xaminmo: Josh 2016 (Default)
First insurance check arrived. Can't print lender forms to get it endorsed because printer died the rest of the way today.

Ordered a new printer, but their "get it today" on the order page turned into "get it tomorrow" in email. *sigh*. This is not covered by insurance nor warranty,
Read more... )
http://omnitech.net/xaminmo/2017/04/24/insurance-and-purchases/
xaminmo: Josh 2016 (Default)
Our 2016 tax liability was about $400 less than for 2015.
I also set my W4 withholdings to 3 from 4 in March, 2016.
My company withheld $1300 less for 2016 than for 2015.
For the first time in 25 years, I OWE the IRS during tax reconciliation.

It looks like my utilization checks had
Read more... )
http://omnitech.net/xaminmo/2017/04/02/insufficient-federal-withholdings/
xaminmo: Josh 2016 (Default)
If you skip 3/4 of this because you pick up on one technicality, then I don't really care what you have to say. However, if you have a REAL issue with something after a thorough review, and can't resolve it with Google, then let's talk about it. Also, typos and similar error corrections accepted.

There are many factors to healthcare costs, and ALL of them have to be addressed. If you can't name at least three of them, or if you simply think they are "Obama, the ACA, and Democrats," then you're not really qualified to complain.

Here's what you need to know to complain more logically. I'll use anecdotes, and lists. It's messy, because that's my brain. Then, research more about anything you think is stupid. Then, complain about what sucks, especially to all of your elected representatives. If they give you a crap answer, pick someone else next election.

Then, see if you can work out a way to improve any of these situations. Look into your ideas and see if they have been tried. Look for the faults in your plans and how to work around them. Assume everything will fail, and everyone will think your idea is stupid. How do you work around that?

ANECDOTES AND HISTORY:
In the 1980s, you could buy health insurance. REAL insurance. You can't get that now. Now, you can get managed plans. It didn't change suddenly when Obama was elected. Healthcare costs have been rising for decades. Sometimes companies would just absorb the cost, especially early on when it was a small percentage of an employee's salary. That's not the case anymore.

In 2005, my insurance costs were $5000 per year for a family of 4, standard deductibles, copays, etc. In 2007, it was $7000. In 2010, it would have been $12k. Instead, our company moved to an HDHP and it was $5k, with a $5k deductible and max out of pocket (or $2300 for one person). The next year it was $7k. To keep the same rates for 2012, we had a $6k deductible, same for in-network max out of pocket, double for out of network, and quadruple for out of network max out of pocket. For 2013, that coverage was over $9k.

Instead of this coming out of my paycheck, I just don't get raises. I've gotten one raise over the last 8 years. Instead, my company tries to keep me insured, which has been tough.

WHY IS IT ALL SO EXPENSIVE?
There's no magic to insurance costs. Claim Payments + overhead divided by number of insured. There are three variables: Cost, overhead, and payers.
* Insurance overhead was limited a few years ago to 15% for large plans and 20% for small plans.
* The ACA is tackling the number of payers by trying to have everyone an insured. Tinkering with coverage limits affects this: If you're not covered for something, you also don't pay a share into the claims for that.

All that's left is the cost and overhead with care providers (doctors, facilities, supplies, etc).

WHAT MAKES UP THE COST OF CARE?
* Claims processing. Doctors have to hire staff, and each company does its own thing. Treatment codes have to be adjusted because maybe the same condition and treatment is represented 27 different ways.
* Technology gaps. Paper charts, physical images, etc all require handling and physical storage. Sometimes the information needed for treatment is not available because the original DR is not available, leading to lots of trial and error.
* Errors. Errors cost money, whether it's through more procedures, cash settlements, or liability insurance.
* Write-Offs. Fee reductions or non-paying patients. Sometimes there's just no-one to pay.
* Unnecessary procedures. Either a technique might be too expensive, or elective expenses get billed.
* Real Estate. Land, buildings, property taxes, etc.
* Equipment costs. Whether it's excessive or not, equipment costs a lot of money because it's not consumer grade and consumer quantity. If only 10,000 iPhones were sold per year, they would cost a $million each due to development costs.
* Education costs - Maybe not every treatment needs to be from a 12 year education.
* Time costs - Maybe not every treatment needs to be from a veteran MD. Also, there are limited numbers of Doctors (costs and stress). Even so, an RN, an LPN, a PA, DO, MD, DC, or whatever has limited time. More doctors would help.
* High stress - High workload, cost, and risk. Stress has a monetary cost, in reducing the number of doctors, and increasing the cost of unwinding. Convenient houses might be expensive. Exclusivity gets a little more peace and quiet. etc.
* Credit - Most of this is paid by credit, and will pay out interest, whether it's from a Bond or a bank loan.

CLOSING COMMENTS:
I think there's probably more, but that's the big stuff. If you want to reduce the cost of healthcare, you have to reduce the actual costs. This is why many doctors charge for missed appointments but will then be late. They have to keep the schedule stacked to see everyone and cover costs.

In summary, the next step isn't to "kick out Obama" or "Repeal the ACA". The next step is to reduce the cost of becoming and/or staying a doctor.
http://omnitech.net/xaminmo/2013/10/30/cost-of-healthcare/
xaminmo: (Josh 2004 Happy)
IBM plans to move about 110,000 retirees off its company-sponsored health plan. The move affects all IBM retirees once they become eligible for Medicare, beginning December 31, 2013.

IBM Chief Health Director Kyu Rhee told retirees that to keep receiving coverage, they will need to pick a plan offered through Extend Health, a large private Medicare exchange run by New York-based Towers Watson & Co.

Instead of subsidizing retiree health premiums directly, IBM will give retirees an annual contribution via a health retirement account that they can use to buy Medicare Advantage plans and supplemental Medicare policies on the exchange, as well as pay for other medical expenses.

Retirees who don't enroll in a plan through Extend Health won't receive the subsidy.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/07/ibm-to-move-retirees-off-health-plan/
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323893004579059393251153348.html

Mortgage

May. 14th, 2013 10:27 pm
xaminmo: (Josh 2004 Happy)
Based on the county's appraisal, our loan-to-value is 71.6%.
Based on the refinance appraiser, our LTV is 64.3%.

So, realistically, we're somewhere in the middle, probably close to the Zillow value.

Our current bank isn't very competitive on refinance, but a broker in California is working on good rates for us.

I'm cautiously optimistic.
xaminmo: (Josh 2004 Happy)
On 2012-01-15, I tried to move just under half (5/11ths) of my HSA balance into the HSA investment account. When I submitted the change, I got this:

"com.ibm.websphere.sca.ServiceRuntimeException: CWSXM0201E: Exception returned by mediation flow for component HSAInvestment_Mediation in module LOBSB_HSAInvestment_v2 CWSXM3713E: The fail terminal on Service Invoke primitive SI_Email in operation sendInvestmentBuyTxn in mediation component HSAInvestment_Mediation in module LOBSB_HSAInvestment_V2 was fired but the terminal is unwired: caused by: com.ibm.ws.sibx.mediation.esb.SIBXFireFailTerminalException: CWSXM3713E: The fail terminal on Service Invoke primitive SI_Email in operation sendInvestmentBuyTxn in mediation component HSAInvestment_Mediation in module LOBSB_HSAInvestment_v2 was fired but the terminal is unwired."

I then checked, and I saw that it pulled the transaction twice, totaling 10/11ths of my balance. Since it was after 3pm, it was listed as a 2012-01-16 transaction. I called, and after much discussion with supervisors, etc, the phone rep indicated that we would have to wait until it settled, then I could issue a sell transaction.

I though I would just leave it, but with the kids' Dr visits today, we plowed through the remaining 1/11th (since when did amoxicillin syrup cost $65/bottle, and since when did kids need three bottles each? Plus the Dr's visit, which was $160 each, plus a dental checkup unrelated.)

So anyway, I went to look, thinking I would pull the other half back, and LO! It never showed up. I have the one chunk there, and no other pending transactions. The other chunk just disappeared entirely.

I should have known it was something bad, considering the websphere error mentioned FAILING TO SEND AN EMAIL!!!!

WHAT?!?! Transfers should not be e-fracking-mails.

Anyway, I called back in today, explained, gave the ref number, and it's being escalated to a supervisor with 3-5 day turnaround time.

In the meantime, I'm glad I pulled extra from savings. *sigh*
xaminmo: (Josh 2004 Happy)
Frown: Both boys have strep. Erica and I don't feel stellar either.

Smile: Calculation error corrected, and I spent 30% at Amazon vs what I previously thought.
xaminmo: (Josh 2004 Happy)
I wonder what would have happened if, instead of government loans, GM, Chrysler, and a quarter of banks and funds holding peoples' savings were allowed to completely fail.

Also, why does it make any moneyed institution "bad" for making stipulations on how loan money is handled until the loan is paid off?  In this instance, the companies had already failed, and it was just a matter of short time before all of those workers were unemployed, and possibly lost all of their retirement savings.

The reset would have been collapse, and for the other companies to buy the pieces, assets, brands, etc, and re-hire some of the workforce.

The problem is that when the workers lost their jobs, they would stop spending money.  This large of an amount of unemployment would have hit unemployment insurance funds, and the cash-flow of most other corporations.  The loss of cash flow would have dried up surplus cash reserves, as companies struggled to downsize to the lower demand.  This would create more unemployment.  The bottom would have been what, 30% unemployment?

At that point, there would be riots in many many places, much more than we have security/police forces for.  The cost to the government to protect those who were still employed through sheer luck, would be enormous.  This would be "the zombie invasion."  It wouldn't be some biological disease, it would be hunger, resentment, and loss.

42% of US households have guns.  The hungry and the not hungry would be forced to use them to protect their families.  We would have a civil war, based on hunger.  And then there would be disposal of the bodies to deal with.  There would be properties abandoned because the family fled, or was killed.

This is all speculation of course, but it's not "worst case" and it's not overly extreme.  It's entirely possible.  More likely, the federal government would be forced by the populous to deficit spend in order to feed the people.  This would have been a much more socialist policy than what the economic right wants.

There are very few corporations in the country other than the federal government who could fund this sort of "bail out".  You didn't see Ford offering to buy junk bonds of GM and Chrysler.

So really, a few billion in loans to help bankrupt companies restructure was a necessary evil.

Why am I even talking about this now, since it's passed?  I don't know.  The thoughts just came to mind, as I've found a good number of very fiscally right people on my friend's list, and I just don't see how a purely free market would in any way help anyone other than the lucky, uncommonly cautious, and those who have resources already.

I don't think the far left is good either.  Overly taxed leads into an authoritarian structure, but I think some manner of government intervention, just as a power competition against the oligarchies of big business, is a good thing.  This can be had, without giving up too much personal control to the government.  People need to understand that zero corporate regulation is no the same as zero personal regulation.  Corporations will regulate consumers.
xaminmo: Josh 2016 (Default)
Based on the risk of death people are willing to take in order to save time, the average value of an average human's life is 125,000 hours. That amounts to 14.26 years. If value is productivity, then that's 59.9 years at 40 hours/50 weeks productivity. That's pretty close to actual value if you assume 18 years are not spent being productive -- for example, several years as a young kid, and several years as an old adult. That brings you to 77.9 years, or the average lifespan in the US.

When multiplied by average wages, it puts the average human life value at $1.54 million US Dollars, ¥190 million Japanese yen, or £980,000 British pounds.

Ref: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2002/10/09/5646/

On a vaguely related note, the pound, dollar and yen are all based off of names for Spanish silver Peso coins.

The $ symbol was a "P S" typed over eachother, as in Peso Spanish. Spanish Pesos were called Dollars. Dollar is a slang derivation of the name of the Holy Roman Empire silver mines of Joachimstaler. A Spanish Peso was also a "Piece of Eight", and equalled 8 Reales (or bits). The US post-dated Spanish colonialism, and used their in-place currency system. Once the US developed its own currency, it was modeled after what was already in use for practical reasons to prevent interruption and confusion in trade.

The £ symbol is from "Lire" or "Lira" which is from "Libra", meaning "scales", which was used for the basic unit of weight (abbr LB) for the Holy Roman Empire (328.9 grams, split into 12 uncia or ounces, which was known as a "tower pound"). A "Pound Sterling" was literally a pound of sterling silver, though the definitions of a pound have changed through several systems (tower, london, troy, avoirdupois).

The ¥ symbol is from "Yen" which is from the Spanish and Portuguese mispronounciation of EN (jen/wen/ien), which is/was the word for "round", in reference to "silver round", which is the name for spanish silver during early trade.

Retirement

May. 10th, 2012 01:43 pm
xaminmo: Josh 2016 (Default)
Based on my rate of capital accumulation over the last 14 years, and my retirement needs as estimated 14 years ago, I will need to work until age 77.5.

This is another reason that losing weight is a good idea. I'd really like to live long enough to enjoy retirement.
xaminmo: Josh 2016 (Default)
The FAA's reauthorization expired at 2011-07-23 00:01am.

What?

Let's clarify. The reauthorization is their authority to pull money from the "Airport and Airway Trust Frund" that was established in 1970. This funds roughly 60% of the FAA's budget and includes:

A) Facilities & Equipment - just what it says, plus any upgrades, construction, "Next Gen", etc.
B) Research, Engineering & Development - This includes aviation safety, and "NextGen".
C) Airport Improvement Program - This includes airport planning and development for public use airports.
D) Essential Air Service - This funds the gap between revenue and cost for lowest-bidder airlines to continue carrier service to communities that rely on carrier service, but which don't have enough passengers to be profitable.
E) Part of the FAA Operations account, which includes ATC, safety inspections, notices, charting, etc.

The FAA has not been reauthorized in full since 2007. For the last 4 years, political parties have been bickering over what they want to allow, based primarily on party lines. Considering the entire budget for the FAA is one third of that of Education, and a speck compared to "Defense".

Based on this, and the August 2 debt ceiling issue, regardless of what is done to alleviate issues, I think we're lookng at travel, transportation, and communication becoming more expensive, fewer operations, etc.

Basically, the US is slowly sliding into poverty. People are bickering about bits and pieces here and there, BUT WE PURPOSEFULLY DEVALUED OUR ENTIRE CURRENCY BY FIFTY PERCENT AND STILL CANNOT SPEND LESS THAN WE PRODUCE!
xaminmo: Josh 2016 (Default)
Ok, a couple of things...

#1, any suggestions for some sort of small, free graphic to help break up the sea of text:
http://avfc52f.com/wiki/Main_Page
Remember, it's a wiki, and it's to be utilitarian for a flying club. Some cleanup is OK, and maybe wordpress or something else would be or would have been better, but I'm not looking to complete redesign everything. Just anything glaringly horrid or easily fixed.

#2, any input on the obtrusiveness of the adds at:
http://avfc52f.com/data
compared to:
http://avfc52f.com/wiki/Main_Page
I know ads are tacky, but I pay for the hosting myself, and pay for the domain name(s), and biz cards, and a few things, so if I could offset that a little, it would be great. I just don't want to be uncomfortably advertisingly wrapped, which is why there's no skyscraper ads on the sidebar, etc.

#3, any input on how to advertise the flying club better? We're using adwords, but it's a little slow going. Biz cards at coffee shops seem to disappear, and we've gotten a couple of calls from that.
We don't really have an advertising budget because we're doing everything for free because we're members, trying to split/share costs. That being said, a couple of guys are putting up extra for expenses and such, so getting more members would have a financial value to several of us, and not just the plane owner.

PS, yes, I know "couple" means two, and I've set three.
xaminmo: (Baby poop)
https://www.schwab.com/
The clutter is befuddling.
The layout sucks.
There's no sense of what's important vs not important.

A) How much empty space is needed on the right side?
B) What percentage of the initial page needs to be disclaimers?
C) When is it good to embed text and FAKE TEXT LINKS in a graphic?
D) How many control elements should be on the start page of your site?

Honestly, I would never invest with them because their lead in page sucks this bad.
xaminmo: Josh 2016 (Default)
BlueEdge RSH6 Small Employer Group PPO
BenefitsIn NetworkOut of Network
DEDUCTIBLE PER INDIVIDUAL$ 3,500$ 7,000
DEDUCTIBLE PER FAMILY$ 7,000$ 14,000
OUT OF POCKET PER INDIVIDUAL$ 5,000$ 10,000
OUT OF POCKET PER FAMILY$ 10,000$ 20,000
HOSPITAL/MEDICAL SURGICAL PAYMENT LEVEL80%60%
PREAUTHORIZATION PENALTYNO PENALTY IN-NETWK$ 250
OFFICE VISIT PAYMENT LEVEL80%60%
ER ACCIDENT/MEDICAL B/C AND B/S PAYMENT LEVEL 80%
SKILLED NURSING BENEFIT PERIOD MAXIMUM25 DAYS
HEARING AID BENEFIT PERIOD MAXIMUM$ 1,000 PER 3 YEAR(S)
COORDINATED HOME CARE BENEFIT PERIOD MAXIMUM9999 VISITS


My vote would have been the BlueEdge HSA VII with $7k deductible for $5400/yr, 100% coverage at the deductible, and then take the extra $2k into an HSA.
xaminmo: Josh 2016 (Default)
For those in the US, remember to visit the FTC site for your yearly credit report orders. The FTC have web, phone and postal addresses listed at http://ftc.gov/freereports .
xaminmo: Josh 2016 (Default)
Shooman did some legwork and told me this:
The national debt clock website reports the Outstanding Public Debt as of 26 Oct 2010 at 01:03:09 PM GMT is: $ 13,682,716,591,148.67, The estimated population of the United States is 309,363,683 so each citizen's share of this debt is $44,228.58. The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $4.16 billion per day since September 28, 2007!

Also Wiki lists:
As of October 10, 2010, the "Total Public Debt Outstanding" was approximately 94% of annual GDP, ($13.616 Trillion) with the constituent parts of the debt ("Debt held by the Public") being approximately 66% of GDP ($9.01 Trillion) and "Intergovernmental Debt" standing at 34% of GDP .[2][3] The United States has the 20th highest debt to GDP ratio of all nations, and has the fourth highest of the G8 Nations

This was prompted by an Esquire article about a group who spent 3 days working on a high level budget with the target of balancing the budget and dropping national debt to 60% of GDP by 2020. The article is here:
http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/balance-federal-budget-101310

The Final Numbers:
Total Projected Revenues in 2020: $4.693 trillion (20.8% of GDP)
Total Projected Spending in 2020: $4.681 trillion (20.8% of GDP)
Total Projected Surplus in 2020: $12 billion
Projected Debt-to-GDP Ratio in 2020: 52%

Details: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/federal-budget-statistics-1110
xaminmo: (Baby poop)
http://www.aopa.org/advocacy/articles/2010/100519ca.html?WT.mc_id=100521eflight&WT.mc_sect=ftn
The California Private Postsecondary Act of 2009 will require flight schools to pay a yearly fee and open their books to regulators.

The intent of the law is to protect the financial wellbeing of students who seek an education at a postsecondary school.

If the school goes out of business, or is unable to fulfill its obligation to the student, the student is reimbursed a certain amount of money.

To fund the program, Part 141 FAA flight schools will now be required to pay an initial $5,000 fee, followed by a $1,000 annual fee, and 0.75 percent of yearly revenue to the program.


Am I the only person who thinks that this is a bad idea? That's a large amount of money. It's legally mandated solvency insurance that's managed by a government entity that has a questionable financial track record. It's higher taxes and higher burden on small business.
xaminmo: Josh 2016 (Default)
This was from 2006, after they lopped off 12 more zeros.



The Z$50bil note was worth around US$1.25.

When the Z$100bil note was released, it was enough to purchase 3 chicken eggs.

The notes are stamped with expiration dates.

Last year, they shut down the currenty and are using USD and a couple of other foreign currencies internally.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimbabwean_dollar

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xaminmo: Josh 2016 (Default)
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