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Mike Obel

Mike was a senior editor at SmartAsset. He graduated with a Master's in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. His experience includes writing and editing for, Fox Business, International Business Times, the Oil and Gas Journal and The Associated Press.

Posts by Mike Obel

SmartAsset: Backdoor Roth IRA Preserved

This Lucrative Retirement Tactic Dodged Biden’s Axe

President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law in August 2022. This is a trimmed-down version of the Build Back Better Act, a $1.75 trillion social spending initiative that had struggled to get votes in Congress. The expanded bill… read more…

MLK as financial advisor
Financial Advisor

Martin Luther King Jr. As Financial Advisor: Here’s What He’d Recommend

While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is best known for his pioneering fight for civil rights and racial equality, he also promoted valuable practical wisdom about how to handle your money. Financial planning firm Facet has collected five of his top… read more…

SECURE 2.0 Act Delays Start of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

Your Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Have Officially Been Pushed Back

The SECURE 2.0 Act, signed by President Biden in December 2022, includes dozens of changes to provisions related to tax-advantaged retirement accounts. Among the most important changes is a provision, which took effect Jan. 1 of this year, that delays… read more…

Morningstar's Financial To-Do List for 2023

Morningstar’s Financial To-Do List for 2023

New financial challenges and opportunities confront investors each year, but what’s not new is the optimal time to jump on many of these challenges and opportunities. Financial services firm Morningstar released a month-by-month guide of specific financial tasks to tackle… read more…

SmartAsset: 3 Reasons Your Portfolio Is Underperforming and What to Do

Fidelity Breaks Down 3 Reasons Your Portfolio Is Underperforming: Here Are the Solutions

It’s no secret that equities and bonds took a shellacking in 2022. The downdraft from the highest inflation in four decades, sharply rising interest rates and persistent supply chain disruptions combined to hammer the S&P 500 some 25% by midyear.… read more…

SmartAsset: What to Do With an Orphaned 401(k)

Don’t Let Your Old 401(k) Become an Orphan: Here’s What to Do

U.S. workers have left more than $1 trillion in 401(k)s with former employers. That might not be all bad, especially if those plans are doing well. However, sometimes they aren’t, and these tax-advantaged accounts are neglected by their owners. Before… read more…

SmartAsset: You’ll Never Guess What You Can Use Tax-Loss Harvesting On

You’d Never Guess You Can Use Tax-Loss Harvesting On This Asset

Bonds have taken a beating in 2022, but the damage to your portfolio may be less than meets that eye, provided you handle those losses in a tax-smart way. That’s because a technique more commonly associated with equities can ease… read more…

401(k) statement

41% of Americans Think They Pay Nothing in 401(k) Fees (They’re Wrong)

Fees are eating away at Americans’ retirement savings. And they’re woefully ignorant about this occurrence. That’s according to a study from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found that nearly 40% of 401(k) plan participants don’t understand the fees they… read more…

SmartAsset: Saving 15 Years Earlier Can Earn You Over $1 Million More in Retirement

T. Rowe Price Says Saving 15 Years Earlier Can Earn You Over $1 Million More in Retirement

A study by T. Rowe Price has found that the age at which you start saving for retirement can make a huge difference in the amount you will have accumulated by the time you retire. The study compares the effect… read more…

Medicare Part B documents

Why 2022 Medicare Part B Premiums Soared

The surprisingly big jump in Medicare Part B premiums for 2022 reflects the sky-high cost of a controversial Alzheimer’s disease drug. The premium hike will put more than a dent in the newly increased Social Security cost-of-living allowance, which worked out… read more…

SmartAsset: Proposed SEC Rules Could Change How You Invest

Proposed SEC Rules Could Change How You Invest

The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed several rules aimed at ensuring the liquidity of open-end funds, especially if there is a financial crisis. The SEC’s proposals would oblige fund managers to adopt specific liquidity risk management measures, including having… read more…

SmartAsset: Two Short-Term Bond Strategies to Cut Future Risk

Try This Lucrative Investment Opportunity, But Make Sure You Make These Two Moves to Hedge Against Risk

Short-term bonds in 2022 offered better yields than longer-term bonds. That’s an exception to the historical pattern of longer-term bonds typically offering a higher interest rate than shorter-term bonds. Investors responded to this temporary role reversal by piling into one-,… read more…

SmartAsset: What to Do When Your TIPS Holdings Post Negative Total Return

What to Do When Your TIPS Post Negative Total Returns

Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities have had a rough year. Their price declines have far outpaced the upward principal adjustment they automatically get from inflation. Indeed, for the 12-month period through the end of September, these government securities have booked their worst… read more…

SmartAsset: Don't Make This One Mistake With Your Investments

Selling Off Investments and Parking Money in Cash? Don’t Make This One Mistake

With interest rates rising to levels not seen for years, this is a good time to evaluate where you are parking your cash. Some securities and accounts offer newly attractive annual percentage yields (APY), while other types of securities and… read more…

SmartAsset: IRS Waives Missed RMD Penalty for Some Inherited IRAs

IRS Waives Missed RMD Penalty for Some Inherited IRAs

The IRS announced late Friday that there will be no excise tax penalty on missed required minimum distributions (RMDs) of inherited IRAs for tax years 2021 and 2022. Final rules of what amounts to an unexpected tax reprieve for some… read more…

SmartAsset: How to Stretch Your Tax Savings During Retirement

Stretch Your Tax Savings During Retirement With These Withdrawal Techniques

Retirees who have various types of funds, such as taxable and tax-advantaged, can extend the tax savings available in their portfolios by creating a sequence-of-withdrawal plan, Morningstar says. The goal is to first withdraw funds that must be withdrawn because… read more…

Stock Trade Pricing Varies Widely on Popular Brokerages

Stock Trade Pricing Varies Widely on Popular Brokerages: Here’s How to Save

The cost to retail investors of buying and selling stocks varies widely among online brokerages, according to a recently published analysis by a group of University of California researchers. The team assessed so-called execution quality of six brokerage platforms by generating… read more…

What Social Security Payments Could Look Like in 2030

Social Security Payments Could Be This Much by 2030: How to Plan Accordingly

Increases in Social Security payments, which are linked to a key measure of inflation, are expected to rise significantly for the rest of this decade. By looking at historical data on annual hikes in Social Security payments, the average monthly… read more…

Here’s How Fidelity Says to Invest During the Late Business Cycle We're in Now

How Fidelity Says to Invest During Today’s Late Business Cycle

The U.S. economy has moved into the late phase of the business cycle, according to Fidelity Investments, and that means investors should review their portfolio and its asset allocation and consider tactical adjustments. The late stage of the business cycle… read more…

Here’s How Much JPMorgan Says You Can Pull From Your Retirement Accounts Yearly

JPMorgan Says You Can Safely Withdraw This Much From Your Retirement Accounts Yearly

JPMorgan Chase says ongoing inflation and an outlook for sharply lower returns for investors means that retirees should toss the long-standing 4% rule. That’s the rule that says retirees can safely draw down their savings by 4% per year without… read more…

SmartAsset: How Much Retirement Income You’ll Have After Paying Medical Expenses

How Much Retirement Income You’ll Have After Paying Medical Expenses

Retirees face sizable out-of-pocket costs for premiums, copays and uncovered services. One way to gauge this burden is to look at how much these medical costs eat into their Social Security benefits and other income. Here’s a look at how… read more…

Inflation Reduction Act: How Taxing Stock Buybacks May Affect Investors

Inflation Reduction Act: How Taxing Stock Buybacks May Affect You

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 levies a 1% excise tax on corporate stock buybacks, beginning in 2023. It was added by senators in exchange for not eliminating the carried interest loophole. The tax is expected to boost federal revenue… read more…

SmartAsset: This Move Can Save You Big on RMD Taxes

This Move Can Save You Big on RMD Taxes

Stocks and bonds have both taken a beating this year, but that can create an opportunity to save big on taxes for retirees who don’t need their required minimum distributions (RMDs) to live on. In other words, there’s a simple… read more…

SmartAsset: JP Morgan Reveals 3 Tricks to Cut Taxes

JP Morgan Reveals 3 Tricks to Cut Taxes

With interest rates rising, it’s increasingly important to make sure you’re taking advantage of all interest deductions you’re entitled to so you can avoid paying more in taxes than you need to. Three interest deductions are particularly important, according to… read more…

SmartAsset: You Can’t Time the Market. Here’s What to Do During Market Volatility Instead

Just Accept It, You Can’t Time the Market: Do This Instead During Market Volatility

The war in Ukraine, ongoing Covid concerns, market volatility and the threat of a recession are enough to make even seasoned investors anxious – particularly about how much of their portfolio is in stocks. Amid all the stress, including about… read more…