Search found 221 matches

by armeliusc
Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scratch-removal products for cars
Replies: 3
Views: 221

Re: Scratch-removal products for cars

Start with Meguiars Scratch-X and just do it by hand. In my experience, it will remove most scratches. If your clear coat / paint is hard, you can try using Meguiars Ultimate Compound by hand. Both of those are really safe to use, i.e. you cannot really damage your paint. A buffing pad with a Dual-A...
by armeliusc
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Staying Motivated: How do you ward off hopelessness?
Replies: 26
Views: 2323

Re: Staying Motivated: How do you ward off hopelessness?

One thing you can do is break down the big challenge into small, achievable tasks. This is what we do in science/engineering. One task at a time, and celebrate the small victories.

Another thing is be realistic, and accept the fact that something is just beyond our control.
by armeliusc
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Misc Income [how to report with no 1099]
Replies: 41
Views: 1592

Re: Misc Income [how to report with no 1099]

1. A schedule C incrementally increases your chance of audit. Misc income requires no schedule C 2. The risk of you being audited and this coming up is very small 3. Schedule c is a bit of a PITA 4. On the really small chance you get audited you be honest and say you weren’t clear how to handle it,...
by armeliusc
Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Misc Income [how to report with no 1099]
Replies: 41
Views: 1592

Re: Misc Income [how to report with no 1099]

I tried the schedule C as freelancer... But holy cow, it took $500 off my refund!?!? A $500 tax hit for $1200 of misc income?!? does that seem right? 42%. That could be right. It will often be 15.3% self-employment tax plus your marginal tax rate. If your earned income (wages plus the $1200 self em...
by armeliusc
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a way to send text messages on my computer?
Replies: 24
Views: 2487

Re: Is there a way to send text messages on my computer?

I think I will look in to the Google Voice thing as others have suggested. How do I do that? Do I just go to Google Voice and set up an account? I'm not real tech savvy. Thanks again. Yes, pretty much. If people already have your cellphone number, then just start replying them from your GV number, ...
by armeliusc
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a way to send text messages on my computer?
Replies: 24
Views: 2487

Re: Is there a way to send text messages on my computer?

You can use Google Voice (GV). Create a new phone number from GV. Link your cellphone number as forwarding number in GV. Only give out the Google Voice number. Text send to GV number will get forwarded to your 'real' cellphone (and email, if you so desire). If you reply from your cellphone, it will ...
by armeliusc
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scrapping old computer parts
Replies: 24
Views: 1344

Re: Scrapping old computer parts

I have used GreenDisk recycling to 'throw away' computer parts / cables / floppy disks, etc. Most of the e-recycle / computer recycling even in town only take a 'whole computer' unfortunately, not random motherboard / graphic / sound card / cables and whatnot. Unfortunately I have to pay greendisk f...
by armeliusc
Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Policy - Is it worth it.
Replies: 43
Views: 2943

Re: Umbrella Policy - Is it worth it.

rholt wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:20 pm
I guess I am convincing myself I should keep it - its just a little painful to pay for something you will likely never use.
Insurance (umbrella, life, even health) is perhaps the only product you buy you wish you never have to use.
by armeliusc
Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keep maxing 401k, or pay off debt?
Replies: 9
Views: 551

Re: Keep maxing 401k, or pay off debt?

Do you have any asset you can use as collateral for lower interest debt? For example, can you get a 'car loan' with your existing car as collateral from a local credit union? Regarding your question, I would definitely stop contributing to 401K (except for any employer match) to pay off CC debt. But...
by armeliusc
Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Oops! Miscalculated International AA, should I just stick with it?
Replies: 19
Views: 931

Re: Oops! Miscalculated International AA, should I just stick with it?

If it makes you feel any better, Vanguard TR funds seems to have 40% of equities in international stock, for .e.g. TR 2045 And, this Vanguard research paper (PDF) seems to suggest 30-40% of international equities to be optimal. There are a lot of other opinions of course, but seems that you're not f...
by armeliusc
Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lock mortgage rate now(for a cost) or let it ride 9 days
Replies: 5
Views: 302

Re: Lock mortgage rate now(for a cost) or let it ride 9 days

I would let it ride. Locking it now guarantees the cost of ~$700. But no one knows anything about the future, so it's a cost with no guarantees of benefit. My philosophy for these kind of things has always been to defer cost until you can't anymore. Now if you know for sure that paying for something...
by armeliusc
Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you ever found an error on your amazon bill?
Replies: 20
Views: 1631

Re: Have you ever found an error on your amazon bill?

I check / reconciled amazon orders monthly. It is somewhat tedious, but doable. Have not found any error so far for many years.
by armeliusc
Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: completely new, trying to understand minimum investments
Replies: 17
Views: 736

Re: completely new, trying to understand minimum investments

I second the recommendation of using a target date fund. Target date funds are mainly composed of the four funds you mentioned. Pick the one that approximate your desired AA. And No, you don't get locked in. Once you have enough to meet the minimum of each fund ($3000 for investor or $10K for admira...
by armeliusc
Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:55 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.
Replies: 103
Views: 8310

Re: Doesn't seem like people respond to portfolio assessments like they did a few years ago.

Bottom line: I'd encourage everyone, whether you think you know enough or not, to make an effort to give one response a week to a portfolio help thread. If even 10% of us did that, it would meet the need. Whether people will do that voluntarily or not is beyond me. I am one of the lurkers who's bee...
by armeliusc
Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help me simplify my portfolio & asset allocation
Replies: 5
Views: 599

Re: Please help me simplify my portfolio & asset allocation

As others have stated, if you are looking to simplify, use the Three-Fund Portfolion : Total Stock Market, Total International Stock, and Total Bond. Your desired AA seems reasonable to me. You seem to have good fund choices to get to 3-Fund portfolios in all of your accounts; Just use the funds cor...
by armeliusc
Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: views on "Empower Retirement" as a 401k provider? fees? ease of use etc?
Replies: 30
Views: 1647

Re: views on "Empower Retirement" as a 401k provider? fees? ease of use etc?

Here's another data point. My 401K and 457b from previous employer were also with "Empower Retirement". The fee is 0.25% per year, spread out every month. This is shown in the quarterly statement. I checked at the very beginning and seemed that the consensus here was that it's very reasonable (you c...
by armeliusc
Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet speeds
Replies: 37
Views: 2497

Re: Internet speeds

You will be fine with 10 mbps. For the longest time we only had 6 Mbps with similar situation: streaming movie (netflix, amazon prime) and browsing / working from home. Sometime we even stream different movies at the same time, no issue. You can always upgrade later if you find you need higher speed.
by armeliusc
Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com
Replies: 21
Views: 2301

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

I'm trying to find personal finance software. My main constraints are: My computer runs Linux. So the software has to either be web-based (e.g. Mint ) or run on Linux (e.g. GnuCash, kMyMoney, HomeBank, etc). I slightly prefer web-based. I want it to automatically download transactions from my banks...
by armeliusc
Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lunch Ideas
Replies: 44
Views: 4454

Re: Lunch Ideas

My lunch for tomorrow is almost always today's dinner. This is also mostly true for everybody in my whole family.
by armeliusc
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help with investing and saving advice - way late on saving!
Replies: 4
Views: 847

Re: Need help with investing and saving advice - way late on saving!

Hello, For starters, I would do the following: 1. Contribute to traditional 401K instead of Roth 401K which should drop you to 15% tax bracket. 2. Use the tax saving and possibly stop new Roth IRA contribution to pay off debts. The student loan at 7% would be my priority. I'd think both the student ...
by armeliusc
Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Price of haircut?
Replies: 194
Views: 11259

Re: Price of haircut?

$12 + $4 tip at Great Clips every ~3 months. I may go earlier than that if there's an upcoming event and/or DW tells me to get a haircut.
by armeliusc
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you record customer service interactions?
Replies: 23
Views: 1383

Re: Do you record customer service interactions?

Yes, unless for the trivial case that's resolved in one call and I expect no further action / interaction needed. How?: I use Trello to manage my tasks (at work/professionally and at home/personally). One nice thing about it is it allow me to attach just about anything to it. So for example, I have ...
by armeliusc
Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Someone spoofing my phone number?
Replies: 65
Views: 5209

Re: Someone spoofing my phone number?

Neighbor spoofing; here is an NPR Planet Money transcript: http://www.npr.org/2017/07/31/540515367/familiar-looking-numbers-are-the-latest-twist-in-robocalls Thanks for this. I have been getting a lot of these lately. I know it's spam, but it's disconcerting to see the first 6-digit is always the s...
by armeliusc
Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual enrollment time, trying to decide on Dependent Care FSA
Replies: 9
Views: 433

Re: Annual enrollment time, trying to decide on Dependent Care FSA

In this case I would probably not bother when using FSA and just claim Dependent Care Credit when filing taxes later. The difference is probably small enough, but you risk of forfeiting the money in the FSA if you don't end up using it.
by armeliusc
Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Refi, How To, Should I?
Replies: 12
Views: 1292

Re: Mortgage Refi, How To, Should I?

QL is probably not the lowest rate out there but some of these outfits may be throwing out teaser rates you aren’t likely to get. Could you elaborate why you think this 'teaser rate' is not likely to get? (honest question). So on a lark I put in a quick online info request and Sebonic called me wit...
by armeliusc
Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: idiot proof router?
Replies: 53
Views: 4655

Re: idiot proof router?

Google Wifi. Every wifi point has one ether port, and you can add switch to every single one of them if you need more than one port. You can start simple just following its wizard but it can also do reasonably advanced configuration.
by armeliusc
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washington DC Trip
Replies: 25
Views: 2006

Re: Washington DC Trip

We've been to DC several times before kids and with kids in tow (a baby carrier and a walking toddler). We always just stayed outside DC, drove to the nearest metro station and parked the car for the whole day and took the metro anywhere. We found it's the easiest / fastest way to get around. Metro ...
by armeliusc
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Refi, How To, Should I?
Replies: 12
Views: 1292

Re: Mortgage Refi, How To, Should I?

And just to go back to my original / real question: are there risks with doing refinance that I may not be aware of? What if it doesn't go through, for some reason? Is there any risk with my current mortgage, etc?

Thanks
AC
by armeliusc
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Refi, How To, Should I?
Replies: 12
Views: 1292

Re: Mortgage Refi, How To, Should I?

OP, I think in your case with a mortgage that's only 6 months old you might not realize much if any savings; especially after the fees of the new mortgage are factored in. A quick look at Bankrate.com shows 30-yr re-fi rates at just below 4% in my area. http://www.bankrate.com/mortgage.aspx?type=re...
by armeliusc
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Refi, How To, Should I?
Replies: 12
Views: 1292

Re: Mortgage Refi, How To, Should I?

QL is probably not the lowest rate out there but some of these outfits may be throwing out teaser rates you aren’t likely to get. Could you elaborate why you think this 'teaser rate' is not likely to get? (honest question). So on a lark I put in a quick online info request and Sebonic called me wit...
by armeliusc
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Refi, How To, Should I?
Replies: 12
Views: 1292

Mortgage Refi, How To, Should I?

Hello, I am considering refinancing my current 30-year mortgage at 4.375% which has only been ~6 months old. I am browsing bankrate.com and it seems that I can get a better rate nowadays. Since I've never done this before, I am wondering about a few things: - How does one shop for a refi? Should I j...
by armeliusc
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to buy new tires? - penny or quarter test
Replies: 35
Views: 2526

Re: When to buy new tires? - penny or quarter test

I replace our tires before or around ~4/32. The shop told me that they were still OK; I could tell that the tire performance is just getting worse but I thought I could wait until the end of summer. Then one day I skidded on an emergency stop (someone cut a lane merging) and barely missed the car in...
by armeliusc
Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Waxing my car!
Replies: 48
Views: 4753

Re: Waxing my car!

I seconded the recommendation for Meguiars Ultimate Liquid Wax. If you put a good layer or two of wax, there is no need to do this every month or even two. Twice a year, e.g. in the spring and fall, should be sufficient. Three - four times a year is better. In between, you can use either Wash and Wa...
by armeliusc
Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two year lease vs Buy and hold 10 years. A wash?
Replies: 54
Views: 4835

Re: Two year lease vs Buy and hold 10 years. A wash?

I could never lease - I drive 25k miles/year. Bought a new Honda Accord for $23k OTD, plan to drive it for 10 years. I checked CL prices for a 10 year old Honda, couldn't find any for $5k - but let's assume mine will be worth that much due to high mileage. So that's $1800/year plus gas, insurance a...
by armeliusc
Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Negotiating for a new car purchase
Replies: 86
Views: 7597

Re: Negotiating for a new car purchase

Last time I bought a new car I used the Fighting Chance method, which basically boils down to: - I called the dealership and asked for the sales manager or "internet sales manager" and tell them that I want to buy a car with specific spec, and am asking quotes from about 10 dealerships. Then I tell ...
by armeliusc
Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't freeze credit at Experian?
Replies: 75
Views: 39618

Re: Can't freeze credit at Experian?

I posted earlier that I couldn't freeze DW's credits on Transunion and Experian (mine worked fine for the big 3, and DW's with Equifax). This morning we tried again online with Transunion and DW's was able to freeze hers. Then we tried Experian again twice and got the same issue: "We were unable to ...
by armeliusc
Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Temporary lift for Equifax freeze was free
Replies: 11
Views: 977

Re: Temporary lift for Equifax freeze was free

Good thing I came across this post. I didn't know that Equifax freeze was free. I froze both mine and DW's with Equifax and got confirmations and pins, but I was wondering if they had really gone through since about one week later I still don't see the fee in my CC. Is there official post about this...
by armeliusc
Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't freeze credit at Experian?
Replies: 75
Views: 39618

Re: Can't freeze credit at Experian?

I was able to freeze mine with the three bureau online, but DW's couldn't do it with / denied by Transunion and Experian although she did the confirmation and put in the CC. Equifax didn't ask for any confirmation, just very basic info. I am going to wait and try again online on Monday. it's very st...
by armeliusc
Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security system
Replies: 12
Views: 1655

Re: Home security system

Hi, I also have SimpliSafe, but not their camera since I have a Nest cam before they have it. 1. Should I put door/window sensors on every single door and window on the first floor, or would the motion sensor be sufficient in rooms with many windows? If we use a motion sensor in rooms with many wind...
by armeliusc
Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fence Boundary Issue
Replies: 24
Views: 1988

Re: Fence Boundary Issue

Thanks for confirming what in some way I suspected I had to do. Lesson learned indeed. I guess in some way we're just as annoyed to ourselves. I am typically a cautious person and tend to overthink anything. I did check the plat map and it said 10-feet from the side of the house to the end of our ya...
by armeliusc
Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fence Boundary Issue
Replies: 24
Views: 1988

Fence Boundary Issue

Dear fellow Bogleheads, I wanted to get some opinions on what I should do here. Earlier this year we bought a new construction home. When we closed and moved in, the neighboring lots were still empty. The builder has put sod in our yard. Because we have little kids that would want to play outside, w...
by armeliusc
Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifetime Tire Alignment
Replies: 35
Views: 5058

Re: Lifetime Tire Alignment

I used to have Firestone's lifetime alignment, but now I know better. Not anymore. First, they would always try to sell you stuff. My car was completely fine and they would have "urgent list" and "suggested list" of things to do worth hundreds of dollars. I never fell for it (I have an independent m...
by armeliusc
Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scripters/Coders - Wanting to Learn
Replies: 17
Views: 1687

Re: Scripters/Coders - Wanting to Learn

I would suggest starting with python. It's pretty much ubiquitous on most platform, and it's a nice, clean, modern language. You can pretty much do anything with it, as starting point. Things like data collection, manipulations, etc are easy to do. If you master it, you'll likely find that people do...
by armeliusc
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?
Replies: 84
Views: 8116

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

I also have the EGO cordless battery lawnmower. No gas, oil, or spark plugs to worry about.
by armeliusc
Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Task management / organizing app
Replies: 52
Views: 2590

Re: Task management / organizing app

Here are just some suggestions: First of all, you'd need to simplify your requirements. Technically all of those are doable / has been done in many different software, but priorities, due dates, etc would not work if you don't follow them. You will eventually ignore the email reminders, etc. Second:...
by armeliusc
Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to wear for job interview - skip the tie?
Replies: 53
Views: 5301

Re: What to wear for job interview - skip the tie?

My rule of thumb is, when in doubt, better to dress up and than dress down. I was going through similar dilemma in for a recent interview (e.g. tie or no tie, suit or no suit). It's not that I hate tie or suit, I just didn't want to look out of place. I knew exactly what the work environment looked ...
by armeliusc
Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Task management / organizing app
Replies: 52
Views: 2590

Re: Task management / organizing app

First of all, you'd need to simplify your requirements. Technically all of those are doable / has been done in many different software, but priorities, due dates, etc would not work if you don't follow them. You will eventually ignore the email reminders, etc. Second: prioritize. Have a list for thi...
by armeliusc
Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't find houses less than 3.3x income. Can we afford it?
Replies: 40
Views: 5139

Re: Can't find houses less than 3.3x income. Can we afford it?

I seconded the recommendation to not spend your whole saving for the down payment. Put 20% down, and use the rest for closing costs and just extra liquidity for anything that may happen. And you may find that there are more costs to own a house, at least the first few months, until things settle dow...
by armeliusc
Fri May 26, 2017 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a dual-action polisher for my working car?
Replies: 18
Views: 2005

Re: Should I get a dual-action polisher for my working car?

I used to park my black car outdoor for years living in an apartment, but I have always tried to wash and wax it at least once or twice a year. However, over the years, contaminants do accumulate that washing alone is not enough. So at one point I get a Meguiars DA polisher, the Meguiars "Ultimate" ...
by armeliusc
Wed May 17, 2017 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Work Colleague Wedding Group Gift: How Much ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1337

Re: Work Colleague Wedding Group Gift: How Much ?

Well, it seems that even $20 is high in my case. I gave the person organizing this $20 and they said "most people gives $10 or less, you want a change?" so I took $10 back. At least now I have precedence to go with.

AC