What exactly is an early retirement? After twenty years serving in the military retirement is an option. Most who take it quickly pursue a civilian career. Many believe a retirement before age 62, the birthday at which reduced Social Security benefits are available is early. Retiring on only the age 62 Social Security benefit without a pension or substantial savings would likely be living below the poverty level. Others believe retiring before Medicare eligibility at age 65 is early. Anything prior to age 65 leaves most with an unaffordable bill for private health insurance; granted, there are folks who are disabled or fortunate enough to have their employer continue health insurance for their families but in general most pre-65 retirees are stuck with the bill.
I can’t think of a greater gift from a parent to a child than the gift of an education. By gift what I mean is helping to matriculate a child through college; coming out the other end debt free. Continue reading
In the last installment I discussed what a terrific investment Microsoft ended up being for my family during a 20 year, and counting, holding period. I really do attribute much of that success to the risky behavior of youth and pure luck. But as has been said in the past, “I’d rather be lucky than smart.”
In this post I will describe some income tax strategies I have used for my family in the past. As a CPA and retired Certified Financial Planner I have more expertise than most in these areas; however, this post is not income tax advice which should be sought by you from an expert prior to trying any of these techniques. Continue reading
Can you save too much in your tax deferred retirement accounts? The short answer is, yes. The longer answer is perhaps, but most Boomers will never have to worry about it. The press is full of stories detailing the sad state of retirement funding for the Boomer generation and how they are woefully unprepared for what once was a distant retirement and is now upon them. Only recently have I started picking up on articles dealing with the equally serious problem of families who have saved too much, or at least too much in tax deferred accounts. Continue reading
As a CPA and former Certified Financial Planner people often ask me for investment advice. Please understand any advice given on my blog should be run by your investment and tax advisors prior to implementation. Goes without saying, but I said it anyway. My favorite question centers on what the best investment I ever made was. My usual answer is Mr. Softy – Microsoft (msft). It’s my favorite because my wife and I made a substantial investment in the company early in our marriage and held on for over twenty years. This investment allows me to demonstrate risk and patience with the same investment.
In the early 90s not every desk had a computer on it and certainly most families had not yet purchased a home computer. Though unless you were living in a cave you knew something of the Bill Gates story and recognized that personal computers were being purchased for office workers like crazy. The reason I took the plunge was an article I read in a business periodical on hot Texas afternoon, more of a biography of Bill Gates really. In the article he described how he had no intentions of getting into the pc business but rather wanted all of the pc manufacturers to use his software. With every pc sold Microsoft would receive a royalty for its operating system. As he explained it, there might be a dozen companies that fight it out in the pc marketplace, but it really didn’t matter to Microsoft who the winners were because they would win with every sale. I bought his argument and a few days later purchased 100 shares of msft. Continue reading
Tiger 21, more formally known as The Investment Group for Enhanced Results in the 21st Century, is in large regard a glorified investment club. It is an investment club with a $30 thousand annual membership fee. Collectively, the club’s 230 members control assets valued in excess of $20 billion and have a median net worth $75 million. I rather doubt anyone reading my Blog would qualify for membership. Yet the truly wealthy are worth studying in terms of how they invest and what it is that motivates them to take action. This is true because, as we have observed since the financial meltdown of 2008 – the rich indeed do get richer. The wealth of the rich has recovered while the middleclass in America continues to struggle. Continue reading