Quick 401k Tax Tip Video

From the January 2021 archives of TGIF 2 Minutes – a relevant 401k tax tip video. Remember, the 2020 tax filing deadline was delayed until MAY 17TH, 2021. Considering this extra time, it is never too late to plan for the rest of 2021 and beyond. Enjoy this quick video.

Click the PLAY button above.

Thank you for watching, stay safe and TGIF!

The 401k Trap: Contact me for a copy at kdebbs@msfsolutions.com

Better, Faster, Cheaper

The title of this edition could also be called “A Deeper Dive into Inflation.” Inflation is serious stuff – for people of all ages. Consider that lots of younger people (under the age of 45) have far less awareness of inflation because they have not experienced serious and sustained inflation in their lifetimes. Those of us in our 50’s and older have likely been stung by this invisible enemy – sometimes really stung!

The reason why inflation matters so much is because it is like a thief who literally takes a chunk of your money every time you go to buy something – especially something you really need or want. So then, you must reach deeper into your pockets to pay more for whatever you were about to buy. What if you were already spending pretty close to 100% of what you make? Or what if you are retired (or close to retirement) and are on a fixed income… and already figured out the life of your dreams and what it would cost?

The title of today’s edition is “Better, Faster, Cheaper” because there are handful of items whose cost has stayed steady or gone down over time.

Continue reading “Better, Faster, Cheaper”

Quick 1Q Wrap-Up

In the interest of the upcoming Easter and current Passover holidays today’s edition will be quick. Similar to the 1st Quarter of 2021 which seemed to FLY BY!

Market – and my clients’ portfolio – performance was strong to start the year. There is caution in the air, however, as 10-year US Treasury yields climbed to levels not seen since early 2020 before the pandemic began. The swiftness of the rise in bond yields warrants caution in the overall stock and bond markets.

The swiftness of the rise in bond yields warrants caution in the overall stock and bond markets.

Continue reading “Quick 1Q Wrap-Up”

The $1,100 Cell Phone…Again!

From the Archives of TGIF 2 Minutes… read on for 2021 updates. Originally sent, April 2019.

Cash flow. Wouldn’t you like to have more of it around tax time? Well then, it may be time to delay or reconsider that new cell phone purchase.

Recently [in 2019] this “sticker shock” issue came to the forefront when I forked over $1,100 for my new Samsung Galaxy Note cell phone. OK, you may say, “Why didn’t you go with the zero-interest payment plan?” or, “Where have you been, Kerrie?” To which I would respond,

Having in place a stash of cash savings, “rainy day” fund, or emergency fund is one of the first things I discuss with all of my clients, no matter their income.

Continue reading “The $1,100 Cell Phone…Again!”

More on PCL…and WRW!

Good morning and TGIF,

A couple of weeks back the topic was PCL, or Post-Career Lifestyle. I received more comments than usual from people of all ages – and a number of cool ideas on how to look at the “nonretirement” concept of saving today in order to do what you love tomorrow. “Doing what you love” in a post-career lifestyle can include continuing to work for pay, slowing down and enjoying a “side gig” or truly retiring and ending working altogether.

Another excellent factoid revealed was that women and men tend to look at retirement and post-career lifestyle differently. Women also have a lot more to say about their attitude toward saving (whether for PCL or retirement) and managing the savings habits of their families. This translates into a concept best described by the acronym, WRW*, or Women Rule the World.

Now before the men reading this say, “Wait a minute!” a couple of notes of clarification.

Continue reading “More on PCL…and WRW!”

What’s Going On in the Markets?

It may be time to diversify – if that was not already the name of your game.

When is the last time that BONDS, no less the 10-year Treasury and TIPS, were the information we sought to read before we checked TSLA and AAPL??

Yes, when stock markets get rocky it is wise to look to the bond market, interest rates and the Fed for answers. Here is a less than 2-minute primer on several terms that matter. Oh, and my bond expert and bond trader friends will smile at the following statement: Everyone knows the “bond gals and guys” are smarter than the “equity gals and guys.” (PS. I started out as an equity gal.)

When stock markets get rocky it is wise to look to the bond market, interest rates and the Fed for answers.

Continue reading “What’s Going On in the Markets?”

Get Ready for Corona Inflation

A quick post, as today’s message presents a challenging fact. Sometimes the truth hurts and better on a Friday than a Monday! Keep reading, though, for an inspiring conclusion.

Fact: Prices for discretionary (and non-discretionary) items are about to go UP. All one needs to look at is the spike in residential home prices that began in mid-2020 and is still going. Demand for suburban homes has skyrocketed due to the work-from-home and leave-big-cities trends, among other major factors. As learned in high school and college economics, as demand increases generally so do prices.

Travel and hotels will probably see the most noticeable price increases post Covid.

Photo courtesy of Sean Sullivan, https://smsullivanphotography.com/. Cruz Bay, St. John USVI.

Continue reading “Get Ready for Corona Inflation”

PCL is The New Thing!

“Retirement” is so yesterday.

How about PCL instead? PCL = Post Career Lifestyle. It may turn out to be the way to go for a number of reasons.

  • First of all, “retirement” may be impossible to imagine if you are embarking on a first job or are early in a career. I mean… age 59½?? That age is nearly irrelevant and definitely forever in the future!
  • On the other hand, “Post-Career Lifestyle” feels way more attainable and easier to imagine. Think: someday… when I can have a lifestyle that is more balanced – on MY terms – somewhere between work and relaxing.

Continue reading “PCL is The New Thing!”

Money, Therapy, and Life

From the Archives of 2016… updated for the “Coronavirus Life Experience”.

Money and Therapy. Two things that people may love or hate. However, among other things, money and therapy help.

Recently I finished a must-read book for all ages – wealthy or building wealth, married or single. Anyone who wants to have a “life” someday… or even have a life NOW. The book is called The Number* and was written in 2006 by Lee Eisenberg (long time editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine) but reads like he wrote it yesterday.

Continue reading “Money, Therapy, and Life”

Zero Interest Rate World

Low and near-zero interest rates have become a fact of life. Rates could likely remain low for the foreseeable future based on the economic and US Federal Reserve environment. This statement is not meant to be a predictor of where interest rates are going. Still, the fact of near-zero interest rates needs to be on investors’ radar screens, as boring as the topic may sound!

The bond market and interest rates involve far, far more complicated math than stocks. Trying to predict bond prices and interest rates is mostly not worthwhile.

Near-zero interest rates needs to be on investors’ radar screens.

Continue reading “Zero Interest Rate World”