Search found 189 matches

by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How difficult is the paperwork on a Vanguard Individual 401k?
Replies: 5
Views: 883

Re: How difficult is the paperwork on a Vanguard Individual 401k?

@Earl Lemongrab: I think I don't want to roll IRAs or Roth IRAs into an Individual 401k. You have a lot more choices in a regular IRA/Roth IRA, ETFs, admiral shares, no early withdrawal penalties, etc, so I'd just leave it in there. No 5500. Which broker would you use for a Solo Roth 401k? @saltycap...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How difficult is the paperwork on a Vanguard Individual 401k?
Replies: 5
Views: 883

How difficult is the paperwork on a Vanguard Individual 401k?

I'm strongly considering opening a Vanguard Individual 401k. I have $900/month in self-employment income which I want to put in there, in a Roth account, otherwise it will stack up in a taxable Vanguard account. I'm already maxing out my Roth IRA contributions. Ignoring the paperwork associated with...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Rheem gas water heaters good quality?
Replies: 16
Views: 50418

Re: Are Rheem gas water heaters good quality?

Let me clarify that $1,300 is the cost to replace the clothes washer and dryer if it's destroyed in some sort of flood. It seems that your price to install a gas water heater is a lot cheaper than mine. Home Depot quoted me $1,980 for a 12-year warrantied base model Rheem, plus drain pan, plus upgra...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Rheem gas water heaters good quality?
Replies: 16
Views: 50418

Re: Are Rheem gas water heaters good quality?

I've been getting estimates. The plumber that I think I'll be going with says that for an additional $250 he could install a water sensor that would automatically shut off the water to the heater in the event of a flood. The water heater is in the utility room along with the clothes washer and dryer...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decreasing Term Life Insurance question
Replies: 18
Views: 1600

Re: Decreasing Term Life Insurance question

Is it generally not allowed to increase the term on your term life insurance policy once the policy is in effect? I have a 10 year that I wanted to increase to a 20 year, keeping the same face value. The text of my policy seemed to indicate that that was doable and described an "Exchange Option...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Rheem gas water heaters good quality?
Replies: 16
Views: 50418

Are Rheem gas water heaters good quality?

I've been reading other peoples' comments about water heaters. Whirlpool's water heaters at Lowe's are bad quality. So are GE water heaters at Home Depot. What about Rheem water heaters at Home depot? Specifically something like this . I've also heard some good things about Bradford White, and a few...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2013 TurboTax: Which Product? New Rules?
Replies: 302
Views: 42786

Re: 2013 TurboTax: Which Product? New Rules?

I thought TurboTax provided free one-on-one support by a tax professional via telephone or chat to all customers . I have a question that I want to ask a tax professional for free, but when I go to Contact Us, my only options are calling a TurboTax Customer Support Agent (free) or paying $19.99 to h...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The dealership wants my 2 year old car back?
Replies: 46
Views: 35329

Re: The dealership wants my 2 year old car back?

Maybe if there's something so special about my used car that it's worth the same amount as a new car, he's actually low-balling me. I should ask him for 1.5 new cars in exchange for my used one! (In all seriousness, I'm going to tell him no thank you. And I'm a little irked that he phrased it in suc...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The dealership wants my 2 year old car back?
Replies: 46
Views: 35329

Re: The dealership wants my 2 year old car back?

It's got 13,500 miles on it. So 21,700km.
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The dealership wants my 2 year old car back?
Replies: 46
Views: 35329

The dealership wants my 2 year old car back?

I got an odd call a couple hours ago. The car dealership wants me to bring in my 2011 Prius, and the guy on the phone said they will exchange it for a new Prius, because there's someone out there looking to buy a 2011 Prius. They made it sound like I could just straight trade my used 2011 for the ne...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decreasing Term Life Insurance question
Replies: 18
Views: 1600

Re: Decreasing Term Life Insurance question

Are there better sites out there for looking up term life quotes than Term4sale, or is Term4sale pretty much the best?
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decreasing Term Life Insurance question
Replies: 18
Views: 1600

Re: Decreasing Term Life Insurance question

Do I understand correctly that if I purchased a 20 year term life policy, and say in year 5, I decided to reduce the face value to 75% of its original, then the premium would also be reduced to about 75%?

That sounds like a very simple and convenient option.
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decreasing Term Life Insurance question
Replies: 18
Views: 1600

Re: Decreasing Term Life Insurance question

Would offer some help but I am an agent, good luck. I apologize, in my first post I said that I didn't want to speak to an agent because I was afraid of getting a hard sell. I will choose my words more carefully in the future so as not to cause offense. What I should have said is that I was wonderi...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decreasing Term Life Insurance question
Replies: 18
Views: 1600

Re: Decreasing Term Life Insurance question

You could always price out the effect of purchasing more than one plan using different durations and that would have a more dramatic decreasing effect and give you a comparison to other all in one plans. I have tried that. I have a 10 year term life already and would need another 20 year in order t...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decreasing Term Life Insurance question
Replies: 18
Views: 1600

Decreasing Term Life Insurance question

Decreasing term life insurance is a form of term life insurance in which the death benefit decreases over the term, like with mortgage life insurance. This is good for people who anticipate having less of a need of income replacement in future years. Hopefully this results in a lower premium than re...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2014 Prices, Costs and Features of Medicare Advantage Plans
Replies: 37
Views: 3537

Re: 2014 Prices, Costs and Features of Medicare Advantage Pl

Is there a website that shows all the various laws and regulations for Medicare that apply to your particular state? It would be nice to see whether in Maryland, you can switch from Medicare Advantage to Medigap during the regular Medicare open enrollment period every year, etc. I've searched and se...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: True Effect of PPACA on Healthcare Stocks
Replies: 27
Views: 2537

Re: True Effect of Obamacare on Healthcare Stocks

OP, are you sure you aren't overestimating the effects of the Cadillac tax in 2018? My understanding was that, for health insurance plans with a premium in excess of $10,200 for an individual plan and $27,500 for a family plan, only the amount in excess of 10.2k/27k would be subject to the 40% excis...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comcast Cable vs Verizon FIOS
Replies: 12
Views: 6135

Re: Comcast Cable vs Verizon FIOS

FiOS has faster internet speeds, no bandwidth cap, better TV picture quality, and when I switched it had more HD channels. I would pay extra for FiOS over Comcast. When I eventually move to a new house, I'm going to make certain that it's located in a place where I can get FiOS. Drop Comcast and for...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Permanent Portfolio fund] PRPFX-vs bonds, TIPS, total stock
Replies: 9
Views: 1407

Re: [Permanent Portfolio fund] PRPFX-vs bonds, TIPS, total s

If you prefer, instead of (or in addition to) looking at the results of each fund individually, you could always look at the overall portfolio over time, using a program called EzBacktest . Here is a portfolio of 25/25/25/25 VTSMX/VIPSX/VBMFX/PRPFX, going back to 1/1/2008, with a 5% asset rebalance ...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I want health insurance that will never deny my claim
Replies: 33
Views: 3799

Re: I want health insurance that will never deny my claim

Am I correct in thinking that with an HMO (non-Kaiser), if you go to a hospital and have a procedure done, it's possible that it could turn out that one of the doctors was an out of network contractor, in which case you would be out of luck because HMOs don't cover out of network care, and have to p...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I want health insurance that will never deny my claim
Replies: 33
Views: 3799

Re: I want health insurance that will never deny my claim

Well, I guess Kaiser docs really are easy for patients to get in contact with. :)
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I want health insurance that will never deny my claim
Replies: 33
Views: 3799

Re: I want health insurance that will never deny my claim

For people who are on Kaiser: Have you had problems calling your doctor? I've heard that they're hard to contact and that you have to go through a main Kaiser line and can't really get a callback.
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I want health insurance that will never deny my claim
Replies: 33
Views: 3799

Re: I want health insurance that will never deny my claim

rick51 and dm200: Thank you, that makes me feel better about Kaiser Permanente if I decide to go with them. I've also heard stories like what FedGuy says, though, but I guess there are plenty of complaints regarding health insurance companies to go around. stan1: Yes, my policy has catastrophic limi...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I want health insurance that will never deny my claim
Replies: 33
Views: 3799

Re: I want health insurance that will never deny my claim

Not in Maryland. Maryland has no chargemasters, it has an all-payer government rate-setting system for hospitals. All payers pay the same rate.
http://www.hscrc.state.md.us/documents/ ... System.pdf
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I want health insurance that will never deny my claim
Replies: 33
Views: 3799

I want health insurance that will never deny my claim

I am absolutely terrified of having a serious health episode, waking up in the hospital, and being told that my insurance won't cover me, and being presented with a bill for $200,000 or more, and want to know if there's anything more I can do to prevent this. I live in Maryland, where the government...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sat May 18, 2013 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there a program that makes Gift Tax returns (709s) easy?
Replies: 9
Views: 4269

Re: Is there a program that makes Gift Tax returns (709s) ea

I've tried reading through the instructions myself to figure it out, but it's difficult because it's lengthy and full of IRS jargon. I need to find examples of gift tax returns that have been successfully filled out so that I can figure out how to do it myself, or find out if H&R Block can do it...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sat May 18, 2013 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there a program that makes Gift Tax returns (709s) easy?
Replies: 9
Views: 4269

Is there a program that makes Gift Tax returns (709s) easy?

I'm dealing with a gift that is somewhat in excess of the $14,000 gift exclusion, but far, far below the $5.25 million estate and gift exclusion. So I have to file a gift tax return on it, but not pay any actual gift taxes. I'm accustomed to using Turbotax to do all my taxes. Turbotax is very easy, ...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Fri May 10, 2013 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to protect against big medical bills?
Replies: 41
Views: 5177

Re: How to protect against big medical bills?

As others have mentioned, for your spouse, get supplemental health insurance. Original Medicare, Parts A and B, cover approximately 80% of all health care costs, but have no cap, and don't cover prescription drugs. The best route would be to get a Medigap policy, as Medigap policies are more compreh...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are we in a stock bubble?
Replies: 49
Views: 5398

Are we in a stock bubble?

I've heard it said a lot that, for various policy reasons which I won't go into because it's against the rules, stocks are currently in a bubble, which will burst when those policies end. Do you believe this is the case? In my opinion, we are not in a stock bubble. The real price of the S&P 500 ...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How large is the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider network?
Replies: 14
Views: 1334

Re: How large is the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider network

One more suggestion to watch for, in your case, is whether the employer assistance or benefits may stop. That is very common these days with private companies, and less so with government retirees. A friend of mine worked for over 30 years for what was one of the companies with the best benefits, e...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How large is the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider network?
Replies: 14
Views: 1334

Re: How large is the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider network

Basically I was wondering whether to go with Medigap Plan F High Deductible, or the Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, with their nationwide BlueCard program. My worry is that the provider network under BCBS might not be as comprehensive as under Medigap (Medicare). It seems that I have nothing to worry a...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How large is the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider network?
Replies: 14
Views: 1334

Re: How large is the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider network

Yes, the Kaiser limit is $3,400 for Medicare Plus, but (I think) the high option has a lower max. You might check that out. Also, I think (never used it) that true emergencies out of area are covered as in plan expenses by Kaiser. How likely is an out of area ambulance, hospital, etc, for you that ...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How large is the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider network?
Replies: 14
Views: 1334

Re: How large is the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider network

Thank you, dm200, I had no idea that there was such a thing as a Cost plan, or what it meant. Having a Medicare Advantage plan that can fall back to original Medicare if needed seems like a very valuable thing to me. The Kaiser Permanente Medicare Plus plan is available on Medicare.gov, and there is...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How large is the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider network?
Replies: 14
Views: 1334

Re: How large is the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider network

BlueCard provider search tool BlueCross federal employee provider search tool Medicare hospital compare tool So the BlueCard provider search yields 119 hospitals within 100 miles of zip code 33602 (Tampa, FL), and the Blue Cross federal employee nationwide plan provider search tool also yields 119 ...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How large is the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider network?
Replies: 14
Views: 1334

How large is the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider network?

I'm looking over a retiree supplemental health insurance policy for years from now when I'll need one. There are three employer-sponsored options, a Kaiser HMO, United Healthcare Select EPO, and the local Blue Cross Blue Shield network, Carefirst. The first two don't interest me, because who wants t...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone Choosing to Retire in Maryland?
Replies: 76
Views: 6969

Re: Anyone Choosing to Retire in Maryland?

More information on hospital costs: It's hard to find real, solid data on this stuff because it all seems to be in gibberish, but here goes. The chargemaster rate for something called a Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy (removal of the gall bladder) at a place called Woodland Memorial Hospital in Califor...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone Choosing to Retire in Maryland?
Replies: 76
Views: 6969

Re: Anyone Choosing to Retire in Maryland?

There is one thing I can think of that is a definite bonus for living in Maryland. Maryland has an all-payer hospital rate-setting scheme in place. This means that if you go to the hospital and you're uninsured, you pay only as much as a private insurer or Medicaid or Medicare would have paid (they'...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why get an employer-sponsored Medicare supplement?
Replies: 6
Views: 755

Re: Why get an employer-sponsored Medicare supplement?

Prudence, the sort of coverage I'm thinking of pays the remaining out of pocket costs which are not covered by Medicare. Is the money that you spend on employer-sponsored retiree health insurance exempt from income tax, as ESI is while you're an active employee? That would be another reason to use it.
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why get an employer-sponsored Medicare supplement?
Replies: 6
Views: 755

Re: Why get an employer-sponsored Medicare supplement?

Ah, see, that makes sense. That's much better than the price you can get on Medicare.gov.
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why get an employer-sponsored Medicare supplement?
Replies: 6
Views: 755

Why get an employer-sponsored Medicare supplement?

Around here, employers tend to offer retirees Medicare supplements, except that these Medicare supplements and prescription drug plans can cost about $500/month total. If you go on Medicare.gov, you are likely to find much more comprehensive plans (for instance, Medigap Plan F and a Part D plan with...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If market drops 50% in a week will you rebalance?
Replies: 118
Views: 7393

Re: If market drops 50% in a week will you rebalance?

Is there some excel sheet or other sort of simulator which can show you the historical daily effects on your portfolio of rebalancing, so that you can see how your portfolio value went up and down throughout the year? For example, you tell the simulator to simulate your portfolio between 2007 and 20...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Simba's backtesting spreadsheet [a Bogleheads community project]
Replies: 1018
Views: 567074

Re: Spreadsheet for backtesting (includes TrevH's data)

This spreadsheet is so amazingly helpful and interesting, I've grown so accustomed to having it around and use it very frequently. I would love to have one that's updated with 2012 data.
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A simple bond fund model
Replies: 6
Views: 1055

Re: A simple bond fund model

I like it, I think it's great! I am enjoying putting the duration and yield of Total Bond Market and Intermediate-Term Treasury in there to see how they would respond to a rising rate environment. I think a good thing to add to it would be a chart showing the growth of $10,000 under these various sc...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A simple bond fund model
Replies: 6
Views: 1055

Re: A simple bond fund model

IMO the best place to upload such a file would be Google Drive, then share it with anyone who has the link.
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A simple bond fund model
Replies: 6
Views: 1055

Re: A simple bond fund model

Can you post this so that we can give it a try? This looks interesting.
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question Regarding the Retirement Calculator from Hell
Replies: 29
Views: 10336

Re: Question Regarding the Retirement Calculator from Hell

Ok, then let's change the scenario. Instead of everyone investing 6% of their wages in a target date fund, everyone contributes 6% of their wages to a special Roth IRA with no contribution limits. Funds contributed to this Roth IRA may be invested in anything that can be reasonably considered saving...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question Regarding the Retirement Calculator from Hell
Replies: 29
Views: 10336

Re: Question Regarding the Retirement Calculator from Hell

Ok, I can see how more people investing in bonds would reduce expected returns by driving down yields. I don't see how that would happen with stock index funds, where the majority of the return comes from market appreciation, not from dividends.
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question Regarding the Retirement Calculator from Hell
Replies: 29
Views: 10336

Re: Question Regarding the Retirement Calculator from Hell

The more people save, the more they will bid up the prices of stocks/bonds and whatever else, and the lower the expected returns will be. There is no way around it. So encouraging more people to save is against your best interest, but so it goes. Is there demographic risk? Absolutely. If you are pa...
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One-stop shop to compare home/auto insurance?
Replies: 9
Views: 1352

Re: One-stop shop to compare home/auto insurance?

The auto and umbrella quotes seem to be. Not so for the home quote. I will have to ask some more questions to determine a proper apples to apples comparison with the home insurance.
by Dr. Gaius Baltar
Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One-stop shop to compare home/auto insurance?
Replies: 9
Views: 1352

Re: One-stop shop to compare home/auto insurance?

Toons: I got a quote from Nationwide, after providing them with the declarations page from my existing insurance and a property appraisal, they said that they're not sure how my current insurance carrier arrived at the current level of coverage, but I am over-insured. They offered a rate that is 56%...