Fatwallet.com Finance Our Mission - Serve consumers with knowledge, value and guidance. https://www.fatwallet.comhttps://static-forums.fatwallet.com/static/i/spacer.gifFatWallet.comhttps://www.fatwallet.com <![CDATA[Tax implications for Foreign property - Inherit after death or transfer name by buying out family member]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530467

Rating: 0 Posted By: FridayGal
Views: 98 Replies: 1

A family member (who lives in Asia) and I will be inheriting our family home (in Asia) from our parents. The inheritance process is rather complicated in the country and therefore, my parents would like to transfer the property to both or one of our names before they passed on. Since the family member is not interested in the property, he has agreed to sell off his share of the property to me next year so that the title can solely be in my name. Does anyone know what the US tax implication is for reporting (when the title is transferred to my name) and later on for when I sell the property (I will keep it at least 5 years) to minimize the country local capital gains tax? It will not be a primary residence or a rental property (will be used my other family members with no rent payments).
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530467 Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:54:00 -0500
<![CDATA[Tried to refinance student loan but they changed the rate on me during the last step]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530454

Rating: 0 Posted By: indebted
Views: 113 Replies: 1

I am currently refinanced with SoFi at 4.85% variable for 15 years. I submitted an application with Commonbond that gave me a 3.6% variable rate for 15 years so I was going to make the switch.

The 3.6% seemed almost set through all of the steps except when I received an approval notice to sign the papers. I see that Commonbond raised my rate to 4.33% which is a huge difference from the 3.6% they quoted me. When I submitted documents of my existing SoFi refinanced loans, it showed my current rate. Do they look at this? I thought they try to give what is fair and not base on my current rate. It seems like a bait and switch because I would not have gone through all the trouble to get my documents and everything if all I could get is a 4.33.Any thoughts on how to get the quoted rate when I call tomorrow?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530454 Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:12:04 -0500
<![CDATA[Selling a home, buyer backs out of contract]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530435

Rating: 0 Posted By: rechtien
Views: 400 Replies: 14

Hello FW Finance. I will try to keep this short.

Property location - Alabama. Listed for sale 2 weeks ago. Buyer made an offer and offer was signed Thursday 22 Sep 2016 by both parties, $500 earnest money by buyer. Monday 26 Sep buyer decides they no longer want to purchase the house. No contingencies were reached to give the buyer an out of the contract (no inspection, etc). When informed the earnest money would be forfeited the buyer stopped payment on the check.

Home list price 109k
Offer agreement 97.5k pending inspection

Questions - Realtor is telling me she has never had this happen before and certainly it has never happened to me. I have filled out one of those online consultations forms with a RE attorney and am awaiting a phone call. Not looking to sue. Some things I found on the web - Buyer may be responsible for difference between sales price and our contract price if lower. Buyer responsible for 'reasonable' attorney fees if litigation occurs. Buyer forfeits earnest money which is split between seller/agent (in my contract). Buyer subject to 'failure to perform' damages if I can prove any (not likely, only off the market a couple of days, no money spent).

I do not plan on taking any legal action unless I sell at a considerable less price than our contract. Do I need to do anything to preserve this option?
What is reasonable?
Should I bother with the earnest money or just let that go?
Anything else I am missing?

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530435 Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:30:07 -0500
<![CDATA[Minimizing Tax Exposure on $80-100K]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530388

Rating: 0 Posted By: BMA2016
Views: 623 Replies: 28

Around December-January of this year, I am expected to get a small windfall of $80K - $100K (pretax) from the sale of my company stock. I am looking for advice regarding minimizing my taxes, as this payout will be considered additional compensation and will be taxed at a higher rate (not at dividend tax rate).My tax bracket is 28%. Thus far, I am thinking of doing the following:- Maxing out my 401K ($18,000)- Buying a 2-3 single family houses or 1-2 multi families (I am an experienced RE investor)Other than above, I am not sure what else I can do to minimize my tax exposure. I fully recognize that tax advice is not being provided and I should talk with a tax professional, however if you have any experience/ideas regarding minimizing the tax exposure for Tax Year 2017, I would greatly appreciate it!
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530388 Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:35:36 -0500
<![CDATA[Investing in mutual funds]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530382

Rating: 0 Posted By: bpaoffer
Views: 337 Replies: 4

I have my wifes and my roth IRA, a 529 plan, and a few misc mutual funds all invested through american funds.

For example my roth IRA returns says

Annualized since initial investment 2.19%

Year to date 8%

So if i underatand this right ive made 2.19% since ive started the fund, and made 8% this year...

Now, i always hear that you should invest in funds with good long track records that average 10-12%... where in the world do you find mutual funds that make much better rates of return?

Whats eating at me here is going through brokers and investing in american funds, it seems as though american funds dont perform at the top 10-12% rate of return.. and i would like to be able to get into finding funds that have better rates of return and having more options besides just american funds...

Where am i going with this? Do i need to look at changing to vanguard and selecting and manageing which funds my money goes in myself through vanguard? Would i have way more options then to find better performing mutual funds?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530382 Wed, 28 Sep 2016 12:54:44 -0500
<![CDATA[If Fed starts to raise interest rates, what mutual funds or stocks will benefit?]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530380

Rating: 0 Posted By: docjoo
Views: 517 Replies: 20

I feel it's like time to change my investment strategy and diversify my current stock investments (mostly tech companies). Any recommendations on mutual funds or stocks that will benefit when interest rates go up?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530380 Wed, 28 Sep 2016 12:39:10 -0500
<![CDATA[$400 PNC checking bonus! YMMV]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530293

Rating: 4 Posted By: SinglePapa
Views: 1397 Replies: 7

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530293 Wed, 28 Sep 2016 05:34:30 -0500
<![CDATA[$375 for opening First Republic ATM Rebate Checking (SF branch visit required)]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530205

Rating: 0 Posted By: Waffles
Views: 557 Replies: 0

I'm a little surprised this hasn't been posted here yet.
Reddit Post
tiltcredit said: The First Republic Bank at 405 Howard Street is offering $350 for $3,500 for 90 days. Also requires DD (no minimum per the rep) and 2 bill pays.
I've called all other branches in the city, and they've all quoted me $350 for $10,000, so I think the promotion is specific to this branch.
Their hours are 8:30am to 5pm (M-Th) and 8:30 to 6PM (F).

The initial deposit to open the account has to be a check (and at least $500 I just did $3,500 in one go though).
You can get a goodie bag with stuff, an umbrella, and a cup. The umbrella is actually pretty good.

You can get the remaining $25 by installing Trusteer Rapport software.

They also have yummy apples and chocolate chip cookies.
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530205 Tue, 27 Sep 2016 20:19:20 -0500
<![CDATA[Is AD&D insurance worth having ?]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530183

Rating: 0 Posted By: anathemax
Views: 1126 Replies: 28


As I'm kind of a newbie in the field of insurances, I'm wondering if accidental death insurance is worth getting (maybe as an addition to term life) ? Could anyone tell me which (maybe online-insurance companies provide the best value and what to consider ?

I already found some general explanations on https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20160412164435AAOHS... and http://death-insurance.com/add-insurance-worth-having/ but I'm still none the wiser if I really should get it.

Thanks in advance !
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530183 Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:12:15 -0500
<![CDATA[Credit card price protection]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530175

Rating: 2 Posted By: mstr11
Views: 982 Replies: 14

I'm considering a fairly major purchase and there are two retailers. One has a fairly shady reputation and the other does not. The shady guys, though are several hundred dollars lower on the price.

So, I'm wondering about the experience of others at Fatwallet with credit card price protection features and whether I could use it in such a situation. I don't have a Discover card, but could use a Citi card with price rewind or a Chase Freedom card with price protection as one of the benefits. Any horror stories, caveats, or other general warnings?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1530175 Tue, 27 Sep 2016 15:12:50 -0500
<![CDATA[Vanguard Fund Transaction Price ]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529941

Rating: 0 Posted By: rts
Views: 1250 Replies: 5

It's always been a mystery to me what price Vanguard charges for the Mutual Fund orders. For instance:

I placed an $20k order for VTTHX (Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Fund) from an existing account on Vanguard's website on Saturday 9/24. The money is supposed to come from a bank transfer from my personal Bank account (a credit union nothing to do with Vanguard). I'm guessing that the money will take ~2 business days to make it to Vanguard (say Tuesday 9/27). Now the question is what rate will Vanguard provide forVTTHX? Will it be:

1. Order placed rate (Close of day - Friday 9/23 since this is the last rate since the close of market)
2. Market opening rate on Monday 9/26 morning
3. Market closing rate on Monday 9/26 evening
4. Rate on the day (exact moment) when money gets transferred from my bank to Vanguard account - Tuesday 9/27
5. Rate on the day (market opening rate) when money gets transferred from my bank to Vanguard account - Tuesday 9/27 morning
6. Rate on the day (market closing rate) when money gets transferred from my bank to Vanguard account - Tuesday 9/27 evening

Will be helpful to know given the magnitude of investment and the ongoing market fluctuation. I called Vanguard to ask and the rep had no clue. Anybody knows? Thanks!
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529941 Mon, 26 Sep 2016 18:20:49 -0500
<![CDATA[Worth paying lawyer for traffic tickets - must appear in court]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529886

Rating: 0 Posted By: elfrozo
Views: 1817 Replies: 41

Greetings FW,

I am in Cook County (Illinois) and scheduled to appear in court for two tickets. The first was for going the wrong way on a one-way and the second was for improper use of intersection.

Basically, I got confused for a few seconds and made a turn in a direction I didn't want to go. I made a U-turn to go back but didn't realize it was a one way. Then when I turned back on to the original street I was on I made the "improper use of intersection".

Clean driving record over 15 years - no tickets of any kind.

I contacted a lawyer close to the court house and he quoted $250. Also called "Ticket Clinic" which quoted $150 for a lawyer. The initial lawyer might be better as he visits that court on a regular basis and probably knows the prosecutor.

My question is this: For $250, is it worth having representation? If I'm going to get a fine anyway then I might as well not be represented and pay the fine. The lawyer is not able to give any type of guarantee of what he can do. He claims that the outcomes are usually better with a lawyer but I'm not sure if they're $250 better. Should I pay the $250 or just go on my own and deal with whatever fines I get?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529886 Mon, 26 Sep 2016 13:20:59 -0500
<![CDATA[Bought a flip house with not-to-code plumbing and wiring. Advice?]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529883

Rating: 3 Posted By: kenblakely
Views: 2342 Replies: 41

OK: Just bought a flip in Texas, and the flipper did a pretty bad job. Not profoundly bad, but bad enough.

Paid cash, so no loan. Contract was standard real estate "as-is-where-is".

I've crawled around under the house, and some of the wiring is clearly not to code. Doesn't seem obviously dangerous, and everything electrical works properly, but it's clearly not to code.

The plumbing system keeps backing up. I've had two plumbers from two competing companies come out. Plumber 1 crawled around under the house said "everything was done wrong and will have to be completely redone". Plumber 2 never said anything like that, even after putting a camera into the system, but he never went under the house either. So far the whole affair hasn't cost me that much: about $400 in plumber's fees (thank god for home warranty), but I have a feeling it's gonna get bad.

Don't bother telling me I'm a fool for buying a flip, or that I didn't inspect it properly or caveat emptor ot PYBD or anything like that. I ALREADY KNOW AND ACCEPT ALL THAT. Don't ask for pics either; no women involved.

Any ideas or advice on recovering expenses from the seller, or placing complaints for substandard / notToCode work or anything like that? Is there any possibility of leverage at all?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529883 Mon, 26 Sep 2016 13:12:16 -0500
<![CDATA[Bought a foreclosure. Might be a dead man's. Looking for ideas.]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529861

Rating: 7 Posted By: solarUS
Views: 4423 Replies: 63

Last month picked up a foreclosure at the sheriff's sale. I've done this several times over the years. Previously, when there were occupants, i knew what to do procedurally in my jurisdiction. If tenant, then either get them to sign a lease or evict them (after the requisite 90 days). If owner, then file for writ of possession and evict them (no waiting period)

HOWEVER - this time the place is essentially abandoned. No utilities are on, havent been for a year. BUT the previous occupant's stuff is still very much in the house. It looks like somebody just skedaddled in a hurry. Property was owned by one guy, no family entanglements on the title.

My limited internet sleuthing has turned up squat on his whereabouts. Can't find him in the obituaries, and can't get a copy of a death certificate because I'm not family or representing family.

FWF hive mind - activate!
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529861 Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:42:26 -0500
<![CDATA[Ethics Question: Cash the Ex's Check?]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529838

Rating: 3 Posted By: BigManonCampus
Views: 1876 Replies: 28

An interesting FWF question, I recently ended a relationship with a girlfriend (not wife) who owed me around $2,000. When we returned each other's personal property, I asked when I could expect to see that money (expecting to be told I where I could stick that request) and the ex wrote a personal check on the spot. She told me she didn't have the money, but she had overdraft protection so I could at least get my money.

The ex owns a business which is teetering on the edge of insolvency and bankruptcy and she's going into her busiest season so it would be most beneficial for her to have that cash to invest in her business instead of paying off her significant other. It would be nice to have the money, but I'm in good financial condition and the $2,000 won't make or break me. I've gotten the suggestion that I should try and work out some form of payment plan, but I foresee one of two results:

1. I don't get many (any?) payments when she wakes up and says "screw big man, what's he going to do about it?"
2. She winds up in bankruptcy in the next 6 months and my changes for repayment go from slim to none, as enforced by a judge.

The way I'm looking at it is the money was spent by her with the agreement it be returned, her financial issues are her problem. On the other hand, it seems crappy to kick her when she's already down.

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529838 Mon, 26 Sep 2016 10:11:56 -0500
<![CDATA['The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Bonanza' (Brookings)]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529675

Rating: 8 Posted By: tuphat
Views: 2991 Replies: 34

Moderately interesting Brookings paper with which even many conservatives may agree. Focuses mainly on the use of the PSLF program by those with graduate and professional degrees, to obtain loan forgiveness after 10 years of income-based repayments.

"Unlike other loan forgiveness programs targeted at certain professions, PSLF defines public service broadly enough to encompass a quarter of the U.S. workforce. Eligible employment includes any position at a federal, state, or local government entity, or non-profit organization with a 501(c)(3) designation ..."

"Ironically, the current definition of public service is so broad that it treats identically situated borrowers very differently. ... Two nurses living in the same city with the same earnings and debt levels, one working at a for-profit hospital and the other at a non-profit hospital; two IT professionals working across the street from one another, each with the same income and debt levels, one working at a small non-profit, the other working at a small business. These individuals receive very different levels of government support for arbitrary reasons, because of how PSLF defines public, but not because they are engaged in different types of work. A clearer and stricter definition of public service would prevent such scenarios, treat similarly situated borrowers the same, and better Targetincentives to fill shortages in specific fields."

"The disproportionate share of graduate and professional students using PSLF should be a wake-up call for policymakers. In fact, PSLF provides a big incentive to borrow more for graduate school. ... Students who might balk at the high price of a graduate degree that is not likely to lead to a large increase in their earnings now face much lower effective prices for the degreeeven a price of zero. That is bound to allow schools to set prices higher than they otherwise would and offer degrees with questionable value in the labor market. ..."

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529675 Sun, 25 Sep 2016 16:52:59 -0500
<![CDATA[Why is this guy buying so much mens underwear and then returning it?]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529669

Rating: 12 Posted By: atikovi
Views: 6130 Replies: 48

Cleaning out the trunk of a car I just bought and found over a dozen receipts from WalMart, Target, Kohls, JCP for mens underwear. 3 MENS BXR BRF and 1 MENS CREW, 2 HANESP BOXE and 4 HANESP CLAS, 2 JKY BOXER B and a JKY TEE UND, 3 MENS UNDERWEAR, 3 MENS BXR BRF, 3 MENS CREW, 4 HP SLIM CRE, 2 HNS XTEMP CREW and 2 HNS XTEMP BXRBRF, etc. That in and of itself isn't the bizarre part. It's that with almost all these purchases, I see receipts that he returns them. Is this some kind of MS scheme I haven't heard of?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529669 Sun, 25 Sep 2016 16:11:36 -0500
<![CDATA[Auto loan refinancing question]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529639

Rating: -2 Posted By: bbrite
Views: 1323 Replies: 15

These offers are something like we can lower your auto loan rate from 7.9% to 2.99%. Are these offers legit and what are the loopholes or catches?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529639 Sun, 25 Sep 2016 13:29:19 -0500
<![CDATA[Targeted 10K points from AmEx to enroll in Extended Payment Option]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529637

Rating: 4 Posted By: Hadrianus
Views: 1359 Replies: 5

I received this offer in regular mail. I wonder if there are any catches or fees or I can earn 10K membership rewards points by simply enrolling in their Extended Payment Option.
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529637 Sun, 25 Sep 2016 13:23:43 -0500
<![CDATA[AmEx AutoPay: Incorrect bank name shown in paper/PDF statement]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529508

Rating: 0 Posted By: whodunits
Views: 1348 Replies: 9

I noticed in my September 2016 American Express card statement the bank name listed in my most recent AutoPay transaction shows "WELLS FARGO BANK, NA" instead of the name of my actual bank. The ACH withdrawal was properly processed from my bank, however.

Did anyone else experience this goof?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529508 Sat, 24 Sep 2016 20:02:37 -0500
<![CDATA[Not good at math??]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529357

Rating: -4 Posted By: LocalMotion
Views: 2337 Replies: 19

Sorry have not posted in this forum in awhile. Anyway, a quick question for all you math geniuses.

Current rent is $625 per month. Which option is better?

Option #1:

8 month lease renewal for $650.00 per month with $50 off first month.

Option #2:

14 month lease renewal for $650 per month with $100 off first month.

I would think that Option #2 is the better deal as for 6 months more one would receive $100 off as opposed to 8 months (Option #1) x 2 = 16 months for $100 off. So, with Option #1 I pay $25 more per month for 6 months after $50 1st month off as opposed to Option #2 where I pay $25 more per month for 10 months after $100 off first month. What am I missing?

Thank you,

P.S. Almost 100% positive they will increase the rent after the contract is fulfilled; they have every year for the last 6yrs, but it used to be only by $10 per month.

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529357 Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:09:09 -0500
<![CDATA[Homeowners Insurance - does it provide liability cover for injured worker?]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529142

Rating: 0 Posted By: peps2004
Views: 2552 Replies: 31

A friend works as a handyman for a building contractor. Apparently he's not an official employee and so isn't covered under workers' comp (sounds like that's what he's been told by his employer - not sure if that's actually true or not).

He was recently doing a job on someone's house and has severely injured his leg as a result of an accident there (ended up with bones exposed and poking through the leg). He's therefore probably not going to be able to work for several months and inevitably has medical bills and doesn't have health insurance.

I remember seeing threads on here (like the pipe/hole in front yard thread?) which suggested that the homeowner would have liability insurance as part of their homeowners insurance that covers accidents on the property. Neither myself nor my friend are keen on pursuing that idea as it would presumably jack up their insurance premiums. However, my friend is likely going to be in a seriously bad financial situation as a result of this accident, so we also don't want to rule it out.

So a few questions:

  1. Would the homeowners insurance be something he could make a claim under?
  2. If so, how would he go about making a claim, as I'm guessing he wouldn't get too far with the homeowner if he asked for their insurance company's details?
  3. If he's acting as an independent contractor for his employer, is he eligible for workers' comp? I know there are certain rules about whether or not someone can be regarded as an independent contractor; I'm not sure if he could even be regarded as this by the IRS. This would be my preferred routebut knowing his employer, even if he was able to claim workers' comp, it would probably mean he wouldn't get any jobs with him in the future if and when he's able to work again as a result of the claim.
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529142 Thu, 22 Sep 2016 22:10:42 -0500
<![CDATA[Citi aggressively closing inactive CC accounts (?)]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529112

Rating: 5 Posted By: SummerSoFar
Views: 4666 Replies: 39

For those that have sock-drawered Citi cards -- maybe more so for Double Cash cards -- better get them out and make a transaction or two. In the last year I have now had 2 out of 2 Citi card accounts closed due to inactivity. Both had very high credit limits, were established nearly a decade ago, and were coverts from Thank You and Diamond.

I wont miss the cards, but I will miss the extra credit lines they provided.
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529112 Thu, 22 Sep 2016 18:21:15 -0500
<![CDATA[Bloomberg Business Week - Chase Sapphire RESERVE]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529080

Rating: 5 Posted By: duke5150
Views: 4113 Replies: 20

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529080 Thu, 22 Sep 2016 15:04:44 -0500
<![CDATA[Thought experiment... poor elderly person living massively beyond their real estate means]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529062

Rating: 0 Posted By: jd2010
Views: 2739 Replies: 21

This may be stupid and I dont have the energy to coherently express my thoughts here... buttttttttt...

What is to keep granny from spending 100% of her non-judgement-proof assets to buy one of those condos with crazy $2000 a month fees for an artificially low price (because the condo fees/HOA/whatever is baked into the market price). The ones people basically give away because the assessments are outrageous.

Social security and primary residence are both judgment-proof in most states right? Granny pays halfprice or so of effective actual cost of condo/house/whatever and then never pays a dime for HOA/condo fees. Will they go after it in probate when granny croaks or is there a way to protect and pass the house without a lien on it?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529062 Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:07:28 -0500
<![CDATA[7/1 ARM vs 30 year fixed : is 7/1 worth the risk.]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529005

Rating: 1 Posted By: SummerDude
Views: 2267 Replies: 27

There is a 0.75 diff between the two best quotes i got. While I like the stability of 30 year fixed, I fear refinancing in future would mean, i had paid more than I needed to. However I fear 7/1 is too risky considering the likelihood that rates will only go higher, not lower. Am I thinking logical? Any tips and tricks that will help me here?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1529005 Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:18:42 -0500
<![CDATA[Investment Help]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528921

Rating: 0 Posted By: WalletFatKing
Views: 1928 Replies: 6

Age 32, married with 1 YO kid
All tax advantaged savings (401k, Roth, HSA, FSA) are maxed out - about $335k in MF's, index ETF etc.,
Educational account has $17k
Emergency savings 8 months of expenses in CD's (want to increase it to 12mo) - savings apart from these numbers
Taxable investment accounts about - $125k - in stocks and index funds, Precious metals, numismatics etc.,
Mortgage balance $220k, equity ~$160k - do not want to pay off mortgage
Rental mortgage balance - 85k, equity ~$130k - net cash flow $5k/year - do not want to pay off mortgage
no auto loans etc

We have about $125k cash saved up.

Our majority of portfolio is tied to stock and bond markets (~$430k). I want to diversify and intelligently start investing the $125k. I feel little wary in dropping this $125k again into equity markets.

Do I buy another rental with some cash flow? Thinking of out of state rental as I do not want to put all RE in same location. -- is the RE market hyped now?
Buy high yield tax free Muni bonds / funds that pay a decent dividend every month? - Again its tied to markets!
Private equity ? but how? I might not be accredited investor yet, if its needed.
Do I hold off until elections?

I am looking for suggestions, pointers, time-lines (invest all or slowly invest) and ideas to intelligently profit from this savings of $125k?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528921 Wed, 21 Sep 2016 23:36:46 -0500
<![CDATA[Home Warranty in Tx]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528891

Rating: 0 Posted By: VAIndigo
Views: 2009 Replies: 15

Any suggestion for a good home warranty service. Bought a home and seller is providing $500 credit towards home warranty so have to buy one.
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528891 Wed, 21 Sep 2016 19:36:27 -0500
<![CDATA[Private Student Loan question]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528887

Rating: -1 Posted By: Megatron2016
Views: 1751 Replies: 3

Hey guys,
Long time lurker. Had an account many years ago but don't remember the username or email.

Well, here goes:
A couple of years ago my student loan kicked in and went out of deferment. I would have been able to defer the loan, but due to me missing deadlines and several other issues of whichever aren't important to my question, it didn't happen.

So, of course, I have defaulted (and they are in collections).

However, now, I have a job that will pay off my student loans, IF they aren't in default.

Is there anyway to get my loans out of default? They are private, not federal, loans.

Thanks so much for any help or any direction you may be able to point me in. Thank you
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528887 Wed, 21 Sep 2016 19:11:34 -0500
<![CDATA[PenFed CC Cell Phone Protection Benefit Still Valid]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528852

Rating: 4 Posted By: CycloneFW
Views: 2904 Replies: 8

For those of you who may come back to the old thread @https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/915392 , I wanted to let you know that as of September 2016, that protection IS still valid. PenFed has no info on it on their website anymore, but their customer service team was able to get me in touch with Visa's Card Benefit Service team and they are the ones providing this coverage.

Their contact information is:

If you use the website, you have to register by proving your credit card number and other details, but then the web form is pretty easy to navigate and provide the requested documentation.

I just thought others may want to know that this coverage is still in effect if you are paying your cell phone bill with your PenFed CC (you must pay the cell phone bill for the month prior to an incident with the PenFed CC).
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528852 Wed, 21 Sep 2016 15:31:32 -0500
<![CDATA[Medical insurance payments]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528809

Rating: 1 Posted By: 1000GB
Views: 2346 Replies: 19

Hello, I'm hourly worker and make around 75k per year. My wife has pre-existing medical condition and got insurance for her through ObamaCare (no other plan option for my wife) and I pay around $420 per month for her. I pay another 620 for myself and 2 kids. I'm getting miscellaneous medical bills for another 200 dollars per month average on prescriptions/copay/deductibles etc. I stopped contributing money to 401 as there is no money left for me after paying medical and house payments.I'm paying around $1250 per month overall for medical. Any suggestions to save money? I've been trying forfull timejob and no luck so far.
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528809 Wed, 21 Sep 2016 10:47:29 -0500
<![CDATA[Best option to pay off credit cards.]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528783

Rating: 1 Posted By: jambog
Views: 2982 Replies: 25

Hello. I am in need of some financial advice on paying off my credit cards and am somewhat ignorant when it comes to interest rates, loans, and the likewhich is made apparent by my current credit card situation.Situation is about $10,000 in credit card debt

BofA with $4000 @ 11.24% +prime (my limit is $5000)
Discover with $4000 @ 18.24% +prime (my limit is $5000)
Chase with $2000 @ 18.49% +prime (my limit is $4000)

Yes, Ive made some poor financial decisionslesson learned the hard way. I did have these maxed out, so I have been making progress. I am now in a situation where I do not have to depend on credit cards and can afford to pay about $500 a month and am looking for the best option to use that money? My credit score is 723 TransUnion, 719 Equifax and 727 FICOso averages in the good range.

My first thought was to take out a peer to peer loan, but apparently these are not an option in the state I live in. I was referred to OneMain Financial, who said their interest rates start at a fixed 27%, but may be lower depending on my credit score. However, they could not give me an estimate without doing a hard credit inquiry, which I declined.I explained to the phone rep that a 27% rate is much higher than my current credit cards that I am trying to consolidate. She explained that was a fixed rate and may be a better option than my currentvariable rates even if it they are lower. What kind of interest rate should I expect from a company like OneMain with my above mentioned credit score?...and would it end up being a better option than my variable rates I am currently paying?

If simply paying my credit cards at their current interest rates is my best option, should I put the most money towards the highest interest card first while making the minimum payment on the others, or divide the $500 payment between all three of them equally?Other options I have considered would be to call BofA since they offer me the lowest interest, see if they would be willing to increase my credit limit enough to transfer the balances from my higher interest cards. While this would cost a transfer fee, would this ultimately end up being a cheaper option in the long run? Assuming they would increase my limit.

And of course I am considering calling all cards and requesting a lower interest rate. I have been their customer for several years, I have a reliable payment history with them, I have a good credit score and I am in a position with a good credit score where receiving a loan is a viable optionwhat are the chances they may lower my rates if I mention that to them?

Any other options that would be best to save me money on interest in the long run?

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528783 Wed, 21 Sep 2016 09:27:06 -0500
<![CDATA[Should I expense in 2016 or 2017?]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528700

Rating: 0 Posted By: fwnice
Views: 2230 Replies: 9

I joined a new job but my health plan doesn't kick in until 2017. For Oct-Dec 2016, I have to purchase Cobra from my old company. My new employer will reimburse me the difference between the Cobra and non-Cobra premium for Oct-Dec 2016 but it will be taxable income and will jack up my taxes. I will have to submit expense reports to get reimbursement.

I can't do any more pre-tax deductions in 2016 but will be able to do them in 2017. My question is: if I don't submit the expense reports until 2017, can I push back the reimbursement income to 2017? That way I can take advantage of tax planing next year.

Appreciate your thoughts.
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528700 Wed, 21 Sep 2016 00:42:30 -0500
<![CDATA[Math question about paying down debt with cash back card]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528637

Rating: -2 Posted By: jpfern15
Views: 2321 Replies: 10

I have a 3% fixed mortgage rate on my house. I know it's pretty much impossible, but hypothetically speaking, if I could pay my mortgage with the 2% cash back Citi DoubleCash card, would that effectively make my mortgage rate 1%? (3% rate - 2% cash back = 1% mortgage rate)

I feel like that's not accurate so could somebody explain how to calculate what 2% cash back would look like when paying down interest-accumulating debt? At what interest rate would a 2% cash back card completely cancel out the interest?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528637 Tue, 20 Sep 2016 17:12:37 -0500
<![CDATA[NDI - Non Industrial Disability Insurance]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528585

Rating: 0 Posted By: mrbigballer
Views: 2130 Replies: 6

My wife doesn't pay into, or is covered by State Disability Insurance (SDI), she is covered by Non-industrial Disability Insurance (NDI). There is no tax to pay into NDI. She is going on maternity leave and will be receiving NDI.

I am trying to do tax planning and I cannot find out if NDI will be considered taxable income (Fed tax purposes).

Does anyone know anything about NDI and whether or not it is considered taxable income? Anyone have any sources?

Thanks in advance!
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528585 Tue, 20 Sep 2016 13:08:22 -0500
<![CDATA[FMLA, Maternity Leave, and Sick Time]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528579

Rating: 6 Posted By: meade18
Views: 5015 Replies: 81

TL;DR My wife's employer is telling her she can't use her saved up sick time during the second half of her maternity FMLA leave and has to take that time as unpaid leave or use her vacation time. Is the employer allowed to just say that? Doesnt it need to be in writing somewhere?

My wife has worked for her company for 5+ years. She was due to give birth to our 1st child and informed them of the due date and asks about her maternity leave options. The HR people tell her about disability and parental leave and send her a sample excel spreadsheet used to calculate everything. My wife gets approval to take short term disability through insurance starting after the baby is born. She takes the sample excel sheet HR sent, fills in the details specific to her, and sends it to HR for their blessing. HR doesn't bother looking at it because the baby isn't due for over a month. The baby comes 3 weeks early, (everyone is healthy and doing great). Several days into her leave, she gets an email from HR saying that her leave plan doesn't jive with company policies. My wifes leave plan had her using sick time for every part of the 12 weeks that isnt covered by disability or parental leave. This is what HR explains to us:
1) FMLA starts the first day you take off and you get 12 weeks. (We went into the hospital on a Sunday, so that makes things simple because the first day off was a Monday.)
2) After you are out for 10 days, you can start short-term disability.
3) You can use sick time during those 10 days waiting for short-term disability to start.
4) Short-term disability lasts for 4 weeks.
5) Short-term disability pays 66% of her salary. During the 4 weeks you are on short-term disability, you can use your sick time to supplement. So each 8 hour day will be 5.33 hours of short-term disability and 2.67 hours of sick-leave.
6) After short term disability runs out, you get 2 weeks of paid parental leave from the company.
7) After parental leave runs out, you can use vacation time or take leave without pay. You can't use sick time during this 4 weeks except for doctor's appointments.

Here is my concern. Prior to the baby, my wife had about 275 hours (34 days) of sick leave saved up. After using her sick leave for the first 10 days and then supplementing her disability, she still has 140 hours left. Since she is still earning sick time during this period, she will have 160 hours by the time her FMLA 12 weeks is up, so she has the sick time to cover the remaining 4 weeks of FMLA. She is planning on leaving this job to be a stay at home mom after the FMLA period is over. Many company FMLA polices actually require you to use up all your sick time during the FMLA period. They would rather you take 4 paid weeks and 10 unpaid weeks rather than 12 unpaid weeks and then 4 more paid weeks after. And most that dont require this, still allow you to take sick time during FMLA. My wifes HR is claiming that they dont allow sick time during FMLA but allow vacation time. That doesnt make sense to me considering FMLA is medical leave. Since she is planning on leaving the company, if she isnt able to take this sick time that she earned, she will lose it. They dont pay out saved sick time, but they do pay out saved vacation time. This is a $4,000 issue for us. Her HR department has been pretty bad about communicating their policies and thats why I want to fight this. I honestly dont even think they know what their policies are. When they sent my wife the parental leave policy, the part about paid leave during FMLA says:
Her company policy said: Employees may choose or employers may require use of accrued paid leave while taking FML. In order to use paid leave for FML, employees must comply with the employers normal paid leave policies.
That line is essentially taken directly from the Department of Labors website on FMLA. It doesnt actually outline an actual procedure specific to their company.

My thought is thisThe company doesnt actually have a policy outlining using sick time during FMLA, but the HR people just go by what they have always done and no one has ever had 1 full month of sick time saved up that they wanted to use all at once. Considering the fact that she was allowed to use sick time for the first two weeks of FMLA and to supplement during the short-term disability portion of FMLA, the policy would have to specifically ban using sick time after disability, and not just say that you cant use sick time during FMLA at all.

Anyway, Im just looking for thoughts from people that may be familiar with FMLA and HR policies and law. Any help on how to pursue this is greatly appreciated. Ill do my best to keep this post updated.

P.S. Sorry for writing a whole book. Ill give green to everyone who replies and says they read this whole post!
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528579 Tue, 20 Sep 2016 12:45:58 -0500
<![CDATA[Elan Financial (Fidelity Rewards CC) did a Hard Pull without permission. Any Recourse?]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528548

Rating: 0 Posted By: guapo131
Views: 2653 Replies: 21

I had the Fidelity rewards Amex (2%) and, at the time, they were clear that a CLI request would cause a hard pull. So I didnt ask for a CLI. Simple.

When Fidelity recently switched the card over to Elan Financial (amex to visa), I looked and the CLI process said NOTHING about a hard pull (or any other common terminology for a hard pull). So of course, I made the request for more ($4k on top of existing $10k). Then I found out they actually did a hard pull (TU). I have the CLI process pages printed out of the Elan CLI request process and it says NOTHING about a hard pull.

On the flip side, I recognize that sometimes (usually?) CLI require a hard pull. For example, thats why I havent requested a CLI from Chase since I got the Freedom card. However, Citi usually doesnt require a hard pull, thus, Ive been steadily increasing my limit at Citi. I step through the CLI process, and when they inform me they will be doing a hard pull, I weigh my options and proceed, or NOT proceed. My (fully informed) decision. This was not the case for Elan.

In my opinion, ELAN did an illegal hard pull without my permission.

Realistically, what are my options?
A) Ask nicely to Elan to remove the hard pull, while also informing them that what they did is wrong. I recognize this will be a big uphill battle. Most customer service reps dont have a button for that. If theres no button, and if theres nothing in their manual, then they are generally clueless.
B) If I get too much resistance, I would/could go directly to TU and dispute the Hard pull.
C) File a lawsuit?
D) Sit around and do nothing

This isnt really about the hard pull, its about the mis-information/lying. I want them to know that they did something wrong, they should not do it again, and if I get some consideration in the process, thats fine too. Dont even know what I would ask for consideration if I did ask for some.

But realistically, if I dispute something with TU, or file a lawsuit (its a Free Country and Im allowed to do that) theres nothing that says that Elan HAS to do business with me afterwards (again, Free Country). They could lose and say congratulations, you won, but now we wont do business with you anymore, and were keeping all the points youve earned over the past few years.

Any advice from the gallery? Should I just let this go? Should I call and ask nicely, to at least put it on their radar that they are not properly informing their customers? Go thermonuclear (lawsuit)?

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528548 Tue, 20 Sep 2016 08:57:41 -0500
<![CDATA[Best bank for FREE checking with lots of ATMs]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528459

Rating: 0 Posted By: protomenace
Views: 2748 Replies: 26

I've been with Wells Fargo for my workhorse checking account since I graduated high school. The only thing I like about them is their wide ATM availability and the fact that most of their ATMs allow check/cash deposits. It's time for a change.

I like the fact that WF has a lot of ATMs all over the place, but if you're ever stuck somewhere without one and you need to use another bank's ATM, you're pretty screwed. You get to pay the ATM fee plus WF's $2.50 fee for using an outside ATM. Heaven forbid you're outside the USA, you'll pay $5 per ATM transaction.

I'm not looking to earn interest or bonuses off this account or anything, I just want some trulyfreechecking that has widely available free ATM usage, preferably with ATMs that take deposits. Does this exist anymore? Or possibly a bank that will readily refund ATM fees imposed by outside ATMs?

If it matters I typically keep $5,000-$10,000 in my checking account. Also I live in northern NJ and work in NYC.
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528459 Mon, 19 Sep 2016 20:41:25 -0500
<![CDATA[Lease: Wording so you're not responsible for housemate's rent?]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528431

Rating: -5 Posted By: Gauss44
Views: 3176 Replies: 42

Negotiating the wording of a lease:
I'm looking to move in with a housemate, but the draft lease says we are both jointly responsible for the total sum of rent. The way it is currently worded, if my housemate doesn't pay rent, then I'm responsible for his share. We haven't signed the lease yet and landlord will consider revisions. However, landlord wants us both on the same lease. Is there alternate wording we could put in the lease that would let me off the hook if my housemate doesn't pay his share?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528431 Mon, 19 Sep 2016 16:56:58 -0500
<![CDATA[Mortgage shopping impacts credit score?]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528393

Rating: 0 Posted By: SummerDude
Views: 2652 Replies: 9

Newbie here. Please let me know if I posted it wrong place, or done anything wrong. Write many FAQs here, please be nice to me

Also, any recommended way to shop mortgage rates. I have looked at bank rate, lending tree , costco ... but haven't officially asked for any quotes yet with the fear of credit pulls.

I'm in SF bay area. with excellent credit history 740+.

Thank you, good to be here.
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528393 Mon, 19 Sep 2016 12:54:57 -0500
<![CDATA[Not sure why I can't get better student loan refi rates]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528344

Rating: 0 Posted By: indebted
Views: 2681 Replies: 7

I refinanced through SoFi about a year ago when my credit was around 750 and had other debt. The 4.825% variable 15 year rate that I got seemed okay. This rate is after the 0.25% autopay discount.

A year later, I have around a 825 credit score and paid off all credit card debt. I tried to get a new quote from SoFi and others but I get a similar 4.825% rate after the auto pay discount.

I owe over 100k but also make the same amount as the debt in annual comp. How can I get the lower rate which is around 3.4-4.0% for a 15 year variable according to the website?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528344 Mon, 19 Sep 2016 08:33:44 -0500
<![CDATA[Builder says NO for RADON testing Contigency]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528278

Rating: 0 Posted By: megaFat
Views: 3805 Replies: 49

I am first time home buyer trying to make a offer on a new build at OH in a area which is prone for Radon as per EPA map. Its a inventory home which will complete in next 2 months. I asked builder to include Radon testing as contingency he refused and said there is no builder in Ohio who can offer that . However they mentioned house is equipped with passive Radon system , I am not comfortable signing the contract without that contingency as I will be exposed to risk. Please help if any one had similar experience with new construction houses where builder refusing to add Radon testing in contingencies.
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528278 Sun, 18 Sep 2016 23:45:42 -0500
<![CDATA[someone used my info to open/use credit card]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528242

Rating: 0 Posted By: embagel
Views: 2948 Replies: 9

Hi, hope you don't mind another identity theft question. It's all new to me and I'm trying to figure out the steps to take to deal with this issue.

I pulled my free yearly credit report last week and discovered that a credit card was opened in my name in Aug, 2015 with Synchrony Bank, Pay Pal Smart Connect. I don't use Pay Pal and never applied for a credit card from them. I also see on my credit report a false address in Cincinnati, OH that dates to about the time this credit card was issued, as well as a phone number for that area that isn't mine. The amount charged was about $1200, and the account is showing as 'closed', and was a 'charge off'.

On Friday I received a letter from a collection agency called Northland Group in Minneapolis, MN trying to collect $1,126.

Just wondering what are the steps to take in clearing up this matter. I have filed a dispute online with Transunion Credit Bureau.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528242 Sun, 18 Sep 2016 18:04:36 -0500
<![CDATA[Is Quora a financially viable Q&A website?]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528235

Rating: 0 Posted By: BrunoB
Views: 3154 Replies: 23

Is Quora a financially viable website (it has some serious backers) or another glorified time-waster Q&A forum?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528235 Sun, 18 Sep 2016 17:21:44 -0500
<![CDATA[parking ticket while dropping off my daughter off for school bus dallas]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528229

Rating: -2 Posted By: miaojian
Views: 4127 Replies: 48

Today I got a parking ticket in the mail saying that I violate the "Parking BAN AM". I remember that on that day, I was dropping my daughter off at the school so that she can go to broad the school bus, and my car is stop less than 1 minutes when my daughter get out my car, while I am still in the car, (My car is not even put in park) I did see a officer from distance ticketing the other car and she turn and point a camera gun (I think) at my direction, but since I didn't park and she didn't signal me to stop, so I was hoping nothing happen until today that I get something in the mail about this supposed violation. I understand it may cost more the flight this, but in principal can any one just snap a picture and saying that you are parking and mail you a ticket, when you are not parking just drop off. Any advice?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528229 Sun, 18 Sep 2016 16:42:51 -0500
<![CDATA[Excel to calculate optimal salary for small businesses]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528227

Rating: 19 Posted By: ssgcinty
Views: 4620 Replies: 22

For small business owners (especially professionals), one of the recurring question is how much reasonable salary to take. Too high a salary means more FICA; too low a salary means you are on IRS radar. Taking higher salary also helps to put more money in 401k (up to a limit).
The decision to incorporate or not depends also depends on tax savings that may or may not be achieved.
I have seen many threads related to this topic.
Thread(just this week),Thread2Thread3etc.

So I have created a public worksheet

You can view formulas, download the worksheetand edit your copy. All variables/assumptions are in Column N. You can play with them to simulate your scenarios.
The worksheet is far from perfect so your comments to correct it or improve it are welcome.

The worksheethas following inputs
Business operating income
Max 401k employee deferral
Max 401k contribution
SS Salary Limit
Employer 401K contribution
State S-Corp income tax
Current avg Fed+State+Local+AMT rate
Future avg Fed+State+Local+AMT rate
Future LT capital gains tax
Rate of return
Inflation rate
Compounding Period (years)
Your ownership % of business
Spouse ownership % of business

Based on these variables, the worksheet will calculate the NPV of your taxable and tax-deferred accounts.

Assumptions / Notes

  1. Husband and wife are the only shareholders/employees. You can make Spouse Ownership = 0% if you are only the only owner.
  2. You/spouse do not have another job where you pay FICA. If you do, this worksheet may over-estimate your FICA liability.
  3. Business Operating Income is income BEFORE salaries, FICA, 401k contribution and Business State Tax.
  4. The income tax calculations do not consider tax slabs. If someone can find a Web api that accepts taxable income and returns total tax, that would be great.
  5. I have included the numbers from IRS v/s Watson case as FYI. IRS successfully sued a CPA who took very little salary and made him increase it substantially.
  6. The file has formulas to make a column red in case of errors.
    For example, if your total 401k contributions (employer+deferral) exceed the limit, the cell will turn red.
    If your contributions exceed salary, the cell will turn red.
  7. I have assumed regular 401k (i.e. not Roth 401k). When it comes to big numbers, most everyone I know is reluctant to gamble on Roth rules remaining unchanged in the future.

Disclaimer: I am not a CPA. So please use this with the full expectations of it being wrong.

Edit: Some edits; added details
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528227 Sun, 18 Sep 2016 16:33:52 -0500
<![CDATA[Getting IRS Wage and Income Transcripts ONLINE]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528197

Rating: 0 Posted By: Hadrianus
Views: 2387 Replies: 2

This year is it possible to get online without writing them (without snail mail) Wage and Income Transcripts show data from information returns, such as W-2s, 1099s and 1098s, reported to the IRS?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528197 Sun, 18 Sep 2016 13:36:25 -0500
<![CDATA[used '13 Focus Electric]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528044

Rating: 0 Posted By: needhelpplease
Views: 3854 Replies: 63

Thinking of buying a used '13 Focus Electric at a local dealer Ad Priced @ 8K .

Have free charging at work (which is 42miles O/W)

It's going to go to auctionon Monday, so how low I can go? (With gas prices dropping )

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528044 Sat, 17 Sep 2016 16:20:08 -0500
<![CDATA[401k vs. taxable account (For LLC/S-Corp owners: trade-off between maxing out solo-401k and FICA taxes)]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528035

Rating: 8 Posted By: frankot
Views: 3702 Replies: 16

There is a rarely-discussed trade-off of changing from sole proprietor to LLC/S-Corp. When I was weighing the choice, no one on FW mentioned it, and none of the tax/accounting professionals I talked to mentioned it either.

Background: Sole proprietors may be able to save money by forming an LLC and electing to be taxed as an S-Corp. This is because an LLC allows you to pay yourself a reasonable wage that is less than the full net earnings, which can reduce payroll tax. (Sole proprietors are taxed as if all profit is wages.) Payroll tax is 15.3% on the first $118,500 of wages. So if your business earns $100k, and a reasonable salary for your involvement is $50k, you can save $7,650 by forming an LLC. [edit: Actually the $7,650 savings is wrong. The employer half of FICA is a deductible expense, so the savings is actually ~$5,700 to $7,000, depending on your tax bracket]

One caveat I have seen mentioned is that by decreasing your wages, you may be decreasing your social security payout. However, the social security payout tapers off with increasing wages, and some people think social security payouts will decrease in the future.

The thing that I did not see mentioned, and only encountered after forming my LLC, is that by reducing your wages you also reduce how much you can contribute to a 401k. If you're under 50, a 401k allows you to contribute up to $18,000 as an employee, and then up to another $35,000 as an employer. (In this setup you are effectively both employee and employer.) The employee contribution is limited to 100% of your wages, but the employer contribution is limited to 25% of wages. This means that in the above example of the $100k earnings, the sole proprietor can contribute $43k to a 401k, whereas the LLC owner can only contribute $30.5k.

The big question is, how much more valuable are funds held in a 401k than funds held in a taxable account? This is a tricky question with many variables. I have not seen a great discussion of it. If anyone knows of any good resources, or if you've reasoned through it yourself, I'd love to hear.

In my situation, income is high enough that the LLC definitely makes sense, but there is still the question of whether I set my wages to the lowest reasonable amount, or high enough to maximize my 401k contribution. Since I'm in a high tax bracket now, and expect to have much lower income in retirement, a 401k is appealing. But it is not clear if it's worth paying the extra FICA taxes now or not.
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528035 Sat, 17 Sep 2016 15:06:19 -0500
<![CDATA[Doctor Billing for Medication/Supplies - how to file with insurance]]> https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528026

Rating: -1 Posted By: SavvyUser8739
Views: 2787 Replies: 4

My wife has been doing IVF treatments. This is covered by my insurance so most everything has been paid. The only issue we had was egg freezing where the doctor told us $750, our expense, but neglected to reveal another $400 charge. Aetna is our health insurance provider and CVS Caremark is the prescription drug provider.

My question though has to do with the doctor billing for Medication / Supplies when our first attempt became an ectopic pregnancy (which is independent of IVF). She had a lot of pain the night before, we considered going to the ER, but instead, raced to the doctor's office first thing the next morning. I drove her. Doctor concluded there was a problem, and asked the nurse to give her 2 shots of methotrexate.

I saw that Aetna covered the visit. A bit higher than other visits, but we've exhausted our out-of-pocket coinsurance, so it is all paid 100%. Then the doctor gives us a bill for $50 for Medication / Suppliers. How do I handle this?

In the past for OB/GYN issues, this has been quite confusing. Aetna often won't pay because it is medicine. CVS Caremark won't pay because they claim you have to get it mail-order, but for situations like this, there is no time. Does anyone have any tips?

For the 2nd shot that she needed, we were on vacation and just went to an Emergency Room. For Emergency Rooms, luckily, the drug is covered. I haven't seen the visit yet on Aetna's site, but I presume it will be covered 100%. My question is for the first shot, where the doctor is now charging $50 for their pharmacy expense for the methotrexate. Any help would be appreciated.
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1528026 Sat, 17 Sep 2016 14:11:09 -0500