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Re: Predictions - SS reform
Old 01-31-2005, 02:50 AM   #21
 
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Re: Predictions - SS reform

When it comes to predictions on SS reform, I am sticking
firmly with Murphy's Law.

JG
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Re: Predictions - SS reform
Old 01-31-2005, 02:15 PM   #22
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Re: Predictions - SS reform

Quote:
I still have about the same drug and dental coverage.
Why dental coverage? Is it a separate premium/coverage that can be cancelled?

The reason I'm asking is that I've read/heard that teeth tend to settle down in one's 40s. With frequent brushing/flossing, many ERs can spread out professional cleanings & exams to annually or even biennially. The premiums saved would almost pay for a root canal, not that one would be necessary.

I recognize that everyone's dentition differs, but if there's an expensive mistake in dispensing with dental insurance then I'm interested in learning about it sooner rather than later.
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Re: Predictions - SS reform
Old 01-31-2005, 02:50 PM   #23
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Re: Predictions - SS reform

Quote:
Why dental coverage? *Is it a separate premium/coverage that can be cancelled?

The reason I'm asking is that I've read/heard that teeth tend to settle down in one's 40s. *With frequent brushing/flossing, many ERs can spread out professional cleanings & exams to annually or even biennially. *The premiums saved would almost pay for a root canal, not that one would be necessary.

I recognize that everyone's dentition differs, but if there's an expensive mistake in dispensing with dental insurance then I'm interested in learning about it sooner rather than later.
My dental premium is breakeven after the insurance pays for my two 6-month check-ups and cleaning and a single filling. If I have anything else done, then I'm ahead of the game with the dental insurance. I cracked a tooth over Christmas that required a $900 cap, so it looks like I'll save some money being insured this year.

However, I think there's something like a $1,500 or $2,000 annual limit on the benefit. If I get 5 or 6 teeth knocked out, I'll have to pay out of pocket, or spread the treatment over several years.

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OK, got it.
Old 01-31-2005, 03:12 PM   #24
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OK, got it.

I still hate paying more in one year's premiums than I'd pay over four separate visits.

Guess I'll keep wearing my mouthguard when I spar at tae kwon do. Our first tournament is in three weeks...
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Re: Predictions - SS reform
Old 01-31-2005, 03:13 PM   #25
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Re: Predictions - SS reform

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The reason I'm asking is that I've read/heard that teeth tend to settle down in one's 40s. *With frequent brushing/flossing, many ERs can spread out professional cleanings & exams to annually or even biennially. *The premiums saved would almost pay for a root canal, not that one would be necessary.
Nords, I was faced with a decision - $75/month for group dental insurance (family plan) or self-insure. I chose self-insurance. I plan one annual cleaning.

Also, I haven't done it yet, but my dentist accepts Title 19. I'm going to try to negotiate for that rate. My pitch:

1. We'll pay cash upfront on the day of service.
2. We'll keep it between us - no blabbing to others about our arrangement.

I figure that he's willing to hassle with Medicaid forms and wait for their relatively low rate of pay, so why wouldn't he go for this? If he says no, I shop around. Has anyone else tried this?
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That worked at our kid's dentist.
Old 01-31-2005, 03:23 PM   #26
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That worked at our kid's dentist.

Our pediatric dental staff works very hard to keep the customers from learning who has dental insurance and who doesn't. When we disclosed that we're not insured, they immediately gave us a 20% discount. I'm going to have to try that cash offer on our next visit!

I visit my dentist every couple years for an exam & cleaning, but my mouth isn't very active. Good fillings, lots of flossing, and hopefully no cracks or other problems. At $65/month x 3 years minus an $80 visit I guess I can afford a broken filling or two.

Then there's always the option of waiting space-available at the local dental clinic. Although the pain level is a tossup between that and a broken tooth...
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Nah, I'm just sparring fodder.
Old 02-01-2005, 11:27 AM   #27
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Nah, I'm just sparring fodder.

Our dojang is hosting the tournament. Sabumnim appreciates all the 5'10" 185-lb lower-ranked belts he can get to bulk up those divisions, but if no one in those categories signs up from the other dojangs then us grownups will go back to arranging mats & running the concession stand.

My kid is competing in both poomse & sparring and wants to join the traveling competition team, so I'm sorta swept up in her excitement. I fear we've created a monster.

I'm not going to snake some teenager out of a poomse trophy. And I'm not going to get beat up just for a sparring medal, either-- my repertoire has far more sidesteps & blocks than offensive moves or speed.

While I'm not above the deceit of imitating a decrepit boomer (hmm, waitaminnit), I'm happy to help someone feel like they had to earn their medal!
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Re: Predictions - SS reform
Old 02-02-2005, 05:16 AM   #28
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Re: Predictions - SS reform

Re: Energal's post as to the demographics trend:

Good point. *In many ways, the entire SS, medical insurance and employment issues on this string are impacted in the context of the demo-shift discussed.

My first random thought:
The ponzi scheme of ten SS contributors to cash flow one SS recipient is starting to catch up with the lottory managers we call our Federal Agencies. *I applaud Bush for at least raising the issue. *(It reminds me of the scene in Casa Blanca where the police inspector bursts into Ricks casino and confronts the floor boss "There are rumours that there is gambling in this establishment!?" *and on the way out in a self important strut the police inspector is stopped by the casino's croupier, who hands him an envelope stuffed with cash..."your winnings, sir...")

My second random thought (although my morning coffee is starting to clarify the mental fog of early morning):

There is a labor shortage already in place in the US. *Its selective. *My example, and most of those on the board, can all be case studies on point. *We were educated decades ago in much better academic programs for the most part than exist today. *In my grade school everyone spoke english, though everyone's family was from a host of countries. chances were that at least half the families had grand parents that were foreign born, such as Poland, Italy, Russia, Germany, Ireland, Hungary, the rural South, Cuba, Mexico, Greece and so on. *Homework was required. *Discipline was real and swift, occured on the spot without discussion or regret, and worked to create socialization along defined norms. I had to take literature, composition, science and math in High School and College to graduate. *As my late father aptly stated, in his one sentence vocational guidance policy, when I asked him what I should major in prior to my feshman year: *"Do not waste your time taking underwater basket weaving, either study something to make a living, or get off your lazy butt and get a job!!!"" *The GI bill had sent him into engineering, and thats where I ended up. *I worked my way through, but he let me borrow his truck until I had enough money to pay him for it. *A truck is a decent source of income, as, when combined with heavy lifting, one can haul stuff for a few bucks on the weekends.

Try to find enough twenty five year old kids (outside of the mid west and country kids) that had the "American way" drilled into them enough that they will work at the same level as most of the esteemed alumni on this board. Now, think about the experience and skills, and derivitive value that was totally taken for granted, that left your last employer when you grinned, checked your bank balance just to be sure, and walked through the door for the last time. *That set of resume assets has been lost. *The assets that took two to three generations worth of combined effort. Your parents and grand parents were right, and they did you right, however unpleasant at the time. *They made us work hard. *Why not. *We had it easy. *They lived through the Depression, they fought WWII, they went to church, they had five or so kids and fed and clothed them, and we owed them the one thing that everyone knew would at least give us a fighting chance, hard work and no excuses. *

End of rant....

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Re: sparring father
Old 02-02-2005, 08:04 AM   #29
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Re: sparring father

Hey Nords, you might like to see my home dojo:

http://www.aikidocenterla.com/
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Re: sparring father
Old 02-02-2005, 08:12 AM   #30
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Re: sparring father

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Hey Nords, you might like to see my home dojo:

http://www.aikidocenterla.com/

So are you the guy flying through the air?
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Re: sparring father
Old 02-02-2005, 08:49 AM   #31
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Re: sparring father

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So are you the guy flying through the air?
I've had that done to me many times. It's not that difficult... except for the sudden deceleration.

Thanks, Ronin. Much as I'm enjoying TKD, I can see that I'm not going to be sparring quite so enthusiastically in 20 years. (The sports doc told me yesterday that I probably didn't tear that meniscus after all-- this time.) Luckily the poomse will keep me limber for many decades, and I've heard that aikido or hapkido are the next step. My nephew (an Army Ranger) swears by his aikido edged-weapons training.

Most importantly, over the last 10 months our kid is tremendously stronger, faster, more coordinated, and more focused. Black belt is in the picture. With TKD occupying so much of her time, I think the teen years are going to be a lot less worrisome than originally feared.

Looks like you have a good crowd to work with. One of the challenges around here-- despite large populations of Koreans, soldiers, and Marines-- is finding a class with a good mix. We've never had more than a dozen adult students at a time at Oahu TKD Center-- several of us parents of TKD students-- and sparring is usually six or fewer. Turnover in the over-30 crowd is especially high. I appreciate the low student/instructor ratio but it's tough sledding going five matches with your instructor because the other students couldn't make it. Although our current dojang is only 10 minutes from the house, I'll be interested to see what the different dojangs have to offer at the tournament.

This master claims to run the island's biggest dojang but I've heard that there's a bit of an attitude/ego issue... http://www.smithtaekwondo.com/
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Re: Predictions - SS reform
Old 02-03-2005, 11:01 AM   #32
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Re: Predictions - SS reform

Since we have moved on to TKD... My daughter got a blackbelt in TKD, and went on to instructing, and also investigated other studios. One common theme that worried her is that several people in other disciplines used to practice TKD, until they started having knee problems. So, anecdotally, TKD is harder on the knees than other martial arts.
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Re: kneed help...
Old 02-03-2005, 12:24 PM   #33
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Re: kneed help...

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Coincidentally, many of the old time Japanese Aikido masters have knee problems as well, but I suspect it to be for entirely different reasons.
Seiza on a hard wooden floor will do that. *Pretty serious into kendo at one point and it too had plenty with knee problems - one of the reasons that I've given up on it.
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Re: kneed help...
Old 02-03-2005, 01:08 PM   #34
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Re: kneed help...

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Also, there is one well known high ranking instructor who feels that you need to seriously injured on a regular basis and broken bones are good for you because you heal up stronger! *Yikes. *But, he can hardly walk 20 feet he's so messed up; except on the mat he just destroys you.
I hear Evel Kneivel subscribed to that theory too. But I bet that calcium supplements are much less painful...
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Re: kneed help...
Old 02-03-2005, 01:56 PM   #35
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Re: kneed help...

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wzd, did she give you any details on why so many TKDers suffer knee problems?
No, just an observation that she was running into people that used to do TKD in other studios that all had the same reason for switching. I would guess between the low stances, and emphasis on kicking, but thats just a guess.
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Poor technique
Old 02-03-2005, 03:00 PM   #36
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Poor technique

My sprained knee came from a bad stance during TKD sparring-- I've since learned to spread my feet apart some more and keep 'em that way. Funny thing, it also improves many of my offensive & defensive moves.

But I have very loose joints, which is a bad thing for judo grappling.
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Re: Predictions - SS reform
Old 02-03-2005, 10:37 PM   #37
 
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Re: Predictions - SS reform

What a bunch of smoke and mirrors!

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/03/po...ocial-txt.html

Transcript of "senior administration official" explaining the "nuts & bolts" of the president's plan.
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Re: Predictions - SS reform
Old 02-04-2005, 10:19 AM   #38
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Re: Predictions - SS reform

Born in 1950 - I assume that if the plan goes thru that I will be screwed again by the "compassonite conservative"......does anyone have any idea how this would work.....retire early, SS changes for those born after 1949. Reduced benefit??

If "W" gets away with this - it reminds me of the corps changing the rules for retiress after they have retired as so many have - what's up with this trend. Am I in the twilight zone??
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Re: Predictions - SS reform
Old 02-04-2005, 10:29 AM   #39
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Re: Predictions - SS reform

Here's a short exerpt from a Paul Krugamn NYT Op-Ed piece that pretty well hits it on the head:

"Color me skeptical: will retirees with private accounts that performed badly really be forced to repay their loans in full? Even if they are, private accounts will at best have a "net neutral effect" - that is, they will do nothing to improve Social Security's finances. Mr. Bush says the system faces a crisis; what does he propose to do about it?

The answer, presumably, is that his plan will also involve major benefit cuts over and above those associated with private accounts. And it's true that you can improve Social Security's finances with privatization, as long as you also slash benefits - just as you can kill a flock of sheep with witchcraft, provided you also feed them arsenic. (Thanks, M. Voltaire.)"

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/04/op...icle_popular_3

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Re: Predictions - SS reform
Old 02-04-2005, 10:46 AM   #40
 
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Re: Predictions - SS reform

Establishment and Eligibility

People 55 years of age and older will not be affected by the plan.

The program is voluntary for those born in 1950 or later. Individuals can choose to stay entirely in the system. Recipients will get "the benefits the system is able to pay," the official said, which may indicate that benefits will decrease over time.


The federal government's Thrift Savings Plan is the model for the accounts. TSP is the retirement savings plan for civilians who are employed by the U.S. government and members of the uniformed services.

A centralized, administrative entity will be created to administer the program. Management of the various investments funds will be contracted out. No big new government-run fund manager is being proposed.

The accounts can be bequeathed to survivors.

Costs could be incurred after that 10-year period.

Social Security trustees estimate that two-thirds of the workforce will participate.

Investments

Investors can choose from a number of accounts. The accounts will parallel those available under TSP. The five current TSP funds can be reviewed at www.TSP.gov.

Because the program will be much larger than the TSP plan, more than five funds are likely to be available, a senior administration official said. Even if more funds are available, however, they will be limited in number.

Under the president's plan, a "life cycle fund" will be created. In this fund, the proportion of the money invested in stocks shrinks as an individual nears retirement in order to lower investment risks. This fund will become "a standard" at a certain age. If an individual has other money for retirement and chooses not to participate in this low-risk fund, he or she can choose to opt out of the program.

Accounts will be phased in starting in 2009. Every worker who wants to participate will be enrolled by 2011. In 2009, anyone born in 1965 or earlier can enroll. In 2010, anyone born 1978 and earlier can enroll. After 2010, citizens of any age can enroll.

Contributions will be phased in. Officials would like to permit individuals to put 4 percent of their payroll taxes into a personal retirement account. Annual contributions will be capped at $1,000 per year in 2009. The cap will gradually rise over time, growing by $100 per year after that. The contribution grows with growth of wages.

Administrative costs for TSP are currently at 0.3 percent of account balances. The official said a similar cost should be expected for the new accounts, primarily to pay for record keeping.

Workers will not be permitted to take loans against these accounts.

Wage inflation is generally 3 percent. The average rate of return on TSP funds ranges from 4.32 percent to 10.99 percent, according to a 10-year average taken from TSP.

Individuals cannot opt out of the program once they join. If individuals do not want to participate, their investments will be put into a separate fund like a Treasury bond-based fund that effectively will replicate the Social Security benefit.

Retirement

Upon retirement, restrictions will be placed on withdrawals. Individuals will not be able to withdraw any amount from the personal accounts combined with the traditional Social Security benefit that would put them below the poverty level.
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