Slow Down that Rollover!! The IRS is watching.

Quick: What is the best thing to do with your 401k or pension?  Most folks would say “roll it over into an IRA.” But is a rollover really the BEST option?  Not so quick.  You have homework to do.

Retirement Gifts   If you’ve participated in a pension, profit sharing or 401k plan, Uncle Sam has given you a great retirement gift – an account filled with tax-deferred dollars. But, when you unwrap that gift and start

What's Better? A 401k or a Roth IRA

A 401k plan and a Roth IRA are slices of two different retirement pies: 401k plans are company sponsored retirement plans, while Roth IRAs are individual retirement plans. Which one is better, really depends on your personal situation. The key to your retirement success, however, is to pull up a chair to this retirement planning buffet and start immediately feasting on one, or both of these great plans.

Cooperstown and the Dividend Psyche

At some point, every athlete gives up the chase and steps into the shadows. Greg Maddux gave up the mound after four Cy Young Awards, and Jim Thome left baseball in 2013, after 612 home runs. I appreciate these athletes’ decades-long devotion to excellence, and their dedication to their craft. Their fading prowess kind of invokes that nearly trite investment disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. For years, I’ve written about balancing intellect and emotion when making investment

What (or who) is the Biggest Risk to Your Retirement?

There is no risk free investing. Even stuffing cash in the mattress is subject to the risk of a house fire or a bad memory. The single biggest risk to investing? YOU! From 1992 through 2011, the average U.S. equity mutual fund provided total, average annual returns of 8.2%. Over that same period, the average investor’s average annual return — 3.5%.

Family Financial Planning is No Picnic. Or is it?

The average family is financially dysfunctional. One spouse handles all the financial matters and the grown children have no idea of what mom or dad has planned. Disagree? Then answer this: who can seamlessly step in to pay your bills and manage your portfolio? Is someone in the wings to manage things for your parents when (not if) they can’t manage things on their own?  If both answers

Add a Little Fiscal and Physical Health with ETFs (exchange traded funds)

When exchanged-traded-funds (EFTs) were introduced in 1993, few expected this low-cost index investing idea to explode.  But 20 years, and $ 2.3 trillion later, it’s an idea that is here to stay. While many investors gravitate toward the core concept of a broad index (SPY was the first EFT accessing all 500 of the S&P 500 stocks), today’s investors are also interested in satellite strategies focusing on tactical sector investing.

Fiscal and Physical Health  One of the sectors we’re closing following is health care. With a shifting (ok, aging) demographic and a younger population keen on living longer, we see positive short- and long-term

Should I take Social Security at age 62?

When to start claiming Social Security benefits is one of the most important decisions facing retirees. It is one of those rare decisions that will literally impact the rest of your financial life, as well as the life of your spouse. So, taking the time to run the numbers and understand the costs, benefits and risks of your decision can have huge payoffs.

Healthy Living: Financial Risks or Financial Rewards?

Age 65: that was an American’s life expectancy when Social Security was in its infancy. Today, a 65 year-old female has a 50% chance of living to age 85. More astounding is the fact that a couple, in their 60’s, creates a 25% likelihood that one spouse will live to age 97. So, what’s your plan for generating 40 years of income after you retire? 

How Much of My IRA Should I Have in Stocks?

In years gone by, an individual simply subtracted his age from 100 to find the percentage of stocks to hold in his portfolio. It was an answer easily digested by someone in, or near retirement, and an answer that worked fairly well. But a lot has changed and easy answers aren’t always the right answer.

Retirement Income Rules: Easy Isn't Always Effective

Much has been written about the “4% Rule” for retirement withdrawals. Its a simple rule that says withdrawal 4% of an account during year one of retirement, increase the distribution annually by the rate of inflation, and
the portfolio should last 30 years.  I appreciate the rule’s simplicity, but it has no basis in the unique, dynamic economic realities faced in
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