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

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

IRA Conversions and the Five-Year Waiting Period

November 19, 2010

I continue to receive a lot of questions about the five-year waiting period for taking distributions after Roth IRA contributions and conversions. There’s a lot of confusion about the rules. It is slightly different for conversions and for contributions. It also is different for income taxation of distributions and the 10% early distribution penalty on […]

Avoiding Rising Bank Fees

November 12, 2010

One way banks responded to the erosion of their finances is to charge more and higher fees to their customers. The fees increase income and enable the banks to build their capital base. A number of these fees are unnecessary and avoidable if you prepare before being high with them. This article identifies six banking […]

The Freddie Mac Tab Updated

November 11, 2010

A major cause of the housing crisis and the following financial crisis was the federally-chartered entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The entities encouraged loan brokers to write low quality mortgages and helped ensure there was a ready flow of low interest cash for anyone who wanted to buy a house. The federal government had […]

Signs of Life in the Economy

November 10, 2010

We’ve focused on the reasons to be cautious about the economy, but there are a couple of recent reasons to be a little optimistic. Small business is a key to the economy. Large businesses are doing well because they received the bulk of the stimulus and are able to export to the fast-growing developing nations. […]

The Retirement Gap

November 8, 2010

The U.S. collectively has a “retirement income adequacy” deficit of $4.6 trillion. That comes out to $48,000 per individual, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute. Without Social Security, the deficit would double. Since the late 1990s EBRI estimated how much money Americans will need for “basic” expenses (food, shelter, etc.) and uninsured health care […]

Money Problems and Alzheimer’s

November 4, 2010

Nobody wants to contemplate coming down with Alzheimer’s Disease or having a loved one do so. But we shouldn’t avoid talking about it. New research indicates that problems with money and finances is “perhaps the most important and most predictable” early sign of the disease. This is important, because it helps loved ones identify the […]

Don’t Rely on Government Data

November 4, 2010

I’m always amused when investors, whether professionals or individuals, make big decisions based on the latest economic data. The monthly employment report is a favorite source of amusement for me, because it is so volatile and unreliable. The same is true with a lot of other government data. It’s frequently revised by significant amounts over […]

The Election and Your Money

November 3, 2010

I’ll be preparing more analysis of yesterday’s elections and how they affect your finances. One great myth floating around is that gridlock in Washington (control of the branches of government split between the parties) is good for stocks, the economy, and investors. This conclusion is based on a small number of examples and is skewed […]

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