Search found 217 matches

by covertfantom
Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 7943
Views: 553506

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Minor update from my original post. I submitted paperwork to LenderFi 30 minutes before closing on the day of the 0.5% fee increase. I received the next round of documents tonight and my no cost loan for $350,000 @ 2.5% appears to have made it through. I signed the paperwork right away - however cra...
by covertfantom
Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 7943
Views: 553506

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I'm another prospective LenderFi customer that 'locked' my rate 30 minutes before closing time yesterday. Spoke to my rep today and he said that he pushed it into the system in time... but they're so backlogged that they haven't been able to confirm it yet. He also indicated that approval should hap...
by covertfantom
Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house next year. Wife wants a big house. Thoughts?
Replies: 104
Views: 10808

Re: Buying a house next year. Wife wants a big house. Thoughts?

You can afford it... and a happy wife is a happy life. I know looking at a house as an investment is generally frowned upon here... but you can definitely try using your house to diversify your portfolio a bit.
by covertfantom
Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads, why won't anyone hire me?
Replies: 194
Views: 19375

Re: Bogleheads, why won't anyone hire me?

Going back to the original question, you have a batting average of 4 / 200 to get an interview. If I had to guess, you're either applying to jobs that don't line up well or your resume is terrible. If you haven't done it already, I would hire a professional resume crafter to fix it up for you.
by covertfantom
Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amica - Insuring Solar Panel Installation
Replies: 5
Views: 785

Re: Amica - Insuring Solar Panel Installation

Just a quick update - turns out they were switching to a new system and did not appraise it properly. The $10k solar system will be covered for the princely sum of $5/year once installed.
by covertfantom
Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amica - Insuring Solar Panel Installation
Replies: 5
Views: 785

Re: Amica - Insuring Solar Panel Installation

You know... they might have asked a few more questions... but at the end of the day, the system costs $10,000 (after federal rebates) and Amica wants $155 a year to insure it. How much did they bump your premium to cover your solar?
by covertfantom
Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amica - Insuring Solar Panel Installation
Replies: 5
Views: 785

Amica - Insuring Solar Panel Installation

My homeowners insurance company (Amica in CA) wants $155 to insure a new $10,000 solar install. By my calculation, that is 10x more expensive than it is to cover the rest of the house (per dollar covered). I was a little concerned with the company's questions for estimating coverage. They cared only...
by covertfantom
Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need a will/trust/etc?
Replies: 59
Views: 4321

Re: Do we need a will/trust/etc?

I get that we need to put a will together. I am confused about a trust. Many people here suggested a trust. I didn't really see a good explanation for what a trust would do for our family? One mentioned estate taxes, but with the current estate tax limit being around $11 million, I don't think that...
by covertfantom
Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar Rebate Expiration
Replies: 9
Views: 746

Re: Solar Rebate Expiration

I've got south east facing roof... Google Sunroof says I should have plenty of unshaded roof to cover my needs. There are no local incentives in my area for solar unfortunately. I was thinking that the bulk of the cost to solar is the labor involved. Solar panel prices can drop... but I would imagin...
by covertfantom
Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need a will/trust/etc?
Replies: 59
Views: 4321

Re: Do we need a will/trust/etc?

I will just add one more thing - this trust will live with you and your wife for pretty much as long as you live/stay married. You can either get it done on your death bed... or get yourself covered for the rest of your life. To me it seems silly to wait on something you'll have to do eventually any...
by covertfantom
Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need a will/trust/etc?
Replies: 59
Views: 4321

Re: Do we need a will/trust/etc?

I actually just got my trust setup the other week with far less assets than you. Here's the nuts and bolts of this thing: if you and your wife die without setting up a trust, your assets are going to go through probate court. My lawyer scared us with stories of inheritances losing tens of thousands ...
by covertfantom
Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar Rebate Expiration
Replies: 9
Views: 746

Solar Rebate Expiration

The federal solar rebate appears to be tapering off starting next year. https://news.energysage.com/congress-extends-the-solar-tax-credit/ . It doesn't seem like the political climate (go coal?) is going to lend itself to getting this renewed. I was wondering if it makes sense for me to go solar now...
by covertfantom
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepaying for Child Care Tax Credit
Replies: 2
Views: 353

Re: Prepaying for Child Care Tax Credit

Couldn't find that language myself... thanks for clearing that up!
by covertfantom
Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepaying for Child Care Tax Credit
Replies: 2
Views: 353

Prepaying for Child Care Tax Credit

I'm planning on potentially putting my 5 month old into preschool in early 2019. I was wondering if I could take the child care tax credit in 2018 if I pay for the preschool in the 2018 calendar. Alot of us did something similar for our 2018 mortgage tax deduction... so would it apply here as well?
by covertfantom
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Tariffs: time to buy?
Replies: 63
Views: 4446

Re: Auto Tariffs: time to buy?

I didn't know if there was really a way to ask this question without all of the subsequent political commentary that was sure to follow :shock: While I do have a political opinion, I am trying to forecast the future here. Yelling fake news doesn't change the reality on the ground... Whatever that re...
by covertfantom
Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Tariffs: time to buy?
Replies: 63
Views: 4446

Auto Tariffs: time to buy?

I need a new minivan (either a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna) in the next year or so. Ideally, I would wait until I actually need the car, but the proposed tariffs are creating a fair amount of uncertainty. Does anyone know whether the tariffs would hit just cars assembled abroad or whether it woul...
by covertfantom
Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Name Change After Getting Married
Replies: 17
Views: 3332

Name Change After Getting Married

I recently got married and my wife changed her last name legally on the marriage certificate. We had our honeymoon the week after so there was no time to change it on our passports. She's been saying that there is no hurry to at all in the foreseeable future to actually change her name on any accoun...
by covertfantom
Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft, I want my computer back!
Replies: 175
Views: 21627

Re: Microsoft, I want my computer back!

I also want to mention that Windows does alot of optimizations in the background when you're not using the computer. It will do things like pull often used applications into unused memory - so while you may hear alot of clicking from the hard drive, it is not necessarily an indicator of poor perform...
by covertfantom
Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selecting health insurance for having a baby
Replies: 4
Views: 699

Selecting health insurance for having a baby

I married my girlfriend of 6 years last weekend and we are starting to plan the step: having kids. She works at a tiny non-profit without company offered health insurance, so one of the first things we're doing is trying to figure out what health insurance plan we should choose at my company. Choosi...
by covertfantom
Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me pick a computer
Replies: 71
Views: 5962

Re: Help me pick a computer

I'm going to buck the trend and say NOT to replace your computer. Not yet anyway. I would argue that you should do a full system reset (i.e. 'format the hard drive') and restore the system to stock. The reason I say that is because there's a good chance that you've never done it and you just have y...
by covertfantom
Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me pick a computer
Replies: 71
Views: 5962

Re: Help me pick a computer

I'm going to buck the trend and say NOT to replace your computer. Not yet anyway. I would argue that you should do a full system reset (i.e. 'format the hard drive') and restore the system to stock. The reason I say that is because there's a good chance that you've never done it and you just have ye...
by covertfantom
Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CA: Car Won't Pass Smog Check
Replies: 8
Views: 1504

Re: CA: Car Won't Pass Smog Check

I agree you'll probably want a more in depth troubleshoot from a good mechanic. There are some income qualified repair or retirement assistance programs: https://smogcheck.ca.gov/Consumer/Consumer_Assistance_Program/index.html I took it to my regular mechanic who does not specialize in hybrids. Wit...
by covertfantom
Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CA: Car Won't Pass Smog Check
Replies: 8
Views: 1504

CA: Car Won't Pass Smog Check

I live in California and have a 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid that is, as far as I can tell, running just fine. For registration purposes, I took the car in recently for a smog check that it failed. The local mechanic says the hybrid battery will need to be replaced (it has something to do with the ODB2 e...
by covertfantom
Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No health insurance tax penalty
Replies: 69
Views: 7649

Re: No health insurance tax penalty

As far as bets go, medical expenses is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the US. If you think this is relevant to your decision, please know this is not true. I used to practice bankruptcy. Never saw one "due" to medical expenses. Now, I'm sure they happen, but because on my (opposite...
by covertfantom
Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No health insurance tax penalty
Replies: 69
Views: 7649

Re: No health insurance tax penalty

I think it's pretty obvious that insurance as it is currently structured is there to subsidize the sickest of society at the cost of the healthy. The truth is that since insurance companies can't deny you coverage and can't put a cap on your expenditures, the only time you have to bear the cost is w...
by covertfantom
Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Out of town mechanic botched fix
Replies: 19
Views: 2223

Re: Out of town mechanic botched fix

I'm a little surprised that I'm only hearing one person suggest a chargeback while everyone else says that I'm likely out of luck. Is there a reason not to file a chargeback (after reasonable attempts to work out with the original mechanic?)
by covertfantom
Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Out of town mechanic botched fix
Replies: 19
Views: 2223

Out of town mechanic botched fix

I'm from Southern California and was in the San Francisco area when my 2006 Honda Civic wouldn't start. I brought it in to a local mechanic up there and they told me the alternator died. They replaced said alternator with another used alternator. Diagnostic, service, and part charges totaled to $575...
by covertfantom
Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Repair Estimate Uses Used Parts
Replies: 19
Views: 3350

Re: Car Repair Estimate Uses Used Parts

I was rear ended recently in my 2007 Honda Civic in California... both my front and rear bumper need to be repaired because the offending car pushed me into another car. The other party has already admitted fault and I've taken my car into the shop to get an estimate for repairs. I just got the est...
by covertfantom
Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Repair Estimate Uses Used Parts
Replies: 19
Views: 3350

Car Repair Estimate Uses Used Parts

I was rear ended recently in my 2007 Honda Civic in California. On top of my case of whiplash (for which I'm currently seeking treatment for), both my front and rear bumper need to be repaired because the offending car pushed me into another car. The other party has already admitted fault and I've t...
by covertfantom
Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend tablet/laptop & app/software for service business?
Replies: 12
Views: 1596

Re: Recommend tablet/laptop & app/software for service business?

I think you need to get your usage straight. Nobody does serious document/spreadsheet work by pecking on an on-screen keyboard. Getting a pro grade tablet that can withstand the harsh life you're talking about moves the price into the mid-premium laptop range. From what I'm hearing... you ought to g...
by covertfantom
Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List
Replies: 275
Views: 52229

Re: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List

I'm sure there will a certain post about a quality watch here at some point... Assume Bonfire is post 6 and 7 8.) light-weight backpacking gear. It will cost you but saving those ounces and space is worth every penny! That mattered alot less in my 20s. As I enter my 30s, this is becoming more of an...
by covertfantom
Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary
Replies: 265
Views: 27327

Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Got the offer... they came in a bit at the low end of my range and the benefits seem pretty basic. Anyone know what to make of an offer of "$5,000 in stock options"? It's a small company and obviously not publicly trade. How the heck am I supposed to value that... let alone turn it into ca...
by covertfantom
Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary
Replies: 265
Views: 27327

Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Asking for a salary expectation is a way to make sure neither side is wasting time. Giving a range is acceptable. However, when a future employer asks for your salary history it's like a car dealer asking you how much money you have in your bank account; it only hurts your ability to negotiate. I r...
by covertfantom
Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary
Replies: 265
Views: 27327

Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Am I the only one who lies and just says a number close to what I want them to pay me? In this case, I'd say my current compensation is $110k but I would like a small bump commensurate with my experience and market value of $120-125k. Wouldn't work in my case as a significant portion of my compensa...
by covertfantom
Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary
Replies: 265
Views: 27327

Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Don't give a salary range. When the time comes, give a single number and give it with confidence. I suggest you start with the high end of your range. Let them come back at you with a counter offer. Playing it a little strong there don't you think? I'm worried that kind of approach will get me laug...
by covertfantom
Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary
Replies: 265
Views: 27327

Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Thanks Watty. The difficult part in this for me is that I have to write this email to my future boss. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he wants to spend the least amount of effort on this subject while satisfying my salary needs. I'm thinking I'm going to dodge giving up m...
by covertfantom
Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary
Replies: 265
Views: 27327

Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

So the employer has contacted me after the initial interview asking about my current salary and my desired salary before they commit to making an offer. I've included a link below to my previous post on the subject... which, suffice to say, I'm being significantly underpaid at the moment. What kind ...
by covertfantom
Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to compare a mega corp job offer to a startup's
Replies: 31
Views: 4035

Re: How to compare a mega corp job offer to a startup's

Just addressing some of the previous comments. I work in Orange County California which is a moderately high cost of living. I would agree that a previous poster's assertion that as much as 40% of the benefits are in the benefits package. Some things I'm left out in my initial post... there have bee...
by covertfantom
Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to compare a mega corp job offer to a startup's
Replies: 31
Views: 4035

How to compare a mega corp job offer to a startup's

I’m a 31 year old software engineer who’s been at a mega-corp for the last 5 years. My current salary is about $93,000 + the usual range of mega corp benefits like a 401k (with 4.5% match) and an extreme PTO accrual rate of 28 days a year. There is really no way up and the annual raises are meager a...
by covertfantom
Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage Planning: Student Loans and General Finances Questions
Replies: 3
Views: 777

Marriage Planning: Student Loans and General Finances Questions

My girlfriend (29) and I (30) are about to take the next step and are currently planning on getting married. Instead of just plunging in, we're doing some planning beforehand to scope out what our next moves are. On a high level, I make alot more as a software engineer with a BS than she does as a b...
by covertfantom
Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar USB chargers
Replies: 14
Views: 2080

Re: Solar USB chargers

Costco often stocks Goal Zero products.
by covertfantom
Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Having my year end review with my manager, what to expect?
Replies: 30
Views: 3857

Re: Having my year end review with my manager, what to expec

I think you're expecting a bit much especially for what is effectively a mid-year review. Going to PM you with my numbers...
by covertfantom
Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromecast?
Replies: 7
Views: 6723

Re: Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromeca

I have a Chromecast and a Smart TV. Chromecast may be the way to go. You can also get adapters for some of the Smart TV screen mirroring technology. The two big technologies in use (other than Chromecast) are WiDi and Miracast. I would go with the $30 Chromecast for what she's going to do.
by covertfantom
Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to buy a tv or wait 2 years?
Replies: 66
Views: 9075

Re: Time to buy a tv or wait 2 years?

There are upsides to LED/LCD and 4K. For one, you can get a cheap Chinese 4K TV for a pretty decent price (under $1,000). It will also be cheaper to run in the long run because LCD/LED takes up alot less electricity. Personally, unless I have a reference TV nearby, once I start watching, I don't not...
by covertfantom
Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much $$ to change jobs?
Replies: 52
Views: 6362

Re: How much $$ to change jobs?

A portion of my paycheck goes directly to mum every month once it comes in and I don't get to see it at all. Mum then provides food and shelter for my siblings. I also know that she provides other financial assistance to them by digging into her savings, but she has been very reluctant to disclose ...
by covertfantom
Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Time to Sell Index Funds While Market Is High?
Replies: 37
Views: 5395

Re: Time to Sell Index Funds While Market Is High?

People thought the market was too high at the beginning of the year. If you had sold then, you'd have missed out on 6% of gains over 6 months. Just goes to show that nobody knows how high is too high...
by covertfantom
Sat May 17, 2014 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Minnesota Suggestions?
Replies: 36
Views: 3658

Re: Visiting Minnesota Suggestions?

Don't forget the state bird:the mosquito. Spent a week around Sawbill Lake in the BWCA, and they did not forget me. I don't know if I would recommend doing it alone though. The solitude is great, but not so much if you get into trouble.
by covertfantom
Fri May 16, 2014 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 28 and out of college... With family
Replies: 34
Views: 2885

Re: 28 and out of college... With family

I'm assuming you mean $125K a year in today's money. Why would you need to retire with $125K a year? From the sound of it, $50k a year with the kids out of the nest should be more than enough. There are many HSA plans that allow you to invest the money into stocks/mutual funds. I would go that route...
by covertfantom
Wed May 07, 2014 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Hopping? Work History Enclosed.
Replies: 60
Views: 6446

Re: Job Hopping? Work History Enclosed.

How many years do you need at a job before it is no longer considered a job hop? I'm in IT if that males a difference. I know some in the industry just don't care, but I prefer to hedge my bets.

Job 1, 1.5 years.
Job 2, 3 years
Job 3, 2.75 years and counting...
by covertfantom
Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best smartphone in 2014?
Replies: 38
Views: 5394

Re: Best smartphone in 2014?

Google Nexus. That's the only phone I would consider in the future. Lifetime updates until the hardware is no longer able to run the latest and greatest. The lowest cost non-subsidized phone for it's class. Just make sure you buy it directly from Google to get the lowest price.