Archive - October 2017

1
Your 401k and IRA in 2018
2
Remember Your RMD
3
The ABCs of Behavioral Biases (O–R)
4
Spending Money in Ways That Increase Happiness
5
Women and Retirement: Attitude is Everything

Your 401k and IRA in 2018

Recently, the IRS just announced the contribution limits for 401k plans (including 403b and 457 plans) as well as IRAs. Additionally, the IRS also announced changes to the income phase-outs for traditional IRA deductibility and Roth IRA eligibility.

Let’s start with the 401k plans. For 2018, the IRS increased the contribution limits to $18,500, up $500 from $18,000 last year. The catch-up contribution for those age 50 or over remains unchanged at $6,000. $500 may not seem like much, but think of it this way – you get to give yourself a $500 raise!

For those interested in maxing out …

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Remember Your RMD

It’s getting close to the end of the year and that means many individuals need to take their required minimum distributions (RMDs). It also means that there will be individuals who must begin taking their required minimum distributions as they will have reached the magic age of 70 ½.

For those already taking RMDs, check with your advisor or asset custodian and find out the amount you need to take and how you can receive payments. In most cases, RMDs can be taken in an annual amount, or monthly via check or direct deposit. The specific RMD amount is based …

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The ABCs of Behavioral Biases (O–R)

So many financial behavioral biases, so little time! Today, let’s take a few minutes to cover our next batch of biases: overconfidence, pattern recognition and recency. 

Overconfidence

What is it? No sooner do we recover from one debilitating bias, our brain can whipsaw us in an equal but opposite direction. For example, we’ve already seen how fear on the one hand and greed on the other can knock investors off course either way. Similarly, overconfidence is the flip side of loss aversion. Once we’ve got something, we don’t want to lose it and will overvalue it compared to its going …

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Spending Money in Ways That Increase Happiness

An article from The New York Times article says, “Want to Be Happy? Buy More Takeout and Hire a Maid, Study Suggests.” Does this surprise you?

This past summer, the National Academy of Sciences published a study which found that when you spend money on something that will save you time, you can reduce stress and likely increase your happiness. This is something to consider as we enter the winter holiday season, a time when some people find themselves dealing with stress related to holiday preparations and travel, in addition to their everyday stressors and responsibilities. The findings …

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Women and Retirement: Attitude is Everything

Kerry Hannon has written about women and money since the 1990s and she has been disappointed to see that not a lot has changed since then. Women still earn less than men and are likely to leave work to take care of family members. But she doesn’t feel that these things mean that women, in particular, women over 50, have no recourse when it comes to retirement planning. According to Hannon, attitude makes a difference. In “The Wisest Retirement Solutions for Women,” she writes:

“From my research, I’ve found that the root of the money quandary many

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