Financial Advice for Retirement, Social Security, IRAs and Estate Planning

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

Disappearing Retailers in NYC

October 16, 2018

This article discusses why retailers in New York City are disappearing and why there are so many empty store fronts. The author insists it’s not simple a matter of Amazon taking away retailers’ business. He thinks there’s much more at work, and it is changing the nature of the city. What happens when cities become […]

Brexit Talks Are In Trouble

October 16, 2018

The latest issue to become a road block to an agreement is the status of Northern Ireland. The EU apparently wants an arrangement in which Northern Ireland remains part of the EU even as the U.K. leaves. Details of how to arrange this are causing problems, as explained here and here. Any sign of the […]

Jamie Dimon Issues A Warning

October 15, 2018

The head of J.P. Morgan Chase generally has been optimistic about the economy for a while. But he’s getting worried. Higher interest rates are only one of his concerns. He’s more concerned about trade conflicts and other geopolitical problems and controversies. He worries these could expand and derail economic growth. “So far, we still have […]

Social Security Benefits Increase for 2019

October 15, 2018

Social Security beneficiaries will receive the largest  annual cost of living increase (COLA) since 2012. It’s all thanks to a higher Consumer Price Index and the Fed’s quantitative easing policy. The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase to $132,000. The earnings limits for workers under full retirement age also […]

Medicare Premiums Rise For 2019

October 15, 2018

Medicare announced the premiums and other costs for 2019. There’s a modest increase in the standard Part B premium to $135.50 per month from $134.00. As income increases, so do Part B premiums under the Medicare Surtax, or IRMAA, provision. This is where it can get very expensive for very high earners. For 2019, there […]

The Overlooked Influence On Today’s Markets

October 12, 2018

People are talking a lot of higher interest rates, trade conflicts, and more. But there isn’t enough attention paid to the Fed’s policy of shrinking its balance sheet, according to this article. The Fed expanded its balance sheet dramatically during quantitative easing, increasing the assets to $1 trillion. Recently, it’s been allowing some of the […]

What They’re Saying About Stocks

October 12, 2018

Here are a few reactions to this week’s sharp decline in stock prices. Jeffrey Gundlach of DoubleLine says the decline indicates U.S. stocks can’t resist the negative trend established by the rest of global markets. In this article, various market analysts say that while President Trump blames the Federal Reserve for the decline, the tariffs […]

Social Security’s ID Problem

October 12, 2018

For decades Americans have been identified by their Social Security numbers. That’s become a problem in the digital era, because hackers have compromised many numbers. That’s why, as this article describes, people are at work considering ways to replace or supplement the old SSN. The problem: “If we look at how well we’re doing right […]

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