Search found 1303 matches

by obgraham
Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strange message from Ally Bank
Replies: 26
Views: 1951

Re: Strange message from Ally Bank

Sorry - double post. Brain error.
by obgraham
Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strange message from Ally Bank
Replies: 26
Views: 1951

Re: Strange message from Ally Bank

It's just the way some wonk at Ally phrased their boilerplate message. I had the same message when I deposited a refund check from American Express. In fact AE had stopped payment on that check and issued me another, and I deposited the wrong one. Ally almost immediately saw the stop order, issued t...
by obgraham
Thu Apr 15, 2021 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amending medical record...best financial decision?
Replies: 27
Views: 2818

Re: Amending medical record...best financial decision?

I have to agree with the two posts below me. I'm a physician, so supposed to understand these things. However, at my "patient portal" for the electronic record, though there is a place for me to change things, it is just an entry slot. I followed the procedures to remove a couple of diagno...
by obgraham
Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Group wants me to be CFO -- advice?
Replies: 35
Views: 3549

Re: Medical Group wants me to be CFO -- advice?

Here's my minority viewpoint: A doc is the absolute best candidate to be the CFO. Having been in practice, seen the difficulties and rewards, and related with the other docs, he/she is in a great position to be the CFO. He knows what the doc want to accomplish. The financial theories etc are easily ...
by obgraham
Tue Apr 13, 2021 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Group wants me to be CFO -- advice?
Replies: 35
Views: 3549

Re: Medical Group wants me to be CFO -- advice?

OP, you're gonna need a VERY thick skin!

Herding cats is a breeze compared to keeping 20 docs all happy with their finances.
by obgraham
Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Snowbirds - mail and bills
Replies: 42
Views: 4299

Re: Snowbirds - mail and bills

Not all first class mail is forwarded by USPS. We found out the hard way that USPS won't forward a Medicare reimbursement check. Instead they return the check to Medicare. After we stopped temporary mail forwarding and went back to our primary residence, I endured about 3 hours on the phone with Me...
by obgraham
Fri Apr 02, 2021 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Snowbirds - mail and bills
Replies: 42
Views: 4299

Re: Snowbirds - mail and bills

I simply use a mail forwarding service from the Post Office. I submit it on line.

In the fall I forward my mail from North to South.
In the spring I cancel that forwarding, and submit another frim South to North.

Works out fine. I never set foot in the actual post office.
by obgraham
Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cancer, Heart Attack & Stroke Insurance
Replies: 9
Views: 812

Re: Cancer, Heart Attack & Stroke Insurance

It's a close second to a scam. Take me, for example. On Medicare, with a Plan F supplement. Two years back I had surgery for colon cancer. 3 day hospital stay, nothing beyond except followup. Good. Total expense to me: Zero. If I had that insurance, it might have coughed up $450. Peanuts in tbe tota...
by obgraham
Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes - Success in Doing Them Yourself
Replies: 34
Views: 2750

Re: Taxes - Success in Doing Them Yourself

Just to be clear: married to a former CPA here. The base costs to a CPA to file your return have risen a lot. One of the major suppliers of computer services for accountant (LaCerte) now charges over $300 per return filed. Sure, it's less for a big high volume tax preparer. But that's before the CPA...
by obgraham
Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When Credit Card Fraud Happens Stay on Top of It!
Replies: 52
Views: 4998

Re: When Credit Card Fraud Happens Stay on Top of It!

I have had frauds appear on cards from Chase and from PNC.

Both handled them immediately, started the process from their end, and resolved them rapidly and cooperatively. No hassles whatsoever..
by obgraham
Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Input for Selling a Medical Practice
Replies: 9
Views: 835

Re: Input for Selling a Medical Practice

An important issue in selling a practice is the records. Ideally a buyer will take over management of the records. It's worth paying something to have that taken care of.

Dealing with patient records after retiring is an onerous task. (Ask me how I know!)
by obgraham
Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife's OBGYN will only refer her to one location.
Replies: 53
Views: 4630

Re: Wife's OBGYN will only refer her to one location.

ObGyn (once!) here:
If you have access to BJC it is beyond me why you would be considering anything else. If I read your original post correctly, you can go there for little expense, though it is out of network.

Simply inform the Ob that you wish to go there. That should end all the waffling.
by obgraham
Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't opt out of State Farm paper bills and docs
Replies: 9
Views: 530

Re: Can't opt out of State Farm paper bills and docs

Indeed, SF will not abandon their paper habits. My agent confirmed this also. They also do not have a way to download the same document they mail out, as virtually every other outfit does. I do as stated -- scan what I need, and shred the paper. Their web site has been improved and it is now a lot e...
by obgraham
Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do employers know who got the vaccine?
Replies: 24
Views: 1425

Re: Do employers know who got the vaccine?

I'm quite sure that any insurance company releasing individual information regarding vaccine receipt to an employer would be in violation of the law. Think HIPAA.
by obgraham
Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New doctors
Replies: 13
Views: 1771

Re: New doctors

Raymond wrote: Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:05 am
Also, "one house, one spouse."
This. Plus "no more than one crazy car".
by obgraham
Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Printing Vanguard docs
Replies: 34
Views: 1695

Re: Printing Vanguard docs

Though I haven't gone as far as OP and gone "printer free", I actually print virtually nothing that I save these days. All PDF's. In fact if I get something on paper, it gets immediately scanned into a PDF. With all tax docs in a computer folder marked for that year, there isn't even a rea...
by obgraham
Sat Jan 30, 2021 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Broker 3rd degree over every retirement withdrawal?
Replies: 61
Views: 7139

Re: Broker 3rd degree over every retirement withdrawal?

Simple: move your 401k to an IRA and run it yourself.
Been doing that for 20 years, everything at Vanguard. Zero issues.
by obgraham
Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping Tax Returns
Replies: 27
Views: 2046

Re: Keeping Tax Returns

<t>One bad thing I found with a Brother multifunction: when the printer function went T/U due to a faulty inkjet cartridge, I could not get the machine to even power up to enable scanning. All sorts of finagling, browsing, and customer support simply determined the thing was toast.<br/> <br/> I pref...
by obgraham
Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for a mid-30s humanities graduate student
Replies: 127
Views: 9926

Re: Advice for a mid-30s humanities graduate student

The other thing OP is not considering is inflation. Planning on having 500k to fund retirement 25 years from now is not realistic. That 500k might well be the equivalent of 100k, and that won't cut it. I believe they are talking present dollar amount, so the 5% real rate would take into account the...
by obgraham
Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken for Mac Users - Best Alternative
Replies: 15
Views: 1154

Re: Quicken for Mac Users - Best Alternative

douginct wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 6:38 pm Can one print checks with See Finance? I have a stack of checks for Quicken that I’d love to use.
What for? I had a box of 500 or so. But their usefulness evaporated. Shredded!
by obgraham
Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for a mid-30s humanities graduate student
Replies: 127
Views: 9926

Re: Advice for a mid-30s humanities graduate student

The other thing OP is not considering is inflation.
Planning on having 500k to fund retirement 25 years from now is not realistic. That 500k might well be the equivalent of 100k, and that won't cut it.
by obgraham
Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ophthalmologist's 1st offer post-fellowship... how to negotiate offer/contract??
Replies: 8
Views: 1395

Re: Ophthalmologist's 1st offer post-fellowship... how to negotiate offer/contract??

One more thing to consider: Who pays the liability insurance? And if the doc leaves, either at the end of the contract or some other time, who pays the "tail" for the liability insurance? It's likely that the second job's insurance may not cover claims allotted to the first job. This is mo...
by obgraham
Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for Negotiating a Used Car Purchase?
Replies: 14
Views: 1234

Re: Advice for Negotiating a Used Car Purchase?

Always keep in mind that dealers make far greater profit off used car sales than they do on new car sales. So there is always room for them to wiggle, if they wish to make the sale. You have to be prepared to walk out the door. Tough to do if they have THE car you want and you're afraid you won't fi...
by obgraham
Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those retired or FI, how much do you spend annually?
Replies: 286
Views: 20916

Re: For those retired or FI, how much do you spend annually?

Well all I can say is that back in the days when we were able to go on cruises, we came across LOTS of folks spending way more than 90-100k, even before the travel expenses. Diamonds and fashion always have their aficionados! (We men on the other hand are happy with a new wrench once in a while and ...
by obgraham
Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Soon to be attending physician
Replies: 28
Views: 3694

Re: Soon to be attending physician

Decades ago, a wiser old doc gave me some pithy advice:
"Hang onto the same wife (or husband, these days!) and buy no more than one silly car."

Still good long term plan. Put me in position to retire at 55, still comfy at 75.

Except I wish I still had that one silly car!
by obgraham
Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:36 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: "The Hills of Bastogne"
Replies: 93
Views: 6239

Re: "The Hills of Bastogne"

Pretty much everything we can say about this has been said here.

But it hasn't been said by me.

So I'll repeat what others have said. Thank you, Mr Larimore, and all your compatriots.
by obgraham
Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What advice to give 40ish sons
Replies: 15
Views: 2493

Re: What advice to give 40ish sons

A gift is a gift. Attaching advice might seem appropriate at the time, but will likely cause some hurt feelings which will surface at a later date.

If you don't think the recipient is capable of handling the gift without your advice, I suggest you hold off.
by obgraham
Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacement for Quicken
Replies: 24
Views: 1342

Re: Replacement for Quicken

I have been using Quicken 2014, which has come down to a simple check register since Intuit stopped supporting it (and moved to a monthly pay option). Is there a free option for a computerized check register out there? I am replacing my 2010 computer and will not be able to reinstall the old Quicke...
by obgraham
Wed Dec 09, 2020 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Talk me out of buying a $1m condo in San Francisco in December 2020
Replies: 104
Views: 10098

Re: Talk me out of buying a $1m condo in San Francisco in December 2020

To me, the key statement in OP's post is that he likes living in downtown SF, and likes to do the things for which it is known: biking rather than driving, high density living, etc. All the things that a lot of us BH types here don't like at all. So if there is a trend out of the city, and a dip in ...
by obgraham
Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone used a Career Coach for new college graduate?
Replies: 105
Views: 4672

Re: Has anyone used a Career Coach for new college graduate?

It's too late now to debate the logic of this person's career choice. Does the "career coach" get paid regardless, or only if he/she is successful in finding a job for the client? It seems to me that in a field as specific as this one, some "consultancy" may be just the ticket to...
by obgraham
Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Evaluating possible jobs
Replies: 57
Views: 3951

Re: Evaluating possible jobs

I too am not in your line of work, but you did ask here for opinions. In my view, clearly Job #1 is your best fit. When you stated that your #1 goal was to spend as little time at work as possible you are setting yourself up not to succeed in #2 and #3. Your best bet is to understand your own priori...
by obgraham
Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card application
Replies: 14
Views: 1027

Re: Credit card application

I've done exactly what OP is asking. We also live off our IRA.
The answer to "what is your income" is precisely your usual IRA withdrawals plus SS.
Need proof? -- here's my 1040 page 1.

End of discussion.
by obgraham
Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fed up With Flagship
Replies: 291
Views: 20250

Re: Fed up With Flagship

It boggles my mind that investors will plonk a couple of million into a company like Vanguard, then get all out of joint that they can't have a free TurboTax. Really? That's what you think is important? Obviously, some folks here are expecting something more from Vanguard than I do. I've been with t...
by obgraham
Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Check Copies Being Removed from Bank Statement
Replies: 16
Views: 1286

Re: Check Copies Being Removed from Bank Statement

Well I left Cap One 360 over this issue. I want to be able to see the check image, even if it was a check sent by the online BillPay service. Mostly I want to see the back side -- to know who and when it was cashed. The few folks I send a check or BillPay to are usually home service people. I someti...
by obgraham
Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Car Issue
Replies: 19
Views: 2350

Re: New Car Issue

One indication of whether the dealer is planning to help you or hassle you is if they will give you a loaner while they work on yours. I don't believe they are required to. However when I had the transmission die on my new Subaru, the dealer was flumoxxed as to the cause, and had it for three weeks....
by obgraham
Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Record Keeping and Financial Statements - what to keep and how
Replies: 49
Views: 3220

Re: Record Keeping and Financial Statements - what to keep and how

Well I'm one of those who keeps everything. Mostly because I find it occasionally interesting, but also so that I or my family can produce any document should it be required in the future. Since 2005 every single record is on the computer in pdf. (Except titles, birth certify, etc, and notarized stu...
by obgraham
Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IHG Vacation Club (Possible Inheritance) - Seeking Clarity
Replies: 36
Views: 2834

Re: IHG Vacation Club (Possible Inheritance) - Seeking Clarity

I've attended two timeshare sales pitches in Vegas (both entirely as a means to be paid to receive entertainment in the middle of the day.) Just did the second one last month. We were given $150 of real cash (VISA gift cards) to watch their shenanigans and review their great "deals." It a...
by obgraham
Sun Nov 08, 2020 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance - Which provider would you recommend
Replies: 13
Views: 1663

Re: Umbrella Insurance - Which provider would you recommend

Can't overemphasize the value of keeping the same company for auto/home and umbrella insurances. Some years back I had a suit filed against me following a relatively minor collision. That big company State SomethingOrOther jumped on it, initiated a rapid defense, and had the matter exposed as a shak...
by obgraham
Sat Nov 07, 2020 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No RMD required this year
Replies: 39
Views: 3192

Re: No RMD required this year

Next year the tax rates will likely be higher. I'm not aware that any changes to the federal tax rates have been scheduled for next year. Since @obgraham's entire post was about tax brackets. It is almost certain they were referring to tax brackets being higher. Which are now adjusted by the chaine...
by obgraham
Sat Nov 07, 2020 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No RMD required this year
Replies: 39
Views: 3192

Re: No RMD required this year

There is another factor involved here. Taxes. Those of us who live off our IRA, and perhaps normally withdraw more than the RMD, need to pay attention to the tax brackets. If I take a bunch less out of the IRA this year (under the usual RMD) I may be throwing away the option of paying at the lowest ...
by obgraham
Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance for mother visiting from Canada?
Replies: 6
Views: 824

Re: Health Insurance for mother visiting from Canada?

Where I snowbird, in Arizona, the community is perhaps 40% Canadians. Virtually all of them purchase separate health insurance for their US stay. It's widely available in Canada, and is considered just one of the costs of coming to the US. This year at least a couple of them have told me their insur...
by obgraham
Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Withdraw dividends & capital gains from 401k in early retirement?
Replies: 20
Views: 1598

Re: Withdraw dividends & capital gains from 401k in early retirement?

Keep in mind that is very hard to make predictions, especially about the future. (Thanks, Yogi!) However, I did just what most are recommending here: retired at 55, and lived off my after-tax assets for several years, leaving the IRA to appreciate. That actually allowed me to pay zero taxes for seve...
by obgraham
Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing a lake house with my parents
Replies: 37
Views: 3748

Re: Purchasing a lake house with my parents

I guess some folks thrive on a complicated life. But really: --A complex ownership arrangement with family members. --Other family members not participating. --Running rotating VRBO's with two homes, and shifting residence between the two frequently. --Two homes to maintain and repair, both subject ...
by obgraham
Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired physicians (but others ok too. ;))
Replies: 59
Views: 6863

Re: Retired physicians (but others ok too. ;))

Retired now for 20 years. I then did a fair bit of overseas mission medicine, for which I needed a valid license, but the "retired-active" category in my state worked fine for that. Only $100 every 2 years. Otherwise, bagged the DEA registration, and converted specialty memberships to &quo...
by obgraham
Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any retirees thought about cutting spending in March 2020?
Replies: 53
Views: 3933

Re: Any retirees thought about cutting spending in March 2020?

Another aspect to this discussion: though it surely sounds like most retirees spent less just because the opportunity to spend declined. However, I bet most of us at least thought about the decline in portfolio/IRA value, and the economy in general. In our case it served to remind us that we do inde...
by obgraham
Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any retirees thought about cutting spending in March 2020?
Replies: 53
Views: 3933

Re: Any retirees thought about cutting spending in March 2020?

We have left our "daily living" expenses about the same since the virus. But we canceled all our travel. That was our major expense beyond daily living. So our IRA withdrawals (thats what we live on) are markedly down this year. That's probably good for our net worth, but it is certainly d...
by obgraham
Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you estimate post-retirement income tax?
Replies: 21
Views: 2041

Re: How do you estimate post-retirement income tax?

For me it is simple. We live off our IRA. (that is its purpose). So it is taxable, same as when we earned by working. So is a good chunk of Social Security. So whatever income level you are planning, look up the tax at any online bracket chart, and there you go. For most of us (not all, I know!) in ...
by obgraham
Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To architect or not to architect?
Replies: 21
Views: 2192

Re: To architect or not to architect?

We built our dream home years sgo, using an architect from original planning through final occupancy. My builder was unfamiliar with working with an architect, so there was some learning to be done. We were very pleased with how it turned out. But yes, it was expensive, perhaps 25% of the final cost...
by obgraham
Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old friend joined Northwestern Mutual -- how to politely explain they're awful
Replies: 87
Views: 7314

Re: Old friend joined Northwestern Mutual -- how to politiely explain they're awful

Lets compare this to another field: I'm a retired doctor. I knew a lot of doctors when I was in practice. Lots of them were my friends (still are). I also knew that a bunch of them were not very good at what they did. But they remained my friends, and I never got into discussions about their abiliti...
by obgraham
Mon Aug 24, 2020 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cancelling upcoming trip
Replies: 44
Views: 5599

Re: Cancelling upcoming trip

I learned a hard lesson this spring. I will never again book hotels through consolidators or 3rd party websites. Only direct to the hotel. And no more prepaid bookings. I lost about $1000 of hotel bookings in Europe for May and June. Sure, sometimes they had a no-cancel stipulation, so I haven't a l...