Author - Erin Baehr CFP®, EA

1
Buckle Up… It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Ride
2
How To Plan For Your Social Security Benefits
3
Dipping Into Your Retirement Savings Before You Retire
4
What’s the Big Deal About the F Word?
5
My Wish for the New Year

Buckle Up… It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Ride

Here we go again.

Yesterday we witnessed an extreme reaction to the S&P downgrade of the US’s credit rating (which ironically drove investors to seek safety in Treasuries). Today’s futures are all over the place. I believe the markets are demonstrating a complete lack of confidence in our government’s ability to stop playing politics and solve our problems, as well as fear over the even more severe problems in Europe. The problems of the 2008 crisis were never fixed, but rather shifted and covered up. Living through this kind of market pain is not fun, for sure. It hurts, it’s… Read More

How To Plan For Your Social Security Benefits

Once considered the un­touchable “third rail” in politics, talk of reforming Social Security is now on the table. Not that much is being accomplished at this time aside from casting blame and using scare tac­tics, but it does seem that at long last we may see some real reform to keep the system liquid.

Benefit Cuts Are Imminent

Surprisingly, even AARP announced support for cuts in benefits, as long as they take place gradu­ally over a long period of time and don’t affect seniors already receiving benefits. So with changes likely to come, should you grab your benefits while you …

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Dipping Into Your Retirement Savings Before You Retire

Article in Summary

  • Money in a Roth IRA can be withdrawn without penalty
  • Traditional IRA early withdrawals face stiff tax penalties
  • One way to avoid an early withdrawal penalty is to take what is known as a 72(t) withdrawal

We are well advised and encouraged to put money into our retirement accounts and treat it like the proverbial “lockbox” until retirement. But with the difficult economy, many people have had to tap into those funds to survive, often facing a tax hit made worse by the 10 percent early withdrawal for those under age 59 ½. While not recommended except …

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What’s the Big Deal About the F Word?

Congress recently passed the long debated 2,300 page Financial Reform bill, created in response to the abuses leading up to the recent financial crisis. “Sweeping” is an understatement for this bill, as it not only creates new agencies with broad powers, it includes some 243 rules that have yet to be fleshed out.

The biggest thing to come out of the bill is the creation of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, which will have a $550 million budget (the FDA budget is $784 million by reference) to oversee any number of financial products such as mortgages and credit cards. …

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My Wish for the New Year

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”—Hal Borland

Once again I find myself surprised that the end of another year is upon us.  But what a year 2009 was, and if experience instills wisdom, then there was a lot of wisdom to be gained.  The world has changed in so many ways; our complacency shaken, our sense of security disturbed.  It seems that we have taken those things to heart and are getting back in touch with what’s truly important to us.  I hope …

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