Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rising Prescription Costs are Hurting Us

Our little one, requires a high dosage of vitamins that are compounded so that she can take them orally. She has feeding issues (not able to chew well) so we give them by oral syringe. There are 8 separate vitamins that are put into 5 compounds of varying tastes. These are to make up for her genetic/metabolic vitamin deficiency. She has been on the cocktail for a year and has shown improvement.

The problem is that the cost of the vitamins and compounding has gone up drastically in the past 6 months. At the end of last year, it was $10 per prescription, with 3 being twice a month. At the time, there we a total of 9 refills per month. That comes to a total of $90/ month. Then in January of this year the co-pays went to $30 so the grand total went to $270/ month. We worked hard with the pharmacist and neurologist to cut the total prescriptions down to 5 a month and the total was $150/ month.

Well, this month our health provider decided to upped the co-pays to $50 a month. That makes the total $250.00. I think they are trying to make our live miserable. We are currently working with the pharmacist and neurologist again to try and bring the cost down. Otherwise we are gonna go on the canned beans diet.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dividend Play: Altria

On Friday, I decided to add to my position in Altria. I could not resist the 7% dividend this stock now offers. I was actually looking to add Chevron or Exxon Mobil, but settled back on Altria. The stock is down 10% since April, and I believe this to be unwarranted.

So, now I am done with my initial dividend portfolio. This portfolio currently makes up only 5% over my overall investment portfolio. The other are in mutual funds. The dividend portfolio includes Fifth Street Corporation (FSC), McDonald's (MCD) and Altria (MO). The later to are setup in DRIPs, so I look forward to seeing the shares grow over time. Also, when finances offer, I will add to these positions.

I am actually contemplating increasing this portfolio's value in my overall investment approach. I would like to to be at least 50%, so that it will produce a generous income when the time comes to live off our investments.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Net Worth Update: Ugly May

Here is my first net worth update. It just happens to be on the end of a bad month for the stock market.

The auto category comprises 2 cars, one which is paid out right. We plan to keep both fo many, many years.

As you can see, I paid off quite a bit this month on the credit cards. I am not sure how much I a can keep that up.

The taxable accounts comprise emergency funds and some misc savings.

Dividend Play: McDonald's

Yesterday, I started a position of McDonald's stock in my Roth IRA. It is only 15 shares at the moment, but I plan to use the dividend reinvestment plan there and let the shares grow over time. The company has been raising it's dividend each year at a pretty good rate and I don't see it stopping that anytime soon.

I am studying up on some other stocks to add, as I have left some dollars in my Roth account to make one more purchase. The sectors I am looking at are utilities, energy, consumer goods and some others.