We’ve updated our original Marriage Tax Penalty Spreadsheet using the new brackets from the Republican Tax Plan. Having done the original in a spreadsheet, all we had to do was copy the whole sheet over, and then adjust the numbers in columns A to C according to the new tax brackets, and update the data table. Easiest post ever!
Somewhat surprisingly, the new Republican tax brackets are quite beneficial for higher income married working couples, as it mostly eliminates the marriage tax penalty for those earning less than $600k combined (previously they kicked in when both people were making around $75-100k). The married brackets now are just generally double the individual brackets, except for a kink around the $500k-600k range. Continue reading “Marriage Tax Penalty Spreadsheet Update – Republicans improve the economics of getting married!”
One of the more amazing things I’ve encountered while studying finance is the Rule of 72. This rule effectively tells you how long it would take to double your money, depending on what interest rate you are earning on it. So if you were earning 4% a year, it would take roughly (72/4) = 18 years to turn $1,000 into $2,000.
But does it really work? Let’s verify with a spreadsheet! Continue reading “Check the “Rule of 72” with a spreadsheet”
After nearly a year and a half after the candidates first declared their intention to run for the Presidency, we have now elected a new President. Trump’s Presidency was a surprise to many, and with Republicans in control of both the House and Senate along with the Presidency, major changes could be possible.
One of those changes could be taxes, where Trump has proposed a tax system with three tax brackets of 12%, 25% and 33% and an increase in the standard deduction to $30k for joint filers, while also eliminating exemptions for dependents. We wondered: roughly how would taxes change for any given level of income, filling status, and number of family members? This is a problem spreadsheets are well suited to solve! Continue reading “Will you pay more or less under the Trump Tax Plan?”
This post was inspired by reading a Quora response where the child of a top 1% family says that one of the advantages of his upbringing is that his parents taught him about how business works. “Business” is a somewhat broad term that some schools say takes two years and $120k in tuition to “master”. However, as we typically do in this blog, we can educate ourselves on some of the central concepts of business on our own through spreadsheets!
Our hope is that anyone with internet access can find this page and play around with spreadsheets to begin to think about what makes a good business. Now if only this site could also provide the exotic travel experiences, connections, and the ability to take risks with a safety net that growing up in the 1% also provides… Continue reading “What makes a good business? Part 3 of the IRR trilogy”
Is it better to buy or rent a house? Advice on this problem comes in all shapes and sizes, from the dogmatic idea that homeownership is the American dream, to some more nuanced methods like calculating the price to rent ratio. What would you do if you found a great house and are deciding whether to buy it or keep on renting?
Continue reading “Make a Buy vs Rent calculator spreadsheet”
Finance hiring is down, law school grads are having a tough time finding real law jobs, so what is an ambitious but risk averse college student to do with his or her life these days? Okay, right now the answer is computer science. Yes seriously, do computer science. But let’s pretend it is the year 2001 and the only other option respectable option is medical school. But doesn’t med school take a lot of time (4 years school plus 3-7 years residency/fellowship) and cost a lot of money? How can we figure out if going to med school and not earning doctor money until 7 years from now is worth it financially relative to just entering the workforce and working for those 7 years? Continue reading “Is medical school “worth it”? An introduction to Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”)”
“The more you give, the more you get, that’s being alive” – The Money Song, Avenue Q
Charitable giving serves a valuable purpose in our society. It allows organizations in health, education, social services and others to provide benefits to people who otherwise couldn’t afford them. It allows people who have built up wealth to give back and make a difference. The federal government even subsidizes charitable giving by allowing donations to be deducted from income reported for taxes (effectively kicking in up to 39.6% of each donation). It’s a great system that is meant to fund those people and organizations in need. At least that is how it should be. Continue reading “How to analyze a nonprofit Form 990 with a spreadsheet”
Summer and Fall are generally regarded as “Wedding season,” a time when love and celebration are in the air. December, on the other hand, could be regarded as “Should we get legally married for tax reasons before the end of the year” season, a slightly less romantic affair. Continue reading “Will you pay more or less taxes when you get married?”
Will you save more with standard PPO or a high-deductible PPO Saver plan with a Health Savings Account?
It is currently Open Enrollment season at many workplaces, which is when employees choose their medical insurance and other benefits plans for the upcoming year. It’s also the time of year when people grumble “why is the US healthcare system so complicated” and just elect whatever plan they had in the prior year. Building a spreadsheet can help someone compare the costs and benefits of each of the plans under a variety of different assumptions about tax rate and healthcare expenditure. Continue reading “Build a Spreadsheet to help you choose a healthcare plan”
At first glance, it sounds like an obvious question – surely it is better when stocks go up, right? From watching the ads on CNBC, it would seem that higher stock prices directly translate into more steak dinners and golf vacations while lower stock prices mean bringing your own peanut butter sandwiches to work (jelly is for bull markets). Continue reading “Do you want the stock market to go up or down?”
Use a spreadsheet to help see the effects of three key personal finance tips: Earn more, spend less, invest wisely
A quick search for “personal finance” on Amazon.com will reveal a vast amount (100+ pages of results) of literature on this important topic. We imagine that a fresh 22 year old college graduate could easily get overwhelmed by the chorus of advice and opinions. For them, we offer this post on how to use a spreadsheet to forecast your financial future, and see how your decisions will affect your finances in future years. Continue reading “Build a personal finance spreadsheet model”