Archive - April 2014

1
Time, Money and Agency
2
Social Security to Resume Some Paper Statements
3
Retirement Account Rollover Options
4
Is it Really Cheaper to Buy Than Rent?
5
Tax Time is Over. Maybe.

Time, Money and Agency

Are you old enough to remember the Whole Earth Catalog? It was an amazingly romantic document. You could entertain yourself for days fantasizing about all the things you could learn to do (many of which you had never heard of) and how utterly self-sufficient you could become.

Another book that came out about that time was Living Poor with Style, by Ernest Callenbach. Would anyone buy that book nowadays? Yet, it was a masterpiece of rethinking consumerism, with the proposition that less stuff and more self-sufficiency was the way to happiness. It’s hard to believe that these books were part …

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Social Security to Resume Some Paper Statements

A tight budget in 2011 forced the Social Security Administration (SSA) into a lengthy hiatus from mailing annual benefit statements. However, this year some workers will begin receiving statements again.

Beginning in September 2014, SSA will resume mailing paper statements to workers every five years. Unless you have created an online account, SSA will mail you benefit statements at ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and then each year beginning at age 60.

But you don’t need to wait for these paper statements. You can access your Social Security records anytime online by creating a “My Social Security” …

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Retirement Account Rollover Options

Where can my retirement account go when I retire or change jobs? For the most part, when you retire or otherwise end your employment you may direct transfer or direct rollover your retirement account(s) to a new IRA account established at a qualified custodian. Here are some special situations that come up where you may separate accounts to receive the transfer.

Simple IRA

Small businesses can establish a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan. It’s similar to a 401k with but with much simpler and therefore less costly record-keeping and administrative requirements. In the SIMPLE plan you have your own individual account. …

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Is it Really Cheaper to Buy Than Rent?

Recently news stories indicate that in some cities it is much cheaper to buy a home than rent. The reason why that may be is that perhaps a fifth of the population may have needed and still needs to use “Easy Qualifier” mortgages to qualify for a loan. These borrowers can’t play the housing game so they have to rent. Or some potential buyers lost their equity after going into foreclosure and have no down payment money.

Recently lenders started offering Easy Qualifier loans but at junk bond spreads instead of offering loans at the same rate as fully documented …

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Tax Time is Over. Maybe.

For most folks tomorrow marks the one week anniversary of filing their 2014 tax return. Not much needs to be done after they’ve filed except for deciding to have more withheld in 2014 for those folks who had to write a check to Uncle Sam or deciding what to do with the refund (hint: put it in an IRA) for those folks who got a refund.

What happens when the return may have been submitted with mistakes or perhaps costly errors? Generally, if the error is minor the IRS will correct errors or accept returns without certain forms or schedules …

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