Search found 360 matches

by deskjockey
Fri Mar 12, 2021 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Withdrawals for expat
Replies: 2
Views: 158

Re: 529 Withdrawals for expat

The actual mechanics of a withdrawal depend on the specific 529 plan that you're investing in. In general, some plans can send the money directly to the institution (very unlikely in your case, given the need to exchange into Australian dollars), send an EFT deposit, or mail a check. Checks and EFTs...
by deskjockey
Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How best to optimize 401k contributions?
Replies: 12
Views: 987

Re: How best to optimize 401k contributions?

If you get away from making your contributions mirror your whole asset allocation in each account, you can also stop rebalancing accounts individually. I rebalance when my entire portfolio hits a band, and I rebalance wherever it's most convenient - generally in tax-advantaged. I.e in March 2020 I ...
by deskjockey
Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How best to optimize 401k contributions?
Replies: 12
Views: 987

Re: How best to optimize 401k contributions?

Thanks! I'm already using bands as rebalancing triggers and, when a band is triggered, I exchange funds as necessary within our retirement accounts, so there's no waiting to get back to the desired allocation. I haven't yet had to rebalance our taxable account in part because it only holds about 5% ...
by deskjockey
Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How best to optimize 401k contributions?
Replies: 12
Views: 987

Re: How best to optimize 401k contributions?

Thanks for the input! I think I'll mull it over a bit more, but I am leaning toward having my contributions mirror my allocation.
by deskjockey
Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How best to optimize 401k contributions?
Replies: 12
Views: 987

How best to optimize 401k contributions?

I just hit my rebalancing bands and, in the process of rebalancing, a thought occurred to me--I'm not sure how to integrate my 401k contributions into my rebalancing plan in the most optimal way. To explain a bit more, here's the choice I face: should I have my contributions reflect my asset allocat...
by deskjockey
Sat Feb 06, 2021 12:22 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here
Replies: 2277
Views: 270459

Re: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here

This week was the first time that a single one of my accounts passed the $1 million mark. We've been in the two-comma club for a few years, but it was pretty cool to see two commas in a single account!
by deskjockey
Tue Dec 29, 2020 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LenderFi: Who did they sell your mortgage to?
Replies: 54
Views: 5024

Re: LenderFi: Who did they sell your mortgage to?

1st: PennyMac
2nd: Lenderfi Servicing
by deskjockey
Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: asset allocation with FERS pension
Replies: 22
Views: 1428

Re: asset allocation with FERS pension

Thanks for the reply. The more I look at the Vanguard portfolio allocation, I keep thinking 60/40 is the way to go. However, I keep reading articles that say "60/40 is dead" that it won't return like it used to because bond returns have plummeted. My concern with retirement at 2026 is tha...
by deskjockey
Sun Dec 20, 2020 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: asset allocation with FERS pension
Replies: 22
Views: 1428

Re: asset allocation with FERS pension

Another fed here. I would say that, given your excellent savings to date, you don't need to take on more risk to "win the game," so 60/40 should work pretty well for you and protect you from sequence of returns risk in early retirement. I think your current allocation is too heavily weight...
by deskjockey
Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PSA: Paypal can charge a different payment method than the one you selected... and won't tell you
Replies: 32
Views: 2056

Re: PSA: Paypal can charge a different payment method than the one you selected... and won't tell you

I have never trusted PayPal, but I can't point to any instance where they have incorrectly processed one of my transactions. This was the first time for me, too, in more than a decade using them. The eye-opener for me was that this wasn't a mistake on their part, but an intentional (if automated) d...
by deskjockey
Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PSA: Paypal can charge a different payment method than the one you selected... and won't tell you
Replies: 32
Views: 2056

PSA: Paypal can charge a different payment method than the one you selected... and won't tell you

As the title says, I'm experiencing a very annoying and infuriating problem as a result of Paypal deciding it was not going to charge my credit card, but would instead take money from one of my bank accounts without telling me. I only noticed when I got an alert from my little-used bank account that...
by deskjockey
Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!
Replies: 516
Views: 34946

Re: PC Build Thread 2020

I'm deferring on Microsoft Flight Simulator. In addition to spending time for Factorio and fractals, the need to have an Xbox live account to run just turned me off. If anyone is looking for an accurate flight simulator and doesn't care about the imagery, give X-Plane 11 Flight Simulator a try. It'...
by deskjockey
Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!
Replies: 516
Views: 34946

Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Thanks in advance for helping me get the last mile. I got my new system, the Lenovo Legion. I opened it up and was able to pull the hard drive they had in it (1 TB) and put in my two hard drives and SSD drive. What I'm having problems with is removing the 256GB NVMe M.2 2280 Solid State Drive as I'...
by deskjockey
Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best searches for Prime Day deals
Replies: 11
Views: 2410

Re: Best searches for Prime Day deals

Amazon has a good deal on one of its newer 4-bay enclosures, the DS920+, for $440: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087Z34F3R
by deskjockey
Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!
Replies: 516
Views: 34946

Re: PC Build Thread 2020

WD SN750 for $250. Is the WD name worth $20 premium over the AData 8200 ? For those who don't have NVME but want to upgrade from your HDD, the Crucial BX500 for $160 is a great deal. The Crucial MX500 is a better deal at $177.59 (the discount is only available for Prime members and only appears at ...
by deskjockey
Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best searches for Prime Day deals
Replies: 11
Views: 2410

Re: Best searches for Prime Day deals

Ahhh, 12TB for $175. Man, storage space is cheap these days! At this point, I really don't trust spinning hard drives. I'm tagging on to this thread in hopes someone has a lead on a reasonably priced external SSD, probably something in the 4TB range. None that I've seen yet, but Amazon does have a ...
by deskjockey
Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!
Replies: 516
Views: 34946

Re: PC Build Thread 2020

I guess the key question is whether the SSD technology makes the "separate-drives-is-better" policy moot? Price aside, would one SSD drive be just as efficient as two? Or is there a "bottleneck" that the system can only access one thing at a time on one drive vs. two things simu...
by deskjockey
Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!
Replies: 516
Views: 34946

Re: PC Build Thread 2020

The biggest advantage to a DIY NAS is you have much more control over the hardware components. There might be a cost advantage, too, depending upon what components you already have and can repurpose for the build. Is it worth the effort? That's entirely your call. If you are in the market for a new...
by deskjockey
Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!
Replies: 516
Views: 34946

Re: PC Build Thread 2020

My new PC is built around an MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk Wi-Fi motherboard (AM4), which has 6 SATA 3 ports. It's an ATX motherboard, so it wouldn't fit your case. However, Micro ATX AMD AM4 motherboards with 6 SATA 3 ports are definitely out there. I apologize in advance if you're already familiar with s...
by deskjockey
Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!
Replies: 516
Views: 34946

Re: PC Build Thread 2020

IMO, the most challenging part to building a PC is deciding which components to use in the build. There are so many choices at varying price points today, unlike when I built my first PC decades ago. This is a particularly good time to build a PC given the arrival of next generation technologies fr...
by deskjockey
Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!
Replies: 516
Views: 34946

Re: PC Build Thread 2020

I have been building my own PCs since 2008. A couple years ago I rebuilt one into a 9-drive NAS using the UnRAID OS. Although this system is in regular use holding backups of my other computers, I built it mostly for hobby interest/curiosity. I have been using Synology NAS units since 2011 and I'm ...
by deskjockey
Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!
Replies: 516
Views: 34946

Re: PC Build Thread 2020

I'm leaning toward building a budget NAS instead of buying one off the shelf, primarily to get a more capable rig with more future-proofing than Synology or QNAP offer at my pricepoint (around the $380 or so cost of a Synology DS418). What do you all think of the below configuration? I know the Pent...
by deskjockey
Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My LenderFi refinance is going well
Replies: 1760
Views: 164717

Re: My LenderFi refinance is going well

My online access also became available yesterday. Diego sent me a link and told me it had been activated a few minutes earlier. I went ahead and set up autopay, since my first payment Is due on October 1st. This was definitely a more drawn out process than my last refinance with LenferFi last Decemb...
by deskjockey
Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Synology NAS -> DS220J, DS420j, DS418
Replies: 38
Views: 2117

Re: Synology NAS -> DS220J, DS420j, DS418

TheMightyQuinn, 1) But, I can buy 2 X DS220J with the price of one DS420J or DS418. 2) This is not my first NAS. I have 2X Iomega NAS. One had died and the second is on the last leg. I am looking for replacement. KlangFool The DS220j only has 512MB of memory, so it could bog down faster that the 42...
by deskjockey
Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Synology NAS -> DS220J, DS420j, DS418
Replies: 38
Views: 2117

Re: Synology NAS -> DS220J, DS420j, DS418

Yes, the DS418 has a faster (Intel based) processor which lets you run more demanding apps. As an example, I run a HDHomeRun DVR app on my main NAS (a DS918+). The Intel processor also lets you set up the NAS with btrfs file system rather than ext4. But for just file sharing and DLNA the x20j shoul...
by deskjockey
Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!
Replies: 516
Views: 34946

Re: PC Build Thread 2020

This evening I received an email from Dell -- curiously sent Saturday evening -- informing me of a delay in delivery of a monitor I had ordered in late August. The website listing had indicated a delivery date by September 22 (2020). I decided I could wait a few weeks for delivery and therefore did...
by deskjockey
Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!
Replies: 516
Views: 34946

Re: PC Build Thread 2020

This evening I received an email from Dell -- curiously sent Saturday evening -- informing me of a delay in delivery of a monitor I had ordered in late August. The website listing had indicated a delivery date by September 22 (2020). I decided I could wait a few weeks for delivery and therefore did...
by deskjockey
Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?
Replies: 172
Views: 14284

Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

I’m now thinking #1 is just some bored person and this is how he entertains himself. Or a total freak. Too freaky to be a scammer though. I'm still on the fence about #1 being a scammer. Definitely some odd stuff going on, but I've known folks who write like that, and others who routinely overshare...
by deskjockey
Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for advice on a NAS for backup and media server duties
Replies: 7
Views: 602

Re: Looking for advice on a NAS for backup and media server duties

If you want to keep using the Acer laptop you could buy a 4-5 bay enclosure with a USB-C connection. Your Acer laptop has a gen 1 USB-C connection. It's not the most elegant solution but you are not downgrading from an i5 to a Celeron. I use a program called Drivepool that organizes multiple hard d...
by deskjockey
Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for advice on a NAS for backup and media server duties
Replies: 7
Views: 602

Re: Looking for advice on a NAS for backup and media server duties

I have a Synology 5-bay NAS. If you get the 5-bay (i.e. more than 4) then you can set it up with 2 drives redundant if you want that level of security for backups. I have no experience with PLEX but Synology does that. Be careful not to be pennywise and pound foolish in regard to the number of bays...
by deskjockey
Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for advice on a NAS for backup and media server duties
Replies: 7
Views: 602

Re: Looking for advice on a NAS for backup and media server duties

I have been running a 4 bay Synology NAS device for more than a decade as a media server and backup. Runs cool and quiet In my wiring closest and i almost never have to tinker with it. Interface is nice with plenty of “apps” available. I used to run the Synology Security Station for monitoring and ...
by deskjockey
Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for advice on a NAS for backup and media server duties
Replies: 7
Views: 602

Looking for advice on a NAS for backup and media server duties

I currently have a couple of small (4TB) and two large (10TB) hard drives attached two our computers for file storage and backups and have an old stand-alone computer (an Acer Aspire E5-575G with a Core i5-6200U and a busted screen) set up as a Plex server, also with an external 10TB drive holding o...
by deskjockey
Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I caulk this area on a shower door?
Replies: 30
Views: 2709

Re: Should I caulk this area on a shower door?

Thanks, folks! I finally dug up a video showing the installation of a similar shower door by the same company. Apparently the door track is glued down with caulk and all of the seams we've discussed (between the track and the shower pan on both sides and between the track and the door side frames) n...
by deskjockey
Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I caulk this area on a shower door?
Replies: 30
Views: 2709

Re: Should I caulk this area on a shower door?

OK, did a bit more cleaning and discovered that the bottom tracks of the shower door are glued down directly onto the shower pan--no screws or other attachment mechanisms are present. The glue has deteriorated (I guess because water had been trapped there) and I can now lift the middle of the track ...
by deskjockey
Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I caulk this area on a shower door?
Replies: 30
Views: 2709

Re: Should I caulk this area on a shower door?

Yes. Seal any seam where you don't want water to go. I would also be concerned about the opening between the wall and tub to the left of your arrow. That's a great spot for water to get into your wall and do some real damage. That's a weep hole on the shower pan. It's designed to collect moisture t...
by deskjockey
Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I caulk this area on a shower door?
Replies: 30
Views: 2709

Re: Should I caulk this area on a shower door?

I could not see the image you provided but I had some mold collected under old, clear caulk below my shower door. I removed old caulk, cleaned mold and put new caulk down. Hopefully, it is watertight and will prevent mold. I am a strong advocate for caulking in situations like that I fixed the imag...
by deskjockey
Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I caulk this area on a shower door?
Replies: 30
Views: 2709

Re: Should I caulk this area on a shower door?

It's really difficult to say by just looking at the picture. I've always caulked any area of a shower that would allow leaking. If I am seeing correctly, I would be particularly concerned about the gap to the left of the door channel. I've been using Lexel lately because it seems to adhere better l...
by deskjockey
Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I caulk this area on a shower door?
Replies: 30
Views: 2709

Should I caulk this area on a shower door?

A little background--the three areas with red arrows pointing to them were not originally caulked when we built the home eleven years ago. About four years ago, a handyman caulked the seams on the left and the right of the picture (where the door sits on the shower pan) because those areas got milde...
by deskjockey
Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10195
Views: 731305

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Just locked at 2.625% on a 20 year with LenderFi. Loan amount is a little over 450K and we're in Virginia. It's a nearly-no-cost refinance, as we'll have to pay $200 out of pocket for closing costs not covered by the $2,045 lender credit. This is the second time we refinance with LenderFi (last tim...
by deskjockey
Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10195
Views: 731305

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Just locked at 2.625% on a 20 year with LenderFi. Loan amount is a little over 450K and we're in Virginia. It's a nearly-no-cost refinance, as we'll have to pay $200 out of pocket for closing costs not covered by the $2,045 lender credit. This is the second time we refinance with LenderFi (last tim...
by deskjockey
Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10195
Views: 731305

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Just locked at 2.625% on a 20 year with LenderFi. Loan amount is a little over 450K and we're in Virginia. It's a nearly-no-cost refinance, as we'll have to pay $200 out of pocket for closing costs not covered by the $2,045 lender credit. This is the second time we refinance with LenderFi (last tim...
by deskjockey
Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10195
Views: 731305

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Just locked at 2.625% on a 20 year with LenderFi. Loan amount is a little over 450K and we're in Virginia. It's a nearly-no-cost refinance, as we'll have to pay $200 out of pocket for closing costs not covered by the $2,045 lender credit. This is the second time we refinance with LenderFi (last tim...
by deskjockey
Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10195
Views: 731305

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Just locked at 2.625% on a 20 year with LenderFi. Loan amount is a little over 450K and we're in Virginia. It's a nearly-no-cost refinance, as we'll have to pay $200 out of pocket for closing costs not covered by the $2,045 lender credit. This is the second time we refinance with LenderFi (last time...
by deskjockey
Fri Feb 28, 2020 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Documented Turbotax flaw when trying to exclude capital gains on T-bills/bonds from VA taxable income
Replies: 3
Views: 385

Re: Documented Turbotax flaw when trying to exclude capital gains on T-bills/bonds from VA taxable income

Just wanted to let folks know that Turbotax still hasn't fixed this bug in the 2019 version. Clearly, it's not a priority for them.
by deskjockey
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10195
Views: 731305

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

One more 4) Does it ever make sense to refinance with your current servicer? (Currently is Mr Cooper.) I'm suspicious that I would good a good deal as I figure they look at you as a captive client perhaps, but I honestly don't know. It could make sense, if they give you a better rate and lower fees...
by deskjockey
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mazda CX-5 - seat comfort question?
Replies: 67
Views: 8645

Re: Mazda CX-5 - seat comfort question?

We bought a 2019 CX-5 Signature about six months ago for DW and she has had no issues with the seats. I find them comfortable enough for drives under an hour, but had a bit of discomfort and pain after a three hour drive (not a lot though). They are definitely not as comfortable as the multi-contour...
by deskjockey
Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10195
Views: 731305

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

We just refinanced last month from a 30 year 3.8% loan (in year 8) to a 20 year loan at 3.375% through LenderFi. I hadn't heard of LenderFi before reading this thread, and I'm glad I did, as they had the lowest rates and costs for our situation. We did a straight refinance, paid zero points, and pai...
by deskjockey
Wed Dec 25, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Locking in natural gas price--good idea?
Replies: 9
Views: 1088

Re: Locking in natural gas price--good idea?

I don't know how it works where you live but here in Atlanta GA natural gas was "de-regulated" many years ago. The major "fly in the ointment" with this arrangement is the Base Charge and Service Charge assessed by a 3rd party. In the summer months our total gas bill is around $...
by deskjockey
Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Locking in natural gas price--good idea?
Replies: 9
Views: 1088

Re: Locking in natural gas price--good idea?

Do you use a lot of natural gas? Enough to make the switch worthwhile? It only powers our stove/oven, so even at 20% off I don’t think it would be worth the phone call to switch for me. But it sounds like maybe you use it for heating as well? Yes, we have natural gas furnaces for heating and we als...
by deskjockey
Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Locking in natural gas price--good idea?
Replies: 9
Views: 1088

Locking in natural gas price--good idea?

I got a letter today offering to lock in the price we pay for natural gas for one to three years at $0.369 per Therm. There's no cancellation fee or minimum. We're paying a variable rate (currently at $0.44) and buying it from our local utility. To lock in we would have to switch suppliers (but the ...