75 Personal Finance Rules of Thumb

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A “rule of thumb” is a mental shortcut. It’s a heuristic. It’s not always true, but it’s usually true. It saves you time and brainpower. Rather than re-inventing the wheel for every money problem you face, personal finance rules of thumb let you apply wisdom from the past to reach quick solutions.

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I’m going to do my best Buzzfeed impression today and give you a list of 75 personal finance rules of thumb. Some are efficient packets of advice while others are mathematical shortcuts to save brain space. Either way, I bet you’ll learn a thing or two—quickly—from this list.

The Basics

These basic personal finance rules of thumb apply to everybody. They’re simple and universal.

1. The Order of Operations (since this is one of the bedrocks of personal finance, I wrote a PDF explaining all the details. Since you’re a reader here, it’s free.)

2. Insurance protects wealth. It doesn’t build wealth.

3. Cash is good for current expenses and emergencies, but nothing more. Holding too much cash means you’re losing long-term value.

4. Time is money. Wealth is a measure of how much time your money can buy.

5. Set specific financial goals. Specific numbers, specific dates. Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.

6. Keep an eye on your credit score. Check-in at least once a year.

7. Converting wages to salary: $1/per hour = $2000 per year.

8. Don’t mess with City Hall. Don’t cheat on your taxes.

9. You can afford anything. You can’t afford everything.

10. Money saved is money earned. When you look at your bottom line, saving a dollar has the equivalent effect as earning a dollar. Saving and earning are equally important.

Budgeting

I love budgeting, but not everyone is as zealous as me. Still, if you’re looking to budget (or even if you’re not), I think these budgeting rules of thumb are worth following.

11. You need a budget. The key to getting your financial life under control is making a budget and sticking to it. That is the first step for every financial decision.

12. The 50-30-20 rule of budgeting. After taxes, 50% of your money should cover needs, 30% should cover wants, and 20% should repay debts or invest.

13. Use “sinking funds” to save for rainy days. You know it’ll rain eventually.

14. Don’t mix savings and checking. One saves, the other spends.

15. Children cost about $10,000 per kid, per year. Family planning = financial planning.

16. Spend less than you earn. You might say, “Duh!” But if you’re not measuring your spending (e.g. with a budget), are you sure you meet this rule?

Investing & Retirement

Basic investing, in my opinion, is a ‘must know’ for future financial success. The following rules of thumb will help you dip your toe in those waters.

17. Don’t handpick stocks. Choose index funds instead. Very simple, very effective.

18. People who invest full-time are smarter than you. You can’t beat them.

19. The Rule of 72 (it’s doctor-approved). An investment annual growth rate multiplied by its doubling time equals (roughly) 72. A 4% investment will double in 18 years (4*18 = 72). A 12% investment will double in 6 years (12*6 = 72).

20. “Don’t do something, just sit there.” -Jack Bogle, on how bad it is to worry about your investments and act on those emotions.

21. Get the employer match. If your employer has a retirement program (e.g. 401k, pension), make sure you get all the free money you can.

22. Balance pre-tax and post-tax investments. It’s hard to know what tax rates will be like when you retire, so balancing between pre-tax and post-tax investing now will also keep your tax bill balanced later.

23. Keep costs low. Investing fees and expense ratios can eat up your profits. So keep those fees as low as possible.

24. Don’t touch your retirement money. It can be tempting to dip into long-term savings for an important current need. But fight that urge. You’ll thank yourself later.

25. Rebalancing should be part of your investing plan. Portfolios that start diversified can become concentrated some one asset does well and others do poorly. Rebalancing helps you rest your diversification and low er your risk.

26. The 4% Rule for retirement. Save enough money for retirement so that your first year of expenses equals 4% (or less) of your total nest egg.

27. Save for your retirement first, your kids’ college second. Retirees don’t get scholarships.

28. $1 invested in stocks today = $10 in 30 years.

29. Inflation is about 3% per year. If you want to be conservative, use 3.5% in your money math.

30. Stocks earn 7% per year, after adjusting for inflation.

31. Own your age in bonds. Or, own 120 minus your age in bonds. The heuristic used to be that a 30-year old should have a portfolio that’s 30% bonds, 40-year old 40% bonds, etc. More recently, the “120 minus your age” rule has become more prevalent. 30-year old should own 10% bonds, 40-year old 20% bonds, etc.

32. Don’t invest in the unknown. Or as Warren Buffett suggests, “Invest in what you know.”

Home & Auto

For many of you, home and car ownership contribute to your everyday finances. The following personal finance rules of thumb will be especially helpful for you.

33. Your house’s sticker price should be less than 3x your family’s combined income. Being “house poor”—or having too expensive of a house compared to your income—is one of the most common financial pitfalls. Avoid it if you can.

34. Broken appliance? Replace it if 1) the appliance is 8+ years old or 2) the repair would cost more than half of a new appliance.

35. Used car or new car? The cost difference isn’t what it used to be. The choice is even.

36. A car’s total lifetime cost is about 3x its sticker price. Choose wisely!

37. 20-4-10 rule of buying a vehicle. Put 20% of the vehicle down in cash, with a loan of 4 years or less, with a monthly payment that is less than 10% of your monthly income.

38. Re-financing a mortgage makes sense once interest rates drop by 1% (or more) from your current rate.

39. Don’t pre-pay your mortgage (unless your other bases are fully covered). Mortgages interest is deductible, and current interest rates are low. While pre-paying your mortgage saves you that little bit of interest, there’s likely a better use for you extra cash.

40. Set aside 1% of your home’s value each year for future maintenance and repairs.

41. The average car costs about 50 cents per mile over the course of its life.

42. Paying interest on a depreciating asset (e.g. a car) is losing twice.

43. Your main home isn’t an investment. You shouldn’t plan on both living in your house forever and selling it for profit. The logic doesn’t work.

44. Pay cash for cars, if you can. Paying interest on a car is a losing move.

45. If you’re buying a fixer-upper, consider the 70% rule to sort out worthy properties.

46. If you’re buying a rental property, the 1% rule easily evaluates if you’ll get a positive cash flow.

Spending & Debt

Do you spend money? (“What kind of question is that?”) Then these personal finance rules of thumb will apply to you.

47. Pay off your credit card every month.

48. In debt? Use psychology to help yourself. Consider the debt snowball or debt avalanche.

49. When making a purchase, consider cost-per-use.

50. Make your spending tangible with a ‘cash diet.’

51. Never pay full price. Shop around and do your research to get the best deals. You can earn cash back when you shop online, score a discount with a coupon code, or a voucher for free shipping.

52. Buying experiences makes you happier than buying things.

53. Shop by yourself. Peer pressure increases spending.

54. Shop with a list, and stick to it. Stores are designed to pull you into purchases you weren’t expecting.

55. Spend on the person you are, not the person you want to be. I love cooking, but I can’t justify $1000 of professional-grade kitchenware.

56. The bigger the purchase, the more time it deserves. Organic vs. normal peanut butter? Don’t spend 10 minutes thinking about it. $100K on a timeshare? Don’t pull the trigger when you’re three margaritas deep.

57. Use less than 30% of your available credit. Credit usage plays a major role in your credit score. Consistently maxing out your credit hurts your credit score. Aim to keep your usage low (paying off every month, preferably).

58. Unexpected windfall? Use 5% or less to treat yourself, but use the rest wisely (e.g. invest for later).

59. Aim to keep your student loans less than one year’s salary in your field.

The Mental Side of Personal Finance

At the end of the day, you are what you do. Psychology and behavior play an essential role in personal finance. That’s why these behavioral rules of thumb are vital.

60. Consider peace of mind. Paying off your mortgage isn’t always the optimum use of extra money. But the peace of mind that comes with eliminating debt—it’s huge.

61. Small habits build up to big impacts. It feels like a baby step now, but give yourself time.

62. Give your brain some time. Humans might rule the animal kingdom, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t impulsive. Give your brain some time to think before making big financial decisions.

63. The 30 Day Rule. Wait 30 days before you make a purchase of a “want” above a certain dollar amount. If you still want it after waiting and you can afford it, then buy it.  

64. Pay yourself first. Put money away (into savings or investment accounts) before you ever have a chance to spend it.

65. As a family, don’t fall into the two-income trap. If you can, try to support your lifestyle off of only one income. Should one spouse lose their job, the family finances will still be stable.

66. Every dollar counts. Money is fungible. There are plenty of ways to supplement your income stream.

67. Savor what you have before buying new stuff. Consider the fulfillment curve.

68. Negotiating your salary can be one of the most important financial moves you make. Increasing your income might be more important than anything else on this list.

69. Direct deposit is the nudge you need. If you don’t see your paycheck, you’re less likely to spend it.

70. Don’t let comparison steal your joy. Instead, use comparisons to set goals. (net worth).

71. Learning is earning. Education is 5x more impactful to work-life earnings than other demographics.

72. If you wouldn’t pay in cash, then don’t pay in credit. Swiping a credit card feels so easy compared to handing over a stack of cash. Don’t let your brain fool itself.

73. Envision a leaky bucket. Water leaking from the bottom is just as consequential as water entering the top. We often ignore financial leaks (e.g. fees), since they’re not as glamorous—but we shouldn’t.

74. Forget the Joneses. Use comparisons to motivate healthier habits, not useless spending.

75. Talk about money! I know it’s sometimes frowned upon (like politics or religion), but you can learn a ton from talking to your peers about money. Unsure where to start? You can talk to me!

The Last Personal Finance Rule of Thumb

Last but not least, an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

Boom! Got ’em again! Ben Franklin streaks in for another meta appearance. Thanks Ben!

If you enjoyed this article and want to read more, I’d suggest checking out my Archive or Subscribing to get future articles emailed to your inbox.

This article—just like every other—is supported by readers like you.

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Source: bestinterest.blog

Wealth Tax: Definition, Examples, Pros and Cons

Wealth Tax: Definition, Examples, Pros and Cons – SmartAsset

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A wealth tax is a type of tax that’s imposed on the net wealth of an individual. This is different from income tax, which is the type of tax you’re likely most used to paying. The U.S. currently doesn’t have a wealth tax, though the idea has been proposed more than once by lawmakers. Instituting a wealth tax could help generate revenue for the government but only a handful of countries actually impose one.

Wealth Tax, Definition

A wealth tax is what it sounds like: a tax on wealth. This can also be referred to as an equity tax or a capital tax and it applies to individuals.

More specifically, a wealth tax is applied to someone’s net worth, meaning their total assets minus their total liabilities. The types of assets that may be subject to inclusion in wealth tax calculations might include real estate, investment accounts, liquid savings and trust accounts.

A wealth tax isn’t the same as other types of tax you’re probably familiar with paying. For example, you might be used to paying income tax on the money you earn each year, self-employment tax if you run a business or work as an independent contractor, property taxes on your home or vehicles and sales tax on the things you buy.

Instead, a wealth tax has just one focus: taxing a person’s wealth. According to the Tax Foundation, only Norway, Spain and Switzerland currently have a net wealth tax on assets. But a handful of other European countries, including Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands, levy a wealth tax on selected assets.

How a Wealth Tax Works

Generally, a wealth tax works by taxing a person’s net worth, rather than the income they earn in a given year. In countries that impose a wealth tax, the tax is only levied once assets reach a certain minimum threshold. In Norway, for instance, the net wealth tax is 0.85% on stocks exceeding $164,000 USD in value.

Wealth taxes can be applied to all of the assets someone owns or just some of them. For example, the wealth tax can include securities and investment accounts while excluding real property or vice versa.

Every country that imposes a wealth tax, whether it’s a net tax or a tax on selected assets, can set the tax rate differently. It’s not uncommon for there to be exemptions or exclusions to who and what can be taxed this way.

A wealth tax can be charged alongside an income tax to help generate revenue for the government. The wealth tax rates are typically lower than income tax rates, in terms of the actual percentage rate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean paying less in taxes. Someone who has substantial assets that are subject to a wealth tax, for instance, may end up paying more toward that tax than income tax if they’re able to reduce their taxable income by claiming tax breaks.

Is a Wealth Tax a Good Idea?

In countries that use a wealth tax, the revenue helps to fund government programs and organizations. In some places, such as Norway, revenue from the wealth tax is split between the central government and municipal governments. It would be up to the federal government to decide how wealth tax revenue should be allocated if one were introduced here.

In the U.S., the concept of a wealth tax has been used to argue for a redistribution of wealth. Or more specifically, lawmakers who back the tax have suggested that it could be used to more fairly tax the wealthy while relieving some of the tax burdens on lower and middle-income earners. While wealthier taxpayers may take advantage of loopholes to minimize income taxes, a wealth tax would be harder to work around, at least in theory. That could yield benefits for less wealthy Americans if it means they’d owe fewer taxes.

That sounds good but implementing and collecting a wealth tax may be easier said than done. It’s possible that even with a wealth tax in place, high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth taxpayers could still find ways to minimize the amount of tax they’d owe. And the tax itself could be seen as unfairly penalizing wealthier individuals who own charities or foundations, invest heavily in businesses or save and invest their money instead of using it to buy things like luxury cars, expensive homes or other physical assets.

It’s important to keep in mind that a wealth tax is targeted at people above certain wealth thresholds, so most everyday Americans wouldn’t have to pay it. But it could cause problems for someone who unexpectedly receives a large inheritance that increases his wealth, even if his income remains at the lower end of the scale.

The Bottom Line

In the U.S., the wealth tax is still just an idea that’s being floated by progressive politicians and lawmakers. Whether a wealth tax is ever implemented remains to be seen and it’s likely that debate over it may continue for years to come. And enforcing one could be difficult if it were ever introduced, if for no other reason than there are many ways for the extremely wealthy to avoid taxes. In the meantime, talking with a tax professional may be the best way to manage your own personal tax liability.

Tips on Taxes

  • Consider talking to your financial advisor about the best ways to handle taxes as you grow an investment portfolio. If you don’t have a financial advisor yet, finding one doesn’t have to be complicated. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can help you connect with professional advisors online. It takes just a few minutes to get your personalized financial advisor recommendations. If you’re ready, get started now.
  • Managing taxes is an important part of growing wealth and creating an estate plan. The less you pay in taxes, the more money you have to save and invest toward establishing a legacy of wealth. A free income tax calculator is a good way to start figuring what you owe or to get confirmation that  your calculations are correct.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/Serhii Sobolevskyi, ©iStock.com/svengine, ©iStock.com/FG Trade

Rebecca Lake Rebecca Lake is a retirement, investing and estate planning expert who has been writing about personal finance for a decade. Her expertise in the finance niche also extends to home buying, credit cards, banking and small business. She’s worked directly with several major financial and insurance brands, including Citibank, Discover and AIG and her writing has appeared online at U.S. News and World Report, CreditCards.com and Investopedia. Rebecca is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and she also attended Charleston Southern University as a graduate student. Originally from central Virginia, she now lives on the North Carolina coast along with her two children.
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Living Legacy: Making a Family Home in a Historic Mansion

From 800 square feet in sprawling Manhattan to 6,000 square feet in historic Nyack.

Noah and Dennis Brodsky didn’t set out to buy a historic home.

They were just looking for a place that could provide a bit more room for their growing family than their 800-square-foot Manhattan apartment. But as soon as they saw this Nyack, New York, home, they knew it was meant to be.

The Gothic Revival house hit all the marks they were looking for and more: It’s spacious with a gorgeous view of the Hudson River, and it’s within walking distance to town.

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A powerful history

Discovering the home’s history was an added bonus.

Built in the 1850s, the 6,000-square-foot house was once owned by Thomas Edison’s lab assistant, William H. Hand. Hand and Edison worked together often in the barn, making significant technological improvements to the battery.

The house was in excellent condition when the Brodskys made the purchase in 2014. “What we really spent time doing was making it feel like ours,” explains Noah.

They changed the colors, added their own furniture and built a nursery for their baby. As an homage to the history of the house, they replaced the standard light bulbs in the kitchen with Edison bulbs.

“That personalization is really where we put our energy,” Noah remarks.

Quirks and challenges

While the home has been modernized, many historic touches — like original handmade crown moldings and a maid’s bell system that no longer works — remain.

Noah says that they also find relics hidden around the property. For example, in the backyard, they discovered an old smokehouse and a rusted animal-pulled mower buried in the ground.

Living in a historic home can have its quirky challenges. Getting Wi-Fi throughout the house is “constantly frustrating” because of all the brick. And after the couple’s first chilly winter, they added insulation in the attic to help with the heating.

Tips for historic home buyers

Dennis advises overestimating maintenance costs. If something needs to be restored or fixed in a historic home, often you can’t simply call a contractor.

Additionally, the couple didn’t anticipate the impact that having a home on the National Registry of Historic Places would have on their insurance costs.

“But it’s a lovely house,” says Noah, and the two are relishing creating new family traditions in it.

Related:

Originally published November 22, 2016. 

Source: zillow.com

Former Dodgers Outfielder Yasiel Puig Sells Encino, CA, Home for $2.7M>

The former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has cut another tie to Southern California. His five-bedroom home in Encino, CA, sold for $2,746,000 in early November. It originally went on the market in February 2020, with a list price of $3.2 million.

Puig wound up taking a 14% discount off his initial asking price and basically broke even on the $2.65 million he paid in 2017.

The gated estate was marketed as being owned by a professional athlete and suitable “for the discerning buyer that demands privacy.”

Located close to Highway 101 and Ventura Boulevard, the luxe, 5,279-square-foot home is within walking distance of restaurants and shops.

The living room on the large main floor has a lovely fireplace and a formal dining room, both of which have large windows with ample natural light.

The main level of the home includes a guest suite and office, and for entertaining guests in the warm California sun, there’s a beautiful interior courtyard.

Front exterior of home in Encino, CA
Front exterior of home in Encino, CA

realtor.com

Living room
Living room

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Chef's kitchen
Chef’s kitchen

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Dining room
Dining room

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Family area
Family area

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Master bedroom
Master bedroom

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Master bathroom
Master bathroom

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Courtyard
Courtyard

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Pool and hot tub
Pool and hot tub

realtor.com

The chef’s kitchen is elaborate and includes all stainless-steel appliances, custom cabinetry, an eight-burner Wolf range with double ovens, three dishwashers, and an oversized island. For additional storage, there’s a walk-in pantry.

The second floor includes a lavish master suite that has a tray ceiling, sitting area, fireplace, and a private terrace overlooking the backyard. The luxurious master bathroom area includes two walk-in closets.

Just outside is a covered patio with a grill, refrigerator, and sink. The backyard is a beautiful retreat with well-maintained landscaping and has a large swimming pool and hot tub.

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Watch: Major League Baseball Wife Julianna Zobrist Talks How to Be a Moving MVP

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According to a report in Variety, Puig purchased the property in 2017 for $2.65 million.

In 2015, he bought an estate in Sherman Oaks, CA, for $1.8 million.

According to property records, Puig currently owns three other properties. Two are located in Miami-Dade County: A six-bedroom home he purchased in 2012 for $1.5 million, and another brand-new home purchased in early 2018 for an undisclosed price.

Puig’s third home is located in Avondale, AZ. He purchased that four-bedroom desert home in early 2017 for $295,000.

Puig, 30, didn’t play at all in the truncated 2020 MLB season. In 2019, he split his time between the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians after starring with the Dodgers for six seasons.

A native of Cuba, he was the runner-up for the National League Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was named an All-Star in 2014. He’s currently a free agent.

Puig was represented by Felicia G. Morris with Searchlight Realty.

Source: realtor.com

New York City Renters Owe More Than $1 Billion in Unpaid Rent, Survey Finds

New York City apartment tenants are more than $1 billion in debt from missed rent payments during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey measuring the depth of the rent crisis brought on by Covid-19.

The debt figure is the most recent indicator that unemployment benefits and federal stimulus packages have so far been inadequate to alleviate the growing financial burden of missed rent payments across thousands of city households. Both landlord and tenant advocacy groups have lobbied heavily for more government rental assistance during the pandemic.

The survey, conducted by the Community Housing Improvement Program, a landlord trade group, focused on New York buildings subject to the city’s rent-regulation laws. These apartments account for about half of the city’s total rental apartments. Tallying responses from landlords, the group estimated that as many as 185,000 households living in these apartments are more than two months behind on rent, with an average debt of more than $6,000.

Jay Martin, executive director of CHIP, said rent debt from the rest of New York’s apartment inventory is probably the same or greater, meaning the total debt New York City renters are carrying is likely more than $2 billion.

“It’s not an insurmountable amount,” Mr. Martin said. “The numbers tell us that, probably, if we could get an additional billion or two dollars in the city, we could probably pay off every single renter’s arrears in the entire city of New York over the last year of the crisis.”

The Covid-19 relief package passed by Congress in December included $1.3 billion in pandemic rental assistance for New York state. It is still unclear how much of that will be made available for New York City, however, or how difficult it will be for tenants to meet eligibility requirements for the funds. State and city housing agencies are expected to roll out their distribution plans for the assistance in the coming weeks.

Housing advocates worry that if eligibility guidelines are too strict, much of the money will sit unused as tenant debts grow deeper. Nationally, about $300 million in federal rental assistance from the spring was still unspent as of December. And in New York, only $40 million of the state’s $100 million in pledged rental assistance had been spent as of the same month, leading Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, to sign an executive order expanding eligibility.

“It was structured in such a narrow way that it was hard for people to apply and so many were deemed ineligible” said Rachel Fee, executive director of the New York Housing Congress, an affordable-housing group focused on budget issues. “How the state and city target the [new] program is going to be really important.”

During the pandemic, most New York renters behind on payments have been saved from evictions by a combination of federal and state laws. In December, Mr. Cuomo extended New York’s eviction moratorium until May 2021. Some landlords, meanwhile, have fallen behind on their mortgages and other obligations, as rent collections reduce to a trickle and replacing nonpaying tenants with ones that can pay isn’t an option.

Asking rents for New York apartments have decreased in many neighborhoods during the pandemic, yet rents are still high by national standards. In New York City, the median one-bedroom-apartment rental price is $2,350, according to listings website Zumper.

Once eviction protections do expire, it could mean a surge in new evictions and other litigation, if rent debts persist.

“The court is not a perfect system but it is the only system we have to adjudicate any relief for tenants [and] any relief for property owners,” CHIP’s Mr. Martin said.

Source: realtor.com

Carmel’s 107-Acre Asherwood Estate Sells; New Owner to Build 40 Homes on the Property

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Asherwood, the suburban Indianapolis estate of the late billionaire Mel Simon, has reportedly found new owners. The Current, a local publication that reports on the Carmel area, has learned that the massive property will be divided in two and sold to different buyers for an undisclosed amount.

The opulent main house along with 20 acres that surround it will go to a private buyer (who will use it as a personal residence), while the rest of the 107-acre property goes to Gradison Land Development. The latter has already filed plans to built 40 homes on the sprawling property.

As a quick recap, the famous property — valued at $30 million — was most recently listed in March 2019, following its previous attempt to sell in 2014 which ended with Bren Simon (wife of the late shopping-mall magnate and Pacers co-owner, Mel Simon) donating the 107-acre estate.

Bren Simon, a known philanthropist, handed Asherwood Estate — as well as its lavishly furnished 50,000-square-foot mansion — to the Great American Songbook Foundation to support its dedication to 20th century American music history.

Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

In late 2018, the foundation led by Grammy-nominated musician and historian Michael Feinstein sought bids from top real estate brokerage firms to advise it on the best ways to market and sell the property. The winning bid went to global real estate firm Avison Young, chosen to lead sales efforts for the 107-acre property in Carmel, IN — an inspired choice, given the recent news of the successful sale.

“We invested a lot of time and effort in evaluating options to maximize the potential of this property, not only for our organization but for the surrounding community,” the foundation’s executive director Chris Lewis said in a statement. “We want to honor this generous gift by opening the opportunity to prospective buyers who are able to elevate the grounds beyond our capabilities.”

Stan Burton, an associate in Avison Young’s Indianapolis office, was leading the efforts of coordinating the sale of the Asherwood Estate.

History of the Asherwood Estate

Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

In the 1970s, Melvin and Bren Simon bought the Asherwood estate in Carmel, Indiana. Developed by race car driver and automotive engineer Louis H. Schwitzer, the Asherwood estate was significantly expanded under the ownership of the Simons.

In the years following their purchase, Mr. Simon, the co-founder of the Simon Property Group, became one of the world’s foremost shopping mall developers and the co-owner of the Indiana Pacers basketball team. When he died in 2009 at 82, Mr. Simon was worth $1.3 billion, according to Forbes.

Mr. Simon’s widow, Bren Simon, listed the property for sale in 2014 for $25 million, with no takers. She then donated the massive Asherwood estate, along with the house and all of its belongings, to Michael Feinstein’s foundation, The Great American Songbook.

The millions of dollars worth of art, furniture and fixtures that were inside the palatial 50,000-square-foot mansion hit the auction block on November 17, 2018 with proceeds from the sale going to the foundation.

Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

A real-estate deal to redevelop the vast estate into a luxury neighborhood and transform the seven-bedroom mansion into a boutique inn was also underway at the beginning of 2019, but was later abandoned due to restrictions that prevented the development of large-scale homes on the estate.

The existing fully furnished seven-bedroom mansion on the property includes two golf courses, two swimming pools, a tennis court, a clubhouse, greenhouse, guest house, home theater and caterer-ready professional kitchen. The property is located along Ditch Road between 96th and 106th streets.

Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker
Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

Note: A previous version of this article was published in March 2019, when Asherwood Estate was listed with Avison Young. It was updated in 2021 to reflect the recent news surrounding the property’s imminent sale.

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Source: fancypantshomes.com

Carmel’s 107-Acre Asherwood Estate Sells; New Owner to Build 40 Homes on the Property

214 Shares

Asherwood, the suburban Indianapolis estate of the late billionaire Mel Simon, has reportedly found new owners. The Current, a local publication that reports on the Carmel area, has learned that the massive property will be divided in two and sold to different buyers for an undisclosed amount.

The opulent main house along with 20 acres that surround it will go to a private buyer (who will use it as a personal residence), while the rest of the 107-acre property goes to Gradison Land Development. The latter has already filed plans to built 40 homes on the sprawling property.

As a quick recap, the famous property — valued at $30 million — was most recently listed in March 2019, following its previous attempt to sell in 2014 which ended with Bren Simon (wife of the late shopping-mall magnate and Pacers co-owner, Mel Simon) donating the 107-acre estate.

Bren Simon, a known philanthropist, handed Asherwood Estate — as well as its lavishly furnished 50,000-square-foot mansion — to the Great American Songbook Foundation to support its dedication to 20th century American music history.

Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

In late 2018, the foundation led by Grammy-nominated musician and historian Michael Feinstein sought bids from top real estate brokerage firms to advise it on the best ways to market and sell the property. The winning bid went to global real estate firm Avison Young, chosen to lead sales efforts for the 107-acre property in Carmel, IN — an inspired choice, given the recent news of the successful sale.

“We invested a lot of time and effort in evaluating options to maximize the potential of this property, not only for our organization but for the surrounding community,” the foundation’s executive director Chris Lewis said in a statement. “We want to honor this generous gift by opening the opportunity to prospective buyers who are able to elevate the grounds beyond our capabilities.”

Stan Burton, an associate in Avison Young’s Indianapolis office, was leading the efforts of coordinating the sale of the Asherwood Estate.

History of the Asherwood Estate

Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

In the 1970s, Melvin and Bren Simon bought the Asherwood estate in Carmel, Indiana. Developed by race car driver and automotive engineer Louis H. Schwitzer, the Asherwood estate was significantly expanded under the ownership of the Simons.

In the years following their purchase, Mr. Simon, the co-founder of the Simon Property Group, became one of the world’s foremost shopping mall developers and the co-owner of the Indiana Pacers basketball team. When he died in 2009 at 82, Mr. Simon was worth $1.3 billion, according to Forbes.

Mr. Simon’s widow, Bren Simon, listed the property for sale in 2014 for $25 million, with no takers. She then donated the massive Asherwood estate, along with the house and all of its belongings, to Michael Feinstein’s foundation, The Great American Songbook.

The millions of dollars worth of art, furniture and fixtures that were inside the palatial 50,000-square-foot mansion hit the auction block on November 17, 2018 with proceeds from the sale going to the foundation.

Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

A real-estate deal to redevelop the vast estate into a luxury neighborhood and transform the seven-bedroom mansion into a boutique inn was also underway at the beginning of 2019, but was later abandoned due to restrictions that prevented the development of large-scale homes on the estate.

The existing fully furnished seven-bedroom mansion on the property includes two golf courses, two swimming pools, a tennis court, a clubhouse, greenhouse, guest house, home theater and caterer-ready professional kitchen. The property is located along Ditch Road between 96th and 106th streets.

Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker
Asherwood Estate, Carmel IN. Photo courtesy of CJ Walker

Note: A previous version of this article was published in March 2019, when Asherwood Estate was listed with Avison Young. It was updated in 2021 to reflect the recent news surrounding the property’s imminent sale.

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Source: fancypantshomes.com

Trophy Apartment Once Owned by Composer Leonard Bernstein Asks $29.5 Million

An Upper East Side apartment that was once home to one of the most significant American cultural personalities of the 20th century has recently hit the market.

The Art Deco masterpiece at 895 Park Avenue was previously owned by famed composer and cultural icon Leonard Bernstein, whom music critics refer to as “one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history”. In fact, this very property is where Bernstein — also a lifelong humanitarian, civil rights advocate, and peace activist — hosted an infamous “radical chic” party with and in support of the Black Panther Party back in 1970.

But its famous past owner is not the building’s only historical trait; built in 1929, it is designed in the classic Art Deco style, evoking New York City’s golden age glamour and sophistication. That, paired with its carefully preserved original architectural details (original wood-burning fireplaces and wide-plank wood floors) and panoramic Manhattan views make this residence a true gem.

Image credit: Warburg Realty

Clocking in at approximately 6,300 square feet, with an extra 700 square feet of private outdoor space, the 895 Park Avenue unit spans over two floors of the 21-story Upper East Side building. The entrance is through a private elevator landing which opens into a 34-foot grand gallery, further leading into the residence’s elegant formal living room, library, and dining room.

With 6 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms, the trophy apartment also comes with an enclosed solarium that’s bathed in sunlight and that, just like the rest of the rooms and outdoor spaces, opens up to picture-perfect views of the city.

Image credit: Warburg Realty
Image credit: Warburg Realty
Image credit: Warburg Realty

A grand staircase leads to the lower level, which houses the 6 bedrooms, as well as a home office and laundry room. All but one of the bedrooms enjoys their own en-suite bathroom as well as significant storage space in the form of walk-in closets or dressing rooms.

Image credit: Warburg Realty

The building itself adds an extra note of sophistication and convenience; the full-service white glove co-op has a long list of amenities, including multiple doormen, an elevator attendant, health club, squash court, basketball court, and private storage units. Though location itself may be its biggest asset: 895 Park Avenue is located right in the heart of the Upper East Side, on the southeast corner of 79th street and Park Avenue, providing direct access to world-class dining and shopping.

Priced at $29.5 million, the elegant unit is listed with Bonnie Chajet, Allison Chiaramonte, and Tania Isacoff Friedland of Warburg Realty.

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Source: fancypantshomes.com

Car Insurance: Liability vs. Full Coverage

December 31, 2018 &• 5 min read by Taylor Cenicola Comments 0 Comments

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Disclaimer

Most people need car insurance in order to drive legally. Car insurance has two main categories: liability and full coverage.

The two types of car insurance will cover you in different circumstances. They also come at two very different prices. This article will cover the difference between the two types of car insurance coverage.

Liability Coverage 

Liability car insurance is simply insurance that covers your liability. In other words, liability coverage will pay for any damage to other property or people. You must pay out of pocket for your own damage though.

Liability coverage has two other subcategories as well.

Bodily Injury

Bodily injury coverage is exactly what it sounds like. This type of coverage covers medical expenses for the other party in the event you have an accident. Without bodily injury protection, you have to pay their medical expenses.

You can choose the amount of bodily injury coverage that you want to purchase. Keep in mind that most states require drivers to have bodily injury liability insurance to legally drive a vehicle.

Property Damage

Property damage coverage is also exactly what it sounds like. This covers physical damage to property, which usually means a vehicle. It may cover other property damage too, but this depends on the coverage.

Full Coverage

Full coverage car insurance is likely what most people think of when they search for auto insurance. Full coverage insurance will cover your vehicle in the event of an accident.

It may also cover your vehicle for than just an accident too, but this depends on the terms of the policy. Some policies cover acts of God, which means you will have coverage for natural disasters and other natural events. Some examples include the following:

  • Falling objects
  • Flooding
  • Theft
  • Other unforeseen circumstances

Legally Required Coverage

The coverage required by law varies depending on the state. Forty-seven states require liability insurance. The amount varies depending on the state. However, if you use a loan to purchase to a vehicle, then your loan provider will require you to purchase full coverage insurance. Lenders do this so they can receive money if you have an accident, or the car gets damaged.

Do I Need Full Coverage?

The decision to get full coverage or liability coverage is one that depends on a wide range of factors and your risk tolerance. This section will cover all the factors you should consider before deciding what insurance to choose. However, this section will not recommend a policy type for you to purchase. Simply consider the factors listed below when shopping for auto insurance.

Things to Consider

The following are a few considerations to make when deciding the level of insurance coverage you will need:

Your Ability to Purchase a Vehicle: one of the most important things to consider is your ability to purchase a new vehicle in the event of an accident. Remember, if you total a vehicle, then you will likely need a rental car for a few days while you search for a new car.

Also, you might have money at the moment, but if you’re in a money crunch and wreck your car, then you might have a problem purchasing a vehicle. Make sure to keep your ability to purchase a new vehicle in mind before dropping full coverage.

Vehicle Resale Value: another important factor is the resale of your vehicle. For instance, if you have a junk car, then paying for full coverage might not be worth it. Your insurance company will most likely total the car in the event of even the most minor accident because the cost of repairs exceeds the total loss in value of the vehicle. The car’s value might not even exceed the deductible, which means you might have to pay out of pocket!

On the other hand, if you have a very expensive vehicle, then full coverage will mean your wallet will not hurt as much in the event you wreck your vehicle. Your insurance company may even pay to fix the vehicle rather than writing it off. This just depends on the cost of the repairs and the total value of your car.

Policy Cost: the price difference between a liability insurance policy and a full coverage insurance policy will vary depending on a lot of factors such as your driving record, type of vehicle, zip code, and even the color of your car. It will also depend on your credit score!

Despite all those factors, sometimes only a marginal difference in price between the two policies exists. If the price difference is small enough, then it might make more sense to purchase the comprehensive coverage.

Risk Tolerance: one of the more critical factors in deciding the type of coverage you want is your risk tolerance. Insurance, by definition, is merely paying to transfer your risk to another party. You will have to analyze all the factors and determine the amount of risk you want to have.

Loan: if you have a loan on your vehicle, then you will have to purchase full coverage insurance for the amount of your loan. You might have the ability to lower the total coverage to your loan amount though. You will have to contact your lender to check.

Final Thoughts

The difference between liability insurance and full coverage insurance is a very large one in a legal sense and a benefit sense. It can also make a financial difference. You want to know exactly what type of coverage you purchase before signing a contract.

Make sure to fully review the policy and understand exactly what it covers and does not cover. This understanding is especially important for a full coverage plan since they tend to be very large.

More importantly, understand exactly what type of insurance fits your needs. Sometimes purchasing a liability plan make more sense for you and sometimes purchasing full coverage makes more sense for you. The above checklist should help you find the right type of insurance for your needs.

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Source: credit.com