Search found 193 matches

by Zecht
Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Business Taxes
Replies: 4
Views: 360

Re: Business Taxes

Thanks, is it better to pay the extra for both the business and personal prep, or is it better to do business with a cpa and personal with the normal software?
by Zecht
Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Business Taxes
Replies: 4
Views: 360

Business Taxes

So this is my first year having to do partnership taxes and I'm trying to figure out what the best approach is. I normally do turbo tax, hr block, or something similar but with the new business I'm curious to know what you all think is the appropriate course of action. The business is small (4 peopl...
by Zecht
Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1st time Home-buyer Questions
Replies: 19
Views: 1283

Re: 1st time Home-buyer Questions

I'm not sure I know what that means. Do they mean that they want the buyer to waive the contingency regarding financing? If one is getting financing, the lender is going to do an appraisal, regardless of what the seller wants. I don't see how a seller can dictate what the lender will do but I've on...
by Zecht
Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1st time Home-buyer Questions
Replies: 19
Views: 1283

Re: 1st time Home-buyer Questions

As someone who bought in the area relatively recently, I can tell you that this is typical if you are in any of the desirable, close areas like parts of Falls Church, Alexandria, Arlington, and Tysons. We made something like 2 serious bids (properties we wanted) and 2 throwaway bids (ones we liked b...
by Zecht
Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lease vs Buying a Car
Replies: 84
Views: 6656

Re: Lease vs Buying a Car

So first off, you should probably start reading some of Tom's stuff on Jalopnik so you can have a more informed opinion about it, I always suggest people start here https://jalopnik.com/four-reasons-why-leasing-is-smarter-than-buying-1679962322 There is a whole guide to all the details of leasing in...
by Zecht
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy a house in Nova/DC area?
Replies: 23
Views: 2385

Re: Should I buy a house in Nova/DC area?

While everyone will tell you that buying for a 3 year kick is not a good plan, it really depends where, when, and what the terms are for your overseas assignment. You should look at the individual markets of interest and really consider your long term (5-10 year) plan. The metro area moves very quic...
by Zecht
Mon May 20, 2019 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories
Replies: 223
Views: 15914

Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

I think the cost really varies on what a "reasonable" income is. For example, most FIRE stuff I read is more focused on doing things to push you into a LCOL area, and last on a subsistence budget until the IRA/401k option opens up. There is also the factor that "lavish" is true when you don't have c...
by Zecht
Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Corporation Filings
Replies: 0
Views: 226

Corporation Filings

I am in the midst of assisting a family member in setting up a business, likely an LLC taxed as an S-corp. I'm curious to see what people with very small (1-4 employees) businesses do for bookkeeping and tax filing strategies. Any assistance beyond the standard "hire an expert" (which we likely will...
by Zecht
Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need a degree?
Replies: 73
Views: 4779

Re: Do I need a degree?

This is extremely context dependent and career field dependent. At 41, you should have a good feel for how much higher you want to go in a particular industry. For some industries, particularly those that are tightly associated with veterans or active reservists, you should consider that "or" (x) "y...
by Zecht
Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Seats
Replies: 2
Views: 593

Vehicle Seats

I realize this is pretty off-topic, but I was hoping some bogleheads here had experience with long drives in Recaro (or similar) seats. I'm looking at various vehicles including some BMW 2/3/5 series (used, various years), Ford Focus RS, and similar class of vehicle. One thing I can't really test fo...
by Zecht
Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does pharmacy school ranking matter?
Replies: 42
Views: 6630

Re: Does pharmacy school ranking matter?

It matters if he decides to do pharmacology, R&D, or any kind of major academic or economic work within the industry. For retail pharmacists and pharmacy administrators only the pass rates (NAPLEX, etc.) matter.
by Zecht
Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Never had a credit card, should I get one?
Replies: 71
Views: 4495

Re: Never had a credit card, should I get one?

Personally I've found credit cards to be the ideal method to "save" for international travel, hotels, and similar things given the quality of rewards programs and the amount of money I usually spend each month. If you have the income and discipline to only buy and pay for things that you have the in...
by Zecht
Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The wisdom of buying a car that doesn't depreciate (much)
Replies: 36
Views: 10296

Re: The wisdom of buying a car that doesn't depreciate (much)

Personally I am strongly against modern trucks, since SUVs can have more towing capacity in most cases for less cash up to a fairly high inflection point. Do you need a particular power split for 4WD? Is 4L a requirement? If so you don't really have many options outside of Jeep and Land Cruiser. My ...
by Zecht
Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: truck prices
Replies: 37
Views: 4674

Re: truck prices

It is intended as an example as truck prices have dramatically escalated in comparison with SUV prices, rather than a commentary on the magic of depreciation. I chose those two cars because they represented the extremes, a truck that used to be a common choice for work trucks of plumbers, home build...
by Zecht
Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: truck prices
Replies: 37
Views: 4674

Re: truck prices

Trucks are insanely expensive for what you are getting these days, I'd recommend looking at multiple options before settling on a truck. For reference, a used Tacoma on Autotrader is more expensive than the same year Porsche Cayenne Turbo (2012 Tacoma ~$35k, 2012 Cayenne Turbo ~$28k).
by Zecht
Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a Phone Please
Replies: 21
Views: 2065

Re: Recommend a Phone Please

If you're looking for cheap android phones, Huawei, HTC, and OnePlus all produce cost-conscious phones. Take a look at a variety of them to see what you like; note that each compromises from flagship phones in different ways, so it's important to read about each of them to try and figure out what yo...
by Zecht
Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where To Shop For Used Cars?
Replies: 24
Views: 3644

Re: Where To Shop For Used Cars?

You should start with the basics: Autotrader, Truecar, and Carmax. Even more than this, you should be more specific. What kind of car do you want? Do you have a particular preference to luxury vs economy? Here's how I usually follow the logic: Luxury car, but not very reliable -> Carmax, since it co...
by Zecht
Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sort of a new question on college funding
Replies: 15
Views: 1502

Re: Sort of a new question on college funding

Does a person have to have individual income to contribute to a Roth IRA? I was under the impression that these were fungible in permitting contributions up to the limit for those without individual incomes (e.g. disabled persons, children, stay-at-home-parent, etc.). Is this not the case?
by Zecht
Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car: new or CPO
Replies: 15
Views: 1970

Re: Car: new or CPO

Buying new is best for cheap, budget cars (<25k), CPO is best for luxury cars in particular. Many luxury car CPOs include things like unlimited mileage warranties, or other significantly nicer deals than you would think. Also read the forums that cater to your specific car, see what people on there ...
by Zecht
Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your employer pay for continuing education?
Replies: 27
Views: 2815

Re: Does your employer pay for continuing education?

This varies a lot by degree program. It's very common in engineering, the majority of corporate, government, and government contractors have at least tuition reimbursement Masters programs for all engineering disciplines, including engineering management. PhD programs are a lot rarer, but if you can...
by Zecht
Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why does the car dealer say leasing is cheaper than buying?
Replies: 72
Views: 15302

Re: Why does the car dealer say leasing is cheaper than buying?

Ignore a lot of the anecdotal stories out there and look at the hard evidence. I'd recommend reading up on several car blogs, of which my favorite is Jalopnik ( here ). The short version is that it depends, but typically leasing is only for people who 1) Want to drive vehicles that are nicer than th...
by Zecht
Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do reviewers love the Dell XPS 13 but users don't?
Replies: 67
Views: 13246

Re: Why do reviewers love the Dell XPS 13 but users don't?

Hopefully this write up will help clarify some of the reasons for disproportionate review vs. reality situations. Essentially all tech comes with certain failure rates. You have to keep in mind that whenever you buy whole computers (rather than parts to build one) you are buying the least reliable c...
by Zecht
Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fly/Drive to Yellowstone
Replies: 21
Views: 3675

Re: Fly/Drive to Yellowstone

Used to live in the area. Cheapest flights are typically into Salt Lake City, Boise, or Jackson, with Jackson being obviously much closer. If you choose to drive, keep in mind that it's about 3 hours from Salt Lake to Idaho Falls (4 from Boise), and another 3ish to get to West Yellowstone. If you ar...
by Zecht
Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When should I upgrade my wireless router? (RT-N56U)
Replies: 43
Views: 9605

Re: When should I upgrade my wireless router? (RT-N56U)

As a tech-enthusiast, I would recommend the following: 1. Check all your wi-fi devices to see if they are all on 802.11n or if some have 802.11ac compatibility. 2. Determine how much you care about having higher speeds. 3. Do a speed test on your hardline connection. 4. If your speed test results in...
by Zecht
Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Secure alternative to Gmail
Replies: 48
Views: 11694

Re: Secure alternative to Gmail

In addition to all you have seen here, if you want to go the extra paranoid mile, you can get a copy of the TAILS linux distribution. This, along with the suggestions here, will safeguard secure email from a large variety of client-based attacks, as well as provide you with on-hand tools for secure ...
by Zecht
Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Debt vs. Investing Guidelines
Replies: 9
Views: 2203

Re: Debt vs. Investing Guidelines

Thanks for all the responses! Affordability and job security aren't significant worries at the present time, the loan term maintains the same interest rate up to 36 months, and with current cash flow, I could pay for the whole car in about 4-8 months depending on relative aggression.
by Zecht
Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Debt vs. Investing Guidelines
Replies: 9
Views: 2203

Debt vs. Investing Guidelines

In looking for a required used car, I've noticed that used car loan prices are insanely low, (< 1% APR). Normally, my reflex is to dump money into paying off any form of debt so that it can be quickly dealt with, but at APRs below 1%, is it really worth it? Or should I just make a normal payment and...
by Zecht
Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can Garmin or Tom Tom GPS Navigator do this?
Replies: 24
Views: 5172

Re: Can Garmin or Tom Tom GPS Navigator do this?

Any GPS can be modded with custom ROMs, but this takes a lot of technical know-how. If you are really into this, I would suggest reading up on rooting and flashing custom ROMs, firmware, and other details on various websites. To give you a flavor of this, look at what it takes for phones on xda-deve...
by Zecht
Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do people use banks?
Replies: 66
Views: 9997

Re: Why do people use banks?

I've used USAA for the past 8 years, and have only positive things to say about my experience with them, same story with my family. Several friends who have used Ally bank say similar things. There just isn't an advantage to credit unions, particularly in my area. Auto and homeowner loans in this ar...
by Zecht
Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Ear Buds for Running
Replies: 44
Views: 10168

Re: Best Ear Buds for Running

Go with the Anker Soundbuds line, I've found them to be ideal as they aren't adversely affected by heavy sweating and don't have inconvenient cords you're going to accidentally pull out of your ears.
by Zecht
Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much home can/should one buy?
Replies: 144
Views: 17500

Re: How much home can/should one buy?

Keep in mind that getting a non-conventional house in VHCOL areas could be doable through a variety of strategies. -Houseboats or RVs Depending on the situation, this may be a far more affordable option than a conventional house, particularly if you can find reasonably priced utility hookups. -Lot &...
by Zecht
Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: which engineering major for renewables
Replies: 62
Views: 9200

Re: which engineering major for renewables

Glad the summary has been helpful to some. I do want to touch on a very important aspect of engineering that is pretty important to understand. You should know that a great deal of companies have tuition reimbursement programs for nearly any kind of engineer (including engineering management) to obt...
by Zecht
Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: which engineering major for renewables
Replies: 62
Views: 9200

Re: which engineering major for renewables

As an engineer, I'd recommend a few bits of legwork before deciding. There are a few majors to consider, which I'll list by discipline: 1. Ceramic, Materials Ceramic and Material engineers are experts at material science and thermodynamics as most ceramics are chosen for their heat transfer properti...
by Zecht
Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: filtering out smoke
Replies: 29
Views: 4775

Re: filtering out smoke

In general it looks like you're talking about one of these right? Smoke in general can be handled like this or by changing your HVAC intake location. I've also seen people put simple diverters on the intake just to try to avoid the smoke trail. You could also do a positive pressure HEPA system, but ...
by Zecht
Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need a birth certificate?
Replies: 22
Views: 4273

Re: Do I need a birth certificate?

You need a birth certificate when you don't have things like a license and passport. You also need one if you apply for certain kinds of security clearances. Other than that, it's not particularly important if you have multiple other forms of ID. In many cases it is also useful to have a birth certi...
by Zecht
Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Financial Advice and Encouragement
Replies: 13
Views: 1193

Re: Need Financial Advice and Encouragement

A couple of quick questions. Firstly, are there prohibitions on moonlighting, or anything that would negate your PSLF status? With a legal degree, I think there are many options including corporate ethics and consultant positions that could potentially work around your day job. Since you do not curr...
by Zecht
Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debit or Credit card with no fees
Replies: 25
Views: 1794

Re: Debit or Credit card with no fees

Your best bet is to just open a new account under the same user series with your bank. Most "pre-paid debit cards" are scams at worst and predatory at best, so you are much better off doing business with a legitimate bank, and just open a second account. Most favorites like Ally or USAA tend to perm...
by Zecht
Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engineering to Finance (CFA, CFP)
Replies: 34
Views: 4205

Re: Engineering to Finance (CFA, CFP)

You should really think hard about what it is that you really want to do, and how many hours you are willing to put in working in that field. For perspective, consider the cost per time spent. Average investment bankers spend between 70 and 100 hours per week working, and unless major regulations ch...
by Zecht
Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I need career and financial advice
Replies: 36
Views: 3696

Re: I need career and financial advice

I have a BArch (bachelor's of architecture - 172 credit hour professional bachelor's degree). The main thing I like about my job is being able to be in the office half the time and being in front of clients and in the field half the time. How or when would I approach them about some kind of ownersh...
by Zecht
Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I need career and financial advice
Replies: 36
Views: 3696

Re: I need career and financial advice

Is your degree in architectural design or engineering? What is it you typically do and enjoy doing for that type of work? My engineering background is different, but at the core, I've found that looking for other jobs is a great way to stack leverage in your favor to request a raise. If you've alrea...
by Zecht
Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Setting up a Server
Replies: 19
Views: 2774

Re: Setting up a Server

Ok, depending on your level of DIY capabilities, I'd recommend either building your own server/NAS, or buying an off-the-shelf solution from, such as a Synology NAS. My personal favorite solution is Plex for all media needs. It's a very comprehensive solution with a large team backing up a very powe...
by Zecht
Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Setting up a Server
Replies: 19
Views: 2774

Re: Setting up a Server

That all depends on what you need it for. First, a "home server" usually means you want to do things like host a website, run an internet-facing media server, your own cloud server, etc. Alternatively there are options such as Network Attached Storage (NAS) that give you lots of options, services, a...
by Zecht
Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: If i want to invest in gold (metal), what is the best way?
Replies: 128
Views: 17545

Re: If i want to invest in gold (metal), what is the best way?

Most of this depends on preference and priority. Typically, I'd recommend first looking at gold vs silver, platinum, palladium, tellurium, and other rare or precious metals since they all have different options, markets, and varying difficulties turning it into usable currency. For gold, I've found ...
by Zecht
Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Math problem
Replies: 17
Views: 1668

Re: Math problem

You would be losing money at a 5% w/d rate and a 3% interest rate.
by Zecht
Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:22 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: relocation, non-US place of residence and currency risk
Replies: 16
Views: 1669

Re: relocation, non-US place of residence and currency risk

You might also look into international equivalents of ADRs. In domestic US, this was a far less painful way to invest in certain individual corporations for various groups.
by Zecht
Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AA Tracking
Replies: 2
Views: 476

Re: AA Tracking

Thank you! I hadn't seen that thread before, much appreciated.
by Zecht
Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AA Tracking
Replies: 2
Views: 476

AA Tracking

I am curious what tools people prefer to use for asset allocation tracking across their accounts. I'm currently looking for something that would be nicer than just an un-macroed excel sheet, so anything interesting or useful you use would be beneficial. I'm most interested to hear from those that ha...
by Zecht
Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PhD Mechanical Engineer --> Law School?
Replies: 47
Views: 5938

Re: PhD Mechanical Engineer --> Law School?

My background is in a crushingly-heavy regulated field involving nuclear materials, so trust me when I say regulatory burden can always be worse. The few breakthroughs that I really see in actively changing policy are almost all engineer-bred and "championed" by management and gov. reps. Essentially...
by Zecht
Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Savings Rate Question
Replies: 7
Views: 1062

Re: Savings Rate Question

Thanks for the feedback! I already contribute appropriate amounts to maintain the match in my 401k and HSA accounts, and it looks like the consensus is definitely EF once the interest-bearing debt is gone, which is kinda what I was thinking but wasn't exactly sure. Thanks!
by Zecht
Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Savings Rate Question
Replies: 7
Views: 1062

Savings Rate Question

So a bit of perspective in a summary to start: Emergency funds: None currently. Debt: $3,000 interest bearing, $4,000 interest-free. Tax Filing Status: Single Tax Rate: 25% Federal, State unknown State of Residence: ID Age: 29 I currently have an AA of 30% bonds, and 20/50 S&P500 index and my 401k's...