Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:00:00 -0400Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addresses a campaign event, October 22, 2016 at Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images) Barack Obama will stop being president on January 20. He will leave behind the signature accomplishment of his eight [...]
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:46:00 -0400The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans, including 403(b) and 457(b) plans, can make loans and hardship distributions to victims of Hurricane Matthew and members of their families.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:29:00 -0400Today’s column examines the effects of claiming early reduced spousal benefits, benefits for singles, the feasibility of divorcing to increase benefits and filing for widow's benefits based on a previous spouse's record.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:03:00 -0400The Sunday Times reported that the British government could halve the corporate tax rate to 10 per cent in case the EU would not be lenient enough in the pending Brexit negotiations. That would be foolish and costly.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:41:00 -0400IRS has collected over $10 billion in taxes and penalties from Americans with offshore accounts, and FATCA disclosure pain is only beginning. As over 100,000 Americans have come into IRS compliance, are you safe?
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 08:00:00 -0400I may have been way too optimistic a week ago when I posted that it was “hard to come up with a realistic scenario that ends with Paul Ryan (R-WI) as speaker of the House of Representatives in the next Congress.” Never mind the next Congress: It now looks like Ryan [...]
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:33:00 -0400Today’s column examines filing for spousal benefits, how benefit amounts are determined, eligibility for and the amount of disability benefits, sources of help when making filing decisions and a private pension question.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:57:00 -0400I bought a house today. Yes, after I said I hoped never to buy a house again. Here's why I did it and why my advice about homebuying and taxes, as well as renting, still hasn't changed.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:57:00 -0400To determine the best places to invest in real estate right now, Realtor.com created a list which sorted through February housing and jobs data for 146 Metropolitan Areas (cities and their neighboring suburbs) across the U.S. The company looked at listing price data, sales data and inventory trends such as the amount of homes available in each market and number of days on market. Realtor.com also utilized the peak-to-trough home price index from Fiserv Case-Shiller, which tracks how much home prices have fallen in the past five years and unemployment rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since jobs (or lack thereof) are a leading indicator of housing demand.
Median List Price: $170,000 (up 3% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 6,600 homes for sale (down 23% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 86 (down 12% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak:45.1%
Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
Median List Price: $229,500 (up 12% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 8,329 homes for sale (down 19% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 77 (down 21% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak:2.9%
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Median List Price: $134,150 (up 0.3% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 7,539 homes (down 21% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 103 days (down 15% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak:8.8%
Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Median List Price: $239,500 (down 3% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 13,053 homes (down 25.5% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 120 days (down 4% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak: 22.3%
Unemployment Rate: 7.5%
Median List Price: $160,000 (up 8% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 8,242 homes (down 26.5% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 79 days (down 19% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak:4.7%
Unemployment Rate: 7.1%
Median List Price: $195,000 (up 5.5% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 6,743 homes (down 31% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 90 days (down 13% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak:19.4%
Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
Median List Price: $468,888 (up 8% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 3,957 homes (down 34% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 56 days (down 27% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak:32.5%
Unemployment Rate: 9.1%
Median List Price: $215,000 (up 7.5% y-o-y)
Inventory Level: 9,980 homes (down 23% y-o-y)
Median Days On Market: 113 days (down 7% y-o-y)
Price Drop From Peak:6.5%
Unemployment Rate: 8.1%
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 17:51:00 -0400The fact that someone as rich as Donald Trump can pay no taxes is news to many. It’s not news to the super rich. The super rich have a standard way to avoid the taxman that doesn’t require losing a billion in real estate. They simply don’t declare any income. Instead, [...]
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 17:43:00 -0400A highly leveraged real estate operator, who manages to keep upping the ante, might not have much in the way of realized income, while building substantial net worth from unrealized appreciation. The key element is not so much the depreciation deduction as it is the unrealized appreciation which will allow you to keep refinancing and buying more property. This road to wealth is pretty wide open, as you might learn from watching late night TV or maybe from attending Trump University. The thing is the no money down art of the deal type of courses downplay the amount of work involved. And the risk. A really smart guy I know once observed "Leverage makes whatever is going to happen, happen faster."
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:57:00 -0400A litigation funding company that launched in the U.S. only six months ago has been identified as the third-party funder in a proposed class action brought against Chevron Corp. over a gas explosion off the coast of Nigeria. According to a copy of the litigation funding agreement, found buried among other [...]
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:06:00 -0400California's high taxes and aggressive tax enforcement are legendary. But tax disputes in California can have a few silver linings.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 08:50:00 -0400Facebook Provision 40.3% - Paid 4.4% Facebook reported $6.2 billion in pretax income and an "income tax expense" of $2.5 billion - 40.3%. It actually paid $273 million - 4.4%. The dramatic spread between the provision and the amount paid is the tax effect of stock compensation of $1.7 billion that does not run through the income statement. Facebook has $2.7 billion in federal net operating loss carryovers. I think that it is likely that Facebook, at least since it went public, has never actually paid any federal income tax, in spite of substantial provisions. Facebook provides the best case for "income tax expense"being "a made up number". In a case like this "income tax expense" really has almost nothing to do with what might actually be paid, ever.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 08:07:00 -0400I'll leave it to other observers to comment on Donald Trump's statement about not automatically accepting the election results, Hillary Clinton's defense of the Clinton Foundation and all of the discussions about trade, ISIS and Aleppo. I want to talk about the budget aspects of the debate, which were very limited but nonetheless instructive.
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 20:06:00 -0400Welcome to our live coverage of the October 19, 2016, presidential debate. This debate is the third and final debate of the current election season.
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 15:24:00 -0400Today’s column examines eligibility and filing options for spousal benefits, disability benefits, foreign pensions and eligibility for divorced spousal benefits after a court ordered name change.
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:42:00 -0400The section 385 regulations on the distinction between debt and equity are now final, and despite what tax advisers and Congress have been saying for months, the world did not come to an end. In fact, the barrage of negative comments and nasty letters from lawmakers profoundly affected Treasury, and the once-sweeping regulation package was significantly carved back. In a few years, when the U.S. tax base is even further eroded, the government will almost certainly rue this guidance as a profound missed opportunity.
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 09:00:00 -0400Learn how the candidates' plans could affect wages, health coverage, student loans, child care costs and what you pay in taxes.
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 00:48:00 -0400FATCA has globalized U.S. tax reporting, and the risks of penalties or even prosecution are pervasive. More changes are coming.
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 12:46:00 -0400When meeting with clients on the verge of retirement, the most common concern we hear is "I want to protect my principal". Even though it’s been a few years, the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 in still fresh in everyone'sminds. And as the Dow Jones flirts with all-time highs, it’s [...]
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 12:18:00 -0400Investing is not easy. You may fail to get the results you expect if you pick the wrong stock, take on too much risk, over-trade, or fail due to many other factors. Even then, if you follow a passive strategy to track the market, you results could be derailed by [...]
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 12:13:00 -0400Most retirees won't see any of the tiny 2017 Social Security increase in their bank accounts. Instead, it will go to pay higher Medicare premiums.
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 12:13:00 -0400
Searching for new surroundings in retirement? Here's our 2016 list of the top 25 U.S. places for retirement. We canvassed data covering housing and other costs of living, taxes, crime rates, weather and air quality, doctor availability and opportunities for an active lifestyle, including walking, bicycling and volunteering. Also taken into consideration: economic data for those eyeing a "working" retirement or simply a growing community. Our list includes places in 19 states coast to coast. A fuller explanation can be found here. Cities are listed in alphabetical order.
West Texas outpost, population 120,000, 150 miles west of Fort Worth. PROS: Robust economy, cost of living 17% below national average. Median home price $156,000 (national median: $213,000). Low rate of violent crime. High number of doctors per capita, extremely high rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging. Warm climate. Good air quality. Home to seven colleges. CON: Not very walkable. NOTED: Average state tax climate for retirees. On list last year. TRIVIA: Named for Abilene, Kan.
Growing suburb of 37,000 toward eastern end of Phoenix metro area. PROS: Good economy, cost of living 6% below national average. Good tax climate for retirees. Median home price $129,000. Low violent crime rate. Scenic terrain, including Superstition Mountain. Warm climate. CONS: Not very walkable, lackluster air quality. NOTED: Average physicians per capita. New to list. TRIVIA: Named for intersection with stagecoach route Apache Trail.
Classic college town (University of Georgia) of 120,000 70 miles east of Atlanta. PROS: Good economy. Cost of living 1% below U.S. average, median home price $145,000. Low serious crime rate. Extremely high Milken aging rank and walkability index. Good air quality. Warm climate. Good state tax climate for retirees. CON: None. NOTED: Average doctors per capita. On list last year. TRIVIA: Birthplace, in 1891, of America's first garden club.
Scenic Ozarks foothill town of 28,000 in northwest corner of Arkansas. PROS: Cost of living 12% below national average, median home price $127,000. Good economy. Very low serious crime rate. High number of doctors per capita, good rank on Milken best-aging list. Good air quality, warm climate. CON: Not very walkable. NOTED: Average state tax climate for retirees, New to list. TRIVIA: Originally a summer resort town.
A college town (Virginia Tech) of 44,000 in southwestern tail of Virginia. PROS: Economically robust. Median home price $230,000. Above average air quality. Low crime rate. High Milken aging rank. Somewhat walkable. CONS: None. NOTED: Cost of living 2% above national average. Average state tax climate for retirees and doctors per capita. Mild climate. On list last year. TRIVIA: Named two centuries ago for town's founder.
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 10:59:00 -0400When Tyco was synonymous with greed, Mark Swartz and his boss Dennis Kozlowski were vilified as all that was wrong with corporate America. Swartz and Kozlowski were both released on parole after having been sentenced for over 20 years for their crimes. Swartz, Tyco’s former CFO and Kozlowski’s right-hand man, [...]
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 09:57:00 -0400It's not too late to learn and gain understanding—and thereby control—of your financial decisions and improve your financial health. There is no magic pill to swallow to gain financial health; rather, it is a process of small steps that requires proper care and treatment. You can turn your disease into comfort and security by making small, appropriate shifts in your thinking and your actions. You just have to get started and keep plugging away. I know you can do it!