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Archive for October, 2015

College savings

October 30th, 2015 at 05:11 pm

So we're on track for retirement and being financially independent. However I know my DH and I have taken care of ourselves at the expense of our children. We aren't going to be eating cat food and we are going to provide them with a good life and education k-12. We are going to give them a nice place to live, healthy food, and an education.

But what about college? That's the elephant in the room. I love reading CreditCardFree's posts about college. It is costing $17k/semester for her daughter to go to a state school. That means it is $136k without scholarships to go to the state school. OMG. And I understand it's out of state tuition but she explained the scholarship brings it in line with in state tuition which still isn't cheap!

But they are paying $7100 this semester because of a $10k scholarship and with the scholarship it works out to $75k for 4 years. Another reader Joe said he paid out of pocket after scholarships $9k for the semester which works out to $72k for 4 years. Jolie says they are paying $13k for the year or semester I can't tell. Either way it works out to $52k for 4 years or $104k for 4 years. Ms Frugalista said it cost $40k and probably $47k in total for each of her two kids now.

So I'm going to estimate right now in 2015 $70k is not an outrageous amount to be paying for college for 4 years. That works out to be around $17k/year. Assuming a very conservative 3% inflation rate I'll need $100k in 12 years. Granted I have an extra 4 years to pay this over and I have 15 years for my younger kid.

$100k for each kid as a ballpark number seems like a reasonable amount. I have 16 years for one and 19 years for the other because I will likely borrow and pay back based on grades. I want my kids to have skin in the game.

But we've only save $14k for DK1 and $9k for DK2 at a rate of $2k/year. According to a calculator if we save $2k/year for 16 years and get a rate of 6% return we will have $88k for DK1. So we may make it depending on the market. However if we save $300/month for 16 years at 6% we can have $130k. For our younger DK2 we have $9k and if we save $2k/year we'll have after 19 more years $96k @ 6% rate of return. However if we save $300/month for 19 years @ 5% we'll have $152k.

Can we find $300/month more for college? I think we can. After we buy a house and determine our living expense I'll show DH our potential college savings deficit and determine if we think $100k is enough for each child.

I've always said I'd like to provide 4 years at the state school and anything above we can't guarantee. Of course if they go somewhere really cheap I'd also love to give them the balance for graduate school!

Why you should save for retirement now...

October 30th, 2015 at 04:29 pm

I have a lot of friends who are putting off saving for retirement. Many put off retirement savings for a house. They are busy trying to squirrel away money for their first home. Then suddenly they get into the home and it's MUCH more expensive than they expected. They weren't used to saving for retirement. Then suddenly they are 30 or 32 and haven't saved a penny for retirement. Or they are saving for retirement but they want to focus on paying off the mortgage in 15 years. Or start saving for college.

Here's what happened for us. We started in our 20s. As soon as DH got a real job it was #1 priority. We determined before we bought a house that retirement savings maximum was a line item before we determined what we could afford. It just was something that we deemed necessary since we at the time only had $4k saved for me. DH didn't have any accounts being a foreigner and honestly until then I only had a Roth IRA but we were busy paying off car loans, student loans, and living as graduate students on income very close to the poverty line. So saving for retirement was a pipe dream for us. Something we knew we had to do and we felt we had to catch up.

Well we started saving and all money went to saving for retirement, building an EF, more student loans for an MBA, and the house just took a backseat. We made our payments and lived.

When we turned around we had saved over $550k for retirement in 10 years. Using a retirement calculator if we don't contribute a penny more and retire at 55, using a 7% return we'd have $1.8M for retirement. This nest egg will last us at a rate of $80k/year until age 82 not including a penny of Social Security. We currently spend including our rent $65k/year. This means our nest egg will last until 89 without social security and assuming we are still paying $2400/month in rent/mortgage. Our expenses are a lot lower if we are done with a house payment by 55 (not unreasonable). Right now we could easily live on $40k without a rent or mortgage and we've got enough cash to buy our current house without a mortgage. So our nest egg $550k would be $2.8M when we die if we lived off of $40k now and never saved another penny or used social security. Assuming we worked until 60 we'd start off with a nest egg of $2.6M and we'd die leaving behind $1.0M for our heirs.

So by saving from 26 to 36 we basically funded our retirement. If we choose not to save another penny I think with something from social security and a paid for home we'd have enough to retire early at 55 with and income more than we live on now. If we waited until 60 it'd be ridiculous.

So don't put saving for retirement on hold. I know how easy it is to justify that you have other savings like a home, car, etc. I think it's something you just have to get used and do it. Every penny we save now I know will be worth less than we had saved it 10 years ago. But doing this calculation, my plan is that we will continue saving the maximum 401k, Roth IRAs until we retire. And the goal is 100% income replacement and being financially independent by age 50. This is a stretch goal i think 55 is realistic.

What's middle class

October 29th, 2015 at 05:01 pm

I don't know what is middle class it appears to be what you live like. Most people aren't sure either. Great discussion on the forum.

I think the house we're in is absolutely middle class, it has 3 bd, 2.5 ba and is 1800 sq ft with a 2 car attached garage on 5000 sq ft lot. It's in a preplanned neighborhood. Lots of young families are moving in school district. People have either 1 or 2 cars. They both work or a stay at home parents. It appears completely middle of the road.

Is it more than we had 40 years ago? In some ways yes. We have internet, cable tv, cell phones, etc. But in other ways I think the middle class also has less.

What ways? It is a fact that less people today are covered by pensions than 40 years ago, even 20 years ago. Very few people have free medical insurance for life from their jobs after retirement. I think only the military has it. Constantly articles are written about people having only $100k in 401k. Here's the truth that when people like my mom in her 60s retired at 55 with a pension for life she didn't need a 401k. She had one but she didn't have much nor did most people older than her. The majority of baby boomers had pensions and social security. I am curious what will happen to people when the scales start to tip and people retire without pension?

Second health insurance premiums have gone up exponentially. People are still tied to employers but many employers are trying to switch employees to high deductible premium plans and use health savings accounts. This usually costs more for the employees. The real hit? That 40 years ago most employers picked up the entire premium payment, versus today when employees are often foot at least a portion of the premium if not most.

Third, college costs have skyrocketed. Even cheaper alternatives like community college and state schools are difficult to afford working and going to school. In the 80s people could still "work" and make enough to afford tuition. Is it realistic now? No. Now even the cheapest schools are out of reach for people working and going to school full time. The irony is that having a degree no is more important than ever!

I think in many ways the middle class lives more luxurious lives than before. We have a more amenities that people didn't have because of technology. But I also think that the middle class was more cared for in retirement and prior by companies, government jobs, versus today a lot more emphasis is placed on the worker.

What do you think defines the middle class?

Renting is not throwing money away

October 26th, 2015 at 08:59 pm

Renting is not throwing money away. I went to a pampered chef party on Friday and meet up with some new people in the neighborhood. The pampered chef spokesperson just moved from Boulder, CO; the host just moved from Avon, OH, another woman just moved from Pittsburgh, PA, and the rest were from the area but a few had just sold and moved homes.

All I kept hearing was that renting was throwing away money. All of the other three women who were "renting" had come and lived in a hotel for a month because they had attempted to buy a house. But they were unable to do so because the housing market was so hot they were outbid on multiple homes. They were all feeling this pressure to buy a home NOW. All three are currently looking while renting. They ended up renting because they were unable to find anything else. They had come out on house hunting trips but the market was too hot.

I was the only one whose plan was always to rent and possibly rent another year. When I said it was cheaper to rent than to buy right now the rents weren't lining up everyone else said the problem isn't housing prices, it's that I'm flushing money down the toilet.

I ran the numbers and according to a blog about how to tell if a home is a good rental the short answer no. The rents are not 1% of the purchase price of the homes right now. The cap rate of the property right now is 2.5% which is Net Operating Income/Value. The cash on cash return is 13% however which is NOI/Down Payment. So the cash on cash leverage is the only thing going for these rental homes. That an appreciation.

Besides all these women talking about flushing money away, we went to look at some new construction homes as well. Well the builder/seller there said "you need to lock our prices in, because next year it'll be 10-15% higher due to appreciation in the area, and you get the gain. Not the builder! So put down a deposit and get into this market before you are priced out."

This is probably a very typical tactic but I must say if anything this made me feel like running for the door. We're in no position to buy and might not be in position to buy next summer. But I think investigating the situation before leaping even if we had great/stable jobs, income, etc is still a good idea.

If we had moved with jobs I'd still hesitate because what if we ended up not liking the area and moving again? What if the job turned into something we hated? I wonder with all this talk if there is another housing bubble happening. Seems like homes went up 15% a year for the past 3 years. But the fundamentals are different right from the last bubble? Maybe it's because it was flat for so long? Or is it again that people are going nuts?

Paul Ryan and Family Leave

October 26th, 2015 at 02:32 am

I have to admit I like the fact Paul Ryan admits his hesitation for taking on the speaker of the house job is his family. That he reluctant to give up weekend family time. That he feels time is short. He gets it.

What I don't get is how he could vote against paid family leave for government workers and in general be against paid family leave for all workers if he values family? If his family is important to him, isn't our families important to us?

I am also impressed recently that Microsoft and Google have changed their paid maternity leave. I have met people who adored the paid 20 weeks of leave Microsoft had and now with the 1 year paid leave every woman I've talked to is EXCITED and feels empowered. The idea that a company understands picking between work and family is HARD.

And the truth is Paul Ryan is privileged. That he gets to tell the republican party his family is important and not lose his job. That he can afford to fly back and forth and see his family every weekend.

When I had my first I was back in 12 weeks to finish up work. I worked another 12 weeks before staying home permanently and because of it I was under tremendous pressure with childcare. I used temporary measures and family (my mom and MIL) came back and forth to help. I worked nights while my DH worked days because we knew it was temporary and I couldn't find a daycare for short term. But my 12 weeks were unpaid and I was GRATEFUL to even get that. I had met during my time off women who were going back after 6 or 8 weeks. More than a few quit rather than go back. One teacher went back after 4 weeks because she needed the money.

I didn't think it fair then and I don't think it's fair now. I would say about 20% of the women I met had paid leave and 80% had unpaid. But the 80% were just happy to have anything and those who were paid were thrilled even more.

Can we change our policy? You know the Canadian elections just occurred and they voted into a majority the liberal party. I am curious what will happen. As of right now women and men get up to 1 year paid maternity and paternity leave. They are able to split it between parents or just one. It makes for happier workers I can say because everyone I've met whose got it has been thrilled.

And interesting side aspect is that it allows often new college graduates a chance to get experience because they often get hired on a 1 year contract while a person is on "family leave." It's how my friend Mrs D got her first job out of college and parlayed that into a full time position. Then when she moved she landed another 1 year contract and again parlayed that into a full time position. I wonder if this would help new college graduates in the US if they were able to land 1 year contract positions for "experience"?

I now wonder will Paul Ryan push for paid family leave since he's expressed his desire for his own family time? Does he get it now? Has having children changed him? Does it make him more sympathetic?

Auto Insurance Update

October 24th, 2015 at 08:30 pm

So this year after moving our premium for our 2010 Subaru Outback and 2006 Hyundai Sonata is $612 per 6 months or $1224 for 1 year. This is for full coverage on the subaru outback and liability only on the sonata. The breakdown is $345 for 6 months on the Subaru and $267 per 6 months on the Sonata. We are carrying the maximum coverage besides at $250k/500k/$100k and $500 deductible and $250k/$500k coverage on collision.

This is with terrible driving records such as 3 accidents on record at fault. And our premium for sure went up from last year because my DH had I believe 1 claim from being hit while parked, and 1 claim for an at fault accident. My DH is the one with all 3 accidents and all claims thus far.

Last year we paid for full coverage on both vehicles for 1 year $534 for the Subaru and $527 for the Sonata for 1 year for the $250/$500k/$100k limits and $500 deductible.

This year we pay $167 for renter's insurance and $200 for $1 million dollar in umbrella coverage. I priced out progressive, geico, aaa and no one else was close to in price for our cars/homes, driving record. I love Ameriprise.

I am curious if anyone else with Costco membership has priced out the auto and home and umbrella insurance and if they are with Ameriprise or have they gone with Geico or Progressive or someone else.

Everyone I've referred to Costco insurance has switched because it's been cheaper than what they had. So I'd like to know what companies can beat cost? I think that savings on the insurance alone more than makes up for the membership since you can get membership for $55/year.

Costco Insurance

October 23rd, 2015 at 05:13 pm

I hear a lot of people saying costco isn't worth it. I have to save if you have a membership to costco have you checked out and priced compared at least the home, auto, and umbrella against what you currently have? Before giving up your costco membership or deciding against buying a membership I would definitely call and price out their insurance if it's available in the state you're in. I'm curious others save money.

We've had 3 auto accidents (my DH all of them) and the customer service has been fantastic. We've had 3 home water damage claims and the service again has been phenomenal. I recently claimed a windshield chip and they repaired it without a complaint immediately. When doing the repairs on our cars they got on it asap. My BIL totalled his car and he got paid out way more than he expected. Besides the follow up, call back, just the customer service overall is amazing.

Anyway I'm a huge fan of costco and even if we didn't live super close I'd still be a member. Previously we weren't that close to costco but I kept my membership for insurance. Now that it's one of our two main shopping stops.

Also if it matters they treat their employees great. They pay them a living wage and treat them very nicely. My cousin worked for costco corporate and the benefits are great and they worked and let her transfer stores. In hawaii most people stay employed over 20 years. So you are into supporting companies that care Costco is one I'm happy to spend my dollars supporting. And their return policy is amazing.

The month spending so far and fraud

October 22nd, 2015 at 05:11 pm

So our spending is getting more in line this month so far. We've spent $141 on gas. Probably another fill up for us both so we will be at $200 for the month. We've spent $45 on alcohol out of $50 budgeted. We've spent only $329 on groceries which seems low but we have another week. I am hoping to spend around $500, but we've been eating from the pantry and freezer a lot. Plus we've spent $103 on eating out so far this month. We still have to spend $28 on spooky spaghetti night fundraiser for the school next Thursday. We paid our electric and heat bill for $84.

I also used my discover cash back and got $120 in Land's end gift cards with 20% extra cash back. I have to admit I bought these canvas tote bags I've been lusting after for years. I always eyed the LL Bean bags with canvas tote with zipper in different sizes. But I thought spending $30-40 a bag too much. Well they had 30% off deal and my mom last time she visited expressed her desire for a new bag. I used the gift cards and bought her a black bag monogrammed, just like the one she has. And I bought myself three different sizes. I will definitely keep the medium size tote but I'm unsure if I want the large or x-large size. Has anyone seen these totes? I have multiple friends and have lusted after it for a long time but couldn't justify it. But I decided since I got the cash back plus the bonus cash back I'd take advantage. It cost me $5 OOP plus $100 cash back for the $125 worth of gift cards.

Ugh I also had to call discover and get another new credit card. What is going on? This is yet the third time, once in July, once in August there have been fraudulent charges from online orders. UGGH.

And then the axe fell

October 21st, 2015 at 08:37 pm

So a few weeks ago the VP of my DH's old company got fired. Well technically he "resigned" because of a difference in opinion with management. But from everyone there he was canned for being a A#&(!)#! He walked into the building and was walking out by noon.

What does that have anything to do with us? Well today there was a massive layoff at my DH's old company. 12% of people are being let go by December but they were being informed today.

So it might have been nice to get unemployment and severance. If he were chosen. But my DH said it's better to not be there. Right after layoffs it's depressing to see everyone laid off being the "walking wounded." They are working until December before the layoff officially kicks in and severance and unemployement are claimed.

What would we have done? I don't know. But right now the market is terrible to sell and moving mid year I would not have enjoyed. In some ways my DH feels he came out ahead getting to leave on his own terms.

He's a little worried for friends who are losing their jobs but at the same time maybe they'll be better off. Certainly we ended up in a place unemployed but cheaper and a much happy place. Plus instead of a old, drafty townhouse we couldn't heat, we're in a newer, single family that is very comfortably insulated!

But it is a pretty depressing day for many friends.

Reflecting on time with family

October 20th, 2015 at 03:33 am

I'm very sad to hear so many bloggers are struggling with their parents health right now. It really puts into perspective what's important in life, well at least to me.

I've lived now half my life away from the island since leaving for college and I've moved around a bit. But the one constant since I left was going home at least 1x/year usually 2x/year. The draw was always my parents, grandparents, great-grandmother, and extended family. I can honestly say I missed out on many travel adventures because my DH and I spent a lot of money on seeing my family and his instead of going trips to Europe, Asia, etc. And granted the trips were cheaper than traveling since we usually saved on hotel costs. But the real cost was the lack of vacation time we had after we visited our families. We tried to travel off peak times so we could save and we still do. But we have spent a lot on visiting our families.

But this weekend we were invited to our neighbors housewarming party and I heard more than one person ask my DH what he does. His answer is nothing. He says I quit because he wanted to stay at home with the kids.

When we first came up with moving in March, my DH said besides being ready for a change, he decided that he was envious of the time I got as a stay at home mom with the kids. He felt he was missing out on so much by working full time and life was slipping by. He wanted some time to interact with the kids before they were too busy running away from us (already happening in kindergarten!)

So this weekend when people asked he told them he had no idea life with kids and not working was amazingly busy. It gave him a greater appreciation of what I've been doing with them. But also he's enjoying the interaction and having more than an hour in the morning, and a couple of hours are night. He's learning more about their habits and how to deal with them. He also said if it means working an extra year when he's 60 for a free year now at 37 he's ready and willing to do it.(probably closer to 2 years)

We made the move for many reasons. And I know deep down my DH and I were not as frugal as we could have been these past 15 years traveling, spending time with our families, etc. Further it might have made more sense for me to have been working when we had the kids to have saved every penny. And it's certainly not financially prudent to not be working now.

But I can't give anyone a hard time for choosing to spend money to see or spend time with family. I also can't give anyone a hard time choosing to cut back on working to spend more time with their kids when they are young. I guess I do believe in Mr Money Mustache and early retirement, but I also think perhaps the greater lesson is financial independence isn't only for early retirement. It's the opportunity to make the best financial decision you can for the place you are at. Working because you have to is different from working because you want to. And sometimes you work for the privilege of being able to take time off or see your family more.

My dad turns 85 this year. He will be spending Christmas in our "rental" home with our first tree for the kids. I hope we have our own home next year and he's able to spend it with us. This is a real treat and something I can't put a price tag on or express how lucky I am. My other hope is my grandmother who is 86 is able to make 1 trip to see us. Because of their ages I've always done trips to see them since neither would have seen my younger child if I hadn't. They haven't been to the east coast in years. I also hope to take the kids maybe this summer to see DH's grandmothers but we'll see. This might be our only opportunity.

I hope everyone struggling with their parents has a peaceful night. I am very grateful that my family is doing well and I realize how fortunate I am. Life is so quick.

Change in spending

October 16th, 2015 at 11:08 pm

It's weird. I find myself really looking at my pennies and wondering how much we'll be spending this month. I don't think we're on a budget but rather a strict diet. The less we spend the better. Like the less we eat the more we lose weight. I don't know how this will change us for the long term.

When we are back to earning an income will we go back to eating out more, traveling, etc? Will we just prioritize differently? Will we spend freely?

I didn't realize how much we spent freely before. We were conscious about not eating out too much and we don't window shop. But it's been many, many years since we've really watched grocery ads and bought only what was on sale.

I'm sure many people feel this way that we'd gotten to the point where I felt that since we were eating at home and cooking, I was "saving" money because we weren't eating out. So whatever I bought to prepare meats, seafood, vegetables, fruit, cheese no matter what the price it was less than eating out. And honestly it was. I mean the same pizza you eat out could be $5 a meal at home but $15 from Dominos. Or the one pound of shrimp for $8 would be $30 from a restaurant.

So I felt virtuous in not eating out but still spending freely at the grocery store. Now however I'm trying to curb our spending period. Not as much excess and I'm shopping ads and only buying what's on sale in the circular. I still won't menu plan but instead I look to create meals once again based on the cheapest things on the flyer.

How do you manage your grocery budget? Do you have any tips to save a lot of money? Our eating out budget has been reduced by about 75%. I'm not sure yet about our grocery but I wouldn't be surprised if it is about the same but feels tighter.

Financial musings

October 13th, 2015 at 06:02 pm

First we are doing better this month on groceries. We've spent $45 on alcohol so far and have enough beer to last the month, $57 on eating out/coffee shops, $242 on groceries and honestly we are good enough for the week. So I think we are on track to spend $150/week this month or around $600-750. I think spending around $150/week = $650/month which seems reasonable for a family of 4. Last month and even some of this month's costs are still us rebuilding our stockpile and necessities. Plus $650 for groceries and spending very little on eating out compared to previously I think is a huge savings. Last month spending around $1200 on groceries freaked me out a lot.

Second we are debating whether to do a Roth IRA this year. We have until April 15th to decide. We usually wait until January 30th anyway to see where our income lands. This year we may be able to do a roth IRA without doing a backdoor rollover Roth. We did manage to max out DH's 401k before he left his job. But it's $11k we'll be tying up instead of having in cash. My preference is once he's in his bootcamp in February we move the money if we think he's going to land a job asap. Or if I land a job sooner.

Third our utility bills are ridiculously cheaper. It's 20% of what we used to pay. A full month of electric and gas and we paid a combined $83 for the month! This is with a very inefficient furnace and refrigerator. I can't believe it. We did use 404 kwh of electric instead of our base usage of 900 kwh. In our last place our water heater was electric and we never changed it to natural gas because of the location it was impossible. Second we used 28 therms to heat the house where we are now and it $35. Insanity. We were on a budget billing for both electric and natural gas in our last place to help even out the winter costs and we were budgeting $250/month each. This is on top of our $250/month for HOA dues for water and insurance. $400 extra month for just utilities I had to admit really helps the budget. I can totally understand now how Mr Money Mustache talks about living frugally as a early retiree.

Anyway I had a great weekend and I'll post more later.

Fun Weekend and thoughts

October 13th, 2015 at 05:54 pm

My mom came in Wednesday night for the weekend and left early this morning. She thought the duration of the trip perfect. She had a great time seeing our new place, the kids, and visiting a new city. I think she liked it but could never move away from Hawaii. Oh well.

First thought was she brought all of us and early Christmas present in the form of water pik water flossers. I believe she one she got runs $59.99 online and she brought us each one so 4 total. YIKES. When we were visiting last my kids love it and she bought it to promote good dental health. I admit to loving it already but I wonder if it's a good idea to obsess over one's dental health? We still floss 1-2x a day and brush 2-3x a day. I have very soft teeth and grind my teeth so I very easily have issues. But since becoming and adult I've been extremely conscious oral care and I once worked in a dental lab doing research on chewing gum for cleaning teeth. The amount of money and fun I had was amazing. But also terrifyingly disgusting. Anyway a couple of years ago my crown became absessed and I had to have the tooth removed and an implant done. This was after 15+ years of the root canal. So I admit I am very worried about my teeth. But does anyone else use a water pik? Has it made a difference? I love it but I worry my mom just wasted her money. FWIW she has been using one for about 5 years now and swear by it along with flossing and brushing. Dental hygiene is not cheap.

Second I called Ameriprise and because we have renter's insurance instead of home insurance we no longer qualify for the mult-policy discount. Ugh. Of course our rental insurance is cheaper than our home insurance but not by much. Also since we officially moved in August and all our policies renewed we were double billed so I'm waiting on refunds and I called to follow up on our refunds today since it's been 8 weeks and apparently no refunds were processed.

Third I'm a bit worried about our rental. My DH and DK1 are having terrible allergies. We thought maybe it's seasonal and outdoor. But with the weather and lack of pollen and not being outside we suspect it's our rental house. We have carpet everywhere and we think it wasn't really cleaned. And even if it was cleaned the pet (likely cat) dander is what is causing their allergies. It also could be a mold problem. We're not sure how to test for either. And for now they both are taking daily doses of allergy medicine. Plus this morning DK1 woke up on picture day at school with swollen eyes. Uuggh. I guess we'll do the reshoot. I wish we had considered the carpeting before we moved in.

Finally where do most people do oil changes? The cheapest place like a jiffy lube?

Henna Hair Dye

October 7th, 2015 at 08:56 pm

I got a box of Henna Hair dye from my neighbor to try out on my hair. It worked out great. I have to figure out how to post pictures again. Anyway while it's not cheap, $7/box it is really awesome. My hair does not feel dry or brittle. The color is amazing and I love the way my hair feels.

I used to dye and highlight my hair using groupon or just paying a long time ago. But it got to be pricey. I've tried box dyes but I think it looks to fake on my hair. Unfortunately with my dark hair the whites really stand out. But now it's more naturally colored and I love the red color.

Tips she gave me use lemon juice and you have to mix the henna overnight. Then let it sit at least 4-5 hours or longer on your hair. It is amazing. She does it every couple of months. She also told me to watch the videos. Anyway I thought I'd share for those who are interested.

Reforming Health Care and Gun Control

October 2nd, 2015 at 11:06 pm

We need massive reform in the country on both health care and gun control. I'm liberal and I don't deny it. But right now my DH and I are experiencing life as "poor" in this country. We are watching our pennies like we never before.

Never before have we been on the type of a high deductible health insurance. Never before have we ever been worried about going to the doctor. Never have we considered the cost of a dr visit. Never before have we wonder what will happen if we have to hit the deductible. Have we been priviledged? Absolutely. DH grew up with socialized healthcare. I grew up with a mom who worked for the state so primo for the US. The idea that we worry about visits for our kids now worries me. The fact we don't have prescription coverage worries me a lot. I've always supported single payer socialized health care and never more than now.

Look the truth is for a healthy family of 4 it's costing us $560/month for basic HDHP premium. That's with a $6500 individual/$13k family deductible. Until now DH and I have had jobs that has always provided health insurance. Great health insurance. In grad school DH had premium coverage no costs as did I. His job was superb, best of any industry but the premiums were skyrocketing as I've mentioned. But we've never been without or lived looking at deductibles. We are now. It's not a pretty feeling. It's not an easy situation to asses. I know we are blessed more than others because we can financially manage, but at the same time I am looking at part-time work solely to get group health insurance again.

What does that say about our health care system? USA is the WORST in health care for 1st world countries. We have cutting edge technologies but for what? Most people can't afford it or go broke trying to pay for it. BK are caused medical bills and I can easily understand how. So people who don't want a single payer system please explain why?

I will lay out I believe health care isn't something people "afford" it should just be something everyone should have. And just moving to a single payer would probably cover the costs of it because our system is so INEFFICIENT and expensive that it costs more than all other single payer systems in other countries. So the argument it'll cost more is moot. Americans spend more on health care for less care than other countries. So why are people against it?

Second if everyone against socialized healthcare doesn't believe in it, then I hope they aren't using medicare or plan to. We have single payer socialized medicine and turns out EVERYONE over 65 is on it, it's called medicare.

Turns out everyone in the military is on TriCARE. If it is so horrible then all these military people should be turned out and given cash and they should buy their own policies. Why don't they? Because it would cost even more than what it costs now. They probably couldn't afford to buy matching health insurance for what the military costs to run Tricare. And don't tell me not. If it wasn't needed and used, then the military would probably give people money to buy health insurance but they don't.

So let's ask the question if health care should be capitalistic then everyone 65 and over and military should BUY their own insurance. All capitalistic health care supporter should put their money where their mouth is and not use Medicare or Tricare. Prove it by giving up the safety net.

And I think gun control needs regulations. I think it goes hand in hand with reforming mental health issues. But other countries don't have so many mass murders that have stricter gun control. Why is that? Is it the health care? Is it the laws? Is it a combination? Can we keep have semi automatic and automatic weapons so easy to come by?

By the way I think the "democratic/liberal" congress people are as much in the pocket as conservative republicans in congress. Neither party has anybody with backbone instead they are too busy pocketing money to do anything. Probably because they are rich enough to afford protection and rich enough to afford private schools. After all Jeb Bush and Donald Trump didn't even give lip about the sorrow, rather "things happen." Yes it happens but does it have to keep happening? Of course call up your bodyguards and private planes while the rest of us go about living.

a semi political rant

October 1st, 2015 at 05:37 pm

Okay so I'm not really political in life or online. I don't like the confrontation. I also realize it's hard to change people's minds including my own. But people on facebook or in real life who are verbal enough to voice their opinions are usually quite aggressive. I say this about liberal and conservatives people who are entrenched in their positions.

But something that really bothers me more is that both sides have trouble having an intellectual discourse. I admit I think it's more conservatives that use hate mongering and fear but liberals thumb their noses and say snobby rhetoric as well. But I don't how this country is degenerating so quickly that anyone of an opposing opinion is considered wrong and A$& and s#&)%*.

I also don't like the racism and hate going on. That Ben Carson can even say a muslim shouldn't be president and muslim faith isn't compatible with the constitution and get more donations. I'm seriously floored. A blogger calling Bernie Sanders a weasel Jew. I can't believe in today's day and age people can say these things and not be spurned.

I wonder when will a move forward as a society and start talking about our issues in a respectable manner?