Search found 111 matches

by chocolatemuffin
Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: About to close on a home we have overbid on - have cold feet
Replies: 57
Views: 6968

Re: About to close on a home we have overbid on - have cold feet

and never ever, ever, make an offer with zero contingencies - EVER!!! That is like handing some stranger the keys to your fortune - for free!!! :shock: :oops: Looking at it from the seller's perspective - we recently received multiple all-cash zero contingency offers for our property in the Bay Are...
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: About to close on a home we have overbid on - have cold feet
Replies: 57
Views: 6968

Re: About to close on a home we have overbid on - have cold feet

A large, brand new house in a great school district, built on a quarter acre lot, and only goes for $2.3m? That's actually a bargain in the Bay Area. I think the price has already factored in the power line issue. Even older houses in a reasonable school district with 5,000 sq ft lot can go for over...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long term disability insurance
Replies: 8
Views: 803

Re: Long term disability insurance

Have you looked at MetLife? My husband is a year younger and our policy is only $4300 but we pay $900 annually for his. Same elimination period and also to age 65. I got quotes from MetLife, Guardian, and Principal. MetLife costs over $150 per month with all the riders I mentioned before, but only ...
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long term disability insurance
Replies: 8
Views: 803

Re: Long term disability insurance

That sounds like a decent policy. Does the price go up each year with your age? (For some occupations it does.) Perhaps in your case, the price should go down in later years because you would not have as long to collect if you became disabled. Ralph No, the price stays the same. However, the monthl...
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long term disability insurance
Replies: 8
Views: 803

Long term disability insurance

I am trying to purchase long-term disability insurance for myself. The quotes I found cost around $130 to $150 [Updated from previously stated $100 to $120] per month for $5,000 in monthly benefit. Here's some info: - 36-year-old male - Good health, no particular health issues - Software engineer - ...
by chocolatemuffin
Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing insurance
Replies: 3
Views: 368

Purchasing insurance

I'll be quitting my job and starting my own business soon, so I am shopping for insurance now. For health insurance, I'll just get it from the ACA exchange. I also already have life insurance. I am still shopping around for the other types of insurance, and would like to solicit some feedback. A lit...
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy? Quitting my job.
Replies: 95
Views: 13748

Re: Am I crazy? Quitting my job.

Since you are three years away from full retirement, I think you should tough it out. I was in a similar situation around three years ago too. One thing I did that helped me got through these three years was to space out my vacation time. I got four weeks of vacation an year, and I also accumulated ...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep paying the mortgage??
Replies: 67
Views: 6755

Re: Keep paying the mortgage??

My situation a few years ago was similar to yours now. In my case, it was because of an un-permitted addition. During the inspection process, my agent brought in a contractor to see how much work it is to fix up the addition and obtain a permit for it. The contractor told me that the addition was mo...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy and S-corp tax issues
Replies: 8
Views: 720

Re: ACA subsidy and S-corp tax issues

Thanks for the response, Jared. Just want to add that I discussed this topic with my CPA, and our conclusion matches what you said as well (i.e. can claim tax deduction and get premium tax credits on the ACA exchange at the same time).
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy and S-corp tax issues
Replies: 8
Views: 720

Re: ACA subsidy and S-corp tax issues

If the salaries are so low that you will be eligible for subsidies on exchange, are you taking more of the s-corp income as K1 profit or is the revenue itself so low? I think for subsidies calculation purpose, both salaries and K1 profit are treated the same, so that shouldn't make a difference. In...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy and S-corp tax issues
Replies: 8
Views: 720

Re: ACA subsidy and S-corp tax issues

Thanks for the response, Spirit Rider. 2) Both 1 and 2 tax treatments are intended to treat S-Corp owners and Sole Proprietors the same. In neither case can you escape FICA/SE Tax on Health insurance premiums/HSA contributions.. According to this document http://www.irs.gov/irb/2005-04_IRB/ar13.html...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy and S-corp tax issues
Replies: 8
Views: 720

ACA subsidy and S-corp tax issues

My wife and I own a S-corp where we are the only employees. We are planning to purchase health insurance via the ACA exchange. Our income should be low enough to get subsidy. My understanding is that a S-corp can normally handle health insurance in the following ways: 1) The insurance premium can be...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu May 28, 2015 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond portfolio YTM> 3%
Replies: 24
Views: 1594

Re: Bond portfolio YTM> 3%

There are 10-year brokered CD yielding 3%. You can check them out at Fidelity. If you don't mind holding the CD for 10 years, then it's completely safe (FDIC-insured) assuming you stay below the $250k limit per issuer.
by chocolatemuffin
Tue May 26, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Once in a life time trip.
Replies: 121
Views: 7613

Re: Once in a life time trip.

I grew up in HK. When I was around 8, my mom took me back to rural China to visit my grandfather. I remember looking up at the sky one night, and shocked by how beautiful the night sky was. It's one of the happy memories that stuck with me until this day more than 20 years later. If the kids have ha...
by chocolatemuffin
Fri May 22, 2015 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Advice: Follow "Passion" or Follow the Money?
Replies: 73
Views: 5004

Re: Career Advice: Follow "Passion" or Follow the Money?

Some of my friends who also has PhDs in Physics ended up working as quants. Have you thought about that route? You mentioned that you are not a people-person and also have no experience in management consulting, I think quants may be a better fit since it can make good use of your mathematical skills.
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nailed it! $223,199/yr: magic# for making it in SF Bay Area
Replies: 117
Views: 13011

Re: Nailed it! $223,199/yr: magic# for making it in SF Bay A

A few suggestions: 1) Live in San Jose, it's quite a lot cheaper (although a SFH will still likely cost your over $1m). If you make $100k or so, it's probably better to buy a townhouse rather than a SFH. 2) There's no need to go to private school. There are quite a lot of decent school districts in ...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When does a 529 plan make sense to me?
Replies: 194
Views: 10806

Re: Why 529 plan makes any sense??

You are right, for most people 529 plans don't make any sense. But Bogleheads are not most people, they tend to be high income earners and prodigious savers who max out their tax-advantaged space. For them, 529 are an excellent option to increase tax advantaged space and save for their children's e...
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this ethical? [Selling company equipment to be disposed]
Replies: 41
Views: 2450

Re: Is this ethical?

This is how I look at it: - Your friend's company wants to dispose of some old phones. - They tried selling it to a recycling company, but the result does not justify the efforts required. - Your friend's boss instructed him to simply throw away the phones. - Your friend then found a better buyer (i...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: should I stop 401K contributions as I ready to retire?
Replies: 24
Views: 2541

Re: should I stop 401K contributions as I ready to retire?

There's value in contributing to 401K even if your tax rate stays the same. For simplicity, let's assume the tax rate is always 20%, the rate of return is 5% per year, and the investment horizon is 10 years. Case 1: 401k - Each dollar compounds at 5% per year, then 20% tax is paid for the entire amo...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CollegeInvest Stable Value Plus for non-education purpose
Replies: 2
Views: 307

Re: CollegeInvest Stable Value Plus for non-education purpos

Buffetologist wrote:See the following link.

http://www.justanswer.com/law/8azaf-sho ... ments.html


Thanks, Buffetologist. It sounds like opening a 529 account for non-educational purpose is considered fraud. I guess my plan wouldn't work after all.
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CollegeInvest Stable Value Plus for non-education purpose
Replies: 2
Views: 307

CollegeInvest Stable Value Plus for non-education purpose

The CollegeInvest Stable Value Plus 529 plan offers a 3.09% rate of return of 2015 net of all fees. I have some money that I would like to put into safe investment that's relatively liquid. A regular savings account will give less than 1% in interest now, so the 3.09% offered by CollegeInvest seems ...
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating for a specific family
Replies: 43
Views: 3817

Re: Donating for a specific family

It sounds like (at least to me) that the OP just wants to help someone. What I am saying is that instead of designating the money to that particular family, the OP should just designate the money to a love fund if it's available, and give the church the discretion of whom to give the money to, whic...
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating for a specific family
Replies: 43
Views: 3817

Re: Donating for a specific family

...but it sounds like you aren't actually looking to help a particular family anyways... I think the thread title says otherwise. Here's the OP's follow-up: "I went to the church pastor ( I am not a member of the church) and asked if there was a family in town that needed financial help. He sa...
by chocolatemuffin
Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating for a specific family
Replies: 43
Views: 3817

Re: Donating for a specific family

I went to the church pastor ( I am not a member of the church) and asked if there was a family in town that needed financial help. He said yes and I gave him $1500 for that family. The church treasurer advised my donation was not deductible. Does the church have a love fund? If so, you can just don...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate as my "million dollar idea"
Replies: 78
Views: 8251

Re: Real estate as my "million dollar idea"

Comparing a 20 year span: - 30 properties = ~$1M investment, ~$324k/year, ~$6.5M/20 years - Subtract a high amount of $50k/year in taxes and maintenance = ~$5.5M over 20 years in rent income. - Assuming no growth, the properties should still be worth $1M if sold after 20 years, making the initial $...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate as my "million dollar idea"
Replies: 78
Views: 8251

Re: Real estate as my "million dollar idea"

Are there any REIT funds that buys up this kind of property? I would love to invest in a fund that gives a 30% yield (or even just 15%-20% after fees and expenses) each year.
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Increase 401k Contribution Limits through Self Loans
Replies: 12
Views: 910

Re: Increase 401k Contribution Limits through Self Loans

Why loan the money to yourself? You can loan the money in your 401k to someone else (i.e. by buying bonds) and still earn the interest in your 401k.
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Gold and Silver as an Insurance Policy?
Replies: 37
Views: 2277

Re: Gold and Silver as an Insurance Policy?

Barter only works if two parties have what the other needs. If society degenerates to a state of barter, won't there be a need for a new medium of exchange? Gold fills this role well. It does not tarnish. It is hard to produce. It is relatively easy to identify or to validate. It has few practical ...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed May 28, 2014 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre-nup at only $1M networth, do I need it?
Replies: 199
Views: 13745

Re: Pre-nup at only $1M networth, do I need it?

I don't know what to advise you, but for me personally, there are several times in my marriage that I probably would have pursued a divorce if it's easier. I don't know whether it's a blessing or not, but the fact that the escape route is so hideous probably forces me and my wife to work things thro...
by chocolatemuffin
Mon May 26, 2014 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay rent to spouse?
Replies: 16
Views: 2280

Re: Pay rent to spouse?

Does she actually consider it "rent", as in she claims it as income, taxes, and all that? Or, does she have a mortgage on her house and you pay half the mortgage? Sounds like you just split the bills. If you split ownership on the previous home, why is it different this time? Actually, wh...
by chocolatemuffin
Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If a corp is correctly valued, are stock options worth any?
Replies: 17
Views: 1259

Re: If a corp is correctly valued, are stock options worth a

Stock option value has two components. The first component is the intrinsic value, which is basically the true worth of the shares minus the strike price. The second component is the time value - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Option_time_value. I would like to echo another poster's point that start-u...
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Risky investment with a "guaranteed" principal return
Replies: 55
Views: 4063

Re: Risky investment with a "guaranteed" principal return

I look at it as you are investing not in a business, but in your friend and the relationship between you and him. Since he's the one actively managing the business, and that it sounds like he's much more knowledge-able in this business than you are, he has complete control and can screw you over if ...
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Making $175k/year. What do I do with it all?
Replies: 39
Views: 7194

Re: Making $175k/year. What do I do with it all?

You guys have given me a lot to think about regarding going S/C corp or just staying how I am. It's quite standard in my industry to see people going contractor basis or stay employed by a people-farm company... I don't think I'd run into any trouble with the IRS regarding the switch... but I'll ha...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Biggest regrets in your life in financial investment?
Replies: 101
Views: 8802

Re: Biggest regrets in your life in financial investment?

A lot of the previous posts are something like "if I hold on to stock x, then I would have y amount of money by now". I am not sure whether those are "mistakes". I think they are just unlucky.
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay area Public vs Private School
Replies: 66
Views: 11266

Re: Bay area Public vs Private School

There are decent school districts in the Bay Area that are less expensive. You may want to consider Sunnyvale and even part of San Jose. The APIs of the schools are publicly available, so you can do some research to look for the better schools.
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sacrificing career for family
Replies: 40
Views: 4618

Re: Sacrificing career for family

I understand how you feel since myself and a couple of my friends have a similar predicament. At the end of the day, it's something to be decided between you and your family. My only advice is that don't relocate unless your wife fully and wholeheartedly endorses it. I have seen cases where things d...
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CA state capital gains taxes
Replies: 18
Views: 14686

Re: CA state capital gains taxes

Here you go - https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/2013_calif ... ions.shtml.

California does NOT have special tax rate for long-term capital gain.
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would a bank give me a loan for covering living expenses?
Replies: 14
Views: 1162

Re: Would a bank give me a loan for covering living expenses

What kind of tech job are you looking into? It sounds like you are looking for something computer related, but there are still many different areas. Software development? Software QA? Network administrator? Database administrator? Different jobs require very different qualifications to get an entry-...
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin - how might it affect international investing?
Replies: 34
Views: 4009

Re: Bitcoin - how might it affect international investing?

In order for this bitcoin-dominated world to occur, I suspect that there needs to be a phase where value is transferred from national currencies (e.g. US dollar, Euro, Yuan, etc) to bitcoin. That is, the market would put their trust into bitcoin and whatever crowd "backing" it, over the na...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gilroy Hain
Replies: 27
Views: 1513

Re: Gilroy Hain

This is a sad story. I have a friend who recently got laid off despite having stellar performance reviews for close to the 15 years he has spent at the company. Luckily, he's still relatively young and he's able to find a job quickly, although with a pretty big pay cut.
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Job Dilemma
Replies: 21
Views: 1790

Re: New Job Dilemma

Since you have already accepted the offer (even verbally), it would burn some bridges with company A if you renegade on it. I wouldn't do it if it's just because of better money (unless if life-changing type better, which is unlikely), but I may consider it if the job is really a lot better (e.g. do...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Software engineering jobs not paying that much?
Replies: 25
Views: 3576

Re: Software engineering jobs not paying that much?

For Glassdoor data, I think it would be more useful if you search for a particular job that matches your background. For example, if you have 5-10 years of experience in system software development, Software Engineer IV at Cisco makes around $132k for salary + bonus in San Jose, California.
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Software engineering jobs not paying that much?
Replies: 25
Views: 3576

Re: Software engineering jobs not paying that much?

I have worked in the Silicon Valley as a software engineer for about 15 years already. The job does pay reasonably well, but it won't get you rich unless your stock options turn out to be worth millions (that really requires a lot of luck). Actual salary really depends on your skill set. It can go s...
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get a MBA?
Replies: 37
Views: 3408

Re: Should I get a MBA?

Have you considered Berkeley's part-time MBA program? I think if you can manage to get into that marketing position and finish the part-time MBA in three years (assuming you actually excel in both), then you would be in a very good position to jump to a more desirable job (like those consulting posi...
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting indefinitely vs buying a condo?
Replies: 28
Views: 3679

Re: Renting indefinitely vs buying a condo?

Do you plan to have kids? 1-br is fine for just a couple, but it would be tough when you have kids.
by chocolatemuffin
Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Second Bachelor's or terrible idea?
Replies: 49
Views: 5185

Re: Second Bachelor's or terrible idea?

I have worked as a software engineer/manager for over 10 years now. It's true that the pay is relatively good compared to most other jobs, but the work hours and the level of intensity can be quite brutal too. It really depends on the company, but some expect you to work nights and weekends for mont...
by chocolatemuffin
Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for a first (but expensive) home
Replies: 19
Views: 2297

Re: Saving for a first (but expensive) home

Where do you work? If you don't mind to look further south (e.g. San Jose), there are more affordable housing options with very decent school districts (i.e. elementary school API > 900). If your job allows flexible hour (e.g. get to work by 10am, for example), which is common in the Bay Area, the t...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So is a long term bond fund ever good for investing?
Replies: 20
Views: 1806

Re: So is a long term bond fund ever good for investing?

For people who follow the permanent portfolio, I think 25% of their portfolio would be invested in long term treasury bond.
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Refi - Take out 2 mortgages?
Replies: 10
Views: 1374

Re: Mortgage Refi - Take out 2 mortgages?

I did something similar to what you did five years ago to take out two loans so that the first mortgage stays under the conforming loan limit. It also gave me the flexibility to pre-pay the higher rate loan first. One problem I had though was that when I tried to re-finance, the bank holding the sec...

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