Senior Personal Finance Correspondent
Linda's Feed
Dec 31, 2012

Stern Advice: Financial to do list for 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Make resolutions if you must: When you vow to track every dollar and never waste money again, you feel all clean and shiny for at least a few hours into the new year.

But that doesn’t usually last. Resolutions get broken because they are too lofty and too ill-defined. It is better to break your resolutions down into a specific to do list: here are the money moves to make now and in the coming weeks that will insure you’re in a better financial place before 2013 ends.

Dec 26, 2012

Your one-week year-end “fiscal cliff” money plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – By now, we thought the path forward would be clear and the usual six-day flurry of tax-focused check writing and income-shifting could commence.

But we’re still in wait-and-see mode; watching to see what happens next. Either Washington will rush through a year-end package of tax and spending cuts or we will plunge over the so-called “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and sharp spending cuts. Even if that happens, President Obama and Congress could agree on a retroactive package early next year that would limit the repercussions of the over-the-cliff scenario.

Dec 26, 2012

Stern Advice: Your one-week year-end ‘fiscal cliff’ money plan

WASHINGTON, Dec 26 (Reuters) – By now, we thought the path
forward would be clear and the usual six-day flurry of
tax-focused check writing and income-shifting could commence.

But we’re still in wait-and-see mode; watching to see what
happens next. Either Washington will rush through a year-end
package of tax and spending cuts or we will plunge over the
so-called “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and sharp spending
cuts. Even if that happens, President Obama and Congress could
agree on a retroactive package early next year that would limit
the repercussions of the over-the-cliff scenario.

Dec 19, 2012

Are first-time homebuyers missing the sweet spot?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Despite reports to the contrary, young adults haven’t given up on the American dream of homeownership. They are just biding their time.

As many as 93 percent of millennial-generation renters plan to buy a home someday, according to a recent (albeit self-serving) poll by real estate website Trulia. Yet in today’s housing market, characterized by still-subdued prices and record low mortgage rates, only one in three homebuyers are first timers.

Dec 19, 2012

Stern Advice – Are first-time homebuyers missing the sweet spot?

WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Despite reports to the
contrary, young adults haven’t given up on the American dream of
homeownership. They are just biding their time.

As many as 93 percent of millennial-generation renters plan
to buy a home someday, according to a recent (albeit
self-serving) poll by real estate website Trulia. Yet in today’s
housing market, characterized by still-subdued prices and record
low mortgage rates, only one in three homebuyers are first
timers.

Dec 17, 2012

How to help Newtown school shooting families

, Dec 17 (Reuters) – It’s easy, after an
earthquake or a hurricane, to show that you care. You can send
drywall and diapers, or at least money to buy them, and ease the
pain of fellow citizens in the path of destruction.

But when people are dealing with child-killing horror, as
they are following the Friday school shooting in Newtown,
Connecticut, it’s harder to help your neighbor. The houses of
the afflicted are still standing; they still have their jobs and
their infrastructure; it is their hearts that are broken.

Dec 12, 2012

How 2013 will test your portfolio

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – These are strange times to be moving your money around. Everyone is in “wait and see” mode while President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner talk, and investors have more questions than answers about the economy, interest rates, Europe, consumer behavior, corporate earnings and everything else that might rock their investment boats in the months to come.

Yet this is the time to position 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts and other investment portfolios for 2013.

Dec 12, 2012

Stern Advice-How 2013 will test your portfolio

By Linda Stern

WASHINGTON, Dec 12(Reuters) – These are strange times to be
moving your money around. Everyone is in “wait and see” mode
while President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner talk, and
investors have more questions than answers about the economy,
interest rates, Europe, consumer behavior, corporate earnings
and everything else that might rock their investment boats in
the months to come.

Yet this is the time to position 401(k)s, individual
retirement accounts and other investment portfolios for 2013.

Dec 5, 2012

Stern Advice – Retirees are doing better than you think

WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Contrary to what you may have
heard, new retirees are doing better financially than previous
generations, according to research being published on Wednesday
by a mutual fund industry trade group.

“On average, more-recent generations of households have
higher levels of resources to draw on in retirement than
previous generations,” said the study by the Investment Company
Institute, a trade group. “Other measures also indicate
improvements in retiree well-being. For example, the poverty
rate among people aged 65 or older has declined from nearly 30
percent in 1966 to 9 percent in 2011.”

Nov 28, 2012

Is it too late to grab some special dividends?

NEW YORK, Nov 28 (Reuters) – With Wednesday’s announcement
that it will pay a special dividend of $7 per share, Costco
Wholesale Corp is the latest company to boost payouts
in an attempt to get ahead of any possible tax increases next
year.

In some cases, companies are simply advancing money that
might ordinarily have been paid to shareholders in 2013. In
other cases, like Costco’s, they are making extra dividend
payments.

    • 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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