Search found 238 matches

by Erwin007
Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pull kids from school for vacations?
Replies: 136
Views: 6050

Re: Pull kids from school for vacations?

I'm curious how others feel about this. Did you pull your kids from school to go on amazing family vacations or was school too important and you planned all trips around the school schedule? Our message to our sons was always that learning was important, and that school was their #1 job. We schedul...
by Erwin007
Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pull kids from school for vacations?
Replies: 136
Views: 6050

Re: Pull kids from school for vacations?

We have never and will not pull children from school for vacations. It detracts from the commitment to education and sends a message that vacation has a higher "family value" then education. The only time we have allowed an unexcused absence for a child was one day when a university under considera...
by Erwin007
Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pull kids from school for vacations?
Replies: 136
Views: 6050

Re: Pull kids from school for vacations?

Our kids are just getting to the age where school is more difficult. Our oldest just started middle school this year, and the younger 2 are in elementary school still. In the last 2 school years (last September when oldest was still in elementary school) we have taken the kids out of school for a we...
by Erwin007
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reducing overall medical costs. Do we do anything?
Replies: 67
Views: 3212

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

The two things that most people could probably do to reduce medical costs the most are to not smoke and to be at their ideal body weight.
by Erwin007
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying down mortgage vs investing
Replies: 30
Views: 2637

Re: Paying down mortgage vs investing

When I hear one advantage of not paying off early is due to liquidity, does that mean that the money would be invested in safer investments like ibonds, money market, or CDs? Doing so would be safer but would not beat 3.6% mortgage rate. And that is the fair comparison, but taxes can make it worthw...
by Erwin007
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off 3.125% 152k mortgage early?
Replies: 37
Views: 3227

Re: Pay off 3.125% 152k mortgage early?

Pay it off as fast as you can, Laser like focus. +1000...... You 're asking this question because you hate debt.....me too. We paid ours off early also......there is no better feeling than having zero debt.... Pay it off.......at WARP SPEED!!! :sharebeer The better feeling is having more money than...
by Erwin007
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying down mortgage vs investing
Replies: 30
Views: 2637

Re: Paying down mortgage vs investing

Investing grows by compound interest, while the mortgage payment is simple interest. The mortgage payment also compounds. If you make an extra mortgage payment, you pay the same amount in the next month, but less of that payment is interest and more is principal. For a simple example, suppose you h...
by Erwin007
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying down mortgage vs investing
Replies: 30
Views: 2637

Re: Paying down mortgage vs investing

Strive to become "debt free" Including mortgage. Once you get there, If being debt free doesn't suit you. Borrow money, :happy Except then you’ve lost out on years of compounding. The emotional decision may be to pay off the mortgage but the smart/better financial decision is to pay the minimum on ...
by Erwin007
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying down mortgage vs investing
Replies: 30
Views: 2637

Re: Paying down mortgage vs investing

Investing grows by compound interest, while the mortgage payment is simple interest.

Invest the extra money.
by Erwin007
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Flipping a home Resident Physician flipping a home while in debt? help me weigh my pros and cons
Replies: 21
Views: 1461

Re: Flipping a home Resident Physician flipping a home while in debt? help me weigh my pros and cons

Maybe this is whey the ER residents at the hospital where I did my orthopedic surgery residency couldn’t reduce a simple distal radius or ankle fracture—they were too busy flipping home in their off time instead of learning how to be an ER doc. Seriously, this is a bad idea. I know ER residency is e...
by Erwin007
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me determine best course of action- Student Loan vs Backdoor Roth
Replies: 5
Views: 411

Re: Help me determine best course of action- Student Loan vs Backdoor Roth

Another vote for backdoor Roths. Can’t ever get that space back.
by Erwin007
Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excessive Emergency Room Charges - Options?
Replies: 207
Views: 12496

Re: Excessive Emergency Room Charges - Options?

On the other hand, our Kaiser "Urgent Care" 24x7 facility that is (in my estimation) able to handle 99% of things one might go to an ED for seems to have been able to control costs of delivering the services. You don't see the things people go for, not the really expensive visits that cause financi...
by Erwin007
Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical charge question
Replies: 3
Views: 467

Re: Medical charge question

This wasn’t a surgery charge. The bill, if you look at the CPT code, was likely for something like “closed treatment of radius fracture.” Closed treatment means no surgery was done, but the fracture was treated non-operatively. These codes usually have a 90 day global period so your future visits wo...
by Erwin007
Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Run Air Conditioner even if not needed?
Replies: 30
Views: 3053

Re: Run Air Conditioner even if not needed?

If it’s an apartment, why does it matter?

If I lived in an apartment and didn’t need to run my A/C I wouldn’t. Why incur the extra expense?
by Erwin007
Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Don't Obsess About Expense Ratios"
Replies: 240
Views: 21964

Re: "Don't Obsess About Expense Ratios"

It is a fact that there is a strong pro-Vanguard sentiment in this forum, which makes perfect sense as John Bogle founded Vanguard. However, in recent years Schwab and Fidelity have been aggressively out-bogling Vanguard, at least in their big index funds. The new zero-ER Fidelity funds follow a br...
by Erwin007
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maui Hawaii Trip - How to save money?
Replies: 52
Views: 5164

Re: Maui Hawaii Trip - How to save money?

I can't believe I'm writing this given how frugal I am, but don't cheap out on uninspiring food. Yes, you can get Safeway sandwiches or bake a frozen pizza in your condo just like you do at home, but why? There is so much good food there - things you've never tried or never eaten so fresh. When we ...
by Erwin007
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: input on trip to Spokane, Coeur D'Alene
Replies: 25
Views: 1792

Re: input on trip to Spokane, Coeur D'Alene

Stayed in Coeur D’Alene last year for a family reunion. My family and I did the bike trail “Route of the Hiawatha.” It’s a fairly leisurely, mostly downhill bike ride through some beautiful scenery. There are some fairly high trellis bridges and a few train tunnels you need headlights to ride throug...
by Erwin007
Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to negotiate bills from hospital?
Replies: 22
Views: 1972

Re: How to negotiate bills from hospital?

usually if you wait like 6 months and don't pay they will send it to collections and collections will normally take like 50-75% of the balance and called it closed. It may hurt your credit, but maybe that isn't an issue. It's getting more difficult for "medical debt" to hurt one's credit. Increasin...
by Erwin007
Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Southwest Airlines - unused ticket - can I carry forward beyond 1 year?
Replies: 6
Views: 777

Re: Southwest Airlines - unused ticket - can I carry forward beyond 1 year?

After cancelling and waiting a while, we bought a ticket for one year in the future. Then I think we cancelled it and got another year in the future. Couldn't hurt to try. I just cancelled a United flight and have to pay a $125 fee to reschedule in the next year. I guess that's better than nothing....
by Erwin007
Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International Stocks in Taxable?
Replies: 34
Views: 3278

Re: International Stocks in Taxable?

I dont like the complexity of additional tax forms either, dating back to before TurboTax. For the foreign tax credit, it gets calculated regularly and for AMT. I know TurboTax can do it now but it has a lot of problems with it. I particularly don't like the high percent of dividends that are not q...
by Erwin007
Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I may have understood why it's so hard to save and invest
Replies: 75
Views: 11470

Re: I may have understood why it's so hard to save and invest

Albert Einstein said that compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe. IF you could continue to compound your net worth at 2% a month, you will have over 1.2 million dollars in 12 years. I would love to have my net worth compound at that rate. I hear this “quote” thrown around a lo...
by Erwin007
Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?
Replies: 92
Views: 7420

Re: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?

$73k last year. Everything possible goes on the card due to generous credit card rewards. Family of 5. Kids aged 11, 9, and 7. what is generous and which card? Costco Visa card. And we are executive members. 4% back on gas, 3% on travel and restaurants, 2% on everything at Costco (> 90% of our groc...
by Erwin007
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?
Replies: 92
Views: 7420

Re: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?

$73k last year. Everything possible goes on the card due to generous credit card rewards. Family of 5. Kids aged 11, 9, and 7. what is generous and which card? Costco Visa card. And we are executive members. 4% back on gas, 3% on travel and restaurants, 2% on everything at Costco (> 90% of our groc...
by Erwin007
Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?
Replies: 92
Views: 7420

Re: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?

$73k last year. Everything possible goes on the card due to generous credit card rewards. Family of 5. Kids aged 11, 9, and 7.
by Erwin007
Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Feel like I'm sinking money into international
Replies: 100
Views: 12114

Re: Feel like I'm sinking money into international

I started investing in International in April 2015. My holdings (mid 5 digits) are now up 9% since that time. I’m happy with that return and not chasing performance. I had a reason why I started investing in International, as it appears you did at one time as well. If that has changed, may be time t...
by Erwin007
Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student loan refinancing
Replies: 1
Views: 313

Re: Student loan refinancing

17.5k in loans 7 different loans Average interest rate 3.95% through Fedloan $244 monthly payment 7 years till expected payoff Should I try to refinance? How would you go about this? I use some of my extra income to make additional payments. What are the highest rates on the loans? May be worth try...
by Erwin007
Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling a time share/vacation rental in Mexico
Replies: 12
Views: 1360

Re: Selling a time share/vacation rental in Mexico

I just saw a week on sale at the exact same place on the TUG2 users group classified section for $2,000, for a 2 BR presidential suite. To give you an idea of what they are going for. ETA: saw a second one, presidential suite sleeps 8 at same place at Sunset for $2,250, and a 1 BR that sleeps 6 for ...
by Erwin007
Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use T-mobile cell network?
Replies: 32
Views: 2157

Re: Anyone use T-mobile cell network?

Been with tmobile for almost 2 years. Coverage and signal strength is definitely less than ATT, Verizon. Cost of plan keeps us subscribing. Also, the international service is really convenient and reliable. It's the bonus that tips the scale. Interesting. Must be the area (obviously). We had Verizo...
by Erwin007
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Supermarket are you?
Replies: 155
Views: 9452

Re: Which Supermarket are you?

Costco—majority of food here, basically all meat/fish, dairy, fruits/vegetables, bread, juices, cheeses, and bulk staples like flour, rice, sugar, etc. Winco—second most frequented for bulk items (spices, herbs, etc) and for regular items or ethnic type items not carried at Costco or for which Costc...
by Erwin007
Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?
Replies: 61
Views: 6468

Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

People usually overrate their travel, since they had spent so much time and money. I have a unique way to judge if it's a hype or really worth it, check the revisiting ratio. More returning customers, the more worth it. The rule is also good for restaurant. What do you think? Probably not a great m...
by Erwin007
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good family portrait place
Replies: 5
Views: 431

Re: Good family portrait place

You’re barking up the wrong tree. I didn’t honestly think people still used those portrait places. Your best bet is to go to google and type in [your city] family photographer. Then look at the likely dozens of websites that pop up. See which style suits you and then contact a few to get prices. Man...
by Erwin007
Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on 1st international vacation
Replies: 106
Views: 7002

Re: Need advice on 1st international vacation

A recommendation I haven’t seen would be staying on the southern coast of Spain. We did that for a week after graduating from Med school and had a great time. I speak French but no Spanish and got around fine. Went to Gibraltar for a day, Ronda for a day (exceptional), and Benahavis for another day...
by Erwin007
Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on 1st international vacation
Replies: 106
Views: 7002

Re: Need advice on 1st international vacation

Consider an all inclusive resort in Cabo, etc. Everything you need will be contained within the resort and the customer interfacing employees will speak excellent English. The OP says they "love to sight-see, explore the local culture, and find nice places to eat". Somehow I doubt that an all inclu...
by Erwin007
Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overfunding 529
Replies: 25
Views: 2612

Re: Overfunding 529

Foolish like a fox, isn't that the saying? I'll keep the six figures in gains from being taxed any day of the week. Remember that generations increase exponentially. 2 children, 4 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren. $1 million sounds like a lot for two kids, not so crazy for eight great-grandchil...
by Erwin007
Sat May 19, 2018 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner
Replies: 15
Views: 1358

Re: Quadcopter Drone anybody? - for beginner

Another vote for the Syma X5. I got mine for around $40 on amazon and spent another $10 on rthe placement parts and some extra batteries, since they only last about 5 minutes. I’ve had hours of fun with it, and also find it fun to chase away the Canadian geese that like to eat our grass and poop in ...
by Erwin007
Tue May 01, 2018 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to babymoon?
Replies: 38
Views: 4127

Re: Where to babymoon?

Wife is pregnant and expecting late August - so we're looking to take a small, 5day or so, vacation to relax prior to the babies arrival. Historically travel to exotic beaches every year as well as numerous places we've never been before... that's typically our jam. Open to wherever but ideally not...
by Erwin007
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verbally accepted offer on house I am selling in FL- using flat fee broker. Now what?
Replies: 10
Views: 1638

Re: Verbally accepted offer on house I am selling in FL- using flat fee broker. Now what?

Just curious what your plan was for selling the house with a flat fee broker. It had to be more than get on the internet and ask random strangers to do a job that is usually paid at 3% of the cost of a home sale, right?
by Erwin007
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old are you and how much do you save for retirement a year
Replies: 244
Views: 32783

Re: How old are you and how much do you save for retirement a year

39 and wife is also 39. $18,500 in 403(b) employee contribution $18,500 in 457(b) $9,000 in 401(k) employer contribution $11,000 for backdoor Roths for me and the wife $6850 in HSA $18,500 in wife’s solo 401(k) ~ $40,000 in taxable account Total: ~$120,000 towards retirement/savings We got a late st...
by Erwin007
Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?
Replies: 187
Views: 12097

Re: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?

:sharebeer To make this thread somewhat actionale, here is a book I read recently (from my local library) https://www.amazon.com/Your-Best-Health-Care-Prescriptions/dp/1501132865 Worth a read. The author is pretty down on HSAs, but (as this thread shows), for many people they aren't a great idea. I...
by Erwin007
Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?
Replies: 187
Views: 12097

Re: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?

:sharebeer To make this thread somewhat actionale, here is a book I read recently (from my local library) https://www.amazon.com/Your-Best-Health-Care-Prescriptions/dp/1501132865 Worth a read. The author is pretty down on HSAs, but (as this thread shows), for many people they aren't a great idea. I...
by Erwin007
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?
Replies: 187
Views: 12097

Re: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?

My patients who ask for a cost estimate, which in my experience is way less than 5%, and probably closer to 1-2%, get provided a pre-printed sheet with the CPT code(s) I’m submitting to insurance for pre-authorization, as well as the estimated length of the procedure. The sheet has phone numbers fo...
by Erwin007
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?
Replies: 187
Views: 12097

Re: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?

UpsetRaptor wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:22 pm
These medical bill threads are almost getting to be as bad as political threads.
They ought to just ban them outright.
by Erwin007
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?
Replies: 187
Views: 12097

Re: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?

...most of what you mentioned had nothing to do with the OP’s situation—an outpatient workup with a few tests for which the price could have been easily obtained before the tests. Nothing to do with balance billing or “drive-by-doctoring” (whatever that is). With all due respect, you don't know tha...
by Erwin007
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?
Replies: 187
Views: 12097

Re: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?

I do it all the time. I’m a surgeon. As a public service, can you explain how? I would sincerely appreciate it, because the times I've tried, I've had no luck. Specifically, I could not get the surgeon or the hospital to provide the complete set of codes. I was told each of the providers -- the fac...
by Erwin007
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?
Replies: 187
Views: 12097

Re: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?

You continue to miss the point that the patient can absolutely call their insurance company to get an amount they will be responsible for before any services are rendered. Seriously? Have you tried this with any major procedure, like a routine surgery? I have. It was impossible. Not to mention prob...
by Erwin007
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?
Replies: 187
Views: 12097

Re: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?

If you do not pay you go to collections. That simple. If you can bargain as a consumer then great. If you can't then you have 2 options. Pay or go to collections. But in fact, patients do have a third option, which is to call and negotiate the final price after the fact, which is exactly the advice...
by Erwin007
Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?
Replies: 187
Views: 12097

Re: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?

if you expect them to pay Y, shouldn't the patient know what Y will be BEFORE any service? I am really starting to think the issue here is LACK OF READING prior replies before replying randomly with the same trite response. Read any of my posts I give the patient ALL the info. they need to call the...
by Erwin007
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?
Replies: 187
Views: 12097

Re: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?

Take a minute (and others out there who keep saying the same thing over and over). If you ran the business of doing lets say an MRI and go into contract with, for example, BCBS and LEGALLY have to bill every patient of theirs the same way. You do what is expected of you taking on FULL Risk of not b...