Search found 740 matches

by Gemini
Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Strategist
Replies: 6
Views: 606

Re: Tax Strategist

Have any of you ever used a "tax strategist"? I used a CPA last year and none of this stuff was ever brought up. Is a tax strategist a gimmick term? I think "Tax Strategist" is his way of marketing tax planning services. When you hire a CPA for tax prep of prior year returns, th...
by Gemini
Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Strategist
Replies: 6
Views: 606

Re: Tax Strategist

Some years ago I had a tax consideration that I thought needed some serious analysis. I paid a CPA a few hundred dollars to run some alternatives to devise a strategy. The result was somewhat worth it (yes, consequences much larger than the cost), but if I had the same situation again I would figur...
by Gemini
Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Strategist
Replies: 6
Views: 606

Tax Strategist

Came across this article: http://whitecoatinvestor.com/a-visit-with-a-tax-strategist/ I am not familiar with many of the strategies highlighted in that article and it appears to be complex stuff that a true tax professional would be needed for if implemented. Have any of you ever used a "tax st...
by Gemini
Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 86
Views: 4836

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

Talked to my IT fella. He said instead of spending $ on new USB drive, I can also just encrypt what I have in windows 10 by enabling Bitlocker. Seems like a nice little trick. You just select the drive in "my computer" and choose ?enable bitlocker" or something of that sort. Only ava...
by Gemini
Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 86
Views: 4836

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

Talked to my IT fella. He said instead of spending $ on new USB drive, I can also just encrypt what I have in windows 10 by enabling Bitlocker. Seems like a nice little trick. You just select the drive in "my computer" and choose ?enable bitlocker" or something of that sort. Only avai...
by Gemini
Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 86
Views: 4836

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

On the Aegis, the password is only typed into the USB key itself and the software is fully internal to the USB drive (that's why it costs more). No software has to run on the host system except for standard USB mass storage drivers. You will not have to worry about any corporate keyloggers retainin...
by Gemini
Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 86
Views: 4836

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

You can use the Aegis Secure Key on any system without needing software support since you enter the password on the built-in keypad. You would need the Kingston software on the system to access the Data Traveler. The Kingston drive doesn't require any software installed on the system. It runs softw...
by Gemini
Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 86
Views: 4836

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

Which one should I get? 1. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G31OPB0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=pucif&linkId=99a5f75e524659d2d22a49d7b1172892 o 2. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006DUKW2C/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=pucif&linkId=0b05d67ef0a2d6a58608ae5a04e64...
by Gemini
Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 86
Views: 4836

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

Just an aside, does everyone keep a hard copy of tax returns as well, or is that not an issue if you have them securely saved on your computer and backed up to an offsite location? I only keep a hardcopy. If they get lost, you can request a copy of the past six years return from the IRS. Can you ge...
by Gemini
Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 86
Views: 4836

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

Is dropbox safe? I am always leery of online storage due to the recent hacks. Spoke with IT at work. The computer does NOT get backed up to a central database. Instead of loading veracrypt, I am leaning towards the encrypted USB drives as per TFB's website. I can get a few drives and keep one/two ba...
by Gemini
Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 86
Views: 4836

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

Where do you guys keep your personal files like old tax return PDFs? Home pc? I only have a laptop at home.
by Gemini
Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 86
Views: 4836

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

I don't use these personal files on a daily basis. So perhaps I can just mount the Veracrypt when I need them, and keep it unmounted when I don't? The files are still there, but just hidden.

Can I also put Veracrypt on my USB drives?
by Gemini
Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 86
Views: 4836

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

If I put Veracrypt on my computer, can IT access if they want? The tutorial looks very straightforward to follow. The reason I have these files on work comp is b/c I am work a lot and not sure where else to store these files for access during the day. The USB links to purchase look enticing. Is ther...
by Gemini
Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 784
Views: 77696

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

My spouse has the Target red card where it is 5% off everything at Target. Does anyone else here use it? Is that pretty good at 5% or should we be using other cards at Target?
by Gemini
Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 86
Views: 4836

Securing work computer and USB drive

I have a work computer that I primarily use. I have my own windows login so my content with login is relatively secure. Others can use the computer with their own login and IT guys also have access globally i.e. I think they are able to see my desktop if they login with their credentials. I have per...
by Gemini
Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gas station - good business?
Replies: 69
Views: 5381

Re: Gas station - good business?

Looks like a gas station comes with more risks than benefits.

What about dunkin donuts or one of those edible/food franchises?
by Gemini
Fri Sep 09, 2016 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gas station - good business?
Replies: 69
Views: 5381

Re: Gas station - good business?

Self storage seems nice. Anyone own one?

4 seasons - so not warm all year round

Not sure why they thought of gas station.
by Gemini
Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gas station - good business?
Replies: 69
Views: 5381

Re: Gas station - good business?

I've had a few gas station owners as clients over the years. If you own just one, you basically have either 1. low paying(or losing) investment (assuming you hired out someone to manage it) or 2. underpaid, overworked Job if you manage it yourself. It's one of those situations where as the owner yo...
by Gemini
Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gas station - good business?
Replies: 69
Views: 5381

Re: Gas station - good business?

Appreciate all the input. Let me pose this question then: What IS a good business to get into? These friends of the family are currently in the dry cleaning/laundromat business. They are getting older and the workload is very taxing i.e. long hours, constantly on their feet, minimal days off, etc I...
by Gemini
Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gas station - good business?
Replies: 69
Views: 5381

Re: Gas station - good business?

I am sure there are anecdotal stories all over the place, but I figure there must be $ to me made as gas stations have not disappeared over the years. A few google searches will find you some stories from reputable sources that confirm my anecdote above (that the money is in the store/service-stati...
by Gemini
Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gas station - good business?
Replies: 69
Views: 5381

Re: Gas station - good business?

Appreciate all the input. Let me pose this question then: What IS a good business to get into? These friends of the family are currently in the dry cleaning/laundromat business. They are getting older and the workload is very taxing i.e. long hours, constantly on their feet, minimal days off, etc It...
by Gemini
Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gas station - good business?
Replies: 69
Views: 5381

Re: Gas station - good business?

In my area, a number of gas stations closed, had "available" signs on them, and were eventually torn down. These were located on busy main streets. It does not seem to be a thriving part of the economy. All depends on the city and area I suppose. In my area, there is a street with literal...
by Gemini
Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gas station - good business?
Replies: 69
Views: 5381

Gas station - good business?

Friends of the family are thinking about getting into the gas station business i.e. open a gas station or purchase one if someone is selling. They approached me for input. Figured I might as well ask here. Does anyone own a gas station? is it setup like a typical franchise? Obviously location is par...
by Gemini
Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 784
Views: 77696

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I have the card CSR in hand. Assuming I can meet the 4K spend in 3 months, does it still make sense to pay the 1.87% fee additional for federal taxes? I am not sure how much additional my state is, but I will find out. For those who have CSR and AMEX preferred cash back and Penfed gas card, are you ...
by Gemini
Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 784
Views: 77696

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I have a large bill coming up - estimated taxes . Wondering if it would be wise to pay with the new CSR credit card(s). Federal taxes have an additional 1.8% fee. I don't have a Fido 2% cashback, but that card would be nice to recoup some of the monies charged as fees. Thoughts? Has anyone paid esti...
by Gemini
Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 784
Views: 77696

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Thanks for all the discussion. Just had my spouse apply for CSR as well - got the same notice as me - waiting and hoping it goes through. I also downgraded my CSP to chase Freedom. She also has a CSP - should we downgrade to Freedom or Freedom Unlimited? For all the categories that net you points in...
by Gemini
Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA turnaround time and etiquette
Replies: 30
Views: 2732

Re: CPA turnaround time and etiquette

If anyone is following, I finally got some of my money from the valuation. She ended up keeping $1k because she said she reviewed the documents for about 4 hours. When I asked if she could send some info on what was found or anything at all, I was advised it was just a review (mental I suppose) and ...
by Gemini
Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 784
Views: 77696

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Appreciate the input. Seems like the 5x rotating categories may suit me better - just have to remember to use the card as I only carry one or two cards in my wallet daily. Do you guys plan on keeping the CSR for good? I now have CSR, And CSP, which I will be downgrading to Freedom. Spouse has CSP an...
by Gemini
Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 784
Views: 77696

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Logged into chase today to check a transaction and saw I got approved the CSR. Nice little surprise!


Now what to do with the CSP? Downgrade to Freedom or Freedom Unlimited? I have neither. Which one makes the most financial sense?
by Gemini
Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 784
Views: 77696

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Just applied online - says decision pending - "we need to review your app a little longer" - how to proceed? just wait it out or is there a number to call?
by Gemini
Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 784
Views: 77696

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

A little off topic - some years ago, I put a freeze on my credit at all credit bureaus. How do I know whether it is still frozen? I just know how to take it off and it costs $5 - but not sure if I still have credit freeze

Also, anyone know which bureau chase will pull from if I apply CSR?
by Gemini
Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?
Replies: 20
Views: 1393

Re: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?

Appreciate the input everyone. Will talk it over with spouse and see how we move forward. I am happy to see the balance dwindle somewhat though :beer
by Gemini
Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 784
Views: 77696

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

What is the diff between freedom and freedom unlikited? When downgrading CSP which one to go with?
by Gemini
Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 784
Views: 77696

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

One could argue that the optimal strategy for UR points is better served with the CSR as a "one year and done" card, and keep the CSP around instead. Will the extra 1% on travel and dining, combined with the $300 annual travel credit, be enough to offset that $450 AF? Hmm...looks like I s...
by Gemini
Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 784
Views: 77696

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Both wife and I have CSP. I just got my annual fee charged June 2016 - do you think they will prorate if I cancel or downgrade to freedom? Maybe I can downgrade and open up CSR? Thoughts? I need global entry - I have been meaning to get it.
by Gemini
Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 784
Views: 77696

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

CSR looks nice. I currently have CSP with 160K+ points - are you guys keeping both?

To confirm, you get $300 from now until December, $300 from Jan - Dec 2017, waived global entry fee, 100K points, $450 annual fee. When is this annual fee charged?
by Gemini
Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My wife being added to my single-member LLC
Replies: 10
Views: 756

Re: My wife being added to my single-member LLC

Just updating: I did some digging and what I stated above appears to be incorrect. Profit sharing is split between owners, so you would need twice the income to max both solo 401k profit sharing buckets.
by Gemini
Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommend CPA in the NYC/NJ Area
Replies: 9
Views: 754

Re: Recommend CPA in the NYC/NJ Area

PM Me maybe?
by Gemini
Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?
Replies: 20
Views: 1393

Re: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?

Don't know if we can wait for a clean slate, but I did pay off some more.

Now loans:

35K @ 3.5%
24k @ 3.5%
154k @ 4.5%
by Gemini
Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My wife being added to my single-member LLC
Replies: 10
Views: 756

Re: My wife being added to my single-member LLC

To clarify: if a husband adds wife as partner to LLC, which is a disregarded entity in this case i.e. not S corp, they can both profit share 53K EACH into their respective solo 401K if the income is ~265k?
by Gemini
Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?
Replies: 20
Views: 1393

Re: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?

Church Lady wrote:
Loans now:
35K @ 3.5%
24k @ 3.5%
16K @ 4%
154 @ 4.5%


Curious .. should that 154@4.5% be 15K@4.5% or is it 154K @4.5%. Or is it $154.00 at 4.5% in which case why don't you just pay it off?

Just wondering :?:


I clarified. It is $154,000@4.5%
by Gemini
Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?
Replies: 20
Views: 1393

Re: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?

Gemini wrote:Ok. So just paid off the 23K.

Loans now:
35K @ 3.5%
24k @ 3.5%
16K @ 4%
154k @ 4.5%
by Gemini
Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?
Replies: 20
Views: 1393

Re: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?

Ok. So just paid off the 23K.

Loans now:
35K @ 3.5%
24k @ 3.5%
16K @ 4%
154 @ 4.5%
by Gemini
Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?
Replies: 20
Views: 1393

Re: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?

Wondering if it would be prudent to pay off student loan debt completely or majority of it before taking on more house debt. We are in very HCOL area and down-payment will be a large sum to save. We are maxing all tax advantaged accounts, have EF, no cc debt, etc etc. Realize it is a personal decis...
by Gemini
Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?
Replies: 20
Views: 1393

Re: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?

What is your house/mortgage goal? Ie, 20% downpayment, mortgage <15% of take home pay? Are you currently maxing retirement accounts? I like the idea of being debt free, But this is personal finance so perhaps #2. Shooting for min 20% down payment. Have not considered ratio to take home pay (yet), b...
by Gemini
Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?
Replies: 20
Views: 1393

Pay off student loan debt before taking on more debt (house debt)?

Wondering if it would be prudent to pay off student loan debt completely or majority of it before taking on more house debt. We are in very HCOL area and down-payment will be a large sum to save. We are maxing all tax advantaged accounts, have EF, no cc debt, etc etc. Realize it is a personal decisi...
by Gemini
Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which financial program to get? Quickbooks vs YNAB vs others
Replies: 47
Views: 2942

Re: Which financial program to get? Quickbooks vs YNAB vs others

Thanks.

We do not use bill pay and won't be setting up billpay. Does quicken have access to checking account? I would rather I input it. Maybe I can download all transaction and then have quicken open the file?
by Gemini
Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which financial program to get? Quickbooks vs YNAB vs others
Replies: 47
Views: 2942

Re: Which financial program to get? Quickbooks vs YNAB vs others

I just got quicken - will play around with it over the weekend and see how it goes Start by setting up your checking account with download from your financial institution. You could look at everything else as a refinement of, or extension to, that. Checking account or credit card first? Or Both? We...
by Gemini
Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which financial program to get? Quickbooks vs YNAB vs others
Replies: 47
Views: 2942

Re: Which financial program to get? Quickbooks vs YNAB vs others

I just got quicken - will play around with it over the weekend and see how it goes

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