Senior Personal Finance Correspondent
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Apr 23, 2014

Stern Advice -Questions to ask your adviser about alternative funds

NEW YORK, April 23 (Reuters) – Ever since they were badly
burned in the 2008-2009 stock and bond debacle, investors have
been pouring money into so-called “alternative” mutual funds,
often at the behest of financial advisers who say those funds
will protect them from the fire next time.

But it is too soon to tell whether most of these funds will
work as suggested. Regulators, including the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory
Authority, have expressed concerns about the risks inherent in
the more complex alternatives funds. And a sizeable number of
the investors buying these funds likely do not understand
exactly what they are buying.

Apr 9, 2014

Stern Advice – The benefits of depositing your IRA into your 401(k)

NEW YORK, April 9 (Reuters) – It may sound like something
you would train your dog to do, but the “reverse rollover” is a
maneuver that more retirement-minded workers should try.

The move – taking personal individual retirement account
(IRA) assets and moving them into your company 401(k) plan -
sounds counterintuitive. Why would you do that once you have
wrested your money from a former employer and rolled it over
into your very own personally controlled account?

Mar 26, 2014

Stern Advice: Why you work to pay the babysitter

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Working parents of young children face a disappointing calculus. When they look at the paycheck of the lower-earning spouse – still usually the wife’s – they don’t see much bottom line income.

The taxes on that second income are paid at the couple’s top marginal rate. A family in the middling 28 percent marginal tax bracket could see the second earner’s salary cut by 43 percent or more, once state, Social Security and Medicare taxes are included. If she earns $50,000, they are left with $28,500 from which to pay for childcare (deduct an average of $11,666 a year, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies), commuting and all of the other costs of holding a job, from business attire to buying colleagues’ kids’ wrapping paper at fundraising time.

Mar 12, 2014

Stern Advice – Getting real about retirement

NEW YORK (Reuters) – In the retirement planning space, there are two realities.

The first consists of spreadsheets, calculators and frightening rules of thumb to guide workers and retirees in their saving and spending decisions.

Feb 26, 2014

To save best, think health accounts, Roth IRAs

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Don’t think of the next seven weeks as a grim time of tax-season drudgery; think of them as your special, limited-time offer to enrich your future.

Most tax-favored retirement and health savings programs give you until April 15, 2014 to make contributions that count against your 2013 tax year. That’s such a significant benefit that it would be foolish to ignore it.

Feb 26, 2014

Stern Advice-To save best, think health accounts, Roth IRAs

NEW YORK, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Don’t think of the next seven
weeks as a grim time of tax-season drudgery; think of them as
your special, limited-time offer to enrich your future.

Most tax-favored retirement and health savings programs give
you until April 15, 2014 to make contributions that count
against your 2013 tax year. That’s such a significant benefit
that it would be foolish to ignore it.

Feb 12, 2014

Want to help the kids? Be tactful and strategic

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bill Cosby, speaking as the obstetrician Heathcliff Huxtable on his 1980s eponymous television show, once told his sitcom child: “Your mother and I are rich. You have nothing.”

Judging from comments made by financial advisers and their clients, a lot of people probably wish they could say that, especially to their adult children.

Feb 12, 2014

Stern Advice-Want to help the kids? Be tactful and strategic

NEW YORK, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Bill Cosby, speaking as the
obstetrician Heathcliff Huxtable on his 1980s eponymous
television show, once told his sitcom child: “Your mother and I
are rich. You have nothing.”

Judging from comments made by financial advisers and their
clients, a lot of people probably wish they could say that,
especially to their adult children.

Jan 22, 2014

That retirement time bomb

NEW YORK, Jan 22 (Reuters) – The baby boom generation is
moving into retirement with something no other generation has
had: huge tax liabilities.

With their savings concentrated in tax-deferred retirement
accounts like 401(k)s or individual retirement accounts, many
boomers will have to pay income taxes on most of the money they
live on. In addition, they are likely to find a high percentage
of their Social Security benefits taxable.

Jan 8, 2014

Five ways to hack your 401(k) in 2014

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Don’t look now, but your 401(k) retirement account is probably humming along nicely. Not only did the investments in it do extraordinarily well in 2013, but the folks who run those accounts made considerable improvements.

Employers got more generous with their contributions and plan managers added some new and better investment choices and recommitted themselves to holding down fees.

    • About Linda

      "Linda Stern is an award-winning personal finance journalist who loves to write about how the big picture affects your pocketbook. A former contributing editor at Newsweek magazine and a long-time Reuters columnist, Stern covers everything from credit cards to retirement planning to investing. As a Washington-based correspondent, she sneaks in as much tax and economic policy as her editors will allow. She tweets at www.twitter.com/LindaStern. And when she expresses opinions, they are her own and not those of her employer."
      Hometown:
      Emerson, N.J.
      Joined Reuters:
      October 2010
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