In response to:

Dave Says Knock Out that Hospital Bill

cwa Wrote: Jan 01, 2013 12:59 PM
Go to the hospital and offer them 125% of the Medicare DRG (diagnostically related group) in cash to pay the bill in full. This will be a lot less than the “rack rate” that you would have been billed if you did not have a prior arrangement with the hospital. Let them know that you have limited resources and may not be able to pay the bill over time or at a later date. This type of deal is a lot easier to make in advance for planned services like births and elective surgery than after the baby is born or the operation is done. It may not work but usually will if you are firm. Ask to speak to the clerk’s supervisor. Don’t be put off. Ask for a detailed written bill. Tell them that you need it for a consultant. (True, your wife)

Dear Dave,

My wife and I are 70, and we have $950,000 in annuities in the market, plus $68,000 in our emergency fund. The only debt we have is our mortgage. I’m considering converting our stocks to a money market account to lower the risk. What do you think?


Dear Howard,

There are two sides to this. One is the asset allocation method, where as you grow older you move away from equities like mutual funds toward safer, more conservative investments like money markets, bonds and certificates of deposit. This is standard financial planning theory.

I disagree with that...