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Jason Parker

Have you heard of the “survivor option?” How about a “death put?” These rather bleak terms reference a very useful choice for beneficiaries who inherit certain kinds of corporate bonds. This option has become increasingly common.

What does a death put do? If a bondholder dies before a bond reaches maturity, a death put lets the beneficiary sell the bond back to the bond issuer at face value. If your children inherit a corporate bond from you, a death put may be a much better choice than keeping the bond until maturity or selling it in the secondary market. read more »

The Bush tax cuts are set to expire — and other big changes are poised to occur

Do you see a warning light flashing? Americans with high net worth and high incomes are preparing for the likelihood of higher taxes in 2011 and subsequent years. High earners are almost certainly going to take the hit if the EGTRRA and JGTRRA cuts fade away at the end of 2010. Here’s a summary of what’s happening — and a look at what might happen. There are some developments you will want to remember, and some tax breaks you might very well want to exploit. read more »

How filling out Form SSA-521 could help you put more money in your mailbox

A couple of years ago, Boston University economics professor Laurence Kotlikoff publicized a mind blowing discovery: retirees could dramatically increase their Social Security checks by reapplying for Social Security benefits.

It was entirely legal; it was an opportunity that had lay unnoticed for years. It was soon discussed on National Public Radio and PBS, and in USA Today and a number of in financial magazines. Let’s discuss it here. read more »

Tax Planning

A little phrase that may mean a big difference. When you read about investing and other financial topics, you occasionally see the phrase “tax efficiency” or a reference to a “tax-sensitive” way of investing. What does that really mean? read more »

Is your investment strategy as socially and environmentally conscious as you are?

It’s not uncommon… Many well-educated, socially conscious, environmentally friendly investors wind up buying shares of companies whose beliefs and business practices are far removed from their own. Why? Most investors simply haven’t thought about merging their personal beliefs with their investment strategies. Some may not even be aware read more »

What does it mean for people and companies?

Baby Boomers Postponing Retirement and becoming RehireesIs 70 the new 65? It may be. Many Americans are electing to postpone retirement as an effect of the recent volatility in the financial markets. If 70 is the new 65, some workplace changes are worth noting — these trends may be affecting you, your employer, and your financial future.

Retirement will increasingly be a process, not an event. In the years ahead, more and more people will probably leave the workplace gradually. For baby boomers that want to stay active and engaged read more »

What would they have to do if health care reforms pass?

Provide employee health insurance, or pay a penalty? Small business owners worry about having to face that choice. That possibility moved a step closer to reality in mid-July, as three of five Congressional committees approved new legislation to remake American health care — legislation that could expand health insurance coverage to 46 million uninsured Americans, with potentially harsh consequences for business owners. read more »

Will other countries keep buying our Treasuries?

If China and Japan change their minds, could the United States have a problem? Since 1980, the U.S. has imported more than it has exported.

1) It makes up for this trade deficit by issuing Treasury bonds and other debt instruments. Foreign governments have long lined up to buy them. China holds almost $800 billion of U.S. Treasuries. That’s the April 2009 figure from the U.S. Treasury (at this moment, the most recent data). In addition, Japan has $686 billion in Treasuries. Hong Kong has $81 billion, Taiwan $78 billion, Singapore $40 billion, India $39 billion, and South Korea $35 billion. Away from Asia, Great Britain holds $153 billion, Russia holds $137 billion, and Brazil holds $126 billion. read more »

A unique opportunity for IRA owners

In 2010, anyone may convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. No income limits will stand in the way of the conversion.

Should you do it? Here’s why it may (or may not) make sense for you to go Roth next year.

Why you might want to consider it. read more »

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