Personal Finance from Forbes.com

  • IRS Seeks Record $2 Billion In Back Taxes From Prominent Businessman And Philanthropist Sam Wyly
    They say you don't get rich by writing a lot of checks. And if you believe the IRS, failing to pay billions in federal taxes may explain how two brothers and Texas businessmen amassed a fortune worthy of landing them among the Forbes 400 Richest Americans.
  • Financial Savvy Key to a Secure Retirement
    Over the last 40 years, we as individuals have been given increasing responsibility for ensuring our own financial well-being in retirement. But it’s gotten quite complex, with an alphabet soup of retirement saving vehicles – from 401(k) to 403(b) plans to IRA and Roth IRAs – and our responsibilities loom large. Not only must we figure out how much to save and how to invest our retirement assets, but we also must take advantage of a variety of tax-favored assets, employer matches, payout options, and much more.
  • Fixed Income Premiums
    We generally assume that there is no default risk with US Treasury obligations, and virtually no interest rate risk because they will very shortly roll over to par. But a long duration bond of 20 to 30 years can be very volatile as interest rates change.
  • The Minimum Wage: To Raise Or Not To Raise?
    On the same day Americans were required to file their federal income tax return, an army of protestors were engaged in a well-coordinated effort to get the government to raise the minimum wage. In this article, we'll discuss why this effort has a high probability of failing and what it could ultimately mean to the U.S. job market.
  • Heartbreaking Reasons To Save Outside Of A 401k, 403b, Or IRA For Retirement
    No one expects it to happen to them, but a family tragedy can illustrate the importance of saving outside of traditional options like a 401k, 403b or IRA .
  • Grandma Is Counting on You
    I recently read an article about an ongoing problem that hit close to home - protecting the elderly from financial fraud and abuse. My mom is almost 96 and though she’s sharp for someone her age, she forgets things within seconds. She needs to know she can trust me unconditionally as her advisor and son, and I in turn, must have the ethics not to abuse her trust.
  • A Misleading Moniker: Financial Literacy Month
    April is National Financial Literacy Month, and while I would never argue against financial literacy, I have a fundamental problem with the moniker. Who, after all, would willingly step forward and proudly announce themselves illiterate—at anything?
  • Millennials Are Missing The Retirement Boat
    A significant number of young people are not investing in the stock market, and the implications of that fact are staggering: Like their parents before them, for many of them retirement won't happen at all. Bankrate.com did a survey of millennial attitudes toward investing in stocks. In case you aren't aware, millennials are people under 30, the other end of the spectrum from today's baby boomer retirees. Roughly 1 in 4 (26%) own stocks, according to the survey. Of those that don't invest, the reasons are both compelling and frustrating. More than half (53%) said they don't have the money to invest. One in five (21%) said they don't know enough about stocks to invest. The remainder cited mistrust of stockbrokers and fear of paying too much in fees. Of all the reasons, these last two we find the most legitimate, but the whatever the reason, the kids just aren't that into investing. Yes, they could cut back on other things they do spending money on, like eating out, vacationing and expensive gadgets and find a way to get started. As a group, they have unusually high student debts, we know, but saving and investing is a habit that starts with willpower. Here's the really big problem. If they don't start now, the habits won't form. And if they fail to invest early enough, they lose the awesome power of compounding. Compounding is magic. If you invest $1 today, it turns into $2 in some period of time. Maybe that's a few years, maybe longer. But it will double. Then your $2 turns into $4, and $4 turns into $8 and so on. Over the course of a working life, money saved early is the yeast which causes the bread to rise and rise and rise. Imagine you are 25 and planning to save for 30 years. You target $5,000 a year and earn an 8% annual return over those years. Some years more, some years less, but it averages out to 8% a year, a return commensurate to a portfolio with a healthy allocation to stocks. Three decades on, your account reaches $625,124. Great! Now, let's say you don't invest in stocks. You just put money in a bank account and earn a CD rate. It's crazy low now, but image you average 2% over the decades. Your account at the end of the run is $205,644. Big difference. Now let's say you get religion on investing but you get start late. You hold off to 45 to begin investing. You now have 10 years to make it happen. How much cash will you need to set aside to get the same result? If you do the $5,000, you are going to end up 10 years later with just $76,736. In fact, to get a result comparable to our young, steady investor, you will have to target $41,000 a year into your retirement accounts.
  • Social Security Q&A: Will Alimony Payments Lower My Ex's Early Retirement Benefit?
    Today's question asks if alimony payments will reduce an ex's Social Security benefit taken at 62. The answer notes the extent of the earnings test and considers potential tax liability.
  • What's Up With Apple? Pros See Stock Climbing Towards $200
    The Apple Watch will revolutionize the way we interact with objects around us.

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