Archive - June 11, 2012

1
HECM Reverse Mortgages
2
Get Financial Planning Help Before and After College
3
How Investors Beat Themselves
4
Bond Market Outlook: Points to Ponder
5
Additional Factors About Survivor Benefits

HECM Reverse Mortgages

Up until now I have always shied away from Reverse Mortgages. They were simply too expensive! With the collapse of the the real estate market and the volatility of the stock market, retirees and financial planners have been scrambling to figure out a way to preserve portfolios. Now there is another alternative: FHA’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Program, or HECM for short.

HECM providers allow seniors access to their equity at a more reasonable rate than previous reverse mortgage providers. According to the website:

"A lender can charge a loan origination fee of up to $2,500 if the home’s appraised

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Get Financial Planning Help Before and After College

A financial planner can tell you that it is difficult to meet expenses and prepare for retirement if you are saddled with debt. It is especially difficult when you are young and just starting out. In fact, The Wall Street Journal recently recommended people giving gifts to graduates consider giving the gift of financial planning, paying for a “session or two with a financial planner” instead of just writing a check.

As graduation season winds up, many college grads have finished celebrating and now face the harsh reality that they have a lot of money to pay back in …

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How Investors Beat Themselves

“Surprise! The returns reported by mutual funds aren’t actually earned by mutual fund investors.” This is how John Bogle, founder of Vanguard Mutual Funds begins the chapter titled The Grand Illusion in his 2007 book, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. The “grand illusion” Mr. Bogle is referring to is the fact that mutual fund investors consistently fail to earn the returns of the financial markets. According to Bogle, during the 25 year period from 1980 to 2005, while the return on the stock market (as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500 index) averaged 12.5% per year, the …

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Bond Market Outlook: Points to Ponder

During the past decade, many long-term fundamentals of investing have been turned upside down and one example is the performance of U.S. stocks compared with bonds. Over longer time periods, such as 20 or 30 years, stocks exhibited higher average annual returns along with greater volatility.Bonds, in contrast, presented lower long-term returns along with fewer ups and downs.

But the 10-year period ending December 31, 2011, has shown the opposite, with the average annual return of investment-grade bonds exceeding stocks by a margin of 5.8% compared with 2.9%.1 No one knows for sure whether the recent outperformance …

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Additional Factors About Survivor Benefits

Seems like there is always something to learn.  No matter how much you know and study a subject, it seems there are always factors that are uncovered that you weren’t aware of – and I find this sort of thing from time to time.  Recently, I have been made aware of a couple of factors that I had misunderstood previously about Social Security Survivor Benefits – thanks to my friend Dana Anspach, who blogs over at MoneyOver55.About.com. Thanks Dana!

Limit on Reductions to Survivor Benefits

The first factor is one that I wasn’t even aware of – regarding how …

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