The Ten Worst Money Mistakes Anyone Can Make

Free Money Finance:  “I’ve said many times that success in managing personal finances is pretty simple: spend less than you earn over a long period of time. If this is the heart of your financial plan, it’s likely that you’ll be prosperous.  That said, there is one other thing you’ll need to do – you must avoid the financial pitfalls that can significantly derail your finances. I call these the worst money moves anyone can make. I’m listing them below in countdown fashion along with some suggestions for avoiding them. Here are the top ten IMO:”

How To Stretch Out An IRA

Forbes:  “the term ‘stretch IRA‘ was used to describe the strategy in which a spouse, child or grandchild inherits a traditional pretax IRA and then draws out distributions (and hence tax deferral) over his or own life expectancy.”

New Year is a Good Time to Consider Adding Roth IRA to Financial Strategy

DesMoinesRegister.com:  “The new year rings in a new financial planning strategy that could be right for many people: Roth IRAs.  Previously, Roth individual retirement accounts were a tool only available to those who earned less than $100,000 annually, but now with the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, or TIPRA, everyone is able to participate.  Roth IRAs can play an important role in retirement and estate planning because they are a tax-free growth vehicle, and there are no required minimum distributions.  Investors should be cautious when using this tool, since the decision to convert a traditional IRA or eligible employer retirement plan to a Roth IRA can be complex.  Ten questions that might arise when considering a conversion:”

Obama May Want Your Retirement Funds Invested in Annuities

Bloomberg.com:  “The Obama administration is weighing how the government can encourage workers to turn their savings into guaranteed income streams following a collapse in retiree accounts when the stock market plunged.  The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams . . . .”

When Should You Start Taking Social Security?

Center for Retirement Research:  “At what age should you begin claiming Social Security benefits?  If you’re approaching retirement, it’s the most important financial decision you’ll likely make.  The Social Security Claiming Guide sorts through all the options near-retirees need to consider.  Presented in an easy-to-read, colorful format, the Claiming Guide shows you where to begin, spells out how much you can get, and answers frequently asked questions about how the claiming process works.”

Limits on Roth IRAs Set to End – Should You Convert?

Lawyers USA:  “For the first time, as of Jan. 1, 2010, individuals with an adjusted gross income of more than $100,000 can convert an existing IRA or 401(k) account into a Roth IRA.  Estate planning attorneys should contact their clients about this opportunity, and lawyers should consider whether to take advantage of the change for their own retirement plans.  Previously, only those who made under $100,000 could convert to a Roth IRA.  The Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 abolished the income limit as a means of raising revenue, but the change doesn’t take effect until 2010.”

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