Retirement Articles

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The Pension Fund Dilemma of Low Interest Rates

November 15, 2016

While individual investors fret about zero interest rates around the globe, the low rates also are creating substantial problems for pension funds, life insurers, and an array of other entities that depend on investment returns. This article in The Wall Street Journal delves into detail how bad zero interest rates are making pension funding. (Subscription […]

The Election and Your Portfolio

November 11, 2016

The election everyone said they hated is behind us. Now we plan for the results. Post-election forecasts are as precarious as pre-election forecasts. I remember after Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, the consensus was that stocks of “green companies” would do well and defense stocks would do poorly. There even were newsletters and mutual […]

Navigating an Improbable Year and Preparing for More Surprises to Come

November 10, 2016

Don’t fall into the extrapolation trap that snares most investors. Too many investors extrapo- late the recent past into the indefinite future. They believe whatever has happened in the economy and markets recently will continue to happen. Behavioral finance economists and psychologists call this “recency” bias. (I know most dictionaries don’t accept “recency” as a […]

estate planning

Use Retirement Planning Software with Care

November 10, 2016

You can find plenty of no-cost and low-cost retirement calculators on the Web. The software helps you determine if you have saved enough money for retirement. My advice always has been that it’s best to use several programs, compare the results from the different programs, and prefer programs that let you change all or most […]

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Estate Planning

Could You Be Saving Too Much for Retirement?

November 10, 2016

The media regularly run headlines about how Americans are unprepared for retirement, primarily because they haven’t saved enough. But there’s another view that doesn’t receive as much attention. In this view, many people might be saving too much for retirement. That could be good news for their heirs, but they could be shortchanging themselves. Using […]

New Rulings Show Importance of Checking IRA Beneficiaries

November 10, 2016

A series of recent IRS rulings shows how important it is to review carefully your IRA beneficiary designations. The rulings show that your will and other documents don’t matter. Only the beneficiary designation form on file with the IRS custodian or trustee matters to the IRS. In the rulings, an IRA owner had IRAs at […]

Weighing the Pros and Cons of IRA Conversions

November 10, 2016

Forget all you’ve heard about converting traditional IRAs into Roth IRAs. There are too many rules of thumb, shortcuts and plain misinformation floating around. Also, circumstances change. You might have evaluated the conversion option a few years ago and reached a decision. You should re-evaluate that decision regularly, because important factors might be different now. […]

IRS Announces 2017 Estate, Income Tax Adjustments

November 10, 2016

The IRS announced the inflation-indexing of many tax provisions for 2017. The lifetime estate and gift tax exemption will increase to $5,490,000 from $5,450,000 for the estates of those who pass away in 2017. That gives married couples a potential joint exemption of $10,980,000. The annual gift tax exclusion remains at $14,000 in 2017, where […]

October 2020:

Congress Comes for your Retirement Money

A devastating new law has just been enacted, with serious consequences for anyone holding an IRA, pension, or 401(k). Fortunately, there are still steps you can take to sidestep Congress, starting with this ONE SIMPLE MOVE.
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