Personal Finance from Forbes.com

  • Social Security Q&A: Can Resident Aliens Return to Their Country and Still Collect?
    Social Security may be your largest or one of your largest assets. How you manage it, by deciding which benefits to collect and when, can make an absolutely huge difference to your lifetime benefits. And those with the highest past covered earnings have the most to gain from maximizing their Social Security.
  • This Week In Credit Card News: Data Breaches At Supermarkets, Hospitals And UPS; Fighting Card Theft
    Visa Wants to Make it Even Harder for Thieves to Buy Gas with Your Credit Card
  • How TIPS Help A Well Constructed Portfolio
    Perhaps one of  the biggest enemies of your investment portfolio is rising inflation. Inflation is when the cost of goods and services you buy rise in price. For example, if a can of Coke costs $1.50 last year and $1.65 this year then that +10% increase is inflation. The actual inflation metric that the government publishes is more complicated. This is because many things are purchased beyond Coke, so inflation calculations combine a diverse set of products and services according to their importance to get to one average inflation number. For example, food has a 13.8% weighting out of the 100% total, indoor plants and flowers have a much lower 0.1% weighting. The price change of each component is monitored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics who report on US inflation monthly. At the extremes over the past year, the price of televisions fell -15% but the price of certain footwear rose +8.3%. Most products stay relatively close to the average inflation rate, which is currently approximately +2%. Inflation matters for you as an investor, because your investments are priced in dollars. If your Apple stock is trading at $100 in your retirement fund, and you plan to drink a lot of Coke in retirement, then your Apple stock is less valuable if the price of a Coke is $1.65 rather than $1.50. This is true even if the price of Apple stock is unchanged. You can now buy six fewer cans of Coke with your Apple investment than you previously could. That’s why inflation hurts you as an investor, your investment dollars are worth less when you ultimately come to spend them if prices rise over time.
  • Retirement Planning For Late-Starters
    You're in your 50s and haven't saved for retirement. Don't panic, but do get going and take these steps now.
  • 6 Common Mistakes Even Investing Pros Make
    By Kate Ashford
  • Can A Life Insurance Policy Increase Your Financial Aid?
    With college costs and student loan balances on the rise, many people are trying to figure out how to maximize their financial aid, especially if they have a lot of assets that could reduce their eligibility. For example, we recently received a question on our Facebook page from someone whose financial planner recommended that they sell $100k worth of stocks and move the money into a cash value life insurance policy to shield it from impacting financial aid and to collect steady interest while protecting it from losing principal. Does this make sense? Let's look at some factors:
  • 5 Donor Advised Fund Giving Tactics
    Vanguard Charitable asks if you’re getting the most impact out of your charitable giving.
  • Six Steps To Bucketing Your Retirement
  • Changing The Oil in Your 401(k)
    In the mythology of the retirement world, there's always a wacky survey that compares apples to oranges.
  • Social Security Q&A: Will My Future Covered Earnings Increase My Wife's Spousal Benefit?
    Social Security may be your largest or one of your largest assets. How you manage it, by deciding which benefits to collect and when, can make an absolutely huge difference to your lifetime benefits. And those with the highest past covered earnings have the most to gain from maximizing their Social Security.

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