Search found 67 matches

by hoffse
Fri May 22, 2020 5:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax attorney weirdness
Replies: 40
Views: 3222

Re: Tax attorney weirdness

Old-style "tax shelters" don't work anymore (for individuals) because of what are known as the passive loss rules, enacted in 1986. To oversimplify a bit, if you want to get tax-writeoffs from a business venture, you must "materially participate" in the business under a somewhat complex set of rule...
by hoffse
Thu May 21, 2020 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student debt vs investing
Replies: 37
Views: 1978

Re: Student debt vs investing

Double-lawyer household here that also started with about $250k in student loans. My suggestion is to max out your tax-advantaged space first, because it is use it or lose it. Also take advantage of opportunities to refinance your student loans when rates drop. Get you e-fund to a comfortable level....
by hoffse
Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baby on the way & work uncertain, help me assess cash/liquidity
Replies: 21
Views: 1438

Re: Baby on the way & work uncertain, help me assess cash/liquidity

Hard to say. Your big expenses with kids are going to be childcare (either paid care or loss of income if a parent stays home), and possibly insurance if you are not already insured as a family. Family rates are often much higher than single rates. There are also hospital expenses for the delivery, ...
by hoffse
Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PPP Loan ethics
Replies: 56
Views: 3697

Re: PPP Loan ethics

Like others said you are probably out of luck if your loan hasn’t processed by now so the point is moot. The government absolutely will be pursuing bad actors in all of this. In lieu of the PPP loan, I have a friendly banker who provided a business loan outside of SBA on the same terms - 1% interest...
by hoffse
Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion / Private Letter Ruling
Replies: 32
Views: 2898

Re: Roth Conversion / Private Letter Ruling

PLR user fee is 10,000. An average legal cost for preparation and filing may be very close to 10,000 as well. I have not heard of any PLRs approving conversion recharacterizations since these were eliminated 2 years ago. Accordingly, to spend 20k on a PLR appears likely to be a waste of money and t...
by hoffse
Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are your personal expenses down during stay home and shelter?
Replies: 180
Views: 10302

Re: How much have YOU reduced spending during downturns?

Not much yet. March was very expensive. Being stuck at home we are using the opportunity to do a lot of landscaping, and we are installing a play set for my toddler in our backyard. That gets expensive pretty fast, but our yard is going to look great if this lasts much longer! Mail order nurseries h...
by hoffse
Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What have you learned from this situation that you will take action on?
Replies: 158
Views: 14396

Re: What have you learned from this situation that you will take action on?

I have learned that I need some material things to feel secure: plenty of shelf stable food in the pantry, a deep freezer, a thermometer that works, backup bottles of medicine and toiletry products, and lots of extra paper and paint to entertain my toddler. I don’t need extra money to feel secure. I...
by hoffse
Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:00 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: How Is Your Job Being Impacted By The Current Crisis?
Replies: 505
Views: 50834

Re: How Is Your Job Being Impacted By The Current Crisis?

I’m a lawyer married to another lawyer. I’m busy, but my load might lighten in a few weeks. Husband is expecting to get avalanched within the next several months. He does bankruptcy, which was strategically chosen when we entered the workforce at the end of the last recession.... And we are both wor...
by hoffse
Thu Mar 12, 2020 4:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Actual experience vs hypothetical scenarios
Replies: 46
Views: 3290

Re: Actual experience vs hypothetical scenarios

To answer the original question, yes - the hypothetical has been perfectly fine to prepare me to handle the actual. I had a tiny amount invested in 08, but I was in college at the time so the losses over the last few weeks have been magnitudes larger. I haven’t sold anything yet - though I’m plannin...
by hoffse
Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where My 100% Equities Peeps At?!?
Replies: 211
Views: 20912

Re: Where My 100% Equities Peeps At?!?

We are 100% equities and have been for years (33/32 yr old couple). My husband and I were seniors in college during the fall of 2008. We have hedged in other ways, like making our jobs recession proof and keeping our housing expenses reasonable relative to our incomes. I too get annoyed when people ...
by hoffse
Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What did you learn from the 2/24 sell off?
Replies: 327
Views: 22087

Re: What did you learn from the 2/24 sell off?

I learned that at a ~3% drop the request I made to personal capital to please stop calling gets ignored. My “personal advisor” reached out to try to talk to me about volatility in the market. Wasn’t interested a year ago and still not interested.
by hoffse
Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent
Replies: 102
Views: 8116

Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

1) Ask for help and accept help when offered, whether it is babysitting or a meal train or anything. You really don’t have to do it all yourself, and if you and your spouse find yourselves getting overwhelmed, call in reinforcements. For mom, this might include her doctor. PPD is no joke and can be ...
by hoffse
Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baby on the Way , Things to Do Now
Replies: 17
Views: 1264

Re: Baby on the Way , Things to Do Now

The Owlet went off, woke me up, and it saved his life. It's the best $400 I have ever spent. There's no way of knowing for sure, but if everyone who stopped breathing in their sleep would have died without being woken up, adults would be dying in their sleep right and left from sleep apnea. Part of...
by hoffse
Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baby on the Way , Things to Do Now
Replies: 17
Views: 1264

Re: Baby on the Way , Things to Do Now

We didn't see a huge change to our expenses outside of daycare and increased health insurance premiums. Now at 2 years old I'm finally starting to see a little increase to our grocery bill because our kid eats more than I do some days. But truly, you kind of stop going out for awhile, so things like...
by hoffse
Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baby on the Way , Things to Do Now
Replies: 17
Views: 1264

Re: Baby on the Way , Things to Do Now

Congrats! If you need childcare get on a list now. I waited until we had a confirmed heartbeat at 6 weeks, and I did not get off my first waiting list until 30 days into my maternity leave. It was very stressful. I then learned that a lot of women put themselves on lists while they are trying to get...
by hoffse
Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BoA preferred rewards - worth it for very high spend?
Replies: 16
Views: 1783

Re: BoA preferred rewards - worth it for very high spend?

Updating this thread for anybody interested. I did make partner effective Jan 1. I have opened an account at Merrill and transferred $100k in ETFs from Fidelity. That was pretty simple, and the transfer took about a week. Then I tried to open a checking account at BOA with $25 to start. It has taken...
by hoffse
Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive
Replies: 405
Views: 33453

Re: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive

A few points: ... 2. For those of us who have a lot of UR points, the question is not so much whether the card is worth $250/year as much as it is whether it is worth the $155 more that it will cost vs. the $95/yr Sapphire card, since you need to maintain a paid UR card to be able to transfer point...
by hoffse
Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive
Replies: 405
Views: 33453

Re: JPM Chase Reserve Card gets more expensive

My husband and I were early adopters of the CSR - we each got the 100k sign up bonus when it first came out - and we have really enjoyed having it. The increase to the annual fee does make us pause though. We have recently opened a Schwab AmEx platinum for lounge access and the 5x multiplier on airf...
by hoffse
Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toy overload alternatives for grandparents
Replies: 104
Views: 5655

Re: Toy overload alternatives for grandparents

I'm little help with this. We finally just bought a bigger house so we could have a basement to stash all the toys. I hate that we caved, but we did. Our only child just turned 2. He now has a 16x17 foot playroom with a ball pit, tent, climbing thing, slide, swing, two pieces of IKEA storage furnitu...
by hoffse
Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of living for a retiree in Alabama
Replies: 49
Views: 3642

Re: Cost of living for a retiree in Alabama

I live near Birmingham. Love it here. Your utilities are very low, unless you plan on baking in the summer. I wouldn’t recommend it. The northern parts of Alabama do also get snow and sub-freezing temps in the winter. It was in the 20’s here the last several nights. Food may also be low. The sales t...
by hoffse
Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash Back Credit Card Reward Strategy
Replies: 21
Views: 1896

Re: Cash Back Credit Card Reward Strategy

In your shoes I would wait until the home purchase is complete to open a new card. In the meantime, you could look into BoA preferred rewards, which will give you 2.625% back on daily purchase and 3.5% back at Costco and grocery stores if you hold enough assets at either BoA or Merrill Edge. If you ...
by hoffse
Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Our 'cure' for emergency expenses
Replies: 147
Views: 21786

Re: Our 'cure' for emergency expenses

We started doing this a few years ago as well, and it has helped tremendously. I actually have 4 sinking funds now: annual dues, gifts, clothing, and new for 2020 is taxes. Annual dues, gifts, and clothing are all "one-offs" for us that, before doing this, always seemed to come up unexpectedly. We a...
by hoffse
Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Piano & college admissions
Replies: 101
Views: 6968

Re: Piano & college admissions

Like others have said, just playing piano is not something that, in and of itself, will move the needle for college admissions. Your kid would need to major in music, and piano is a common instrument, relatively speaking, so the competition for it is higher. If you want your kid to get a music schol...
by hoffse
Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much were you able to save this year?
Replies: 142
Views: 10912

Re: How much were you able to save this year?

$54,750 in 401ks with matches. $12k in Roth IRAs. I don’t have an HSA right now. Another $40k saved in cash and taxables. It’s a little less than 1/3, but we are in debt pay down mode, and we are on track for our ages.
by hoffse
Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much were you able to spend this year?
Replies: 53
Views: 2858

Re: How much were you able to spend this year?

I track everything to the penny. Total is $162,209.49 for 2019. About half of it is our mortgage/PITI and aggressively paying off student loans. Both of those will be gone before we retire (the student loans will be gone within 3 years). About half of it is discretionary spending like groceries, day...
by hoffse
Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to 401(k) and IRAs, SECURE Act - It's signed
Replies: 292
Views: 23311

Re: Changes to 401(k) and IRAs, SECURE Act - It's signed

The limitations on the stretch IRA have an enormous impact on heirs. My parents and I have been tracking this since the spring. My parents have a couple of very large traditional IRAs, and they just retired in the last year. I am very lucky (and grateful!) that they are going to aggressively convert...
by hoffse
Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay Student Loans before Starting Taxable Investments?
Replies: 44
Views: 1807

Re: Pay Student Loans before Starting Taxable Investments?

Not a doc, but I am the same age as you and part of a 2-lawyer household that started with around $250k in collective student loans, similar interest rate. The only major difference is law school is a lot shorter than med school/residency so we have been paying them for awhile. At that rate I have w...
by hoffse
Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Daycare vs Nanny.
Replies: 86
Views: 4715

Re: Need help. Daycare vs Nanny.

Any chance you can have both? Keep the daycare a few days a week and the nanny on other days (or evenings)? I would be really hesitant to lose the spot at a place you like. I don’t know about your area, but good daycares and preschools are very competitive where I live. In fact, we are planning to h...
by hoffse
Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Daycare vs Nanny.
Replies: 86
Views: 4715

Re: Need help. Daycare vs Nanny.

Kiddo has been in daycare for 2 years now. For the first year I wished we had a nanny because of constant sickness, and I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now at age 2.... I’m glad we didn’t. My kid is developing a pretty astonishing immune system, and he’s now at the age where socia...
by hoffse
Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Taxes: Interesting State Border Towns? (E.g., Low Income Tax, Property Tax, Sales Tax combo?)
Replies: 34
Views: 3378

Re: State Taxes: Interesting State Border Towns? (E.g., Low Income Tax, Property Tax, Sales Tax combo?)

Chattanooga, Tennessee. No income tax, and drive less than 10 miles south into Georgia for no state sales tax on groceries, drugs, and medical devices (GA has a 4% sales tax on other items, though GA and TN both have tax free holidays for clothing and computers at least once a year). Bonus: Chattano...
by hoffse
Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial advice for recently hired lawyer
Replies: 16
Views: 1234

Re: Financial advice for recently hired lawyer

Another (female) lawyer here. I will echo what the others said. Save, save, save and keep expenses low. That means no house until she is certain she wants to continue that life or she has transitioned into other work and has a sense of what her comp will ultimately be. I just made partner at my firm...
by hoffse
Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What am I doing Incorrectly? [Help with Roth 401(k)]
Replies: 52
Views: 3682

Re: What am I doing Incorrectly? [Help with Roth 401(k)]

I dislike advocating for blanket rules like “always invest in a pre-tax 401(k).” Individual circumstances matter. My household is going all-Roth for at least 2 more years while we are in the 24% federal bracket. We are in our early 30’s and expect to move up to higher brackets in the next few years....
by hoffse
Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do (career/life)
Replies: 18
Views: 2277

Re: What to do (career/life)

I also get a weird vibe. Professional woman (not “girl”) here in my early 30’s. Happily married fwiw. If you want to move, then move. Maximizing money is not the end-all to life, which you are finding out. That being said, you need to go into it with a plan, and it doesn’t sound like you have a well...
by hoffse
Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are complicated credit card cash back strategies worth it?
Replies: 131
Views: 14020

Re: Are complicated credit card cash back strategies worth it?

It only takes a couple hours a year to assess your credit card strategy vs the available credit card landscape and either decide to make changes or not. If you want cash, aim for cash. Figuring that out is relatively simple, and once the plan is in place it’s literally just choosing card A vs B from...
by hoffse
Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are complicated credit card cash back strategies worth it?
Replies: 131
Views: 14020

Re: Are complicated credit card cash back strategies worth it?

Cash back credit card rewards are tax-free, so that can be pretty valuable if your marginal rate is high and you are a big spender. If you never shop at Whole Foods and now you start shopping there because you get 5% back vs 2% back at a less expensive grocery store then you are losing money. But if...
by hoffse
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Conservation Partnership to save taxes
Replies: 14
Views: 859

Re: Conservation Partnership to save taxes

I am a tax attorney. Last year I read every single published conservation easement case nationwide from the last 10 years at the request of a client (fun times). I can’t give you legal advice, but I will say that I have decided not to help clients with syndicated easements (which is what you are des...
by hoffse
Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth/Traditional Allocation Question
Replies: 37
Views: 1636

Re: Roth/Traditional Allocation Question

OP, I do not think there is a universal answer here. You can only know if you have made the correct decision with hindsight. That being said, it's possible to model growth, and at your young age I encourage you to do this. When I was trying to figure this out for my family, I put together a spreadsh...
by hoffse
Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Just got married] Looking for ways to cut down on my budget
Replies: 80
Views: 7046

Re: [Just got married] Looking for ways to cut down on my budget

Just a few thoughts: (1) the cost of childcare is highly variable depending on where you live. One poster said that you could not find good childcare under $1,500 per month. Well I pay $935 per month for a center run by a university. Our center's director holds a PhD in early childhood education, an...
by hoffse
Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homebuyer wants me to do a 1031 exchange. Um, what?
Replies: 81
Views: 9082

Re: Homebuyer wants me to do a 1031 exchange. Um, what?

I am a lawyer with an LLM in tax. While I can’t give you legal advice, I can give you a suggestion: don’t bother hiring a tax lawyer for this on the sale side. Like others have said, it’s really just an acknowledgement form the buyer needs in case there is ever an audit by the IRS for the purchase o...
by hoffse
Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BoA preferred rewards - worth it for very high spend?
Replies: 16
Views: 1783

Re: BoA preferred rewards - worth it for very high spend?

You seem to have thought through everything. You probably make a ton of money but are agonizing over $400 bucks/year and you’re happy where you are. I have the same struggles and I feel you. I have a Merrill edge account too, if only for curiosity. Is it worth it? Probably not. But we double dipped...
by hoffse
Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BoA preferred rewards - worth it for very high spend?
Replies: 16
Views: 1783

BoA preferred rewards - worth it for very high spend?

Good morning - I am going up for partner in my law firm in 8 weeks. While I am not counting my chickens, I have been told that all lights are green, and I should get ready. If it happens, I will technically become self-employed on January 1. As part of this, I am reassessing our current credit cards...
by hoffse
Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Currently invested in 100% stock
Replies: 138
Views: 16191

Re: Currently invested in 100% stock

Klangfool, (1) My husband and I are both attorneys and are in private practice. My practice is not heavily driven by the market (tax). My husband’s practice has more work during a downturn than during a bull market (corporate bankruptcy). We can afford to live on either one of our incomes. (2) If ou...
by hoffse
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Currently invested in 100% stock
Replies: 138
Views: 16191

Re: Currently invested in 100% stock

I am 33 and 100% in stocks. I have been 100% in stocks since I began investing (with parental guidance) around age 13. Yes, I did have investments during 2008. I was a senior in college with a not-insignificant (to me) Roth IRA that my parents had funded to match every penny I had earned working odd...
by hoffse
Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding Finances-Today
Replies: 107
Views: 9386

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

I am just outside your stated timeframe - I got married 4/13 - but I have been in several weddings since then, and I still have my spreadsheet with costs broken down for my own wedding. The single fastest way to cut costs is to reduce the guest list. Once you consider the invitations, food, wine, ce...
by hoffse
Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best places to live to raise a family (cost doesn't matter)
Replies: 95
Views: 9865

Re: Best places to live to raise a family (cost doesn't matter)

A couple you may not have considered: Birmingham, Alabama if you want to use public schools and Nashville, Tennessee if you are willing to pay for private. Nashville needs no explanation. It’s exploding right now and is a vibrant place to be. Traffic is getting a little ridiculous though. Birmingham...
by hoffse
Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Italy in September
Replies: 35
Views: 2515

Re: Italy in September

2) In Venice the prime tourist area is in and around Piazza San Marco but that is usually insanely crowded and busy, avoid spending much if any time there. You will see lots of churches, towers, and museums at other places during your trip so you can skip the ones in the crowds around San Marco. Wh...
by hoffse
Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Italy in September
Replies: 35
Views: 2515

Re: Italy in September

I must be the only person here who doesn't love Rick Steves. If you have never been to Italy before it's a good starting point, but you will wind up in the same places as all the other Americans who read his books. I have spent a couple months in Italy, primarily Rome. Recommendations are only good ...
by hoffse
Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheaper healthcare in Italy?
Replies: 27
Views: 2484

Re: Cheaper healthcare in Italy?

There are some very good fertility clinics in Spain and the Czech Republic that I would consider if that becomes necessary. You will have to pay cash, but the costs are about half of that for the so-so clinics in the US and maybe a third of the cost of the really good clinics in the US (all of which...
by hoffse
Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: While there is a high school question - my daughter wants to graduate early
Replies: 76
Views: 4138

Re: While there is a high school question - my daughter wants to graduate early

I wouldn’t do it. I could have done it in both high school and college and opted to stay the extra year both times. In high school I used the final year to really focus on college admissions - and I happened to meet my future husband at a music clinic that year! I never would have met him if I had g...
by hoffse
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A note on spending for kids
Replies: 148
Views: 12383

Re: A note on spending for kids

Perhaps it is because my child is still young, but I have not met any parents who are enrolling their kids in lots of activities in the hopes of turning them pro. I think most parents understand that the odds are stacked against their kids. Will we be enrolling our child in music and sports? Yes. He...