Search found 3451 matches

by magellan
Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14629

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

I agree. This is not "insurance" in the usual sense of the word because there is little recognition of risk. When signing up, An Olympic athlete pays the same rate as a stage 3 cancer patient, all other factors being equal. I suppose it depends on how you define "usual." This happens to exactly des...
by magellan
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14629

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

I was just experimenting with last year's Turbo Tax to better understand MAGI and qualifying for the premium tax credit. From form 1040, starting on line 25, below are some of the allowed adjustments to gross income that are used to generate AGI: 1) HSA contributions 2) SEP, SIMPLE, IRA contribution...
by magellan
Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2017 Bogleheads Conference - Annuities: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Replies: 18
Views: 2194

Re: 2017 Bogleheads Conference - Annuities: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Here's the table again, but this time with type=1 in the formula so it exactly matches whitecoatinvestor's result. setting type=1 indicates that the payment is made at the end of the period rather than at the beginning. I'm actually surprised this makes so much of a difference. For the return column...
by magellan
Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2017 Bogleheads Conference - Annuities: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Replies: 18
Views: 2194

Re: 2017 Bogleheads Conference - Annuities: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I guess what i am questioning is the rosy +4% return for the 60 year old. feels wrong to me I see what you're getting at. First, here's the whitecoatinvestor post where the table came from. It has a bit more detail, but not much: https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/spia-the-good-annuity/?print=pdf I ...
by magellan
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2017 Bogleheads Conference - Annuities: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Replies: 18
Views: 2194

Re: 2017 Bogleheads Conference - Annuities: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

it seems to suggest that annuities become a worse deal the older one is. I wasn't at the conference, but imo there are two things to consider. The first is what you're trying to optimize. If you're trying to protect against living too long, it probably makes more sense to compare using the LE+5 col...
by magellan
Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14629

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

...and if you offer a premium product like you describe, most of the people who will pay the premium aren't people like yourself who want a little extra security of a better network of doctors "just in case". ... no insurance premium is enough to offset the adverse selection costs of Obamacare's gu...
by magellan
Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14629

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

I agree the networks can be very narrow. I live in a big city and with my plan I can only go to around 15% of the hospitals within 10 miles. I used to have two or three very expensive off exchange options with great networks. Sure, they cost maybe 30% more compared to crappy networks, but that was ...
by magellan
Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14629

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

This thread has been very disheartening. For someone who plans on early retirement it is downright frightening to do so. Why? If you can manage your MAGI and get a subsidy, it helps a lot of early retirees. If the premium goes up 30% the subsidy goes up too. IMO, for many early retirees the biggest...
by magellan
Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14629

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Duplicate post deleted.
by magellan
Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 14629

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

It appears that neither insurer will let me keep my primary doctor that I've had for over a decade now. Paying cash to your out of network primary doctor might be worth considering. If you're healthy, it'd maybe add $200-400 to your annual out of pocket cost. Even if you get a serious condition, yo...
by magellan
Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP vs PPO (baby in 2017) [High Deductible vs. Preferred Provider plans]
Replies: 20
Views: 3082

Re: HDHP vs PPO (baby in 2017) [High Deductible vs. Preferred Provider plans]

So back to the OP. Because a HDHP can either be a PPO or an HMO, it's important to check whether both options use the same network rules (eg are they both PPOs), use the same provider networks, and the same drug formularies. Most people carefully consider differences in deductibles and co-pays, but ...
by magellan
Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP vs PPO (baby in 2017) [High Deductible vs. Preferred Provider plans]
Replies: 20
Views: 3082

Re: HDHP vs PPO (baby in 2017) [High Deductible vs. Preferred Provider plans]

First, a perhaps pedantic mini-rant about the confusing HDHP vs PPO terminology that's often used by corporate HR people. If you've read posts I've done about this in the past, please feel free to skip this one. The HDHP vs PPO terminology is commonly used by corporate HR folks, but it's incorrect a...
by magellan
Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA costs arrived
Replies: 88
Views: 10468

Re: 2018 ACA costs arrived

This article discusses paying the individual mandate penalty: https://www.healthinsurance.org/faqs/ive-heard-that-the-government-wont-really-be-able-to-enforce-the-penalty-for-not-having-health-insurance-is-this-true/ Thanks for the extra info. You got me to do some googling and surprisingly, the I...
by magellan
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA costs arrived
Replies: 88
Views: 10468

Re: 2018 ACA costs arrived

As I understand it, you no longer have to specify on your tax return if you have insurance. The IRS will accept your return without it so there is no way they can figure out if you owe a penalty or not. Maybe I'm paranoid, but as I understand it, willfully misrepresenting the refund you're entitled...
by magellan
Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA costs arrived
Replies: 88
Views: 10468

Re: 2018 ACA costs arrived

1) Look at short term insurance which can be purchased up to a year at the time with the new EO. These plans are non-ACA compliant, but probably there will be no tax penalty with the guidance under the new EO. I'd be careful assuming they'll be no tax penalty. The tax penalty provision is part of t...
by magellan
Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me understand what happens with the new law and ACA subsidies
Replies: 80
Views: 5893

Re: Help me understand what happens with the new law and ACA subsidies

I don't want to repost everything I said on a different thread about this, so here's a link: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=229476&start=50#p3573510 The most important thing is to know is how your state's insurance regulators have instructed insurers to handle things if the CSR...
by magellan
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA costs arrived
Replies: 88
Views: 10468

Re: 2018 ACA costs arrived

A Federal court ruled that those CSR payments were illegal. So who sabotaged it? http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obamacare-court-ruling-20160512-snap-story.html "Federal judge rules Obamacare is being funded unconstitutionally" The reimbursement issue is much more complicated than that. There i...
by magellan
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA costs arrived
Replies: 88
Views: 10468

Re: 2018 ACA costs arrived

Here's a map showing how regulators in each state instructed insurers to handle the costs of unreimbursed CSR subsidies: https://www.balloon-juice.com/2017/10/12/csr-wont-be-paid/ Most state regulators are telling insurers to recover the costs by increasing silver plan premiums only. One odd side ef...
by magellan
Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to destroy hard disk with personal info
Replies: 99
Views: 8420

Re: how to destroy hard disk with personal info

All of these physical destruction methods are inferior to a simple wipe, and then secure erase If you 0 out every bit on the drive, there is nothing to read This may work a lot of the time, but it's simply impossible to 0 out every bit on a disk drive. Disk drives ship with unmapped extra physical ...
by magellan
Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LMP at age 50 (help with TIPS Ladder)
Replies: 28
Views: 3077

Re: LMP at age 50 (help with TIPS Ladder)

Is anyone serious (goldbugs disqualified) actually forecasting double digit inflation in the US any time in the near-medium turn? My comment was just to illustrate the considerable risk in the real cash flows from a TIPS portfolio held in a taxable account. It wasn't meant as a prediction. That sai...
by magellan
Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I move abroad to minimize health care costs?
Replies: 80
Views: 7020

Re: Should I move abroad to minimize health care costs?

For the OP, one thing to consider is that depending on where you live, you may be able to get more stability and security just by moving to a different state. Several states have reasonably well-functioning individual insurance markets that are backstopped by a state level commitment to keeping thin...
by magellan
Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I move abroad to minimize health care costs?
Replies: 80
Views: 7020

Re: Should I move abroad to minimize health care costs?

We are a non-Medicare family of four. Last year we spent $8300 on medical care, including health/dental insurance. That included one minor surgery and medication for two chronic conditions. ...But $10,000 buys all the healthcare needed for many people/families. Actually, it often doesn't. My guess ...
by magellan
Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Way To Code A Text Parser
Replies: 27
Views: 1958

Re: Best Way To Code A Text Parser

You didn't mention what operating system you'd like to do this with. If I'm on Windows and for whatever reason don't want to use a batch file, I use a portable c compiler called lcc. For stuff like this on Windows, I prefer compiled languages like C because the result is a self-contained executable ...
by magellan
Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation of Security Cameras for Exterior of House
Replies: 36
Views: 5405

Re: Recommendation of Security Cameras for Exterior of House

I agree with others that wired is the way to go if it's at all feasible. I also recommend BlueIris, especially if you'd like to control multiple cameras from a single application. One big advantage of Blue Iris compared to a DVR package is that you're not locked into one camera brand. The software s...
by magellan
Sat May 27, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying someone to build a website
Replies: 28
Views: 2833

Re: Paying someone to build a website

The benefit for using GoDaddy is that they update the WordPress on your website when the software is updated at no extra charge. Most wordpress installations can be set up to auto-update regardless of who's hosting the site. In fact, auto-update is really best practice now to be sure your site gets...
by magellan
Thu May 18, 2017 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?
Replies: 14
Views: 1793

Re: Cheshire County New Hampshire: Which town for retirement?

When considering property taxes in NH, research the tax base in each town, historical tax rates, and recent major expenditures. In many cases you'll see a step function in tax rates from town to town. One town will build a new school and their rates will be considerably higher than nearby towns for ...
by magellan
Thu May 18, 2017 6:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window tint (film) on house windows?
Replies: 24
Views: 3269

Re: Window tint (film) on house windows?

I applied DIY solar film on the inside of 2 velux skylights about 5 years ago and overall I've been very happy with the result. Unfortunately, the air seal on one of the skylights blew and this has dramatically reduced its insulating capability in the winter. It's very noticeable after a snowfall. T...
by magellan
Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric
Replies: 79
Views: 8979

Re: Bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric

I am sorry but solar is just not the choice for base load electricity. Natural gas wins easily in the US. Natural gas definitely wins on both cost and flexibility. However, I'd suggest that the idea of as base load electricity has outlived its usefulness. The concept of base load generation was cre...
by magellan
Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric
Replies: 79
Views: 8979

Re: Bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric

The exelon guy probably doesn't consider the regulated utilities to be "privately owned utilities". He's really referring to merchant utilities like exelon, which the statement definitely is true for them. But the key point is still that nuclear is thoroughly unable to compete without a h...
by magellan
Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost of Solar Power
Replies: 99
Views: 8662

Re: cost of Solar Power

Not to take this too far off topic, but here's a link to Lazard's latest levelized cost of energy report (PDF): m The report shows the current "all-in" levelized cost for each MWh of electricity produced by each generation source, taking into account the cost of capital, cost of fuel, main...
by magellan
Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost of Solar Power
Replies: 99
Views: 8662

Re: cost of Solar Power

...just pointing out that some parties (including some large utilities) will be aok with conventional net metering for a long time...but the vested interests that own the generators will probably take political action...as they did successfully in Nevada, and unsuccessfully in Florida. I think that...
by magellan
Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost of Solar Power
Replies: 99
Views: 8662

Re: cost of Solar Power

How long will this all take? Not 5 years for sure. But unlikely to be 25 years, either. Just to clarify, my bold prediction wasn't so bold as to claim electricity will be too cheap to meter in 5 years. My prediction is that net-metering will likely be unavailable for new rooftop solar installations...
by magellan
Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost of Solar Power
Replies: 99
Views: 8662

Re: cost of Solar Power

For example, modules on the west pitch of a roof, modules that spend half the day shaded by a tree, the neighbors home, etc. Shading of a module has a disproportional effect on production, especially with crystalline modules. For example, a module that is 10% shaded will drop 60-80% of its nameplat...
by magellan
Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost of Solar Power
Replies: 99
Views: 8662

Re: cost of Solar Power

To me, the biggest risk of rooftop solar right now is regulatory uncertainty. No one predicted the plunge in solar PV costs and it is completely changing the regulatory environment. In many markets, solar PV is contributing to a glut of power during peak daytime hours, causing wholesale prices to cr...
by magellan
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Web Site Down?
Replies: 98
Views: 6040

Re: Vanguard seems to have gone off the grid

White Coat Investor wrote:You split your money so you wouldn't have to deal with 12 minute periods where you couldn't look at your balance?

Today's downtime was well over an hour, probably closer to two.
by magellan
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Web Site Down?
Replies: 98
Views: 6040

Re: Vanguard seems to have gone off the grid

I'm in now too. I had planned to do my taxes this morning and needed to pull the Vanguard tax forms down from their site. Not the end of the world of course, but it did manage to mess up my schedule for the day and unless Vanguard can explain why it happened, what they've done to prevent it from hap...
by magellan
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Web Site Down?
Replies: 98
Views: 6040

Re: Vanguard seems to have gone off the grid

To me the inexcusable part is that their phone lines aren't working and their twitter feed is completely silent. Downtime can happen to anyone, especially if they're the target of a DOS attack or something. However, a competently run operation wouldn't have gone incommunicado for over an hour during...
by magellan
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Web Site Down?
Replies: 98
Views: 6040

Vanguard seems to have gone off the grid

In case anyone else is experiencing problems, it seems that for the last hour or so Vanguard's login portal has been down and their main phone number just rings and rings, or it abruptly disconnects. Their twitter feed is silent on the issue, but a twitter search yields lots of complaints from unhap...
by magellan
Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?
Replies: 74
Views: 8705

Re: Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?

It's relatively easy and cheap to get your own domain and set it up to give you personal email addresses that you own and control. Namecheap offers $10-15/yr domains that include free email forwarding. This works great if you want to create several email addresses tied to services you use and have t...
by magellan
Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are my parents in good hands with this adviser?
Replies: 88
Views: 8198

Re: Are my parents in good hands with this adviser?

My suggestion is to freely share what you've learned in a direct and forthright way. However, be sure to leave plenty of room for them to ignore you and stay where they are. It can be helpful to frame things in terms of what you've done and what you believe to be a good approach, rather than what th...
by magellan
Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax 2016 purchase source
Replies: 91
Views: 14646

Re: Turbo Tax 2016 purchase source

Digging around on TT website and seeing how much fraud has been involved with their softwear over the past couple years, I'm now wondering whether there could be something embedded in this copy of TT that could "hijack" my SS# for a fradulent return. Generally, when you download software ...
by magellan
Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Does Hospice Work?
Replies: 38
Views: 4408

Re: How Does Hospice Work?

Here are some data points on home hospice care from a Massachusetts perspective using a non-profit hospice care provider paid under the medicare hospice benefit. I believe the hospice provider gets a per diem reimbursement from medicare of around $155 a day. This may be different from patient to pat...
by magellan
Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who will run my Ethernet Cables for me?
Replies: 25
Views: 3406

Re: Who will run my Ethernet Cables for me?

Edit: I misread the OP's post and thought they were building or renovating instead of looking to just add a couple of ethernet drops. Most of my post doesn't apply to the OP's situation. When we built our house in 1998, I ran two cat 5 cables to each room in the house for phone and network. In some...
by magellan
Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Musk Says Tesla’s Solar Shingles Will Cost Less Than a Dumb Roof"
Replies: 78
Views: 10388

Re: "Musk Says Tesla’s Solar Shingles Will Cost Less Than a Dumb Roof"

...I also don't believe very many more people are going to buy his electric cars; there will probably come a point where sales growth will trickle. IMO, it's all but certain that within a couple decades, most new cars will be electric. The trajectory is baked in and the transformation will be drive...
by magellan
Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ethernet Question
Replies: 12
Views: 1858

Re: Ethernet Question

A big question is whether the cable will be exposed to sunlight. If the cable won't be in the sun, I'd probably go with a flat cable like this one . These flat cables will be much easier to run through a window and bend around corners compared to an outdoor cable. The downside is that an indoor rate...
by magellan
Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 16384

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

OK, so why don't the insurance companies raise rates and let the consumer pay a larger share instead of just leaving the exchange? It hasn't gotten much press, but I think most of the companies running away from the exchanges are relatively new entrants to the non-group market. Humana, Aetna, and U...
by magellan
Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 16384

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

It seems ACA is designed to increase costs over time; the govt guarantees "paying" customers to private insurers, who are free to price plans as high as they want? This gets to the heart of why the law is so complex. The law counts on competition between insurers to prevent gaming and spi...
by magellan
Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 16384

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

No way people earning less than 100% of poverty level are going to be paying for individual coverage without subsidies. I think the expansion population earns between 100% and 138% of poverty, but your point still applies. I've read that this population often works at least partly off the books and...
by magellan
Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 16384

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

OK, I can buy that, but the amount insurance companies are losing on ObamaCare is significant. If losing money is laughable, losing billions is hilarious. I never said losing money is laughable. It's all about context. IMO, there are two major reasons for the chaos in some individual marketplaces t...
by magellan
Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance rates went up
Replies: 155
Views: 16384

Re: Health Insurance rates went up

Nice to know I'm in the 0.6% who actually buys insurance on the open market without a subsidy. No wonder no one ever talks about my situation. I'm right there with you. Although to be fair, news reporting this year seems to be better. In the past, they constantly quoted the "85% of people get ...