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Old 01-04-2016, 04:58 AM
 
71,769 posts, read 71,875,234 times
Reputation: 49321

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making broad based comments about products , there uses and folks situations like you did do not add any value either .

if you want to add value and knock products at least use specific examples that readers can learn from .

i just pulled two very popular variable annuity plans apart in another thread and showed exactly why they are not the products you think you are getting .

but there are some good points to them too .

general one size fits all comments or your personal bias do not add a thing when you just throw out negative comments and no specifics .

statistics are great for casino's and insurers , they make their profits on statistics . insurers can tell us how many people a year will die , but they can't tell us who .

but when our only two outcomes as individuals are things work out for us or they don't you still need to plan for the "if they don't " or face the consequences if you don't .

that is why average life expectancy may be in the 80's but good retirement planning says plan to 90 or 95 regardless of statistics since statistics can't tell us who .


there is no right or wrong when it comes to whether folks plan around being on the wrong side of the statistic or not . that is a personal planning choice . that goes for whether we are talking guaranteeing income or protecting against impoverishment with some form of ltc planning .

there are good and bad insurance products just as there are good and bad investors and plans when folks attempt to do this on their own .

Last edited by mathjak107; 01-04-2016 at 05:15 AM..
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Old 01-04-2016, 05:12 AM
 
7,983 posts, read 11,673,230 times
Reputation: 10484
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
That's honestly what I don't get about a thread like this. Trying to talk about:

1. Reverse Mortgages.

2. Nursing Home Care Financing ala Medicaid kicking in.

3. Annuities.


Without knowing anything about who we're talking about - whether a real or imaginary person.

I'm 68 and my husband is 70. We are not interested in any of these options.

I don't understand why its so hard to understand what a thread is about? He listed the above 4 topics as examples of things that might be of more detailed interest to retired and elderly who are not married.
Chat refers to people exchanging information that might be of benefit to others without them disclosing every detail of their life.
So if for example you see this thread with "chat" "single" "retired" you might share a story of someone you know that successfully used a reverse mortgage to fund nursing home care. Or alternatively a horror story of someone with a reverse mortgage and why it didn't work.
Why annuities might be better suited for the single vs. married.....
Why it might be better to rent vs. pay off a home in xyz single circumstances.
Being single, especially without kids, has different concerns.
Like apparently there are no professionals that you can hire to act as a relative. If someone is in a coma with no living relatives, who makes those decisions? Who writes the checks?
Are there CCRC's that have more single people?

People don't know what they don't know. Its nice to chat and see what comes up
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Old 01-04-2016, 05:18 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,855,118 times
Reputation: 6379
I concur with you that insurance ocompanies will more often than not win. In fact I took an insurance exam and studied to take that. I also indirectly worked for one company until I looked at what was offered in contrast to what I could do on my own. Name that company went by the name A L Williams and became PrimeAmerica. I dont know if they changed again but what I learned from them helped me in many ways.

It is good to be contrarian but some of your contrarianess is unwarranted. There have been times when no one was actually responding to anything you wrote but you took it as such. We are an open forum here. Sometimes as in this case quotes are not used and generally it is because they are replying directly to the last post as I am here.

Many folks here have as much education and financial background as you just stated for yourself. It is annonymous here so we have no fact checking on a poster's qualifications. But educated people here can decide for themselves whose facts are worthy and whose facts need checking.

Please try to understand that no one here really wants you to stop bringing in your experience. But your experience needs to be couched to other's experiences. One person's circumstances are comletely different than anothers.
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Old 01-04-2016, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,756,785 times
Reputation: 32309
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingduo View Post
...............
It is good to be contrarian but some of your contrarianess is unwarranted. There have been times when no one was actually responding to anything you wrote but you took it as such. We are an open forum here. Sometimes as in this case quotes are not used and generally it is because they are replying directly to the last post as I am here.

..........
Well, you thought you were replying to "the last post", which was by Mathjak, but while you were typing your post someone else posted and that post is now between yours and Mathjak's. That happens a lot, which is why it is better to either quote the post (or part of it, as I have done) to which you're responding, or to state the user name of the poster to whom you're responding. If I had not quoted you, I would have begun, "Golfingduo, ........" or I would have begun, "To Golfingduo:...." It adds clarity and removes guesswork.
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Old 01-04-2016, 06:40 AM
 
71,769 posts, read 71,875,234 times
Reputation: 49321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
I don't understand why its so hard to understand what a thread is about? He listed the above 4 topics as examples of things that might be of more detailed interest to retired and elderly who are not married.
Chat refers to people exchanging information that might be of benefit to others without them disclosing every detail of their life.
So if for example you see this thread with "chat" "single" "retired" you might share a story of someone you know that successfully used a reverse mortgage to fund nursing home care. Or alternatively a horror story of someone with a reverse mortgage and why it didn't work.
Why annuities might be better suited for the single vs. married.....
Why it might be better to rent vs. pay off a home in xyz single circumstances.
Being single, especially without kids, has different concerns.
Like apparently there are no professionals that you can hire to act as a relative. If someone is in a coma with no living relatives, who makes those decisions? Who writes the checks?
Are there CCRC's that have more single people?

People don't know what they don't know. Its nice to chat and see what comes up
the bigger problem i find is not that folks don't know what they don't know .

i find the bigger problem is folks tend to think they know what they know that ain't so .
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,947,745 times
Reputation: 6717
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
I don't understand why its so hard to understand what a thread is about? He listed the above 4 topics as examples of things that might be of more detailed interest to retired and elderly who are not married.
Chat refers to people exchanging information that might be of benefit to others without them disclosing every detail of their life.
So if for example you see this thread with "chat" "single" "retired" you might share a story of someone you know that successfully used a reverse mortgage to fund nursing home care. Or alternatively a horror story of someone with a reverse mortgage and why it didn't work.
Why annuities might be better suited for the single vs. married.....
Why it might be better to rent vs. pay off a home in xyz single circumstances.
Being single, especially without kids, has different concerns.
Like apparently there are no professionals that you can hire to act as a relative. If someone is in a coma with no living relatives, who makes those decisions? Who writes the checks?
Are there CCRC's that have more single people?

People don't know what they don't know. Its nice to chat and see what comes up
It's just not a useful exercise to talk about financial matters (or most matters) in the abstract IMO. For example - I don't believe in "Medicaid planning" for the most part for people with substantial financial assets. But Medicaid planning might be appropriate for some people in some circumstances. The variables that would influence my thinking would include age - state of health - financial resources - state/area of residence (which would include the Medicaid facilities/beds in a particular area) - post-death desires (if any) in terms of regular or charitable beneficiaries - etc. - etc. Even then - there are various ways to "plan" - various tools that might (or might not) be appropriate for various people. Which is why outfits like the Florida Bar have full day CLE programs covering this particular subject.

And - if everyone just sits around and "chats" in a mostly anecdotal fashion - and you wind up with a thread with 500 messages that's all over the place covering many subjects - how is that a useful resource for anyone who is looking for guidance?

Let's look at just one question you asked - this one:

Like apparently there are no professionals that you can hire to act as a relative. If someone is in a coma with no living relatives, who makes those decisions? Who writes the checks?

First off - you can hire professionals to act as "relatives". In some circumstances. Our accountant - in Florida - is our personal representative. In Florida. If our accountant lived in New York - he would not be qualified to act as our PR IIRC. Under Florida law.

When it comes to others taking care of the health/financial affairs of people who are incapacitated - there's a way to do that. At least in Florida. With documents like health care surrogate forms and durable powers of attorney and pre-need guardianship appointments.

I'm a lawyer in Florida and pretty much know many of the rules here. Do I know the rules and the kinds of forms used in the other 49 states? Which may vary substantially. No. I am usually pretty careful when I talk about things - using phrases like "in Florida" - "at least in Florida" - etc. But I suspect a lot of people here may not even be aware that these things can vary a lot from state to state. Whether they're people who are "giving advice" or people who are "taking advice". It's called "the blind leading the blind".

Overall - when it comes to these issues - I don't think there's a substitute for hiring a competent attorney in one's state to go over these things - and to do whatever planning is necessary in light of individual circumstances. If one fails to do these things in advance - courts will often step in to do your "planning" for you if/when the need arises. Which can result in some pretty undesirable outcomes. Robyn
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:15 AM
 
71,769 posts, read 71,875,234 times
Reputation: 49321
one of those rare times i am in full agreement with you . the answers can be endless if they are hypothetical . we can only talk in terms of our own situations generally and what we do .

as i have said many times while we have a nys partnership plan for LTC which has lots of perks geared for higher net worth individuals once the insurance part runs out , am not so sure we would have gone the LTC INSURANCE route if it didn't .

we may have looked in to other options if it was only about buying a few years insurance .
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:49 AM
 
13,968 posts, read 7,441,074 times
Reputation: 25501
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
the bigger problem i find is not that folks don't know what they don't know .

i find the bigger problem is folks tend to think they know what they know that ain't so .
They're everywhere!

I collect data and make contingency plans that are influenced by the information I assimilate. It's what I do for a living and I apply the same principles to my personal life.

I'd have to be an idiot to kick this all under the carpet, spend my paycheck and all of my savings living large, and hoping for some kind of miracle to happen to bail me out. I have a plan. I continuously update the plan based on updated information. I try not to obsess over things I can't control.

...and I consider mathjack107 to be an extremely useful source of information.
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Old 01-04-2016, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,947,745 times
Reputation: 6717
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopHillers View Post
Youíre a good guy so I donít take offense by your remark. As a matter of fact, I rather like the contrarian part of it.

Let me tell you what my real beef is. I am offended by financial institutions and advisors that take advantage of people by selling expensive, crappy products. There should be a place reserved in the inner circles of hell for them, particularly insurance companies.

I have an undergraduate degree in accounting, an MBA in Finance, a CPA, and Iíve been a chief financial officer for over 20 years. Does that make me an expert? Absolutely not, but it does qualify me to offer an occasional financial observation that may be relevant to some people.

The chief problem is that many people donít understand probabilities. Thatís why casinos and lotteries exist. Insurance companies are akin to casinos and lotteries. They have armies of actuaries that are very good at math and price their products accordingly. Whenever you are on the other side of a transaction with them, you are at a severe disadvantage. In the aggregate they are going to win, and win big.

I invite you to go to the SECís Edgar data base and look at Form 10-Qs and 10-Ks for insurance companies and other companies that sell financial products and services. You will see hugely profitable companies. Where do you think their revenue and profits come from?

I offer my observations in this forum for people who want to hear a different perspective from the other voices that appear here. I realize that may be offensive to some people, but you canít please everyone.
I certainly hope my insurance companies are profitable and in good financial shape . The last thing I want is for my homeowners' carrier to go belly up after a hurricane that blows my house away .

OTOH - a fair number of companies in various parts of the insurance world are not in swell shape these days. Due to a confluence of circumstances ranging from a poor investment environment to unanticipated claims (some of the latter in some areas are due to fraud). One should always look into the financial health of an insurance company before buying any kind of policy.

In terms of probabilities - there's not only the issue of what the probabilities are - but whether the prospective buyer can or can't afford to self-insure for them. And what the buyer is paying to avoid self insuring. For example - we can probably afford to self-insure our house. But it makes sense for us to buy homeowners' insurance - because it's not that expensive. If we lived in south Florida - where our policy might cost 5 or even 10 times what we're paying - self insurance might be a better option. OTOH - many people can't afford to self insure their houses. So they have to buy insurance.

When it comes to various kinds of "financial" insurance products - my main beef is many are so ridiculously complicated that they are incomprehensible in terms of figuring out how they will work out in various scenarios. I can understand simple term life insurance. But whole life policies with various optional bells and whistles? I have a hard time getting my head around those. Note that I don't need or own either. But - if I can't understand a product after reading about it for 10-15 minutes - there is something seriously wrong with it IMO. Also - getting back to your probabilities - a person in his/her 30's may need some form of life insurance even if he/she has a very low probability of dying. So probabilities aren't everything.

I also find all but the most plain vanilla fixed annuities equally difficult to understand. And - to the extent that I do understand them - the numbers don't make any sense to me. These are products that tend to be "sold" rather than "bought" IMO. And they are stupid investment vehicles for the vast majority of people:

Forbes Welcome

Overall - most people need at least some types of insurance policies. But most don't need and won't profit from the types of insurance products you are probably talking about. The only insurance products we have are our auto/homeowners'/flood/umbrella policies - and our Medigap/Part D policies. KISS. Robyn
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Old 01-04-2016, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
207 posts, read 132,183 times
Reputation: 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
I certainly hope my insurance companies are profitable and in good financial shape . The last thing I want is for my homeowners' carrier to go belly up after a hurricane that blows my house away .

OTOH - a fair number of companies in various parts of the insurance world are not in swell shape these days. Due to a confluence of circumstances ranging from a poor investment environment to unanticipated claims (some of the latter in some areas are due to fraud). One should always look into the financial health of an insurance company before buying any kind of policy.

In terms of probabilities - there's not only the issue of what the probabilities are - but whether the prospective buyer can or can't afford to self-insure for them. And what the buyer is paying to avoid self insuring. For example - we can probably afford to self-insure our house. But it makes sense for us to buy homeowners' insurance - because it's not that expensive. If we lived in south Florida - where our policy might cost 5 or even 10 times what we're paying - self insurance might be a better option. OTOH - many people can't afford to self insure their houses. So they have to buy insurance.

When it comes to various kinds of "financial" insurance products - my main beef is many are so ridiculously complicated that they are incomprehensible in terms of figuring out how they will work out in various scenarios. I can understand simple term life insurance. But whole life policies with various optional bells and whistles? I have a hard time getting my head around those. Note that I don't need or own either. But - if I can't understand a product after reading about it for 10-15 minutes - there is something seriously wrong with it IMO. Also - getting back to your probabilities - a person in his/her 30's may need some form of life insurance even if he/she has a very low probability of dying. So probabilities aren't everything.

I also find all but the most plain vanilla fixed annuities equally difficult to understand. And - to the extent that I do understand them - the numbers don't make any sense to me. These are products that tend to be "sold" rather than "bought" IMO. And they are stupid investment vehicles for the vast majority of people:

Forbes Welcome

Overall - most people need at least some types of insurance policies. But most don't need and won't profit from the types of insurance products you are probably talking about. The only insurance products we have are our auto/homeowners'/flood/umbrella policies - and our Medigap/Part D policies. KISS. Robyn
Robyn,

I agree with you on homeowners, auto and umbrella liability insurance. I should have been clearer. My bad.

I was referring to products like annuities and LTCi. I agree with you that these products are incomprehensibly complex which I believe is by design so as to disguise the poor underlying economics. This is one of the behaviors I find so reprehensible.

I also agree with your KISS thinking.
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