Archive - November 2010

1
Saving Early Beats Savings More
2
The Financial Impacts of Marriage
3
Comparing Europe’s Debt Woes With The U.S.
4
Take The Challenge: Balance The Federal Budget In Under 10 Minutes
5
Unsure About Converting To A Roth IRA?

Saving Early Beats Savings More

Investors fret about the performance of their portfolios. They worry whether they will be able to realize a rate of return sufficient to help them meet their goals and if they are taking on enough (or too much) risk to achieve this. While these are valid concerns, they are ultimately beyond anyone’s control. Other than diversifying broadly to lower volatility and keeping investment and tax costs low to increase net gain, there is nothing we can do to determine the actual rate of return on our investments; the markets will ultimately decide this fate for us.

There is, however, something …

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The Financial Impacts of Marriage

This is fun: Obsolete Marriage. Apparently the US is turning more European in this respect too, not just on the heath care front.

The article neglects to mention one reason why people may be reluctant to marry: the marriage penalty is alive and well. For couples with six figure incomes each it can easily be several thousand dollars per year, and such couples are becoming more and more common since the stay-at-home mom (or dad) goes the way of the dinosaurs. For people with lower incomes there is generally a tax benefit in getting married.

This should provide incentives …

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Comparing Europe’s Debt Woes With The U.S.

With the US midterm elections out of the way and very few new nasty things left to say about the Fed, the world is focusing on the European debt crisis again.

Having lived in Germany when the Euro was adopted, I am very skeptical that the debt crisis on the fringes of the EU will cause the whole union to founder or the Euro to disappear. Too many politicians and too many parties have too much political capital invested in these structures. It would take a new generation of politicians, and possibly a new set of political parties, to muster …

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Take The Challenge: Balance The Federal Budget In Under 10 Minutes

Want to have a little mindless fun? Try balancing the federal budget in ten minutes or less.

Believe it or not, you can actually do this on an interactive web site created by the New York Times. (You can find it here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html) There are two graphics at the top of the page: one is the projected shortfall in 2015 (a scary $418 billion), and the other is a more long-term (and scarier) deficit in 2030 ($1.345 trillion).

To reduce those numbers, you make hard choices. You can cut foreign aid in half, eliminate all farm subsidies, cut the pay …

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Unsure About Converting To A Roth IRA?

As you’ve undoubtedly seen EVERYWHERE, 2010 is a special year with regard to Roth Conversions.  This is due to two changes to the law that took effect this year: 1) the income limit on Roth Conversions was lifted – previously if your MAGI was greater than $100,000 you couldn’t do a conversion; and 2) there is a special provision for 2010 conversions that allows you to spread the tax over 2011 and 2012.

But maybe things aren’t so clear cut for your situation so that it makes very good sense for you to do a conversion in 2010.  All is …

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