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Mike Obel

Personal Finance Expert

Posts by Mike Obel:

by Mike Obel Jan 09, 2023

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 until age 73 when account holders must start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their 401(k) or IRA. The act also schedules more RMD delays over the next 10 years. Consider matching with a vetted financial advisor for free as you create or modify a retirement plan. Read more

by Mike Obel Dec 19, 2022

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 in 2023 covering investments, retirement and taxes. Some of the tasks involve simply monitoring a particular aspect of your finances to see if a change or adjustment needs to be made; other tasks involve making a needed change or adjustment. Consider working with a financial advisor as you prepare to tune up or completely redo your investments, retirement planning and taxes. Read more

by Mike Obel Dec 12, 2022

It’s no secret that equities and bonds have taken 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. And approaching yearend, the benchmark index has trimmed those losses to about 17%, which is still a painful correction. Nevertheless, not everyone’s losses can be laid exclusively at the feet of macroeconomic trends. Fidelity Investments says there are three sometimes-ignored factors that may have compromised your investments. We explain them below. Consider working with a financial advisor to ensure your portfolio’s performance is not unnecessarily burdened. Read more

by Mike Obel Dec 05, 2022

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… Read more

by Mike Obel Nov 28, 2022

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… Read more

by Mike Obel Nov 23, 2022

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… Read more

by Mike Obel Nov 21, 2022

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… Read more

by Mike Obel Nov 15, 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… Read more

by Mike Obel Nov 09, 2022

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… Read more

by Mike Obel Oct 31, 2022

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… Read more

by Mike Obel Oct 25, 2022

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… Read more

by Mike Obel Oct 17, 2022

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 … Read more

by Mike Obel Oct 10, 2022

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… Read more

by Mike Obel Oct 04, 2022

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… Read more

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… 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… 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