Month: September 2016

Recent Posts

I was watching the Suze Orman show the other night and she said that when you get insurance and they score you on the “insurance risk” model, if you have a department store card with a balance over 50% of your limit, it will increase your premium by 20-30%.

I couldn’t find anything online to support that statement (yet), but I thought I would share with the group. I do recall my insurance being VERY high when I had a lot of credit cards, and then when I consolidated them, my insurance dropped dramatically at the next renewal.

I just discovered Dave Ramsey’s radio program a few months ago, and I now listen to him and his callers almost every night.

His show is entertaining and useful even for those not in financial crisis, and for those who ARE in financial crisis, he gives them hope even when it looks like there is no hope.

He does that largely by helping them sort things out. For one example, a desperate caller talked about being much in debt to “check cashing” companies who were actually making loans at outrageous fees.

He talks very strongly and sternly… like a “Dutch uncle”… and he does bawl people out for doing foolish things, but then he turns kind and tells them what to do about it.

In the case of the “loan sharks”, he ranted and raved about “near criminals” who take advantage of people in trouble, then, “OK, we have to pay them, but they get paid last, OK!!”

He says some of the same things that have been argued back and forth here… He says pay off the little bills first, because that gives you a feeling of accomplishment, and it’s important to get your self esteem back… and he takes it from there to talk about getting your life in order, so that you fix the problem, not just get a temporary solution.

Here is his website; Right there on the front page is a box with a link to his radio program information. Click there and it leads to a page where you enter your home town and they respond with the station if they have one in your area.

I am a Physical Therapist and you are right to be concerned with what will happen when the acute care phase of your husband’s care ends. You can ask one of the Social Workers at the hospital to help review his health insurance policy to see if he has any benefits that will cover inpatient rehab, home health or both. Go ahead and get them to check for outpatient cardiopulmonary rehab and outpatient PT/OT coverage.

Also get them to check if the insurance will pay for any equipment (walkers, hospital bed, bedside commode, etc.) You can go to the hospital business office and get an estimate on how much you currently owe them and if they can make a prediction on the final bill. Tell them you need to work out a payment plan and that you can only afford X dollars per month. They will try to convince and intimidate you to pay more, just stick to your guns.

You may also qualify for free drug programs; again, the social workers should be able to help you out. I would go ahead and file the papers for Disability as soon as possible (social workers should be able to help with this also) and don’t be shocked if he is denied on the first go round. Just reapply as soon as possible. He may also be a candidate for vocational rehab but that will be at some time in the future.

You say he has been “borrowing from his retirement account for God knows what.” I know he is sick but he needs to come clean and tell you about ALL of his debts so you don’t have any more surprises in the awful event he doesn’t survive the surgery. I would contact the car co, mortgage company, etc in writing and tell them your husband was seriously ill and was unable to uphold his fiscal responsibilities and offer to pay them a certain amount each month.

You have a lot on your plate right now but hopefully some of these ideas will help. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

Dear Jin,

Read your post and I really feel for you. You have given me the courage to post my situation too.

My husband and I have been married 19 years. In april of this year he has had 2 strokes, endocarditis and now is in the hospital awaiting open heart surgery. We have 4 schoolage kids at home. We recently refinanced our home to get that lower 5% interest.

The balance on our home is 65k. Since my husband has been unable to work I recently returned part time to work.

My husband was in charge of all the $ and I trusted him completely. We were 30k in credit card debt and joined a debt settlers program for the 5 credit cards and one of the cos. tried to sue us. When I took over the bills around the time of his first stroke we had paid out about 1500.00 in fees to the debt settler and still close to 30 k in debt. He had cancelled our term life insurance. He ‘forgot’ to pay car note, mortgage payments – I could go on and on.

If he survives the surgery we will have a disability ssi income of 1165 and the kids will get 140.00 a piece per mo.Our credit rating is shot.

He had been borrowing from his retirement acct for God knows what. I have an atty appt today to make up power of atty and wills.

Between hospitalizations I tried to take care of him at home but he’s a big man and I sure dont know what will happen to us finacially if he has to go into a nursing home.

And you know hes hospitalization only covers so much so those bills are flooding my mail box. Any words of wisdom out there?

Grace, Alex

I haven’t gotten any bills since, but I switched all my lights over to compact florescents. If you are in Canada, the Dollarama dollar store has them for $1 each. I’ve see them at Walmart for like 6 or 8 dollars for a twin pack, but if you are in the States, then the pricing will be different.

Also, you can turn the monitor of your computer off when you aren’t using it by pushing the button. I leave my computers on all the time, but I manually turn off the monitors when I’m not there. I can’t think of anything else off hand unless you can tell us what else you use that could be bringing your bill up so much.

One other tip may be to do all your laundry at one time, rather than running 1 load each night or a couple of times a week. Basically you want to run your drier loads back to back as the second load will dry faster because the machine is already heated up from the first load. If you just run one load, you miss out on the savings of the second and third loads.

Hope that helps some.