Search found 835 matches

by skepticalobserver
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anybody read the Medicare and You booklet?
Replies: 16
Views: 936

Re: Does anybody read the Medicare and You booklet?

I would seriously browse it. If you're enrolled in Part B don't assume 100% coverage for certain tests and procedures, especially if you have chronic medical conditions (ie, diabetes) . Part B has co-pays and co-insurance. Does your medigap policy pay for them? Don't forget get your welcome to Medic...
by skepticalobserver
Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Long Term Care
Replies: 75
Views: 5758

Re: Question About Long Term Care

SNF care is medical services covered by health insurance like medicar This is correct and I am wrong. And, no doubt, a SNF patient will be "rehabbed" just long enough for Medicare and Medigap to hit the limit (100 days or less, depending on a lot of things, particularly your knowledge of Medicare r...
by skepticalobserver
Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Long Term Care
Replies: 75
Views: 5758

Re: Question About Long Term Care

But then, once you are in at an independent living level, you can transfer to higher levels of care at no extra cost. Of the CCRs I've looked into the buy-in does not include LTC, particularly for a skilled nursing facility (SKF). Whether assisted living (AL) is covered by a CCR purchase is questio...
by skepticalobserver
Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Long Term Care
Replies: 75
Views: 5758

Re: Question About Long Term Care

This is a premium calculator for John Hancock LTC insurance offered to federal government employees and annuitants. The premiums are not subsidized.

https://www.ltcfeds.com/ltcWeb/do/asses ... n=aoInXagC
by skepticalobserver
Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Thoughtful Observation about Bitcoin
Replies: 0
Views: 262

A Thoughtful Observation about Bitcoin

From one of my favorites, “Aleph Blog,” David Merkel writes about cryptocurrencies and shorting volatility in “Where Money Goes to Die”:
http://alephblog.com/2017/09/05/where-m ... es-to-die/
by skepticalobserver
Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Bitcoin] question
Replies: 125
Views: 8940

Re: [Bitcoin] question

"The Latest Initial Coin Offering Supporter Is ... Paris Hilton," https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ris-hilton

There it is--endorsed by someone in the know!
by skepticalobserver
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Becoming a Landlord: My Experiences
Replies: 108
Views: 16523

Re: Becoming a Landlord: My Experiences

In my experience, units near college campuses, military bases, or areas popular with young professionals in their 20's, have good demand As regards renting to military personnel (as well as non-military spouses), is the limited civil immunity provided under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (form...
by skepticalobserver
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Bitcoin] question
Replies: 125
Views: 8940

Re: [Bitcoin] question

"Bitcoin Tumbles as PBOC Declares Initial Coin Offerings Illegal," https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... re-illegal

Cryptocurrency liquidity dropped by around a billion and a third. Not so good for the spread...
by skepticalobserver
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House purchase under contract. Nervous about each step.
Replies: 9
Views: 1047

Re: House purchase under contract. Nervous about each step.

Like most jurisdictions, NJ mandates that money escrowed by attorneys be placed in state authorized banks that offer IOLTA (Interest On Lawyer Trust Accounts)., http://www.ioltanj.org/ Every year, at least where I'm licensed to practice, the bar requires lawyers to certify the existence of such acco...
by skepticalobserver
Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Verizon Up" rewards program - any insight?
Replies: 5
Views: 908

Re: "Verizon Up" rewards program - any insight?

I got an email on that today. With Verizon it's heads they win, tails you lose. I hit delete and I don't bother to analyze their offer.
by skepticalobserver
Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is Bitcoin?
Replies: 238
Views: 26984

Re: What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin, or all of the other cryptocurrencies for that matter, is a form of "hard" money. Never mind that for this stuff to be worth anything it has to be valued in dollars or some other fiat currency.

What about a currency valued in moon dust? It's difficult and expensive to mine--so far, at least.
by skepticalobserver
Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2617
Views: 835198

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

"The Warden" by Anthony Trollope. A Victorian author, so it's dated. Very well written and he's an excellent observer of human behavior.
by skepticalobserver
Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?
Replies: 60
Views: 3348

Re: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?

Mostly NPR programming: ATC, Morning Edition, Marketplace. Evening repeats of 1-A.
by skepticalobserver
Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT Medicaid Article
Replies: 16
Views: 2654

NYT Medicaid Article

A thoughtful discussion on LTC and Medicaid, "The Ethics of Adjusting Your Assets to Qualify for Medicaid," https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/your-money/estate-planning/the-ethics-of-adjusting-your-assets-to-qualify-for-medicaid.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FMedicaid&action=click&contentColle...
by skepticalobserver
Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can real estate investing (actual properties) be relatively "hands off"?
Replies: 50
Views: 5925

Re: Can real estate investing be relatively "hands off"?

I’m wondering if anyone here owns properties that are as low maintenance of an investment as their index funds. For my clients, as an attorney, not possible at all. If there's such real estate animal (other than a REIT) that's all turn key and hands off, I haven't seen it. It really is tenants, toi...
by skepticalobserver
Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My favorite CNBC program
Replies: 39
Views: 4851

Re: My favorite CNBC program

The Profit reaffirms my belief that a prospective investor should always check the financials (hopefully, certified) first, however sympathetic fund seekers appear to be. Some of these people are conveniently forgetful about foreclosures, judgements and the like.
by skepticalobserver
Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My favorite CNBC program
Replies: 39
Views: 4851

Re: My favorite CNBC program

I enjoy The Profit. I wonder, however, where Marcus' investment funds come from. Are they personal or is he investing on behalf of recently IPO'd Camping World (CWH), of which he is chairman and CEO?
by skepticalobserver
Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your house can bypass probate in Virginia--true?
Replies: 20
Views: 1404

Re: Your house can bypass probate in Virginia--true?

Lastrun wrote:I don't think the TOD is a no brainer
I'm sensitive to the issues you raise. The operative part of my remarks was "everything else being equal."

It's my understanding that a major reason the MD legislature took a pass on real estate TODs was loss of transfer tax revenue.
by skepticalobserver
Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: israeli bonds
Replies: 2
Views: 411

Re: israeli bonds

About 25 years ago a full service broker redeemed them for me. If you have a broker, full service or discount, call and ask.
by skepticalobserver
Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your house can bypass probate in Virginia--true?
Replies: 20
Views: 1404

Re: Your house can bypass probate in Virginia--true?

"Pros and Cons of Revocable Transfer-on-Death Deeds in Virginia," https://insightlaw.net/news/bobbys-blog ... n-virginia

Everything else being equal if you want to avoid probate TOD is a no brainer.
by skepticalobserver
Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal loan to a family member
Replies: 114
Views: 7577

Re: Personal loan to a family member

The legal mechanics of recovering money can get nasty and expensive. Might setting up a first mortgage involve HUD disclosures and the nightmares to follow if you don't dot the "i's," etc. You mention that this prospect has "overruns" on construction. Why wouldn't you be his next overrun? Gift money...
by skepticalobserver
Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Online Trading Academy
Replies: 26
Views: 1759

Re: Online Trading Academy

If you sincerely want to be rich become a floor broker and front-run the retail paper--that is, if you can find the handful of trading pits extant.
by skepticalobserver
Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Online Trading Academy
Replies: 26
Views: 1759

Re: Online Trading Academy

His reasons for giving the speech may be self promotion, but he describes how this "trading education" scam works in most places, including how it's slightly different here in the US. "The Brit" is also a former professional trader who worked for Goldman Sachs, Lehman, and JPM. I'm sure he knows ex...
by skepticalobserver
Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Online Trading Academy
Replies: 26
Views: 1759

Re: Online Trading Academy

This is going to date me, for sure: Does anybody recall the Club 3000 newsletters? Printed on green single sheets of paper it reviewed trading programs that often sold, in the mid-1980s, for around $3000. Hope springs eternal. Of course I as never fooled into this stuff (ha).
by skepticalobserver
Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Online Trading Academy
Replies: 26
Views: 1759

Re: Online Trading Academy

This 2 hour video is on point. It's worth every second to watch. I watched it. The Brit is pitching a $3000 or so trading education program with an opportunity for you to get a 20% rebate on the trades, up to the cost of the tuition. How manys way can you say "come on?" Yeah, he bashes the brokerag...
by skepticalobserver
Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do about unresponsive attorney holding retainer
Replies: 17
Views: 2158

Re: What to do about unresponsive attorney holding retainer

you might want to consider hiring someone else and asking for a refund This may be the best way to proceed. The former attorney will be obligated to turn over the file and provide a refund with a reasonable accounting of fees incurred. If it comes to it, most sane attorneys are sensitive to bar cou...
by skepticalobserver
Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Online Trading Academy
Replies: 26
Views: 1759

Re: Online Trading Academy

I've heard the Online Training Academy infomercials out of South FL and Mid-Atlantic stations. On the face of their representations it's insane. Have you ANY IDEA the risks of futures and FOREX trading? The Academy people omit the things that are going to blow you out on your very first trade: lever...
by skepticalobserver
Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Medicaid eligibility based only on income or are assets included too?
Replies: 21
Views: 1614

Re: Is Medicaid eligibility based only on income or are assets included too?

cjcerny wrote:land that's worth another $150k
Depending on state Medicaid regulations if this is an income producing property it might not have to be liquidated. Some or all of the net income may have to be contributed towards care and the property would probably be subject to a Medicaid lien.
by skepticalobserver
Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Whither MBIA?
Replies: 1
Views: 336

Whither MBIA?

This certainly harkens a new era: MBIA on the skids. ("After S&P Downgrade, MBIA to Stop Seeking New Business", http://www.barrons.com/articles/after-s-p-downgrade-mbia-to-stop-seeking-new-business-1499286890) Layoffs and, perhaps, looking for a buyer. Apparently their guarantee of PR paper is the p...
by skepticalobserver
Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3015
Views: 883894

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

"The Exception." Unless you're a fan of WW II esoteria (the exile of Kaiser Wilhelm) or you want to see Chris Plummer do his thing, I don't recommend it.
by skepticalobserver
Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Asset Protection
Replies: 12
Views: 1386

Re: Asset Protection

Register your residence as a "homestead." In certain jurisdictions (FL and TX in particular) very large amounts of equity are exempt from civil judgements.
by skepticalobserver
Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicaid irrevocable trust- any experiences?
Replies: 46
Views: 2578

Re: Medicaid irrevocable trust- any experiences?

Rather than planning to use an inferior option like Medicaid, they should review placing a portion of the assets in a hybrid LTC policy Inferior to what, exactly? By law Medicaid patients get the same care as self-pay. Also, the so-called hybrid LTC policies I've look at are whole life policies wit...
by skepticalobserver
Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicaid irrevocable trust- any experiences?
Replies: 46
Views: 2578

Re: Medicaid irrevocable trust- any experiences?

FoolStreet wrote:consider that there is a 7 year lookback
This might be what Congress has in mind, but TODAY it's fives years from date of application. This is a good example why you should consult with an attorney who specializes in Medicaid matters.
by skepticalobserver
Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Quitclaim Deed prevent Title Insurance ?
Replies: 15
Views: 1147

Re: Does Quitclaim Deed prevent Title Insurance ?

ABA article discussing this issue at some length, https://www.americanbar.org/publications/probate_property_magazine_home/rppt_publications_magazine_1998_mj98rivin.html Remedy: name trustee as "additional Insured." Under subsection "Mountain or Molehill" the matter of self-dealing is implicitly disc...
by skepticalobserver
Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Quitclaim Deed prevent Title Insurance ?
Replies: 15
Views: 1147

Re: Does Quitclaim Deed prevent Title Insurance ?

This statement really doesn't make sense You're correct IF the transfer is made to one who is a beneficiary of the Trust. I . Otherwise transfers to such parties as I've described might make a title insurer think twice. The issue of self-dealing, however, is seen more frequently where title is tran...
by skepticalobserver
Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Quitclaim Deed prevent Title Insurance ?
Replies: 15
Views: 1147

Re: Does Quitclaim Deed prevent Title Insurance ?

It depends. If title is being transferred by the trustee to himself or a close associate/relative of the trustee, a title company might hesitate to write coverage based on self-dealing.
by skepticalobserver
Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cat teeth cleaning costs
Replies: 36
Views: 3429

Re: Cat teeth cleaning costs

Our vet quoted $200 for a pre-op work-up and $400 for the cleaning.

I want to shake the hands of those who can use a toothbrush. The very idea makes my cat laugh :D . She won't even let me trim her nails.
by skepticalobserver
Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: swimming goggles
Replies: 29
Views: 2304

Re: swimming goggles

I'm a daily lapper and for a long time I had difficulty finding goggles that I didn't have re-adjust every other lap. About a year ago I went to a local store that specialized in swim stuff (mainly for local swim teams) and the salesman showed me how to try on goggles to find a good fit (they had go...
by skepticalobserver
Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dissolving Ric-E Trust
Replies: 48
Views: 5177

Re: Dissolving Ric-E Trust

Tricky RIC-E wrote: it turns out, they were just lining the pockets of the "Advisors"..
Have you thought about calling Ric out on this?

Ric's radio show nationwide schedule:

http://tunein.com/radio/options/The-Ric ... ow-p26239/
by skepticalobserver
Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hilton Vacation Getaways
Replies: 11
Views: 1313

Re: Hilton Vacation Getaways

Hilton Vacation Getaways Funny you should mention this. About a week ago my brother/sister-in-law visited and stayed a local (expensive) Hilton for three nights for around $250 and attended a Hilton Vacation presentation. They told us the buy-in was $40,000! (plus yearly maintenance fees) That's a ...
by skepticalobserver
Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Illinois: A slow swimming black swan?
Replies: 32
Views: 5029

Re: Illinois: A slow swimming black swan?

“The problem with money is credit, and the problem with credit is people.” (Jim Grant) There’s a systemic problem. Where are the regulators? Look at what’s happening with the debt-ridden US Territories (front page, NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/25/business/dealbook/virgin-islands-debt-payment...
by skepticalobserver
Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank Account - Payable on Death or Account Co-Owner
Replies: 14
Views: 1228

Re: Bank Account - Payable on Death or Account Co-Owner

I hope this clarifies things: Paid on Death provisions only take effect at the death of the account holder. It will not give your wife access to the checking account while her parents are alive. A power of attorney (POA) will give your wife access to the account only while her parents are alive. A P...
by skepticalobserver
Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank Account - Payable on Death or Account Co-Owner
Replies: 14
Views: 1228

Re: Bank Account - Payable on Death or Account Co-Owner

If any of your wife’s money were in the joint checking account that money may be subject to a judgement lien. Otherwise I can’t think up a scenario where your wife would have liability exposure to the torts of here parents merely because of joint ownership of a checking account. On a related matter,...
by skepticalobserver
Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is structured notes sound investment choice?
Replies: 18
Views: 1346

Re: Is structured notes sound investment choice?

Valuethinker wrote:Better to say?

- in the downside case your portfolio return is 0% (invest $100k, get $100k back; LEAP expires worthless)

- in the upside case you get whatever the market return is on your LEAP plus $100k
MUCH better said, thank you.
s/
by skepticalobserver
Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is structured notes sound investment choice?
Replies: 18
Views: 1346

Re: Is structured notes sound investment choice?

If you’re inclined to bet on equities and desire a guaranteed return with safety of principal may I suggest the following (which I’m sure has appeared in some form on this board): Assuming you’re investing $100,000, buy a treasury zero/STRIP that matures May 15, 2019 (currently yielding 1.345% and p...
by skepticalobserver
Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got rear-ended: any reason not to go through my ins?
Replies: 30
Views: 3182

Re: Got rear-ended: any reason not to go through my ins?

Contact the other driver's carrier. If they've been cited in all likelihood that's enough to establish liability. Their carrier will probably have an adjuster look at your car and offer a sum to fix it, send you to a repair shop of your choice or some other arrangement. If you suffered personal inju...
by skepticalobserver
Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20 pct bonus on fixed index annuity
Replies: 22
Views: 1438

Re: 20 pct bonus on fixed index annuity

I of course was asking myself why the company would just give you 20,000 to invest in a 100,000 annuity And the answer is: that "bonus" is probably being added to a prospective annuitized income base, i.e. you don't get your hands on it until and unless you annuitize the income base value over a li...
by skepticalobserver
Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20 pct bonus on fixed index annuity
Replies: 22
Views: 1438

Re: 20 pct bonus on fixed index annuity

So, ok, here’s an example of a FIA pitch: You’re promised a cap on the return of the S&P Index (ex-dividend) of 1-1/2% per month, but no negative crediting for each month. Great! you say, I can earn up to 18% per year. But if the crediting method is “monthly sum” (a typical FIA algorithm) you add up...
by skepticalobserver
Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20 pct bonus on fixed index annuity
Replies: 22
Views: 1438

Re: 20 pct bonus on fixed index annuity

Broadly speaking, FIAs with bonuses have the highest fees, longest backloads and worst crediting methods. Don't get sucked into returns based on hypotheticals. Get a contact specimen.

A 20% bonus (which is probably just added to an income base for annuitization purposes) is particularly suspect.
by skepticalobserver
Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liability with dogs, hypothetical
Replies: 67
Views: 3838

Re: Liability with dogs, hypothetical

State laws for civil liability are all over the place when dogs bite humans. Some allow an owner to get a pass for one bite (the “one bite” rule), some attach liability if the owner has “scienter,” that is, foreknowledge of the dog’s propensity to bite. For dog on dog action (or human on dog for tha...