Search found 3672 matches

by dodecahedron
Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you ever buy a lottery ticket?
Replies: 32
Views: 1220

Re: Would you ever buy a lottery ticket?

This thread will soon be locked as mine discussing same topic initiated yesterday was already. Your post yesterday was on the investment subforum. This post is on the ¨Personal Consumer Issues¨ forum, i.e., addressing questions of things that give you joy and/or utility (movies, fancy cars, watches...
by dodecahedron
Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Supplements
Replies: 9
Views: 1128

Re: Medicare Supplements

SHIP is an organization of volunteers and are not stating official state policy. What you got was one volunteer's opinion. Agreed. Also, read the fine print on your contract. Did you share the entire text of the so-called guarantee (including the fine print) with the SHIP volunteer? Note that they ...
by dodecahedron
Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Supplements
Replies: 9
Views: 1128

Re: Medicare Supplements

IMO no. The benefits are the same, and they can't change them. The only thing one or the other might do someday is discontinue offering Plan G, and in that case you have the right to go somewhere else without underwriting. My Plan G contract says its renewable for life. I don't think they can cance...
by dodecahedron
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reducing overall medical costs. Do we do anything?
Replies: 67
Views: 3059

Re: Reducing overall medical costs. Do we do anything?

One, of many I believe, reason for high US Medical costs is overuse of services. While what any one individual does or does not do is a drop in the bucket, if more of us change things - then maybe it will help. If it makes no difference to us financially, are there any things we, as individuals, do...
by dodecahedron
Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have you annuitized some of your money?
Replies: 67
Views: 5610

Re: Have you annuitized some of your money?

I seriously considered annuitizing the funds in my employer profit-sharing plan when I retired, but when I did the math, I realized that with SS, taxable dividends and a couple of small pensions my basic needs would be more than covered. And then RMDs would start with much of those being reinvested...
by dodecahedron
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have you annuitized some of your money?
Replies: 67
Views: 5610

Re: Have you annuitized some of your money?

The figures I can look at now suggest that removing 5% of assets per year on our own would be about equal to what the annuity company would give us for joint survivorship in one year (planned retirement date). It really seems to come down to comfort, guarantee, psychological stress levels. It also ...
by dodecahedron
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No bill to me - but found strange things on my health plan records
Replies: 32
Views: 2731

Re: No bill to me - but found strange things on my health plan records

Many offices will bill a 99211 which is essentially a nurse visit usually with a quick workup/vitals and the immunization along with the administration fee. Shingles also tends to be a more expensive immunization so $200 doesnt sound out of line off the top of my head. I got my shingles shots (the ...
by dodecahedron
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone here major in Economics in college?
Replies: 68
Views: 3832

Re: Anyone here major in Economics in college?

I think the OP should relax and let his daighter explore her options in college. And I have met quite a few people who did not end up with occupations that correlated with the degrees. Just step back and be supportive of the daughter. Don't be a tiger parent. I agree that parents should relax and g...
by dodecahedron
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone here major in Economics in college?
Replies: 68
Views: 3832

Re: Anyone here major in Economics in college?

My good friend at UT austin majored in economics. My friends in finance at Mccombs school of business looked down upon that major. Worked for DFA in Austin for 2 years and did the CFA. He is now doing energy investment banking and doing quite well I am sure. In universities that have both an underg...
by dodecahedron
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone here major in Economics in college?
Replies: 68
Views: 3832

Re: Anyone here major in Economics in college?

accounting has more jobs than economics I believe, and the only job for a music major is to be a teacher of music, if you aren't going to be a professional. Not at all. Most people who study economics don’t become economists. Accounting only prepares you for accounting jobs. Economics prepares you ...
by dodecahedron
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What did you buy today
Replies: 108
Views: 7488

Re: What did you buy today

Some gas at the gas station and a bathroom plunger at the local hardware store (not sure what happened to the old one.)
by dodecahedron
Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Allan Roth doesn't like single premium annuities
Replies: 185
Views: 9260

Re: Allan Roth doesn't like single premium annuities

My vision would be this: the Bogle-inspired annuity for each age-cohort would be invested very simply and transparently in safe fixed income instruments of the sort Bogleheads like (e.g., intermediate term Treasuries). Each living subscriber would get a proportionate share of the value of the inves...
by dodecahedron
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Elder care tax question(s)
Replies: 27
Views: 1714

Re: Elder care tax question(s)

There are two possible ways in which your mother might be your dependent: 1) If you provide more than 50% of her support AND her total gross income in 2018 is less than $4,150, then she is likely your ¨Qualifying Relative dependent.¨ 2) If you provide more than 50% of her support AND her gross incom...
by dodecahedron
Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Allan Roth doesn't like single premium annuities
Replies: 185
Views: 9260

Re: Allan Roth doesn't like single premium annuities

One side note--thanks to Allan Roth for joining the discussion! :sharebeer Yes! And for the article(s) that spark the discussion(s) too! +1 to the above. This is a thought-provoking discussion. I agree with Allan that-- at the current low interest rates and relatively pricy industry operating margi...
by dodecahedron
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9550

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

I'm not sure if the calculus of taking a pay cut to work for the VA for five (?) years at age 55 is worth it so that I can retire at age 60. :( You can do 5 years @ 55 in any Federal job and retire at 60 and keep access to the FEHB plans. They are very cheap. 10 years in any NYS job (or any combina...
by dodecahedron
Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9550

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

Also probably, age is important. Obamacare policies cost more as you get older. True in many (probably most?) places, but not in all states. In NY, prices do not change with age for adults. Children under age 26, and possibly to 29 in NYS, are a special case if covered on their parents' policies, b...
by dodecahedron
Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to NYC, self-employed, with a kid. How big will my tax hit be?
Replies: 21
Views: 2146

Re: Moving to NYC, self-employed, with a kid. How big will my tax hit be?

- I will also max contributions to the NYS 529 plan ($10k can be deducted, right?)? Yes, on a joint return you can deduct up to $10K per year in NYS 529 contributions from your income subject to NYS & NYC personal income tax. However, the deduction will not change your federal income tax nor your u...
by dodecahedron
Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When does a stock become a bond before moving back to a stock again
Replies: 47
Views: 2261

Re: When does a stock become a bond before moving back to a stock again

If you can't sell it and you can't buy it then it's not an asset. Economist here. The above is not correct as stated, though I see statements like this a lot on the forum. What would be correct is: ¨If you can´t sell it and you can´t buy it, then it is not a liquid asset.¨ Not all assets are liquid...
by dodecahedron
Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?
Replies: 21
Views: 1169

Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

What puzzles me about these programs with Medicare plans is how the costs are dealt with. Sure seems like this would be costly, but maybe not? I am guessing that the free gym perks attracts a healthier mix of patients, on average. Also, these plans all spend a ton on marketing (advertising in newsp...
by dodecahedron
Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"
Replies: 51
Views: 4199

Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

I posted a while back about BofA for a similar issue. They used to have a 'free' checking account and then changed the policy and now require something like $1500 balance. So I keep $1500 in there. The benefit to me is a "free" lock box. I'm sure they'll eventually get rid of that as well, but for ...
by dodecahedron
Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?
Replies: 21
Views: 1169

Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

What puzzles me about these programs with Medicare plans is how the costs are dealt with. Sure seems like this would be costly, but maybe not? I am guessing that the free gym perks attracts a healthier mix of patients, on average. Also, these plans all spend a ton on marketing (advertising in newsp...
by dodecahedron
Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Root of Good's cost of raising a child: $3,300 per year
Replies: 163
Views: 5362

Re: Root of Good's cost of raising a child: $3,300 per year

My parents raised five kids on a shoestring, but we had library cards, scout troups, city parks and playgrounds, free programs at the local public community center, and JOBS starting at a young age. I started babysitting my own siblings when I was 7, babysat other folks´ kids at 9. (Before anyone ge...
by dodecahedron
Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?
Replies: 21
Views: 1169

Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Wife has had both Silver Sneakers, and Silver and Fit (at different times). They’re very similar. Basically, it’s really a free gym membership at the participating gyms. The basic difference between the two is that Silver Sneakers has deals with a few more gyms, and allows memberships at more than ...
by dodecahedron
Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: SITE OFFLINE Wednesday, 9:00 PM Eastern (01:00 UTC) - software upgrade
Replies: 16
Views: 823

Re: SITE OFFLINE Wednesday, 9:00 PM Eastern (01:00 UTC) - software upgrade

How dare you to put the Forum off-line at 9pm when the discussions are at their peak! Can't you do the maintenance between 2am and 4am when we sleep? Victoria I believe the site maintenance is done by pro bono volunteers. It is not reasonable to expect them to give up a good nightś sleep for this. ...
by dodecahedron
Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Way to Apply for Social Security Widow Benefits and More
Replies: 15
Views: 1288

Re: Best Way to Apply for Social Security Widow Benefits and More

Mintee, best wishes that all goes as smoothly as possible. As a widow myself, with another year before I reach my FRA, at which time I will be applying for widow´s benefits, I have so far only dealt with SS employees on the phone, but have found them knowledgeable, respectful, and sensitive to my si...
by dodecahedron
Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BofA - Am I Shadow-Loaning to Them?
Replies: 9
Views: 875

Re: BofA - Am I Shadow-Loaning to Them?

I get same day credit whether I use BoA billpay OR transfer to pay my BoA credit card bills. There is even very explicit language on website that same-day credit will be given (e.g. for purposes of computing interest charges or late fees) as long as bill pay or transfer request is made by 11:59 pm. ...
by dodecahedron
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Provding SSN for Estate Planning--Why?
Replies: 23
Views: 2044

Re: Provding SSN for Estate Planning--Why?

You do know that your lawyer has a duty to keep everything you provide them confidential, right? The lawyer also has a fiduciary duty to you. So if there is anyone you should feel comfortable giving your SSN too, it's your lawyer. Agreed. And I do not care to have my attorney billing me for her tim...
by dodecahedron
Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Determining when to take Social Security if you don’t need the money
Replies: 21
Views: 1830

Re: Determining when to take Social Security if you don’t need the money

Is it really that complex? I was born in '51, my wife in '52. My SS benefit is much higher than hers. She began collecting at 66 and I'm getting half of that. At 70, I'll collect mine and she'll get half of that. Assuming that you live long enough isn't this generally the best strategy to maximum p...
by dodecahedron
Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to help teenager fix silly mistakes in math?
Replies: 50
Views: 3296

Re: How to help teenager fix silly mistakes in math?

This is a very common phenomenon. I have two suggestions for reading: Sanjoy Mahajanś classic book Street Fighting Mathematics , published by MIT Press. Paperback copies are relatively inexpensive on Amazon etc. but there is also a free ebook version that can be had if you enroll in MIT´s free OpenC...
by dodecahedron
Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fund a Roth IRA with balance transfer CC
Replies: 14
Views: 633

Re: Fund a Roth IRA with balance transfer CC

I am well aware of the backdoor roth. My point was simply that with any retirement account the taxes are either paid up-front or in retirement. In my case, being that I will not be paying any taxes, wouldn't it be nice to put money in that will never be taxed. Totally agree that a Roth account make...
by dodecahedron
Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fund a Roth IRA with balance transfer CC
Replies: 14
Views: 633

Re: Fund a Roth IRA with balance transfer CC

You can always contribute to a Roth as well... for now at least, unless rules change someday. Look up "backdoor Roth". No need for the OP to do a ¨backdoor Roth.¨ With household income of ~$30K, he can go in the front door, and just contribute to a regular Roth IRA, assuming he is filing either MFJ...
by dodecahedron
Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quick tax question
Replies: 18
Views: 1966

Re: Quick tax question

My daughter had worked over the summer, and she did not check the box to have her exempt from federal withholding. She made less than $3000, and I wanted to submit the correct tax form for the refund on what she paid. Do I ???? just submit a 1040EZ ? Thanks. Red ????? added by dodecahedron. I quest...
by dodecahedron
Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: QCDs from RMD - 1099R [Qualified Charitable Distributions]
Replies: 44
Views: 1837

Re: QCDs from RMD - 1099R [Qualified Charitable Distributions]

Schwab does it the same way. I don't know why they aren't more "customer oriented" either since they make out the check and know who it's made out to. The custodian has no way to know whether you got any ¨quid pro quo¨ from the charity. In other words, did the check you remitted made out to the ¨XY...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When I die, what % of expenses should my survivor assume
Replies: 16
Views: 1870

Re: When I die, what % of expenses should my survivor assume

dodecahedron: I have much more limited experience in this aspect of finance and taxes than you do, so please let me know if this scenario is unusual. In the year the spouse passes, the tax bill may be substantially less because some SS benefits or perhaps pension benefits (50% survivor benefits is ...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When I die, what % of expenses should my survivor assume
Replies: 16
Views: 1870

Re: When I die, what % of expenses should my survivor assume

Yet another possibility: expenses can possibly increase a lot for the surviving spouse, if the late spouse used to provide a lot of unpaid services that the survivor will need to purchase from paid providers, e.g., housekeeping, cooking, handyperson home repairs, lawn care, pool care, tax prep, inve...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When I die, what % of expenses should my survivor assume
Replies: 16
Views: 1870

Re: When I die, what % of expenses should my survivor assume

We are assuming 100%. I just make a simple (unscientific) assumption that the increased income taxes due to filing single instead of joint will offset the portion of spending attributed to me. My incremental spend is relatively low - I don't eat much and I don't buy a lot of stuff. I do taxes for s...
by dodecahedron
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Non-Boring Boglehead Cars Under $30k
Replies: 215
Views: 12420

Re: Good Non-Boring Boglehead Cars Under $30k

Totally scratching my head over what qualities make a car ¨fun" or ¨nonboring.¨ I drive my late husbandś 2007 Honda Accord and (finally) decided to figure out how to open the moonroof. It does seem a little more fun to drive around that way but I am guessing thatś not what people are talking about....
by dodecahedron
Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Non-Boring Boglehead Cars Under $30k
Replies: 215
Views: 12420

Re: Good Non-Boring Boglehead Cars Under $30k

Totally scratching my head over what qualities make a car ¨fun" or ¨nonboring.¨ I drive my late husbandś 2007 Honda Accord and (finally) decided to figure out how to open the moonroof. It does seem a little more fun to drive around that way but I am guessing thatś not what people are talking about.
by dodecahedron
Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excessive Emergency Room Charges - Options?
Replies: 207
Views: 12381

Re: Excessive Emergency Room Charges - Options?

We have no choice at our governmental employer but to have a high deductible plan, including employees making $24,000 a year gross, You do not have an HMO choice for health insurance? Not sure why you are asking about whether he has an HMO choice. Even if he has an HMO choice, it may well be a high...
by dodecahedron
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are millennials botching their asset allocations?
Replies: 68
Views: 7691

Re: Are millennial botching their asset allocations?

Interesting, at 30 I know of no one in my peer group that holds 0% in equities aside from those who have zero savings :shock: I think the "zero savings" group is skewing the sample. Another issue is the fact that "auto-enrollment" in 401k and similar workplace retirement accounts has increased, and...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Elderly Relative Short on Money
Replies: 98
Views: 8830

Re: Elderly Relative Short on Money

Example: 1. Suspend SS until age 70 2. Purchase a SPIA with $200K of assets: with 6% payout that provides $1000/mo. 3. Invest $90K in a 5-year TIPS or CD ladder, $18K/yr. year 1 would just be cash as it will start being spent now. Until age 70 she gets $1000/mo. nominal from the SPIA and $1500/mont...
by dodecahedron
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a good resource for SS or is there something better
Replies: 12
Views: 1254

Re: Is this a good resource for SS or is there something better

I have read both. Go with Mike's book. His exposition is crystal clear and really illuminates a complicated and important subject. Larry Kotlikoff has a distinguished record of scholarship as a professional economist but his expository writing goes all over the place, with a tendency to wander off i...
by dodecahedron
Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Elderly Relative Short on Money
Replies: 98
Views: 8830

Re: Elderly Relative Short on Money

Spirit Rider wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:39 am
I will just throw this out there.

It might make sense for her to suspend SS now to earn delayed retirement credits until 70.
OP indicates that she is collecting spousal benefits, so delayed retirement credits would not be applicable.
by dodecahedron
Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bullish/bearish on GE? Make your case here - new lows today
Replies: 63
Views: 5612

Re: Bullish/bearish on GE? Make your case here - new lows today

I live in an area with many GE employees and an even larger number of GE retirees. GE used to be a huge employer in this area and still has significant size operations but layoffs have been a recurring headline through my time here. My late husband worked there briefly (in fact the GE job was what b...
by dodecahedron
Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Risk Averse Widow - Investing Life Insurance Proceeds
Replies: 8
Views: 670

Re: Risk Averse Widow - Investing Life Insurance Proceeds

How much is she earning from work now? I assume that the SS benefits of $1,700 are widow's benefits based on her late husband's record. She can file early for her own work record benefits at age 62 (without in any way diminishing her subsequent survivor benefits) and collect that between age 62 and ...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping Parents with Retirement
Replies: 34
Views: 3982

Re: Helping Parents with Retirement

SWR is around 4, and OP's parents are at 6.4 percent. I doubt there's any little thing like changing light bulbs or the like that is going to bridge that gap. You never know until you try. I am just saying that it is prematurely harsh to say "Zero out charity," when charity may be important to his ...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping Parents with Retirement
Replies: 34
Views: 3982

Re: Helping Parents with Retirement

2. They can't afford to donate with that withdrawal rate. Zero them out. Charity begins at home. I think this is an overly sweeping statement. For many people, the intangible benefit they get from contributing to charities they may care passionately about is a top priority in life. We don't know wh...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding Medicare Options?
Replies: 39
Views: 1630

Re: Understanding Medicare Options?

I believe that you qualify for Medicare after being on SSDI for two years. I believe the medicare choices and evaluation of those choices would be about the same whether on SSDI or age 65. That is really nuts. If you are in bad health the last thing you need is to set yourself up for an automatic O...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paper checks yes or no?
Replies: 116
Views: 6804

Re: Paper checks yes or no?

"wire transfer," that may be by far the best method for businesses or other entities that have a direct electronic connection to the wire transfer process. As experienced by me, as a retail bank customer, it is an exquisitely manual process. I write and sign a paper "order" at the bank, and do not ...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paper checks yes or no?
Replies: 116
Views: 6804

Re: Paper checks yes or no?

Despite my previous note about safety, I do use paper checks for some purposes. Some folks I deal with (e.g., small businesses like plumbers) expect payment on the spot and just aren't set up to do business any other way. Also wedding gifts, etc. I also use checks to pay my property taxes (in most y...