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February 9th, 2014 at 08:28 am

**We made it to our 3 San Francisco days of events. I thought we were driving to San Jose twice more this month, but dh seemed to think we would combine trips. Will see. It will be a lot to celebrate his folks' anniversary and his Grandma's birthday on one weekend day. Two weeks might be better for me, though more driving. (I was thinking of skipping the birthday, anyway).

THEN we will probably be on low-spend mode until May.

**It's funny because I really thought SIL (more means) would want to do an extravagant party for the in-laws' 40th anniversary.

But, since they are moving into their $1 million+ home this month? Dh has yet to talk to her about this anniversary at all ( Rolleyes ), but we got the message loud and clear. They aren't planning to spend a penny.

{I am rolling my eyes that dh has yet to speak to his sister about it - rolling them at him}.

I suppose it works out. I was trying to set aside $1k - $2k of money that in-laws gave us, in case it was a big dinner party out kind of thing. BUT, I have failed miserably given how 2013 was, and so it is what it is. I doubt we will spend a penny. Dh and I will offer to take them out to dinner. I just can't imagine them letting us pay.

Dh is working on a video, but has been struggling with his own family. I think it's easier to do for other families - maybe being more removed from the subject? I am sure he is also being too hard on himself.


**I finished our taxes. Being organized and having a simple tax situation (& having really nice professional software), it was not a time consuming endeavor. Maybe one hour, max, to gather information and file all of our tax returns. I harvested some tax gains for the kids, which means having to file for them when they sell mutual funds.

I always aim for breakeven, but my withholding and deductions have been pretty sporadic in recent years.

I did adjust my withholding in 2013 because our medical deductions are more limited with Obamacare AND our mortgage interest went down significantly (with latest refinance). About $6,000 less deductions than last year, from those two things. Plus income went up a bit, etc.

In the end, I did good. $30 net refund. (Er, I think I just got lucky).

The big question for me is what to do about our IRA contributions. *sigh* I am squarely in "flip a coin" territory with this.

Tax rate has gone up from negative (less than 0%), up to 23%, in the years since we have had kids. So, the ROTH is officially no longer a "no-brainer."

25% is a strong tipping point for me. One reason is because in the past we took a larger deduction up front and then converted ROTHs in lower income years. I am also in the middle of converting my parents' ROTHs (early retirement/no income years). All this to say that it is not a simple situation with a simple answer. (It could be a MUCH better tax savings decision to skip the ROTH for now).

I think the long and the short of it is that even at 23%, it's a lot of money to throw away in the hope that the tax code and our circumstances work out to our favor in the long run. $11,000 x 23% = $2,530 tax savings. Which is certainly no small beans, to me. This would boost our savings rate significantly. ($2500 is like 3% of my income - we'd just turn around and invest the tax savings).

That said, we don't have to decide until next April. At which point we will have more information. If we can easily cash flow the ROTHs at that point, we may just to do so. If not, we can do the Tradiitonal IRA, or do 5/50.

For 2013, I had already committed to doing the ROTHs. Kind of glad about that. Because if I thought to check before I filed, I might have changed my mind. We got our ROTH balance to six figures already, so I think we will do fine whatever we decide. (Those ROTHs will be no small beans when we reach retirement age, even if we stop contributing to them).

3 Responses to “Taxes”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    I imagine it is more difficult to do a video for one's family since it is so close. My mom used to say it was easier to teach another person's child something than to try and do it with your own because you get so frustrated with your own.

  2. Looking Forward Says:

    The videos he makes always sound like really nice gifts. I hope your DH can get through it with out too much struggle.

  3. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I was going to finish my taxes today ... but am putting it off til next weekend. I think I still need one more document.

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