What is hump day? It’s Wednesday. The hump to your work week. 2 days down and 2 days to go. On hump days I will be sharing articles, videos, or other form of entertainment. It will include links to other posts I have liked throughout the week. Some are parenting articles, others are personal finance ones, and occasionally there will be a random funny article. Enjoy!
Today is the last Wednesday of 2017. It has been quite the year and I am ready for 2018. With the end of the year approaching I decided to open up a Donor Advised Fund on Christmas Eve. There has been a lot of chatter about this on Personal Finance blogs and I suspect this led to more of us opening them up. In fact there was a Pro/Con list that came out by Physician on Fire and the White Coat Investor just yesterday.
I personally did it because I have come into some recent money (insurance money from our home burning in the Tubb’s Fire) and always had wanted to prioritize donating. With the Donor Advised Fund I can donate the money now and get a tax write off. Between the fire losses, property taxes, California State Income tax, and now the Donor Advised Fund donation I will be able to decrease my adjusted gross income quite significantly. We will see how it works out but I think I made the right move…
On this date
In 1945 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is officially established by 29 countries. It has since grown to 189 countries with the goal of “fostering global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment, and sustain economic growth and reduce poverty around the world.
The premise is that countries contribute to a pool and countries who are having balance of payment problems can borrow money. In 2016 it held $668 billion. Since 2010 it has helped with the Greek Bailout along with lending money to Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Ukraine, and Cyprus.
Seems like a good idea but there are critics which include that developed countries have a more powerful place in the fund than less developed countries. Additionally, some of their policies may be anti-development because it leads to deflationary effects which lead to loss of employment, burdening the poor more than the rich.
I don’t know much else about the IMF and whether to think it is helpful or harmful. I do recall that when I was in college in Washington, DC there was a annual meeting of the World Bank and IMF which was met with large amounts of protesters. They invaded our campus and tried to prevent me from getting to my classroom through a large human chain. Strange tactics and I am not sure it furthered their cause, but that was my one experience with the anti-IMF and World Bank crowd.
Hump Day articles
So there were some good articles published this week. First off we can ask if a Mortgage is a great way to save by Passive Income MD. I personally think that if you are involved in personal finance, then you do not need a mortgage as a saving tool. For the average Joe though, it is likely a good choice.
Speaking of savings, Wall Street Physician asks how much we really need to save for retirement. I will give you a hint…it depends on how much you spend. I have 1 kid and don’t spend crazy amounts of money, so hopefully I will need less…but time will tell.
Now onto some great tax bill articles. It is crazy how things have changed so quickly. These changes in fact led me to start and fund my Donor Advised Fund in 2017 instead of next year when I expect to take a standard deduction. The Finance Buff discusses what the effect will be on High Income in Blue States under the new tax law. Physician on Fire discusses how it may effect physicians. Both good reads.
As for me, I will maximize itemized deductions this year and likely end up taking the standard deduction for the next few years. Currently my tax bill is way down (just on the land as the structure is toast) and my state income taxes are high which means I will easily cap at the $10,000 limit going forward. So that leaves me with having to come up with $14,000 more in deductions annually to even beat the standard deduction. That is unlikely to happen.
As 2017 comes to an end, I hope you have had a great year. It always amazes me how quickly time comes and goes. It is the one thing we cannot control, but if you are financially independent at least you can control how your time is utilized.