An independent commission to discuss retirement security? Yes, please!

Hooray!  The GAO read the Jane Plan and wants to implement it.  Or maybe they’ve read other things I’ve written, under my real name, my quixotic attempts to put my ideas “out there” in a Society of Actuaries call for essays, for instance. OK, fine, my name doesn’t appear anywhere in the footnotes for their publication, “The Nation’s Retirement System; A Comprehensive Re-evaluation Is Needed to Better Promote Future Retirement Security,” which I first came across via an article in… Read more

Let’s stop encouraging homeownership

So, it turns out, the big adventure of the past week in the Actuary home has been dealing with a broken, non-repairable fridge.  The new one will come on Thursday, but in the meantime, we have been keeping some perishables in a cooler (for which the ice melted unexpectedly soon, so I’ll have to replace the gallons of milk, and figure the margarine, cheese, and jelly will be OK). I deliberated about what to do with respect to a new… Read more

“Co-ed BSA”? How ’bout cutting the Scouts some slack, eh?

The Boy Scouts, it’s been reported, are going co-ed. Well, not really.  Don’t believe what you read in the papers. They’re allowing family-oriented Cub Scout packs in which girls and boys will have separate dens but come together for large group events, in the same way as these events are already often enough family activities, because they believe that this will make Scouting more appealing for Hispanic and Asian immigrant families who are looking for more family-oriented activities, since now… Read more

Let’s talk about suicide

Regular readers will recall that my husband is in the peculiar situation of being a gun-owning Brady Center supporter.   And the Brady Center, for all that it’s known for promoting background checks, and has its share of members who would like nothing more than to confiscate all guns in America and become another UK or Australia, their official statements are more moderate, and one of their projects is a call to “suicide-proof your home”, that is, urging parents to keep guns… Read more

From the library: The Unbanking of America, by Lisa Servon

Some time ago, I read a book, which I really thought I had blogged about, about payday loans, and how evil the industry is.  As it happens, I couldn’t find that blog post, so perhaps this book predates my blogging or I never got around to blogging about it, but as I recall, the author described the nefarious practices of payday lenders, getting their customers to roll over loans repeatedly, with high fees each time, and describes the exceptional wealth… Read more

The Cost-Sharing Reduction Payment elimination – right, and yet . . .

The news today is that Trump has eliminated the Cost-Sharing Reduction payments.  This is a component of Obamacare in which insurers are reimbursed for their costs in meeting the law’s requirement that individuals with incomes less than 250% of the poverty line, be able to purchase high-deductible plans without actually being (fully) subject to the deductible and other cost-sharing requirements.  This is being treated as a great scandal by Obamacare supporters, and being celebrated by Obamacare opponents.  Here’s one reaction in… Read more

Instant Pot Update

Here’s an update on the Instant Pot, which I purchased back in July: I am still trying out recipes, and at the moment have a long list of recipes from cookbooks that all came off hold from the library at the same time, which I’m trying to work my way through. I’m discovering some limitations: First, the notion of browning meat in the instant pot directly is great, but the surface area of the pot really does limit how much… Read more

Do you have a personal experience with a payday or similar loan?

Spoiler alert on a future blog post:  I am reading about payday loans and am reminded of a payday loan place we used to pass that had a sign of “we beat anyone’s rates.”  I am looking for personal experiences, especially with respect to the question of, did you comparison shop for the best rate?  If not, how did you choose which company to use? Relatedly, I know that various states do not allow payday loans.  If you live in… Read more

Girl Cub Scouts – update

So our local Boy Scout district had its roundtable — the monthly meeting for adult leaders — last night, and we heard an update on the whole “Girl Boy Scouts” proposal. It’s officially public now, with the meat of the concept in a YouTube video which we watched: The idea is this: Millennial families are busy, and, if Scouting as an organization wants to reach what they call “non-legacy families” – that is, families where Scouting isn’t already a part… Read more

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