Archive - February 10, 2009

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Mandatory IRA/401(k)/403(b) Withdrawals Have Been Eliminated for 2009
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Keeping the Downturn in Perspective – The Stock Market

Mandatory IRA/401(k)/403(b) Withdrawals Have Been Eliminated for 2009

Just before Christmas of 2008, the president signed the Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008. The bill suspended 2009 Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for IRAs, 401(k)s and 403(b)s.

The intent of this change was primarily to give a break to retirees whose account balances probably cratered last year.  Normally, when a person turns 70½, he or she is required to begin withdrawing money from most kinds of retirement plans so that the IRS can collect its share of income tax.  In addition to being taxed as income, the funds removed lose the benefit of tax-free accumulation in the …

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Keeping the Downturn in Perspective – The Stock Market

I’d like to pass on a “back-of-the-envelope” calculation performed by Mark Coffelt of Empiric Advisors, a fellow NAPFA member:Keeping the Downturn in Perspective

Ten years ago, the S&P 500 yielded about 1.4 percent. The price-to-earnings ratio was close to 28 times. Earnings over the decades have grown about 6 percent per year. To calculate the expected return 10 years ago, we would take the dividend (1.4 percent) plus the earnings growth (6 percent) plus the change in valuations. Given that stocks historically sell at 18 times earnings on average, a change in valuations from 28x to 18x implied an expected loss over the decade

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