CLEAR AND CONCISE
 FINANCIAL ADVICE®

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Living Trusts: Who is Your Trustee?

Most people spend a lot of time thinking about the details of their wills or living trusts (except for Prince). Most of the deliberation is, “Who should get how much, and when?” A second consideration is, “Who should I leave in charge of carrying out my wishes?” The person who carries out your wishes is …View Article

529 Plans for Your Grandkids

I have written quite a bit about 529 plans, including this post: 529 Plan FAQs. However, I was intrigued this week by an article I read that made the point that more Americans are giving the gift of college, setting 529 plan records. Many 529 plans saw double digit increases in gift contributions during this …View Article

How Americans Spend and Borrow

Most people are familiar with the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I feel that way about charts and graphs. Today, I wanted to share a couple I thought you might find interesting. These charts may not make you a better investor, but you will look well informed at your next cocktail party. …View Article

Capital Gains Taxes – How to Pay Less

It has been a national pastime to complain about taxes. In fact 45% of Americans feel that their taxes are too high, even though only 56% of Americans pay any federal income tax. It is not my intention to convince you that taxes are too high or too low. However, I have noticed that many …View Article

Finding Ideal Retirement Jobs

Last week, I wrote about retirees’ attitudes toward working in retirement and starting “encore” careers. The bottom line was they really enjoyed continuing to work in some capacity, according to a survey of 7,000 such retirees. Furthermore, money was not the main motivator. So, the next question is how do you find ideal retirement jobs? …View Article

Retirement Jobs: Do you want to keep working?

I’m not trying to convince retirees to go back to work. In fact, I love telling clients that they can retire and direct their energy toward leisure and their bucket list. That being said, it turns out that many retirees love working in retirement. Approximately 1/3 of the Uber and Lyft drivers I’ve had the …View Article

Social Security – What If It Goes Bankrupt?

Recently, I was teaching a Taxes in Retirement class and the discussion shifted to how to decide “when” to collect Social Security. I was explaining the conditions in which it makes the most sense to defer Social Security until age 70. One attendee asked how he should factor in the possibility of Social Security Benefits …View Article

Dollar Cost Averaging: When Should I Invest This Money?

Most people think of market timing as trying to decide when to get out of the market in order to avoid the next downturn. However, market timing works the other way too. Sometimes investors have a lump sum to invest and they’re trying to determine a good entry point. I have seen several examples of …View Article

2018 Review & 2019 Outlook

I can sum up what happened in 2018 with just a few words: great year for the U.S. economy, not so good for the stock market. The average unemployment rate during 2018 was only 3.9% and it had fallen to 3.8% by the end of the year. That represented the strongest job market since 1969. …View Article

Gift Cards

One advantage to having my own personal finance column is it gives me an excuse to research anything that interests me. This holiday season I found myself thinking about gift cards. My wife tells me they are impersonal and don’t show a lot of thought or planning. However, it turns out that gift cards are …View Article