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Mike Obel

Personal Finance Expert

Posts by Mike Obel:

by Mike Obel Sep 19, 2022

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 a large sample of simultaneous market orders. The upshot is that TD Ameritrade emerged as offering the best price improvement; at the other end of the spectrum were two platforms owned by Interactive Brokers Group (IBKR). Consider working with a financial advisor who can help you find the trading platform that best suits you goals and engagement level. Read more

by Mike Obel Sep 08, 2022

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 payment for retirees by 2030 is expected to have climbed to more than $2,000, according to an analysis by Better Benefits Guide. Consider working with a financial advisor as you plan your retirement or update your retirement plans. Read more

by Mike Obel Aug 30, 2022

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 to $92 a month for the average retired worker. If you’re wondering how to pay for healthcare after retirement, consider working with a financial advisor.  Read more

by Mike Obel Aug 29, 2022

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… Read more

by Mike Obel Aug 22, 2022

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… Read more

by Mike Obel Aug 18, 2022

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… Read more

by Mike Obel Aug 15, 2022

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… Read more

by Mike Obel Aug 12, 2022

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… Read more

by Mike Obel Aug 10, 2022

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.… Read more

by Mike Obel Aug 08, 2022

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… Read more

by Mike Obel Aug 08, 2022

Preferred equities are finally reasonably priced and this asset class has also become appealing in other ways. There are three reasons right now to consider adding them to your investment portfolio:… Read more

by Mike Obel Aug 08, 2022

By June 2022 the main indexes of U.S. stock had plunged at least 20% from their January 2022 peaks, meaning the market had tumbled into a bear market. However, on some days the market actually closed… Read more

by Mike Obel Aug 08, 2022

A bill is headed for consideration by the full Senate that would move the age at which you have to start drawing down your retirement plan savings to 75. The House of Representatives passed a similar… Read more

by Mike Obel Jul 26, 2022

The first half of 2022 has not been kind to the classic 60/40 portfolio, but investment bank Morgan Stanley says there are still compelling reasons to consider this asset allocation. Part of the… Read more

by Mike Obel Jul 14, 2022

Asset manager competition and fee-based models keep slashing investor fees, according to independent research firm Morningstar. The group’s annual fund fee report, which evaluates trends in the cost… Read more

by Mike Obel Jul 06, 2022

The latest iteration of President Biden’s Build Back Better bill, the $1.75 trillion social spending initiative that has been struggling to get votes in Congress, now preserves a lucrative retirement… Read more

by Mike Obel Jul 05, 2022

One of the costs of converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA is how much you will pay in taxes. In some cases, those taxes can be a heavy burden, especially if you have been diligent in building up… Read more

by Mike Obel Jun 14, 2022

Financial emergencies can catch you off guard. You can’t budget for an unexpected legal crisis, a loved one suddenly needing costly medical treatment or getting blind-sided with a layoff. Handled… Read more

by Mike Obel Jun 08, 2022

The Social Security Administration now says the funds Social Security uses to pay benefits will run dry by 2035, one year later than previously predicted. For most Americans those extra 12 months are… Read more

by Mike Obel Jun 01, 2022

The tax efficiency of your portfolio is a sometimes overlooked consideration in financial planning and in assessing your investment’s total return. But not paying any more than you need to in taxes… Read more

by Mike Obel May 19, 2022

Transamerica has introduced a registered index-linked annuity (RILA) that lets investors customize the product to best suit their risk profile, timeline, market outlook and financial goals. Known as… Read more

by Mike Obel May 09, 2022

There’s a bond that pays a 9.62% interest rate and is guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury. Investors should keep some limitations and conditions in mind before investing, but as inflation has topped 8%… Read more

by Mike Obel May 03, 2022

BlackRock has launched two exchange-traded funds (ETFs) designed to capitalize on what the world’s largest asset manager says are permanent changes in the economy and the market. The new ETFs,… Read more

by Mike Obel Nov 05, 2021

The Internal Revenue Service has increased the amount you can contribute in 2022 to your 401(k) and other tax-advantaged plans. In addition, the agency hiked the income ranges for determining… Read more

by Mike Obel Oct 21, 2021

Inflation is getting harder to ignore. What monetary authorities have been dismissing for months as nothing more than the economic equivalent of a passing rain shower is starting to feel like a… Read more