Article Library

Category: Planning

How State and Local Taxes Affect Your Retirement Plan

Christine Benz, Morningstar, 06.10.2020

If you’re trying to figure out where to retire consider state and local taxes carefully. Also research the level of unfunded state and local pension liabilities, which are likely to put upward pressure on taxes in future decades.

Not Just The 1%: How To Start Financial Planning Without Significant Assets

Eric Brotman, Forbes, 05.19.2020

Why most people start thinking about financial planning too late.

What the Fed’s surprise interest rate cut means for mortgage rates

Jacob Passy, MarketWatch, 03.04.2020

With the 10 year Treasury yield now half of what it was at the beginning of the year, 15 and 30 year mortgage rates have become very attractive for homeowners looking to refinance. This short article though points out there is one other key variable that determines how low those mortgage rates will ultimately go.

What Is The Best Way To Escape A Dreadful Annuity?

David Rae, Forbes, 07.25.2019

Want to escape your dreadful annuity contract? Read on for helpful tips.

Should I Pay Off My Mortgage Early or Save for College?

Kathryn Flynn,, 06.05.2019

This is a quandary that most people face. Three key issues—in addition to what the article discusses—to consider, are: 1) don’t allow your 529 saving to put your retirement security at risk, 2) it’s usually wise to have your mortgage paid off before you retire, and 3) the after-tax cost of mortgage interest is only relevant to you if you DO NOT use the standard deduction in your tax return.

You’re probably going to live a lot longer than you think

Ashby Daniels, MarketWatch, 07.30.2019

Stop thinking you’re average! If you’re reading this, you probably aren’t average, at least when it comes to life expectancy. This article explains the multiple reasons why. The implications for your retirement planning are profound.

The inflation bet you’re making—even if you don’t know it

Mark Hulbert, MarketWatch, 05.31.2019

Mark Hulbert makes a great point (no need to read the rest of the article). Annuities protect you against an equity market sell-off, but they also eliminate your protection against inflation. Given enough time, equity markets in economically successful countries, like the US, generally recover their losses and go much higher. But net worth lost to inflation is never recovered. Bear this in mind next time you’re offered an annuity product.

Jeremy Rodriguez, JD, Ed Slott & Company, 03.18.2019

Cut through the mumbo-jumbo regarding the transfer of 401K and IRA balances by reading the following article. The key takeaway is to always opt, where possible, for the “direct” method. This minimizes the risk of a taxable transaction taking place.

Americans are overconfident about retirement

Diane Harris, MarketWatch, 01.20.2019

Having an accurate estimate of how long you’ll be able to work, as well likely post-retirement living expenses, will start to give you a rough indication of how much you should be saving. Turns out that despite not having done this, and evidence that shows widely-held assumptions about retirement are often not realistic, many Americans remain confident they’re on track for a comfortable retirement. Don’t fall into that trap. Start planning.

Save Money And Reduce Taxes With A Year-End Financial Planning Checklist

Adam Straus, Forbes, 12.13.2018

A good year-end financial checklist to work through.

The Benefits of Paying Down a Mortgage Before Retirement, 09.04.2018

Getting the mortgage paid off before retirement is generally a good idea, although it should not come at the expense of maximizing tax-advantaged saving opportunities. Psychologically it can also be beneficial in terms of lowering stress levels during equity market corrections. Remember, deploying excess cash into the stock market while retaining a mortgage is, in effect, a choice to take a leveraged bet on stocks. Whether that is the best course of action depends on many factors, but it’s nonetheless a choice that should be carefully thought through.

When Free is Expensive, 10.18.2017

A story about buying replacement insurance policies that can be extrapolated to buying all financial services. The question when doing so is to ask how the financial professional you’re dealing with, gets paid. Does that professional: (a) get incentivized to steer you towards a particular product, and/or b) get paid immediately irrespective of the performance of that product? If the answers are “Yes” then it might be time to reassess how you’re getting advice. 

Why it can be catastrophic when only one spouse handles the finances

MarketWatch, 09.29.2017

Practical advice for a common situation. 

When it comes to retirement, a dream isn’t a plan

​MarketWatch, 04.17.2017

Step 1 is picturing the retirement experience you’d like. Step 2 is formulating a plan to make it possible, while Step 3 is implementing and monitoring the plan. Here are 13 questions to get you started. 

Why Choose Fee-Only Over Commission-Based Advisor?

LinkedIn, 04.25.2017

​For those not involved in financial services, the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule may not mean anything. But you should know what this is.