132 thoughts on “Tuesday open thread

  1. I see that MMM has a post about his method of non-insurance health insurance. Obviously his method would not work for everyone. He’s started to use one of those sharing programs.

    Are you seeing any significant changes in your health plans? Our max OOP, deductibles, and premiums increased a bit.

  2. We just did open enrollment with DW’s insurance. It looks like it’s exactly the same as last year as far as cost, deductibles and OOP max. The only difference is they switched the vision from VSP to Eyemed.

  3. Continuing from yesterday…

    Congrats to Cass’ and DD’s kids’ acceptances.

    Ivy – one turkey roasting tip is to cook it breast side down till 60-90 min before you want to take it out of the oven, then (perhaps have someone else) flip it breast side up for that last time. Really helps keep the breast meat moist.

    Had a great day yesterday. Weather was perfect, 80 degrees, and is so today, too. Had a nice dinner out & outside. It didn’t cool off very quickly so the outside heaters weren’t really needed at the restaurant. Thanks for all the well wishes!

  4. What he is calling DPC is the same thing as those concierge care plans that were trendy a couple of years ago.
    And I am rolling with laughter over this quote
    “But there is still a chance you will need the more rare (and expensive) services of a hospital or specialist. In this case, your DPC physician can provide referrals and guidance to allow you to get the right help at a discounted, direct-pay price, or even handle your needs with a conventional insurance company.”

    In other words, when you get cancer or give birth to severely premature baby or have a stroke, you are SOL

    As for the health share plans, those have been around for quite a while. They were popular even when Bush was president. They had this pesky problem though – if too many members got expensively sick at once, they went under. They also tended to have extreme caps on how much they would pay out to a member.

  5. Let’s imagine you’re shopping for homeowners insurance. You have the traditional providers like Chubb, Farmers, State Farm etc. and they are all charging $1200 a year. Then some new insurance provider comes onto the scene and says we’ve found a way to provide you the similar coverage for $120/year. What do you figure the chances are you’re going to get fucked?

    I’d say that when it sounds too good to be true it probably is. So I figure the chances are pretty high.

  6. Open enrollment:
    Medical & Dental: same premiums as now for Jan-June 2021, then increasing small amounts for the July-December half of the year (because we didn’t get raises this year). Deductibles and OOP max(es) remain the same.
    Add ons: (eye care, legal, life ins) premiums the same as now for the full year 2021.

  7. Since the health share plans are not classified as insurance, you have very little legal protections if you sign up with one. They can refuse to cover pre-existing conditions, they can drop you if you become too expensive, and they don’t HAVE to pay your claims. They aren’t financed the same way because they view claim payment as a donation from the rest of the members.

    There have been many problems

  8. Fuck MMM. If you get multiple sclerosis, all your fucking salads and barbells aren’t going to help much.

  9. I looked it up and last year, our health insurance was $24,800. I have to pay for my own now (booooooo).

    MMM and the people on the MMM board are funny – they’re very libertarian, stick it to the man, etc., and only some of them (not MMM yet, clearly) realize how insurance works and why it’s a good idea.

  10. “What is MMM’s net worth?”

    “$4M?”

    I had no idea, but I thought it was higher. Does he know anyone who was fine one day and then was hit with an expensive health issue, despite clean living? I guess he’s fine taking his chances.

  11. I don’t want to get into too much detail here, but the spouse of a close friend recently passed away. I want to thank this group for all the past comments about how to help in a time like this. I’ve thought back on past posts and was able to help coordinate a gift among friends of snow removal services for this winter (and timely, as we are supposed to get 5 inches today), as well as notify others that she could use restaurant gift cards and services to help in the next year. Someone here once explained the circle of grieving, and that you should only talk to the people in the ring directly above and below you, and that has been really helpful in getting people to coordinate and not bombard my friend and her immediate family.

  12. “but I thought it was higher”

    could be. his blog was making $400k per year at one point a few years ago, and I think maybe five or seven years ago (it’s hard to remember these things) he had maybe $2M.

    so the blog’s been making money, OTOH, he’s not posting much any more.

    he’s also gotten divorced.

  13. Per the MMM post, “I also finally got around to a long-awaited diagnosis and prescription for my Adult Attention Deficit Disorder condition,”

    That sure explains a lot in terms of why he was so eager to be his own boss.

  14. RMS, if you get MS, maybe you’re supposed to just gracefully accept that it is your destiny to be an example to us all of uncomplaining sacrifice. You know, like grannies who got Covid were expendable and happy to get out the way of the rest of us.

  15. The fine print on that website is something to behold:

    Sharing is only limited to the cumulative contributions received from participating members in any given month.

  16. Ya… there’s a reason DH has yet to look for another job…. he’s far underpaid, but our health insurance cannot be beat. It saved us from medical bankruptcy with DS1. And it’s pretty much saving me right now. So we’ll keep it.

    My company is self-insured, which sounds an awful lot like what MMM was promoting. People were using the coverage more, and our former HR director blatantly said “More people using our insurance means our costs go up”…. I mean… that’s the thing you say when you want people to NOT use insurance and wait until they are on death’s door for something that could have been easily treatable. I’m quite content that I can tune out during those announcements.

    And because my house needs the win this week, we just got a note that DS1 had a fantastic day at school between completing his work, coloring well (one of our issues with his ADHD), and meeting expectations during a loud fire drill. That makes me so happy!!!

    Congrats to Cass and DD!! What great news for your children.

  17. “he’s also gotten divorced.”

    My guess is that as part of the divorce agreement, MMM has to pay for conventional health insurance for his ex-wife and child. They might not be as willing as he is to rely on exercise and salad.

  18. “My company is self-insured, which sounds an awful lot like what MMM was promoting. ”

    I think that most companies that do this also purchase reinsurance to cover themselves in case of unusually high costs.

  19. “he’s also gotten divorced.”

    I feel like his venture started off pretty conventionally but grew in a direction like a sort of lifestyle brand and he had to do more and more ventures to keep the brand going. The healthcare thing strikes me as more of the same.

  20. Congrats to DD and DD and Cass and DS.

    Interesting how a few schools seem to be drawing quite a bit of interest from TB kids, e.g., CSU.

    Cass is he interested in CSU because of an interest in their Vet program?

  21. Louise – ITA. The alternative is to be RoG, who never changes anything. Kids keep growing up, he lives on $30k or $40k of dividends, plays credit card rewards games to score free Carnival cruises, and that’s that.

  22. Rhode, fwiw, my sensory-sensitive kid made huge improvements around age 7 – I think that is fairly common developmentally. So you may have easier days in your future :)

    I’m sitting outside working while the kids are at hybrid (for two whole hours!) and wishing this would last. Seems unlikely we will have school through thanksgiving here, though.

  23. I am of the age that an AARP membership is just one of those things. (For those of you <50, a relative or good friend will probably buy you a membership when you reach the big 5-0, maybe as a 'welcome to the club' maybe as 'you're old now'). I find value in the membership (cheap), some discounts, some of the advice on how to manage the 'mature' life.

    Anyway, when I read their publications I always say to my self 'I'm not their target demographic.' (neither are almost any of the regulars here) Always articles on Social Security reform, prescription med cost reform, legislation re senior-age based state/federal benefits. Sure, I might be helped by any/all of that, but none of it's top of mind to me, nor to my 86 & 94 yo parents, btw.

    The question I have…anybody ever heard of a "Totebag" demographic AARP group, one that'd better fit me? Maybe a 'Millionaire Next Door' demographic?

  24. Also, MMM is out of his mind – I know too many people who got cancer or other serious/expensive conditions after doing everything “right.” Not to mention that you could drop that barbell on your face, or get hit by a bus while saving money on your travels by not driving a car….

  25. “there’s a reason DH has yet to look for another job…. he’s far underpaid, but our health insurance cannot be beat. It saved us from medical bankruptcy with DS1. And it’s pretty much saving me right now.”

    Sounds like he’s not actually underpaid, but that his low cash salary is offset by generous health benefits.

  26. Finn DS wants to be an engineer. He is looking at mechanical/aero.

    There was a time, many years ago, when vet or cowboy seems like where his interests lay, but then he discovered planes.

  27. The question I have…anybody ever heard of a “Totebag” demographic AARP group, one that’d better fit me? Maybe a ‘Millionaire Next Door’ demographic?

    Milo once suggested a blog, I think it was Bad Money Advice…or something. Anyway he was a finance executive who lost his job and started a blog. It was very good and it was targeted at a totebag level crowd. Unfortunately he got a new job that didn’t allow blogging and so he stopped.

    I’d really like something like that.

  28. It saved us from medical bankruptcy with DS1

    What was the out of pocket max at the jobs he was looking at compared to the jobs he has? Was it really that different?

  29. “DS wants to be an engineer.”

    It seems a lot of TB kids are interested in engineering.

    “then he discovered planes.”

    Perhaps he will become a rocket scientist.

    DD is rethinking her major/career path. She’s officially a physics major but was targeting med school. She’s thinking of switching to engineering, possibly biomed, but DW and I have told her she needs to consider where she wants to live in deciding her major.

    Her plan had been to go OOS for her BS (the pandemic has messed with that), then come home, go to med school, and settle down.

  30. Congrats to DD’s and Cass’s kids! AND Rhode’s — at that age, we take our wins where we can get them! ;-)

    IMO, MMM’s driving feature is his relentless optimism and self-determination. That is what makes him powerful as a blogger; it’s not just the schtick, it’s the message behind the schtick that you have both control over and responsibility for your own life, so spend less time focusing on the bad stuff that happens and more time focusing on what you’re going to do about it.

    On the flip side, that relentless optimism is also his Achilles heel, as it blinds him to the reality that some things really are outside your control, and provides sometimes-unwarranted faith in his own abilities to assess the risks and benefits of a particular issue. See Dunning-Kruger Effect.*

    I will also say his model works if (1) he pairs that with a catastrophic coverage policy; and (2) insurers are barred from refusing to cover pre-existing conditions. In the vast majority of cases, people can do ok with that combination of factors.**

    The real risk, of course, is not that he gets hit by a bus and has a million-dollar ER visit. It’s that he gets diagnosed with a long-term condition that requires extensive/expensive treatment, like cancer or a degenerative condition. But as long as insurers are required to cover pre-existing conditions, then he’s fine as long as he’s got a million or so to cover the costs up until the next enrollment period. If that goes away, though, he’s screwed.

    Except, of course, MMM can also move back to Canada if the shit really hits the fan. Unfortunately, most people who follow his advice don’t have that option.

    *This is not quite right — officially, I think DKE is about why stupid people can’t see that they’re stupid. But I think there has to be a corollary that applies to people who are legitimately smart in one area and can’t see that they may not have that same innate superior understanding in other areas — like why doctors are horrible investors. Well, “hubris” comes to mind, and Wikipedia calls it “optimism bias.” But those are boring. I like The Doctor’s Corollary to the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

    **MMM also ignores the fact that your priorities (should) change as your assets get more significant and you want to step back from your paying job. It’s fine to focus on maximizing your upside potential early on, despite the risks, because you have a job to fall back on if needed. OTOH, once you give up — or approach giving up — the paying job, you need to focus on minimizing the downside risk as well, because now you have significant assets at stake, and you are removing your safety net of continued paid employment. MMM is personally willing to risk a huge amount of his net worth because (1) he is overly optimistic that his salads and barbells will protect him from all things bad, and (2) he has confidence in his ability to re-earn that money if something bad does happen, via his blog or any of his other business ventures (assuming, as he would, that his cognitive ability is not impaired by whatever bad thing might happen). Again, these things may make his choice reasonable for him, but most people who read his columns aren’t in that same position.

  31. Finn, no bio engineering development in Haiwaii?

    I thought I knew just the guy to write that newsletter Fred wants—CFO of a S&L, took his golden parachute in the McCain Feingold deal and started his own business around real estate investing. Haven’t though of him in years, so I tried to look him up. I can’t find him, but while I was looking I realized he must now be over 70 years old. I find that shocking. I know none of are as young as we used to be, but that just seems like he’s on the other side of a divide in a way he wasn’t when we knew each other. We weren’t exactly dating, I suppose fwb is the best name for it. Anyway, it just weirded me out.

  32. “then he discovered planes.”

    If you’re an accountant at Boeing and the market for commercial aircraft collapses and you get laid off you can get a job as Microsoft or a 100 others companies a commutable distance form Seattle. If you’re a software developer the same would also be true depending on the specifics of what you were working on. But what about an aeronautical engineer?

    Is it the same? If you got laid off designing landing gear or leading edge slats you could get a job at Tesla developing suspension components or Roomba developing a new front bump assembly?

  33. Related to a recent topic on agendas, planning, time management, etc. (I think Kerri submitted the article): have you heard of Fabulous app? A friend is using it to plan her mornings.

  34. To second LfB’s point he’s based a lot of his his advice on his experience being a software developer. No matter what happens he can always got back to that. But now he’s approaching 50 and he hasn’t worked a real job in +10 years. It might not be was easy as he thinks*.

    * I mean in terms of an average 46 year old developer not to mention a marketing manager who hasn’t worked in 10 years.

  35. “But now he’s approaching 50 and he hasn’t worked a real job in +10 years. It might not be was easy as he thinks*.”

    Right, but….if you can’t feel secure enough with, let’s say $3M or $4M, no mortgage and low expenses, then there’s no hope for anybody. If that person would actually need to go back to work, there are all kinds of work available for all kinds of people.

    I’d agree with you, though, that expecting to re-claim a $150k software job on a moment’s notice is foolish, but then again, so is setting up your life and continuing to work at that job through your 40s and especially into your 50s with expectations and financial demands that require you to maintain that income for 15 or 20 more years.

  36. I think MMM’s analysis is statistically correct because he can afford to self-insure, he will have months/years of notice before pre-existing condition requirements change, and there’s less than a 1% chance that he would have $1 million in medical bills before being able to buy insurance, so statistically, <$10k cost to self-insure, a four digit cost much more likely. Medical insurance is so expensive BECAUSE only high risk people buy it when it's not employer-provided and one of the characteristics (it's either a bug or a feature) of the ACA is that people can wait for a catastrophe to hit, THEN buy expensive medical insurance to cover it, the much-discussed moral hazard of the ACA. MMM is optimizing within the system.

    Totebaggers are incredibly focused on avoiding low risk events compared to the population at large.

  37. Milo,

    Right but his original smug dogooder schtick was that one could live “comfortably” on $500k invested. I assume that’s still his target FIRE audience not the 3-4 million crowd.

  38. Cassandra, I’d pick mechanical over aeronautical engineering. Always pick the broad over the narrow.

    I was chatting with a professor acquaintance who was an advisor to President Obama a couple days ago who thinks Boeing will need to make massive cutbacks and it will affect Portland. Intel announced a few days ago it is transferring development to SE Asia. Boeing and Intel are major Portland employers.

  39. Speaking of changing positions midlife, a friend who is an engineer is considering moving up to a managerial position. I know of one regular’s husband who made that move a few years ago. Has anyone else? What do you think of the move?

  40. “I assume that’s still his target FIRE audience not the 3-4 million crowd.”

    Hmm, I don’t know. I always got the sense that there were a lot more of the better-capitalized people.

    Not that I have any interest in it, but at least you can say for the $500k-and-retired crowd that, if they do need to go back to work, they don’t need a lot of income to replace what they’re used.

  41. Totebaggers are incredibly focused on avoiding low risk events compared to the population at large.

    On what are you basing that observation? Totebaggers aren’t keeping the extended warranty business afloat. IIRC one of the reasons behind low 401k balances among the working and middle class is the excessively conservative investment choices. Those would be two counter examples.

  42. I’ll say a few things about health insurance here, because I think it’s interesting.

    Everyone* is covered by the national program. It covers all emergency and hospital medical care. Chest pain? Go to the Emergency Department, get admitted for cardiac catheterization, find an incidental renal mass, follow up with oncology, have a surgery to remove it and 6 chemo treatments and a dozen radiation treatments, see a neurologist to assess your post-chemo neuropathy, and have a half dozen CT scans. Cost: $0

    There is a separate, nested system for injury care that covers everyone** Any injury (car crash, fall down the stairs at home, bee sting, broken hip) is covered by ACC. It will even cover home help for elderly who have been injured, and house cleaning for people who are not able. That covers acute care, ongoing care, medications and more, with generally no out of pocket. I was told that if you arrive in NZ and fall down the airplane steps onto the tarmac, ACC won’t cover, because you never set foot in NZ soil. However, if you trip while walking across the tarmac and sprain your ankle, fully covered, even if you are a tourist. There is more money in ACC than the general system, so there is generally fewer obstacles to receiving care, less waiting, etc. However, you are not going to get you knee MRI the same week you got injured. (Aside: there is basically no such thing as personal injury law or civil liability here – your injuries are always covered, so not allowed to try to hold anyone accountable for your costs. All of the tourists who went to White Island and got caught in the volcanic eruption were fully covered by ACC – including months of hospitalization and rehab, skin grafting, etc. They will not, however, be likely to get money out of the tour operator for pain and suffering. It actually has been a significant cost on the local hospital).

    General care (visit to the GP) is paid out of pocket – can cost between $20-$100 per visit, free if you are under 14 (and over 65 or disabled, I think). Medications cost $5/month unless you are young, old or high need, then they are free. I recently stopped by the pharmacy to see if my daughter had refills on an inhaler – I was out in less than 60seconds – they just handed it across the counter to me, no charge.

    *everyone who is a legal visa holder, here for greater than 2 years.
    **literally everyone

  43. “one of the characteristics (it’s either a bug or a feature) of the ACA is that people can wait for a catastrophe to hit, THEN buy expensive medical insurance to cover it, the much-discussed moral hazard of the ACA. MMM is optimizing within the system.”

    That makes sense. I hadn’t really considered it as much from the perspective of someone forced to buy in the ACA marketplace.

    “Totebaggers are incredibly focused on avoiding low risk events compared to the population at large.”

    In a way you’re right, but your “low risk” event may be my “high risk” event if it imperils my comfortable totebag lifestyle. Speaking for myself, I place a high value on a certain lifestyle.

  44. WCE, that’s the point of mandating that everyone buy health insurance—making sure people don’t wait til their sick to get insured.
    Btw, Biden gave an address about ACA earlier.
    But this is a conversation for the politics page

  45. Congrats to Cass, DD and Rhodes’ kids!

    Our medical plan (Sept/Aug fiscal year) had minimal changes. The “big” one is the drug benefits are no longer a separate provider.

    Along MMM and health – I was talking to a neighbor the other day, she is a “relief” nanny (regular nanny on vacation or sick, or a day care had a no show and needs someone to fill in). In the last half of March, she was at a home for a couple of days and then found out a family member was COVID positive. She quarantined herself for 2 weeks, felt bad, but never went to the doctor. At this point she BELIEVES she had it. I asked her why she hasn’t gotten tested. Answer – Because I don’t want to pay any money for health care (paid penalty rather than ACA policy) and I don’t want them to have my blood/bodily fluids on record. Otherwise, seems like a generally normal person.

  46. I have mentioned this to a few others, but I’ll say it here, since it’s not a secret. My DIL was just diagnosed with MS. I grant you that it’s a particular kind of bias when you overweight the likelihood of an event based on your personal experience and your own surroundings, but MS is suddenly not looking like a laughably unlikely event, WCE.

  47. “It will even cover home help for elderly who have been injured, and house cleaning for people who are not able. That covers acute care, ongoing care, medications and more, with generally no out of pocket.”

    Does that coverage include LTC, e.g., nursing home care?

    “I was told that if you arrive in NZ and fall down the airplane steps onto the tarmac, ACC won’t cover, because you never set foot in NZ soil. However, if you trip while walking across the tarmac and sprain your ankle, fully covered, even if you are a tourist.”

    No jetways in NZ?

    How is that coverage financed?

  48. “But what about an aeronautical engineer?”

    During one of DH’s summer golf rounds while unemployed, he was paired up with a trio of unemployed aerospace engineers. All laid off from Honeywell. One was laid off in late 2019, and the other two in early April of this year. None of them had any interviews since being laid off, and they said that they don’t think they’ll have any opportunities for a year or two. DH, who works in Finance, is still unemployed, but has been interviewing across a large swath of industries, and has had opportunities for contract short-term work.

  49. I don’t remember the precipitating event, but in the mid 1970s, Moffett Field laid off a ton of aerospace engineers. Some of them were the fathers of my classmates. A few never worked again, and the families tightened their belts and the kids applied for scholarships and everyone tiptoed around Dad who was sitting in the big chair in the living being bitter for the rest of his life.

    S&M, lots of engineers go into management because it pays so well. Many of them haaaaate it, because management sucks and doesn’t play to the strengths of many engineers. But…it pays so well.

  50. RMS, so sorry to hear about your DIL. That sucks.

    DS is planning on majoring in mechanical engineering with aero minor, so we hope he will be employable. One of my high school classmates graduated with a petroleum engIneering degree in the mid/late 80s. He never worked as a petroleum engineer, but he has been gainfully employed for the last 30 some years.

    A degree in most cases is just a ticket to the dance, and then you have to keep figuring out ways to get/stay employed, build enough financial security to weather some hard times, etc.

  51. The downside of my magical wonderland:

    It’s not a rich system. Care is rationed. It seems to be fairly rationed, based on functional measures (you are more likely to get surgery on a hand injury if you are young, if you need it for work, if it is your dominant hand).

    The government only covers certain medications. If you want something else, you pay completely out of pocket and there is very limited availability. This isn’t a problem for me professionally – there seems to be a drug for everything I need. However, many chemotherapy drugs, disease modifying agents for rheumatologic conditions, newer cardiac meds, are not covered. I think the formulary works for 95% of the people, but that is cold comfort if there is a chemo agent that would extend you rlife and you can’t get it.

    Referrals for non-life threatening can be slow or refused. So, if you have a hernia (or a gall bladder problem), it may take months to see a general surgeon, months to get surgery – or it may be determined to not be necessary, so no surgery for you. Have chronic headaches, but you still go to work every day? Neurology may not have time to weigh in and refuse to see you in clinic.

    There is a private system to address some of this. You can go see a neurologist and pay for the consult – if they recommend tests or medications, it is likely the public system will cover that. You can pay out of pocket for hernia surgery – there are private hospitals that will quote you an inclusive price and offer a payment plan.

    So, private insurance is available. We pay for a policy that covers elective surgery and cancer care, but not private specialist visits. Insurance is not guaranteed issue, nor does it cover pre-existing conditions. We pay $200/month for the family.

    One child’s teacher recently raised some concerns about ADHD (surprising no one). We got a public referral from our GP – as ADHD is a rare diagnose here and must be diagnosed by a pediatrician or psychiatrist. It will take months to a year to have action on that (referrals are prioritized and a disruptive child is not moving to the front of the line). We paid $300(US) to see a private pediatrician (who still required a referral). We’ve had 2 follow up visits at $100 each. Child is on meds, which are free.

  52. A degree in most cases is just a ticket to the dance, and then you have to keep figuring out ways to get/stay employed, build enough financial security to weather some hard times, etc.

    You seem to be saying all choices similar and being an aeronautical engineer or a nurse anesthetist will involve the same amount of figuring out how to stay employed. I don’t think that’s the case.

  53. RMS, I’m sorry to hear that.

    A very good friend from elementary school through HS lived with MS for much of his adult life, most of it actually quite near you, and passed a few months ago. He spent several months in Costa Rica getting some sort of experimental treatment (I recall his descriptions of the ‘green slime’ he was regularly ingesting); not sure of causality, but he lived many years after that treatment, long enough to see his kids become adults.

  54. Nursing home care is subsidized in NZ based on need. If you don’t have demonstrated need, the maximum charge is about $700(US) per week. It is easy to find nursing home care for my patients and I think the care is quite good. The government spends it’s money there instead of on inplantable defibrillators for people with limited life expectancy. Or ICU care for people unlikely to have long-term benefit.

    There are many ways to “land” in NZ, but jetways are less common than in the US. If it helps for your visualization, imagine a cruise ship docking from Australia, and someone falling down the steps onto the dock (no ACC coverage) vs breaking back in a bungee jumping accident while they are ashore.

    ACC is funded through payroll deductions.

  55. We pay for a policy that covers elective surgery and cancer care, but not private specialist visits. Insurance is not guaranteed issue, nor does it cover pre-existing conditions. We pay $200/month for the family.

    Unsurprisingly it sounds a lot like the system in the UK. Although in the UK most totebag level jobs come with top up insurance as a perk*

    * Seems like it might be the case in NZ as well:

    https://www.seek.co.nz/career-advice/article/the-most-wanted-work-perks-in-new-zealand

  56. @Rhett – most UK immigrants here think the system is only okay – they are pissed to have to pay for GP visits. There is also more funding for care in the UK, so often shorter waits and easier to get things done.

    Many Americans think the system here is terrible – they can’t get what they want, when they want it. However, most realize how little we pay for health care. Of course everyone pays for health care through taxes, but the per capita spend in NZ is $3500 compared with $10000 in the US. For similar outcomes.

  57. “ACC is funded through payroll deductions.”

    This might be getting into the weeds, but what about people who don’t get paychecks, e.g., self-employed?

    Here, there’s a self-employment tax to cover the self-employed, but TMK people who live off of investment income aren’t subject to those taxes, but also don’t get the same benefits as those who do pay those taxes.

  58. “Right, but….if you can’t feel secure enough with, let’s say $3M or $4M, no mortgage and low expenses, then there’s no hope for anybody.”

    No one is saying you shouldn’t feel secure enough to retire on $3-4M. The question is whether you feel secure enough to retire *and go without health insurance*.

    I mean, sure, when you’re 25 and healthy and have no assets, who cares if you have insurance if you’re hit by a bus? You’ll just get emergency care, hope you don’t need extensive PT to recover, and then declare bankruptcy. But when you’re 50 and have $4M saved up (which is a great amount of money that also has to support you for the rest of your life)? NFW.

  59. Although . . . I guess if you have $4M in the bank but need only $1M to live off of, then that’s a more reasonable risk, so go ahead.

    But once again that is fairly unique to MMM. Most people who work long enough to have $4M in the bank do so because they have a lifestyle that requires $4M in investments.

    And then on the flip side, if you have $4M invested and need only $1M to live off of, why do you even care about spending $10K-ish of that extra $3M on health insurance???? Other than the obvious answer of “he has a massive bug up his butt about insurance in general,” of course.

    Seems like the people who can afford to follow his path don’t need it, and the people who need to can’t afford to.

  60. Ada, thank you for your comments. It is very interesting to hear how it works elsewhere (similar to how I love Cass’s input on agriculture).

    I’m curious why ADHD is a rare diagnosis over there. I have many theories running through my head. Also, your out of pocket for consultation and treatment is still cheaper than what I pay for managing a child’s ADHD. But for those without means to pay, going a year plus without treatment makes it a very long and tough year for the kid, the parents, and the teachers.

  61. Seems like the people who can afford to follow his path don’t need it, and the people who need to can’t afford to.

    I think you’ve nailed it. Sort of like the classic MMM comment, “We can spend 20 years pretending to be poor so we can retire early and actually be poor.”

  62. LfB – I get that. I think he should buy healht insurance. My point was to Rhett worrying about his employment projects as a software developer.

    Rocky – sorry to hear that. I know a couple people who have gotten that in the past couple of years, and not all that old.

  63. Ada,

    Is it rare or is there a stigma? From what I’ve read there was and in many cases still is, a huge stigma attached to ADHD in children in Europe. I’ve never thought there was much of a stigma in the US but maybe others have a different experience.

  64. “And then on the flip side, if you have $4M invested and need only $1M to live off of, why do you even care about spending $10K-ish of that extra $3M on health insurance???? Other than the obvious answer of “he has a massive bug up his butt about insurance in general,” of course.”

    BINGO! MMM has his cranks. And I agree with whoever said they bet his wife & kid have health insurance. I think insurance goes against his principles or something.

  65. My point was to Rhett worrying about his employment projects as a software developer.

    Right and just to be clear that was in reference to a 46 year old software developer with a paid off house and $500k invested assets.

  66. The wait times for things like cataract surgery and knee replacements for otherwise healthy seniors in Canada is pretty long. As part of healthcare they follow up aggressively on things like diabetes, making sure you do the diet and exercise and do follow up visits. One weird part was that one of my relatives had to wait to see a specialist but a healthcare professional was checking in on her health which really didn’t solve her problem while she waited. People recognize the trade offs

  67. Rhett, when you ask “On what are you basing that observation? Totebaggers aren’t keeping the extended warranty business afloat. IIRC one of the reasons behind low 401k balances among the working and middle class is the excessively conservative investment choices.

    I think the main reason for the low 401k balances in the working class are age (many twenty-somethings in short-term jobs don’t contribute) and tendency to cash out 401(k) when leaving a job.

    Totebaggers vs. working/LMC
    1) Most working/LMC people don’t buy extended warranties. Industry is maintained by a small minority of people (unrepresentative) who buy extended warranties.
    2) Most adults don’t have wills till they’re elderly. Many people die without wills.
    3) Discussion of COVID concerns among people around my age on this blog vs. similar in-person discussions with friends who are primarily concerned about paying the bills and teaching their kids, not COVID

  68. “edical insurance is so expensive BECAUSE only high risk people buy it when it’s not employer-provided and one of the characteristics (it’s either a bug or a feature) of the ACA is that people can wait for a catastrophe to hit, THEN buy expensive medical insurance to cover it, the much-discussed moral hazard of the ACA. ”
    That was not the original design of the ACA. Coverage was supposed to be mandatory. Problem was, to get it passed, they had to keep the noncoverage penalties pretty low. And then under Trump, they entirely got rid of all penalties.

    Anyone who knows anything about how health insurance works will tell you that getting to full coverage for everyone depends on three things’
    1. can’t deny or charge extra for pre-existiing conditions
    2. coverage is mandatory
    3. subsidies for the people who are too poor to pay premiums

    This is referred to as the three legged stool. Anyway you come up with a plan – whether public, or based on private insurers – it has to do those three things. The ACA was based on Romneycare, which mandated coverage. The Republicans kicked that leg out.

  69. Combination of factors for low diagnosis of ADHD -(these are my best guesses)
    -cultural belief that people need to “tough out” their psychiatric diagnoses.
    -an educational system that is a lot more flexible – kids in NZ are not expected to sit still, do homework, etc, until they are 9 or 10. Even then, there is still a lot of adaptation to kids’ needs. Much more recess/lunch/sport time in school than in the US
    -barrier to diagnosis -if it takes a year, you are not going to see marginal cases.

    In the US, 15% of boys have had a diagnosis of ADHD, compared with 3.5% here. My GP friend (who has practiced in both places) says it is overdiagnosed there and underdiagnosed here.

  70. RMS, I’m sorry to hear about your DiL. My cousin’s wife was diagnosed right when they got engaged and they were so young and healthy that it seemed impossible to be true. At 49 she still seems to be managing well, although they never discuss her health. There is a tremendous amount of research going on, so hopefully they will make significant progress before your DIL progresses. Sending good thoughts for your family.

    And to your point – there are a lot of things that no longer seem laughably unlikely to me. There was quite a discussion a while back on here about whether it mattered if you retire in a place with good health care. My dad, in a metro area of around 700k, still dies not have a firm diagnosis for his degenerative disease four or so years into it. My BIL the neurologist has flown in to examine him and tried to coordinate care with local doctors, but then they retire or decide they can’t help my dad so refer him to someone else. So if you want to live somewhere with a smaller population, make sure you only sign up for common medical ailments. If you want to be exotic, retire to a city.

  71. And a friend’s sister just now died of lymphoma. She was 58. (No need to send me condolences, I didn’t know her. I’m trying to condole my friend.) I don’t think cardio and salads would have helped her either.

  72. RMS, so sorry to hear about your DIL diagnosis. There were 4 moms in DD’s middle school grade who had MS. Two (who I’m friendly with) seem to be doing OK and you wouldn’t know that they have MS. The other two have not been as fortunate. One has been in a wheelchair for many years and the other one is in a nursing home. I hope your DIL is one of the lucky ones with this unlucky disease.

    L, thank you for posting the details of your recipe. There are a few ingredients that I am not currently using and I bet that makes all the difference.

    Congrats to Cass, DD and Rhode’s kids!

    Lemon Tree, I wish your DH good luck with his job search! I am in finance and I was laid off in May. The company I worked for was spun off, taken private and there was no longer a need for me, my boss or my team’s services. I was really close to landing something in July but that fell through when an internal candidate stepped forward at the 11th hour. Then things were pretty quiet for a couple of months during the summer. I’m still looking for permanent work but in the meantime I have a temporary gig with a company that I previously worked for. Up until this point, I’ve always been in a position of being pursued by recruiters and potential employers, but this time it’s much quieter. I suspect it’s a combination of my age (58) and COVID. At least DH is working and if needed, we can get on his company’s very expensive health insurance. Right now I’m paying for COBRA, which is marginally cheaper than DH’s insurance.

  73. Good luck with the job search, Ginger. It is a rough time to be looking for work.

  74. Good Luck with your job search, Ginger.

    Mooshi – thanks for recommending American BBQ. My state is well represented. I had to learn the different sides to a Southern meal. My previous experience had been all Northeast focused. I ain’t going to say that Mac n cheese and turkey at the same meal is way too much.

  75. I’m still looking for permanent work but in the meantime I have a temporary gig with a company that I previously worked for.

    Are more gigs likely after this one? Is it something that could bridge your way to retirement? As you know there is often nothing permanent about a “permanent” role.

  76. RMS- I’m so sorry to hear about your DIL’s diagnosis.

    Many congrats to the kids of DD, Cass and Rhode! It’s always great to hear good news.

    Ginger – best of luck with your job search.

  77. Good luck Ginger. DH was the same, in that he was always pursued, and that has slowed down. He almost landed something the other week, and the recruiter said they went with a guy who’s salary was quite a bit lower than DH’s range. Luckily my benefits are very good and already had the children on my plan, so adding him wasn’t significantly more.

    A friend if mine just lost his job (engineer), and his wife doesn’t work. They are in sticker shock about COBRA – something like $2600/month.

  78. Ada, thanks for posting all that info about the ACC.

    It sounds generally like what IMO would make sense here (not that making sense necessarily has anything to do with something like it actually being implemented here)– a baseline coverage that doesn’t seem to discourage people from seeking treatment, along with availability of more comprehensive care for those able and willing to pay for it.

    Not spending huge amounts on extending the lives without regard to QoL also makes sense to me.

    I’d guess, however, that access to the latest and greatest in drugs and technology may be very limited, and those with the means may travel to avail themselves of such. Is that the case?

  79. Ginger. I got a severance early retirement package (no retiree health ins) at age 56 in 2007. I had one more full time job for 15 mos but lost that in the recession at age 58. I worked at various contract positions after that, gradually reducing my hours, until I retired fully at age 62. DH was already on Medicare and retired, so From age 58 I bought my individual health insurance (no kids under 26) via Romneycare in MA shifting to ACA when that superseded it. I used high deductible plans and fully funded an HSA for the tax break. I have been paying all my medical copays and dental bills fir the 4 years since I went on medicare out of that HSA and have a few years left before it is exhausted.

  80. There is a local story today about a teenager in the ICU with covid. Been there 10 days and has a go fund me page because her insurance doesn’t cover hospital stays. How is that possible? I’m thinking it is one of these MMM/Religious based insurance plans, but the story doesn’t provide any details. I’m so curious.

  81. Since it’s an open thread day…

    I just heard that Marriott just reported a profitable quarter. Apparently, a lot of people have been taking road trips, and the roadside locations have been doing ok. The locations that cater mostly to business travelers haven’t been doing so well, so a tip that came from that is if you’re traveling, consider those hotels even for roadside stops.

    Rhett, was it Hertz that you took a flyer on? How’s that doing? Apparently a trend is people using rental cars in lieu of flights, so rental car companies’ business has seen some improvement as well, although there’s been a movement of business from airports to non-airport rental offices.

  82. Rocky, I know you adore your DiL. You’ve said here that your SS doesn’t deserve her. She’s lucky to have your support. I hope she will be one of the lucky ones other folks have commented on here, even if that means being in a wheelchair while her child/ren are in school. That can be a lucky outcome indeed.

    Ada, it’s interesting to hear how things work there. I have nowhere near your level of familiarity, of course, but I hear some similarities and differences from how things work here. Private insurance here isn’t just a top-up; it is required to do at least all the things public insurance does. I think it pays providers better—we’ve noticed that there are extra office hours for people with private insurance, with quicker appointments. But either way, waiting times for appointments seem shorter than in the US. It does seem to me that I see a lot of cars for in-home health care, and a lot of elderly people living on their own (ie—there are a couple near me who I frequently see headed to/from the grocery store) We frequently see them out and about on public transit. This is a contrast to what we were accustomed to in Florida—young retirees out and about, playing their tennis matches, but also lots of residential retirement homes. I suppose which seems better depends on how much you value independence. Medicine costs much less here than in the US, and is generally reimbursed by insurance. Interesting to hear what your friend who has practiced there and in the US says about ADHD. I certainly felt that it was overdiagnosed in the US, with teachers very quickly pushing for that Dx for any kid who didn’t slot perfectly into their system, with no thought to age-appropriateness of requests or of the idea that there are many ways to be wired differently, and ADHD is just one.

    Rocky, thanks for your thoughts on engineers moving to management. Seems to me that it’s a lot like shifting to a different career. I can see why an engineer would hate management—you can’t exactly putter around and try different things out as a manager, which I think is something engineers often enjoy, but on the other side, systems of entirely logical rationality don’t work all the time either, because humanity gets in the way.

    Kim, your comment on never having thought of it from the ADA pool members’ perspective reminds me once again of how very differently you and I think. I appreciate you and the blog in general for what I’ve learned over the years about how very differently people might approach things.

  83. interesting to hear what your friend who has practiced there and in the US says about ADHD. I certainly felt that it was overdiagnosed in the US, with teachers very quickly pushing for that Dx for any kid who didn’t slot perfectly into their system, with no thought to age-appropriateness of requests or of the idea that there are many ways to be wired differently, and ADHD is just one.

    My own experience with boys in my family is that some including my sibling couldn’t sit still. DH was the same way. All of these boys were quite capable academically but it took almost till the end of middle school for them to pay attention academically. They do require support to get through school but may not require medication.

  84. German rationalization of everything–should I laugh or should I cry? I’ve been amused recently by the very busy assault-team method of picking up leaves across the street from us. This morning, I told my son that the guy blowing leaves from our bushes is not the usual guy who mows and waters the grass, must be a specialist. We laughed at the absurdity of a leaf-blowing specialist. But guess who is here now, mowing the lawn? Yep, the usual guy. The company name on the truck they arrive in says that it’s led by a Diplom Ingenieur–an engineer specializing in landscaping and garden (yard) building. I wonder how he feels about managing leaf-blowing specialists.

  85. They do require support to get through school but may not require medication. Absolutely. And who knows if the reason is their age, AD(H)D, or something else? But that’s the label that’s widely known and available, so it gets slapped on all of them and the kids get drugs so the teacher doesn’t have to bother with individual differences.

  86. I was very shy as a child and hardly ever spoke to people I didn’t know. And my parents knew a lot of people. When asked my name, I could hardly say my name, just stand there. It was unusual even for a girl. All the things, I managed in adulthood are very surprising to those who knew me back then. I say this as encouragement to parents who are struggling because their kids don’t fit the norm.

  87. Ginger, good luck on your job search. I agree your age may be a factor in the challenge to find a new job. Have you found you may have to consider downsizing in a new position, either in compensation or responsibilities? I see that others have weighed in with similar comments.

    Ada, I appreciate your posting about ACC. I’m on a couple of online groups for an autoimmune disease, and when someone posts about a long wait time for treatment I find they’re usually from the UK or Canada. When I consider my retirement nest egg, I take into account the future ability to pay for Cadillac-level healthcare for myself or for loved ones.

  88. Probably belongs on the politics page. Relatives who have immigrated to Canada have been able to get their parents to Canada. They have done so because it has universal healthcare. We pay for our parents healthcare and it’s not “free” to us. Who gets healthcare and who pays for it is definitely an acrimonious discussion wrt immigration.

  89. I have a very different perspective on ADHD because of my sib, who was clearly ADHD as a child in an era when no one got the diagnosis. It had a profound effect on her life. She struggled endlessly in school despite being very bright and eventually pretty much gave up on herself. As an adult she struggled with anxiety and depression, but it wasn’t until she hit 40 that one of her doctors figured it out and put her on Concerta. She says it has really helped her a lot.
    My oldest has pretty much the exact same form of ADHD (inattentive) and also struggled until he was dx’ed in 8th grade. This is a form that is not as easily identified as the more common “hyperactive” type. Anyway, once he was dx’ed, he went on meds AND got coaching, which is considered to be best practice these days, and things really improved for him. My sib told me about two years ago that if someone had gotten her a diagnosis, meds, and coaching when she was in 8th grade, she is convinced the entire trajectory of her life would have been different.

    For many years, I was friend with a girl from NZ who I was certain had ADHD. She always called herself “flighty”. We used to play music together. She always bounced from project to project and could never hold down a job. She eventually went back to NZ but I keep in touch via FB. She still can’t hold down a job and I think she has been homeless at times.

  90. “I certainly felt that it was overdiagnosed in the US, with teachers very quickly pushing for that Dx for any kid who didn’t slot perfectly into their system,”

    This was not my experience at all. For three years we worked with teachers and the district to find alternative methods to keep DD1 focused, participating, not being a disruption. They went above and beyond to assist us and make it the best learning environment for her. Never once did they suggest she had ADHD. In fact, they can’t do it. They are not allowed to suggest or even hint about it. And during these years she had twice weekly meetings with the school psychologist, the school knew about her overall medical diagnosis, and had her pre-k neuro-psych eval that indicating potential ADHD, but too young to tell. Never once did they say that medication would help. By 3rd grade we did another eval, confirmed diagnosis, and meds, and per DD1, as soon as she was on the meds she “didn’t have to make my brain try to so hard to behave.”

  91. One of the main reasons DH went into teaching is that he hated school as a kid. He loved learning (and still does), but he hated school. He has an abundance of energy (even now, at age 57), and many of his teachers back in the 1960s and 1970s didn’t know how to deal with it. He tries to keep his classroom lively and engaging, and he has developed different “tricks” for dealing with different kinds of kids. Making an effort to meet kids where they are goes a long way toward getting them invested in school. That said, he firmly believes that some kids really need, and are well served by, getting on the right medication.

  92. This rant is unrelated to anything. I got a text message yesterday reminding me of my ophthalmologist appointment this morning and giving the address. I showed up 10 minutes early at the location as is typical for me, and it was closed. I waited in the hall because there was a sign on the door with a little clock saying they would be back at nine. My appointment was for 8:50, and when that time came and went I started calling the office. After getting transferred repeatedly and disconnected repeatedly I was finally told that this Location closed in March. I am so furious. I was also mad because I was going to stop by Costco on the way home and Costco wasn’t supposed to open until 10.. As I drove by I saw cars so parked and went to the door. Their sign did say that they open at 10 but they were letting people in who all appear to be seniors. They let me in without comment. I am telling myself it was because my youthful face was obscured by my sunglasses and a mask

  93. NoB s mention of her husbands age reminded me of the range of life arcs we have on this site. Mine is is 22 years until parenthood, 26 years with 5 kids until youngest went away to college, 20 plus and counting of the rest of my life. Outlier among those with children – Milo is closest, maybe TLC (not sure of her age). Included in that is our escape from home family dynamic, where my ex, all my kids, and I never spent time again at home after age 18. The idea of being in my 60s at a high school graduation is mind boggling, just as missing out on a less encumbered life in your 20s would be to most of the rest of the gruop..

  94. Meme — My DH would be the first to admit that he was a late bloomer in many ways. :)

    As for me, I was engaged at 24, and fully expected to be done with having kids before 30. But then my then-fiance broke the engagement, and my life took a very big turn. So I didn’t end up marrying until 34, and having my kids until 36 and 39.

  95. Becky, that type of experience is the worst. Total waste of your time due to their simple mistake.
    My DH is already back from an appointment int he city with his dermatologist. The doctor told him that he still hasn’t recovered most of his patient load. I guess the derm is not at the top of the list for most people, but the opposite problem is happening with my local derm. It is impossible to get an appointment because she has so many new patients from the city. My internist is the same – no new patients. Veterans Day is a school and bank holiday so the roads and trains were empty.

  96. Derm –
    A couple of months ago I got the reminder from mine re getting my, now annual(?), head-to-toe scan and called immediately to schedule because I want to get it in 2020 since we’ve satisfied our deductible. Can’t get he actual doc, whom I like, until February. No go. But I can get the PA for 11/20. I’ve seen her before and I don’t really like her manner, but no issues with diagnoses. So that’s what I’m doing. I really should think about what else / what other exams I should get before the end of the year.

    Becky – totally agree re the eye doc.

  97. Life arc:
    1st kid at 33; last off to college at 59, just missing meme’s mind-boggling being at a HS graduation in my 60s. I left home at 18, except for 2yrs 22-24 when I worked and lived there to save $ for b-school.

  98. Becky, I would also be so annoyed from your experience with the ophthalmologist! I hope they apologize profusely. I also schedule appointments around running other errands, so that makes it double annoying. Several of my doctors are in a strip shopping mall, so I try to coordinate visits with trips to some of those stores.

    Around the time my youngest was in first grade I noticed how many of the other moms were so young. :)

  99. Kim, I have communicated to recruiters and internal HR folks that I’m flexible with respect to responsibilities and comp, especially given this COVID environment.

    It’s a relief that my youngest is in his junior year of college and I can cover the few tuition payments that lie ahead. I’m really annoyed that I can’t continue contributing to an employee sponsored 401(k) and HSA, and that our health insurance costs have tripled. That said, we have a lot to be thankful for when there are so many folks who are experiencing real financial hardship right now.

    Becky, what an annoying experience.

  100. We have a friend (on his second marriage) whose wife just had a baby, and he is 52! (Wife is 42) His other kids (16 and 18) are none too pleased, kind of like my old boss whose kids (at the time I worked with him) were 24, 22, 4, and 2.

    I had my kids at 29, 31, 33. Very glad in retrospect that we jumped into treatment before years of infertility had gone by.

  101. My life arc: married at 26, first and only child at 39, upcoming HS graduation at 57. DH and I were DINKs for a long time. Most of the friends that we met through our artsy interests were all retired. Once things open up and we are empty nesters I expect that we will pick up our artsy interests again.

  102. “per DD1, as soon as she was on the meds she ‘didn’t have to make my brain try to so hard to behave.’”

    This was DD’s experience to a T. The meds were clearly providing some sort of chemical that her brain was lacking, just like the Wellbutrin does for mine.

    My life arc: Married 30, should have had first kid at 33 and second around 36, but miscarriages intervened, so we ended up at 35 and 40. Will be 58 when DS walks across the stage.

    I would have loved to have had kids earlier, but I wasn’t mature enough to recognize the right guy when I saw him until I was 28. The primary benefit of being an older parent was financial: the combination of more years of saving before kids, higher salaries that allowed us to save while still paying daycare once the kids arrived, and that extra decade of compounding all together means that we will have college covered and be financially ready to walk out of our offices when DS does his walk, if we so choose (and knock on wood, of course).*

    Well, that and BOY I would have been a crap parent in my 20s. I really feel that I’m only now approaching the parenting knowledge and maturity level necessary to qualify as a “good mom,” now that I’m almost done with the daily stuff.

    *Not that DH is ever going to quit. But I like knowing that we can.

  103. My life arc: married at 31, kids at 33, 36, and 38. DH and I took a long time to find each. I left for college at 18, came home the first two summer, and that was it.

    The parents of most of my sons cohort and 10-15 years younger than me. They have just stopped whining about being forty. I tried to appear sympathetic.

  104. “I tried to appear sympathetic.” Really? My standard response is “Imagine my lack of sympathy.”

  105. I have a couple of comparisons when I consider my life arc. By home country standards we started off later. Majority of my friends have kids who are already in college, some friends have kids who have finished with college. By our geographic area standards we are right on, although by Northeast standards we may be a bit younger.

  106. Becky, what’s especially aggregating about that is that it sounds like it has happened to many people—if they haven’t changed the address in their system, it must be sent out incorrectly every time. I’m sure you are not the first person to complain.

    he firmly believes that some kids really need, and are well served by, getting on the right medication.
    I do too. But after teachers from grades 2-6 said or implied that my kid was add & needed to be on meds, we finally relaentex and saw a psychiatrist who evaluated him, made a diagnosis, and we triedout two different kinds of stimulants typically used for ADD. The first one kept him up most of the night and made him very jumpy. We did t get through a week on it. Then he tried Intuniv. It made him feel glassed-off and out of touch, and he had a hard time staying awake. Teachers were fine with that, but he was frustrated, so we tried a different doc, who prescribed the second stimulus. That one was amazing—my son had so much energy and was so angry and aggressive. I was curious if it might be better the next day, but there was no way he wanted to take it again.

    Getting the medicine right is terribly important. Even better is when teachers do as NoB describes her husband doing and adapt their classrooms for different kinds of learners.

    LT, there are lots of reasons why a white girl in Min delta might have different experiences with this than a Black boy in Florida. I don’t doubt what you say., but it doesn’t make me question our experience either.

  107. This is the car that I would like to buy, but it is too expensive.Unfortunately, I won’t be able to get this car due to the price. https://www.audiusa.com/us/web/en/models/a6/rs6-avant/2021/overview.html

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/audi-rs-6-avant-a-station-wagon-that-can-do-190-mph-11604606218

    I am going test drive a few other audi sedans and wagons, this looks like a car that would be great to drive and accommodates the carpool.

    We watched Industry on Monday when it aired on HBO. Some of the plot lines were familiar, but some seem a little outdated/stupid. Billions is more fun, but I will keep watching Industry.

  108. “ The idea of being in my 60s at a high school graduation is mind boggling, just as missing out on a less encumbered life in your 20s would be to most of the rest of the gruop..”

    Have one child very close to 30, and both are unfathomable. ;)

  109. “just missing meme’s mind-boggling being at a HS graduation in my 60s”

    I missed being a parent at a HS graduation in my 60s because of the pandemic.

  110. “I was going to stop by Costco on the way home and Costco wasn’t supposed to open until 10.. As I drove by I saw cars so parked and went to the door. Their sign did say that they open at 10 but they were letting people in who all appear to be seniors. They let me in without comment.”

    One of the people manning the door told me that it’s not unusual for them to open a little early. It’s normal to have people queued up for the opening, and if the employees are ready they’ll open the door even if it’s not the official opening time.

    I see that as a feature, not a bug. If you’re there right at opening time, but they’ve already been open a little while, the crowd will be already dispersed. That’ll make it easier to maintain distance from others, as well as making for shorter checkout lines when you get there.

  111. “Around the time my youngest was in first grade I noticed how many of the other moms were so young. :)”

    DS first went to public school for K, and when we went to open house, there weren’t a lot of parents (somewhere around 8 to 10 kids’ parents, IIRC), and most appeared quite a bit younger than I.

    “The primary benefit of being an older parent was financial:”

    But when he was in private school, not only was there near 100% parent representation at open house (lots of twins/triplets in his year), but there appeared to be a much wider age range of parents, with most of them appearing older than the public school parents.

  112. “We have a friend (on his second marriage) whose wife just had a baby, and he is 52! (Wife is 42) His other kids (16 and 18) are none too pleased,”

    Why are the kids displeased?

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