Archive - December 10, 2011

1
The Best Tax Moves to Make Before Years End
2
The Social Security Spousal Benefit – Fully Explained
3
6 Ways To Attack Your Finances and Win
4
Here’s How You Should Be Investing in Bonds Right Now

The Best Tax Moves to Make Before Years End

Once you’ve reached the last month of the tax year, there aren’t a lot of things that can be done to minimize your income taxes.  But there are a few things that could be done.

Prepay Real Estate Taxes

For example, you could double up your real estate taxes by prepaying next year’s tax during December.  Doing this with, for example, a $3,000 per year real estate tax bill could result in a reduction of tax for the year of $750 if you’re in the 25% bracket.  Keep in mind though, that you’ll have forked out this money long before …

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The Social Security Spousal Benefit – Fully Explained

Following up my article which provided several brief examples of the Social Security Spousal Benefit, I thought I’d provide some further explanation and background for the provision. It appears from some of the feedback I have received that there is a great deal of confusion over this provision, so hopefully the further background explanation that I’m providing here will be of help.

I have listed below several additional background details about how the Social Security System works, in order to help you better understand the prior article.

Additional Background Explanation

As stated at the outset of the previous

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6 Ways To Attack Your Finances and Win

When it comes to your finances, are you on offense or defense?

Me, I’ve always been a defensive player by nature. I was never the one sprinting down the court for a fast break to the basket. But I was usually the defensive player who intercepted the pass and got it to that point guard for the fast break. I’m finding the same is true in tennis these days. I am MUCH more comfortable as a baseline player reacting to the return rather than charging the net to take the ball out of the air and putting away the point.… Read More

Here’s How You Should Be Investing in Bonds Right Now

In last week's Wall Street Journal Burton Malkiel writes that investors should refuse to buy U.S. Treasuries and instead should buy Muni bonds, foreign bonds in countries like Australia that have better finances, and dividend paying stocks.

The reason I disagree with his recommendation to buy Munis is because they have credit quality risk that does not make them comparable to Treasuries. Also they have the risk of being refinanced into lower rates whereas Treasuries are non-callable (no prepayment allowed). Munis are thinly traded and subject to expensive Broker-Dealer markup-Markdown costs that are opaque and difficult to judge.

Australian bonds …

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