Search found 242 matches

by lotusflower
Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Key Ring
Replies: 11
Views: 1310

Re: Key Ring

Cheap carabiners make it easy to take or leave keys https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M11GO6C/ Don't remove the small ring on the alarm control, just add a bigger ring onto it. https://www.amazon.com/Rings-Chain-Diameter-Organization-Electroplated/dp/B07D1ZMVF8 You can get all this stuff at the l...
by lotusflower
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: lastpass noob question
Replies: 40
Views: 2938

Re: lastpass noob question

Reading this makes me want to create a dummy Lastpass account, log on via FireFox or Chrome, and then memory dump the entire RAM and see what I come up with... Though, that takes more time than I think is worth, and it goes to my comment earlier about us not being HVTs. I can imagine LastPass does ...
by lotusflower
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Protection
Replies: 86
Views: 9596

Re: Password Protection

I use KeePass in my laptop and save my database in Dropbox. Things change so rapidly and am wondering if everything is safe with this process. Recently I downloaded Keepass app into my notepad to take with me for travel. I can access the dropbox from this if I need to remember a password. Is this g...
by lotusflower
Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Equity Loan vs Traditional Mortgage Refinance
Replies: 3
Views: 421

Re: Home Equity Loan vs Traditional Mortgage Refinance

I'm not a banker, but one of the many mortgage numbers geeks on this forum. What is your rate/term and what are you being offered, and what is your current loan-to-value? The only way this makes sense to me is if you have a lot of equity, they could put a mortgage in second lien position and keep th...
by lotusflower
Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?
Replies: 122
Views: 6129

Re: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?

Irony, doesn't trust Microsoft but will trust Google. Thanks for the laugh. +1 I don't necessarily trust Microsoft more than Apple or Google. I don't trust them less either. I will, however, look at their performance in supporting older hardware. Google is notorious for not updating Android on olde...
by lotusflower
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?
Replies: 122
Views: 6129

Re: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?

Now that Microsoft has announced that they will no longer support Windows 7 in 2020, I noticed that the volume of their updates have increased a bit. Frankly, I do not trust them. I am thinking they are trying hard to make a perfectly good system obsolete, hoping that consumers will go out and purc...
by lotusflower
Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When do you start gifting the max to your family members? When is enough NW totally enough?
Replies: 80
Views: 9377

Re: When do you start gifting the max to your family members you like?

Thanks for your response but as a person with your perspective I’d only be gifting a kid that was clearly on a path that I admired and had a very strong ethic and character and desire and on a path I saw as useful productive and in a situation where the 14k would simply help some. No video games an...
by lotusflower
Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alumni donations to help children get into college
Replies: 64
Views: 5433

Re: Alumni donations to help children get into college

I read the request from the topic author, but with respect, kids should get in of their own merit, not because their parents have money and perceived influence. We’re supposed to be a meritocracy, not some dynastic culture. How much does it really even matter where someone goes for undergraduate st...
by lotusflower
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee becomes cold too soon
Replies: 116
Views: 8358

Re: Coffee becomes cold too soon

I have one of these https://joeveo.com/collections/brushed-stainless-temperfect-mugs It looks like it is the same idea as the Coffee Joulies that were mentioned but the phase-change material is built into the wall of the cup. It cools the coffee to a drinking temperature right away and then holds i...
by lotusflower
Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee becomes cold too soon
Replies: 116
Views: 8358

Re: Coffee becomes cold too soon

I have one of these https://joeveo.com/collections/brushed-stainless-temperfect-mugs It looks like it is the same idea as the Coffee Joulies that were mentioned but the phase-change material is built into the wall of the cup. It cools the coffee to a drinking temperature right away and then holds it...
by lotusflower
Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RV purchase ?
Replies: 86
Views: 6092

Re: RV purchase ?

At the very least I would rent a couple times before you buy to decide if you like it or not. +1 Also note that if you own, you will be motivated to use it as much as possible, since the cost is fixed. If you rent, you will be motivated to use it as little as possible since the cost is linear with ...
by lotusflower
Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Could frozen fruit be actually moldy, or am I imagining things?
Replies: 9
Views: 1100

Re: Could frozen fruit be actually moldy, or am I imagining things?

Manufacturing quality control is all about statistics. There are opportunities for bad product to get through at the picking, washing and freezing steps. Not very common for moldy cherries to get through that but not impossible. I got some string cheese from Costco that was way too salty. I returned...
by lotusflower
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Confused, bummed, and concerned
Replies: 74
Views: 10616

Re: Confused, bummed, and concerned

Absolute returns don't really matter! Repeat that again, absolute returns don't matter! What matters is how your returns compare with inflation. The reason forecasted returns are shrinking is because inflation is shrinking too. The only thing you can do with your invested money is spend it on goods ...
by lotusflower
Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you refinancing now?
Replies: 73
Views: 6957

Re: Are you refinancing now?

Why do people refi to a 30 year? You can always pay more principal but you can never pay less than the minimum amortized payment without putting your house at risk. So getting a 30-year if you could afford a 15- is a bit of an insurance policy. Maybe it's expensive insurance and it would be better ...
by lotusflower
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to find rates for no-cost refi?
Replies: 57
Views: 4211

Re: Where to find rates for no-cost refi?

I don't understand the mania for no-cost refis. A mortgage ALWAYS has costs. if the lender is paying them on your behalf, then they are charging you a higher rate. Really, you're the one buying the mortgage, you better believe you are paying the fees. It's really simple. If I can lower my mortgage ...
by lotusflower
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to find rates for no-cost refi?
Replies: 57
Views: 4211

Re: Where to find rates for no-cost refi?

I don't understand the mania for no-cost refis. A mortgage ALWAYS has costs. if the lender is paying them on your behalf, then they are charging you a higher rate. Really, you're the one buying the mortgage, you better believe you are paying the fees. At the very least, find out how much the rate wi...
by lotusflower
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sell bonds (and a little stock) to avoid mortgage?
Replies: 9
Views: 1015

Re: Sell bonds (and a little stock) to avoid mortgage?

A mortgage is a product that you buy, and it costs money. I wouldn't buy a product that I didn't need. I have a mortgage (because I needed it, natch).
by lotusflower
Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to encrypt Cloud backups?
Replies: 54
Views: 3879

Re: How to encrypt Cloud backups?

These suggestions to use an entire backup container sound extremely cumbersome to me, unless you intend on keeping the backup very small. Every time you modify the contents of a file - even a single character - you’ll have to re-upload the entire container That's actually not true, at least with Ve...
by lotusflower
Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Misbehaviour of markets and the Black Swan
Replies: 87
Views: 8397

Re: Misbehaviour of markets and the Black Swan

I'm not a huge fan of Taleb either. If one were to put a gun to my head, I could probably explain in a lengthy passage why I don't like his writing that will bore everyone including my mother (after making sure there are real bullets in the gun and that the gun holder knew how to fire a gun etc.,) ...
by lotusflower
Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse
Replies: 79
Views: 6443

Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

No one is supposed to engage in transactions on a dead person's account. POAs are void at death. Given that password sharing is common, I am sure that such transactions occur pretty often and I am not sure what happens as a result. I doubt that they are routinely reversed. I am not sure if they are...
by lotusflower
Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse
Replies: 79
Views: 6443

Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

If DW and I both pass, I want our executor to have a reasonable chance be able to get into the files. I am pretty sure that there is nothing legit that an executor can do with any of your passwords to financial accounts. I wonder if any of one's passwords are actually necessary for the executor to ...
by lotusflower
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse
Replies: 79
Views: 6443

Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Keepass on Dropbox. Totally free though this is such an important thing to get right that paying a service (Lastpass, 1Password) is also a great idea. DW and I both keep all of our passwords there though I do 80% of the financial stuff. We have been on this system for over 10 years and it has been ...
by lotusflower
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse
Replies: 79
Views: 6443

Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Keepass on Dropbox. Totally free though this is such an important thing to get right that paying a service (Lastpass, 1Password) is also a great idea. DW and I both keep all of our passwords there though I do 80% of the financial stuff. We have been on this system for over 10 years and it has been w...
by lotusflower
Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle says [expect lower returns in the future]
Replies: 14
Views: 2338

Re: Bogle says [expect lower returns in the future]

One thing it's easy to forget is that your returns are only meaningful in the context of the economic system you operate in. If the average market return falls to 0.5% per year, or maybe negative 0.5% per year, then it does the same for almost all of the other 300 million people in the economy (if y...
by lotusflower
Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: pay off an ARM mortgage or not?
Replies: 58
Views: 3565

Re: pay off an ARM mortgage or not?

Two things that might help the apparent confusion about mortgages and rates: 1) Mortgage rates are just like savings rates. If you have $100k and you earn 3% on it in a savings account for 10 years it will become something more. If you loan it to a friend to buy a house in the form of a mortgage at ...
by lotusflower
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives
Replies: 46
Views: 6806

Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

I was tempted by Evernotes but after studying it I do not trust them any more than I trust Google. I don't get it. Why not just encrypt your data? I think one of our guys uses Saferoom at work to do this and then just uses OneNote and Evernotes. Who cares if Evernotes/Google can access your notes i...
by lotusflower
Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is an emergency just mental accounting?
Replies: 70
Views: 5960

Re: Is an emergency just mental accounting?

Aside from the important behavioral factors mentioned in the replies, it's purpose is also to keep your arithmetic simple. Your asset allocation is in percentages of your portfolio size, e.g. 75/25. Your emergency fund should be a percentage of your annual expenses, e.g. 50%. If your expenses change...
by lotusflower
Fri May 31, 2019 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Donor Advised Fund Question
Replies: 9
Views: 612

Re: Donor Advised Fund Question

Don't forget, Schwab charges an annual fee for administering the DAF. Therefore you have to be saving more than that in taxes to make it worthwhile.
by lotusflower
Tue May 28, 2019 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying points vs. increased rate on mortgage?
Replies: 13
Views: 950

Re: Paying points vs. increased rate on mortgage?

The longer you will hold the mortgage, the more points make sense, you are buying down the mortgage rate and since it's not very common to hold any one mortgage for its 30-year projected life, then both you and the bank take this gamble based on averages. If you know your own situation better than t...
by lotusflower
Sun May 26, 2019 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparison shopping for a mortgage - any advice?
Replies: 17
Views: 2130

Re: Comparison shopping for a mortgage - any advice?

- One thing that was listed in the closing cost details was 12 months of "Homeowner's Insurance Premium". I have paid up insurance already, is it normal for the bank to charge me in this case? - Prepaid Interest - One one loan estimate it was 7 days worth, and on another it was 30 days. It's not cl...
by lotusflower
Thu May 23, 2019 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage almost paid off
Replies: 31
Views: 3499

Re: Mortgage almost paid off

I've never paid down a mortgage, but I've never heard of a bank taking an automated payment that exceeded the principal+interest owed.
by lotusflower
Sun May 12, 2019 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: (solution found) caps fail on med creams/ointments
Replies: 5
Views: 562

Re: caps fail on med creams/ointments

With one set of threads usually metal, and one set being plastic, it's fairly easy to misalign the threads and then damage the plastic cap threading. This is called cross-threading. One thing you can do is turn the cap the wrong way at first. When the tails of the male and females threads run past e...
by lotusflower
Sun May 12, 2019 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term4Sale callbacks trying to upsell?
Replies: 25
Views: 1937

Re: Term4Sale callbacks trying to upsell?

If I knew then what I know now, I would have bought four times as much insurance as soon as the kids were on the horizon, 25 and 30 year level term. 20 years ago, I bought a policy with a face amount of about 8 times my then-salary, but that amount represents less than twice my current salary and I...
by lotusflower
Sat May 11, 2019 2:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term4Sale callbacks trying to upsell?
Replies: 25
Views: 1937

Re: Term4Sale callbacks trying to upsell?

On a related note, say I decided that I needed $1M coverage if I passed tomorrow, $900k coverage if I passed in 2 years from now, $800k coverage if I passed 4 years from now etc. Would it then be possible to purchase 10x $100K term life policies today, and stop paying the annual premium for a singl...
by lotusflower
Mon May 06, 2019 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property tax hacks in California
Replies: 59
Views: 6852

Re: Property tax hacks in California

Seriously though, I think there are problems with Prop 13. I hope someone figures out a way to fix them someday. Sounds like there's momentum building to do away with the inheritance provision. Sentiment is definitely changing, though Prop. 13 has been the third rail of politics in California. Vote...
by lotusflower
Sat May 04, 2019 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College/life prep for young kids
Replies: 79
Views: 6763

Re: College/life prep for young kids

Trying to think about career decisions for 6 and 9 year-old kids just strikes me as silly. Saying that a kid at that age "has always wanted to be ____" seems even more so. Your 3rd grade son "isn't a huge fan of homework?" I don't even remember being in the 3rd grade. Did we have homework? Like you...
by lotusflower
Sat May 04, 2019 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of home buying with all cash - need guidance
Replies: 19
Views: 2303

Re: Thinking of home buying with all cash - need guidance

2. Do I need an Agent? This is the first time I am buying a home. Can you folks share real life experience of going through an Agent versus buying direct. Trying to save some dollars here. As the buyer, you don't pay the agent. They'll split the commission with the seller's agent, but it comes out ...
by lotusflower
Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need title insurance?
Replies: 58
Views: 6742

Re: Do I need title insurance?

So if you bought your home a while ago, and only got a lender's policy, can you add owner's coverage later?
by lotusflower
Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage points......they're all wrong???
Replies: 10
Views: 2002

Re: Mortgage points......they're all wrong???

So I'm in escrow Congrats! So in terms of a break even calculation you want to (3) divide the point buy-in by the (savings in the interest payments PLUS the extra principal paid). Doing this equity based approach cuts the break even time down considerably. Paying off principal has no effect on your...
by lotusflower
Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to clean a garage?
Replies: 71
Views: 4523

Re: How to clean a garage?

I have "collection" issues as well. One thing that helps me is assessing the economic value and cost of the storage. For example, you could figure how much a 5x10 storage locker would cost in your area, or the square footage of your house/garage that you are devoting to this stuff divided by your re...
by lotusflower
Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Inheritance With Zero Income, Zero Expenses
Replies: 35
Views: 4344

Re: Inheritance With Zero Income, Zero Expenses

Yes, sorry I forgot to mention that. There was a will and I am the executor. The will states for everything to be left to my brother and I so on paper I'm the one in charge of deciding how to split it up. So, you don’t get anything ?? Why do you care how the money is invested, then ? "to my brother...
by lotusflower
Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting rid of spam
Replies: 22
Views: 1599

Re: Getting rid of spam

For the most part, this is a war you can't win. Make the most of the spam filtering available in your email client and then do something else productive with your time.
by lotusflower
Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where do you keep your emergency fund?
Replies: 62
Views: 7396

Re: Where do you keep your emergency fund?

I keep 12 months of mortgage + property tax in 12 online (2.5%) 1-year CDs plus some I bonds and some Money Market savings. The idea is to have security on the housing front, and then depending on the type of emergency we can see what else needs to happen.
by lotusflower
Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you pick up after renting a vacation rental?
Replies: 51
Views: 3819

Re: Do you pick up after renting a vacation rental?

Thanks all, my other question is - The place I just rented didn't have paper towels and only a bit of toilet paper when I checked in. Who is typically responsible for restocking? Renter or owner? I don't really want to take time out of my vacation to go to the store to get a roll of toilet paper. Y...
by lotusflower
Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What I don’t understand about Donor Advised Funds...
Replies: 57
Views: 4941

Re: What I don’t understand about Donor Advised Funds...

Our local church cannot accept direct donations of mutual funds, we tried several times. Our denomination does offer a DAF but that would only be for church-related entities, and we do give to other organizations. There are other factors involved too, but having a better understanding of how it act...
by lotusflower
Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do not use Personal Capital
Replies: 100
Views: 17495

Re: Do not use Personal Capital

generallyspeaking wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:40 am
My question would be this: would you trust a company like Facebook with all your financial information? They can't take action on it, but they can certainly view all your income, spending habits, budgeting, etc.
Aren't Visa/MC/Amex already selling your spending habits to the highest bidder?
by lotusflower
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does the stock market go up in the long term?
Replies: 62
Views: 5110

Re: Why does the stock market go up in the long term?

With all due respect to several posters who cite growth in GDP per capita, technological innovation, population growth, etc. I think you missed my point. I mentioned these factors in my original post. These factors will increase earnings over the long-term, but the price should reflect these increa...
by lotusflower
Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does the stock market go up in the long term?
Replies: 62
Views: 5110

Re: Why does the stock market go up in the long term?

Also, natural resources are extracted and innovations are invented. Both of those activities add value.
by lotusflower
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal information management: Zettelkasten / The Brain / Scrivener
Replies: 17
Views: 3052

Re: Personal information management: Zettelkasten / The Brain / Scrivener

Okay I read through the thread a bit more (and I have been sort of obsessed with both information management systems and to-do systems for many years). I still think you want Evernote. It works fine when disconnected from the Internet and it syncs in the background whenever it's reconnected. I reali...
by lotusflower
Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal information management: Zettelkasten / The Brain / Scrivener
Replies: 17
Views: 3052

Re: Personal information management: Zettelkasten / The Brain / Scrivener

Sorry I don't have time to study your requirements at the moment, but I have been using Evernote for at least five years and I am very happy with it. You mentioned it specializes in taking notes on the go, but I think that's partly marketing. I just use it as a storage mechanism and memory bank. Any...