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Life, Dollars, and Sense

Who Makes Up the Top 1%?

There has been much talk in the media about the top 1% in our country thanks to the Occupy Wall Street protests and the discussion in Washington about raising taxes on those who have higher income

Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?

The short answer is ‘no’. First, one must understand the definition of a Ponzi scheme.

US Credit Downgrade, Volatile Markets, Recency Bias

Nothing like some  financial turmoil to get me writing this blog on a regular basis! Let me first comment on the credit downgrade by S&P over the weekend.

7 Headlines to Cheer You Up a Bit

To say there has been a lot of gloom and doom lately in the financial headlines is certainly an understatement.

Debt Default and Your Portfolio

My last post was a recommendation to ignore the headline news.

The Danger of Financial Headline News

As a financial planner I often get asked ‘So, what do you think of this market?’ I often give the questioner a very unsatisfying answer because I usually respond with ‘I don’t think much about it’ or ‘Before I give you my opinion you should realize my opinion is utterly useless in making any investment decisions.’ Why do I provide answers like this?

The Mortgage Interest Deduction and The Housing Market

Many of us benefit from the mortgage interest deduction when we file our taxes each year. Policy makers have used the deduction as a way to encourage home ownership. Depending on one’s tax bracket, the interest you pay on your mortgage is effectively reduced by the deduction you receive on your tax return if you itemize your deductions.

Strategies to Boost Your Social Security Benefits

As many of our clients know I consider maximization of Social Security benefits to be a critical part of one’s income during retirement. I have long advocated delaying benefits in many situations due to the importance of Delayed Retirement Credits. There are various strategies to maximize benefits and provide oneself with ‘longevity’ insurance.

Your 2010 Federal Tax Receipt

The White House has posted a nifty tool on their web site that shows where your federal tax dollars are being spent . You enter your specific amount of taxes paid and it then shows a breakdown of federal expenditures. It does provide an estimator if you do not have your tax return.

How Much is that iPad really worth?

A client sent me a link to a great article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. The author does a marvelous job laying out why the iPad does not cost $500, but more like $2,000 or even $3,000 depending on your age.

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