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FI Weekly – February 22, 2022: Advanced Online Security, Wordle Alternatives

More Advanced Online Security

In the November 30th newsletter I included 8 simple tips for online security which I think will put you ahead of 95% of people in terms of online safety.

But as Jonathan recently spoke about on the podcast, those are certainly not enough, as he was a victim of a ransomware attack that went through the router controlling his home network.

A friend of mine is a cybersecurity expert and he was quite impressed with Jonathan’s explanation of how we should all “block port forwarding in the router for UPnP (Universal Plug and Play)” and he sent me this article from Wired with more information on how we can all secure our Wi-fi routers.

This is an easy fix that can go a long way towards safeguarding your home network.

Wordle…and Much More

At this point you’ve almost certainly heard of the viral sensation Wordle, which is a combination word game and logic puzzle.  It’s genuinely a lot of fun and usually takes just a few minutes, so give it a try.

I wanted to pass along some other similar games that my family has gotten into recently that you may not have heard of that are every bit as fun as Wordle.

All four of us try to complete them on our own devices every morning before the girls go to school, which has turned into a fun daily gaming affair:

  • Mathler: Solve a hidden math equation in six guesses
  • Hard Mathler: Solve an even more complex math equation in six guesses.  This one is my favorite by a considerable distance!
  • Quordle: Simultaneously solve four Wordles – this one is fun and challenging.
  • Wordle2: Find a 6-letter word (instead of the standard 5 letter word) in six guesses
  • Semantle: Only Laura is brave enough in our family to take on this game, where you try to guess a secret word out of the entire English language, any length and no information about whether the letters you’ve entered are correct. The feedback on every guess tells you how “semantically similar” your guess is to the secret word and you try to just keep getting closer until you hit the secret word.  Enjoy but don’t blame me for any stress!

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Leila said, “Long time listener and reader, but I never sent in my 1% better. I have one I really want to share. I joined the TalentStacker program in March 2021 after listening to Anita’s story. My journey had a few hiccups, but I finally landed a job in the Salesforce ecosystem. I’ll be fully remote and I get a 401k with a 6% match (100%)!! Vested immediately!! My previous job didn’t offer a 401k, so this was a huge priority for me. I’m beyond excited and proud to be part of the “Great Reshuffle.”
  • Aaron said, “My 1% this week is that I taught a group of co-workers some of the Pillars of FI. I explained to them concepts on how to work towards getting debt free, the difference between our 401k and 457b savings plans, the 4% Rule, and how to access our PCRA to give them more options to invest in, specifically low-cost index funds. Since then, I have had several of them ask me about tax optimization, increasing their retirement contributions, and looking into Custodial IRA accounts for their children.”
  • Lily said, “My 1% better is making the meals we would have had out for Valentine’s Day at home. We both love breakfast food and with good pans making omelettes is easy. Easily $40 saved on breakfast alone and no remorse that could have happened if the meal was subpar eating out.”
  • Bill said, “My 1% better this week is I started to reach out to family I have lost connection with just to say hi and I was thinking about them. As a result, I met up with my uncle and we met up for coffee and had great conversation on a deep level. It was nice to see a side of him I never had.”
  • Ashley said, “My husband is an employer in a small business that has used Axa Equitable for about 10 years. I finally got the courage to talk to his boss about moving all of our accounts to Vanguard and was shot down the first time. I met with a Vanguard consultant on my own and, given some specific information about our company plan, he was able make a chart showing exactly what our company was paying Equitable in fees (spoiler alert: It was over 200K/year). After I showed our boss the details, they finally agreed to move our accounts to Vanguard. We moved our IRAs to Vanguard a few years ago, and now 100% of our retirement accounts are in Vanguard. Saving 50K in fees each year, this could easily be a million dollar net higher worth in our life time. Thanks so much for all you do! The Fire is spreading!”
  • Charlie said, “My 1% this week was passing my professional engineering exam. This professional license will give me more credibility as an engineer, and options in my career. This was always something I wanted to do, but I really do need to thank ChooseFI for the motivation and inspiration to take action. I used a number of tips and strategies highlighted on your show in preparation for the test. I developed a daily habit (Atomic Habits) of studying at least one hour a day in a quiet comfortable place (deep work). I even tracked my progress with a big red X on my calendar. After +300hrs of preparation, the 8hr test was a piece of cake!”
  • Jen said, “My 1% better is that I did my taxes for 2021 and ended up with a $3 federal refund and owing $21 to state. This is the closest I’ve ever been to zero since I started really paying attention to withholdings on my W4s and refund amounts. Just need to adjust my W4s now for 2022 since I’m also expecting a raise this year. Maybe I’ll get even closer next tax season!”

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