Search found 3269 matches

by sawhorse
Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vancouver in October
Replies: 9
Views: 556

Re: Vancouver in October

If you have time, I recommend driving up to Whistler. The scenery along the drive is breathtaking.
by sawhorse
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Letter from Amex - scam?
Replies: 25
Views: 2255

Re: Letter from Amex - scam?

Okay, I called the number, and they said they don't know anything about it. This is the nighttime customer service staff though. The PO Box in the address is registered to Amex.
by sawhorse
Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Letter from Amex - scam?
Replies: 25
Views: 2255

Re: Letter from Amex - scam?

I got a letter from Amex saying that I have an unclaimed check from 2015. The amount is in the 100s. They said that if I don't return the enclosed form by a certain date, the money would be treated as abandoned and handed over to the state. Does this sound like a scam? This sounds VERY much like a ...
by sawhorse
Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Letter from Amex - scam?
Replies: 25
Views: 2255

Letter from Amex - scam?

I got a letter from Amex saying that I have an unclaimed check from 2015. The amount is in the 100s. They said that if I don't return the enclosed form by a certain date, the money would be treated as abandoned and handed over to the state.

Does this sound like a scam?
by sawhorse
Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard TD funds
Replies: 35
Views: 1984

Re: Vanguard TD funds

Be aware, however, that Vanguard's target date funds are riskier in allocation than I've seen for other target date funds of the same retirement year. When I checked a few years ago, Blackrock was the riskiest followed by Vanguard. The TSP was the least risky. Which target retirement funds are less...
by sawhorse
Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Contributing to Roth IRA for my teen prior to receiving earned income
Replies: 17
Views: 1395

Re: Contributing to Roth IRA for my teen prior to receiving earned income

Why are you so impatient that you want to contribute before he has even earned the money? Just make the contribution at the beginning of next year. Right now you don't know how much he will make.
by sawhorse
Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Please review our investment selections
Replies: 6
Views: 381

Re: Please review our investment selections

Could you edit your post to income the fund names and not just the ticker symbols?
by sawhorse
Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 401k investments and a little more
Replies: 9
Views: 371

Re: Help with 401k investments and a little more

Those investment selections look fine. Unless I missed it, there's no international option, so if you want international, you can do it in another account.

If you want to do a backdoor Roth then yes, it's a good idea to transfer your IRA into the 401k.
by sawhorse
Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Minimize Your Emergency Care Expenses
Replies: 334
Views: 91380

Re: How to Minimize Your Emergency Care Expenses

This was posted in another thread. How can someone avoid this situation other than acting against PCP advice by not going to the ER? I've gone to ER twice in my life. The last time I went I had a dislocated pinkie (PCP recommended ER). Nine people were involved in examining, x-raying and bandaging. ...
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No A/C in Office [not a safe work environment]
Replies: 86
Views: 7514

Re: No A/C in Office [not a safe work environment]

No AC? Miserable, but isn't this the way people used to work before the invention and a wide spread use of AC? Well yes, but buildings today are not designed to operate without hvac (often no opening windows, etc.) In addition, heat rises, so the top floors get very hot. Back in the old days, no bu...
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth 403b
Replies: 16
Views: 902

Re: Roth 403b

If your income is so high that you can't contribute to a Roth IRA (that's what I assume you mean by "a regular Roth"), then a Roth 403b is probably not a great idea. However, that's with the caveat that you don't live in a state that doesn't allow you to deduct traditional 403b contributions from ta...
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Passive vs active for parent's retirement
Replies: 19
Views: 1155

Re: Passive vs active for parent's retirement

Almost every week we have a thread on this board of someone trying to get out of a bad Edward Jones situation. They realize after many years that they have been misled and mishandled by greedy "advisors". But Edward Jones is making it hard to get out. Someone was charged something like $75 per fund ...
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financing my daughter's college with my 401K
Replies: 60
Views: 3554

Re: Financing my daughter's college with my 401K

Why is daughter going to a $30k/yr college when the family cannot afford it? It's not worth it! In some states that's the cheapest decent in-state 4 year option when you include living expenses. States vary a lot by affordability. In Pennsylvania, the good state universities (Penn State, University...
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard TD funds
Replies: 35
Views: 1984

Re: Vanguard TD funds

The target date funds are very good for people who don't have enough to meet the $3k minimum for each individual fund. Overall they're not a bad choice. Be aware, however, that Vanguard's target date funds are riskier in allocation than I've seen for other target date funds of the same retirement ye...
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High ER 401k vs Taxable Account
Replies: 21
Views: 984

Re: High ER 401k vs Taxable Account

Do you have TIAA Traditional, and if so, what version of it? Do you have TIAA Real Estate Account?
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financing my daughter's college with my 401K
Replies: 60
Views: 3554

Re: Financing my daughter's college with my 401K

Why is daughter going to a $30k/yr college when the family cannot afford it? It's not worth it! In some states that's the cheapest decent in-state 4 year option when you include living expenses. States vary a lot by affordability. In Pennsylvania, the good state universities (Penn State, University...
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No A/C in Office [not a safe work environment]
Replies: 86
Views: 7514

Re: No A/C in Office

90 degrees outside with no AC must be really uncomfortable, but I cannot imagine it rises to the level of actionable unsafe work environment. 90 degrees outside is probably more inside. There was a case of Amazon(?) warehouse workers dying from heat. I don't know how hot it was. Are there fans and ...
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.
Replies: 140
Views: 10487

Re: If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.

I know plenty of cases in which "trusted relatives" were not so trustworthy. There are relatives that use this granted power to do selfish things that are not in the person's best interests. There are some that outright steal from their relatives. I know someone who did this to his father. We've als...
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I think i can spend 30k on this vacation, but wife not sure
Replies: 77
Views: 6902

Re: I think i can spend 30k on this vacation, but wife not sure

Money is not the issue. Business class or premium economy is not the issue. You and your wife need to figure out what is the "elephant in the room" (pun!) I am convinced you are looking for rationalization rather than an answer. I'm not a psychologist, nor a lawyer, nor much of an expert on many th...
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Add a second job? Trader Joes, Home depot, ???
Replies: 38
Views: 4707

Re: Add a second job? Trader Joes, Home depot, ???

As it seems that this board skews towards high-earning professionals who would presumably be used to a high degree of freedom in their careers, I have to wonder how easy it would be to adjust to working retail. Having done both I know that I personally would get frustrated really quickly if I ended...
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: priority of supporting parents vs saving for college
Replies: 54
Views: 3442

Re: priority of supporting parents vs saving for college

Sort of obvious questions: What were they like as parents? Were they good parents? Did they sacrifice to help you financially? It bothers me when I see parents that gave everything so that their children could have a better life, such as financially supporting their children's education to the exten...
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I think i can spend 30k on this vacation, but wife not sure
Replies: 77
Views: 6902

Re: I think i can spend 30k on this vacation, but wife not sure

dbr wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:02 pm
Why is your wife not sure?
This. She might be reluctant for other reasons and using money as an excuse. I recommend talking with her to find out if she has other concerns.
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financing my daughter's college with my 401K
Replies: 60
Views: 3554

Re: Financing my daughter's college with my 401K

Big Dog wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:51 am
Bad idea. It's great when you can pay for college out of cash flow, but most people cannot.

Since its too late to pick a cheaper college, Student and ParentPlus loans will be the way to go.
Parent PLUS loans are an even worse idea than raiding the 401k. Both ideas are bad.
by sawhorse
Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Objective" Importance of Keeping Your Physicians?
Replies: 63
Views: 4441

Re: "Objective" Importance of Keeping Your Physicians?

I'll remember that Jane presented with epigastric pain and nausea rather than chest pain when she had her heart attack. I'll remember that Joe always minimizes his symptoms and that I don't get a complete history when he comes to clinic without his wife. I'll recall that Andy frequently confuses hi...
by sawhorse
Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Objective" Importance of Keeping Your Physicians?
Replies: 63
Views: 4441

Re: "Objective" Importance of Keeping Your Physicians?

Yes - I admit that switching physicians can have some practical challenges - such as moving records, etc. [let's hope electronic records will help in the future] Another issue around my area is finding someone who is taking new patients. That can be a real challenge. This is true. That's why, if yo...
by sawhorse
Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Objective" Importance of Keeping Your Physicians?
Replies: 63
Views: 4441

Re: "Objective" Importance of Keeping Your Physicians?

It's helpful to see the same physician over time. He'll know your history from firsthand experience, rather than piecing it together from records which may be more or less comprehensive, but will never be as useful as the firsthand experience. This continuity frequently improves the quality of care...
by sawhorse
Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Objective" Importance of Keeping Your Physicians?
Replies: 63
Views: 4441

Re: "Objective" Importance of Keeping Your Physicians?

I've seen lots of doctors. My feeling is that there are a small portion of excellent doctors and a small portion of terrible doctors. The overwhelming majority of doctors are somewhere in the okay range. If you have an excellent doctor, try to keep him or her. There are doctors I would continue to s...
by sawhorse
Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Grass-fed milk worth it?
Replies: 82
Views: 3917

Re: Is Grass-fed milk worth it?

This is the first time I've heard of it, and I think I'll check it out even though I don't usually drink milk. Not for any possible taste or health benefits, but because I like the idea of dairy cows who don't spend their lives in indoor stalls where they can't move, not even shift side to side. The...
by sawhorse
Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 403B and 457 Plan Options
Replies: 12
Views: 744

Re: 403B and 457 Plan Options

I would consider using TIAA Traditional for part or even all of your bond portion. You have the GSRA version of Traditional, so you are not hampered by prolonged withdrawals as with some versions of Traditional. A three-fund portfolio could use the following. The index funds have super low expense r...
by sawhorse
Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big Hospital Bill - Any way to negotiate ?
Replies: 130
Views: 7580

Re: Big Hospital Bill - Anyway to negociate ?

there wasan excellent article written years ago by a doctor who had a medical event and was in the emergency room. He wrote how he let himself be talked into receiving tests he, as a medical professional on reflection, didn’t need. And gained a better understanding what a patient in pain has to dea...
by sawhorse
Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big Hospital Bill - Any way to negotiate ?
Replies: 130
Views: 7580

Re: Big Hospital Bill - Anyway to negociate ?

I have a question, because I’m out of the loop and don’t know. Every place I worked in the last few years had a list of health insurance choices, where I could pay a larger or smaller premium, to get higher or lower deductibles and copays. I always did math, and chose the plan that fit my needs the...
by sawhorse
Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big Hospital Bill - Any way to negotiate ?
Replies: 130
Views: 7580

Re: Big Hospital Bill - Anyway to negociate ?

I was responding to the false insinuation that doctors or billing people massage the codes to find the one that the insurance company will pay the most for. That is just patently false. In probably almost every case, the doctors or billing people don’t even have access to the amount allows by insur...
by sawhorse
Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big Hospital Bill - Any way to negotiate ?
Replies: 130
Views: 7580

Re: Big Hospital Bill - Anyway to negociate ?

I don’t think you understand how codes work... You can’t submit a code for something you didn’t do, and there aren’t 2 codes for the same service. Happens all the time. Sometimes deliberately, sometimes not. That's why I recommend that the OP request an itemized bill to see if anything is on there ...
by sawhorse
Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big Hospital Bill - Any way to negotiate ?
Replies: 130
Views: 7580

Re: Big Hospital Bill - Anyway to negociate ?

To your point, the idea of an HDHP is to encourage the consumer to pick the lowest cost health care provider while under their deductible. Further, the health care provider can use this initial pre deductible time to charge the max they can, even above rates that they might otherwise negotiate with...
by sawhorse
Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big Hospital Bill - Any way to negotiate ?
Replies: 130
Views: 7580

Re: Big Hospital Bill - Anyway to negociate ?

To your point, the idea of an HDHP is to encourage the consumer to pick the lowest cost health care provider while under their deductible. Further, the health care provider can use this initial pre deductible time to charge the max they can, even above rates that they might otherwise negotiate with...
by sawhorse
Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big Hospital Bill - Any way to negotiate ?
Replies: 130
Views: 7580

Re: Big Hospital Bill - Anyway to negociate ?

If you act as a self-pay patient for this bill and take the 50% discount, I don't think you can submit it to your insurance to count toward the deductible. Later if you incur another large bill you're starting from square one with your deductible. At least that's how I understand my policy to work....
by sawhorse
Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big Hospital Bill - Any way to negotiate ?
Replies: 130
Views: 7580

Re: Big Hospital Bill - Anyway to negociate ?

That's because we collect 3% of what we bill "self-pay" patients. So 50% seems awesome. But this isn't a self pay patient. It's an insured patient who was apparently fine with a $6K deductible when he/she bought the insurance but not now that it is time to pay his or her portion of the bill. I'm st...
by sawhorse
Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big Hospital Bill - Any way to negotiate ?
Replies: 130
Views: 7580

Re: Big Hospital Bill - Anyway to negociate ?

Let me help you there. The INSURANCE industry, not the medical industry, determines the fees. If you want the cost of something ahead of time, just ask your insurance company. Kind of hard when you're in the middle of an emergency. You also need to have the codes which can often be hard or impossib...
by sawhorse
Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big Hospital Bill - Any way to negotiate ?
Replies: 130
Views: 7580

Re: Big Hospital Bill - Anyway to negociate ?

Too many people think the cost is more similar to a clinic visit than a hospitalization. It isn't because the service you receive is more similar to a hospital stay than 8 minutes with a family doc and her medical assistant. While I'm not arguing that the facility costs are greater than those of a ...
by sawhorse
Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: drugstore prices
Replies: 20
Views: 1194

Re: drugstore prices

If it's just a trip, Costco will be way way too much because they sell items in huge packages. Cotton swabs, for example, are something like 1200 in a package. Target and Walmart are usually the cheapest. CVS and Walgreens are about the same and might be more convenient because they have more locati...
by sawhorse
Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Wellsley
Replies: 23
Views: 3442

Re: Vanguard Wellsley

There are a lot of Wellesley fans, including myself. I'm a big fan. However, I hesitate to use a single fund for all of your retirement income. I would diversify, perhaps half in Wellesley and half in another balanced fund such as Life Strategy Conservative.
by sawhorse
Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big Hospital Bill - Any way to negotiate ?
Replies: 130
Views: 7580

Re: Big Hospital Bill - Anyway to negociate ?

I'm a bit confused. Is the $6k part of your deductible? If so, pay it. That's how high deductible plans work. In exchange for paying the high deductible, you get to pay lower monthly premiums that quite possibly saved you much more than $6k over the years. If this is the hospital billing you on top ...
by sawhorse
Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid high vet bills?
Replies: 110
Views: 6483

Re: How to avoid high vet bills?

A few tips that might not apply to your situation. --Brush your dog's teeth at least once every few nights. My late dog had her teeth brushed every night and never incurred any dental charges. There are dogs that won't let you brush, however. And from personal experience, don't try brushing your cat...
by sawhorse
Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prescription drugs - how to determine country of origin?
Replies: 25
Views: 1610

Re: Prescription drugs - how to determine country of origin?

With the ones I buy from Canada, the Canadian pharmacy is able to tell me where they are manufactured. Just an fyi...Canada has a serious problem with counterfeit drugs. Id rather pay sky high prices in the states and have a better chance of getting something that is legit. I get medications from C...
by sawhorse
Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Evacuation Insurance
Replies: 14
Views: 1200

Re: Medical Evacuation Insurance

Like everything, it depends on your personal circumstances. I'll point out that, controversially, the biggest air ambulance company is charging people more than $40k, and sometimes they tell the person that they can't take a ground ambulance when they actually can. They also use very aggressive coll...
by sawhorse
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is your guys’ fees for your 401k?
Replies: 96
Views: 5193

Re: How much is your guys’ fees for your 401k?

Paid over $700 last year, and it makes me mad every time I think about it, and this year it will be more, and more and more. I work for a small company of about 50 people, 38 are active in the 401, ADP is the 401 provider, we have 4 Mil in assets currently, and ADP uses an advisor as the middle man...
by sawhorse
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Non-Profit Retirement Plans
Replies: 6
Views: 580

Re: Non-Profit Retirement Plans

Would TIAA CREF be an option as they specialize in non-profit plans? With an organization that size, however, if you can get a plan with them, you'd be in R1 and thus pay the highest expense ratios.
by sawhorse
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Rx
Replies: 36
Views: 3200

Re: Good Rx

One thing to be careful of using GoodRx, at least at Walgreens. When I used a GoodRx coupon, it overrode my insurance information in the system. The next time I went to fill something, it wasn't run through my insurance, so I had to pay retail price. My husband picked up the prescription for me, and...
by sawhorse
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Rx
Replies: 36
Views: 3200

Re: Good Rx

Wife is on a drug that isn’t covered by her insurance. The combination of GoodRX, Costco, and getting higher dosage pills and splitting them gets her prescription cost down to somewhat reasonable. The biggest savings is from splitting the higher dosage pills, but GoodRX gives her about a 15% discou...
by sawhorse
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions on fraudulent medical bill
Replies: 88
Views: 6175

Re: Suggestions on fraudulent medical bill

It seems to me that insurance companies don't really care if they are getting ripped off. One day while looking over the claims on my insurance companies web site (my account), I noticed a claim from a doctor that I had never seen. I notified the insurance company and they said they would investiga...