Year: 2013

I Can Predict Your Financial Future in 2014!

  After thirty-something years working with individuals and families on their personal finances, I’ve developed the uncanny ability to predict their financial futures, often after spending just a few minutes with them. You see, financial success, or lack thereof, comes down to a mindset…a decision to succeed followed by an implemented plan of action. Today I’m going […]

Reader Horror Story (Almost)

  Many years ago we purchased two $100,000 fixed annuities from Vanguard. One increased with the CPI and the other increased its payouts by 5% per year. We were in good health then, and are now in our eighties and they have proved to be good supplements to our income. However, during the 2008 disaster, we learned that […]

Using Kids for Tax Benefits

  Reader Question: Could you speak to the tax consequences of a minor’s earnings? My two-year-old son recently inherited $5,000 for which I opened an investment account. I earn a six-figure income. Will any dividends and other earnings that he accrues be taxed in my bracket, or in his? If the latter, this seems like a perfectly […]

Tis the Season of Giving

  No doubt about it, December has everyone in the giving mood. People are busy buying and exchanging gifts, acknowledging friendships and the love of family members. Giving can also be smart tax planning while providing much needed support for those less fortunate in our community. Here’s a summary of the most popular ways people give and get […]

The Perfect Gift for a Grandchild

  Reader question: My husband and I will be taking our Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from our IRAs for the 1st time this year and were planning to set up 529 accounts for our 6 grandchildren.  So long as the amounts do not go over the gift limit for each child, is there any other thing […]

Give Your IRA Away Tax Free – and Other Year-End Tax Strategies

  Reader Question:  For Opções Binárias em Portugal, I was able to give a portion of my yearly IRA distribution directly to an approved charity (my church) tax free.   I have been unable to determine if this type of distribution will be allowed for 2013 tax year. Please advise and thanks. D.D. Answer: First of all, this is a great idea […]

Readers Asks Where to Invest Now?

  Reader Question: I am 67 and retired in May 2012 with $20,000 in stock mutual funds. When things tanked in 2008-09, I lost 50%-60% and it stayed there two years plus. I since moved it to an interest-only account. Now, my question is: Should I do something else, rather than leave it in the interest only account? A.F. Answer: The […]

Winning the Credit Score Board Game

  How much does your credit score really matter? I’ve heard everything from, “It doesn’t matter at all” to “It’s one of the most important parts of my finances!” Your credit score matters a great deal. If you have a poor credit score, you’ll likely find yourself unable to get credit at all except for possibly a […]

Helping Kids Help Themselves

  Reader Comment: You recently wrote an article about how to get a State of Alabama income tax credit by donating to charitable foundations that support a better education for low income children who are currently stuck in failing schools. This recommendation should come with one large caveat. I was one of the original people who signed a […]

Are My Bonds Safe?

  When people talk about stocks and bonds, many people intuitively associate ‘safety’ with bonds and ‘risky’ with stocks. While it’s certainly true that, in general, stocks are more volatile than bonds, bonds can be pretty risky under certain circumstances. I’ve found that a lot of people also find bonds to be confusing to understand. Let’s start with […]