Search found 343 matches

by armeliusc
Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refi Fees / tax increase due to spouse not "vested"?
Replies: 3
Views: 305

Re: Refi Fees / tax increase due to spouse not "vested"?

Thank you for the responses. If you own the property but there's a mortgage on the property, and you transfer it into both of your names, you're effectively selling a one-half interest in it to her for an amount equal to one-half of the balance due on the mortgage. Whether that's treated as consider...
by armeliusc
Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refi Fees / tax increase due to spouse not "vested"?
Replies: 3
Views: 305

Refi Fees / tax increase due to spouse not "vested"?

Hi all, I asked this in the mega refi thread but I think it got lost there. I am in the middle of a 2nd refinance (1st one was in 2017). The transaction coordinator sent me an email with a note that "title was received today and I see that your wife is not vested on title". Then they reissue a new d...
by armeliusc
Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negative ultimate rewards balance on sapphire reserve
Replies: 24
Views: 1765

Re: Negative ultimate rewards balance on sapphire reserve

I don't think they'll charge negative UR balance. The same way that you don't get money if you just close the account without redeeming it first. I think the negative value is just a way to keep track of things, so next time you get points it goes to close the negative balance first. If you already ...
by armeliusc
Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 2894
Views: 225119

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

My apology for introducing yet another refinance-related thread here: I am in the middle of a refinance and the lender (Cardinal Financial) came back with a new LE that increase the Transfer tax by ~$1400, recorded as "State Deed Tax / Stamps". It shows a "Circumstance Changes" in the disclosure sum...
by armeliusc
Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 2894
Views: 225119

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Can someone explain prepaids to me? I'm working with a broker. Original loan 3.375% on 780k 4 years ago. I have paid extra principal and have $677k remaining on loan. Payment is 3448/month New refi option - 3% 30 year, no fees/no cost. Lender credit matches up dollar for dollar on all costs, (title...
by armeliusc
Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 2894
Views: 225119

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I must be doing something wrong based on what I’m seeing here. Now I should be able to get the amex credit (I hope) but when I pulled LenderFI rates tonight a 30 year loan ($202k) came back with the best rate of 2.5% but with $7,769 in points/credits. It’s similar from credible 2.5% but with $8,542...
by armeliusc
Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 2894
Views: 225119

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I locked rate with Sebonic yesterday for a refi with 2.74% interest for 15 year. Total closing costs is ~$2400 rolled into the loan including appraisal (already paid) and origination fee (~$1000) I just heard about LenderFi when I browsed this thread. I looked up their rate and I can get similar rat...
by armeliusc
Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I think I need a new computer
Replies: 135
Views: 7088

Re: I think I need a new computer

Buy yourself a new laptop. You can get a good computer for $500-$600. Your laptop is worth ~$100. You would spend $100-$150 to upgrade the ram and hard drive. More if you have to pay someone to do the installation. If you had a $5000 car that needed a $5000 repair, most would consider the car “tota...
by armeliusc
Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I think I need a new computer
Replies: 135
Views: 7088

Re: I think I need a new computer

Your current laptop has all the power you need for what you need to do. As others have said, two possible explanations for the slowdown: 1. your system is running bloated software or applications in the background, slowing everything down 2. your (mechanical) hard drive is getting old, or fragmented...
by armeliusc
Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New construction house - what to consider?
Replies: 160
Views: 9609

Re: New construction house - what to consider?

I think you would be crazy to not wire a new home with CAT6. Even if you only use wireless devices, having a wired home allows you to have a much better WIFI network because the backhaul (the connection from your wireless access points to your router) is wired. You may also want to consider running...
by armeliusc
Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: can I shorten a pdf file?
Replies: 35
Views: 2059

Re: can I shorten a pdf file?

Numerous options are already presented: print to PDF, pdftk, ...

(If your "Print to PDF" hung then there is something else is wrong on your system.)

But I would question the purpose of this exercise. Is it to save a few kilobytes of data? It seems that the effort far out-weight the benefit.
by armeliusc
Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Contributions as "Emergency Fund?"
Replies: 16
Views: 1082

Re: Roth Contributions as "Emergency Fund?"

It also requires keeping records of all of your withdrawals until you are at least 59.5. If you use the emergency fund for a $200 doctor bill or a $300 car repair every few years, it may be easier to just keep some cash in savings. +1 OP, learn about IRS form 8606 and the reporting requirements on ...
by armeliusc
Tue May 12, 2020 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive
Replies: 469
Views: 41779

Re: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive

I've been on the fence on whether or not to downgrade / cancel my Reserve card, but I found myself kept staring at the annual fee posted earlier this month with some annoyance, and the $100 adjustment did not make me feel better, with no travel plan in foreseeable future (my workplace currently bans...
by armeliusc
Mon May 04, 2020 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portable crib, non pack n' play?
Replies: 7
Views: 440

Re: Portable crib, non pack n' play?

We have a Nuna Sena (earlier version from the one currently on the website) that we traveled with extensively. It's heavier but sturdier than a most pack-n-play: https://www.nunababy.com/sena-aire-usa
by armeliusc
Fri May 01, 2020 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive
Replies: 469
Views: 41779

Re: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive

Keep in mind there is temporarily a 5X UR bonus on grocery stores for the CSR. https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-cards-to-earn-3x-5x-points-per-1-spent-at-grocery-stores/ This runs from now thru June 30. Conservatively this is worth about 12,500 UR points to me (more if I stock up on wine). So I...
by armeliusc
Fri May 01, 2020 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive
Replies: 469
Views: 41779

Re: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive

I wanted to circle back on the idea of downgrading this, perhaps to the Sapphire Preferred or the Freedom and then later on upgrading it back to the Reserve to save the annual fee. Currently and for the foreseeable future, the following benefits have little to no value: Priority Pass Membership (No...
by armeliusc
Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best home printer/scanner?
Replies: 39
Views: 2791

Re: Best home printer/scanner?

I have an HP LaserJet Pro M477fdn. There is something similar with just black/white printer I believe. My requirement was to be able to use the scanner without any computer at all, so it had to be "stand alone" and on the network, with the scanned file dropped either on a network folder (preferred) ...
by armeliusc
Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?
Replies: 114
Views: 6338

Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Our gym membership is at a YMCA close to where we live. I like the place and they people who work there. They close the gym and use the place as an emergency child care, but asking us to stay as members if possible. We want the people who work there to still get some sort of income, so we keep or me...
by armeliusc
Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me understand why I need uninsured, underinsured motorist liability and medical payments.
Replies: 50
Views: 4037

Re: Help me understand why I need uninsured, underinsured motorist liability and medical payments.

As others have said, this is to cover you if you get into accident with a driver that is under-insured or even doesn't have insurance. Even if this is the other driver's liability, and even if you can sue, etc, what happens if the driver really have no asset to pay for the property and/or medical li...
by armeliusc
Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which apt would you go for
Replies: 13
Views: 886

Re: Which apt would you go for

I would definitely go with option 2 . But I see the 12-min as a pro to go to / from work. Just enough time to decompress and context switching, I think much better while walking, and it's a good exercise as well. Having a nice nearby park, especially when there is/are kids, is a great pro.
by armeliusc
Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance to 15 years?
Replies: 19
Views: 1535

Re: Should I refinance to 15 years?

I would also suggest you take a look at 20 years term. With the difference in interest rate plus the extra $1K you are prepaying already, you may already there in terms of cash flow, i.e. no higher monthly payment than what you already have. There are usually low or no-cost refinance available. Anec...
by armeliusc
Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switching from AT&T to Mint Mobile, any drawbacks?
Replies: 42
Views: 4347

Re: Switching from AT&T to Mint Mobile, any drawbacks?

We switched from T-Mobile prepaid to MintMobile, so it's actually a bit of an upgrade for us since we didn't have data subscription before (only via 1-week pass when we travel). So far we are happy with it. We have the lowest data plan for 12-month. You can get 3 or 6 or 12 month price. The longer c...
by armeliusc
Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to organize your photos
Replies: 39
Views: 3298

Re: How to organize your photos

The problem with Google Photos is that if you want to keep the original, it is not "unlimited storage". My DW takes pictures prolifically for fun, with cellphone most of the time and with DSLR on many occasions (trips, events). We have hundreds of GB of photos and videos of trips, family events, etc...
by armeliusc
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home and auto camera setups?
Replies: 9
Views: 797

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: 4027

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: 1083

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: 1552

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: 1238

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: 3760

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: 1672

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: 2385

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: 2858

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: 994

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: 4917

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: 4917

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: 4917

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: 6871

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: 388

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: 5461

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: 6871

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: 5461

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: 774

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: 774

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: 3064

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: 3743

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: 2209

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: 2209

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: 5357

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: 5357

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: 5357

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...