Search found 67 matches

by bjames310
Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Re-tooling as an Attorney
Replies: 4
Views: 838

Re-tooling as an Attorney

Hi All, Curious if there are any attorneys here who re-tooled throughout their career. I've been practicing litigation for 10 years at big law firms and most recently a local boutique, and am a general litigator who wants to go in-house. Most of those opportunities appear to be very specialized, lik...
by bjames310
Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance while being laid off
Replies: 1
Views: 318

Refinance while being laid off

Hi all, Unfortunately it looks like I’m going to be laid off soon, as my employer dropped my salary significantly (nearly 2/3 drop) and told me that as of next month, they’re going to reevaluate my employment on a monthly basis. The outlook to be employed after that month does not look good, so I’m ...
by bjames310
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Acct VTSAX to VFIAX - Wash Sale ?
Replies: 19
Views: 929

Re: Taxable Acct VTSAX to VFIAX - Wash Sale ?

In a taxable investment account at Vanguard, would the sale of the Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX) and the immediate purchase of the 500 Index Fund (VFIAX) be considered a wash sale? I think not because VTSAX tracks the CRSP US Total Market Index and VFIAX tracks the S&P 500 Index. Two se...
by bjames310
Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:43 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: 8646

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

Don’t be compelled to buy all new baby furniture and clothes. You can find highly discounted products on Facebook marketplace of other parents wanting to get rid of it for cheap.
by bjames310
Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "Should I payoff my car loan" thread
Replies: 19
Views: 1226

Re: Another "Should I payoff my car loan" thread

Thanks, everyone. Appreciate these thoughts and criticisms, and I am going to pay it off now. As it relates to my withholdings, I did adjust them mid-year when I changed jobs. But then I got doubled up on FICA and had another kid before the end of the year, so that accounts for almost all of the fed...
by bjames310
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "Should I payoff my car loan" thread
Replies: 19
Views: 1226

Another "Should I payoff my car loan" thread

Hi All, hoping to get some collective wisdom on whether I should pay off my car loan. I have an outstanding balance of $27,600 and an interest rate of 3.99%, with five years left on the loan. I also have $118k cash and a $20k tax refund coming, and no debt apart from my mortgage. As an aside, I also...
by bjames310
Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two TurboTax Errors in Income Section Alone?
Replies: 10
Views: 896

Re: Two TurboTax Errors in Income Section Alone?

I'm just using it on their website for free and will do the option to pay once I'm ready to file.
by bjames310
Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two TurboTax Errors in Income Section Alone?
Replies: 10
Views: 896

Two TurboTax Errors in Income Section Alone?

I started doing my tax returns yesterday and off the bat, noticed two errors (unless I am wrong about my understanding of the taxes): First, due to changing jobs mid year, I overpaid FICA by about $7,000. TurboTax notices this, and states I'll get a credit for it, but then after confirming the FICA ...
by bjames310
Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Offer for a house
Replies: 34
Views: 2216

Re: Offer for a house

Hi, We gave a purchase price offer for a house. Due to some weird circumstances seller’s agent will also be buyer’s agent for this house. Agent states that I have to sign a sell agreement to be able to present the offer to the owner. This agreement is almost like a full contract with no contingenci...
by bjames310
Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Mercedes GLE or new lease Acura
Replies: 11
Views: 1084

Re: Used Mercedes GLE or new lease Acura

I got a good deal on a 2016 GLE earlier this year and think it’s a great car but the gas mileage is terrible 18-19 mpg). Also have a diesel ML 250 that gets 30 mpg, you might want to consider that as well.
by bjames310
Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New Savings and Checking Options
Replies: 22
Views: 2138

Re: New Savings and Checking Options

7eight9 wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:14 pm
bjames310 wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:08 pm I can’t find the capital one bonus anywhere. Anyone have a link?
From Doctor of Credit (good resource for finding bank bonuses) --- https://www.doctorofcredit.com/capital- ... 00-150000/
Thanks! 150k though for the $1000 bonus
by bjames310
Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New Savings and Checking Options
Replies: 22
Views: 2138

Re: New Savings and Checking Options

I can’t find the capital one bonus anywhere. Anyone have a link?
by bjames310
Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I sign authorization to settle lawsuit prior to mediation/trial
Replies: 21
Views: 2863

Re: Should I sign authorization to settle lawsuit prior to mediation/trial

The general rule is that a party on each side has to be present with settlement authority. Can you just attend in person? I wouldn’t sign anything nor let your attorney go to the mediation without you there.
by bjames310
Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best undergrad majors ahead of Law school?
Replies: 75
Views: 4157

Re: Best undergrad majors ahead of Law school?

My daughter is starting high school this year so college is still off a ways, but fast approaching. She's a very bright kid (trust me on this one), exceptionally organized, very self motivated, and loves to write. She mentioned in passing to me more than once that she may want to go to law school a...
by bjames310
Wed May 08, 2019 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Goodman HVAC System
Replies: 21
Views: 2410

Re: Goodman HVAC System

Wow everyone, thanks for the great (and quick) responses. This is all very very helpful.
by bjames310
Tue May 07, 2019 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Goodman HVAC System
Replies: 21
Views: 2410

Goodman HVAC System

Hi all, Curious if anyone has a Goodman condenser and furnace and how you like it. We live in a house built in 2004 in a Southern California and have a 2200 sq foot house with an outdated and undersized York system — condenser is 3 tons and furnace is only 2 tons. It barely works anymore and needs t...
by bjames310
Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Reason to Claim Expenses when Self-Employed and NO Income?
Replies: 4
Views: 473

Any Reason to Claim Expenses when Self-Employed and NO Income?

Hi, my wife and I are filing joint tax returns. I have an income from my employer, and my wife was self employed last year as a real estate broker. She had no income whatsoever last year, although she did incur expenses, and we do have a detached home office that she used which we claimed as a home ...
by bjames310
Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling House Directly to Buyer
Replies: 28
Views: 2934

Re: Selling House Directly to Buyer

Do you have friends or family who are agents who could guide you through the process? I’m an attorney and my wife a commercial real estate agent who representants tenants, and we thought we could rep ourselves as buyers. We were way wrong, didn’t know what we were doing, and ultimately got an agent ...
by bjames310
Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: International Index Funds in Taxable -- Qualified Dividends
Replies: 5
Views: 1015

International Index Funds in Taxable -- Qualified Dividends

I've decided to allocate 30% of my AA to international stocks, and to then evenly split that 50%/50% between emerging and developed markets instead of just a single international fund. To maintain my AA, I'm going to need to now include my international stocks in my taxable account. Just curious whe...
by bjames310
Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baby on the way - HSA questions
Replies: 19
Views: 1943

Re: Baby on the way - HSA questions

This may not be too helpful, but I'll tell you what I did when my wife gave birth in May: We just paid out of pocket and kept the money in the HSA, for a point far in the future. But: Plan on delivery being 100% of the deductible (if other things don't get you there first). Any chance the HRA money...
by bjames310
Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Test your cognitive biases
Replies: 89
Views: 6295

Re: Test your cognitive biases

I scored in the bottom 25%. It made me feel terrible st first, but then I remembered ... I also did terrible on the LSATs (which arguably judge how well you’ll do in law school), graduated in the top 5% of my law school class from a top 60 ranked program, and have worked at a Vault 10 biglaw firm fo...
by bjames310
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question to retirees - money or work/life balance?
Replies: 46
Views: 5990

Re: Question to retirees - money or work/life balance?

Lawyer here who left private law firms ("big law," in our jargon) for government work. No regrets despite the 60%+ haircut in pay. In certain high-paying but highly demanding careers (law, consulting, finance, tech) the marginal hours that the job consumes -- the 12th or 13th hour of work...
by bjames310
Wed May 16, 2018 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lucrative careers?
Replies: 467
Views: 53838

Re: Lucrative careers?

Feel free to PM me about law and I’ll convince you why it’s as bad as Investing in this years latest and greatest actively managed fund... lots of reasons not to do it.
by bjames310
Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another house budget question
Replies: 25
Views: 3064

Re: Another house budget question

I follow this site but don’t post advice ever, apart from a few about paying off student loans. But you can pay straight cash for your house and not have a mortgage payment... so unless you’re looking for gratification of your net worth, I don’t understand why you’re even asking.
by bjames310
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on bonus
Replies: 13
Views: 1916

Re: Taxes on bonus

Thank you both for the quick replies.
by bjames310
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on bonus
Replies: 13
Views: 1916

Taxes on bonus

During bonus season last year I read a ton of articles that state you get taxed less on a bonus if you receive it in a check separate from your normal paycheck, such as a flat 25% rate instead of your higher marginal tax rate. However, when I received my W-2 during tax season, there’s no distinction...
by bjames310
Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you Continue to invest even in down market??
Replies: 54
Views: 7936

Re: Do you Continue to invest even in down market??

PFInterest wrote: Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:41 pm Yes. I only buy on down days.
Does this mean you buy ETFs so you know the price you’re buying at immediately, or do mutual funds and just wait to see the final price at the end of the day?
by bjames310
Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Different Asset Allocation for Different Goals?
Replies: 2
Views: 432

Different Asset Allocation for Different Goals?

First, many many thanks to everyone who has helped me over the last year learn about mutual funds and investing, and especially to the few who responded to my private messages for help with my asset allocation and what funds to invest in to help me achieve my retirement goals. Since the end of 2016,...
by bjames310
Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Penalty Next Year?
Replies: 8
Views: 2126

Re: HSA Penalty Next Year?

Thanks, this is all helpful. So instead of lump summing, I should either not contribute or only contribute a max of $575/month ($6900/12 months) so I don’t incur a penalty once I leave my job?
by bjames310
Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Penalty Next Year?
Replies: 8
Views: 2126

Re: HSA Penalty Next Year?

But what about 2018? If I were to max out my contributions by January and leave for a new employer in February who doesn’t offer an HSA, am I penalized on that?
by bjames310
Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Penalty Next Year?
Replies: 8
Views: 2126

HSA Penalty Next Year?

I started an individual HSA on January 1, 2017, maxed it out by March, got married in April, then maxed out the family contribution limit by April as well. I elected a HDHP next year with an HSA, but it's likely I'll be switching to a job in late January/early February where a HDHP and HSA is not of...
by bjames310
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your favorite tax deductions and credits for 2017?
Replies: 33
Views: 2975

Re: What are your favorite tax deductions and credits for 2017?

How do you precisely figure that out? I’ve seen calculators to estimate how much of a refund you can get from mortgage interest and property taxes, but not a comprehensive calculator that takes into consideration all such deductions with income. I don't think you will like my answer: I precisely fi...
by bjames310
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your favorite tax deductions and credits for 2017?
Replies: 33
Views: 2975

Re: What are your favorite tax deductions and credits for 2017?

I like the standard deduction myself. :) It tells me that I am not overpaying for my property, state, and local taxes. How do you precisely figure that out? I’ve seen calculators to estimate how much of a refund you can get from mortgage interest and property taxes, but not a comprehensive calculat...
by bjames310
Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Liquidating Lending Club
Replies: 8
Views: 1831

Liquidating Lending Club

For those who have liquidated their Lending Club accounts, how long did it take, and what mark-ups and/or discounts did you use? At the beginning of this month I started to list all of my 300 or so remaining notes for sale to liquidate my entire portfolio, with a 1% markup so I could break even on t...
by bjames310
Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When NOT to deduct business expenses, for solo 401K purposes
Replies: 10
Views: 3444

Re: When NOT to deduct business expenses, for solo 401K purp

Not claiming the expenses to make a 401k contribution is worse than a non-deductible IRA. You get no net deduction for the contribution, you pay ordinary income tax on withdrawals and you don't even get a basis for your contribution. Why would you do this? Just invest in tax efficient index funds i...
by bjames310
Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How does this work? [Dow Jones up, but Vanguard Total Stock down]
Replies: 10
Views: 2085

Re: How does this work? [Dow Jones up, but Vanguard Total Stock down]

Very educating, thank you all. For some reason I thought Dow Jones tracked the entire stock market. Not sure where I got that from.
by bjames310
Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How does this work? [Dow Jones up, but Vanguard Total Stock down]
Replies: 10
Views: 2085

How does this work? [Dow Jones up, but Vanguard Total Stock down]

The Dow Jones is at record highs with three straight days of gain, yet VTSAX has been down three days in a row. I'm confused.
by bjames310
Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: William Bernstein on Meb Faber's podcast
Replies: 54
Views: 14155

Re: William Bernstein on Meb Faber's podcast

Did anyone listen to his podcast with Steve Sjuggerud? Started out good, but then I felt like it was a pitch to invest in Chinese companies that sounded too good to be true.
by bjames310
Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off debt or fund retirement accounts?
Replies: 23
Views: 2514

Re: Pay off debt or fund retirement accounts?

My two cents -- 1) If you can afford it, max out ur retirement funds. You only get so much space per year, and if u don't use it, u lose it. I'm 32 and only started 3 years ago. I wish I started earlier. 2) pay off your debt. I recently paid off all of mine (only student loans, no house yet as I liv...
by bjames310
Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe on Understanding Different Types of Risk
Replies: 45
Views: 6646

Re: Larry Swedroe on Understanding Different Types of Risk

I've learned a lot here the last five months. But before I even saw this post today, I was thinking how so many of the responses to posts are rude, snarky, condescending, etc., compared to the minority of posts that are helpful and genuine and come from the perspective of wanting to teach. I can't e...
by bjames310
Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ~20 year long investing
Replies: 17
Views: 1936

Re: ~20 year long investing

Nate79 wrote:Really curious also what is your profession. Here are my guesses: astronaut, military, working on a ship, CIA spy?
Second that. This is a weird, ambiguous post, with lots of spelling and grammar errors by the OP, and sounds like a situation too good to be true.
by bjames310
Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Reallocate Now Or Wait for End of Month Dividends
Replies: 2
Views: 579

Reallocate Now Or Wait for End of Month Dividends

Good afternoon all, I have a plan to reallocate my retirement account investments, the majority of which are in a balanced fund in my 401k. That fund will pay a dividend at the end of the month. Is it worth waiting until the dividend is distributed at the end of the month and then reallocating? Or s...
by bjames310
Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Many Contribute To A Retirement Fund But Never Invest
Replies: 21
Views: 3204

Re: How Many Contribute To A Retirement Fund But Never Invest

My brother (34 y.o.) did a backdoor Roth, to only keep it in a money market account. I tried explaining to him whAt I learned from this Blog and the books that have been recommended to me to read, but he doesn't trust the market and thinks I'm dumb for not hiring a financial advisor. He thinks he's ...
by bjames310
Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Placement of Funds in All Tax advantaged accounts
Replies: 8
Views: 1112

Re: Placement of Funds in All Tax advantaged accounts

Still not sure if I understand the two above posts of how it makes no difference what account I put the money in. Maybe this is a simplistic way of looking at it, but let's assume two different scenarios where (A) I have $100,000 in my Roth/HSA accounts, and (B) that money instead is in my 401k. Let...
by bjames310
Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Independent Contractor Spouse
Replies: 8
Views: 877

Re: Independent Contractor Spouse

MP123 wrote:Is she planning on working on a Schedule C or organizing as an LLC or S-Corp?

That will make a difference on plan contributions.
We don't know yet. That's what we're currently researching and she's going to ask some co-workers how they do it. Do you mind sharing your thoughts?
by bjames310
Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Independent Contractor Spouse
Replies: 8
Views: 877

Re: Independent Contractor Spouse

NotWhoYouThink wrote:No financial help, but the title of this thread keeps making me think your spouse is an independent contractor in her role as a spouse.
Haha that's too funny. We met the old fashioned way, drunk at a bar. Thanks for the laugh!
by bjames310
Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Independent Contractor Spouse
Replies: 8
Views: 877

Independent Contractor Spouse

My wife is starting a new job this month which will make her an independent contractor. She'll be a commercial real estate broker. There is room for serious growth, but at the minimum, we're aiming for $50,000. We're at the highest tax bracket due to my income, and we live in California so we have a...
by bjames310
Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Placement of Funds in All Tax advantaged accounts
Replies: 8
Views: 1112

Re: Placement of Funds in All Tax advantaged accounts

Are you able to invest in a Roth 401k? I agree with your strategy of putting higher risk accounts in retirement accounts. Since you won't be retiring for a few decades, you can afford to ride out the peaks and valleys in the market. I'm not so sure about having your HSA in a high-risk account. You ...
by bjames310
Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Placement of Funds in All Tax advantaged accounts
Replies: 8
Views: 1112

Placement of Funds in All Tax advantaged accounts

Between my wife and I, we have two 401ks, two Roth IRAs, and an HSA. We're aiming for an 80/20 asset allocation (which thanks to everyone here for help, we know what we'll invest in). We don't have any taxable accounts. We will open one within the next 12-18 months after we've saved enough for a dow...