Archive - January 2011

1
What The Lifetime Income Disclosure Act Could Mean For Your Retirement
2
The Ups And Downs of 2010 And The Lessons Learned
3
Fixed Income Risk in Your Portfolio
4
Paying Taxes On a Roth IRA Conversion
5
Financial Asset Protection 101

What The Lifetime Income Disclosure Act Could Mean For Your Retirement

There is a piece of legislation hanging around in the Senate that makes a good deal of sense, and really shouldn’t cause too much grief to implement in the long run.

This particular bill, introduced by Senators Bingaman (D-New Mexico), Isakson (R-Georgia), and Kohl (D-Wisconsin), is called the Lifetime Income Disclosure Act, and it proposes that the administrators of ERISA-approved retirement plans provide for their participants a disclosure of the “annuity equivalent” of the total benefits that each participant or beneficiary has accrued within the retirement plan.

What this means is that,  for most folks, an estimate would be provided …

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The Ups And Downs of 2010 And The Lessons Learned

The numbers are in, so let’s take a last look at 2010. In retrospect, we can readily see the year-round events that caused us grief, both emotionally and financially. To name a few:

  • A prominent researcher who had predicted the Great Recession, predicted the “biggest co-ordinated asset bust ever” for 2010.
  • A January Economist cover story warning of asset price bubbles asserted that US stocks were “nearly 50% overvalued.”
  • The “January Indicator” signaled negative stock market returns for the year.
  • The Gulf oil spill threatened US shores, along with global market stability amidst the uncertainty.
  • The May 6 “Flash Crash,”
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Fixed Income Risk in Your Portfolio

With interest rates near historical lows, some investors may be anxious about a possible rate climb and its potential impact on their fixed income investments. Rising interest rates typically cause existing bonds to lose value. While investors might hold short-term instruments to manage this risk, an interest rate decline could spoil this strategy by forcing investors to reinvest in lower yields when their short-term instruments mature.

Rate movements in either direction affect portfolio returns. This is true in any market environment, regardless of the current rate level. The larger question is how to manage the risk. As you read …

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Paying Taxes On a Roth IRA Conversion

If you happened to do a Roth Conversion during 2010, you’re likely aware that you can elect to spread the tax over 2011 and 2012, or pay all of the tax on the conversion during 2010.

But what about if you converted funds from two or more IRAs to Roth during 2010… can you have part of the funds taxed in 2010 and part of it taxed during 2011 and 2012?

Unfortunately, you can’t do this.  This goes back to the one very important factor that applies to Roth conversions:  the IRS considers all of your IRAs as one single, …

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Financial Asset Protection 101

As a physician I am a fiduciary to my patients–I put the patient’s interest first before my own.

Part of that fiduciary duty involves determining the risk-benefit ratio of any treatment, whether it’s prescribing a drug or performing a procedure. I generally won’t use a particular treatment if the risks involved are far higher than the potential benefits.

A great example of this is the use of clot busting drugs in stroke patients.  Giving these drugs to patients more than a few hours after the onset of stroke symptoms tends to tilt the risk-benefit equation more toward risk (higher rates …

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