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Auto accident total loss: worth to repair? & how to proceed -- w/ estimate details :)

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rated:
Sustained a not-at-fault collision a few days ago to a 2004 Toyota Prius, 290k miles. Point of impact was front passenger side. Other SUV driver did a sudden left onto my lane -- should have yielded to my right of way. I could not stop in time to avoid the collision.

Estimated cost to repair is $3,500 (from initial insurance estimate). Car is currently at a towyard near accident location. I am not responsible for paying storage fees, nor will they be deducted from the valuation, but only have until July 10th to decide if I want to repair (salvage fee of $385, settlement valuation at $2224) or take the settlement. Insurance allows rental until July 14, so need to come up with a decision relatively quickly. That basically entails one of 3 things: buy new (have the cash on hand, could finance to get any incentives, leaning towards a Prius Two), buy used (not comfortable with the idea -- currently drive and forsee driving a ~30 mile commute over the next few years), or repair OOP (a bit reluctant, given the mileage, even though the hybrid battery seems OK, mileage stats have been slowly diminishing over the last few years)

Although I had planned to keep this and run it to the ground, the accident seems to have beaten me to it. Due to the damage, passenger front door does not open, and hood is warped at the passenger edge (sorry, no pictures yet, but will try to get soon), passenger headlight is busted, The costlier repairs are the aluminum hood ($270), headlamp assy ($320) and fender/fender liner ($240). Complete estimate minus identifying info attached (Ignore sales tax, I'd repair in NH if I would). All in all, it doesn't look that bad, but I also don't have any body repair connections, and there could be hidden damage.

In particular, I am interested in advice on how, if possible, to convince my insurance -- the gecko one -- to pay a higher valuation. Edit: I was under the impression that they were discounting a lot for the mileage difference for the other comparable Prii, but turns out that it's only about a $250 difference. That being said, the adjuster noted that I'm free to search within New England area for comparable vehicles and undergo a 'manual' valuation. This sounds like a bit like the opposite of Citi Price Protection... we can find some lower prices, but we won't find when Fry's discounted the Intel i3-7100 CPU to $89, haha.

One particular idea I have is getting a separate estimate done. The only catch 22 with that is that once the car is out of the toyward, insurance will not pay for storage anywhere else -- i.e. I'll be responsible for towing it. Not sure if AAA is able to do towing on a wrecked car... assuming maybe once and that's it. Probably would have it towed to a Body Shop near my area (southern NH) if I were to think about fixing it, currently it's in Cambridge, MA (thus the MA tax on the estimate)

So with that in mind.. what does FWF think? Repair at a charge of somewhere of $2k+ OOP? Seems a bit steep and wasteful. I have read other threads and don't think this is anything I can sue other party for diminished value given the age of the vehicle. I'm honestly leaning towards buying new, mostly because the Toyota free maintenance for 2 years is hard to beat, plus either financing or cash back incentive + grad rebate, but would appreciate any advice.

In before that will buff right out
In before get a Crown Vic -- the Nissan Altima rental is big enough already compared to the compact... err midsize Prius

Edit 1:
Their 2 comparable vehicles are in Laconia/Salem NH, with 143k and 150k miles, valued at $2171 and $2364 respectively. Their math:
List price: $3900 / $3957
+ Options   421 / 421
- Mileage  1388 / 1252
- Condition 762 / 762

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Let me see if I have this straight.  Geico is going to give you $2200 and then you are thinking about paying $3500 to put this car back on the road?  Why not just go buy one of these 2 comparable vehicles for $3,500 instead?  That's too much work on a car that age that when you are all done will be worth even less than the two grand Geico is giving you now.

As an aside, you are probably paying too much for insurance with only a $250 deductible.  Raise that.

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1) If you buy new you are giving 20% of the value of the car to the dealer. Why?
2) Buy used but not Crown Vic used, something like 2-3 years old.
3) If you keep the salvage, then sounds like you get about $1000 OOP and get to keep the car right?
4) AAA will tow a wrecked car, for 11 miles. Do you have Plus? If not then expect to spend another $100+ to get it where you want it.
5) Nissan Altima's are crap! Return that car and get something else.
http://www.carcomplaints.com/Nissan/Altima/ 

So I would lean to either getting it salvaged and drive until it dies (I don't know where the battery is so I don't know if you hit it)
or get a nicely used car. Don't buy new.

Edit : Lol editing a list after the fact does make numbering funny.

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dcwilbur said:   Let me see if I have this straight.  Geico is going to give you $2200 and then you are thinking about paying $3500 to put this car back on the road?  Why not just go buy one of these 2 comparable vehicles for $3,500 instead?  That's too much work on a car that age that when you are all done will be worth even less than the two grand Geico is giving you now.

As an aside, you are probably paying too much for insurance with only a $250 deductible.  Raise that.

  Fair enough, can investigate looking into comparable vehicles as a possible option. Not too worried about the deductible amount right now w/ rates, but will consider in future, thanks.
forbin4040 said:   1) If you buy new you are giving 20% of the value of the car to the dealer. Why?
2) Buy used but not Crown Vic used, something like 2-3 years old.
3) If you keep the salvage, then sounds like you get about $1000 OOP and get to keep the car right?
4) AAA will tow a wrecked car, for 11 miles. Do you have Plus? If not then expect to spend another $100+ to get it where you want it.
4) Nissan Altima's are crap! Return that car and get something else.
http://www.carcomplaints.com/Nissan/Altima/ 

So I would lean to either getting it salvaged and drive until it dies (I don't know where the battery is so I don't know if you hit it)
or get a nicely used car. Don't buy new. 


1) Would be nice to have a dependable vehicle I don't have to throw money on for a while. 0% loan over 60 months is something I can do easily right now.
2) My only qualm with buying used is that I'd lost out on the free maintance w/ new purchase, but given valuation for comparable vehicles will look into that option as well, as I suspect you are correct.
3) Could keep the totaled car and part it out to some extent, that is one idea, regardless of what I buy. I certainly know I could fetch about $500 with some possible effort on this car (AMP, NAV, MFD, maybe other parts) if someone is interested in buying them. Don't have a good place to put it however -- live in apt complex currently. Could maybe keep it at my sister's but not sure she'd appreciate that. The actual OOP would be higher I think, just the $2200 - $395 salvage fee, unless I missed something.
4) Have AAA Plus, thanks for insight.
5) No worries, did not buy/lease/etc the Nissan, that's just the temporary crap rental
 

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Another place is swap a lease. Those cars still have their warranty and you can get a 'loan' for the residual.
Especially if the person selling 'hates' (cough / cough) their car and is willing to take a bath on it.

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luiset83 said:   
2) My only qualm with buying used is that I'd lost out on the free maintance w/ new purchase, but given valuation for comparable vehicles will look into that option as well, as I suspect you are correct.

  How much is an oil change worth? I mean, most cars in the last 10 years have 100,000 mile major maintance intervals so that shouldn't be an issue. Take the insurance money and put it towards a 2010 model for $8-9K and you should be good for another 200,000 miles.

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I'm just impressed that a Prius made it for 290,000 miles ! I never would have expected that.

My 2 cents - take the cash, buy a 3-5 year old Prius.

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Thanks for the suggestions on buying used, will consider going that route, but with limited time and other commitments might make a long next week. :/ Realistically I know it makes the most financial sense, however, and will look at used Prii of a few model years ago.

Interesting idea in re: swapping leases, however with the current commute I'd go way over any annual lease limits, sadly. Otherwise would consider finding a cheap lease deal.

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Did any of the airbags pop? How rough did you perceive the impact ? Any injuries to you? Doctor visit? When I bought a car, my $$ wiggle room came from minor injuries.

I bought my 2010 Prius used from a reliable dealer and could not be happier.

My car history is drive my cars into the ground until I come out in China. I have been thru what you are asking about for a older Ford Festiva. Different damage area. Given the damage described, I would do some homework for a replacement similar car for negotiation purposes and settle.

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JW10 said:   Did any of the airbags pop? How rough did you perceive the impact ? Any injuries to you? Doctor visit? When I bought a car, my $$ wiggle room came from minor injuries.

I bought my 2010 Prius used from a reliable dealer and could not be happier.

My car history is drive my cars into the ground until I come out in China. I have been thru what you are asking about for a older Ford Festiva. Different damage area. Given the damage described, I would do some homework for a replacement similar car for negotiation purposes and settle.

  Thabks for suggestions. Will try to see about getting imsurance to do that manual valuation my appraiser talked about but might not expect much more than a few hundred at best based on their numbers.

No airbags deployed and I had no injuries. Nothing hurt at all.. lucky in that sense. I felt the impact just as a crush into the bumper and side, but absolutely no pain or anything.. not even sore... basically a bumper angle crash on both vehicles. I'm probably going to look at a few 2014 or 2015 prius models I saw on truecar this weekend. They seem to be under market value even for a nationwide search.. so will start with that and see how it goes.

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I was in a similar situation and I suggest looking at certified pre-owned. Everything you need to know can be found by searching online. I got a 2016 ES350 with only 10K miles because it used to be a service loaner vehicle. It has three years of original manufacturer's warranty remaining plus two years of CPO warranty and the first four maintenance services are free. I also didn't eat the first year of depreciation. My old car was a POS but like an old shoe, it was comfortable and sometimes I miss it.

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qcumber98 said:   I was in a similar situation and I suggest looking at certified pre-owned. Everything you need to know can be found by searching online. I got a 2016 ES350 with only 10K miles because it used to be a service loaner vehicle. It has three years of original manufacturer's warranty remaining plus two years of CPO warranty and the first four maintenance services are free. I also didn't eat the first year of depreciation. My old car was a POS but like an old shoe, it was comfortable and sometimes I miss it.
  Thanks for the suggestion. I found a few I might be interested that are CPO, but seem to be outside of the general area... not sure if I really want to pick up a car a few states away, but I did narrow down a list of about 4 to 5 Prii that are decently priced for being 2014 models, most being decently local.

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Reasons I'd settle & get another car. Unibody, hit that damaged door & hood (repairing this so both door & hood hang correctly is difficult) & hidden battery damage.

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Just an fYI about CPO, that's a secondary warranty that is not as good as factory.
Factory warranties have 'exclusions', CPO warranties have 'inclusions'.

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qcumber98 said:   I was in a similar situation and I suggest looking at certified pre-owned. Everything you need to know can be found by searching online. I got a 2016 ES350 with only 10K miles because it used to be a service loaner vehicle. It has three years of original manufacturer's warranty remaining plus two years of CPO warranty and the first four maintenance services are free. I also didn't eat the first year of depreciation. My old car was a POS but like an old shoe, it was comfortable and sometimes I miss it.

Why would you pay extra money for a CPO used car when it is still new enough to be covered by the manufacturer warranty?

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avalon6 said:   
qcumber98 said:   I was in a similar situation and I suggest looking at certified pre-owned. Everything you need to know can be found by searching online. I got a 2016 ES350 with only 10K miles because it used to be a service loaner vehicle. It has three years of original manufacturer's warranty remaining plus two years of CPO warranty and the first four maintenance services are free. I also didn't eat the first year of depreciation. My old car was a POS but like an old shoe, it was comfortable and sometimes I miss it.

Why would you pay extra money for a CPO used car when it is still new enough to be covered by the manufacturer warranty?

  What?  I didn't pay extra.  Even with a typical CPO Lexus that is 3 years old, it still has one year manufacturer plus two years CPO warranty.

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forbin4040 said:   Just an fYI about CPO, that's a secondary warranty that is not as good as factory.
Factory warranties have 'exclusions', CPO warranties have 'inclusions'.

Maybe for other manufacturers.  I only see exclusions here.  http://www.lexus.com/lcertified/certification-warranty

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qcumber98 said:   
forbin4040 said:   Just an fYI about CPO, that's a secondary warranty that is not as good as factory.
Factory warranties have 'exclusions', CPO warranties have 'inclusions'.

Maybe for other manufacturers.  I only see exclusions here.  http://www.lexus.com/lcertified/certification-warranty

  Nope, it's an 'inclusive warranty' but it's definitely on the 'nicer ones' list.
https://www.sc.toyotafinancial.com/web/lfs/pub/contents/vsa/LFS_VSA_LCertified_Digital_Brochure.pdf
 

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forbin4040 said:   
qcumber98 said:   
forbin4040 said:   Just an fYI about CPO, that's a secondary warranty that is not as good as factory.
Factory warranties have 'exclusions', CPO warranties have 'inclusions'.

Maybe for other manufacturers.  I only see exclusions here.  http://www.lexus.com/lcertified/certification-warranty

  Nope, it's an 'inclusive warranty' but it's definitely on the 'nicer ones' list.
https://www.sc.toyotafinancial.com/web/lfs/pub/contents/vsa/LFS_VSA_LCertified_Digital_Brochure.pdf 

No, I saw that before I posted earlier.  On page 2 it states, "VSA coverage begins after Certified Limited Warranty expires".  They are not the same thing.  I believe VSA is extended warranty.

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nice you get 2 year Certified Warranty, that's better than the 'Toyota or Honda' versions.

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luiset83 said:   
In before that will buff right out
In before get a Crown Vic 

  

Thats just taking all the fun out of car threads
 

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In the day and age of $2 a gallon gas, why buy another hybrid?

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woowoo2 said:   In the day and age of $2 a gallon gas, why buy another hybrid?
  Perhaps Hybrid purchasers belong to that group of "foolish" people who want:
1. to reduce their carbon footprint, or
2. to support research into vehicles fueled safely by Hydrogen or LNG, or
3. to hope to never see $4.00 per gallon gas.

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woowoo2 said:   In the day and age of $2 a gallon gas, why buy another hybrid?

Our gas is $2.40
Gas won't stay cheap.
Even at today's prices paying more for a hybrid model of a car can still pay off financially over the expected use if the car.

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jerosen said:   
woowoo2 said:   In the day and age of $2 a gallon gas, why buy another hybrid?

Our gas is $2.40
Gas won't stay cheap.
Even at today's prices paying more for a hybrid model of a car can still pay off financially over the expected use if the car.

  That's what my coworker thought until he had to replace his battery.

A used corolla would still have the gas savings, be cheaper to purchase, and have less of a carbon footprint than the hybrid.

 

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woowoo2 said:   
jerosen said:   
woowoo2 said:   In the day and age of $2 a gallon gas, why buy another hybrid?

Our gas is $2.40
Gas won't stay cheap.
Even at today's prices paying more for a hybrid model of a car can still pay off financially over the expected use if the car.

  That's what my coworker thought until he had to replace his battery.

A used corolla would still have the gas savings, be cheaper to purchase, and have less of a carbon footprint than the hybrid.

 

  Agreed. Besides being 7-10k more expensive. Battery replacement is my biggest concern at 5k.

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zapjb said:   
woowoo2 said:   
jerosen said:   
woowoo2 said:   In the day and age of $2 a gallon gas, why buy another hybrid?

Our gas is $2.40
Gas won't stay cheap.
Even at today's prices paying more for a hybrid model of a car can still pay off financially over the expected use if the car.

  That's what my coworker thought until he had to replace his battery.

A used corolla would still have the gas savings, be cheaper to purchase, and have less of a carbon footprint than the hybrid.

 

  Agreed. Besides being 7-10k more expensive. Battery replacement is my biggest concern at 5k.

  It doesn't cost that much to replace a hybrid battery.  Usually, a few cells are bad and the rest don't need replacement.  There are companies that specialize in doing this.  You can usually get it fixed for less than $1000.  

They're releasing a hybrid Camry for about $3800 more than the non-hybrid that gets 50 mpg and doesn't lose any trunk space and you can still fold down the seats.  

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Cool beans. I'll look harder at them when next I'm looking.

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So after looking at a few used Prii and seeing some issues (suspension didn't feel right, smelly interior among the issues) went to a dealer to look at a low miles 2017, and of course they couldn't find it... the manager claimed it might have gone to an auction...

Anyway, long story short they did have a 2017 Prius Prime Premium sitting in their lot for 60+ days that with incentives/discounts came out to be $24.7k. The nice thing about that one is that it also comes with the federal tax plug-in credit of $4500. On top of that, the garage at school has some outlets I could use to charge it there.

As I understand it, it seems like I would need to end up having a tax liability to use this full $4500 amount. So my plan is to effectively have nothing withheld from my paycheck for the rest of the year and, with the credit, pay zero taxes on the rest of the take home pay. Even with that done, I would still have about half the credit left over, so the next idea would be to convert part of a 401k/IRA to a Roth and use the rest of the credit that way.

Any other creative ways to increase my tax liability to my benefit?

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luiset83 said:   So after looking at a few used Prii and seeing some issues (suspension didn't feel right, smelly interior among the issues) went to a dealer to look at a low miles 2017, and of course they couldn't find it... the manager claimed it might have gone to an auction...

Anyway, long story short they did have a 2017 Prius Prime Premium sitting in their lot for 60+ days that with incentives/discounts came out to be $24.7k. The nice thing about that one is that it also comes with the federal tax plug-in credit of $4500. On top of that, the garage at school has some outlets I could use to charge it there.

As I understand it, it seems like I would need to end up having a tax liability to use this full $4500 amount. So my plan is to effectively have nothing withheld from my paycheck for the rest of the year and, with the credit, pay zero taxes on the rest of the take home pay. Even with that done, I would still have about half the credit left over, so the next idea would be to convert part of a 401k/IRA to a Roth and use the rest of the credit that way.

Any other creative ways to increase my tax liability to my benefit?

  tax liability <> tax owed (the check you may have to write along with your 1040 filing).
IOW, you can get a (partial or total) refund of the already withheld tax on your income (from Jan 2017 till date). You dont necessarily have to do a 401k/trad IRA to Roth conversion.

ETA: If your tax situation in 2017 will not be much different than in 2016, look at the section "Tax and credits" on your 2016 tax return:
lines 48 to 54 have some of the credits (line 54 will contain the PHEV credit). As long as amount in line 47 is larger than the sum of lines 48-54, you can use the full tax credit.
(line numbers depend on the version of form 1040 you used).

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What you have withheld from your paycheck really has nothing to do with your overall tax liability. That is based on how much you make, vs how many deductions/credits you are entitled to. Changing your withholding will do nothing.

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luiset83 said:   As I understand it, it seems like I would need to end up having a tax liability to use this full $4500 amount. So my plan is to effectively have nothing withheld from my paycheck for the rest of the year and, with the credit, pay zero taxes on the rest of the take home pay. Even with that done, I would still have about half the credit left over, so the next idea would be to convert part of a 401k/IRA to a Roth and use the rest of the credit that way.
Or do nothing and just get a big tax refund next Spring.  Look at Line 63  - Total Tax on your tax return from last year.  As long as you expect this number to be greater than $4,500 for 2017, you'll get back anything that has been withheld or credited in excess.  

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Last year's numbers had $2725 in taxes as filed on my federal tax return, so maybe transferring some of the money that is on an old 401k plan (pre-tax contributions) from a previous employer to a Roth IRA might be all I would need to fully use the $4500 credit. Read online that the amount I convert is generally considered taxable income. Is this correct? If so I will choose the amount wisely, as it would put some of the amount converted in the next higher bracket, I believe.

FWIW: ~95% of the money in that account is pre-tax, the rest was employer matches -- not sure how that remaining part is treated or if it even matters. I worked for the employer that I have that old 401k in from 2008-2010, if it makes any difference.

Total wages last year were $30.5k, with $2725 in total taxes.
This year will be slighly higher, maybe $31.5k or so.. assuming taxes will be around $2900, maybe a bit less, depending on how many bank bonuses hit this year, (ha!) On grad student budget until PhD is done hopefully later this year.

So if my math is right... $37950 (15% bracket limit) - $31500 (estimated 2016 income) = $6450 in conversion funds subject to lower 15% bracket

15% of $6450 is $968 -- so $2900 + $968 = $3868 of the credit used.

Now, I would need $4500 (total credit) - $3868 = $632 in additional taxes @ 25% bracket to fully use the credit... So give or take, that means $2500 in additional conversion funds... for a total of $8950 in 401k -> Roth conversion funds. Already have a Roth @ TDAmeritrade (taking advantage of their free ETF selections), so no need to even open a new account. Please verify my math and any assumptions. Thanks for the helpful advice!!!

Edit 1: Forgot about the maximum $5,500 contribution limit to Roth/year.
Edit 2: Seems like Roth conversions don't have limits? If so this approach looks doable.

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luiset83 said:   Total wages last year were $30.5k, with $2725 in total taxes.
This year will be slighly higher, maybe $31.5k or so.. assuming taxes will be around $2900, maybe a bit less, depending on how many bank bonuses hit this year, (ha!) On grad student budget until PhD is done hopefully later this year.

 

If this were me, I wouldn't be buying a $25,000 car.  

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dcwilbur said:   
luiset83 said:   Total wages last year were $30.5k, with $2725 in total taxes.
This year will be slighly higher, maybe $31.5k or so.. assuming taxes will be around $2900, maybe a bit less, depending on how many bank bonuses hit this year, (ha!) On grad student budget until PhD is done hopefully later this year.

 

If this were me, I wouldn't be buying a $25,000 car.  

  Point taken, and fair enough. PhD is in Electrical Engineering, and have worked in the defense sector in the past, and might again soon, so not too worried about job security. Could have paid cash for it honestly -- not very much expenses over the last few years. Financed to leave that cash available and put $7k down, reasonable payments ~$300/mth. That being said, would appreciate comments/math&validity checks on the 401k -> Roth IRA conversion.

FWIW, the manual valuation of a comparable vehicle I looked for that I submitted to the auto damage adjuster last week resulted in a higher $3150 valuation for the total loss car (+$925 from initial automated one). Not bad for 30 minutes of looking!

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If your total income is $31,500 then your taxable income is $21,100 (for 2017) after standard deduction $6350 and exemption $4050. Top of the 15% bracket is $37,950. That gives you $16,850 room in the 15% bracket.
If you convert $12,006 of your 401k to a Roth that will put you right at $4500 in tax.
Are you sure you're accounting for everything? $30,500 in income shouldn't quite get you $2725 in taxes. Should have been more like $2500.

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jerosen said:   If your total income is $31,500 then your taxable income is $21,100 (for 2017) after standard deduction $6350 and exemption $4050. Top of the 15% bracket is $37,950. That gives you $16,850 room in the 15% bracket.
If you convert $12,006 of your 401k to a Roth that will put you right at $4500 in tax.
Are you sure you're accounting for everything? $30,500 in income shouldn't quite get you $2725 in taxes. Should have been more like $2500.

  Thanks for clearing that up for me, and good catch. Apparently I goofed --- gave the total wages, forgot to add ~$1700 in taxable interest last year -- didn't I say I did a few bank bonuses? and ~$500 deduction on student interest. This year I anticipate anywhere from $350+$200+$200+$150 = $900 in bank bonuses (interest income) that I can recall, plus about maybe $400 in additional regular bank interest income (mixed rewards checking @ 3% + 2 insight 5% APY cards @ 5k each).. One or two of those bonuses might not hit this year (one may not hit at all, churned it, ha), so I'd say conservatively $900 in interest income. Don't think I have paid any additional interest in student loans this year, and given this credit it wouldn't be of benefit, heh. (subsidized interest/deferred on all remaining student loans)

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You have a PhD in electrical engineering and you made $30k last year and will make $31k this year? How come? Its absolutely none of my business, so feel free to completely ignore this post, but I'm nosy and you volunteered the info, so I figured I would ask.

EDIT: Definitely missed the part about GETTING the PhD. Thought you already had it. My fault.

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meade18 said:   You have a PhD in electrical engineering and you made $30k last year and will make $31k this year? How come? Its absolutely none of my business, so feel free to completely ignore this post, but I'm nosy and you volunteered the info, so I figured I would ask.
  OP is a graduate student, pursuing a PhD in EE; not yet graduated and "working".
luiset83 said:   
dcwilbur said:   
luiset83 said:   On grad student budget until PhD is done hopefully later this year.

 

If this were me, I wouldn't be buying a $25,000 car.  
 

  PhD is in Electrical Engineering, and have worked in the defense sector in the past, and might again soon, so not too worried about job security.
 

  

Skipping 16 Messages...
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meade18 said:   Jerosen,
Your posts made me question where I was seeing this info, so I went back and tried to find it. Apparently I was wrong about the claim that electrics emit more co2 over a lifetime. They never claimed that. My fault. The claims being made were more along the line of the difference in emissions isn't worth the government subsidies. I.E. if an electric emits 30 tons of co2 over its lifetime and a gas car emits 60 tons (pg 40 in the report you linked), and the cost to "offset" those 30 tons is $300, it doesn't make sense to subsidize them to the tune of thousands of dollars. That's assuming a ton of carbon emissions costs $10 to offset. A consumer site I found wanted $5 to offset 1000 lbs. Apparently one certified emission reduction (CER) is trading for something like 21 cents. So if it costs $6.30 to offset 30 tons of co2, why spend all this money?

  

Yeah thats a good line of argument.       I don't know if it makes sense for the government to subsidize electric cars as much as they do.    But thats really a different question than the ROI for an individual consumer.

Subsidies for electric cars (should) accomplish more than just helping to reduce carbon emissions.    Right now our consumption of oil makes us highly dependent on foreiign countries that often aren't friendly.    If we could replace all our gas cars with EVs we could possible become independent of foreign oil.    Think how much we'd save as a nation (in the long run) if we didn't wage wars in foreign deserts for $1-2T at a pop, primarily due to oil interests.

I think reducing pollution is important and thats actually separate from CO2 emissions.    But EVs do have to use cleaner sources for the electricity than coal plants for the net pollution to drop significantly.    Thankfully most EVs are sold in areas with cleaner electricity production.  

Also on the topic, its debated whether those carbon offsets are really effective or sometimes if they're even legit.   The fact that the market is so flooded with them that they're dirt cheap could mean that the projects would have happened regardless and so buying them really doesn't reduce CO2 net.   Or they could be dirt cheap because they're fraudulent.

EV incentives can also help stimulate economic activity and scientific R&D.    Those also have benefits to our nation.

Still I can understand if people question the value of the EV subsidy..
 

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