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$40k Wedding Gift?

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  • delemag
    replied
    do it. post what happens

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  • kork13
    replied
    Originally posted by snafu View Post
    Ist, YAHOO our Kork is in a relationship that will likely lead to marriage. Do you anticipate selling one of the houses, selling both and purchasing something chosen together or turning one into a rental? Rather than sell DCA holdings, why not sell the percentage that represents profit and continue to hold units that represent sums you've invested? I'd sell units to pay for advanced degree as that offers potential for higher income.

    How will your SO react to your plan to pay her debt? Personally, I'd see it as patronizing. Are you back in Japan? There are newscasts of a major typhoon, hope you are safe.
    For the houses, we would likely live in mine and rent hers -- she is already sharing it with/"renting rooms to" her younger sister and a friend, and especially since we'll most likely be staying put for at least 3-4 years longer, that will be a simple solution. One or both may eventually be sold when we are reassigned, but that's honestly beyond my planning outlook at this point.

    I am sort of starting to lean away from going all-in against the debts... I know that I'd like to wipe out at least the student loans, though. As I've said, this is a very fledgeling "plan", so I'm still thinking through it.

    As for her reaction, I'm not totally certain. Obviously it's something we'll discuss before I actually write any checks, but my estimation right now is that she would be about 50/50 on it. I don't see her feeling offended/patronized, but I think her resistance might be more just that she would feel they're still her responsibility. However, she hates being in debt, and is currently doing everything she can to pay it all down ASAP. So I see alot of wiggle room there to convince & win her over.

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  • snafu
    replied
    Ist, YAHOO our Kork is in a relationship that will likely lead to marriage. Do you anticipate selling one of the houses, selling both and purchasing something chosen together or turning one into a rental? Rather than sell DCA holdings, why not sell the percentage that represents profit and continue to hold units that represent sums you've invested? I'd sell units to pay for advanced degree as that offers potential for higher income.

    How will your SO react to your plan to pay her debt? Personally, I'd see it as patronizing. Are you back in Japan? There are newscasts of a major typhoon, hope you are safe.
    Last edited by snafu; 10-16-2013, 08:17 PM.

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  • kork13
    replied
    Originally posted by MonkeyMama View Post
    The tax rates for capital gains have changes about 12 times in the last 100 years:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital..._United_States

    (Of course - most of the tax code is that way - it's not knowing for being particularly static).
    Valid. I love our bureaucracy...

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  • MonkeyMama
    replied
    Originally posted by kork13 View Post
    Didn't the 0% rate for the bottom 2 brackets & 15% for the others (except the top bracket) get permanently extended in the tax code this January (in the same bill that gave us sequestration)? I mean, if/when the entire tax code (hopefully) is rewritten, all assumptions go out the window. But until then, I believe the LTCG rates are locked in.
    The tax rates for capital gains have changes about 12 times in the last 100 years:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital..._United_States

    (Of course - most of the tax code is that way - it's not knowing for being particularly static).

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  • kork13
    replied
    Originally posted by MonkeyMama View Post
    Lord knows how long we will have 0% investment tax rates.
    Didn't the 0% rate for the bottom 2 brackets & 15% for the others (except the top bracket) get permanently extended in the tax code this January (in the same bill that gave us sequestration)? I mean, if/when the entire tax code (hopefully) is rewritten, all assumptions go out the window. But until then, I believe the LTCG rates are locked in.

    Originally posted by MonkeyMama View Post
    In addition, you can always reset your cost basis by simply selling your investments and buying them back. I actually regularly do this with my own investments:

    http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Tax_gain_harvesting

    For whatever reason, I just didn't think about this when I first read your question. Knowing you can easily tax shelter your gains might change your ultimate decision. It's as simple as selling and buying back the same day.
    I actually did not realize this at all... For some reason I thought that the wash sale rules applied to loss AND gain sales, so I was planning to get around it by selling in December and waiting to start re-buying until April or so. But really, I could do this right now, harvest the tax-free gains & raise my basis, then keep the money invested the entire time until if/when I actually choose to use it. That's actually quite nice...

    Side note, I ran a quick turbotax estimate, looks like if I did the $10k LTCG harvesting, I'd end up with about $45k in gross income, $23k taxable, so still very safely in the 15% bracket. This is looking pretty good right now. I'm also re-thinking if I would want to pay off the low-rate debt... Undecided there. I think the student loans would almost definitely go away, and the rest... we'll see....

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  • breathemusic
    replied
    Depending on the intereste rate of your studen loans, I could understand cashing out some of the assets to pay for those, but for the debt that has a really low interest, it seems to me you're better off keeping that money invested. It sounds like you guys are really responsible financially, so there's no reason you can't pay down your existing loans early with any extra money that you have, so you really wouldn't have to drag it out for years and years. But personally I'd keep as much of my money in the market as possible right now if I thought the returns would be better and I didn't feel like the debt was drowning me.

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  • MonkeyMama
    replied
    P.S. One other perspective on the taxes:

    Lord knows how long we will have 0% investment tax rates. But, other than that, you can generally have twice as much income once married, and stay in the 15% tax bracket. Which might not mean a lot to you in the short run, but if you plan to have kids it is more likely you will have some lower tax years in your future. At current, the tax code greatly favors the married.

    In addition, you can always reset your cost basis by simply selling your investments and buying them back. I actually regularly do this with my own investments:

    http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Tax_gain_harvesting

    For whatever reason, I just didn't think about this when I first read your question. Knowing you can easily tax shelter your gains might change your ultimate decision. It's as simple as selling and buying back the same day.

    Leave a comment:


  • MonkeyMama
    replied
    Originally posted by kork13 View Post
    The biggest "difference" I see is that given my particular circumstances at this time, I could harvest nearly $10k in gains, and it would be essentially tax-free...

    Yes, but then you give up some market gains in the interim - so does it really matter? I think it's likely all the same in the end.

    Of course, these discussions drive me batty because they tend to assume market always goes up. If you cash out and the stock market takes a dive, and you DCA in at a lower price, you will be ahead and glad you did so. Who knows what will happen. When making your decision, just remember that the stock market has its risks.

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  • kork13
    replied
    Originally posted by MonkeyMama View Post
    I think either way is fine - it's all really going to be the same difference in the end. (I am assuming you can save up $40k again pretty quickly, like within a year or two). But I think it's easier to save more and life is a lot simpler without all those payments.
    The biggest "difference" I see is that given my particular circumstances at this time, I could harvest nearly $10k in gains, and it would be essentially tax-free... At that point, we could start re-accumulating, and effectively have a new, higher basis on it all for down the road. Yes, it would free up alot of cash-flow that could be plowed back into savings & investments. Not sure exactly how fast, but it would be a pretty strong pace. The "simpler life" factor is the really attractive part for me... I don't like being in debt, even though it's totally manageable. She is of a very similar opinion.

    Originally posted by bjl584 View Post
    I'm not a big fan of selling off assets to clear manageable debt. If debt is manageable and at favorable interest rates, then I'm inclined to keep it and pay it down over time at an accelerated rate. Cashing out investments seems (to me) that you will lose out on so much compounding and market returns that it just isn't worth doing. If you were struggling and desperately needed to raise cash flow, then cashing out some investments can make more sense.
    This is my main hesitation... I love my DCA / buy-and-hold investment strategy. I'm hesitant about taking so much out of the market, especially all at once. Even more so, because I know that some of our collective debts are at very low (<2%) interest rates, which I can easily beat in the market, and have done so quite successfully over the last number of years.

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  • bjl584
    replied
    I'm not a big fan of selling off assets to clear manageable debt. If debt is manageable and at favorable interest rates, then I'm inclined to keep it and pay it down over time at an accelerated rate. Cashing out investments seems (to me) that you will lose out on so much compounding and market returns that it just isn't worth doing. If you were struggling and desperately needed to raise cash flow, then cashing out some investments can make more sense.

    Leave a comment:


  • MonkeyMama
    replied
    I think it sounds fine. Tax-wise is a good plan.

    We entered our own marriage debt-free (but for our mortgage) and were able to save absurd sums when we combined our resources. Some may argue that you just use that combined income and effort to pay down the debts. I think either way is fine - it's all really going to be the same difference in the end. (I am assuming you can save up $40k again pretty quickly, like within a year or two). But I think it's easier to save more and life is a lot simpler without all those payments.

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  • kork13
    started a topic $40k Wedding Gift?

    $40k Wedding Gift?

    I'm looking for your thoughts on a 2-part idea that I'm developing for my near future... I'm looking at potentially getting married next spring (not engaged yet, but that's due in large part to the fact that I'm deployed right now -- plan is to do so shortly after my return). Gratefully, she is prudent with her money, so there is no concern about her in that respect at all. We both do have some assorted debts, though we haven't talked everything through in complete detail yet. I know she has somewhere between $10k-$20k in student loans (at this time unknown interest rates), plus another $10k (or more) in a low-interest (1.0-1.5%) "career starter" loan, which she mostly used to buy her car. She has no other debts. I only have a car loan with $8k left on it, with current plans to have it down to $2k-$3k by the time we would actually get married. Both of us each own our respective homes, though I have a larger mortgage by ~$30k. So in all, our debt loads are relatively similar. As for assets, I know I have significantly more than she does (at least $100k more), though I also started my career 4 years ahead of her and make almost 50% above her income right now (though she'll be getting a series of promotions over the next few years to "catch up" to me)

    My idea is this: Once we get married, I use the proceeds from some taxable investments I have in order to clear all of our non-mortgage debt. I'm looking at selling $40k-$45k (about 95%) of my taxable investments in December to do this, in order to take advantage of the 0% capital gains tax in the 15% tax bracket. In all, there is about $10k in unrealized capital gains (at present values). In my eyes, I see it as a way to let us start out together with an even footing and with more or less a clean slate financially (except for two easily manageable mortgages).

    Because I'm currently deployed, my income for the last 5 months of this year will all be non-taxable. This means my total taxable income starts at $35k (plus minor interest from savings accounts, etc.). In addition, I will have over $15k in charitable ($12k) and mortgage interest ($3k) deductions. So I will be solidly in the 15% tax bracket this year. Except for the last $3200 that I have added since December of last year, all of it would be subject to long term capital gains taxes, which in the 15% bracket would cost me all of $0.00. My thought would be to leave the most recent $3200, then liquidate the rest in December for the eventual debt payoff bonanza. I would throw it all in a savings account (earning a paltry .8% or something silly like that) until actually pulling the trigger.

    This is obviously a VERY tentative idea in the making (heck, the idea of getting married in itself is a work in progress) but I just wanted to get a rational outside opinion on this. #1: Does this make sense tax-wise? Would the taxes of all this work out as I'm thinking? #2: Does this make sense money-wise? #3: Does this make sense relationship-wise? #4: Would you do anything differently? Note that I don't plan to tell her about this plan until after we're married, basically as my own sort of surprise wedding gift to ourselves. The fact that I would keep it a secret might rankle some, but knowing that I have significantly more financial assets than her, I don't want my intention to do this to be a factor between us at all prior to getting married... Both for her sake (guilt over letting me pay off her debts) and mine (I'm no sugar daddy).

    Because the questions will likely come up... These investments have previously been intended for any of a few different options: (a) fund a master's degree for myself if/when the military eliminates or reduces my eligibility for tuition assistance; (b) savings for the "next house" wherever I/we decide to buy again; (c) general savings for some unknown event(s) in the future. I currently have a full EF of $24k (6 months' normal expenses), about $100k in retirement (Roth IRA & TSP), and separate cash savings to help pay for wedding and related expenses. Oh, and we're both 27 y/o and both in the military.

    My apologies for being so verbose, but here's my (possibly crazy) idea... what do you think?
    Last edited by kork13; 10-15-2013, 05:58 AM.
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