Author Topic: How to be a Mustachian in Maryland  (Read 3397 times)

MustacheJJ

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How to be a Mustachian in Maryland
« on: April 16, 2016, 04:39:01 AM »
Hello Mustachians!

I need your help figuring out how much it would cost me to live in Maryland. My employer will likely relocate me in Gaithersburg or Bethesda. I'm not a US citizen so I'm really clueless. Google isn't much of a help either. 😁

By the way, my new salary will probably be around $30/hour (around $3,500 per month net of 30% withholding tax for foreigners - please correct if I'm mistaken).

Any tips on how to be a mustachian in the area will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

MoolahLula

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Re: How to be a Mustachian in Maryland
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2016, 11:09:19 AM »
Roommates.  Libraries.  The usual MMM stuff.

nereo

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Re: How to be a Mustachian in Maryland
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2016, 11:27:47 AM »
Hello Mustachians!

I need your help figuring out how much it would cost me to live in Maryland. My employer will likely relocate me in Gaithersburg or Bethesda. I'm not a US citizen so I'm really clueless. Google isn't much of a help either. 😁

By the way, my new salary will probably be around $30/hour (around $3,500 per month net of 30% withholding tax for foreigners - please correct if I'm mistaken).

Any tips on how to be a mustachian in the area will be greatly appreciated!

Gaithersburg and Bethesda are really nice areas.  Lots to do, good schools, public transit into the city (though they're having problems with that again..).  There's a lot of people flowing in and out of that area (government workers, military). 

My advice is to search for housing as close to work as you can, and or near the Metro's Red line if your work is walking distance from the Metro stop.  Living inside the city can be wicked-expensive (don't try it if your work is in Bethesda).

One great thing about DC is there's a TON of free stuff to do downtown year round.  The museums and zoo are free and offer free classes and seminars. There are free street festivals about every 3 weeks, and in the summer there are often concerns on the Mall in the summer (not a shopping mall - the grassy space between the Capitol and Washington monument).

Much of that area is commuter-suburban sprawl where people drive everywhere, but lately there have been some nicer developments that prioritize cycling and walking, with shops and grocery stores near residential areas. 

The Washingtonian Magazine has a lot of info about various neighborhoods - what's new, what's expensive, what's hip... definitely not mustachian but you can get some ideas from that.  I'm more familiar with the Northern Virginia side but I like that area too.

g'luck!

ETA: http://www.washingtonian.com/
The Washingtonian covers life and leisure in the D.C. area.  It's not mustachian by any stretch but it will talk about free events, places to go, where to live, etc.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2016, 11:37:11 AM by nereo »

bobechs

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Re: How to be a Mustachian in Maryland
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2016, 11:30:15 AM »
It has been so long since I have lived in the metro DC area that any personal knowledge I have would have expired with the Carter administration.

But here are a couple of online resources for you, to investigate further.  I would especially urge you to post your questions on the City-Data forum.

http://livingwage.mit.edu/counties/24031

http://www.city-data.com/city/Bethesda-Maryland.html

http://www.city-data.com/city/Gaithersburg-Maryland.html

http://www.city-data.com/forum/washington-dc-suburbs-maryland/

mozar

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Re: How to be a Mustachian in Maryland
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2016, 02:39:25 PM »
Gaithersburg is cheaper than Bethesda,because its further from DC. You could try living in Gaithersburg if you are relocated to Bethesda. There might be some micro apartments you can look at. 30 an hour is not going to get you far in Bethesda. Can you ask for more money? Off the top of my head it's about 2k for a one bedroom in Bethesda. It will be an effort to find cheaper. You can look at craigslist for group houses.

MustacheJJ

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Re: How to be a Mustachian in Maryland
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2016, 04:40:45 PM »
@nereo - sounds like a lot of fun! Especially the free stuffs you can do there. Thank you so much!

@bobechs - thanks for the links! I'll look them up.

@mozar - there's not much wiggle room with the salary. I'd be lucky if I can get $30/hour.

I was able to find an estimated monthly cost in epi.org (attached). Does $3,452 sound about right?

Housing is at $1,176 - I can probably find a place for $500 (shared apartment/roommates).
Food is at $271.
Transportation is at $475 - I'll definitely bike to work so we can consider this a one time investment.
Healthcare will be free.
Other necessities is at $699.
Taxes is at 30% for foreingers right? Monthly income of $3,500 is already net of taxes.

My estimated expenses is around $1,500. This will give me a savings of $2,000. Looks good enough for me. I'm not being too optimistic right?

Thank you so much everyone!

nereo

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Re: How to be a Mustachian in Maryland
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2016, 05:12:28 PM »

Housing is at $1,176 - I can probably find a place for $500 (shared apartment/roommates).
Food is at $271.
Transportation is at $475 - I'll definitely bike to work so we can consider this a one time investment.
Healthcare will be free.
Other necessities is at $699.
Taxes is at 30% for foreingers right? Monthly income of $3,500 is already net of taxes.


You would be very luck to find a room to rent in that area for $500 (including utilities).  Don't be surprised if you need to shell out $800+.
Regarding your health care - your employer pays for that 100%?  That's also a bit rare - often you will have an employer healthcare plan but you'll still have some monthly cost.
No idea about tax for foreigners. I wasn't aware that taxes were higher for non-citizens.  Where did you hear that?

Let us know how it goes. The DC area can be one of the worst areas for senseless spending (there are SO - MANY families who earn $200k+), but with the capitol nearby there are tons of free activities. G'luck.

bobechs

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Re: How to be a Mustachian in Maryland
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2016, 05:22:10 PM »
The taxation of wage income for foreign workers in the United states is the same as for a citizen.

Exactly what you will pay depends on a lot of factors; principally the number of members in the family.

Here is an estimate of state and federal income tax at the $60,000 p. a. level ($30/hr X 2000 hrs.)

http://neuvoo.com/tax-calculator/Maryland-60000

As you can see, the average rate is about 25%.  It could be lower, depending on your exact situation, bu won't likely be any more.  The marginal rate is ~37% but that is only paid on a portion of income.

If your withholding is higher than required you will get a refund when you file your tax return at the end of the year.

MustacheJJ

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Re: How to be a Mustachian in Maryland
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2016, 06:23:11 PM »
@nereo - my supervisor actually found an apartment last year for $1,500 and there are three of them living in it. I don't think the utilities are included though. I didn't ask her much. Most people aren't as open with discussing their finances. 😁

With regards to healthcare, the premiums will be paid by my employer 100% so no monthly cost but I'm not sure about the deductibles if I'll be hospitalized (very unlikely). I'll have to clarify that part.

As for the tax, generally, nonresident aliens is at 30% for income derived in the US. I've read in a couple of sites like Investopedia.

@bobechs - yes, I've read that in the IRS website that if you've been in the US for 183 days or more. You'll be taxed as a resident.

We haven't really discussed the terms of my assignment yet. By the way, I'm a PMO analyst working for an IT company.

Depending on my actual rate, these will likely be my savings each month.
1. $30/hour - $2,000 (hoping)
2. $25/hour - $1,400 (acceptable)
3. $20/hour - $800 (unacceptable)

They haven't discussed the terms yet so I'm just guessing. Better to be prepared. I'll probably have more specific information next week. I'll let you know how it goes.

Again, thank so much! You guys are wonderful!

Able was I ERE

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Re: How to be a Mustachian in Maryland
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2016, 06:50:42 AM »
How long will you be in the US?  If you're in the country for most of a year, then you become a "resident alien" and are taxed at the same rate US citizens. See https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Substantial-Presence-Test

The references on Investopedia are probably intended for investors not residing in the US.

@nereo - sounds like a lot of fun! Especially the free stuffs you can do there. Thank you so much!

@bobechs - thanks for the links! I'll look them up.

@mozar - there's not much wiggle room with the salary. I'd be lucky if I can get $30/hour.

I was able to find an estimated monthly cost in epi.org (attached). Does $3,452 sound about right?

Housing is at $1,176 - I can probably find a place for $500 (shared apartment/roommates).
Food is at $271.
Transportation is at $475 - I'll definitely bike to work so we can consider this a one time investment.
Healthcare will be free.
Other necessities is at $699.
Taxes is at 30% for foreingers right? Monthly income of $3,500 is already net of taxes.

My estimated expenses is around $1,500. This will give me a savings of $2,000. Looks good enough for me. I'm not being too optimistic right?

Thank you so much everyone!