The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Blue&White
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Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby Blue&White » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:15 pm

I did a bunch of work on my house and paid for it on a HELOC. It was a big number and the interest rate kept climbing up. The minimum interest payments were getting out of control and I was paying down more on top of that. The final straw for me was when I lost the deduction with the tax break. I ended up refinancing the whole thing with the mortgage. I had to pay a point to buy down to 3.5% but all in I'm paying less per a month than I was when I had the mortgage and the HELOC. And, while I put 6 months extra onto my mortgage payoff (I had 14 years, 4 months to go when I refinanced into a 15 year), at the rate I was paying down the HELOC I would have been paying it off for longer than that. I had it calculated out at one point that it would take me an extra 18 months to pay off the HELOC is I paid my normal mortgage payment into it post paying off my mortgage.

Because I refinanced last year I may be over that $24k threshold for itemization this year and maybe next year. Not sure. The cap on SALT and the loss of some of my wife's deductions may have pushed me into that itemized 24k. We'll see, I guess.
Baseball season!!!!

Blue&White
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Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:01 am

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby Blue&White » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:49 pm

Tax refunds are $11.5 billion behind our forecast: UBS

Here is what confused me in this article:

Once again, UBS repeated its mantra for the 2019 tax season: “Nobody—not us, not other economists, not the US government—knows whether refunds will be larger or smaller than in past years.”

I'll take UBS at their word but, given that we know that the IRS changed the withholding tables the same year this new tax law went into effect, and given that the CBO issued a statement last summer pretty much predicting that, why does UBS believe that this trend may be an anomoly? Perhaps it is and more people properly adjusted to the new tables than I assume, but I seriously doubt it.

Anyway, I've not yet done my taxes. I started last weekend, but needed my wife to help me with some of her deductions and she was away. I'm not sure it's going to matter but I want to go through the motions and see if we get above that $24k standard. I think we may, but with the various caps and eliminations, I'm not so sure.
Baseball season!!!!

Blue&White
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Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby Blue&White » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:41 pm

So, I am about 70% of the way through my taxes. I'm doing my deductions now and, I have to say, I am shocked at how well I am going to do this year. I am on pace to get one of the biggest refunds of my life. I am absolutely floored. I guess my mixture of cynicism, self preservation and fear of owing the government a butt-load of money on the eve of having to pay tuition for the first time had me seriously over estimate how much I had to pay in estimated taxes. I am going to need to look this all over very carefully because, quite honestly, I am finding it hard to believe I would get this much back and I am getting very paranoid about what I am seeing. But, it looks like I am doing dramatically better than I expected.

Given how pissed off I was about this whole thing and how badly I expected it to screw me, it's kind of ironic. I have not yet calculated what my actual tax liability is this year vs. last year (Turbo Tax will tell me at the end), but there is no doubt it is improved.

Yay me.
Baseball season!!!!

Blue&White
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Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:01 am

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby Blue&White » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:27 pm

Ok, the cap on SALT brought me back to earth. It's not one of the biggest refunds of my life. I kept thinking once I got to deductions my refund was going to go through the roof, but that did not happen. But, it is a little better than last year. I am still itemizing but that is mostly because I refinanced my mortgage and had a lot of interest and the point I paid on the buy down. I'm going to lose that next year. And, my youngest turns 16 in April so I lose the child credit, too. So, in all likelihood this will be my last year where I can itemize. And, in all honesty, that may be fine. My taxes will get a lot simpler and I'll be done with them in 30 minutes or so.

Anyway, based on this, I need to figure out what to do with my wife's withholding this year. I self assess and pay estimated taxes every year for her. I guess I'll scale it back slightly. But, overall, after all the self-imposed stress I had all year about how much to take out for my wife's taxes, it turns out I over did it. Better safe than sorry, I guess.
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In actual financial news - Trump said that he is pleased with the negotiations with China and is going to hold off putt in the next phase of the tariffs. I see that Dow futures are already rallying around that news so tomorrow should be a good stock day. It also helps me at work because I've had to assign people on my team to go deal with the whole tariff thing, and they really don't have time. So, thankfully that doesn't look like it's going to be a real headache in the immediate term.

Image
Baseball season!!!!

Blue&White
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Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:01 am

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby Blue&White » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:38 pm

So, finished and filed my federal and state taxes just now. Still have to do my local, but that can wait a few weeks as it takes about 10 minutes. Anyway, I ended up doing pretty well, and my refund was ~$1,500 more than last year. Going over everything, that as partly because I reduced my AGI this year by putting more into pre-tax retirement accounts. Now that I'm 50 and don't have the same limitations, I'm going to do more of that. So, my AGI should be even lower next year. I'm going to scale back on how much I pay for my wife in estimated taxes, too. So, that should help a bit.

I do think this was the last year I am going to have to itemize, though. There is no way I'm going to be >$24,000 going forward. So, my taxes should be a whole lot easier going forward, which I guess is a good thing.

Anyway, I am glad that's over for the year.
Baseball season!!!!

psu_dad
Posts: 1977
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Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby psu_dad » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:45 pm

So you get a big refund and Mad and I get have to bend over and grab our ankles. Nice.

PS - I'm content with my 401k growth this year. I propose we close the NYSE until 2020.
Fire Alex Cora

Blue&White
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Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby Blue&White » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:02 pm

Not my fault you didn't plan better. But, I've got to do a better job next year. That's too much back.
Baseball season!!!!

Blue&White
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Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:01 am

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby Blue&White » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:08 pm

Well, I just rule out moving to Gage County, Nebraska anytime soon. Ouch.

You can't help but feel for everyone here. The 6 people who were railroaded into a wrongful conviction and the people who had nothing at all to do with something that happened 35 years ago and now have to pick up the tab.

Seriously, that sucks for the people who live there. Maybe they can find an acceptable compromise where they find all the people involved with the original conviction who are still alive and take turns beating them with baseball bats, ala Nick Santoro's demise in Casino and then call the whole thing even.
Baseball season!!!!

psu_dad
Posts: 1977
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:59 pm

Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby psu_dad » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:35 pm

Jeezus. What a mess.
Fire Alex Cora

hbendle
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Re: The Ongoing New Financial Era Thread

Postby hbendle » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:52 am

Normally I've been near the edge on tax returns. Owe a little, get a little back from NY state, something like that. That's with zero allowances on witholding. Well, my first run thru turbotax has me taking the standard deduction and owing over $4K to the feds. :evil: :evil: