Search found 320 matches

by armeliusc
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home and auto camera setups?
Replies: 9
Views: 715

Re: Home and auto camera setups?

Thank you for your honest feedback I know I got what I paid for but I was expecting a slightly better experience since the dash cam was 4.5/5 stars from > 100 users and same for the home cctv. It's an entry into the market just to check it out. So maybe I'll look into doorbell cameras or the like. ...
by armeliusc
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blankets/Bedding for Cold Winter Nights
Replies: 56
Views: 3669

Re: Blankets/Bedding for Cold Winter Nights

We found that comforters from Ikea, the "warmest" one, work really well. They are about $100 or so I think. Our thermostat is set to 63 degree at night and we are comfortable under the blanket.
by armeliusc
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small electrical/airflow/filtering questions
Replies: 29
Views: 904

Re: Small electrical/airflow/filtering questions

1) We have a bunch of 2-way (and I think one 3-way) switches in the house. Same light(s) controlled from switches at different locations. It's long been a minor annoyance of mine that you can thus have the switch in the "down" position at the location convenient to you, but the lights are on, becau...
by armeliusc
Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Efficient way of transferring Euro to USD
Replies: 19
Views: 1392

Re: Efficient way of transferring Euro to USD

As other have suggested, you can set up a Transferwise account, specifically their "Borderless account". Get your account verified, i.e. upload your ID, etc. It may take a day or two. In my case it was all approved within a day. Then you can open a "Balance" in Euro, and you get a SWIFT code and IBA...
by armeliusc
Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to "follow up" with colleague about job prospect
Replies: 19
Views: 1197

Re: When to "follow up" with colleague about job prospect

I agree with the previous two sentiments : Don't wait too long. One thing I have learned from observing my mentors, good people in leadership above me, is to not be afraid to ask direct question. You can ask without being "self-promoting", e.g. "If there is a position that you think would suit me, I...
by armeliusc
Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battery powered lawn mower
Replies: 54
Views: 3593

Re: Battery powered lawn mower

Another vote for EGO: https://egopowerplus.com/ I'd have one already, except that my gas mower is still working fairly well, and I'm trying to get the most out of it (even as much as I dislike the thing). Make the switch. No ear protection, no fumes, no struggling getting the darn thing started, no ...
by armeliusc
Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Check Engine Light
Replies: 29
Views: 1564

Re: Car Check Engine Light

A yellow check engine light is an emission control issue, not a mechanical issue with the engine. It could be as simple as your gas cap is not on tight or doesn’t seal well anymore. Next most likely thing is usually an oxygen sensor. No, it could be any issue, emissions, electrical, mechanical. You...
by armeliusc
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How exactly does maxing a 401k work when you're approaching the limit line?
Replies: 27
Views: 2284

Re: How exactly does maxing a 401k work when you're approaching the limit line?

Let's say right before the last paycheck of the year, I have $18,900 in my 401k. If my 401k contribution for that last pay period is $200, what exactly happens? Does $100 get coded as pre-tax, and the other $100 get coded as after-tax? Or does the entire $200 get coded as after-tax? (meaning they w...
by armeliusc
Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Responding to the IRS
Replies: 19
Views: 2742

Re: Help Responding to the IRS

I just had exactly this same issue last year as I neglected to file form 8606 for the year in which I withdrew Roth IRA contributions. I thought it was supposed to be reported "automatically" by the provider (Vanguard) that the withdrawal was from regular contribution only and I did not have to file...
by armeliusc
Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Secure Android program for photos?
Replies: 8
Views: 911

Re: Secure Android program for photos?

Perhaps a simple solution is to just turn on "Airplane mode" before you take picture of the sensitive documents, which should prevent any connection / sync: 1. Turn on Airplane Mode 2. Take picture 3. Move picture to a folder that does not get sync to the cloud 4. Connect to computer, copy pictures ...
by armeliusc
Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to encrypt Cloud backups?
Replies: 54
Views: 4423

Re: How to encrypt Cloud backups?

"How to encrypt Cloud backups?" - Have wondered this same thing...but many options I've read about, I always fear using program X, and the company then disappears a year later once you're up and running. Or the software fails and you cannot un-encrypt the files/data. Throw in a Windows 10 update th...
by armeliusc
Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to encrypt Cloud backups?
Replies: 54
Views: 4423

Re: How to encrypt Cloud backups?

Take a look at 'rclone': https://rclone.org/ . It can do exactly what you ask. You can encrypt the content but not the filename, so you can see that filename directly from the Cloud web interface like Google Drive, etc. Another way is to just use Rclone itself to browse the cloud. In that case even...
by armeliusc
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to encrypt Cloud backups?
Replies: 54
Views: 4423

Re: How to encrypt Cloud backups?

Take a look at 'rclone': https://rclone.org/ . It can do exactly what you ask. You can encrypt the content but not the filename, so you can see that filename directly from the Cloud web interface like Google Drive, etc. Another way is to just use Rclone itself to browse the cloud. In that case event...
by armeliusc
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Responding to a CP2000 Notice
Replies: 67
Views: 6499

Re: Responding to a CP2000 Notice

In my CP2000 there is no option to fax, so I just mail it in. There is a fax number in my CP2000. The following video mentions the fax option at Tim 1:25 or so: There is a fax number in CP2000, but the instruction in Response Form clearly and explicitly says "send it to us in the enclosed envelope ...
by armeliusc
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MassMutual for Term Life ?
Replies: 2
Views: 327

MassMutual for Term Life ?

Hello, I am wondering if anyone has MassaMutual term life insurance and can share their experience with the company. I am interested in getting their 25 year term, but the agent I got from Term4Sale is suggesting Pacific Life instead, and telling me how un-competitive is MassMutual with their underw...
by armeliusc
Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How warm to set thermostat while away
Replies: 62
Views: 5257

Re: How warm to set thermostat while away

I have a HVAC engineer friend who has explained once you let the house get a lot warmer, it will take a very long time to cool because everything in the house has gotten warmer, including the walls, ceilings, etc. That fact might diminish the economics of turning up the thermostat, at least for sho...
by armeliusc
Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Responding to a CP2000 Notice
Replies: 67
Views: 6499

Re: Responding to a CP2000 Notice

I have gotten a CP2000 notice twice in the last 10 years. The first time was my mistake and I agreed with their correction and simply paid the extra tax. The second time was last year, I made the mistake of not filing the correct forms, but there was no tax consequence so I had to respond. I simply ...
by armeliusc
Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How warm to set thermostat while away
Replies: 62
Views: 5257

Re: How warm to set thermostat while away

Wow. Where we live is also hot and humid. We set the thermostat to 86 while we're away, 80 most of the time we're home, and 78 in the evening getting ready to bed. And I feel like 78 is splurging ...
by armeliusc
Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help Me Understand My I-Bond Rate
Replies: 4
Views: 718

Re: Help Me Understand My I-Bond Rate

... I see that my I-bond issued on 2012-09-01 has 2.32% interest rate. I can't seem to figure out how that is the case. The rest of my I-Bond interest rate match with what I calculated using the formula based on the historical fixed rate and current inflation rate. As shown here , the 2.32% composi...
by armeliusc
Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help Me Understand My I-Bond Rate
Replies: 4
Views: 718

Help Me Understand My I-Bond Rate

Hello, I was trying to decide if I should redeem my older I-Bond with 0% fixed rate and buy new one with 0.50% fixed rate. However, when I looked at my interest rate in TreasuryDirect, I see that my I-bond issued on 2012-09-01 has 2.32% interest rate. I can't seem to figure out how that is the case....
by armeliusc
Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning bugs off car bumper
Replies: 32
Views: 2856

Re: Cleaning bugs off car bumper

The same basic car cleaning technique works for cleaning just about anything off the car, including bugs. I wouldn't worry about anything else, risking scratching, marring the paint, etc, etc. 1. Using cotton terry towel for most anything 2. Using clay bar for anything else (1) can not remove. You c...
by armeliusc
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing Your Own Taxes
Replies: 36
Views: 3572

Re: Doing Your Own Taxes

A good way to learn is just by going through IRS forms by hand, and read the line-by-line instruction and fill in the forms. Try to reproduce your last year tax return manually. not by using some other software package that hides these details. Start by downloading form 1040 and its instruction. You...
by armeliusc
Wed May 15, 2019 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer or Local Mechanic?
Replies: 41
Views: 2152

Re: Dealer or Local Mechanic?

I would never use the dealer outside of warranty work, and since my truck is 15 years old, it’s been a long, long time since I have had them do any work for me. Learn how to do the work yourself. The majority of it is not difficult. It’s astonishing that a place like this that so heavily promotes t...
by armeliusc
Wed May 15, 2019 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer or Local Mechanic?
Replies: 41
Views: 2152

Re: Dealer or Local Mechanic?

I am fortunate that we have local independent mechanics that are very trustworthy and competent, specializing only in our car make (Honda and Acura). So I never bring our car to the dealership, except for warranty item (the last one was the airbag replacement), even when we got it brand new. I just ...
by armeliusc
Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where To Get New Bikes
Replies: 67
Views: 5127

Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Well I am happy to report that we have acquired to new Trek bikes from an LBS this week, a Trek FX 2 for myself and Verve 2 for the DW. Both bikes are at similar price point but with just slightly different geometry. Both DW and myself had a chance to test them out at the LBS before we decided what ...
by armeliusc
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where To Get New Bikes
Replies: 67
Views: 5127

Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Hello, Our kid has graduated of balance bike and is becoming more comfortable riding a bike. The weather is certainly more conducive for outside activity, and we are thinking of starting biking as a new family activity.... If your kid has graduated from a balance bike my advice would be to go witho...
by armeliusc
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where To Get New Bikes
Replies: 67
Views: 5127

Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Thank you very much for all the replies. It seems that the consensus is to avoid dept. stores bikes. I had similar feeling before but I am glad to know the reasons. I will check out the REI / bikesdirect / sporting good stores with bike department / repair service as options also. Last week we visit...
by armeliusc
Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where To Get New Bikes
Replies: 67
Views: 5127

Where To Get New Bikes

Hello, Our kid has graduated of balance bike and is becoming more comfortable riding a bike. The weather is certainly more conducive for outside activity, and we are thinking of starting biking as a new family activity. DW and I are comfortable with riding bikes, although we are certainly not seriou...
by armeliusc
Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras
Replies: 19
Views: 1725

Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

You want minimalist solution, with full feature like Nest Aware, but refuse to pay for subscription? A possible analogy is trying to find a full feature electric car like the Tesla that costs like a used Corolla. If you want full feature without subscription then provide your own hardware: that mean...
by armeliusc
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Insurance for Visiting the U.S.
Replies: 7
Views: 542

Re: Travel Insurance for Visiting the U.S.

Thank you all. Very good information here that will get me started. I appreciate it.
by armeliusc
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Insurance for Visiting the U.S.
Replies: 7
Views: 542

Travel Insurance for Visiting the U.S.

Greetings, I have a close relative abroad who will be visiting us in the U.S. soon for some time. I would like to get them a travel insurance of sort, primarily for medical coverage, for the "just in case" there is any type of medical-related incident while they are here at the U.S. Does anyone have...
by armeliusc
Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgages
Replies: 34
Views: 3330

Re: Mortgages

Last time I was faced with something like this, I took the 20-year to split the difference. - Rates were pretty close to the 15 - It gave me some of the forced payoff of the 15, without being quite as demanding on the monthly budget - It gave me a little flexibility from the 30, but guaranteed I wo...
by armeliusc
Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Reporting on Rollover (Roth) 401K to (Roth) IRA
Replies: 2
Views: 217

Re: Tax Reporting on Rollover (Roth) 401K to (Roth) IRA

With respect to A and B, it is not clear why they did not deduct the 25 fee directly from the balance so that Box 1 and the amount deposited in the IRAs were equal. To report, simply show the Box 1 totals on 4a and taxable amounts (0) on 4b with "rollover" entered next to 4b. C is not clear. The 10...
by armeliusc
Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Reporting on Rollover (Roth) 401K to (Roth) IRA
Replies: 2
Views: 217

Tax Reporting on Rollover (Roth) 401K to (Roth) IRA

Hello, I would very much appreciate some help from tax experts in this forum. Last year I decided to rollover old employer's 401K (traditional and Roth) to my IRA and Roth IRA at Vanguard. The instruction I gave was was pretty straightforward: - Roth 401K goes to Roth IRA at Vanguard - Trad 401K goe...
by armeliusc
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?
Replies: 41
Views: 2837

Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Forgive me for the sideline ... but I don't quite understand 1. What so bad about your current employer HSA (that you want to do this)? Fees? 2. FWIW, my employer uses Optum HSA. Other folks here also mention Optum and wanted to do transfer. What's bad about Optum? To me it just seems like an okay p...
by armeliusc
Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need An Online Phone Number
Replies: 19
Views: 1050

Re: Need An Online Phone Number

Google voice I have never been able to get my Google Voice number to receive 2FA texts from Vanguard and Chase.... maybe it's just me?? Did you actually check from the Google Voice website (https://voice.google.com) and didn't see it there? Or is it just that you don't get it on your phone as text?...
by armeliusc
Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need An Online Phone Number
Replies: 19
Views: 1050

Re: Need An Online Phone Number

Start using Google Voice First, you'll need: A Google Account U.S. phone number that can forward calls after ringing I do not have a USA phone number. One possibility is to ask help from a friend with U.S. phone number to use it to setup Google Voice. Once you have it set up, you can actually just ...
by armeliusc
Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need An Online Phone Number
Replies: 19
Views: 1050

Re: Need An Online Phone Number

My understanding is, google voice will stop working as soon as you replace your sim card with a non-US sim card! Am I correct? Anyone with a data point? That is incorrect. Google Voice forwards phone call and text messages to a 'real phone number' (for lack of better term). But Google Voice exist i...
by armeliusc
Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need An Online Phone Number
Replies: 19
Views: 1050

Re: Need An Online Phone Number

Google voice I have never been able to get my Google Voice number to receive 2FA texts from Vanguard and Chase.... maybe it's just me?? Did you actually check from the Google Voice website (https://voice.google.com) and didn't see it there? Or is it just that you don't get it on your phone as text?...
by armeliusc
Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mint date filters
Replies: 2
Views: 219

Re: Mint date filters

Yes, another similar trick to do a date filter is to go 'Budget', select the month(s) you want, then click on any of the budget category. It will bring you back to the 'Transaction' page but filtered by the 'Date', 'Category' and 'Excluding hidden tags' (or something like that). You can then just re...
by armeliusc
Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement
Replies: 40
Views: 3240

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

If it were I, I would just strictly follow the court decision and not make things more complicated (for yourself). If the court judgment is for them to pay you some dollar amount and nothing else, then just hold them to that. How they want to get that money is not your problem. Then sell the car els...
by armeliusc
Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most economical high-quality car wash
Replies: 13
Views: 1682

Re: Most economical high-quality car wash

What you want does not exist. Unfortunately. To be 'Economical high-quality' you have to DIY. To be 'high-quality' you'll have to look at detailing places and they are not 'economical'. For e.g., dried out bugs, bird's droppings, and tree saplings, etc cannot be easily remove by just regular car was...
by armeliusc
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car servicing
Replies: 48
Views: 3695

Re: Car servicing

Own a 2010 Honda Civic and the dealer seems to keep finding new problems and each service runs me 500 or so. Thinking of switching dealers. Any suggestions on where to take my car? Currently I use a Honda dealer. Can you list the problems you've had (describe them) and the ones the dealer found? Ho...
by armeliusc
Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car servicing
Replies: 48
Views: 3695

Re: Car servicing

Find a good, local independent mechanic. Do the maintenance per recommendation by the manual. Unless something is broken, you do not need to do more than that. I am lucky enough to find a local trusted shop that I started to bring our Civic to then when it was brand new. The manual specifically says...
by armeliusc
Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Home Security: SimpliSafe vs Ooma vs Nest vs Ring vs Other?
Replies: 66
Views: 9942

Re: DIY Home Security: SimpliSafe vs Ooma vs Nest vs Ring vs Other?

We use SimpliSafe with basics monitoring. We have their entry sensors, glass break, and motion sensors. We had to disable the motion sensors because it keeps tripping due to the way our windows get sun light in the afternoon. We like SimpliSafe because it's no commitment, and basically DIY for the s...
by armeliusc
Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Failed hard drive(?) data recovery
Replies: 59
Views: 5533

Re: Failed hard drive(?) data recovery

I am sorry, but all of the advices given so far in my opinion miss the most important thing of data recovery: Do Not Do Anything That Alter Your Drive / Data . How you somehow lost your your boot sector is a tell-tale of something had gone wrong. It could be a simple corruption, it could be the hard...
by armeliusc
Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First-time victim of credit card fraud
Replies: 48
Views: 4317

Re: First-time victim of credit card fraud

The card number used was DW's spousal card (with a different number) on my account. I didn't know that this is possible. I always thought that it has either to be: 1- different independent account with different number 2- authorized user sharing the same account, but sharing the same number as well...
by armeliusc
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone else not save for cars?
Replies: 113
Views: 10981

Re: Anyone else not save for cars?

I don't, because I just do not have anything left after trying to max HSA, 401K, and saving what's left to increase EF to our goal. I honestly don't know how it seems that (almost) everyone here can afford to max out 401K, IRAs, HSA, have 2 years EF, taxable, separate savings for cars, vacation, pay...
by armeliusc
Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury Direct has awesome phone support! Thanks!
Replies: 21
Views: 1999

Re: Treasury Direct has awesome phone support! Thanks!

This has been my experience too when I once got locked out of my account with a new computer and failing to answer the security question.