Archive - January 2012

1
When Should You File For Social Security Benefits?
2
The 4 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself in Today’s Economy
3
Why You Shouldn’t Invest Your Self-directed IRA in Real Estate
4
The Best Options For Paying For a Funeral
5
The 6 Worst Pieces of Financial Advice

When Should You File For Social Security Benefits?

All future Social Security recipients face this question at some point:  When should I file for benefits?

As you are likely aware, age 62 is the earliest that you can file for benefits.  By filing at this age, you will begin receiving your benefit at a reduced amount – perhaps as much as 30% reduced.

Waiting to file until your Full Retirement Age (FRA) will allow you to receive the full benefit amount, without reductions.  You could also wait until age 70 to file for benefits, which would result in an overall increase to your monthly benefit amount, by as …

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The 4 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself in Today’s Economy

Some days it seems like our economy is improving, then you turn the page and major world problems (Mideast, Europe, Korea, etc.) are just getting worse.

So what if you are a baby-boomer (or older) and are starting to think that your retirement isn’t going to be as joyful as you expected? Or maybe you are younger than that but wonder about your ability to take care of your parents, put your kids through college, and ever have enough money to retire yourself?

To evaluate yourself financially you need to answer four basic questions:
  1. Are you living within your means?
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Why You Shouldn’t Invest Your Self-directed IRA in Real Estate

You might ask yourself, “With housing prices and interest rates so low, isn’t it a good time to invest my IRA in real estate?”

Think twice before you do. There are a lot of disadvantages when purchasing real estate with your IRA funds even if you think property prices have bottomed out and you feel strongly that real estate is a good investment.

Higher tax rates – When you sell real estate within an IRA, any gain distributed is taxed at ordinary income tax rates. This rate can be much higher than the capital gains rate you would pay on …

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The Best Options For Paying For a Funeral

After recently attending a funeral of a close family friend, I started thinking about end of life planning.  Clearly there are steps we should take to lessen, even a little, the hardship facing loved ones at the time of one’s death.  Confronting such issues is certainly not the easiest thing to do; however, just like other major milestones, there may be significant benefits to planning ahead, including allowing surviving members to grieve properly and relieving them of some of the stressful decisions they have to make during such a difficult time.

Much has been written about estate planning, which entails, …

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The 6 Worst Pieces of Financial Advice

As part of your wealth building strategy, you should have a third party give you feedback on your personal financial plan. That could be a friend, relative, or a paid financial professional.  There is no guarantee that the advice or suggestions that you receive will work out and you need to use your own common sense and analysis to figure out the right thing to do. Unfortunately all humans are unique and we all come with different tax brackets, risk tolerance, and financial goals. That is why it is so difficult to commoditize financial advice. No matter how hard …

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