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Long term (~2+ years) review: Economy

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rkawakami
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Long term (~2+ years) review: Economy

#1 Post by rkawakami » Mon Nov 09, 2020 1:58 pm

As the current political climate here in the US (just after the 2020 Presidential Election) hits higher gear due to the closeness of the race and the ongoing disputes by the Trump administration, Joe Biden has been predicted to become the 46th POTUS. There's been a lot of back-and-forth about whether or not the presidency was stolen. This thread is NOT about that topic. There's been some talk of what's to come under a Biden presidency; increases in taxes, gas, electricity, etc. That is the purpose of this thread.

I'm going to try to document what "life" was like at the time and hopefully compare it to what it becomes in the future. Figures will be the main content. Note that some of the items here will be from the prospective of living in the Bay Area. If you would like to document some of the same things I have in your own area, please do so. There are some things which I initially wanted to track but upon further review, realized that there were already some planned changes in the near future. For instance, the minimum hourly wage. Here in CA, there are planned increases that will take effect by 2023 to raise the rate to $15/hr. So I don't think it would be fair to keep tabs on that but if things change in the future related to this fact, I'll address them then.

I plan to be around for many more years but I think two years in (i.e., Nov. 2022, just after the mid-terms) would be a good time to revisit this thread. Some of the info will be what I see around me and some was found online. I'll try to include links to my resources but there's no guarantee that they will still be active later on. So here goes...


GAS/DIESEL
95120: 76 (Redmond, Camden) is $3.75 to $3.79 for premium, $3.43 to $3.45 for regular
---------Valero (Winfield) is $3.19 for premium, $2.89 for regular, $3.15 for diesel
95118: ARCO (Almaden, Branham) is $3.09 to $3.13 for premium, $2.79 to $2.83 for regular, $3.05 to $3.19 for diesel
CA taxes on gas: $0.505, increases yearly (July 1) based upon CA CPI
CA taxes on diesel: $0.385
https://www.gasbuddy.com/
http://www.sanjosegasprices.com/
https://www.pacificresearch.org/califor ... -increase/


ELECTRICITY
I'm currently on PG&E's E-6 rate plan. It's going away in a couple of years. I hope that I can compare it to what it changes to. Summer=June 1st to Sept 30th Winter=Oct 1st to May 31st
Summer Peak: Baseline: $0.40545 Over: $0.49198
Summer Part-Peak: Baseline: $0.28701 Over: $0.37354
Summer Off-Peak: Baseline: $0.21179 Over: $0.29832
Winter Part-Peak: Baseline: $0.23296 Over: $0.31949
Winter Off-Peak: Baseline: $0.21613 Over: $0.30266
Tier 1 allowance: 9.9kWh/day
(NOTE: The rates above is because I have solar. The following rates were added to this post 12/6/20.)

Tiered rate plan E-1:
Tier 1: up to 100% of baseline allocation: $0.24
Tier 2: 101%-400% of baseline: $0.31
High usage: >400% of baseline: $0.38

Time-Of-Use E-TOU-C: (Peak pricing every day 4-9pm)
Summer Off-Peak: Below Baseline: $0.27 Over: $0.33
Summer Peak: Below Baseline: $0.35 Over: $0.41
Winter Off-Peak: Below Baseline: $0.22 Over: $0.23
Winter Peak: Below Baseline: $0.30 Over: $0.31

Time-Of-Use E-TOU-D: (Peak pricing 5-8pm Weekdays)
Summer Off-Peak: $0.27
Summer Peak: $0.36
Winter Off-Peak: $0.27
Winter Peak: $0.29

https://www.pge.com/tariffs/electric.shtml

I have a Tesla and use their Supercharger network to charge the car, at times.
Cost: $0.34 to $0.35kWh (recently increased from $0.28 and $0.31)

Lately I've been using a ChargePoint station, mostly because it's cheaper than home but it's also convenient:
Cost: $0.19kWh


FINANCIAL
I'm currently invested in some Fidelity funds:
FASMX (Fidelity Asset Manager 50%) is at $19.96
TRRBX (T. Rowe Price Retirement 2020 Fund) is at $23.60
https://quotes.fidelity.com/ftgw/fbc/of ... /get_quote

DJI is 28,323.40
NASDAQ is 11,895.23
S&P 500 is 3,509.44

Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates (current month)
Date        1 mo    2 mo    3 mo    6 mo    1 yr    2 yr    3 yr    5 yr    7 yr    10 yr   20 yr   30 yr
11/02/20    0.09    0.09    0.09    0.11    0.13    0.16    0.20    0.38    0.63    0.87    1.41    1.63
11/03/20    0.09    0.10    0.10    0.12    0.14    0.17    0.21    0.39    0.65    0.90    1.44    1.66 Election day
11/04/20    0.08    0.09    0.10    0.10    0.12    0.14    0.18    0.33    0.55    0.78    1.33    1.55
11/05/20    0.09    0.10    0.10    0.10    0.12    0.14    0.18    0.33    0.56    0.79    1.32    1.54
11/06/20    0.10    0.10    0.10    0.11    0.12    0.16    0.21    0.36    0.59    0.83    1.37    1.60
https://www.treasury.gov/resource-cente ... data=yield

10 Year Treasury Rate is 0.83% (Nov 6th)
https://ycharts.com/indicators/10_year_treasury_rate

US Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Current 3rd quarter 2020 shows 33.1% increase from previous quarter where it dropped 31.4%
Estimated 2020 GDP is $22.32 trillion (as of March 2020)
https://www.bea.gov/news/2020/gross-dom ... e-estimate
https://www.investopedia.com/insights/w ... economies/

Per Capita Personal Income (thanks George!)
2018: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara: $106,213 updated Nov. 2019)
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/SANJ906PCPI

2019 Median household income: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara: $130,865
https://www.deptofnumbers.com/income/ca ... /san-jose/

Income by ZIP code (95120):
Median Household Income: $185,800
Average Household Income: $217,091
Per Capita Income: $72,890
https://www.incomebyzipcode.com/california/95120
(All income statistics above for 95120, San Jose and Santa Clara County are the most current, comparable income statistics available from the US Census Bureau and are from the American Community Survey 2018 5-year estimates. These values are in 2018 inflation-adjusted dollars and were downloaded on 19 December 2019.)


TAXES
Sales tax rate is: 9.25% (State 6%, County: 0.25%, Local: 2.75%, City: 0.25%)
https://www.avalara.com/taxrates/en/sta ... ounty.html
https://www.salestaxhandbook.com/califo ... ara-county
https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/taxes-and-fees/rates.aspx

I know income tax rates may be hard to compare over time, especially when tax loopholes are figured in but these are the baseline rates:
California Income Tax Rates (Married filing jointly)
Tax Bracket     Tax Rate
$0.00+          1%
$17,618.00+     2%
$41,766.00+     4%
$65,920.00+     6%
$91,506.00+     8%
$115,648.00+    9.3%
$590,746.00+    10.3%
$708,890.00+    11.3%
$1,000,000.00+  12.3%
$1,181,484.00+  13.3%
California Income Tax Rates (Single)
Tax Bracket     Tax Rate
$0.00+          1%
$8,809.00+      2%
$20,883.00+     4%
$32,960.00+     6%
$45,753.00+     8%
$57,824.00+     9.3%
$295,373.00+    10.3%
$354,445.00+    11.3%
$590,742.00+    12.3%
$1,000,000.00+  13.3%
CA rates are indexed for inflation and updated yearly
https://www.tax-brackets.org/californiataxtable

Federal Income Tax Rates
Rate    For Single Individuals  For Married Individuals
                                Filing Joint Returns    For Heads of Households
10%     Up to $9,875            Up to $19,750           Up to $14,100
12%     $9,876 to $40,125       $19,751 to $80,250      $14,101 to $53,700
22%     $40,126 to $85,525      $80,251 to $171,050     $53,701 to $85,500
24%     $85,526 to $163,300     $171,051 to $326,600    $85,501 to $163,300
32%     $163,301 to $207,350    $326,601 to $414,700    $163,301 to $207,350
35%     $207,351 to $518,400    $414,701 to $622,050    $207,351 to $518,400
37%     $518,401 or more        $622,051 or more        $518,401 or more
https://taxfoundation.org/2020-tax-brackets/


PROPERTY
Zillow says my house (1,955sqft, 4bd, 2.5ba, 8000sqft lot) is worth "one unit"; actual value will be stored in my profile so I can quote it later; you'll have to trust me on this one. Rental estimated at $4,200/mo. And yes I know that real estate values fluctuates wildly all the time but hopefully it will reveal a trend over the years.

I would note that when I sold my parent's house in Mountain View a couple of years ago, the buyer paid $1.1M. It's barely over 1000sqft (3bd, 1ba, 6545sqft lot) and was in what I would consider poor condition but a good area. Current Zillow estimate for that property is $1,182,269.
https://www.zillow.com

Property tax for my house last year (2020/2021): $12,525.32 with $7,000 homeowner exemption
https://www.sccgov.org/sites/dtac/tax/Pages/tax.aspx
https://www.sccassessor.org/index.php/o ... l-property


If there's something you think I missed, please let me know and I'll try to include it.

edit 12/6/20: Added electric rate plans E-1, E-TOU-C and E-TOU-D.
Ray Kawakami
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Re: Long term (~2+ years) review: Economy

#2 Post by ajkula66 » Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:51 pm

You may want to add average income per capita and/or family in the given zip code(s).

On a different note, I'm sure your house is very nice but my jaw dropped at $4200 rental estimate, although I know that Zillow is sometimes unrealistic (judging by areas that I'm familiar with) in that respect. I probably couldn't afford a garage in your neck of the woods right now, let alone a house... :D ...well, maybe a dog house...if I got a good mortgage rate... :lol:
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

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FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF

Abused daily: T520, X200s


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Re: Long term (~2+ years) review: Economy

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Nov 10, 2020 4:55 am

Guess it's not cheap living in California.
And with all the wildfires burning away thousands of houses, not that safe either.

But Ouch to those house prices! (boosted by the above fires?)

In October 2007 we bought a 1954 ranch house (3400sqft, 3bd, 2ba, 2 acres lot) in Mt. Cobb, PA for $217,000
In May 2019 we sold that house (at a loss) for $205,000 and moved back to Ireland.
As per Zillow (10 Nov. 2020), that house value has further dropped to $184,778
(Property- AND school-taxes combined were less than $2,700 per year)

Compare that to what we are currently doing in Ireland:
- selling a tiny 1954 end-of-terrace house (915sqft, 3bd, 1.5ba) in need of full modernization, in South Dublin for ~$585,000
- buying a small 2004 semi-detached house (1260sqft, 3bd, 3ba) ready-to-go in South East of Ireland for ~$210,000

Again, noticeable price differences based on location.
The current tendency seems to be that more people are leaving Dublin, because they can work from home.
House prices in Dublin are falling, while they are going up in the country.
Commutes are going -or already have gone- down considerably.

A lot more could be said, but for us, the main point is that we got out of the USA in time.

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Re: Long term (~2+ years) review: Economy

#4 Post by rkawakami » Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:10 am

The housing prices, at least here in San Jose where I'm at and Silicon Valley as a whole, are/were not affected by any of the fires in recent years. I'm in a very suburban area far from any large sources of vegetation needed to sustain a wildfire. That's not to say there's no trees around us, there are plenty. But also concrete, tarmac, dirt and a small lake. There are a couple of parks nearby, one of them did have a fire a couple of years ago that threatened homes surrounding the park but it was put out quickly. If you go on Google Maps, look for Guadalupe Oak Grove Park in San Jose, CA and turn on the satellite view. I'm within a mile of that park. There was also a fire up on the ridge at the golf course to the east of that park about two years ago. Some of the recent fires in the Santa Cruz mountains were visible from my house but we were not in any danger.

Decades prior to the pandemic, people who could not afford to buy or rent housing in the Valley, had to go out at least 30 miles to places like Gilroy and Pleasanton before they even had a chance. There have been sporadic stories over the years that some people commute 100-150 miles one-way in order to have a job here in the Valley and a decent, affordable house in a "nice" location. Some are forced out due to the high cost-of-living, while others prefer the rural life over the madness (and crime and poor schools and gridlock) that is the Valley. All of this may be changing because of the pandemic. People, and businesses, are finding out that they can work from home and still be productive. Real estate values could go down if the demand eases; very small chance in my opinion but still feasible. But not everyone can do this. It's mostly the high-paying tech jobs. And if you further drive away those earners and nobody comes along to fill the empty houses, the reduction in revenue from property, sales and other local taxes will be hard on everyone that remains here; infrastructure suffers, taxes could go up to cover the deficit, etc.
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
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Re: Long term (~2+ years) review: Economy

#5 Post by ZaZ » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:21 pm

I met someone from San Francisco last summer. I said to her "If you don't mind my asking, how much are you paying in rent?". She told me "We got a super good deal, we're only paying $4,000 a month". I replied "You are one lucky [censored]". She said her husband was an engineer. Perhaps that's how they could afford it. For a year or two of rent in San Francisco, you could buy a decent house here in rural Minnesota, though not in the Twin Cities, but then you have the problem of finding a job with insurance. My question is when the people who bought California houses in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, who are still working and can afford to live there on regular salaries because of Proposition 13, retire or leave, who's going to be able to afford to come in behind them?
ProBook 470 G5

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Re: Long term (~2+ years) review: Economy

#6 Post by rkawakami » Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:16 pm

I overheard a local news report a couple of days ago saying something about the housing market here in the Bay Area; didn't really pay attention to it, just caught a couple of "facts". My recollection was that the market was up, in that home prices were increasing and they were not on the market very long before being sold. Whether that's due to "low" prices, I don't know but I highly doubt it. I'll try to dig up some links while I'm writing the rest of this.

Having been out of the rental market for 30 years or so, I'm not really sure how accurate these estimates are. I do know that Zillow and the like have been saying that home prices in my ZIP have been going up in the last several years, with rents increasing right along with it. I think that the entire Bay Area housing market (nine counties) is following the same trend as here. Naturally the market bounces up and down and up again due to many forces but the overall trend for the last several decades has been up. If Zillow's estimates are accurate, our home's value has doubled in the 20 years we've been in it.

As far as who's going to buy homes here when the current owner's move (or pass away), there's plenty of people wanting to come here, or are already here and itching (and maybe even finally able) to buy a house. As an example, take my parent's house in Mountain View, home to Google. My parents moved from San Francisco to MV in 1962 when I was 5 1/2. It's located in a tract of single-family homes at the intersection of highways 101 and 85 and right across 101 from Moffett Field when it was still a naval air station and to this day houses NASA's Ames Research Center. The houses were built in 1954 so that would make them 8 years old when my parents bought it. I think they paid $16,000. As you can see from the Zillow link above, it's less than 1,100 sqft, has 3 bedrooms and 1 bath. I sold it in an as-is condition, off-listing, for $1,100,000 3 years ago this December. What's really telling is if you scroll down to the public tax history. The last property tax I paid on it was less than $900 since the assessed value was $54,000. Due to the provisions of Proposition 13, the buyer is now paying just shy of $15,000. The other "oh wow!" moment comes if you look at Zillow's map of the neighborhood. You'll see it's the cheapest house in the area at $1.18, while the others are $1.5 and above. I can say that the buyer is NOT an engineer but has a job traditionally lower-paying than the software wizards at Google. Her brother lives across the street and had come up to me one time when I was there cleaning up the house and asked that he be notified if/when I put the house up for sale. It turned out that I had one other buyer lined up, willing to pay the same $1.1 but decided to award her the deal.

The housing prices here are very high. To some extent, so are the wages. But not everyone can afford a large down payment. Most can barely meet the monthly rental costs which keeps them from saving enough money for a down payment. It's a vicious circle. For older homeowners, ones who were here when Prop 13 was enacted, they're reaping the benefits of the low property tax, along with soaring home values. For new home buyers I'd say some of them are cashing out their stock holdings in order to buy into a house, like I did 20 years ago. Some are already flush with money, immigrants mainly, and moving into the area for many reasons. And still others may be relying upon family members/parents with help on buying a house, like what my father-in-law did for us when my wife and I bought our first house.

No matter how you're able to afford a house, and even if you can't, everybody here is subject to the same high cost-of-living that comes with the territory. Yes, people are moving out due to the job market, crime, poor schools, poorly maintained transportation system, lack of good transit options, and now, the effects on the local economy due to COVID-19. I guess it's the "California Dream" that still attracts some people here. Money can still be had here if you're lucky, ambitious, smart or all three.

ref: https://www.realtor.com/research/market-trends/ (I'm in Santa Clara county)
ref: https://www.redfin.com/zipcode/95120/housing-market
ref: https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/05/07/ ... th-slowed/
Ray Kawakami
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Re: Long term (~2+ years) review: Economy

#7 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:33 pm

rkawakami wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:16 pm

The housing prices here are very high. To some extent, so are the wages. But not everyone can afford a large down payment. Most can barely meet the monthly rental costs which keeps them from saving enough money for a down payment. It's a vicious circle. For older homeowners, ones who were here when Prop 13 was enacted, they're reaping the benefits of the low property tax, along with soaring home values.
In 1980, my in-laws bought a two-family house in a nice area of Brooklyn for $65K. They've turned down several $1M offers over the past few years since they have zero intent on moving and are up there in age.
Money can still be had here if you're lucky, ambitious, smart or all three.
A gentleman I used to work for went to Google ~5 years ago. His sign-on bonus was reportedly $1M, and he wasn't the biggest fish that changed employers during that particular transition.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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Re: Long term (~2+ years) review: Economy

#8 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:08 pm

Just looked at my electric bill in order to compare rates to what Ray had posted earlier on...

7.317¢/kWh...which comes to 3-4 times less than what we find in his zip code. My rate is the same year-round since I'm too lazy to shop around for better deals.

That being said, there's no recent income data for my zip code but the county itself sits at $62,413 median household income for 2019.

https://www.deptofnumbers.com/income/pe ... oe-county/

Now, I'm nowhere near as structured as rkawakami is, so I'll just throw a couple of figures out there...

A gallon of regular gas is between $2.27 and $2.55 at the time of this post, it went up by quite a margin over the past week or so.

A pack of Winstons - what I smoke these days - is $8.33 with tax.

Sales tax is 6% in entire PA with the exception of Philly where it's 7%.

State income tax is flat 3.07% but the retirement income is not taxed at all.

Yearly registration for a personal vehicle of any kind is $38.

I've just had an oil change on my car done earlier today - 4.5 quarts of synthetic oil + filter - for $53 with tax included. My mechanic's labour rate is $75/hr while we're at it.

I'm paying ~$130 a month for a 250/12 cable broadband and landline combined. Gotta love the virtual monopoly that my provider has over a good chunk of NEPA.

Will add more when I have the head for it... :D
Last edited by ajkula66 on Sun Dec 06, 2020 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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Re: Long term (~2+ years) review: Economy

#9 Post by cadillacmike68 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 11:48 pm

Electric rate here is 5.735 cents per KWH. That's good because the central HVAC runs EVERY day here.
Fuel is no bargain at $2.3 . gal this week. Was $1.93 / gal a week ago. Someone farted in the mideast and it's 20 c / gal more.
Internet costs some $180 / mo for 500MbPS both ways, a land line and a large tv package. I like my history channel and she likes her hallmark...
State sales tax rate is 6%, 7% here and 8.5% about 1 mile to the south of me in another county!

I try to do my own oil changes, $25-30 for 6 qts of full synthetic oil and a few $ for the filter. Some of the cars only need 5 qts.

Housing costs are a bargain here compared to PA or CA (or NY / NJ / MA etc...) but my little abode, about the size of Ray's is worth about 3 times what I originally paid for it.

VA says a 1.3% increase and I expect Dept of Defense will be similar. Now if I can only keep my cars from going bonkers on me...

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Re: Long term (~2+ years) review: Economy

#10 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 11:54 pm

cadillacmike68 wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 11:48 pm

Housing costs are a bargain here compared to PA or CA
Are you sure about the PA comparison part ? You can get a lot of house for the $$$ up here, but you'd be in a middle of nowhere... :D
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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Re: Long term (~2+ years) review: Economy

#11 Post by rkawakami » Sun Dec 06, 2020 5:18 pm

Oil + filter change: $0.00 (for the life of my car). OTOH, the Ridgeline and Murano requires 5.7 and 4.8 quarts respectively. Wife and daughter take care of their oil changes so I don't know the cost but assume them to be $70 or so since they take the vehicles to the dealer instead of using a quick oil change place (e.g., Jiffy Lube).

My current broadband connection is 200/5 with Comcast (Xfinity) and runs $60/mo (three months into a one year discount from the normal $70/mo cost). I have separate landline (AT&T) and TV (Dish) companies. Combined cost of the three services is something like $290 (Dish being about $150/mo for Top 250, locals, Starz and equipment/protection fees).

I'll try to update the electricity costs since I'm on a plan that includes use of solar, something that I forgot to mention in the first post. A quick look at the PG&E residential rate table says the cheapest is $0.22/kWh (baseline Winter season E-TOU-C plan).
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

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