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

Home Equity & Housing

Bob Carlson’s ideas and strategies for managing home equity and choice of housing to maintain a budget

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Retirement Housing Myths Shattered

Some of the biggest retirement planning mistakes occur because pre-retirees believe common myths and rules of thumb that often are featured in the media. Most of these retirement platitudes do not stand up to basic research or investigation. Retiree housing has been a subject of some of the premier and enduring retirement myths. The media […]

real-estate-bubble-revisited

Real Estate Bubble Revisited

Residential home prices in many areas have skyrocketed. One estimate is that average prices nationally rose 40% over the last five years. In a number of areas, however, home prices increased 75% and more, especially on the coasts. In my area some neighborhoods have waiting lists for homes, and brokers say they have more buyers […]

cash-flow-from-your-home

Cash Flow from Your Home

The use of reverse mortgages is climbing as more seniors learn how to use them to raise cash from their home equity. The loans are not for every senior American, but they can be a valuable source of cash for strapped homeowners. Fewer than 20,000 reverse mortgages were originated in 2003. That’s a tiny part […]

homeowners-hidden-tax-time-bomb

Homeowner’s Hidden Tax Time Bomb

Many older homeowners are facing a problem that a few years ago was considered unthinkable. These homeowners face taxable capital gains on the sale of their homes, despite the generous $500,000 exemption for married couples. The red hot real estate market of the last five years in many areas has pushed many longtime homeowners into […]

The 6 Biggest Risks to your Retirement

What you don’t know about retirement can hurt you. In fact, just a few wrong decisions in your investments, taxes, or estate planning could completely derail your retirement plans. Worse yet, the rules of the game keep changing, making it harder to keep up with. For these reasons, I’ve assembled all the key points – everything you need to know — into one comprehensive report. Click here for free access.

how-to-beat-higher-property-taxes

How to Beat Higher Property Taxes

Real estate values are climbing, and local property taxes are soaring with them. If the real estate tax rate stays the same and your home appreciates, your real estate tax bill rises at the same rate as the appreciation. In my recent trip to Naples, Fla., I learned that the prices of most residences there […]

how-to-maximize-retirement-community-deductions

How to Maximize Retirement Community Deductions

A portion of long-term care expenses are deductible as medical expenses. The question taxpayers often ask is what portion of the fees paid to retiree communities, such as assisted living facilities or nursing homes, can be deducted. The Tax Court recently stepped into this issue and set some new rules. When someone enters a nursing […]

where-to-retire-in-style

Where To Retire In Style

The image of the ideal retirement that is ingrained in the imagination of most Americans includes a home in a sun-drenched retirement community. Reality often doesn’t match the ideal. Some studies show that 25% or more of those who retire to Florida leave within five years. I’ve met retirees who admit to choosing the wrong […]

is-real-estate-the-latest-bubble

Is Real Estate The Latest Bubble?

Is housing next? One of the few bright spots through the bear market, recession, and war on terrorism is the housing market. New home construction and sale prices of existing homes continue to surge. As home prices rise, people can refinance their mortgages, take some equity in cash, and spend that cash. Many people now […]

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