Archive for December, 2013

I got my paycheck stub today and while I have one more pay period before the end of the year, I couldn’t help but notice that when I add up Federal Income Tax, Social Security, and Medicare taxes, it tallies up to a whopping $45,000.  This is just the tax on my paycheck, there are all sorts of other taxes and fees I’ve paid throughout the year and it’s painful to see so much money go down the drain.

Of course, this doesn’t include my wife’s income either which is another huge chunk of money but that’s not even the worse part!   The worst part is that I will have mandatory stock exercises starting in 2015 which will only make the tax situation far worse.

The key of course is to tax plan this year and next and it doesn’t help that I’ve got a kid that will be starting college soon and will need financial aid.  So far, things are not shaping up too well and I’ll hopefully write about some strategies in the near future.

How would you handle a 25% increase in monthly health insurance premiums?  That was the topic at lunch today when one of my co-workers (contractor) stated that his family health insurance policy was rising from $750 per month to $940 per month.   I pointed out the obvious, “How do you expect 40 million uninsured people to suddenly get insurance without someone somewhere paying for it?”

Somewhere out there is an insurance company raking in $12,000 per year out of my co-worker.  That’s $12,000 that won’t get spent on iPads, iPhones, televisions, furniture, new carpet, new kitchen, or anything else that will drive the economy.   The $12,000 will be spent on $200 aspirin, $4000 X-Rays, and a bunch of mis-priced, mis-allocated capital investments and operational expenses at a hospital somewhere that wants a cut of the action or into the hands of insurance companies.

I think most people were thinking the “government” was going to pick up the tab for Obamacare and then people realized that the “government” is nothing more than “we the people” so the working people are now subsidizing and providing “free” health insurance to the non-working or working poor.

I’m really curious to see what the next few election cycles are going to bring and I think the economy will head for a disastrous Obamacare driven financial collapse  in 2014 when we start seeing the full effect of this policy and premiums continue to go out of control.

With several recent deaths in our circle of family and friends of people all in their 50’s, coupled with the fact that my kids have grown from zero to teens in a blink of an eye, I’ve made a concerted effort to visit more of the world over the next few years as quickly as time allows.   If there is one thing I’ve done my entire life is to learn from my mistakes but learn even more from the missed opportunities and mistakes of others.

Do you think you’re going to live through your 40s? What about your 50s?  Are you saving up for retirement to enjoy that trip to Paris?   Well I certainly wish you the best of luck but if you want to go to Paris or Rome or Bangkok but I would suggest you don’t wait till tomorrow when today will do!

As for me, I’ve been down to South America three times, Europe twice, and a few places in the U.S. this year and my travel plans for next year will take me to Japan, Europe and maybe South America next year.

 

Well it took forever but a few weeks ago I got my four brand new iPhone 5S’s for everyone.   The day I got them I had a flight out to Sweden and when I landed was greeted with a cheerful text message from T-mobile that all my web in Sweden would be “free” and true to their word, it worked like a champ.

T-Mobile has finally started doing things right….getting the iPhone in its device portfolio, offering unlimited data (on certain plans), and free web internationally in most countries.   I’ll be a solid customer for life as long as they keep this up!

And as much as I hated the thought of using that fingerprint scanner I find it quite useful and now find myself putting my thumb on my iPad which doesn’t have the scanner!

I opted to pay full price for the phones to the tune of about $3200 because I happened to sign up for a new Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card which gave me 40,000 in points (equivalent of $500).    With that and the $600 I’ll get by selling the iPhone 4S that I have I’ve reduced the price of my new phones down to $2200 and on a new lower data plan, I’m happy with the overall value.