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

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

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 […]

Declining Confidence about Retirement

March 16, 2011

Every year the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) conducts its annual Retirement Confidence Survey. It asks Americans of working age and in retirement how confidence they are about having enough money to retire and other relevant questions. The latest survey was released yesterday and reveals the lowest level of confidence ever. About 27 percent of […]

Retirement Watch April 2011 issue

March 16, 2011

The April 2011 issue of Retirement Watch is posted on the members’ web site at In the investment section I recommend some changes in all the portfolios. We’re selling the energy pipeline stocks (Enterprise Product Partners, LP and Tortoise Energy Capital). The proceeds will be added to a new investment and also added to […]

Understanding the Japan Situation, Part 2

March 16, 2011

Here’s another good explanation of what’s happening with Japan’s nuclear power plants. This one’s by a “nuclear technologist” who seems to understand how things work. The designers of the reactors at Fukushima-Daiichi had anticipated situations where pressure was rising in the core.  So long as power was available, pumps would circulate hot fluid from the […]

Understanding the Japanese Situation

March 16, 2011

I haven’t made a post yet on the events in Japan. The events are moving quickly, so it’s tough to understand what’s really happening. Also, because my recommended portfolios are hedged and have sell signals on the more volatile assets, we’re automatically protecting our capital if things go badly. The effects of the earthquake and […]

Understanding the Emerging Bubbles

March 15, 2011

I usually don”t cite John Hussman’s weekly essays in this blog. They should be part of you regular reading. I’m pointing you to this week’s comment, because it’s timely and important. Titled “Anatomy of a Bubble” the essay explains how bubbles are formed, with an emphasis on the history of the U.S. stock market. While […]

Getting to Deficit Reduction

March 15, 2011

I frequently encourage you to read John Makin’s monthly Economic Outlook essays on the American Enterprise Institute’s web site. His latest his no exception. Like me, Makin is concerned about what will happen to the economy once the monetary stimulus ends in June followed by a fading of the fiscal stimulus at the end of […]

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