based plans (Molina, CHG, Care First). La...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year
Replies: 39
Views: 3961

Re: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year

In Japan, where all employers require the same health insurance - dirt cheap around $40-50 per month - no brainier that everyone will have health insurance. Japan spends $4519 per capita on healthcare according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_total_health_expenditure_per_capit...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9560

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

Am I the only one who gets insurance through an employer (my husband's) who is charged the premiums through after-tax money? In my previous employers it came out of pre-tax money, but now we're charged after tax. We verified that with the employer as well as the payroll company and through our own ...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kaiser or CareFirst
Replies: 39
Views: 1952

Re: Kaiser or CareFirst

Wow! That is very, very good news that Kaiser paid. Not the first time, sadly. I get sick to various degrees on about 50% on my vacations. Never had a 2-day hospitalization until last year, though. This was food a serious case of food poisoning . There is one international clinic in Saigon that I h...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lost Power for 24 hours - what food to toss?
Replies: 38
Views: 2487

Re: Lost Power for 24 hours - what food to toss?

Your parents eggs are not like eggs today from a store (which are probably weeks old before they arrive at the store). I'll say. Parents eggs need to be frozen. https://www.pacificfertilitycenter.com/treatment-care/fertility-preservation-egg-freezing . Be sure to discard if not following those guid...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warning: avoid Windows 10 update 1803
Replies: 117
Views: 13565

Re: Warning: avoid Windows 10 update 1803

wootwoot wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:32 pm
I'm on 1809, works great!
Did you download it the day it was released ? It has now been pulled.
For it's worth, every major update of Windows 10 uninstalls half of my device drivers and many apps. Extremely annoying.
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kaiser or CareFirst
Replies: 39
Views: 1952

Re: Kaiser or CareFirst

Wow! Great story. Unfortunately, Kaiser is only present in a few areas of the country. Kaiser does, however, cover emergency and urgent care out of their areas - so maybe it would have worked out OK. I can confirm that . I have been on vacation in other states and other countries where Kaiser is no...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year
Replies: 39
Views: 3961

Re: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year

Take this distribution. Bottom 1/3 are below average health, middle 1/3 average, and top 1/3 above average. I stand by my statement that the top 2/3 should self ensure. Paying for insurance for these folks is a terrible financial decision. I'm not really sure how the distribution helps an individua...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2924
Views: 575894

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Here's my breakdown: Amex Gold - $250 yr Schwab Amex Platinum - $550 yr -- Value Credits: Uber Dollars (Platinum)- $200 yr Grubhub Dollars (Gold) - $120 yr Airline Fee Credit (Gold) - $100 yr Airline Fee Credit (Platinum) - $200 yr GlobalEntry Fee Credit (Platinum) - $25 yr ($100 divided by 4 years...
by madbrain
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year
Replies: 39
Views: 3961

Re: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year

No subsidy. I'm 57. It is for a Bronze plan with a $7500 deductible. The new monthly premium will be $887. It's a rough ride, for sure. I paid $303 with a $3300 deductible in 2013, before the ACA kicked in. In fairness, I did turn 55 in 2016. We'll be moving to Idaho in 2020. Out of curiosity, I ch...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year
Replies: 39
Views: 3961

Re: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year

Kaiser in WA just got approved for a 18% increase, they asked for 29%. Someone must be getting a heck of a deal if the so called "average" is down 1.5% Well, Kaiser in CA certainly isn't increasing by that much. I don't think we are getting that great of a deal in California, but ACA at least seems...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year
Replies: 39
Views: 3961

Re: Obamacare premiums will be down an average of 1.5 percent next year

"Much of the drop is due to companies raising premiums too much in 2018, experts say, " https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/obamacare-premiums-will-be-down-average-1-5-percent-next-n919051?cid=sm_npd_nn_fb_ma If it weren't so ridiculous, it would be funny. I just received a letter from H...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9560

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

Also probably, age is important. Obamacare policies cost more as you get older. Age 60 Myself and 2 kids Kaiser policy with no out of network option. 19000 premium per year, no subsidy deductilbe 4700 I work in health care This is crummy, obamacare policy Try not to get sick Not in VT. Every age pa...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9560

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

Employer insurance through a Megacorp. Kaiser plan for 2 males. Ages 42 and 47. HMO, in-network coverage only. $2200/year in employee premium. Have no idea how much the employer subsidy is, but have to believe it is at least $5000. $0 deductible, $3000 max OOP per person / $5500 max OOP total. We pr...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?
Replies: 70
Views: 5861

Re: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?

I will be in Taipei. Don't think they do black friday over there.
by madbrain
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When will you backup the truck on stocks
Replies: 95
Views: 8245

Re: When will you backup the truck on stocks

When I have cash, I invest it. Don't time the market. Stay the course. +1 +1 No one can time the market. If you have cash that's waiting for a certain % downturn, you're losing money because you're out of the market. I have money in a stable value fund as part of my fixed income AA. Will rebalance ...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2924
Views: 575894

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I do still use the CFU over the Citi DC because 1.5*1.5=2.25% back, which beats my Citi DC by 0.25pp. I have the CFU, Citi DC, and CSR. I don't use the CFU at all anymore. I don't assume the 2.25% from CFU vs 2% Citi DC. The later is cash, the former is only when rededemed for travel through the Ch...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Car: No Collision/Comprehensive?
Replies: 52
Views: 4225

Re: New Car: No Collision/Comprehensive?

When you get quotes you will likely find that this is just a small part of your insurance cost. When is the last time you got insurance quotes ? After my husband got 2 points on his license and we lost all our insurance discounts, the collision & comprehension shot up to 45% of the total. This is w...
by madbrain
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You're in the Top 1% if you have $2.5 million
Replies: 21
Views: 3402

Re: You're in the Top 1% if you have $2.5 million

Title is wrong. From the article : The top 1 percent of earners have a median balance of $1.13 million across various types of banking and retirement savings accounts. When you look at the average account balance, that number is even higher: $2.5 million.. That means at $1.13 million net worth, you ...
by madbrain
Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smarthome system that is local
Replies: 17
Views: 1332

Re: Smarthome system that is local

The Belkin Wemo app has a "remote access" option, which does require internet/cloud. This is for controlling when away from home, over the internet. There is no security at all. No authentication and no encryption. I leave this off. If you want to control the Wemo through something other than their...
by madbrain
Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smarthome system that is local
Replies: 17
Views: 1332

Re: Smarthome system that is local

Wemo is not local either... I bought 4 sets of Wemo plugs in early August, just returned them all. - requires access to your main home network, cannot use your guest network. - device stores your network ssid and password. See first bullet. - Wemo cloud (Belkin) provides the interface, but you have...
by madbrain
Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity 1.8% money market fund with unlimited checkwriting and free ATMs
Replies: 23
Views: 2063

Re: Fidelity 1.8% money market fund with unlimited checkwriting and free ATMs

I am switching banks to get 1.8% on my checking account. With a Fidelity cash management account, you can put your savings/checking money into a government money market account currently getting 1.8% (minus ~.30% fees) and you get unlimited check writing and ATM use on all of your money, plus ATM f...
by madbrain
Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Health Insurance (Non-ACA Options)
Replies: 77
Views: 4925

Re: Need Health Insurance (Non-ACA Options)

Health Sharing networks... not too comforting (since it is NOT insurance), $300 / month average _ + $100 / yr for $1m to infinity cap https://www.kitces.com/blog/healthcare-sharing-program-review-chm-medicare-lhs-samaritan-health-share-plans/ (no income, no wealth risk) so... I Have used it and fri...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2924
Views: 575894

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

If you are trying to meet the minimum spend to get a big bonus on credit card, buying a Gift Card is an easy way to do this. You should combine your GC purchase with a lot of normal everyday purchases. I would not be that quick to dismiss the Visa Variable load GC. They are little bit more versatil...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Health Insurance (Non-ACA Options)
Replies: 77
Views: 4925

Re: Need Health Insurance (Non-ACA Options)

bottlecap wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:19 pm
Not like moving to Tennessee would.
Yeah ? Why don't you post the costs for the bronze plans in TN ?
by madbrain
Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Health Insurance (Non-ACA Options)
Replies: 77
Views: 4925

Re: Need Health Insurance (Non-ACA Options)

I recommend getting an HDHP+HSA plan. Use the money you saved on premiums to put towards the deductible and HSA. You will find that the prices the OP is quoting are HDHPs. At leas they are in my area. JT Just checked coveredca.org in California in my zip code for family of 4 with OP family's ages, ...
by madbrain
Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Health Insurance (Non-ACA Options)
Replies: 77
Views: 4925

Re: Need Health Insurance (Non-ACA Options)

Give your employees a raise, so that your premiums for employee-only is less than 9.5% of their household income. At that point, they will be ineligible for ACA subsidies, and will probably choose the cheaper employer coverage plan instead. Of course, they will probably resent it. But hey, you won't...
by madbrain
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 Owners: Your experience so far
Replies: 36
Views: 6006

Re: Tesla Model 3 Owners: Your experience so far

Isn't obviuos to everybody that cars cost a lot and depreciate fast especially in the first years but gas is not that expensive? If you keep a car long enough, it has poor mileage, and you drive it a lot, the cost of gas could conceivably nearly match the purchase price. For example, a Ford F150 wi...
by madbrain
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 1244
Views: 214633

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

tj wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:06 am
Chase is the latest player. Beginning next month, it has "Sapphire Banking" which will have a 60,000 Rewards Points bonus for bringing $75k
Is that to bring $75k in the checking account or also brokerage assets ?
by madbrain
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 Owners: Your experience so far
Replies: 36
Views: 6006

Re: Tesla Model 3 Owners: Your experience so far

Isn't obviuos to everybody that cars cost a lot and depreciate fast especially in the first years but gas is not that expensive? If you keep a car long enough, it has poor mileage, and you drive it a lot, the cost of gas could conceivably nearly match the purchase price. For example, a Ford F150 wi...
by madbrain
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 Owners: Your experience so far
Replies: 36
Views: 6006

Re: Tesla Model 3 Owners: Your experience so far

For perspective on long-term reliability, I've had my Model S (not 3) for 3.75 years. it's been very reliable. I have never personally been to a service center. As far as price, it's cost of ownership not price that is the issue. Surprised how many otherwise financially savvy people focus on purcha...
by madbrain
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart plug to reboot router?
Replies: 14
Views: 1221

Re: Smart plug to reboot router?

You could buy a Wemo plug. Load the app on your phone. Link the Wemo device to the wi-fi and app. Set a rule turn turn off for 1 minute at 3am on certain days. We use Wemo plugs to control lights. The Wemo is hooked to our Apple HomePod. "Hey Siri, turn on light one". That turns on 3 lights in the ...
by madbrain
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart plug to reboot router?
Replies: 14
Views: 1221

Re: Smart plug to reboot router?

Hi, need help to a technical question... Can anyone recommend a smart power plug that can restart a router/modem remotely? Most of the smart plugs (e.g. wemo, kasa) connects to WIFI. Obviously if the Comcast modem freezes up, there is no internet connection and you won't be able to reboot modem. So...
by madbrain
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of car ownership: 6.5 years of data in the SF bay area
Replies: 44
Views: 5146

Re: Cost of car ownership: 6.5 years of data in the SF bay area

Total Insurance and Licensing/Reg $ 4,000 That seems insanely low for 8 years - $500/year for both registration and insurance ? I'm assuming you are not in California, as this amount would probably just cover the registration fees alone on a $50k vehicle. Even if the registration fees were $0, I ha...
by madbrain
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of car ownership: 6.5 years of data in the SF bay area
Replies: 44
Views: 5146

Re: Cost of car ownership: 6.5 years of data in the SF bay area

Thanks Madbrain for the detailed view. Volt was on the list last time I looked but hated the center rare console. Often parents visit us and we need the 5-seat car. Kia Niro/Clarity are my current top list for a car to beat, when I buy in 2 years. Which Kia Niro ? The regular hybrid ? Or PHEV ? Or ...
by madbrain
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of car ownership: 6.5 years of data in the SF bay area
Replies: 44
Views: 5146

Re: Cost of car ownership: 6.5 years of data in the SF bay area

I live in the Bay and would have guessed lower costs. I think that insurance is contributing atleast 5-7 cents, California sales taxes + new vehicles have been a drag. How do you like the bolt compared to leaf? Yes, our insurance is quite expensive. It went up over 50% around 2010 when we moved fro...
by madbrain
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of car ownership: 6.5 years of data in the SF bay area
Replies: 44
Views: 5146

Re: Cost of car ownership: 6.5 years of data in the SF bay area

Based on productivity. I spend hours in my commute everyday. And I use the time in Uber to work on my laptop, take calls etc. Too bad you live in a place where you don't have that option Bottomline: use uber or lyft or any of the car sharing services. Based on what ? Our cents/mile being essentiall...