Search found 3552 matches

by psteinx
Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unemployed renter w/1.1m taxable - looking to buy 400k home for cash
Replies: 36
Views: 3817

Re: Unemployed renter w/1.1m taxable - looking to buy 400k home for cash

The area where I'd like to buy a home makes commuting difficult, but it is near family and friends and very close to where I grew up. The property taxes are extremely high (11k/yr on 400k house is about average). I doubt that I would relocate out of the area for at least another 10 years. I'd be pr...
by psteinx
Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Qs - College (scholarship?) income
Replies: 6
Views: 218

Re: Tax Qs - College (scholarship?) income

For future reference of perhaps myself and others, here's IRS reference on FICA withholding for students:

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profi ... o-fica-tax
by psteinx
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Qs - College (scholarship?) income
Replies: 6
Views: 218

Re: Tax Qs - College (scholarship?) income

Income from university during regular *school year* is not subjected to FICA tax. By regular school year I mean a summer RA job still requires paying FICA. Interesting. Yes, this was money made during the school year, not summer (conceivably there may have been a few hours put in right as/before sc...
by psteinx
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Qs - College (scholarship?) income
Replies: 6
Views: 218

Tax Qs - College (scholarship?) income

TLDR - Qs about W2 income, for a student, from a college where no withholdings were made - does it fall into any special scholarship/fellowship non-taxable categories, and in general, how should we handle it, tax-wise? === Getting kids' taxes together Oldest kid is college student. Had various incom...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 309
Views: 30416

Re: College in fall

Current kids (3): HS Freshman, College 1st and 2nd years. Generally negative feedback from the kids on the online learning. In particular, the oldest, at a prestigious university, has been saying that if college is still online in the fall, she wants to take a semester or more off. I've discouraged ...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial advice for my recently widowed father in law.
Replies: 12
Views: 1116

Re: Financial advice for my recently widowed father in law.

I'm a fan of SPIAs in the right circumstances (that said, I've never bought one nor been involved with a family member's purchase of one). A key circumstance, IMO, is that the insured's health and longevity prognosis is about normal or above for their underwriting bracket. I *think* that only age an...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda
Replies: 84
Views: 5389

Re: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda

In California the Tesla Model 3 is actually the 3rd best-selling vehicle, ahead of the Honda Accord. :P They start at around $40k. They are everywhere here. I'm not a Tesla guy, but isn't a Model 3 roughly comparable in size/roominess to a Civic, whereas an S is more like an Accord (or perhaps a ha...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda
Replies: 84
Views: 5389

Re: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda

Eventually, almost every car ends up at a scrapyard, before going off to be melted down, I guess. In some cases, it's because the car is in a bad accident, but in most cases, it's because repair/operating costs escalate and the value of that car has declined. It's not an absolute thing - folks will ...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda
Replies: 84
Views: 5389

Re: bogleheading my car, opinions please. From a Tesla to a Honda

From my understanding (as someone with limited experience with luxury cars), Teslas have a type of appeal that's broadly similar to that of luxury cars, but different in manifestation. A significant component of the buying market, both for a $90K Tesla S, and for a $90K Mercedes sedan, is driven by ...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College choice dilemma
Replies: 167
Views: 7646

Re: College choice dilemma

Re: Changing one's mind as to major/focus... That issue also comes into play with regard to areas where an elite Ivy pedigree might offer unusual advantages, versus a high end but somewhat lower ranked school like Vandy. i.e. It may be true that there are some hedge funds and other places that would...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritors Need to Open an EJ Account to Access Inheritance?
Replies: 25
Views: 2070

Re: Inheritors Need to Open an EJ Account to Access Inheritance?

People on this forum complain about EJ a lot. That said, it's probably not THAT hard (or costly) to set up an account, transfer securities in, then transfer them out or even let EJ sell them. Yes, EJ often charges AUM fees, and/or likely higher commissions on trades than free options at many brokers...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College choice dilemma
Replies: 167
Views: 7646

Re: College choice dilemma

Most respondents have focused primarily on whether moving up XX places on college rankings list is worth $YYY,YYY additional cost, and generally viewed this through a narrow lens. OP perhaps encouraged this with limited initial information, and a financial framing. That said, I think OP should think...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on one-time special dividend
Replies: 28
Views: 1351

Re: Taxes on one-time special dividend

You're getting a ~$200K special dividend.

Your current knowledge of the tax situation is almost certainly far off base. (Kids "expenses" do not offset their income. They're not a business.)

Invest the money in getting professional help.
by psteinx
Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College partial refunds and 529s
Replies: 25
Views: 2226

Re: College partial refunds and 529s

2 colleges. 1 private and wealthy, 1 public (in-state). I only briefly reviewed their news releases/messaging, but if I recall correctly, it appears both will refund a portion of R&B. One college (the private) basically kicked the kids out of housing (very limited exceptions). For the other, I think...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College partial refunds and 529s
Replies: 25
Views: 2226

College partial refunds and 529s

So, like, I presume, many parents of college kids, we're expecting partial refunds for the spring semester, related to room & board. (i.e. colleges refunding a portion of the semester's R&B since they moved out early.) R&B bills were paid from 529s. It's not clear, but seems possible that refunds ma...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing Market Response in this environment?
Replies: 57
Views: 7314

Re: Housing Market Response in this environment?

Moderately interested in this topic, for general interest, and because my parents plan/hope to put their home on the market in the 2nd half of this year. I think that the housing market (purchases, not rentals) will crater. More specifically, new transactions will approach 0. Some existing transacti...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality
Replies: 24
Views: 1929

Re: Incoming College Freshmen 2020 - New Reality

1) College orientations mainly start in early August. That's ~4.5 months from now. But of course, it's hard to predict today in what situation the pandemic will be by then. 2) I agree that close to home is better than far, under current circumstances. If you still have multiple options on the table,...
by psteinx
Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Will Corona Virus affect the Real Estate Market ?
Replies: 53
Views: 5511

Re: How Will Corona Virus affect the Real Estate Market ?

My (elderly) parents tentatively want to put their house on the market in September (but don't really need to sell it until ~November because that's when they'll be moving into senior living). I suspect the real estate market will cool off a lot in the next few months. I wouldn't be surprised if the...
by psteinx
Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?
Replies: 1590
Views: 128999

Re: Coronavirus - Kids at home/school disruption thread

This post in a different Coronavirus thread suggests libraries are being closed in at least one area.

viewtopic.php?p=5092983#p5092983

If that happens broadly, that might complicate kid/education/etc stuff.
by psteinx
Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?
Replies: 1590
Views: 128999

Coronavirus - Kids at home/school disruption thread

A thread for discussions of kids at home, handling school disruptions/suspensions (in response to Coronavirus), remote education, etc. I assume by this point most who have a kid in K-12 or college have had their schooling abruptly changed or are heading for such a change very soon. ==== First, the a...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best watch for around $5,000? [Archived]
Replies: 1479
Views: 322700

Re: Best watch for around $5,000?

And a 2 year old's drawing is indistinguishable from a Picasso. Both serve the same function. 8-) Eh, really? You think there are lots of folks here paying $5000 for a scrawl that looks like a 2 year old's? I rather doubt that. (Yes, some expensive art is simplistic in execution, but it's still not...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best watch for around $5,000? [Archived]
Replies: 1479
Views: 322700

Re: Best watch for around $5,000?

Why is the comparison steak and cheeseburger? Shouldn’t it be fast food vs steakhouse quality cheeseburger? 1) A $50 Timex is not entirely junk. 2) Find me a cheeseburger that costs ~100x what a basic, but not bottom of the barrel cheeseburger costs ($4-$6 or so). I can see spending $15, maybe, for...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best watch for around $5,000? [Archived]
Replies: 1479
Views: 322700

Re: Best watch for around $5,000?

Clearly, there are other factors that purchasers value - why keep harping on only one element while ignoring the purchaser's intent, rationale, motives and feelings? When reduced to only one criteria, all discretionary markets seem imprudent. For example, reducing food to caloric value makes any re...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selecting a coin dealer?
Replies: 11
Views: 992

Re: Selecting a coin dealer?

Key question is do these things have significant numismatic value or not. i.e. If they are particularly rare, prized, silver coins in decent condition, then they may be worth far in excess of metal content. OTOH, if they're more or less "junk silver", then they likely can be valued in a reasonably s...
by psteinx
Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?
Replies: 1590
Views: 128999

Re: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?

Even when it's "bad", it's not going to be bad . Here's how it works: - Elderly people in nursing homes with existing conditions (diabetes, heart trouble, pneumonia) are naturally at increased risk - Children virtually unaffected! - Everyone else who is reasonably healthy will experience a "flu" Wh...
by psteinx
Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling first time to Chicago - how many days
Replies: 13
Views: 678

Re: Traveling first time to Chicago - how many days

3-4 days is reasonable. If traveling during warm weather: * Grant Park area (the Bean, the adjacent water sculpture thing, other fountains) * Museum of Science and Industry * Cubs game * Some will probably recommend the aquarium (I am not a fan) * If the kids are into art, the art museum * Shopping/...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making public vs. private high school decision
Replies: 59
Views: 3331

Re: Making public vs. private high school decision

Also, adding some commentary to upthread stuff: Pros for a relatively large public, in a relatively prosperous community: * Lots of AP offerings * Opportunities to accelerate math * Significant engineering and computer offerings * Lots of available extracurriculars (not only athletics) * Close to ou...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making public vs. private high school decision
Replies: 59
Views: 3331

Re: Making public vs. private high school decision

If there's still no clear advantage, the public seems like a no-brainer. You can spend the $30k you save on some pretty enriching experiences. I debated private school for 2 of our 3 kids (the 3rd seemed most comfortable/well served by public), but ended up with all 3 in public (youngest still in g...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House on the market in June, move-out in Oct/Nov?
Replies: 25
Views: 1977

Re: House on the market in June, move-out in Oct/Nov?

My thinking is sort of: The optimum for my PARENTS for price + convenience may be the original ~November plan. And I could even see a ~March-April, 2021 plan. I wonder if a real estate agent pushes for June 2020 because "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"... i.e. The agent wants the listin...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus: Why Are People Buying Water?
Replies: 61
Views: 4288

Re: Coronavirus: Why Are People Buying Water?

Also, it is not only a couple of dollars for me. I will have to drive to the store, spend 1 hour there because of the panic, carry gallons of water around, occupying space in a small house, there is all the packaging waste etc. If you buy water normally (it's weird but I understand people do) it's ...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I sell my car?
Replies: 33
Views: 1667

Re: Should I sell my car?

If you didn't own the car and had an extra $15,000 sitting in your bank account, would you buy it? No I will not, my priorities have changed. I do not see myself buying a car for more than $10,000 anytime in near future. Doesn't that tell you what you need to know? I suppose you still have to conte...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $1000 worth of 40 shares better than $1000 worth of 10 shares?
Replies: 30
Views: 1973

Re: Is $1000 worth of 40 shares better than $1000 worth of 10 shares?

So why is it better to "buy when shares are on sale", etc? This "stocks are on sale" thing is mostly a bad analogy. If you normally buy 6 packs of soda for $2.50, and you see them at the store one day for $2.20, "on sale", then sure, load up. You can be pretty confident that they'll be back to ~$2....
by psteinx
Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus: Why Are People Buying Water?
Replies: 61
Views: 4288

Re: Coronavirus: Why Are People Buying Water?

Why are people buying water in preparation for a Coronavirus quarantine? I understand food, toilet paper, etc., but I assume that water will still be on as well as other utilities. (emphasis added) Not everyone shares your assumptions. Remember, median/most likely case is not the same as worst case...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus: Why Are People Buying Water?
Replies: 61
Views: 4288

Re: Coronavirus: Why Are People Buying Water?

Keep in mind that getting and dying of Coronavirus is not a purely chance based outcome. You don't just draw your lottery ticket, and if it comes out bad, you're dead. Rather, in a severe pandemic, you have some control over: 1) Your exposure to other people - how often you have to leave the house, ...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House on the market in June, move-out in Oct/Nov?
Replies: 25
Views: 1977

Re: House on the market in June, move-out in Oct/Nov?

What I tried to caution my dad about is, is this really best for THEM (optimizing some formula of maximizing price and convenience) or best for the real estate agent (easiest, fastest sale)?

But I am not very experienced in this stuff.
by psteinx
Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus: Why Are People Buying Water?
Replies: 61
Views: 4288

Re: Coronavirus: Why Are People Buying Water?

I bought water. I think I am mostly rational, at least about this particular issue. === It cost me about $4 for ~24 bottles of water, and we have plenty of storage space. We usually buy and use some of this kind of water anyways, in the summer, so it's not really wasted if unneeded, just bought a li...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House on the market in June, move-out in Oct/Nov?
Replies: 25
Views: 1977

House on the market in June, move-out in Oct/Nov?

My elderly parents will be moving into an independent living unit (in the same area they currently live), when it's completed and ready for move-in, ca. October (but I wouldn't be shocked if it gets moved back to November or December). Funds from the current house are not particularly needed for the...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 03, 2020 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I sell my car?
Replies: 33
Views: 1667

Re: Should I sell my car?

Cars, especially new-ish ones, are expensive. While I didn't dive too deep into your spreadsheet/#s, it seems you capture the main expenses - insurance, taxes, maintenance, and depreciation, as well as opportunity costs (the expected returns you'd get from investing that money instead). Also gas, bu...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where can I find a financial planner?
Replies: 7
Views: 675

Re: Where can I find a financial planner?

Realistically I suspect the time it takes you to locate a good planner and work with him/her (if you can even find the right person) is likely longer than it will take to look at some tax forms and pencil in numbers yourself. If *all* you want is to play some tax what-ifs, I'd suggest doing it yours...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to sell raw land in another state?
Replies: 17
Views: 1109

Re: Best way to sell raw land in another state?

A basic problem is that OP likely has very little concept of the actual going rate for stuff like this, especially since the lot in question is sort of one-off. If OP has reason to be in/near the area in the near future, then there might be value to spending a day or two doing "boots on the ground" ...
by psteinx
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: General house remodeling approach
Replies: 30
Views: 2526

Re: General house remodeling approach

veindoc - it sounds like what you got (on your 2nd go-around) is kinda what I have in mind. Though at least for many of the things, there's a substantial construction element beyond just the design/decor stuff. I had been down on the idea of an "internet designer", because if I use a designer, I wan...
by psteinx
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: General house remodeling approach
Replies: 30
Views: 2526

General house remodeling approach

OK, so after a little while of contemplating and discussing with DW assorted house updates to our ~23.5 y.o. house, some of the initial ideas have spun into further ideas, and we've now got a long list. I'm not sure we'll do it all, but it might include fairly substantial kitchen and master bath upd...
by psteinx
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flooring questions
Replies: 5
Views: 813

Flooring questions

I'm contemplating a range of projects around my house. While I'm generally content with the flooring we have now (it's decent and not too worn), some other projects would overlap flooring issues. 1) If we remove a relatively large cabinet from a carpeted room, and the space under the cabinet is NOT ...
by psteinx
Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HS/College income - optimizing taxes
Replies: 5
Views: 357

HS/College income - optimizing taxes

I have 2 kids in college, one in HS. The college kids had summer jobs in '19, and one had a part time job during the year. Total income in the low-mid 4 figures (say $3-4K or so). Likely a bit more - perhaps closer to $6-10K as they get a bit deeper into college - and eventually, after they graduate...
by psteinx
Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to sell inherited collections?
Replies: 24
Views: 1854

Re: How to sell inherited collections?

These are all separate kinds of collectibles, and there have been discussions about each kind at various times on this forum. You can try searching for them. IIUC (I'm no expert): Plated gold jewelry is junk, with minimal value. 14k or 18k gold jewelry generally has value based on metal content. A l...
by psteinx
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help find balance between saving vs spending: married and 3 young kids
Replies: 55
Views: 3956

Re: Help find balance between saving vs spending: married and 3 young kids

We are both 35 years old, have three children ages 6, 4, and 1. ... In essence I talk myself out of it as I'm very good at delaying gratification. We've very casually discussed possibly going somewhere in March 2021 to either Mexico or Caribbean which the kids would love and have seen the pricing a...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short week in New Orleans
Replies: 24
Views: 1496

Re: Short week in New Orleans

There's an amphitheater (simple concrete bench half bowl) across the street from Jackson Square, facing it. Next to Cafe DuMond. Various performers use it. We were near there and saw a group of performers getting ready for a show. But it was kinda early for the free (tips solicited) show - there wer...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early inheritance for one - how to equalize disbursement?
Replies: 65
Views: 4134

Re: Early inheritance for one - how to equalize disbursement?

There's no real way to be precise about this. Given that the others are apparently not in serious financial need, then if the others got THEIR investments early, there's a good chance they'd invest the proceeds, likely in a somewhat more aggressive way (more equities) than your mother has her portfo...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short week in New Orleans
Replies: 24
Views: 1496

Re: Short week in New Orleans

Trolley from Garden District to French Quarter should be fairly solid - you're correct there. There *IS* a lot of walking though - from where you're staying to the trolley stop, from the trolley stop to the Quarter/etc, and then walking all around. Bourbon Street will likely be particularly drunken ...