Search found 59 matches

by shuchong
Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any happy lawyers out there?
Replies: 138
Views: 12691

Re: Any happy lawyers out there?

Let me put this as plainly as humanly possible: do not go to law school if you do not want to practice law. Law school isn’t an intellectual endeavor where you spend hours debating legal theory for fun. It is if you continue the academic path after the JD. Did the law professors all practice BigLaw...
by shuchong
Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any happy lawyers out there?
Replies: 138
Views: 12691

Re: Any happy lawyers out there?

I am a ... moderately happy lawyer? I'm honestly pretty burnt out at this point, though some of that is COVID and dealing with family illness. I find my job as a biglaw senior associate intellectually stimulating (I used to struggle with boredom... my firm solved that problem). I'm pretty good what ...
by shuchong
Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contract with Family Member for Grandfather’s Care?
Replies: 17
Views: 1771

Re: Contract with Family Member for Grandfather’s Care?

Thank you all so, so much for the thoughtful points and suggestions. My aunt is thinking of this as her last job before retirement. She has health insurance through her husband's job (fairly secure -- he's a tenured professor), and her husband does not plan to retire soon. My grandfather doesn't lik...
by shuchong
Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contract with Family Member for Grandfather’s Care?
Replies: 17
Views: 1771

Contract with Family Member for Grandfather’s Care?

My grandfather can no longer live on his own. My father has asked for my help in drawing up a contract for my aunt to care him, and I’d love any advice or thoughts from this group about what it should contain/pitfalls to look out for. Background : My grandfather is currently in the rehab section of ...
by shuchong
Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income
Replies: 87
Views: 5889

Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

I chose maximizing income: I'm in my last 30s and have spent about eight years now at a large law firm. For most of my years at my firm, I enjoyed the work and the people, and put up with the hours. I'm now definitely burnt out, thinking of getting out, and trying to be patient (not sure how much o...
by shuchong
Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income
Replies: 87
Views: 5889

Re: Job Satisfaction vs Maximizing Income

I chose maximizing income: I'm in my last 30s and have spent about eight years now at a large law firm. For most of my years at my firm, I enjoyed the work and the people, and put up with the hours. I'm now definitely burnt out, thinking of getting out, and trying to be patient (not sure how much of...
by shuchong
Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Curious about negative expat experiences -- why don't more people do it?
Replies: 111
Views: 10733

Re: Curious about negative expat experiences -- why don't more people do it?

The feeling of “otherness”, especially if you look different than the local population, can be wearing after awhile. This exactly. My number one concern would be the feeling of being "other" and foreign, and having that constant background stressor wear me down. I worked in China for abou...
by shuchong
Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High spenders what do you spend on?
Replies: 255
Views: 25298

Re: High spenders what do you spend on?

unfortunately I can contribute to this thread: - we have a house in a vhcol area, so while our home is paid off, $25k in taxes - purchased pied in manhattan, paid off but maintenance runs $20k per year - purchased condo in fl, paid off, we rent it part of the year, probably $5k per year neg cash fl...
by shuchong
Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High spenders what do you spend on?
Replies: 255
Views: 25298

Re: High spenders what do you spend on?

Not a high spender, but surrounded by them. Move to NYC. Buy a condo near Central Park. Use an interior decorator to outfit it with expensive furniture/rugs/etc. Get into art/antiquities/rare books and buy those for your apartment as well. Have catered parties at this apartment. Hire a nanny or othe...
by shuchong
Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy for cashing out investments to pay for school
Replies: 10
Views: 706

Re: Strategy for cashing out investments to pay for school

If you know for sure you're going, I'd take at least some of your investments out of the market now and park them in a safe place. Consider capital gains when deciding what to sell (may as well try to minimize the tax hit, and perhaps reweight back to your desired AA by changing the mix in your reti...
by shuchong
Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gifting money to adult children or to grandkids after you have retired
Replies: 33
Views: 4051

Re: gifting money to adult children or to grandkids after you have retired

As an adult grandchild whose grandfather has given her significant amounts of money on occasion: I appreciate the gifts very much, but would never want my grandfather to give me money if he even *thought* he might need later on. One of the best gifts my family has given me is that they've been prude...
by shuchong
Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to do the Boundary Waters?
Replies: 30
Views: 3060

Re: How to do the Boundary Waters?

Went last summer for five nights. Had a blast! Did not have any trouble finding campsights (though it's possible fewer people were traveling due to COVID) -- the biggest thing to look out for is the length of the portages on your route. Those suckers are rough, but the longer the portage the more li...
by shuchong
Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Law school Expenses
Replies: 26
Views: 2487

Re: Law school Expenses

I went to law school about a decade ago, and my parents helped pay my tuition through a combo of gifts (tuition paid directly to my school) and giving me a loan which I then repaid (YMMV on that -- worked out great for me and my parents, but loans between family members can be dicey). I'm incredibly...
by shuchong
Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:44 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here
Replies: 2312
Views: 274397

Re: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here

I work a high-stress job (litigator, in a large firm in NYC). Normally I love it, but for a variety of reasons I've been feeling burnt out recently. Looked at my net worth this week: a little over $1 million. Calculated my expenses less charitable giving for each of the past five years: about $30,00...
by shuchong
Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning Around Partner's Student Loans
Replies: 30
Views: 4266

Re: Planning Around Partner's Student Loans

My job is brutal and I would like to leave, likely taking a massive pay cut, as soon as it makes financial sense to do so: this will likely take approximately 4 or 5 more years in my current job (to pay off my own $125 in graduate school debt, save for down payment, and to make up for lost years of...
by shuchong
Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Too Much in Savings?
Replies: 5
Views: 1414

Re: Too Much in Savings?

I don't think that's unreasonable. But since you mentioned kid expenses, it may be worth also putting a couple grand in a Coverdell Education savings account each year. It would be great if you could also put money into an HSA account, but you may not be able to if your health insurance isn't a hig...
by shuchong
Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Too Much in Savings?
Replies: 5
Views: 1414

Too Much in Savings?

I'm wondering if I'm holding too much cash. Investments (80/20 Stocks/Bonds, all at Vanguard) 401k/Roth IRA $240k Taxable $85k Savings CDs $100k Money Market $100k Savings $25k Monthly Finances Net Salary $12k Investment -$7.2k (auto invested in my taxable investment account) Expenses -$3.8k Savings...
by shuchong
Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Biglaw attorneys on the board?
Replies: 53
Views: 12237

Re: Any Biglaw attorneys on the board?

Very impressed/shocked to see some living on Biglaw salary and spending 35k/year. You can't even get a studio apartment in a reasonable neighborhood + basic groceries for that where I live. I work in Manhattan, but live in a 2BR in Queens with a roommate. That keeps rent down to about $1000 per mon...
by shuchong
Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Biglaw attorneys on the board?
Replies: 53
Views: 12237

Re: Any Biglaw attorneys on the board?

Like Ekaterinv, I'm also a midlevel associate in a high cost of living area. I plan to leave biglaw and move to a lower cost area sometime soon (within 1-3 years). In general, I like what I do, and I really enjoy my colleagues. But the sheer number of hours are wearing me down. I also spend about 35...
by shuchong
Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Plan for going back to school in the next year
Replies: 3
Views: 705

Re: Plan for going back to school in the next year

In terms of possible benefits/deductions while in school -- it may make sense for you to roll your 401k fund into a Roth IRA. This is a taxable event. However, if you're paying tuition, but have no income, you'll likely have "wasted" education credits (because you won't have enough taxable...
by shuchong
Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PhD Mechanical Engineer --> Law School?
Replies: 47
Views: 5993

Re: PhD Mechanical Engineer --> Law School?

I'm a lawyer at a large firm in New York City. I genuinely enjoy most aspects of my job (though I wish that I worked about half as much, and plan to leave big law in about a year for a lower-stress position in government or at a non-profit). I also manage to live fairly frugally here -- an apartment...
by shuchong
Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with $50K now and discretionary $7500/month going forward (please advise)
Replies: 25
Views: 5256

Re: What to do with $50K now and discretionary $7500/month going forward (please advise)

Any chance you want to switch lives with me? We're about the same age with similar incomes, but I'm from Alaska, living in New York City, and am considering taking a significant pay cut to move back to Alaska. (I really like trees, am not all that keen on crowds, and my family is still in AK.) Just ...
by shuchong
Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Girls gymnastics: what to expect
Replies: 28
Views: 6724

Re: Girls gymnastics: what to expect

I did club gymnastics from age 6 to 11, and ended up stopping because of osgood schlatters, a common gymnastics problem. I took it back up again in high school just for fun (my high school had a team of varying skill levels, everything from "I can kind of do a cartwheel" to level 10 gymnas...
by shuchong
Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest tuition money for 1.5-3 years?
Replies: 12
Views: 1204

Re: How to invest tuition money for 1.5-3 years?

However, I'm 23 and a student so my parents are listing me as a dependent on their tax return. I assumed that you weren't a dependent. As with most things in life, taxes get a lot more complicated once your parents are involved. The good news is that the IRS website is actually quite informative. A...
by shuchong
Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest tuition money for 1.5-3 years?
Replies: 12
Views: 1204

Re: How to invest tuition money for 1.5-3 years?

Tax reduction is more important than what you invest in. Assuming your tax rate is high now and will be zero when you are in school, you should be prioritizing pre-tax savings over Roth. This is a very good point as well. You'll probably be eligible for the Lifetime Learning Credit ($2000 off your ...
by shuchong
Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest tuition money for 1.5-3 years?
Replies: 12
Views: 1204

Re: How to invest tuition money for 1.5-3 years?

Have you considered an ibond ladder? Others here are far more knowledgeable about them than I am, but these are the basics as I understand them: Current ibonds rates are quite a bit higher than CDs, and I believe the interest earned is tax free if used for education expenses. You cannot cash out unt...
by shuchong
Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Cage Match: Student Loans vs Roth IRA vs E-Fund
Replies: 7
Views: 1305

Is the private loan a variable rate loan? What's the current rate? Depending on the loan terms and rate, you might want to focus on paying the private loan down as fast as you can. If the rate is good now, but will rise with the LIBOR rate, then perhaps the best way to attack it is to beef up your R...
by shuchong
Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where is the best price on K-cups?
Replies: 29
Views: 9279

We get BB&B coupons pretty frequently, I think because my roommate signed up online. If you go to http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com , there's a link at the top of the page labeled "email signup". It gives you a 20% off coupon for signing up the option to signup for their direct mail circ...
by shuchong
Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Astronomical cost of college --> looking for ideas
Replies: 80
Views: 7434

Csmith, UC schools have increased more in price than your private school the last 2 years. But I'd be willing to bet they are still far cheaper than your private school is. Which was the point of the post you responded to--the one thing you can control is costs, and public schools are almost always...
by shuchong
Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Astronomical cost of college --> looking for ideas
Replies: 80
Views: 7434

The cost of college is daunting, but you and YOUR CHILD can do something about it: While in high school, the child can take AP classes and pass the AP exams to get credit in college for the course. This. I know several people who got degrees from Ivy league schools in three years by using AP credit...
by shuchong
Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What expenditures improved your happiness/quality of life?
Replies: 234
Views: 42683

Autostart.

This is only a big deal if you live in a cold climate, but if you do, it's worth every penny. Allows you to turn your car on from indoors, and skip those first few minutes where it's -20 inside your car.
by shuchong
Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: House Fund
Replies: 54
Views: 5976

Why does she have the 600k house, live there forever expectation? Did her parents do this? If not, perhaps you should have her talk to them and see what they say. (And if so, she should talk to them and see whether they ever regretted it, had to sacrifice etc.) There are all sorts of reasons why tal...
by shuchong
Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Extreme Roth Conversion Strategy?
Replies: 22
Views: 2773

Extreme Roth Conversion Strategy?

I was avoiding work today, and came across an article http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1717019 by a law prof at UNC about using negatively correlated investments, coupled with recharacterization, to vastly reduce the tax consequences of a tIRA to Roth IRA conversion. The basic idea...
by shuchong
Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: civil engineer vs patent attorney as career path for 21 yo?
Replies: 25
Views: 8245

I'm in law school right now. I love it, but I would recommend it only under four circumstances: A) You manage to get significant scholarships and/or your relative truly are willing to pitch in 40k a year for tuition B) You are admitted to one of the "top 14" law schools (as measured by US ...
by shuchong
Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Without knowing my AGI in retirement, Roth IRA conversion?
Replies: 23
Views: 3020

How seriously are you considering an MBA? If you're fairly sure you want to go, then I'd wait and do conversion then. You'll likely be making nothing while in school, and you'll likely also have a $2000 lifetime learning credit that you can take (I think the current rule is $2000 credit if you pay a...
by shuchong
Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on my student loan: To pay off or make payments?
Replies: 37
Views: 4342

The interest may be tax deductible, driving down the cost ... to 5.8%. I was under the impression that these Stafford loans are not tax-deductible. Anybody have any facts on that? I would agree that 6.8% is a lot and even if deductible, is more interest than I would like to pay. They are tax deduct...
by shuchong
Sat May 15, 2010 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: good forum for legal advice
Replies: 7
Views: 1325

I second the legal aid recommendation. A lot of law is state-specific (most contracts, divorce, landlord/tenant, parts of estate law etc.) so the info that you're looking for is best gotten locally.
by shuchong
Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Constitutional Law Book
Replies: 12
Views: 2230

I'll second Chemerinsky. Haven't read it, but quite a few of my classmates used it as a Constitutional Law hornbook last semester, and they seem to know a fair amount about the Constitution. :) Also, if you're looking for a cheap way to go about things, most Supreme Court cases are online at Findlaw...
by shuchong
Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Top Colleges Squeeze You Dry
Replies: 38
Views: 6122

I think this article misses the point. The very top colleges have shocking sticker prices, but great financial aid (100% grant aid, average awards of over $35,000 per year for a $50,000 sticker). Basically, they jack up prices for those that can afford it to subsidize those that can't. In principle,...
by shuchong
Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To save or not to save for your childrens education?
Replies: 85
Views: 9362

My parents paid for most of my undergrad degree (I got some financial aid and some merit scholarship money) and they're paying/loaning me money for graduate school. It's costing them a lot, although they've always been big savers and it definitely doesn't affect their retirement plans. But, this was...
by shuchong
Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: College decisions: privates with a big tab, worth it?
Replies: 77
Views: 9537

I'd say a lot of the decision comes down to your son. Sit him down, talk to him about the financial situation you're in, see what he thinks. Maybe he's willing to take out some loans to go to his top-choice school. Maybe he'll decide to go elsewhere because of financial considerations. He's got some...
by shuchong
Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: From Two Incomes to One
Replies: 45
Views: 6060

One financial benefit: it seems like our income level is in a sweet spot in relation to taxes. We're not in a high bracket, and we remain eligible for pretty much any writeoff. If she was working full time, we'd be in a higher bracket and we may have a high enough income to be ineligible for some o...
by shuchong
Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Walking away is legal, and you may have paid for it
Replies: 47
Views: 5800

So the banks should be "ethical" and modify loan terms instead of living up to the contract and its agreed upon terms? Which side are you on? If you are in favor of no ethics, only contracts, the banks shouldn't modify anything, unless they decide it is to their advantage. Don't forget, t...
by shuchong
Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Walking away is legal, and you may have paid for it
Replies: 47
Views: 5800

If I had an under-water mortgage, I would not hesistate to walk away from it because of any "ethical considerations" ... I don't really understand what these "ethical considerations" are either. If the bank had lent you money on your word that you would repay it, then walking aw...
by shuchong
Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Converting to Roth or not--The Decision Process
Replies: 21
Views: 4034

The decision tree is really simple for me. I just started grad school, and am not working for half the year, so my 2009 income is low. My tuition, on the other hand, is sky high, so I can take the full Lifetime Learning Credit. I've run my numbers, and the Learning Credit is more more than my fed in...
by shuchong
Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking on 100k+ in Student Loans?
Replies: 49
Views: 6686

Another factor is the interest on the loan while you're still in school, unless you are getting a private loan (such as from parents) which will not accrue interest. $45K at 5% interest, even by simple interest, becomes $52K after 3 years. Another $45K at 5% for your second year of school becomes $...
by shuchong
Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking on 100k+ in Student Loans?
Replies: 49
Views: 6686

Re: rounding error

Your tax rate is likely to be nearly 40% (higher if you live somewhere like California). That means your after tax pay will be around $99K. If you live fairly frugally, you might keep your expenses to $35K, which leaves you with $64K. If you'd like save at least enough to max out your 401(k) you ar...
by shuchong
Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking on 100k+ in Student Loans?
Replies: 49
Views: 6686

People, especially those who are left brained and analytical, imagine a particular future target and aim for it using things like school choice and asset allocation, ultimately overestimating its influence. I've made decisions the same way. In reality, looking back at my life, I end up nowhere near...
by shuchong
Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking on 100k+ in Student Loans?
Replies: 49
Views: 6686

Anyhow, what do I know? I chose my own version of school A, but ended up $200K in debt, thanks to stock market losses. Ouch! So when you tell me that we tend to overestimate the control we have on our future through our decisions, you know of what you speak. I shall endeavor not to learn that parti...
by shuchong
Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking on 100k+ in Student Loans?
Replies: 49
Views: 6686

P.S. Does Toby still call everybody to have "a little chat"? Thanks! Sounds like you were faced with a decision similar to mine, and are happy with the results so far. And yeah, Toby Stock still does those calls. (Nerve-wracking experience, that.) Or he did. He's actually leaving Harvard ...