Every couple of years or so, I evaluate college 529 plans. These are savings plans, usually sponsored by states, that allow us to put money away to help fund college for a child or grandchild. In fact, students are increasingly turning to grandparents to help pay for college. The plan you choose has no bearing on where the child goes to college or the state you happen to live in.
When should you begin taking Social Security benefits? That was a question asked of AARP.org visitors and registered website users . Less than 19 percent selected age 70, though that’s exactly what I tell the vast majority of my clients to do. Most object to my recommendation until I frame the decision in a different way, which is that they can spend money now and still let it grow.
Most of us have heard that stocks have outperformed bonds in the long run. But what is the definition of long run? So far this century, have stocks really outperformed?
I’m often asked when the right time is to sell an investment. There are actually two answers — a logical one and an emotional one. Let me explain by illustrating through one of the lessons in a course I teach.
I’m going to try to mislead you, but it’s for a very good reason. What I have for you is a U.S. stock fund that not only has beaten the S&P 500 index, it’s nearly certain to continue doing so in the long run. For now, I’m going to call this mutual fund the Super-Secret Fund, or SSF for short.
Many brokers recommend investing in municipal bonds. Municipal bonds, a.k.a. munis, are a debt security issued by a state, municipality or county to finance its capital expenditures. Most are exempt from federal taxes and even state taxes if you live and file taxes in the issuing state. They are often pitched as being very safe with a long history of low default rates.
When you walk into my office, you may notice a beautiful granite and glass plaque gracing my bookcase that displays the honor of being one of “America’s Top Financial Planners.” It was awarded by the Consumers’ Research Council of America, whose address on Pennsylvania Avenue is less than a half mile from the White House.
Search AARP Blogs