Thanks for the response @my4mainecoons . I’m hoping the points go through soon. I hate calling especially since these card companies use overseas call centers with the exception of Discover that I know of.
I have a Bluebird card in addition to my bank account and when I first applied for it I got rejected online because I had a Serve account (didn’t have a card or anything since I hadn’t done anything with the Revolution Account it was previously) I didn’t know about.
AE had acquired the company that they turned into their Serve card. When I called the Serve Customer Service to close that so I could get approved for the Bluebird the overseas person apparently had no idea what they were doing and I had to fax in stuff to prove my identity just to get them to close the account. That made me hesitant about calling AE for anything since I had another issue with a Bluebird rep misconstruing why I called once.
People do all this work and cannot beat index funds?
I am not in the industry but I have a pretty significant portfolio in stocks and I do all kinds of option trades etc. I was trying to imagine, for example, what would the WMT forecast tab in your spreadsheet tell me and I have no idea what the message is - should I be buying the stock, selling the stock or what - no idea. So somehow all this work, I would think, has to end up relating to the client needs - e.g. you made x% last year and your portfolio is expected to make y% this year or something. I think you would benefit from taking some formal courses to have a complete picture - this way, not only you have the tools, but also the knowledge of how this output gets used. Plus the course bolsters your resume. If anybody could do some research on the web and put together a spreadsheet in 2 weeks and are aiming for what I would think would be a 60K+ job, why the hell are there people formally going to college and wasting 4-years of their life and lot of money on college expenses - they should just quit and work on this stuff.
Did you do this work in Excel? Seems like writing a computer program would make this so much easier. Give the program a few parameters and it will happily crank out everything. I would be surprised too if big investment houses don’t have programs to churn out reams of this kind of data. So I don’t think the employment value is in being able to create this data - but it has to be in how to interpret this data and do some what-if analysis.
BTW - the reason that I got interested in looking at the spreadsheet is because I do have a real need that is a lot more practical. The practical need is for some software to track my positions and based on the current date and price, give me some suggestions. As a simplest example, it could look at a stock in my positions and say - “hey - this is down 15% - do you want to continue to hold or get out of it and cut your losses”. Another example would be to take a look at my loss position and before the year is up, remind me - hey, we are within x-days of crossing a one year boundary - if you sell it now, you will get short term losses. And the reverse - “should I sell this?” - no - wait for 2 more weeks and then you would have LT gains. When looking at 3-5 stocks, no need for any of this - but when you have a normal account, IRA and Roth accounts for you and your wife - some of them with 20 different stock positions, then it becomes a bit hard to manage it all on a regular basis.
As someone may have said, open up a high-yield checking account with Ally. I think their rates are above 2.15%. Free to open and no fees. You could honestly put a decent chunk of your money in there and watch it grow.
I’ve used it a small bit and its good if you want to leave some money in.
When I calculate how much interest I would pay over the life of everything I feel like I am just throwing money away for nothing…
There is a popular mis-conception that when you are paying interest, you are throwing money for nothing. What you really have to look at is 2 things:
How much is it costing you to borrow some money per year (after taxes)?
If you took the same money and put it to good use, how much would you earn on that money (after taxes)?
The reason for doing it after taxes is to adjust for the fact that stock appreciation/dividend income is taxed at a lower rate and mortgage interest deductability has become very limited. Don’t know how the biz loan works for that purpose.
If 2 is more than 1, then you are definitely not throwing money away. If 1 is better than 2, then yes - you are throwing money away. But you also have to factor in pre-payment penalty - i.e. if 1 and 2 are the same, 2 wins because it has no pre-payment penalty.
Answer to #1 is probably simple. Answer to #2 - depends on your risk tolerance etc. 95% of the guys on these forums hear stocks/options and they start wetting their pants. Given that, I think the answer is that you probably should pay off. Also, if there is no deductability of interest, I would take the “assured” 5% return by pre-paying early. But if there is deductability and the real interest rate is 3%, I would invest that money for the long term.
I am a Citibank customer, and when going through the application process to open a 6 month CD (2.25% APY), I am given the option chose how often interest will be paid (monthly or at maturity, to CD or to my other accounts).
Learn the difference between Annual Percentage Rate and Annual Percentage Yield, how to calculate them, and why your bank hopes that you can't tell the difference. The APR and APY formulas are similar but have a couple key differences.
I just received another $600 offer and noticed that the fine print has changed:
“You can receive only one new checking and one new savings account opening related bonus every two years from the last enrollment date …”
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While diggler is 300% correct, one key thing is the elimination of AMT. AMT was neutralizing the exemptions, personal property taxes, state tax deduction etc. Even though I live in CA, my taxes are lower with the new tax laws versus the old one. I think the main reason is that I don’t own a mansion just to get the tax breaks.
First, the lady was right in advising you to get an estimate. In fact, I would advise that you get at least two estimates. If it were me, I’d get 3 estimates. Ask each contractor what they would charge if you decided on changes. Do you have a firm remodeling plan sketched out on paper? What would need to be removed? What needs to be moved to a different location? Are you adding or removing windows or a door? Are you making the kitchen larger? Where the support beams are located makes a huge difference in cost when you are moving all or part of a wall. Will you be moving plumbing? Where do you want the electrical connections? What type of lighting? What materials do you want for the sink and the countertops? Do you want an island? Will the flooring need to be replaced? All of that and more will help the contractor give you a knowledgable and fair estimate. If you just figure you’ll spend up to X and stop, you’ll have to make your choices based on the available amount.
Now, as to the lady’s proposal that you apply for more money than you need…I’d find another lender very quickly. It’s wrong, to begin with, and whatever lender you use will base the amount they lend you on the appraised value of the property. The lender will run through your ability to pay, then have a qualified appraiser give them a current market valuation for the property. That is what the lender will go by, and only a dishonest appraiser will add another $25,000 to the appraisal so you can get more than the property is worth, give the extra along with the purchase price to your grandparents, and then have your grandparents kick back the extra to you.
That said, if your grandparents wish to sell the property to you for X (the purchase price, which should be about the market value or a bit less so it’s not a “sweetheart deal”), and they then decide to gift you with $25,000 because you are their beloved grandchild or they wish to loan you $25,000 at current interest rates or a bit lower because you are their beloved grandchild, that might fly. Depends on whether you have other family members who might get irate that you’re getting $25,000 and they’re not.
The main thing is to be very careful to keep the purchase of the property separate from your grandparents gifting or loaning you the remodel money. The bank is investing in the property, and they expect that their loan will be for less than they could get if they foreclose and sell the property, if necessary.
As far as a remodeling loan, if you are getting a loan for less than the appraised value of the property (i.e., property valued at $200,000, purchase price is $180,00 and loan is for $150,000, somewhere along the line the lender is going to want to know where the other $30,000 of the purchase price is coming from - is it a gift from your grandparents or are they loaning you that money. Or are your grandparents selling you the property for well under market value, and why. The bank will not go along with a property valued at $200,000, purchase price is $225,000, and loan is for $225,000) The bank might easily go along with your grandparents selling you the property for $150,000 although the appraisal is $200,000, and they then loan you an additional $25,000 for remodeling purposes since you would have $50,000 in equity in the property because you paid a lot less than the appraised value.
Talk with an attorney, talk with other lenders. it is entirely possible you could obtain a remodeling loan if you will have some equity in the property after closing, depending on how the initial purchase is structured.
I am not an attorney or a loan officer or involved with any lender. I have worked for title companies as a mobile notary public for some 24 years and have dealt with lenders, title companies and borrowers, talking with loan officers and with borrowers at the table, and I do my best to stay informed about the industry.
The question is, what return can you get with the available cash? If it can earn more than 3.75%, then don’t pay off the mortgage. Also remember, when you pay off the mortgage, that money will be difficult to access versus say being in the stock market. This is always a difficult decision and it comes down to: what makes you feel more comfortable?
Read the Reverse Mortgage paperwork. There are NO payments due, ever, period. That’s the purpose of an RM. Once the mortgage company gets their pound of flesh via the upfront fees and charges (taken out of the money due the elderly person or persons), all that happens is interest accumulates…and accumulates…and accumulates. When the last person on the RM dies, the heirs have a choice of paying off the balance due on the RM OR letting the mortgage company have it. Period. I would not call it “foreclosure” since NO money is owed by anyone living or by the estate. Given the circumstances, go with 2 and just get it done. (I’ve conducted a fair amount of RMs over many years as a Mobile Notary Public working for title companies, so I am familiar with the wording and terms on typical paperwork for these.) I can’t think of any “risk” unless the heirs take out fixtures that are part of the real property (no removing the furnace or central H&A, for example) or they damage the property in the course of removing the personal property. Make sure you clarify with the mortgage company the status of the property insurance and responsibility for securing the property and protecting it during the transition and also access for the heirs to remove said personal property.
This is like retiring just for the sake of retiring. Even though I can retire, I want to do it in style. Few more years of work and use the money to upgrade to a home with a really nice view, big windows etc. Then travel at least 3-4 times a year and when at home, enjoy sitting in the nice view room goofing around on the stock market. But I am also using my financial freedom to make sure that I like the job - the day I don’t like it, I will quit.
If somebody does want to retire early, they should maximize their IRA’s, 401K etc and then when they have no income, they can tap into it. Sure may be there is a penalty but hopefully much lower taxes.
The other things to take advantage of - if the company offers it is things like unqualified retirement plans and non-deductible Roth 401K. And don’t forget the HSA.
It is amazing how much effect compounding can have on the money that you didn’t pay to the IRS and keeps growing for you.
What would be the tax treatment for home inspection fees paid before purchase of a rental property?
Am I able to amortize or deduct as expense?
“Closing costs on an investment property may fall into one of three tax categories:
Deductible as a current expense – These amounts are deductible in full as a rental expense in the year the property is purchased
Amortized over the life of the loan – These amounts must be deducted evenly over the total number of loan payments required at the beginning of the loan
Added to the cost basis of the property – These amounts must be added to the cost basis (i.e. the purchase price) of the property and must be depreciated”
Fees for your inspections add to your cost basis of the property.
Cost basis = the original purchase price + closing costs (e.g., legal fees, recording fees, title-search fees, home inspection…), and is used to offset capital gains when selling the property.
According to the IRS:
“Generally, deductible closing costs are those for interest, certain mortgage points, and deductible real estate taxes.
“Many other settlement fees and closing costs for buying the property become additions to your basis in the property and part of your depreciation deduction, including:
Charges for installing utility services
Any amounts the seller owes that you agree to pay (such as back taxes or interest, recording or mortgage fees, charges for improvements or repairs, and sales commissions).
I would find more about the current law. I believe it changed quite a bit since Keebler’s day so it may no longer be doing what you are hoping it would and also, may not be your best option.
I would also add it’s very very unlikely that you will be criminally charged.
The most notable Bankruptcy reform occurred in 2005 (BAPCA) and mine was a few years AFTER that so the new rules already applied. I haven’t heard of any newsworthy change since then.
In fact, I remember seeing graphs showing the number of bankruptcies spike before the law changed and then slowly rise back of from nearly nothing right after the law changed. The number of Bankruptcies before-and-after were virtually unchanged!
Back then I participated in a Bankruptcy forum and learned tons about the Bankruptcy process before I did it. There’s ways to do it wrong and there’s ways to do it right.
Contrary to popular belief, Bankruptcy isn’t for avoiding financial disaster – its for cleaning up after financial disaster.
The best advice that I got was to start living your post-Bankruptcy life before you file for Bankruptcy. In this regard, you reform your finances first and learn to live within your means. Then you use Bankruptcy to avoid having creditors interfere with the recovery that you’ve already put in to motion.
Very generally, you stop paying anyone who’s going to be discharged in the Bankruptcy and you start living paycheck to paycheck. Spend every penny and stop ignoring all the important stuff. Maintain your house and your car. Spend money on your health instead of ignoring it. Get your teeth taken care of. Buy clothing. Spend every penny of your paycheck on reasonable living expenses and don’t leave anything out. Your goal is to demonstrate – by example – that you’re spending every penny of your paycheck on all the reasonable living expenses that normal people have. Don’t skimp out on anything. Keep good records and do it for at least six months (longer if you can).
The Bankruptcy filing will rely on your six months (or more) of history to demonstrate that your living expenses actually consume 100% of your income and therefore you have no money left to repay creditors. This is Chapter 7.
If you manage to have money left to repay creditors, you’ll end up Chapter 13 and you’ll spend the next three to five years repaying what you’ve demonstrated is available.
Far too many people go in to Bankruptcy having skimped and scraped to get by. They neglect healthcare and car maintenance and they live on Ramen noodles. Well, guess what? You’ve demonstrated that you can live on almost nothing and the court will happily put you in to Chapter 13 where you’ll be living on Ramen noodles and skipping car repairs and dental care for FIVE YEARS wile you struggle to repay creditors.
Instead, you should learn what the court thinks are reasonable expenses and live your life fully within those guidelines while you save receipts and establish your pattern. Even if you end up in Chapter 13, you’ll know it well ahead of time because you’ve gotten yourself on a sustainable budget. The best part is that it’ll give yourself the best chance of surviving long-term.
If you can prove that there’s no money left at the end of the month to repay creditors, you’ll be Chapter 7 and you’ll start your new life debt-free and penniless.
Are you an employee or contractor? If an employee, your deduction for unreimbused expenses is (i) contingent on your itemizing (vs. standard deduction) and (ii) only for the amount in excess of 2% of AGI. If you are a contractor, these limits /conditions do not apply, deduct on Schedule C.
@dangeruss In all the years I’ve been married I never knew FSA funds could crossover to the spouse. I thought that a spouse with their own insurance plan and their own FSA account was locked in to only using their own FSA funds. From what I can determine from various webpages that is not true. FSA funds can be used for spouses. Thank you for the tip.