On Cheating on Taxes, and Getting Away With It

@dham "It actually does matter, but the "even though" does not make sense." They're effectively use two different units of measurement, and it makes a hash of things. Gary is right--the author and/or the editor come across as innumerate. Also, you made an error--the '02 per person amount that, when reduced by 20% gives $33.55 is $41.94 (41.94*.8 = 33.55), rather than $42.31 (42.31*.8 = 33.85). So, the total budget has been cut by 11.2%. Restating the point in a clearer way, the article should have rad something like: "Last year the IRS budget was 11.2% lower than in 2002, even though the number of taxpayers has *grown* 11 percent. Combining those factor, the budget worked out to $33.55 per American, a 20 percent reduction compared with 2002."

Posted on April 10, 2014 at 4:38 pm 0

On How Do Couples Use Joint Accounts?

@potatopotato More thoughts: "I would need more life insurance once I own a house, in case I kick the bucket before it’s paid off" Who you trying to leave money to? Don't need life insurance unless you're trying to protect someone who doesn't die with you. “Your contribution each month is X, mine is Y, we’ll put it all in this account and use it to pay mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities.” This makes sense. Yes, utilities will vary, but you fine tune it over a period. "the insurance really only protects me, not him?" Protects his stuff, if its in the house. I mean, it just all becomes 'yours' if a claim is filed. "maybe not taxes, because if it’s my house" Taxes are indirectly a part of rent on an apartment, too, so it's not like he avoids real estate taxes by renting. "if he plunks down money for the down payment and I boot him out, he’s fucked." Can give a note. Can give a second mortgage. All sorts of ways to memorialize his contribution so that if you two dump each other, he can get his $$ back without you losing the house. Yes: annoying, overly-formal, possibly fraught. But you *can* document it as a business transaction. (I could never do it, personally, so don't recoil and think that you're being weird--it's, imo, weird to do that) "So maybe I just pay mortgage/insurance/taxes and he pays utilities, which is the swap of our current arrangement." Meh, I think that, so long he is comfortable with it, you ask that he contribute something similar to the rent + internet he currently pays (maybe 90%, maybe 80%, I dunno) and then you agree to pick up the other utilities (don't forget about water, which can be expensive depending upon where you are) and whatever is left of mortgage+taxes+insurance+utilities. And you ask that he be prepared for the added maintenance efforts that come with a house (hopefully he's prepared to help with yardwork, etc).

Posted on April 4, 2014 at 6:27 pm 0

On How Do Couples Use Joint Accounts?

@morecakeplease Of course, I was joking, but that then means it's his couch, too, doesn't it? Is it of a design that he finds 110% distasteful, at least? Or is it your 5th couch in the house (we had that problem once), or something else? cuz otherwise it seems out of balance to me (not that I care *at all* about that sort of tit4tat in my own relationship, much less yours).

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 5:46 pm 0

On How Do Couples Use Joint Accounts?

@tussock From a Smug Married with a (almost) twenty-year relationship: I disagree *with you*! Can't imagine having separate accounts. We each still have a credit card or two on which the other is not a co-holder, but I handle payment of *everything*. And she makes a lot more than I do.

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 5:42 pm 0

On How Do Couples Use Joint Accounts?

@potatopotato "My assumption was that if we got married, it would become shared property, but that probably varies by state, right?" Depends on the state, yes, but even where it technically becomes considered to be joint property, it doesn't *automatically* become titled to both of you, and the Lender doesn't *automatically* add spouse to the note and mortgage as a borrower. So, if the bank foreclosed, you'd be the only defendant, and if you wanted to sell "without his permission" you could. Based on your early estimates about the mortgage (and not to hammer it, BUT--make sure you are including taxes and the (much higher than renter's) insurance costs in that, too), I like the "he pays the interest" idea pretty well, at least as a discussion starting point. It'll be a lot less than rent, and it will get less every month, but he isn't "building your equity" (even tho $$ are all fungible, so, really he is, but: Optics).

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 5:38 pm 0

On Anderson Cooper Has His Own Millions, Thank You

@Trilby "$200mil." That number is all over the tubez, but the only place I found it used as a "true fact" was about the size of the Commodore's estate at death. Now, that $200mm in 18XX would obviously be a LOT bigger today, BUT it was split howmanyways AND had all those heirs living the jetset for 100+ years. So, yeah, seems more like it should be described as "GV's piece of her G,G,G-pa's $200m estate".

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm 0

On How Do Couples Use Joint Accounts?

@potatopotato "Thoughts on that, anyone?" As Allison asked "how does the mortgage payment compare to rent now?" But I'd drill down more--how does the *interest* on the mortgage compare to the rent? If that's less than rent--and you can afford the principal portion of the payment + insurance and taxes--then that would seem pretty "fair"--you're paying 1005 of the 'equity' and he's paying less than he was before for a (presumably) nicer place. One 'troubling' aspect is that you would still get 100% of the tax deduction, so you'd want to hash that out in advance, for 'fairness'. But, that's 100% a feel thing, so I dunno that 'fairness' is the most important part. Do know that--at best--it would be a giant pain to have him added to the mortgage if you do get married. Obv you could refi the loan, but there's a good chance that rates would be higher in the future.

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 11:04 am 0

On How Do Couples Use Joint Accounts?

@morecakeplease "For instance, I spent several hundred dollars on a new sofa I wanted, so later in the year I didn’t complain when he purchased new hiking gear." I assume you don't let him or his friends sit on the couch?

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 10:57 am 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: March 2014 Check-in

@Caitlin with a C " We can still be jealous of younguns who got waaaaaaaaaay better rates than us, though!" And the oldsters--see Mike Dang's 2.5 rate. Y'all got a raw deal--the DOE loans all ought to be re-financable at current rates, or current rates plus .5 or something.

Posted on April 1, 2014 at 3:04 pm 0

On Homeless Woman Arrested For Leaving Kids In Her Car During Job Interview

What is *outrageously* appalling to me is that a supposed advocate for the homeless was quoted saying: 'She is probably “not an evil, criminal, bad woman,” Hyatt added. “She is just trying to do the right thing.”' Um, hooooooooooooolllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeee shiiiiiiiiiiiite! "Probably" not??? Because she made a poor choice in impossible circumstances, she moves up to "probably not *evil*". WOW!

Posted on April 1, 2014 at 2:52 pm 0