Search found 288 matches

by lotusflower
Sat May 30, 2020 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: question about modems & routers
Replies: 27
Views: 1796

Re: question about modems & routers

I also checked out my home network devices list and a lot look familiar but some do not. is this normal? lots of things called "unknown" with random letters and numbers after it. I think that's okay. It should say whether they are active or not and you should be able to account for most or all of t...
by lotusflower
Sat May 30, 2020 3:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: question about modems & routers
Replies: 27
Views: 1796

Re: question about modems & routers

I vote yes, it is "safe" to just plug directly into your ISP modem/router. I agree, I had a ~5 year old AT&T DSL Modem/Router and the firewall was on by default. Your router should have a web page and it should clearly state that the firewall is on, but it's hard to imagine any way it could be off....
by lotusflower
Thu May 28, 2020 3:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage rates headed lower?
Replies: 69
Views: 7610

Re: Mortgage rates headed lower?

The closing package included a “Also Known As” form that had shortened versions of my name. However, they were adamant that I sign exactly as indicated on every form, and most had my full legal name. A few had just my middle initial, but included the rest. That's what every notary has told me at lo...
by lotusflower
Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: reliable thermometer? (for human, not oven, etc.)
Replies: 41
Views: 2376

Re: reliable thermometer? (for human, not oven, etc.)

I, now, wonder if or how folks of my generation that played with mercury from broken mercury thermometers were or are harmed? The list of then common, but now with 20/20 hindsight are dangerous is long indeed. - Mercury thermometers [etc] AFAIK a big part of the ban is just getting them out of the ...
by lotusflower
Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal tax filing and c corp expenses (startup funding)
Replies: 2
Views: 154

Re: Personal tax filing and c corp expenses (startup funding)

To get more specific, when you spent your $20k, you didn't really "spend" any money accounting-wise. You invested in a business, not much different than buying stock or buying real property and so your net worth didn't change, so there's nothing for the tax-man to care about. Now if the C corp folde...
by lotusflower
Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal tax filing and c corp expenses (startup funding)
Replies: 2
Views: 154

Re: Personal tax filing and c corp expenses (startup funding)

Not a tax guy, but have owned a C corp for software development. Tax-wise the C corp is totally unrelated to your personal finances, until it pays you (standard W-2 or perhaps 1099, wouldn't try it) or you take a distribution (dividends, mostly terrible compared to taking W2 income). If you spend mo...
by lotusflower
Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Layered Emergency Fund
Replies: 30
Views: 2501

Re: Layered Emergency Fund

My personal thing is to keep 12 months of mortgage + property tax in a ladder of 12 1-year CDs. Woah that sounds like a lot of work for marginal benefit. Not a lot of work. Step 1, calculate amount to save, Step 2 open a CD at CapitalOne360 (takes about a minute if you already have a money market a...
by lotusflower
Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Layered Emergency Fund
Replies: 30
Views: 2501

Re: Layered Emergency Fund

My personal thing is to keep 12 months of mortgage + property tax in a ladder of 12 1-year CDs. Plus some extra in a Money Market account. I'd rather have 6 6-month CDs but the rate is much worse. I figure if the housing is paid then I can probably make most of the other expenses work somehow.
by lotusflower
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing when it's NOT your "forever" house
Replies: 29
Views: 2181

Re: Refinancing when it's NOT your "forever" house

I've never understood the allure of the no-cost refi, other than that people love to get something for "nothing". In reality these costs are paid with negative points, and you do pay for them with a higher interest rate, which of course persists for the life of the loan. It's a simple matter to calc...
by lotusflower
Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High school money topics
Replies: 23
Views: 1208

Re: High school money topics

I also think an important lesson is supply and demand and how it sets pricing. You can talk about the salaries of famous people vs essential people, or why a university's football coach makes more than the university president. Similarly the fact that college pricing rises faster than inflation is a...
by lotusflower
Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Owner financed mortgage question
Replies: 8
Views: 604

Re: Owner financed mortgage question

Interest Rate 4.75% term 30 years (about 28 years left) balance 226K The alternative investment I'm not positive right now I set some aside each month for VTI in my Merril account. It's a nice interest rate but it carries way more risk than current risk-free investments (federally insured CD's) tha...
by lotusflower
Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: pay off mortgage in 6 months or pay large chunk and recast it?
Replies: 25
Views: 1438

Re: pay off mortgage in 6 months or pay large chunk and recast it?

What Is a Mortgage Recast? A mortgage recast—also called a loan recast—is a feature in some types of mortgages where the remaining payments are recalculated based on a new amortization schedule . During a mortgage recasting, the borrower pays a large sum toward their principal, and their mortgage i...
by lotusflower
Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 21 years old, sitting on a pile of cash and no liabilities. What would you do?
Replies: 28
Views: 2388

Re: 21 years old, sitting on a pile of cash and no liabilities. What would you do?

Lump sum an amount and then DCA from there What % lump sum would you do? Not a fan of lump sum, even though on paper it may do well most of the time. For me there's too much risk of second-guessing myself. My worthless advice, assuming you really want to time the market (personally sounds like a gr...
by lotusflower
Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Improving online security
Replies: 69
Views: 4194

Re: Improving online security

KeepassXC is open source software. So the source code can be vetted. Practically speaking, there is some level of trust being placed on any installed software. For closed source program you are relying on the software vendor's. For open source a knowledgeable developer has the ability to verify if ...
by lotusflower
Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How is this possible? Is Alexa spying on me?
Replies: 110
Views: 8173

Re: How is this possible? Is Alexa spying on me?

Location tracking is not what is being discussed in this thread. And to be more accurate, the location of my phone (not me) can be triangulated, when it is on. Sure, but it's not that hard to use the "anonymized" location data available from phone carriers to figure out which location track is your...
by lotusflower
Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cybersecurity and passwords
Replies: 161
Views: 11544

Re: Cybersecurity and passwords

It would seem from this that if a company follows good practices for setting up their password database it would be extremely difficult if not impossible for a hacker to make any use of it. Yes, if a company does everything right, including encryption design, server security, AND employee vetting, ...
by lotusflower
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy bulk/junk silver coins? It's not what you think.
Replies: 56
Views: 4939

Re: Where to buy bulk/junk silver coins? It's not what you think.

Right, either federal authorities step in within 72 hours and make things manageable, or else it's all about how much ammo you have stockpiled. I don't think there's much in between. I don''t have any weapons or ammo in my kits, just 72 hours worth of supplies including some paper money.
by lotusflower
Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cybersecurity and passwords
Replies: 161
Views: 11544

Re: Cybersecurity and passwords

But this is confusing me - some sites suggest using passphrases such as preachy glutton legislate shorter monsoon author while other sites say to never use actual words. Passphrases are a great way to get the character count up, but where they become a problem is if they reveal a system. We’re not ...
by lotusflower
Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Player won’t recognize compact disc
Replies: 13
Views: 1093

Re: Player won’t recognize compact disc

Thanks for everyone’s replies. Don’t know the age of the player- perhaps 5 years. My car is 2018. Discs are NOT RW. Just garden variety 10 compact Disc Set of audio books from a major publisher (penguin audio books) of a NYT best seller (where the crawdads sing). No mention in description or on box...
by lotusflower
Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cybersecurity and passwords
Replies: 161
Views: 11544

Re: Cybersecurity and passwords

I have a general question about passwords. To my understanding, password length is the most important factor but of course many sites require you to use a combination of lower and upper case, numbers and symbols. Why is that so? As a hacker doesn't know beforehand that you are only using letters, h...
by lotusflower
Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get out cash
Replies: 52
Views: 4393

Re: How to get out cash

All the Bank of America machines where I live let you choose any mix of 10s, 20s, or 100s.
by lotusflower
Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to send form with personal info securely?
Replies: 13
Views: 975

Re: How to send form with personal info securely?

Fax or encrypted pdf. Use a passcode that they should know like SSN or their fax number. Similar to this but just scan the form and put it into an encrypted zip file with a passphrase of your choosing. Share the passphrase with them via phone or text. It's not going to work. HR doesn't see this as ...
by lotusflower
Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cybersecurity and passwords
Replies: 161
Views: 11544

Re: Cybersecurity and passwords

What specific attack does this guard against? This is key. Even though it's wise to consider all possible forms of attack, it's probably best to focus your energy on the most common ones. For example it's much more likely that your password will be phished by a fake (but real-looking) web site than...
by lotusflower
Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay Down Mortgage? Is Interest Really 4%
Replies: 31
Views: 4496

Re: Pay Down Mortgage? Is Interest Really 4%

Another way to think about it is that you are renting the money that your house costs. Since you don't have the $168k that the house costs, you have to rent the money. Renting $168,000 costs you about $6700 a year; that's just what it costs to rent that kind of money. If you pay back $17k over 5 yea...
by lotusflower
Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Business credit card rules?
Replies: 27
Views: 2017

Re: Business credit card rules?

When I had a card, I think it did stuff like extend rental car CDW to any employee that drove a rental car. So if they found you were not using the card for business and then there was a rental car claim, they might weasel out of it. Anything where you might make some kind of claim where they have t...
by lotusflower
Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Business credit card rules?
Replies: 27
Views: 2017

Re: Business credit card rules?

And to remind others, I’m only asking about chargers on this card which aren’t directly linked to my business. I wouldn’t use any of those charges as tax deductions. Sorry to keep digressing, but when I first started a business 25 years ago, My accountant strongly urged me to use separate cards for...
by lotusflower
Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Business credit card rules?
Replies: 27
Views: 2017

Re: Business credit card rules?

If you file a Schedule C for business income, and you plan to write off your expenses it is just SO much easier to tally that up if you have a credit card that you only use for business and you don't mix your personal and business expenses on any one card. As others said the CC issuer could not care...
by lotusflower
Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excel Formula Cannot Figure Out
Replies: 28
Views: 1730

Re: Excel Formula Cannot Figure Out

This took would only be for HR for PTO time. They spend what I consider too much money on a program to track PTO when the program has tons of features we will never use. It also may just be easier to look into purchasing something a lot cheaper to do this but I am hands on and want to see if I can ...
by lotusflower
Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excel Formula Cannot Figure Out
Replies: 28
Views: 1730

Re: Excel Formula Cannot Figure Out

I am trying to make an excel spreadsheet that can track PTO. You are correct on me having my numbers incorrect. Sorry! year 1-end of 2 is 128 beginning of year 3 to end of year 7 is 168 beginning of year 8 to end of year 11 is 208 beginning of year 12 to forever is 248 If a person joins in October ...
by lotusflower
Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excel Formula Cannot Figure Out
Replies: 28
Views: 1730

Re: Excel Formula Cannot Figure Out

Wish I worked at your company, 4380 hours is a lot of PTO! You can nest logical IFs, but personally I think complicated Excel formulas are a big problem with Excel, and using a complicated formula for anything related to HR and comp puts a business at risk. Especially when you start copying formulas...
by lotusflower
Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to turn a job offer into a consulting arrangement?
Replies: 10
Views: 1320

Re: How to turn a job offer into a consulting arrangement?

I'm an engineer and this is not really my world, but it seems like you have a marketing problem but you're treating it like a sales problem. There's no point in a sales pitch if the customer doesn't even understand the product you are trying to sell or why they should want it. You need some kind of ...
by lotusflower
Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best paper notebooks for workplace notes
Replies: 21
Views: 1761

Re: Best paper notebooks for workplace notes

I have been an engineer for a long time and have used many of the products already mentioned, including patent-quality hardbound notebooks. I would only recommend those if you really expect to be creating patentable IP. My long-time favorite is a a steno pad, (6"x9"). I prefer quadrille ruled (graph...
by lotusflower
Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: We talk about AA to sleep at night. What about the opposite, chasing performance?
Replies: 18
Views: 1746

Re: We talk about AA to sleep at night. What about the opposite, chasing performance?

I guess I don't understand the question. Is the impulse to chase performance keeping you up at night or is the fear of missing out keeping you up at night, or is it something else? Chasing performance occasionally works, but eventually doesn't. Sometimes you get lucky in Vegas but that has very litt...
by lotusflower
Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we refinance to a 10 or 15 year mortgage?
Replies: 31
Views: 3265

Re: Should we refinance to a 10 or 15 year mortgage?

Backing up a step, mortgage interest is simpler than many people think. Every month, your interest payment is just your interest rate times your remaning principal balance on that day (usually the first of the month), divided by 12 (annual rate, monthly payments). The slightly complicated part is th...
by lotusflower
Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why I love banks
Replies: 79
Views: 10346

Re: Why I love banks

My pet peeve is "interest-bearing checking" accounts, where the interest is invariably less than 0.1% nowadays. So every month I have to enter a transaction of somewhere around eight cents. It's not even worth the trouble to bother with those kinds of repeat transactions.
by lotusflower
Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 25 years old no debt portfolio - first timer!
Replies: 5
Views: 563

Re: 25 years old no debt portfolio - first timer!

Hi dmart, welcome to the forum and congratulations for being free of debt at a young age, I hope you can stay that way. Can you explain why you want to focus your investments in a particular market sector (semiconductors and medical devices)? I don't think you will find much support for that here th...
by lotusflower
Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you replace this laptop?
Replies: 30
Views: 2444

Re: Would you replace this laptop?

IIRC my T410 had wifi but no bluetooth. I would replace it based on the weight which really matters a lot. Try to get a laptop under 4 lbs, under 3 if you can afford it. Definitely i5/i7 not atom processor, and as much RAM and Disk as you can afford.
by lotusflower
Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wheres best place park emergency funds these days?
Replies: 47
Views: 6180

Re: Wheres best place park emergency funds these days?

I keep a good portion of my fund in 12 CapitalOne360 CDs, laddered by one per month. This earns 2.1% and I keep enough in there for mortgage and property tax, so I have 12 months of housing payments ready. That would take a lot of the pressure off of most emergencies. Then I keep some more in CO360 ...
by lotusflower
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to ensure USPS mailed tax return makes it to IRS
Replies: 63
Views: 6211

Re: Best way to ensure USPS mailed tax return makes it to IRS

There are already a lot of posts here, but I just went through the "lost mail scenario" so I think this will help people. ... Anyway, some mailed forms and additional phone calls later, I did get my proof of mailing approved but it was a crapshoot and I got lucky. I've learned my lesson, and going ...
by lotusflower
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Marijuana & Term Life?
Replies: 15
Views: 2068

Re: Medical Marijuana & Term Life?

I recently applied for term life and my broker said that admitting legal marijuana usage would raise the rates. If you have legal purchases that are documentable I would recommend disclosing that. However I would note that if you claim not to use it and then start in the future, I don't see how that...
by lotusflower
Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock market index investing - problem of induction?
Replies: 41
Views: 4052

Re: Stock market index investing - problem of induction?

The fallacy hidden in the OP's argument is that the would be a need to outperform the market if the market itself did not perform well. However over lifetime-scale periods ~40 years, the market and inflation should be correlated. There simply isn't any need to earn 6% CAGR if inflation falls to zero...
by lotusflower
Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Republic Bank doesn’t have physical coins
Replies: 76
Views: 5762

Re: First Republic Bank doesn’t have physical coins

Over the years, in doing balancing and auditing, I have often found that pennies are your friend! For example, a balancing discrepancy of, say, $0.03 - could actually be an error of $99,97 in one direction and three cents in another. Slightly off topic - I believe the US should: 1. Eliminate the pe...
by lotusflower
Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to learn to communicate better as a leader?
Replies: 13
Views: 1499

Re: How to learn to communicate better as a leader?

Praise in public
Criticize in private
by lotusflower
Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Republic Bank doesn’t have physical coins
Replies: 76
Views: 5762

Re: First Republic Bank doesn’t have physical coins

Over the years, in doing balancing and auditing, I have often found that pennies are your friend! For example, a balancing discrepancy of, say, $0.03 - could actually be an error of $99,97 in one direction and three cents in another. Slightly off topic - I believe the US should: 1. Eliminate the pe...
by lotusflower
Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting an abnormally large paycheck - do I need to do anything tax withholding wise?
Replies: 15
Views: 2137

Re: Getting an abnormally large paycheck - do I need to do anything tax withholding wise?

You need to review the safe harbor rules. https://wallethacks.com/estimated-taxes-due-dates-safe-harbor-rules/#What-is-the-Safe-Harbor-Rule That's pretty complex, however I also realized that's for non-traditional W2 people. I'm a traditional W2 employee. That's what the blog says, but it's just a ...
by lotusflower
Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Key Ring
Replies: 11
Views: 1612

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: 3628

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: 10154

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: 502

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...