Search found 1400 matches

by Drain
Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FEHB Open Season 2019
Replies: 112
Views: 9487

Re: FEHB Open Season 2019

In theory, I shouldn't have to think about features like free labs or better ER rates, as those should already be reflected in the Checkbook estimates. But I have no way of knowing if Checkbook is taking these into account. In particular, the Lab Card is something I could easily imagine them overloo...
by Drain
Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FEHB Open Season 2019
Replies: 112
Views: 9487

Re: FEHB Open Season 2019

Re GEHA HDHP dental vs. the dedicated dental plan: I stand corrected. Yes, I knew the HDHP covered preventive and offered negotiated rates. But I figured the FEDVIP plan would provide additional discounts, like 50% on major procedures, 75% on less-major procedures, etc., or something like that. If i...
by Drain
Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FEHB Open Season 2019
Replies: 112
Views: 9487

Re: FEHB Open Season 2019

OP: thank you for thread - hoping people keep adding as more info comes to opm site. Does anyone know if GEHA HDHP members gain access to GEHA's discounted dental network rates through its HDHP plan? I'm not talking about the HDHP plan actually paying for any dental work other than preventive clean...
by Drain
Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FEHB Open Season 2019
Replies: 112
Views: 9487

Re: FEHB Open Season 2019

I'd like to comment on the comparison of the CareFirst HDHP to the GEHA HDHP. I am far from an expert, but I've done these comparisons many times over the years, and I think I've learned some things. Be aware that, due to the onset of blindness, I cannot read the brochures anymore, so I have been ge...
by Drain
Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle Says It’s Time to Play It Safe]
Replies: 153
Views: 14757

Re: [Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle Says It’s Time to Play It Safe]

Who do you think was responsible for the original Vanguard Asset Allocation fund? Or at least he didn't object to it and approved it. It fit right in with his suggestion in Bogle ono Mutual Funds that some investors could engage in tactical asset allocation.
by Drain
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car insurance medical coverage
Replies: 11
Views: 963

Re: Car insurance medical coverage

I have a concern that may be unwarranted, but let's see. At least with regard to certain other aspects of auto insurance (e.g., UM/UIM), auto insurance is primary and your health insurance is secondary. So let's say you're in a moderate accident and both you and an uninsured (health) passenger are i...
by Drain
Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella policy-how much liability coverage
Replies: 30
Views: 3240

Re: Umbrella policy-how much liability coverage

I have a $2M umbrella policy. The underlying liability limits are $300K on home and $1M on auto. So, because the amounts are stacked, I have $2.3M on home, $3M on auto, and $2M on everything else. I did this because I figured awards would tend to be higher on auto than on home, and this was a little...
by Drain
Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA family max contribution lowered to $6850 for 2018 [and changed to $6900 again]
Replies: 128
Views: 20784

Re: HSA family max contribution lowered to $6850 for 2018

Kudos to PayFlex for promptly informing clients of the change.
Antikudos to HSA Bank for not doing the same.
by Drain
Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations
Replies: 54
Views: 11410

Re: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations

I have been told about the policy several times over a period of years by various phone reps, plus my family has never been legitimately balance-billed. There was an incident last year, but all parties agree it was an error. Or predatory billing. But the important thing is that everyone agreed it wa...
by Drain
Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations
Replies: 54
Views: 11410

Re: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations

I have just discovered an advantage that Aetna’s HDHP has over GEHA’s, and I thought I’d share it even though the information comes too late to be actionable this year. My family and I had used Aetna’s plans for several years, but we decided to try GEHA this time around, in part because there are al...
by Drain
Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Security of Online Password Management Software
Replies: 9
Views: 1384

Re: Security of Online Password Management Software

LastPass designed its service under the assumption that its site would someday be hacked. As long as your master password is strong, your data is safe in the cloud...or at least as safe as it's going to be anywhere. The data is encrypted before it leaves your computer, so even if someone gains acces...
by Drain
Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you delete the Stocks App from your iPhone?
Replies: 31
Views: 3936

Re: Will you delete the Stocks App from your iPhone?

I've never been able to figure out how to customize the app, so yes, I will likely delete it. :)
by Drain
Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attic Fan for Ventilation
Replies: 11
Views: 2294

Re: Attic Fan for Ventilation

You currently (ha ha) have intake through the soffit vents and exhaust through the ridge vent. Would the fan you are proposing be consistent with that arrangement? If not, you will be at least partially defeatinig your existing system. You will also be adding a device that will use its own power (ma...
by Drain
Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email Service Provider
Replies: 41
Views: 4113

Re: Email Service Provider

FastMail's mobile apps are just wrappers around the browser. They don't work offline any better than mobile Chrome or mobile Safari do.
by Drain
Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners should consider flood insurance
Replies: 78
Views: 10418

Re: Homeowners should consider flood insurance

I've looked into it a couple of times, but have rejected it because the coverage for a finished basement is poor and our first and second floors would not be vulnerable to flooding. We aren't in a flood zone to begin with--we're on a mild hill, over 400 feet above sea level, and not near any signifi...
by Drain
Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: dumb question: if i have a credit freezes going is there any reason to do annual credit report checking?
Replies: 32
Views: 3634

Re: dumb question: if i have a credit freezes going is there any reason to do annual credit report checking?

Just want to chime in on the "existing relationship" exception. I'll echo the dissenters. I agree that the exception is supposed be there, but in practice it never happens. Any change I want to make with existing accounts requires a thaw. Credit card companies, mortgage lenders...doesn't matter. The...
by Drain
Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Applecare+ for new iPhone?
Replies: 22
Views: 3313

Re: Applecare+ for new iPhone?

1. AppleCare doesn't just extend the warranty--it also extends the free (well, no additional charge) tech support. You have to decide for yourself if that's worth the price. 2. AppleCare, in isolation, loses money for Apple. This makes it different than most other plans. Apple uses it to enhance the...
by Drain
Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Premium Car Rental Protection--Worth it?
Replies: 20
Views: 29885

Re: Amex Premium Car Rental Protection--Worth it?

2. Neither AMEX primary coverage nor credit card CDW coverage is for liability insurance. That is why it is called Collision Damage Waiver. The rental car company and/or your own insurance provide the liability coverage. Yes. So if you're in an accident involving another person, isn't it prudent to...
by Drain
Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Premium Car Rental Protection--Worth it?
Replies: 20
Views: 29885

Re: Amex Premium Car Rental Protection--Worth it?

No question that credit-card supplemental coverage is valuable. The issue at hand is whether it's worth paying for primary supplemental coverage, as opposed to relying on the no-additional-fee secondary coverage you get with the same card by default. So, for example, regarding damage claims by the r...
by Drain
Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Premium Car Rental Protection--Worth it?
Replies: 20
Views: 29885

Re: Amex Premium Car Rental Protection--Worth it?

I think the advantage of using Amex is this: it avoids me having to pay what is otherwise a high deductible on my personal policy in the event of an accident, But the same card offers secondary coverage at no additional charge. Wouldn't that also pay your deductible? Or are you saying that the prim...
by Drain
Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Premium Car Rental Protection--Worth it?
Replies: 20
Views: 29885

Amex Premium Car Rental Protection--Worth it?

I have an Amex card in part so that I can take advantage of the Premium Car Rental Protection. Unlike what you typically get with credit cards, this coverage is primary--it pays collision and comp (but not liability) damages before your regular auto insurance does. In theory, your insurance carrier ...
by Drain
Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LastPass.com Breach
Replies: 155
Views: 36835

Re: LastPass.com Breach

True. But your phone running Google Authenticator can also be stolen. Yes, but not through the same channels as my password would likely be stolen. It is easy to imagine malware on your computer intercepting your password and keyfile at the same time. But my phone cannot be stolen with malware. I d...
by Drain
Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LastPass.com Breach
Replies: 155
Views: 36835

Re: LastPass.com Breach

Isn't a key file just another long, static password? If so, it's inadequate as a second authentication factor. But I've never used one, so perhaps I'm misunderstanding what it is. It depends on what is your definition of 2FA. If you define it as something you have and something you know, it fits th...
by Drain
Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LastPass.com Breach
Replies: 155
Views: 36835

Re: LastPass.com Breach

I still haven't seen anyone post anything to make me believe using Keepass synced through Dropbox with a required local key file isn't the best compromise of safety and convenience. Again, even if they can crack the password they can't replicate the key file. Isn't a key file just another long, sta...
by Drain
Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LastPass.com Breach
Replies: 155
Views: 36835

Re: LastPass.com Breach

This is nothing. It's a non-event, other than that I will probably change my master password, which I intended to do anyway. The LastPass service was designed with the expectation that this sort of "breach" was going to happen. It's not a surprise to anyone, including the developers. That's why your...
by Drain
Sat May 16, 2015 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Prices Are Way Too High
Replies: 26
Views: 5449

Re: Home Prices Are Way Too High

randomguy wrote:
WolfpackFan wrote:not for me, my house is paid for! :D

Only helps if your in an area that doesn't base property taxes on house values.
Doesn't even really help then. If renting were a much better deal than owning, it would make financial sense to sell the house and rent instead.
by Drain
Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Employees Forgo Wellness Cash Incentives Worth Millions"
Replies: 30
Views: 4428

Re: "Employees Forgo Wellness Cash Incentives Worth Millions

When we were in a plan that paid $300 per adult, we navigated the hoops. Our current plan is something like $75 per adult, and that's just not enough.
by Drain
Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [TSP G Fund Possible Changes]
Replies: 21
Views: 1938

Re: TSP G Fund Possible Changes

Frustrating if it happens. Having a stable value fund--i.e., that yields much more than a money market fund does--is one of the nice options in many employer-based retirement accounts. The yield on the G Fund has not been outrageous since I began paying attention around '08 or so. It was generally l...
by Drain
Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Turbotax prices going up March 27
Replies: 5
Views: 1037

Re: Turbotax prices going up March 27

Prices are going up March 27. https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/VGApp/pe/PubVgiNews?ArticleName=TTaxIncrease As a Vanguard shareholder, you can receive a substantial discount off the regular price of TurboTax OnlineSM and Desktop Download products. Our pricing for both products can represent a s...
by Drain
Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Really Drive Across the U.S. Hitting Major Landmarks
Replies: 21
Views: 3017

Re: How to Really Drive Across the U.S. Hitting Major Landma

I just want to say that this is a terrible conversation title. :) (Teasing!) Well, we aren't allowed to copy and paste verbatim around here, I am not sure how these sorts of topics are usually handled. :) No, I mean the title reads to me like you plan to drive around the country hitting landmarks w...
by Drain
Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Intelligent Portfolios [now live]
Replies: 439
Views: 115111

Re: Schwab Intelligent Portfolios [now live]

I understand the value you see in it for yourself, but if the service is not easy for the average person to use, it will be a failure. I have to be able to tell a friend who knows nothing about investing that he or she can probably use SIP without supervision.
by Drain
Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Really Drive Across the U.S. Hitting Major Landmarks
Replies: 21
Views: 3017

Re: How to Really Drive Across the U.S. Hitting Major Landma

I just want to say that this is a terrible conversation title. :) (Teasing!)
by Drain
Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Intelligent Portfolios [now live]
Replies: 439
Views: 115111

Re: Schwab Intelligent Portfolios [now live]

I consider the cash to be a substitute for short-term bonds, so I fall into the category tha tconsiders a percentage point of cash to be roughly a 1-bp drag on returns in the long run. I am not sure I'm estimating the typical difference in yield between cash and short-term bonds, though. One thing ...
by Drain
Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Intelligent Portfolios [now live]
Replies: 439
Views: 115111

Re: Schwab Intelligent Portfolios [now live]

I consider the cash to be a substitute for short-term bonds, so I fall into the category tha tconsiders a percentage point of cash to be roughly a 1-bp drag on returns in the long run. I am not sure I'm estimating the typical difference in yield between cash and short-term bonds, though. One thing t...
by Drain
Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: more TurboTax exasperation--education credit screwups
Replies: 22
Views: 3146

Re: more TurboTax exasperation--education credit screwups

I had trouble with TT and education-related issues on my 2012 return, so I called tech support. As soon as the Tier-1 person realized my problem required an understanding of the tax code, I was transferred to a staff CPA, who helped me solve the problem. I had to speak with one of their CPAs last ye...
by Drain
Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Full Faith and Credit
Replies: 37
Views: 4228

Re: Full Faith and Credit

Personally I am just having a hard time understanding how something can be backed in "full faith and credit" by an entity, as a way of saying "we're always good for it." I don't see how one can guarantee this unless conditions prevent them from doing so. And even then, it makes me wonder if they wo...
by Drain
Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Full Faith and Credit
Replies: 37
Views: 4228

Re: Full Faith and Credit

NeutrinoPerson wrote:Can the government simply print more money to make up what it owes, at the expense of inflation?

FF&C = "We will guarantee that you get paid back unless inflation eats us alive"?
Yes, but that's a separate issue, I think. And more political.
by Drain
Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Full Faith and Credit
Replies: 37
Views: 4228

Re: Full Faith and Credit

Does grabiner's explanation really make a distinction between FF&C and non-FF&C? To me, he's just saying that some lenders are more credit-worthy than others. The comparison shouldn't be between federal FF&C and Pennsylvania FF&C, or betwen federal and Faanie Mae. It should be between, say, Pennsylv...
by Drain
Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Full Faith and Credit
Replies: 37
Views: 4228

Re: Full Faith and Credit

So you all believe FF&C has no real meaning. I tend to agree at this point. But I have been told by a normally reliable source that the original meaning of the term was quite strong. Originally, it was more accurate to say that FF&C debt was backed by the full faith and credit of the United States ...
by Drain
Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Full Faith and Credit
Replies: 37
Views: 4228

Re: Full Faith and Credit

So you all believe FF&C has no real meaning. I tend to agree at this point. But I have been told by a normally reliable source that the original meaning of the term was quite strong. Originally, it was more accurate to say that FF&C debt was backed by the full faith and credit of the United States (...
by Drain
Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Special Message From Social Security
Replies: 68
Views: 11571

Re: A Special Message From Social Security

I knew the message was legitimate, and I would have been comfortable clicking on the link, but I didn't have the need so I didn't bother. 1. I use a unique email address for each web site I sign up with. 2. My password manager will fill the a login screen with my credentials only if the domain is a ...
by Drain
Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-working spouse Roth IRA contribution
Replies: 5
Views: 1001

Re: Non-working spouse Roth IRA contribution

Bacchus01 wrote:If over 50, you can do up to $6,500 per person per year.
What about if my wife and I both work, but I'm 50 and she's younger? Can she still contribute the $6500? Or is that only if the spouse doesn't work?

Edit: Never mind. I just misunderstood your post.
by Drain
Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco/AmEx relationship ending. New Costco MasterCard?
Replies: 85
Views: 1116409

Re: Costco/AmEx relationship ending. New Costco MasterCard?

Not that I need to take action yet, but what's a good cash-back MC? The good cards I have now are all Amex or Visa.
by Drain
Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Searching with google while using Safari
Replies: 31
Views: 1902

Re: Searching with google while using Safari

I can't understand the problem the OP is having, but maybe that's just me. My own experience has been that there are no disadvantages to having the single box. I strongly prefer it to having a separate search box. There is never a time when I can use both simultaneously, so why have two boxes? Then ...
by Drain
Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to tackle a crack on the windshield
Replies: 28
Views: 3620

Re: How to tackle a crack on the windshield

I don't think I have a deductible for windshield repair, but I have concerns about the claim getting onto my C.L.U.E. report. Won't matter to my current insurer, and perhaps not to many others, but you never know when you might go rate-shopping and discover that the claim matters in some cases. I su...
by Drain
Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Liability Insurance - Need it or not?
Replies: 49
Views: 7298

Re: Umbrella Liability Insurance - Need it or not?

Also note that the umbrella is on top of the existing coverage so if you have 300k liability for homeowners then you have 1.3 million with the umbrella. Usually. Depends on the insurer, though. In another thread I contacted several major insurers and they all did it that way and no one came up with...
by Drain
Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Liability Insurance - Need it or not?
Replies: 49
Views: 7298

Re: Umbrella Liability Insurance - Need it or not?

placeholder wrote:Also note that the umbrella is on top of the existing coverage so if you have 300k liability for homeowners then you have 1.3 million with the umbrella.
Usually. Depends on the insurer, though.
by Drain
Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Last Pass in the Cloud
Replies: 28
Views: 2971

Re: Last Pass in the Cloud

You might want to work with something you can remember. .. as an example take Bogleheads. Make the l a 1, make the s a $ and then make every other letter upper case and make the two e's into something else you can remember. .. perhaps an asterisk. BoG1*h*Ad$ 10 character upper lower case alpha nume...
by Drain
Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aetna HDHP or GEHA HDHP (federal employee)
Replies: 49
Views: 10192

Re: Aetna HDHP or GEHA HDHP (federal employee)

But what if I didn't know that going in. Then you probably don't know about the optional stuff you can do, anyway. The guide takes into account everything that isn't optional. I do agree that the accompanying text should go into more detail about what those options are and what their impact might b...
by Drain
Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare FSA - expecting, due in July
Replies: 17
Views: 2957

Re: Healthcare FSA - expecting, due in July

This isn't my understanding of how FSAs work. Based on your outline, money put into an FSA on Dec 20th could only be used for health issues after that date the same year? Is this actually correct? You are right, but not in this special case, if memory serves. The regulations say that when you incre...