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34 Comments

  1. The post is kind of funny with a message, like it! Good luck with the Plutus award registration and battle to the death (or have I been reading too much Mr 1500?)

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Team CF. However, battling to the death with Mr. 1500 terrifies me. Don’t tell me he’s also gunning for the funniest blog award.

  2. Good on you Mr G for letting the handouts go to those who are more deserving. I don’t think many people would take the initiative to spread this news. Oh and funniest personal finance blog award? I voted and you definitely deserve it! Always loved your sense of humour in your articles!

  3. You’re welcome.

    🙂

    And I completely agree with you. In retirement, I’ll be in the same situation as you in being able to receive subsidized healthcare and I know that was not the intended purpose. We’ll see what happens…if anything happens…

    I think you fit the “Funniest PF Blog” category perfectly and I 100% endorse you with my vote. Keep up the great work!

    • Mr. Groovy

      You’re the best, JW. Thank you for understanding and working. And we’ll see how Obamacare plays out over the next few years. It should be very interesting.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Mrs. ETT. Sadly, redemption was very rare in my corner of government. Denise, like so many employees in my municipal workplace, was totally abused by the system. Politics was so pervasive, no one got ahead based on merit. So most of my coworkers just gave up and did everything they could to avoid work.

  4. Funniest, weirdest, grooviest – all categories that could describe what you and Mrs. G put together here!

    We’re going to be layabouts during our mini-retirement this upcoming year. With little expected income, we’ll be getting insurance from the exchange and it’s definitely going to make the transition to self-insurance a lot smoother. We’ll most likely still end up paying more than I was at my last job, but I definitely understand the level that my employer was covering. I’ve seen the COBRA estimates and they are steep 🙂

    Selfishly though, this is letting us pursue something we’ve wanted and will let me spend more time on Keep Thrifty – both the blog and my app – hopefully helping more people get on board with the FIRE movement. Maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better with a little dose of altruism, but whatever it is, it’s working – haha.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I hear ya, Chris. It’s definitely a conundrum. The government predicates goodies under certain conditions, and if you meet those certain conditions, you’d be irresponsible not to grab those goodies. Case in point: the home mortgage interest deduction. I don’t understand the logic of that loophole. And it certainly should be curtailed for the rich. But when I had a mortgage, I certainly took advantage of it. Likewise with Obamacare. If you make below a certain income, you’re eligible for premium subsidies. Is that fair if you have a high net worth? I don’t think so. But as long as premium subsidies are based on income and not net worth, I’m taking advantage of them.

      I think it’s safe to say that we have way too many subsidies in the country. And, sadly, everyone thinks his or her particular subsidy is in the national interest. So subsidy madness isn’t going away any time soon. Sigh.

      You and Mr. Freaky Frugal nailed our predicament. We can either go FIRE, or we can trudge along as wage slaves. In my mind, FIRE is much more appealing. With any luck, the work of you, Mr. Freaky Frugal, and everyone else in our community will convince more and more Americans to go the FIRE route.

      Thanks for stopping by, Chris. Great contribution to our conversation. And thank you very much for your kind words. Made my day, my friend. Have a great Labor Day weekend. Cheers.

      • I have to say the mortgage interest deduction really bothers me. At least can’t we get rid of it for SECOND HOMES? This country spends more to subsidize the homes of the 7 million richest households than to the 55 million lowest income renters. This is effed up. I agree subsidies should go to those who need them. But when you think of the money we spend to give charity to evil corporations, your little Obamacare subsidy is nothing. So enjoy! Healthcare should be a right, not a privilege in the first world.

        • Mr. Groovy

          LOL! Even though you’re a commie and I’m a deplorable, we probably agree on 90% of the issues. I loathe crony capitalism/corporate welfare. I’m tired of protecting Europe and Japan. And I also don’t know why there are tax breaks for mortgage interest, employer-provided healthcare, and charitable giving. We have $20 trillion in national debt and every public pension in the country is severely underfunded. When is it going to stop? When we collapse like the old Soviet Union? The only chance we have is to take away the goodies going to the rich and middle class. And that isn’t too likely. Everyone thinks his or her subsidy is in the national interest. Meh.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Ah, Amy. You made my week. And I love that you remembered Farah. We named one of our dogs in honor of Farah. My brother was a big Farah fan and had her iconic poster over his bed. I was into brunettes for some reason when I was young, so I went with Jaclyn as my favorite angel.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I try to be brutally honest with myself for two reasons. First, it’s important for me to realize that I’m not all that. A good part of my comfort is the result of taxpayer pain. And I need to be eternally humble and grateful for that. Second, depending on coerced charity is never wise. At some point, and I hope it’s soon, the taxpayers will say “enough.” Thanks for stopping by, Steve. I really appreciate your kind words.

  5. Ah Denise. So painful. You think some people would be willing to take 10 minutes out of their day to help…but alas habits die hard.

    I agree regarding subsidies but then the government would have to be able to assess your total net worth. I suppose they could factor capital gains that you report in tax returns…complicated but doable

    • Mr. Groovy

      So true, DDD. The only way to fairly dole out Obamacare subsidies is to require every tax return to include a net worth calculation. And the cost of that record keeping would very likely exceed the cost of Obamacare subsidies. I think it might be easier to make healthcare insurance irrelevant by making healthcare affordable via price transparency and competition. Meh. Until that happens, though, there’s always medical tourism. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  6. Ha! I’m also a teat-sucking layabout.

    In fact, I can do you one better. Mrs. Freaky Frugal and I are FIREd and we also use Obamacare. But our taxable income is so low that our subsidy is greater than our insurance premium. Yep, we actually make money from Obamacare. Take that!

    And yeah, it is definitely messed up that Obamacare allows rich, retired people to get subsidized insurance.

    To all you Wage Slaves, have a great Labor Day weekend! And get FIREd already. 🙂

    • Mr. Groovy

      Wow! You’re not holding anything back, Mr. FF. I love your style. And I agree. It’s far better to be FIREd than to be a Wage Slave. I hope more and more Americans come to realize this. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a great weekend. Cheers.

  7. I’m not surprised they did it by income than net worth.
    People barely want the government to know anything at all much less the total net worth (plus they would have to have a clear set of guidelines on what counts and what doesn’t).

    I’m happy that we have ACA, my sister was uninsurable because of a stupid bladder thing, but I know there are lots of things we need to do to improve it (like any bill ever passed). I’m sure most people don’t realize their employers are subsidizing their insurance.

    My question back is how should we be stopping subsidies to well-off people? How should we determine other than income?

    (But totally with you on stopping subsidies on other things in general. Like for businesses, kid credits, mortgage credits, etc…)

    • I think the whole system is f’d. But here’s the thing. The subsidy, at this very moment, is overkill for us. If we’d been going the year with a catastrophic non-compliant plan, it would cost us maybe $2,500 for the year (under normal competitive conditions) plus around $800 for our yearly physical and dermatology visits. With no subsidy, we’d be paying over $24,000 — for this?

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, BOAS. The two biggest flies in the ointment for healthcare are pre-existing conditions and consumer ignorance. People with pre-existing conditions shouldn’t get healthcare insurance. They’re uninsurable. They should be put on Medicare and be required to pay up to 10% of their income on Medicare premiums. To lower the cost of healthcare for everyone, however, we need price transparency and competition. Doctors and hospitals should advertise their prices. If this were to happen, consumers and insurers would have an incentive to seek out the least costly providers. Meh. But like you said, my friend, it’s a tough problem. How do we insure decent healthcare for all and keep the well-off away from healthcare subsidies? Thanks for stopping by, BOAS. I really appreciate your thoughts.

      • Holy crap are the pricing systems messed up! The cost estimate searching on insurance websites are a joke. I wish there was a real competition between hospital’s but at least around here there are only two companies (they like to use different names but you just need to look for their parent company logo).

        It basically is the hospital monopoly and insurance monopoly screwing anyone over that can’t afford to play the game.

        Not to keep defending ACA but it did a lot to protect woman’s rights and especially mom and baby rights. For example protections with breast feeding at work.

        • Mr. Groovy

          “It basically is the hospital monopoly and insurance monopoly screwing anyone over that can’t afford to play the game.”

          That says it all, my friend. The healthcare-industrial complex is not our friend. And you are right about the ACA. If only we could combine the good aspects of the ACA with market-based competition and innovation, we’d be set.

      • I think the lack of price transparency is a huge issue. I did some digging around for a shoulder surgery this year, and even got the billing codes from my doctor before the operation. Even then, the doctor’s office had to call the third-party billing service, which could only provide a very rough estimate. And that was just for the surgery, and did not include the anesthesiologist and other services.

        Two months later, and even with great insurance, I’m still getting bills.

        I know that millions of people go through this every year. The inefficiency is astounding, as is the lack of predictable bills (which does not allow people to really budget).