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Archive for April, 2024

Thoughts on insurance

April 23rd, 2024 at 04:40 am

I realized being so busy I haven't really written about stuff but I might as well put down some thoughts here.  I've posted a lot since December 2006.  18 years older and 2 kids later.  Financially?  Probably better than I ever dreamed.   In some ways I'm still very liberal and others i find myself becoming more conservative.

But there are still things that pop up at us.  So where we live in WA state they started this long term care insurance tax for working people.  0.58% unless you got your own coverage and it's a load of crock.  Basically the racket is a money grab because you have to live in WA when you retire to get the $37k in LT coverage reimbursement. You had to have worked for 10 years minimum.  So if you leave or stop working early that's it.  I think if you made people buy coverage and waive the tax it would be more fair.

That being said when it went into effect in 2022, we had to buy our policies in 2021.  So we bought a cheap normal LT care policy for $37k as a tax avoidance.  Well the premium was $200/year for DH.  It's now $500/year for what?  Getting older.  It sucks and covers nothing so I decided to look into getting a whole life policy with LT care rider as an alternative. In case the state starts checking.

What did I learn?  I learned my DH is uninsurable.  He had the physical, his medical records and at 46 years old they were like "no".  So we couldn't buy the stupid expensive coverage.  We do have term life insurance from when the kids were young.  But like our $37k LT Care plan back then he didn't need a medical exam for a 31 year old guy.  Nope we bought $4m in term for $1500/year and they were lik rubber stamp yes.

Turns out I had no idea this would happen.  But it did.  For anyone waiting or thinking they don't need it, I would highly suggest getting it while you are young and before they really look at your health.  He's in excellent top physical shape.  Had his accident 1 year ago, but been cleared from the concussion and other physical problems.  He's thin, low blood pressure, cholestoral perfect, but because of a pre-existing condition he's uninsurable now.

That's the breaks.  For any young people PSA buy the insurance you want or need before 35 I would say.

Car Update

April 19th, 2024 at 04:43 pm

So the building accepted full responsibility for the damage to our 2016 Subaru Legacy.  That means our insurance is not requiring us to pay our deductible and will be going to settle with them.  That's the good news and it took until mid April for the building to decide to accept responsibility.

The problem?  We are likely having the car considered salavaged either way.  I called to set up our appointment and the repair shop said it would take 2 months.  I flipped out because our insurance covers 30 days and $50 a day rental reimbursement.  But the very nice man said "you won't need it. the car will likely be salvaged within a week."  He went on to explain it's an estimate and when they take apart the car they may find more things wrong and that will change the estimate and just by looking at the hours of labor, 100 hours, to repair he could pretty much guess after 20 years in the business that the car would be salvaged.  I said I'd call him back after talking with my insurance company.  

I called my insurance company who said everything he said was correct.  That even though we are "repairing" the car depending on what happens when they start to work on it the company can choose to total the car.  They can choose to not fix it and instead call it a total loss.

In WA if repairs are more than 80% of the salvage value then it's a total loss.  So right now we are at $12,388 and the 80% is $12,800? Or something like that.  So basically they open it up and find one thing wrong and it's a total loss.  The repair shop guy said guaranteed that he'll find something, no way to know what's wrong until they open up a roof.  So he said he could already tell me the car is dead, besides if the frame is bent (which they can't tell by looking or photos) then it's structurally compromised and too hard to fix.  So he said look for a new car.

Now we're back where we were in February.  Figuring out what sort of car we want and can afford.  UGH.  And we're still in the predicament of wanting a car to hand down to DK1 in 2 years, January 2026.  We would like an EV but unsure if it makes sense because trying to upgrade the panel is $15k and I'm not sure we can do it otherwise.  So what to do?

the dichotemy of spending

April 17th, 2024 at 03:06 am

Even after nearly a decade of doing taxes i am shocked and surprised by how people spend money.  I get spending money. I understand that no matter what you make you want more. I am not surprised that many people are in debt and they live a lifestyle above their means.  To me that means typically using a CC to supplement a lifestyle that is unaffordable.  But this year more people than ever were unable to pay their IRS tax bill.

All of the families/couples earned above $100k.  2 earned above $150k closer to $200k and the other 2 families earned about $120-130k.  Yes we live in an expensive area and it's hard to live.  But honestly there are famillies living on less.  It's that all these families have made a choice to not pay their tax bill because they deliberately are unwithholding and then shocked when it comes back to bite them.

Couple 1 added another $8k to their already owed back taxes bringing them to almost $30k on a payment plan. I did tell them after $50k the IRS would probably deny the payment plan and potentially start garnishing their wages.  They didn't seem at all concerned. I wanted to shake them and say you realize that the IRS doesn't go away with bankruptcy?  I did suggest putting it on a CC but they didn't have enough space to charge their debt and still live.  What they drive?  A lexus.  This is a point where a beater would probably be better to give them extra money to pay the irs.  I mean technically they are not spending their money but the governments.

Couple 2 same thing.  They couldn't afford to pay their $5k tax bill. They were shocked.  But half of the couple a guy earning $70k paid $3k in federal income taxes.  They were stunned when i pointed out that's maybe why they owed $5k.  They figured the money they took home every month was theirs.  They were used to having $2-3k/week coming in because their biweekly paychecks were on opposite weeks. They have been bringing home $10k month and had no savings to pay for their tax bill.  They drove a bmw.  Of course both cars could have been old and cheap but I'm guessing a $5k beater is cheaper to pay off the IRS.

IRS debt doesn't go away with bankruptcy and it's hard to wait 10 years for it to be forgiven. In fact bankruptcy can extend the 10 year forgiveness for IRS debt.

The other two couples, one woman she didn't pay her irs bill from 2019 and the fees and interest had snowballed like a credit card making it next to impossible for her to pay off.  I do feel bad for her but at the same time she too isnt' withholding enough when she owes every year.

The final couple well everything did them in.  While they owed the irs $20k, I had to suggest talking to a bankruptcy lawyer.  They owed $100k on credit cards, $50k in medical bills from a recent ankle surgery where they didn't have health insurance.  Even making $120-150k I'm not sure they can get out from under all that debt.  

I don't understand how people see their money coming in and set it aside or have it withheld.  I mean i get one time things that happen an inheritance, gift, bonus.  But knowingly not paying enough taxes so you have more money to spend every month is crazy.  The money isn't yours it's the government and the IRS is not a fun thing to deal with.