Retirement account loans get a bum rap

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on August 19, 2011

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of individuals borrowing from their 401(k) accounts has increased dramatically the last few years.Some members of Congress feel that this is a dangerous trend, and they are proposing legislation to make it more difficult for individuals to take out these loans. They apparently feel that people who take them are... READ MORE

Some housing stocks rise despite market

By Mark Jewell
Posted on August 01, 2011

Real estate investing doesn’t have to be a losing proposition, whether home prices continue to slip or not.Ross Meredith has a lot of money riding on that notion, and it’s worked out lately. The retired bank examiner owns stock in companies called real estate investment trusts (REITs), which own commercial properties. Those six REIT stocks have returned an average of about 20... READ MORE

What investment pros are buying today

By Dave Carpenter
Posted on August 01, 2011

A slumping stock market and economic difficulties make this a challenging time for investors looking for the best place to put their money.No consensus emerged among the nearly 1,700 financial planners and fund managers attending the annual Morningstar Investment Conference. But many floated ideas for good buys and strategies in this difficult environment.Several professionals offered up... READ MORE

Medicare becomes costly for high earners

By Mark Miller
Posted on July 15, 2011

The new healthcare reform law aims to cover nearly all Americans and to get our exploding national healthcare tab under control. But reform also calls for some upfront investment, and someone needs to foot the bill. Wealthy retirees — it’s time to grab your wallets.Starting this year, the most affluent seniors are shouldering steep increases in Medicare premiums mandated under... READ MORE

Wills provide peace of mind for the family

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on July 15, 2011

Estate planning is one of those things everybody knows they should do, but a surprising number of people put it off until it’s too late, or do it wrong in the first place.Unfortunately, too many people of all ages hesitate to have their wills drawn up. There is no good reason to avoid that. If you die intestate — that is, without a will — you have lost the right to specify ... READ MORE

Are there funds waiting for you to claim?

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on July 01, 2011

According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), assets worth over $32 billion are held by various states just waiting to be claimed by their rightful owners.You may be entitled to some of these assets. I will explain how this property ends up with the states, and how you can determine whether you have unclaimed property you don’t know ... READ MORE

Get insured despite pre-existing conditions

By Mark Miller
Posted on July 01, 2011

Over age 50 but under 65? If so, you’re at risk of falling into the pre-existing condition healthcare gap. In the current health insurance marketplace, it’s very difficult for people with pre-existing conditions to buy a quality policy at an affordable price. The problem disproportionately affects older people in this age group; they’re too young to quality for Medicare yet very... READ MORE

Books offer do-it-yourself financial advice

By Beacon
Posted on June 17, 2011

Consider adding these recently released financial books to your shelf or e-reader (all are available as e-books). Look for more suggestions in upcoming issues.Debunkery: Learn It, Do It, and Profit From It — Seeing Through Wall Street’s Money-Killing MythsAuthor: Ken FisherPrice: $27.95Summary: Debunkery is the seventh book by Ken Fisher, the founder and CEO of Fisher... READ MORE

Social Security stops mailing statements

By Mark Miller
Posted on June 17, 2011

What age should you file for Social Security benefits? It’s one of the most critical decisions you’ll make that affects long-term retirement security.One of the best decision-making tools to help with that decision is the annual benefit projection that we all receive in the mail from the Social Security Administration (SSA).But the SSA is about to stop mailing out those... READ MORE

Investors see upside to expensive gasoline

By Mark Jewell
Posted on June 01, 2011

Think positive. The pain you’re feeling at the pump from $4-a-gallon gas may become a little easier to bear once you receive your next quarterly mutual fund statement.Chances are your fund portfolio holds big oil names that have been reporting Texas-sized profits and boosting dividends paid to their investors. Exxon Mobil, for example, is the biggest component in the Standard &... READ MORE