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social security

Is File and Suspend Dead for Social Security?

Okay, the first part of the new Social Security rules* has gone by – we’re into May now and you may have read already about the demise of File and Suspend. Rather than talk about what one could have done (a moot point), I’ll discuss what works now. I’m writing this in early February thinking […]

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Spending Shocks, Budgets and Savings: Working and Retired

Whether you are still working, or retired, most people haven’t structured their budgets for spending shocks. In truth if you spend less than you could, regardless of working or retired, you build in a buffer that helps keep stress on your financial life lower. Most recognize the below as logical. Yet, many spend everything that comes […]

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wealth poverty and politics

Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective by Thomas Sowell

“Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective” by Thomas Sowell is a great read for deeper insight into what may cause inequality and how that may even be defined in the first place. In plain English, Sowell discusses how wealth and income was distributed differently in times past. For example how ancient Rome far exceeded […]

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Debt – what happens when you’re gone?

Most people have a better understanding about inheriting assets. But few understand what happens with debt! “What Happens to Your Debt After you Die” in US News by Geoff Williams talks about the cautionary tales of not understanding what debt may be forgiven and what debt must be paid. Thus … your actions before going may put your […]

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Second Hand News and Predictions

Predictions are hard to do, especially about the future. (Sidebar: Origins of this quote – you may be surprised). Yet, people seem to believe that they, or somebody, are able to predict what is going to happen next. What is going to happen next? If the news says this, then that? And how do the […]

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What about those Target Date Funds?

Target Date Funds (TDFs) – either you love them or you hate them. If you lack any tools within your 4o1k, or don’t want to use a qualified adviser, then I guess they’re better than nothing. However, they’re as arbitrary as where the International Date Line (IDL) is … more on arbitrary later in pros and cons … […]

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IRS and Social Security Scams

It is that time of year when we get warned about the many different ways online scams work and what are most common. There are many more than those described here. Simply confirm the validity of email offers and don’t click links within emails you’re not sure of. Better practice is opening a new browser […]

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leave the past

The “Skittles Chart” – periodic table of returns

What can we learn when we look at a table of past returns? Past returns don’t predict future returns. Over the long term, returns revert to the mean for each asset class of investment. It pays to diversify (what is the difference between allocation and diversification?). Here’s a short video that explains the table of […]

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Why may a person’s return calculation be wrong?

People often get the calculation for their investment rate of returns wrong. Most people use the average rate of return which completely ignores the time value of money. The average rate of return may over, or under, state actual returns and are not suitable for comparisons with other investments. Most investments people have receive money at various […]

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Is Investing a Plan?

Many people think that investing IS their plan. I will use a flying analogy to illustrate how investing is not your plan. So if investing is not your plan, what is your plan? What are you really trying to do when you invest? Here then is an analogy from a flight perspective. When people focus on investing, […]

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