Search found 145 matches

by chocolatemuffin
Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to fly first class to Hong Kong from San Francisco?
Replies: 14
Views: 1697

Re: Cheapest way to fly first class to Hong Kong from San Francisco?

TravelGeek wrote:
OP - how old is the kid and what's your plan if you get "only" two F seats?


The kid will be 11 by then. If we only get two F seats, then I'll stay behind in economy myself (or me and my wife can switch back and forth if possible).
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to fly first class to Hong Kong from San Francisco?
Replies: 14
Views: 1697

Cheapest way to fly first class to Hong Kong from San Francisco?

We are usually very frugal and always travel economy. We are planning a trip to Hong Kong in the Winter of 2018 (tentatively Dec 23 to Jan 5). We would like to travel first class just to get the experience, and wonder if there's a way to use air miles to lower the cost. A few notes: - Unfortunately,...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed May 03, 2017 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a "share" of a house
Replies: 47
Views: 3513

Re: Buying a "share" of a house

If you bought a "share" of the house, does that mean you are going to pay a portion of the property tax going forward? House maintenance? Insurance? Are they going to start paying you rent for your share of the house? My feeling is that this is way too complicated, and getting lawyers invo...
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My son wants to move to Hong Kong
Replies: 35
Views: 5122

Re: My son wants to move to Hong Kong

As others have mentioned, legal requirements (e.g. visa) information is easy to find online. I immigrated to US from HK, so let me add my 2 cents here: - What does he plan to do in HK? What skills does he have? - Does he have a college degree? Credentials is very important in HK. - Where does he pla...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett’s bets: how dumb are hedge fund managers?
Replies: 50
Views: 5005

Re: Buffett’s bets: how dumb are hedge fund managers?

I'm amazed Warren could pull off such an impressive feat without a well diversified portfolio of international, emerging markets, bonds, etc. Just a simple S&P 500 index fund. I wonder whether Warren Buffet would still win if he invests in international, emerging, and bonds and well. I think th...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%
Replies: 247
Views: 34016

Re: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%

There doesn't seem to be a maximum limit to how much you can put into the CD?
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is business worth?
Replies: 49
Views: 5115

Re: How much is business worth?

Not quite sure how the remaining depreciation of assets plays into it but: Sell for 100K I assume we pay some amount of Tax on that 100k assume 20% that nets us 80k after tax. We still owe 90k on the loan 90-80 = -10k for selling the business. What am I missing? If nothing then this gets me back to...
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is business worth?
Replies: 49
Views: 5115

Re: How much is business worth?

OP, I think you need to look at this from the buyer's perspective. It doesn't really matter how much it costs to start up the business. If it costs $1 million to start up a business that makes $0, it doesn't mean the business is worth $1 million dollar, it just means it's a very bad business. I thin...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone try YourMechanic ?
Replies: 29
Views: 4124

Re: Anyone try YourMechanic ?

My car wouldn't start, but I don't really know what's wrong with it. In this case, can we have them come over to take a look first?
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Line of Credit to My Mother
Replies: 22
Views: 1866

Re: Line of Credit to My Mother

Another factor to consider is that you would need to pay taxes on the interest income.
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fun Vacations v. Time with Family
Replies: 38
Views: 4411

Re: Fun Vacations v. Time with Family

For me personally, I also think travel is overrated. Is there somewhere you really want to go? Traveling can be fun, but don't do it just for the sake of doing it, or do it just so you can say you have been to place xyz. I went to Europe in a group tour not long ago. My fellow tourists only seem to ...
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you on Facebook?
Replies: 144
Views: 11457

Re: Are you on Facebook?

I have an account, but I don't really go on it much. I would be interested in important news from friends, like a wedding or a new child, but most of the "news" are people talking about their food and vacation. I think I am the odd one out, but I really don't understand what makes those po...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very tough career choice (ego, startup, San Francisco Bay Area)
Replies: 58
Views: 7275

Re: Very tough career choice (ego, startup, San Francisco Bay Area)

My guess is that they want to bring in someone with more business experience to communicate with the investors and customers, which is not an unreasonable thing to do depending on the stage of the startup. What is your career goal? Where do you see yourself 5 - 10 years from now? If management is yo...
by chocolatemuffin
Sat May 14, 2016 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you move after your home has appreciated by $500K?
Replies: 38
Views: 4430

Re: Do you move after your home has appreciated by $500K?

In some states (e.g. California), the property tax is tied to the original purchase price, so it provides another incentive NOT to move.
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Form 5305-B
Replies: 1
Views: 322

Form 5305-B

I am establishing a HSA account with HSA Bank. I notice that for Saturna HSA, it asks the applicants to fill out a form 5305-B. However, for HSA Bank, I asked about the form but they said it's not required.

Does anyone know when is form 5305-B needed?

Thanks.
by chocolatemuffin
Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: switch to Bank of America HSA
Replies: 23
Views: 3224

Re: switch to Bank of America HSA

Interesting! How long ago did you do this? And did this interchange take place before or after you opened a HSA at BOA. I asked earlier this week before I proceeded with opening an account. Today I opened the account and will be doing a trustee to trustee rollover in. I also have platinum honors at...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Clarification on wash sale
Replies: 1
Views: 158

Clarification on wash sale

I am planning to do some tax loss harvesting, but I'd like to make sure it's not a wash sale. Let's say in the following case: - Bought 100 shares of ABC on Jan 1. - Bought another 100 shares of ABC on July 1. - Sell 150 shares of ABC on July 5. 100 of those shares from the July 1 lot, and the remai...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accumulating air miles for trip to Vancouver
Replies: 2
Views: 456

Accumulating air miles for trip to Vancouver

I am planning a trip to Vancouver (from San Francisco) in the 2nd half of 2016 for a family of 3. I know of quite a few credit card and other offers that award 50k miles. Air tickets have become quite expensive in recent years, so I wonder whether I can accumulate enough miles to get a free trip to ...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confirm how 0% cap gains bracket works
Replies: 20
Views: 2209

Re: Confirm how 0% cap gains bracket works

She may get a step-up in cost basis for the inheritance in stock. It's something you may want to look into.
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get my house reassessed?
Replies: 10
Views: 826

Re: Should I get my house reassessed?

Howdy all, My wife and I have applied for HELOC to consolidate a bunch of debt and shred up the credit cards, we are going more and more cash only thanks to you guys/gals, and a bank that got my wife to realize how bad debt is. So with that in mind, we just had our house assessed for the HELOC and ...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:06 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Mobile-friendly version of the bogleheads website
Replies: 7
Views: 2148

Re: Mobile-friendly version of the bogleheads website

I was referring to the bogleheads homepage, since that's where I usually start my browsing. Thanks for the info. It's good to know that it has been at least considered.
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:52 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Mobile-friendly version of the bogleheads website
Replies: 7
Views: 2148

Mobile-friendly version of the bogleheads website

Any plan to make the bogleheads website mobile-friendly? I use my cell phone to browse the bogleheads forum sometimes, but it's really hard to read. With the world increasingly mobile, having a mobile friendly website will really help.
by chocolatemuffin
Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax efficiency of momentum ETF
Replies: 2
Views: 320

Tax efficiency of momentum ETF

I am considering to put some money into the momentum ETF - MTUM (iShares MSCI USA Momentum Factor). I notice that it only has a dividend rate of 1.25%. Does it make sense to own it in a taxable account? It seems to be more tax efficient than even total stock market ETF like VTI, which has a dividend...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do
Replies: 87
Views: 10237

Re: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do

Keenobserver, not knowing OP, I give him the benefit of the doubt regarding his parents' situation. I don't see it as "flat out refuse to help them" as I see him not wanting to subsidize unwise choices. Sir the OP admits the parents are actually in need, and has refused due to his own lon...
by chocolatemuffin
Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help With Job Offer in Bay Area
Replies: 27
Views: 3554

Re: Help With Job Offer in Bay Area

I have been working in the Bay Area as an engineer/manager for 15 years, including two start-ups. I think the offer given to you is very fair. I won't recommend negotiating "too hard" (e.g. give it to me or I'll walk) if you like this job. I think the equity isn't bad as well, given that t...
by chocolatemuffin
Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are luxury watches good investments?
Replies: 45
Views: 4029

Are luxury watches good investments?

I recently went on a trip to Europe with a tour group. There are stops at Sweden where they sell luxury watches worth thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. I didn't buy any, but many other people in the tour did. The tour guide insisted that luxury watches are great investments. Since he g...
by chocolatemuffin
Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Will this cause Backdoor Pro-Rata rule?
Replies: 19
Views: 1164

Re: Will this cause Backdoor Pro-Rata rule?

Ahh I see that I was looking at line 2. I suppose it wouldn't be to messy if I contribute a Non-Deductible Traditional IRA in 2015 and leave it in Fidelity Cash / Money Market so I don't have much earnings. I then contribute another non-deductible $ 5,500 in January 2016. in 2016 I convert all $ 11...
by chocolatemuffin
Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Will this cause Backdoor Pro-Rata rule?
Replies: 19
Views: 1164

Re: Will this cause Backdoor Pro-Rata rule?

Take a look at line 6 of form 8606. It asks for the value of your IRA on December 31st, which is used to calculate the pro-ration.
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to understand solo 401k contribution limit
Replies: 19
Views: 1943

Re: Trying to understand solo 401k contribution limit

No, you do not need $58.5K. You only need the $53K that ERISA Stone referred to. IRA contributions only require sufficient taxable income for the contributions. So you would only need $5.5K in taxable income. In your case you would have $53K (compensation ) - $13.25K (25% employer pre-tax contribut...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to understand solo 401k contribution limit
Replies: 19
Views: 1943

Re: Trying to understand solo 401k contribution limit

I'd like to clarify one more thing. Suppose my W2 salary is only $40k. If I contribute $18k to employee deferral 401k, then I am left with $22k. 25% of $40k is $10k in profit sharing, but this $10k does not come out of the $40k since the profit sharing is not part of the W2 salary. Does this mean I...
by chocolatemuffin
Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to understand solo 401k contribution limit
Replies: 19
Views: 1943

Re: Trying to understand solo 401k contribution limit

I'd like to clarify one more thing. Suppose my W2 salary is only $40k. If I contribute $18k to employee deferral 401k, then I am left with $22k. 25% of $40k is $10k in profit sharing, but this $10k does not come out of the $40k since the profit sharing is not part of the W2 salary. Does this mean I ...
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to understand solo 401k contribution limit
Replies: 19
Views: 1943

Re: Trying to understand solo 401k contribution limit

No, you do not need $58.5K. You only need the $53K that ERISA Stone referred to. IRA contributions only require sufficient taxable income for the contributions. So you would only need $5.5K in taxable income. In your case you would have $53K (compensation ) - $13.25K (25% employer pre-tax contribut...
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to understand solo 401k contribution limit
Replies: 19
Views: 1943

Re: Trying to understand solo 401k contribution limit

So in order to do all of the above contributions, I would need a minimum of $58.5k in total compensation. Is that right?

I am looking into setting up a "custom" plan (see an article from thefinancebuff - http://thefinancebuff.com/after-tax-con ... -401k.html).

Thanks.
by chocolatemuffin
Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to understand solo 401k contribution limit
Replies: 19
Views: 1943

Trying to understand solo 401k contribution limit

I am trying to understand solo 401k contribution limit. Let's assume the followings: - Structured as a S-corp. - W2 salary is $50k. - Plan supports after-tax non-Roth contributions and in-service withdrawal. Can I do the followings: - Contribute $18k in employee salary deferral. - Contribute $12.5k ...
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: 74
Views: 12213

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: Looking at it from the seller's perspective - we recently received multiple all-cash zero contingency offers for our property in the Bay Area. It m...
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: 74
Views: 12213

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: 1153

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: 1153

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: 1153

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: 636

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: 107
Views: 20503

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: 8124

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: 1509

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: 1509

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: 1509

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 m, it seems that HSA contributions can be ex...
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: 1509

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: 1954

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: 9964

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: 74
Views: 6870

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: 16467

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 ...