It’s that time of the year again. It’s the end of the second quarter, so it’s time to pay estimated taxes.
Being an erudite and highly paid college professor (neither of those is true really) does not exempt me from paying Uncle Sam his quarterly due.
As usual, I did not have enough cash on hand to deposit into the U. S. and state of Virginia treasuries. So, I called my financial adviser and asked him to liquidate some mutual fund shares and send me a check to cover the estimates.
“Shall I have the money transferred electronically to your checking account as last time?” he asked.
“No, just send me a check via snail mail,” I replied. “It cost far too much last time.”
“But it usually only costs about about $15 to $20 to make the wire transfer,” the planner said, puzzled. “Perhaps you were overcharged. We should look into it.”
“Thank you for your concern,” I replied, “but that was the charge.” That admission was met with a long and painful silence, doubtless brought on by my frugality.
I had to let him off the hook, so I explained: “You see, that $20 will pay for my wife and I to go to all-you-can-eat barbecue Thursday night at Shoney’s in Manassas.”
Another long silence. If the planner ever ate barbecue, it would be at Ruth Chris Steak House or Morton’s, if such upscale places even have barbecue.
Come to think of it, there are many lessons in financial management that involve restaurants. For example, one of my greatest moments occurred when I last saw my beautiful three-year-old granddaughter. As the entire family entered a restaurant, my granddaughter said loudly, “I wanna sit next to Grandpa Lester!”
That just melted my heart. I immediately thought of those three precious, loving words that every grandfather whispers to his grandchild at such moments: “Intergenerational wealth transfer.”