Winners And Losers Of Obamacare Hooray!

In N Out Double Double BurgersIn a close 5-4 decision, the Supreme court says Congress was acting within its powers under the Constitution when it required Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty!

The legislation is 1,000 pages long so I can’t even come close to understanding all the nuances of the bill.  All I understand is that those against Obamacare think the bill is a violation of individual rights by our big bad federal government.  In addition to the perceived violation of human liberties, the question is who is going to pay for universal healthcare?

Those for Obamacare say that the legislation is not a violation of individual rights but only a tax on people who don’t have healthcare.  Justice Roberts explains, “The mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance. Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning an income.”  I guess that makes sense.  The other reason for Obamacare is that in a country as rich as the USA, all people should be have health insurance, rich or poor.

LOTS OF UNINSURED

There are supposedly 32 million people in America without healthcare.  Some of them think they are healthy enough that they don’t need healthcare.  Meanwhile, the large majority of people who don’t have healthcare is because they can’t afford healthcare!  Hence, the irony is that if you penalize people who don’t have healthcare with a 1-2.5% extra income tax hike a year, you are essentially making the poor even poorer!  They are already annoyed the government is making them abide by more rules!

Meanwhile, payroll taxes for small businesses and income taxes for the wealthier population will go up to fund Obamacare because income tax hikes on the poor are not going to cover the cost of the program. Supposedly most of the 32 million people without healthcare will get partial or if not full subsidy by the government to get healthcare.  Of course that is not going to make the people who have to pay more taxes happy.

If the poor and rich and independent people of America are all pissed off about Obamacare, who is really happy the bill may pass besides President Obama and the people who serve him?  If you have health insurance or can’t afford health insurance you’re likely unaffected.  Those who are stuck in the middle now need to watch out for the encroaching Sentinels!

WINNERS AND LOSERS OF OBAMACARE

The Ideal Body Weight: Finally Losing The Last 10 Pounds

Financial Samurai Weight

At the beginning of the year, I discovered that I was not in ideal weight and it pissed me off.  At 167-169 pounds, I thought I was doing pretty good for a middle-aged guy standing 5′ 10″ until spending a couple hours of research online for the post.  It turns out that based on the majority of reports, I was actually about ~10 pounds overweight, which is a lot since I don’t weight that much to begin with.

With tennis season just three months away at the time, I didn’t want to be out of shape.  My teammates were counting on me.  In competitive sports there’s the triumvirate mind, body, and skills for winning.  The body is the EASIEST thing to optimize, which means during competition against high caliber opponents, they are all in great shape.  Having an ideal body weight is standard (ever see an overweight professional tennis player?), and therefore one is able to focus their energy on mental strength and specific skills.

For well over a decade, I had an enormous mental block that I had to overcome.  I told myself it was IMPOSSIBLE to get under 160 pounds, even though I was a lean 155 pounds in college.  I kept saying there was no way I could break 160 because of work and a slower metabolism.  I accepted weight creep and the ideology that people automatically gain 10 pounds every decade.

PLEASE TELL ME ANOTHER EXCUSE 

A Look Inside Australia’s Education, Investment, Tax, Healthcare & Retirement System

Australian CurrencyYou’ve heard about Bondi Beach, the Great Barrier Reef, Elle McPherson and the Australian Open.  You know that Australia has a great “walkabout” culture where college graduates take a gap year to go explore the world and expand their horizons.  As far as you can tell, Australia is a wonderful land down under!

Unless you’ve been to sunny Australia, everything is hearsay.  I’ve never been, but fortunately for all of us,  Shaun from Money Cactus is a regular reader who hails from Australia and has decided to provide some insights into what it’s really like living and working in Australia.

One of my friends from San Francisco moved to Sydney five years ago and he loved it so much he decided to start a business there and become an Aussie citizen!  After looking more into the Australian healthcare and social safety net system, there’s no wonder why people love Australia!  In fact, I might consider retiring there myself if they have me.  Then again, why would they since I haven’t paid any of their taxes!

Here’s Shaun’s perspective on Australia.  For other Australian readers and those who’ve spent some time there, please feel free to share your thoughts as well!

Australian Boom: Where The Money’s At

Should I Get Long-Term Care Insurance?

Old Man In SantoriniI spoke to my father yesterday and curiously asked him about his thoughts on assisted living facilities.  “Absolutely depressing!“, he said.  I couldn’t agree more that assisted living programs are depressing given it reminds us everyday about our mortality.

Who wouldn’t want to stay put in a home they’ve lived in for years instead?  I know I would.  Home is a special place that makes us feel comfortable and warm.  Ideally, you own your home outright in retirement and no longer have payments.  However, this is a topic for another post.

We can only hope that we remain healthy for the rest of our lives, but we’ll eventually need some help thanks to injuries or illnesses.  Some of us will have the financial strength to comfortably pay for our healthcare in retirement.  Others might have wealthy children to rely on.  But what if you do not want to burden anybody, and don’t have that much money to last?

Buying long-term care could be an ideal solution for your retirement years.

THE IMPORTANCE OF LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE

The Ideal Body Weight Pisses Me Off

Weight ScaleFeel like losing weight?  What a surprise, me too!  Like every other knucklehead, I went to workout on New Year’s day to lose some weight I gained during the holidays.  I got a sweaty two hour tennis match in and then hit again with my buddy for another 1.5 hours the very next day.  I’m not delusional to think that after two days I would lose any amount of weight, but I stubbornly got on the scale before and after anyway.

Hoping to see a loss of a at least a pound due to less water weight, the damn scale betrayed me.  In two days, I had gained 5 pounds from 164 lbs to 169 lbs!  How the hell does someone gain 3% more body weight in just 48 hours.  I didn’t gorge myself during this period, so I’m at a loss for words.  I could blame the flashing “battery” signal on the scale, but that’s just an excuse.  I suck.

At slightly over 5 feet 10 inches tall, 169 lbs is a lot to carry on the tennis court.  Allen Iverson of the 76ers was my height (listed as 6 feet), but could easily dunk and weighed only 155 pounds for example.  Ever since that trip to India 11 years ago, my weight hasn’t fluctuated more than 4-7 pounds (162-169lbs).  But, now I’m dangerously close to breaking this 11 year record with all the crap I’ve been eating.  I feel guilty because in high school, I was a trim 150-155 lbs.  I also feel guilty because I’m disrespecting the poverty I witnessed in India and all around me.

I don’t accept mediocrity in my work, so why the hell do I accept being overweight and mediocre in my health?  Makes no sense at all.

MAN ON A MISSION TO LOSE WEIGHT