WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Alan Dlugash is a New York accountant who specializes in high net worth Manhattanites, but lately he’s been fielding a lot of calls from clients in neighboring states — Connecticut and New Jersey.
“The big deal right now is ‘how do I change my residency?’” he said. And the reason is almost always the same: High local taxes.
WASHINGTON, May 4 (Reuters) – Two can live almost as
cheaply as one, but it takes a lot more paperwork.
So say retirement advisers who are starting to take note of
the differences between planning for a single person and
planning for a couple.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Psst — want to make a quick 300 percent on your home sale? Plant some shrubs, and spruce up the lighting on your front porch.
That’s what real estate agents are saying. Put $375 into “lightening and brightening” your home, and you will raise the sale price by $1,550, HomeGain.com reported in a survey released recently.
Anyone who’s been investing for a while has probably heard the homily “Sell in May and go away.” It’s a lilting reminder that the worst time of the year for stocks is usually the summer and the early fall. Going back decades, most of the money made in the stock market is made from November through April.
Some reasons behind this theory: People tend to feed their retirement accounts and invest bonuses early in the year. They go on vacation and ignore the market over the summer. Traders come back in September and dump companies that aren’t performing according to expectations.
Here’s a shocker: Almost 70 percent of single parents with children living at home don’t carry life insurance, according to research from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and Genworth Financial.
I’m not one to echo insurance companies and agents when they foist expensive and unnecessary products on consumers, but isn’t this the exact population that most needs insurance? And isn’t plain-vanilla term life insurance just about as cheap as it’s ever been?
WASHINGTON, April 19 (Reuters) – Bethany and Karl Schreiber
are hunting for a nice big house in the pricey Washington,
D.C., suburbs and they are facing a deadline: In just a few
months their third child will be born, and the tiny two-bedroom
they’ve been inhabiting will officially get too small.
But there’s a second deadline looming for them as well.
Beginning on Oct. 1, the government will dial back on the size
of mortgages it guarantees in high-cost areas like San
Francisco, New York and Washington.
WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) – Suddenly, everyone is
talking about immediate annuities as if they were the answer to
every retirement question.
Unions and other fans of traditional pensions like the
guaranteed income stream these products promise to retiring
workers. Employers, with the Obama Administration’s
encouragement, are trying to figure out how they can offer
annuities to workers who are ready to withdraw money from their
401(k) accounts. Academicians are churning out studies about
how immediate annuities can boost the lifestyles of retirees.
And annuity companies, of course, would be happy with even a
slice of the $17.5 trillion (yes, trillion with a “t”) sitting
in retirement accounts, according to the Investment Company
Whoo hoo! A refund. Speaking personally, this is the first time in about 10 years that I’ve qualified for a refund. I think it’s because I took this full-time job at Reuters and signed up to have big bucks deducted from my paycheck. And it’s because 2010 tax breaks passed retroactively actually lowered my total tax bill (and those of many others).
This year, the average tax refund is pushing $3,000, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Many financial advisers believe that it is a big mistake to get a big refund. Getting a big refund means you’ve loaned the IRS money all year long without earning a penny in interest. “My gripe with large tax refunds… is two-fold,” Eleanor Blayney, the consumer advocate for the CFP Board of Standards, said in a recent press statement. “First, they make mincemeat of any attempt to manage your cash flow. Second, they often go unplanned.” She advocates budgeting your taxes as closely as you possibly can to the amount you’ll actually owe when the year ends, and integrating the extra cash you’re not sending the IRS into a reasonable spending and saving budget.
If you are one of those chronic procrastinators who has yet to close out the 2011 tax season, don’t waste time reading all of this. Just file an extension asap. If you think you’ll owe money, send a check along with it.
And what if you’re reading this after the April 18 deadline has passed? Go directly to your post office and mail an extension form right now. It couldn’t hurt.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Life is kind of crazy and unpredictable, and that doesn’t stop when you retire. You could still win the lottery or get hit by a bus, or anything in between.
That’s why traditional straight-line retirement planning does not address much of what goes on during real-life retirement. The old guidelines of “put this in every month until you retire, then take this much out every month,” just don’t cut it anymore. In order to protect your life style no matter what happens, you have to cover a lot of bases.