Bob Carlson shares miscellaneous advice on retirement and related topics
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What do you do when interest rates are low but the Federal Reserve makes clear it is going to start raising rates? Now, you earn very little money from cash and safe investments. Bonds and similar investments have higher yields, but they’re going to lose value when interest rates rise. In many cases, principal losses […]
A natural disaster destroys more than property. It also destroys financial records and other important documents. Many evacuees from Katrina say that they cannot even prove who they are, because they lost driver’s licenses, passports, birth certificates, and other identification in the hurricane and its aftermath. The traditional advice is to preserve important documents in […]
Hurricane Katrina has a lot of people thinking about their insurance for homes, autos, belongings, and personal liability. Most people have a lot of their insurance wrong. They have coverage gaps or are paying too much. Don’t wait until you need the coverage to discover there is a problem. Review your insurance every year or […]
Plans need to be revised by taxpayers who intended to reap big tax breaks by donating used cars, boats, or planes to charity. Congress rewrote the law in 2004, and the IRS recently issued rules explaining the new law. Under the old law, a taxpayer could donate a used car to charity and deduct the […]
The recent termination of the United Airlines pension plan put pension safety on the front burner. The news quickly was followed in Congress by hearings and reports on the underfunding of both corporate pension plans and the government guarantee agency, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation. Most large companies offer some kind of a guaranteed pension […]
Most advanced health care directives are not followed by doctors and loved ones. Studies consistently show that is the case, for a host of reasons. In last month’s visit we discussed why you need more than a living will in your estate plan to cover health care decisions. This month, let’s look at the steps […]
The prospect of rising interest rates this year could affect retirement payouts. If your retirement plan offers a choice between an annuity and a lump sum and you were planning to retire in the next year or two, pay attention now. Lump sum payouts increase as interest rates fall and decrease as rates rise. The […]
Business sellers often leave a lot of money on the table. They pay extra taxes on the sale, because they do not use some key tax breaks. We’ll look at one of those strategies in this visit. There are two problems a business seller must solve. One is liquidity. The seller wants cash for the […]