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

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

Changing Energy Policy

March 21, 2011

Every time gas prices rise (and it seems only when gas prices rise), various proposals for government energy policy are pushed forward. The record of the proposals that have been implemented is poor. It’s part of the reason we have these various spikes and declines in gas prices. A refreshingly different approach to the topic […]

Renovating the Home — Cautionary Tips

March 21, 2011

Most homeowners take on at least one renovation project at some point, usually at more than one point.Remodeling and renovations are increasing. The poor housing market causes many people to improve their current homes rather than moving. They can’t sell their homes at a good price, so they improve their abodes. Too many people don’t […]

Phasing Out the Telephone

March 21, 2011

It’s interesting how trends and actions completely outside a business can change it, for better or worse. Take the case of the landline telephone. I know a number of people who don’t have one, even business people. I know a lot of other people who have them but rarely use them. The landline is there […]

Tracking Japan’s Effects on the Global Economy

March 21, 2011

Since word of the earthquake in Japan first spread, economists and analysts have tried to estimated the effects on global economic growth. It’s a tough job for a couple of reasons. One reason is that there are several layers of effects, or a chain of effects, and some aren’t apparent on the first review. The […]

Time to Raise Interest Rates

March 21, 2011

I’ve been saying that the Federal Reserve’s policies amount to a war on retirees and savers. Keeping interest rates on safe investments close to zero forces people either to take on more risk than they want to or suffer with negative returns after inflation and taxes. It’s also hurting emerging market countries that tie their […]

PIMCO Beats the Gloom and Doom Drum

March 17, 2011

Bill Gross and Mohammed El-Erian, co-chief investment officers of PIMCO, have been cautious about the economy even before the financial crisis. They briefly became more optimistic after the tax cut deal last December, but their pessimism is coming to the forefront again. As we reported in a previous post, Gross’s latest monthly outlook posted on […]

Deleveraging Picks Up Pace

March 17, 2011

It’s no secret that American households took on too much debt through 2007 and have been deleveraging since. Each quarter the Federal Reserve issues its Flow of Funds report detailing the extent of household debt. The latest report, issued March 10, is positive news. The household debt burden is at its lowest level in six […]

Retirement Continues to Lengthen

March 17, 2011

Life expectancy increased again in the U.S. It’s increased steadily since the 1940s. For babies born in 2009, life expectancy 78 years and two months. For males life expectancy is 75.5 years, and for females it is 80.5 years. While that’s good news, it means those contemplating retirement have to plan for long retirements. Life […]

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