This year you may have been blissfully enjoying an increase in your paycheck without realizing it. Remember the Tax Act of 2010? One of the provisions in that little gem of legislation was to reduce the Social Security withholding amount for the calendar year 2011 by 2%. This means that you’re only having to pay out 4.2% for Social Security tax during the 2011 tax year – and next year you’ll back back in the 6.2% world.
Housing affordability ratio irrelevant
The housing affordability ratio is the lowest since 1975 or 1965, so housing bulls tell people that this is a sign of a real estate bottom. I disagree because:
The qualitative nature of borrowers has degraded in terms of reliability of income and credit rating, and this change is not reflected in home ownership affordability statistics because they don’t adjust for credit rating or income verification problems. The index does not consider that underwriting rules have morphed into a very strict new paradigm in 2008, so the previous 25 years of mortgage lending is not comparable …Read More
One of the most important decisions investors face is the asset allocation of their portfolio. For the retiree it will be inextricably tied to a second critical decision: the spending strategy used during retirement.
This is simply the percentage of a portfolio invested in the various asset classes such as stocks, bonds, and cash. It should be the top priority in constructing and managing a portfolio because it determines almost all of the risk and performance an investor experiences, and greatly affects the chances of meeting goals. Since we can’t predict the future and don’t know which asset …Read More
It is all too common: an insurance salesperson who comes to your home after you attend a free seminar or a bank employee recommends that you cash out some or all of your stocks, bonds, or mutual funds and purchase an annuity. In doing so, they have broken the law and may not even be aware of it.
The Act defines an “investment adviser” as anyone who, for …Read More
I read the obits today. Actually I read them every day – not because I think I’m going to know someone who died, but because the Boston Globe has a quirky take on just who gets a quarter page spread each morning.
I’ve noticed two trends over time. One is that more and more people aren’t expiring until they are 90-something, which is rather encouraging, don’t you think? The other is that most of those approaching the century mark never really “retired”. Oh, they may have worked at a career for forty years or so, but the list of activities …Read More