Search found 199 matches

by scottyja
Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stand Up Desk
Replies: 29
Views: 1454

Re: Stand Up Desk

They say sitting more than a few hours a day is bad for your health. A study showed that even vigorous exercise did not overcome the negative affect that sitting has on heart and circulatory health. Interesting article I read today. I think science is finding it difficult to measure the real-world ...
by scottyja
Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stand Up Desk
Replies: 29
Views: 1454

Re: Stand Up Desk

Bad back, bad neck, knees, etc. Tried a stand up desk (feet hurt after awhile) Mine was a result of a back injury, too. My back doctor recommended the standup desk and even wrote a prescription for it, which my boss got a chuckle out of. My feet would get sore initially, but after a couple of weeks...
by scottyja
Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stand Up Desk
Replies: 29
Views: 1454

Re: Stand Up Desk

I'm using my Veridesk right now and really like it. Quality of the product is fine and raising/lowering is very simple. I try to stand all day unless I'm talking to someone else in the office, then I sit, so I'm adjusting it 10-20 times a day. I've used it regularly for about 9 months.
by scottyja
Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: -$280k Net Worth Has Me Up At Night
Replies: 68
Views: 8791

Re: -$280k Net Worth Has Me Up At Night

+1, sell the low profit property and use the money to pay off the high interest student loans. Most BH works thru all kinds of ways just to gain a .5% on investment and you are paying some 6%+ interest? Would this depend on where they are with the amortization schedule? They're not earning a ton of...
by scottyja
Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Silly math question [Percentage gain]
Replies: 10
Views: 883

Re: Silly math question

The goal is subjective, not mathematical. So it is not a math question at all. You could say perhaps that you exceeded your goal by more than twice what you expected. But to try to be mathematically precise in a subjective goal is not logical. I'm not following you - the goal is to gain 0.5 units a...
by scottyja
Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Silly math question [Percentage gain]
Replies: 10
Views: 883

Re: Silly math question

FreemanB wrote:The original and final value don't matter, only the increases. If .5 = 100%, then 1.08 = 216%. The math is (.5/1) = (1.08/x) -> .5x=(1.08 * 1) -> .5x = 1.08 -> x = 1.08/.5 -> x = 2.16 or 216%.


*whew* - always good to be validated every now and then. :)
by scottyja
Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Silly math question [Percentage gain]
Replies: 10
Views: 883

Re: Silly math question

I'd say if your goal was to gain 0.5 units, and you gained 1.08 units, then you acheived 216% of your goal (1.08/.5=2.16). Or you could say (0.5/100 = 1.08/x) => x=216.

Others agree?
by scottyja
Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit cards vs. Cash
Replies: 123
Views: 6353

Re: Credit cards vs. Cash

I think people spend less with cash because the whole process is such a pain. I tried it very, very briefly and did not enjoy it. Some of the advantages of using credit cards: 1. Security and peace of mind - I hated having lots of cash in my wallet. I was constantly scared of losing it. If my wallet...
by scottyja
Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spring break trip ideas, mid-March, family of 5 (3 teen/tweens)
Replies: 23
Views: 1917

Re: Spring break trip ideas, mid-March, family of 5 (3 teen/tweens)

We took our family of three boys twice on Spring break. Once to Arches NP when they were pretty young and then when high school age to Vegas/Zion/Grand Canyon. Weather was nice for hiking by later March. These are all beautiful areas, especially in the Spring. Just know that you can get great late-...
by scottyja
Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 35
Views: 4308

Re: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money

I was able to get TurboTax to do it correctly, but I had to manually override some values which caused TT to say it no longer guaranteed the return was accurate. I ended up hiring an accountant to do the tax return and he came up with similar numbers, but I had the piece of mind it was done correctl...
by scottyja
Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building Forever House - Can we afford it? Should We?
Replies: 20
Views: 1850

Re: Building Forever House - Can we afford it? Should We?

I have a sister that's in her fourth "forever home". I say go for it if you can afford it, which is looks like you can, but don't be surprised when life throws you a curveball! Forever is a long time and often what you want right now will be vastly different in 10, 15 or 20 years, and that...
by scottyja
Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NC 401(k) Plan - Brunswick County. Enrolled in Goalmaker investment portfolio (aggressive)
Replies: 37
Views: 1559

Re: My employer only matches 5% of my salary in my company 401k

I realize I'm nit-picking, but I don't view this as free-money. It's part of the employee's overall compensation, it's just a portion that the employee can choose not to take advantage of. I don't view it any different from my salary or my health benefits. But I do see the point that it's free in th...
by scottyja
Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NC 401(k) Plan - Brunswick County. Enrolled in Goalmaker investment portfolio (aggressive)
Replies: 37
Views: 1559

Re: My employer only matches 5% of my salary in my company 401k

That seems pretty standard with other companies I've seen. My company does 4% match on a 5% contribution, but I also have a pension on top of that. Regardless, I would always take advantage of the matching, even if the amount is small - it's not "free money", but it's certainly part of you...
by scottyja
Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience replacing resin in water softener?
Replies: 7
Views: 927

Re: Experience replacing resin in water softener?

Question: Is there a way to test the hot water to determine if it's no longer soft or is it just a "gut feel" thing? There are only two persons in the house and the softener runs 2x per week. There are some easy, do-at-home tests to see if you have hard water, but if you want semi-accurat...
by scottyja
Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience replacing resin in water softener?
Replies: 7
Views: 927

Re: Experience replacing resin in water softener?

Messy is right! I appreciate the feedback. It was definitely messy, but it was also a relatively painless project and saved me a couple hundred dollars. The hardest part was getting the valve head off, which took two people (one to just hold the tank while the other got the head to unscrew). The res...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience replacing resin in water softener?
Replies: 7
Views: 927

Experience replacing resin in water softener?

Anyone here have personal experience replacing the resin in a water softener? I can buy the materials locally for around $130, but local plumbers are asking $300-$400 for the job. I've seen some youtube videos, and it doesn't look too bad, but would love to hear any "did it, it was easy" o...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: downhill skiing
Replies: 32
Views: 2327

Re: downhill skiing

I think technology improvements in the skis and bindings have made the sport safer and more accessible. I have a neighbor in his mid-80's that skis a couple of times a week all season long.
by scottyja
Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suckered into Marriott Kauai Timeshare Presentation
Replies: 101
Views: 11925

Re: Suckered into Marriott Kauai Timeshare Presentation

I had a friend attend one of these in Mexico. He did his research beforehand and got a list of all the company's properties. He then compiled a very selective bucket list of everywhere he and his wife wanted to visit in their lifetime. He ensured nothing on his top 10 was covered by the company's pr...
by scottyja
Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue
Replies: 100
Views: 7934

Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

I would do this as a teenager - we never vandalized anything and were quiet, as to not get caught, but had a favorite condo complex with a nice hot tub. One night, my friends and I were sitting in the hot tub enjoying ourselves when a spray of ICE COLD water came out of the bushes and down on our he...
by scottyja
Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: synthetic oil changes
Replies: 134
Views: 9560

Re: synthetic oil changes

I change at 50% of the maint minder #, syn oil only. The old oil is recycled so it's not very harmful. I do the oil changes myself (easy peasy). Just curious - if you change (and reset) at 50% for the maintenance minder, how do you know when other service is due? For example, we just hit the 105k m...
by scottyja
Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 Row SUVs - Help Educate Me
Replies: 42
Views: 3641

Re: 3 Row SUVs - Help Educate Me

We're in the same situation, and I found that the 3rd row legroom differs a lot model to model. The Pilot/Highlander was top of our list until we test drove one - I think even an older child would have difficulty sitting in the 3rd row comfortably. We loved the Sequoia, except for the gas mileage. T...
by scottyja
Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ethernet Wired Home - Advice
Replies: 24
Views: 2167

Re: Ethernet Wired Home - Advice

I wish more homes had this. I don't think it's difficult to set up at all. What you want to do is figure out where all of the wires meet - likely a closet or basement area. It's easiest if it's near where you're cable/fiber/DSL internet comes into the home. If it is, all you really need to do is pur...
by scottyja
Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Car for Family of 5?
Replies: 71
Views: 5874

Re: Best Car for Family of 5?

Along the same lines of a highlander, we bought a 4runner with a 3rd row seat as we have 3 kids. With the 3rd row up there is very little cargo space. We have considered putting a cargo rack on top but have not yet. We were thinking the same thing with a Honda Pilot - using a cargo box on top for e...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most efficient way to improve my writing ability?
Replies: 56
Views: 3466

Re: Most efficient way to improve my writing ability?

Jimmy, I found myself in your situation when I enrolled in my master's program. I improved quite a bit, but consider myself firmly in the awful turned passable group Rupert spoke of. I agree with the advice that's been offered, and would add only a few bits. I found it wasn't enough to simply read a...
by scottyja
Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 35
Views: 4308

Re: Sold home, TurboTax thinks we made money

an_asker wrote:PS: OP needs to change the subject - IRS has not made any comments on his issue. It is his/her tax software that is complaining.


I agree - now updated.
by scottyja
Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 35
Views: 4308

Re: Sold home, IRS thinks we made money

The OP is required to use lower of FMV or costs to determine depreciable basis, however, this is different for determining gain or loss. When determining a loss you use the conversion value minus depreciation. When determining gain you use original cost minus depreciation. Using real numbers lets a...
by scottyja
Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 35
Views: 4308

Re: Sold home, IRS thinks we made money

OK, I've re-read everything and I think I have a better handle on what you have all been trying to explain. This document and this site have helped clarify for me. I think I was confusing the adjusted basis used to determine a gain/loss with the basis used to determine depreciation. The way I (now) ...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 35
Views: 4308

Re: Sold home, IRS thinks we made money

First, thank you all for the prompt responses. The consensus seems to be overwhelming that I should (and should have) sought out a CPA/EA. So now the search for a good CPA familiar with this type of situation starts. Since you sold at a loss , your basis in the gain calculation is = to your deprecia...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 35
Views: 4308

Re: Sold home, IRS thinks we made money

Yes, what about the land? The depreciable basis is for the building. The sale price is for the building and land. Did you tell IRS you had a total basis of $200k, of which $50k was the land? Or did you say the depreciable basis was $200k? Those numbers were provided by the property tax statement, I...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 35
Views: 4308

Re: Sold home, IRS thinks we made money

jjface wrote:Quick question - how do you know the IRS is saying it is a gain? Did you file really early and are you under audit already? Or was this just an informal discussion?


I'm going through the process now via TurboTax - I haven't filed anything yet.
by scottyja
Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 35
Views: 4308

Re: Sold home, IRS thinks we made money

Why did you use that basis number? This is the lower of your adjusted basis in the residence at the date of conversion (purchase price plus qualified capital improvements), or the fair market value of the property at the time of conversion. Yes, that's exactly why I used that number. We were consid...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 35
Views: 4308

Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money

I'd appreciate any help on this - it's tax time and I need a sanity check before I send the IRS a big check (numbers changed for simplicity). Wife and I lived in State A in 2005 and bought a house for $350,000 with $100,000 down payment (equity from the condo we sold and moved from). The real estate...
by scottyja
Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Out of Network emergency coverage under ACA... does maximum out of pocket still apply?
Replies: 12
Views: 820

Re: Out of Network emergency coverage under ACA... does maximum out of pocket still apply?

But this doesn't answer the question of whether the costs will be capped by the maximum out of pocket. Generally, no, the out-of-pocket maximums for in-network and out-of-network are separate. For example, if you have a $1000 deductible and $3000 OOP max for in-network, and $2000/$5000 for out-of-n...
by scottyja
Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Out of Network emergency coverage under ACA... does maximum out of pocket still apply?
Replies: 12
Views: 820

Re: Out of Network emergency coverage under ACA... does maximum out of pocket still apply?

Probably not the answer you're looking for, but this is something your plan representatives should be able to answer easily and definitively. I would ask for any policy they state to be in writing. If you're getting the runaround or conflicting information, I would work my way up the chain - ask to ...
by scottyja
Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended Snow Tires
Replies: 42
Views: 3534

Re: Recommended Snow Tires

I have Hankook Icebear snow tires on an AWD sedan and I don't like them at all. They seem to do well in fresh snow (2"+), but in ice or a thin layer of snow they seem to do worse than our FWD car with all season tires. I'll likely retire the Hankooks at the end of this season and get Blizzaks. ...
by scottyja
Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Advice - Young Engineer pondering of switching Great Job for more $$
Replies: 25
Views: 2067

Re: Need Advice - Young Engineer pondering of switching Great Job for more $$

Given the cons, I wouldn't switch. You said you have great bosses - have you talked to them about a raise? If you don't fear any sort of repercussion (which you shouldn't), simply say "I've been here 4 years, what can I do to earn more? I've been approached by several other companies offering $...
by scottyja
Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil change - Auto shop or DIY
Replies: 125
Views: 10249

Re: Oil change - Auto shop or DIY

I would ask what kind of oil they're using. I can usually get 5 qts of synthetic oil for $20 and do a full DIY oil change for $27, but the cheapest synthetic oil change I can find locally (with coupons) is about $45. This makes it worth it for me. Some cars are easier to get to the drain plug and fi...
by scottyja
Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 days in Shanghai - what's worth seeing?
Replies: 11
Views: 1555

Re: 2 days in Shanghai - what's worth seeing?

Thanks for all the responses. I had never heard of the water towns - they look really neat. Sounds like it might we worth spending one of the days doing that!
by scottyja
Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 days in Shanghai - what's worth seeing?
Replies: 11
Views: 1555

2 days in Shanghai - what's worth seeing?

My wife and I will be in Shanghai for 2 full days in November. The flight we're on had a layover there, and neither of us have been, so we decided to extend it. We're excited, but not sure what to do. We have some travel guides, but I'd like to hear any first-hand experiences - what to avoid, what's...
by scottyja
Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vacation home. Can we afford it?
Replies: 41
Views: 5416

Re: Vacation home. Can we afford it?

We were looking at something very similar and eventually decided against it - at least for now. The suggestion to look at the smaller ski areas is a good one. The areas we were looking at had HOA fees ranging from $400-$800 per month. The realtor told us it's done specifically to discourage long ter...
by scottyja
Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newborn Health Insurance Questions
Replies: 21
Views: 3078

Re: Newborn Health Insurance Questions

When I finally got my bills (PPO), the surgery and the hospital bill was billed to my wife. The baby also was billed separately for his own surgery and his hospital stay. Had I known this would have happened, I would have put him under my wife's insurance since their deductible would have been met ...
by scottyja
Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Book for Beginning Auto Maintenance
Replies: 15
Views: 1581

Re: Best Book for Beginning Auto Maintenance

I would start with google and youtube. There are forums specific to many makes/models - you will likely find a video tutorial or a forum post describing the specific thing you're trying to do.
by scottyja
Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I tipped 15% and got a dirty look
Replies: 129
Views: 9150

Re: I tipped 15% and got a dirty look

I've done pizza delivery and personally, I wish we would do away with tipping altogether. Great service should be an expectation, not a pleasant surprise. And if it's not there, the proprietors should, and likely will, lose business. We recently had a family member in the hospital and the hospital s...
by scottyja
Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Music player while exercising
Replies: 32
Views: 2290

Re: Music player while exercising

I'm a fan of the Sansa Clip line of mp3 players. They're cheap and very, very small. Perfect for working out.
by scottyja
Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving from Android to iOS
Replies: 13
Views: 2009

Re: Moving from Android to iOS

Check the fine print on the company deal. They may explain that they reserve the right to look at anything you put on the phone, including personal email. Mine did. I only used it for an occasional personal call (which they paid for as part of the program) but I had my own device for everything els...
by scottyja
Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving from Android to iOS
Replies: 13
Views: 2009

Re: Moving from Android to iOS

Why you would give up your personal phone to get a company one? That seems like a way bigger impact to me. Mostly for the cost and the integration with calendar and mail. The company subsidizes the cost of the device and the plan and make it pretty seamless integrating work apps with the phone. The...
by scottyja
Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving from Android to iOS
Replies: 13
Views: 2009

Moving from Android to iOS

I'm considering moving from Android to iOS. My Nexus 4, which I loved, recently died and I'm looking for a replacement. I ordered a Fire Phone from Amazon, and while I'm getting used to its quirkiness, I don't think it will work out because my company doesn't allow it on the network (no email or cal...
by scottyja
Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New to Golf
Replies: 45
Views: 5705

Re: New to Golf

I played my first round of golf ever with my in laws using a set of old borrowed clubs. I was really bad. It was in good fun and we didn't even keep score. By the end of the round I was hitting shorter shots ok (9 iron). No matter what I was doing though I could not drive at all. My form is horribl...
by scottyja
Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dilemma Selling and Buying House
Replies: 19
Views: 2601

Re: Dilemma Selling and Buying House

I see realtors here offering "buy your next home with me and I'll sell yours for free" deals quite often. Some even offer to move you! We did this years back and I regret it. It motivated the realtor to find me the most expensive house I could afford, and sell my current home as quickly an...
by scottyja
Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car dealer wants me to compensate for underpayment
Replies: 182
Views: 16655

Re: Car dealer wants me to compensate for underpayment

But to answer this question, as I said above the $1500 was a rebate that evidently this transaction was not eligible for. If I'm reading the paper correctly the fact that it was a rebate simplifies the tax situation because I believe I paid sales tax on the price pre-rebate. A couple of people have...

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