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August 2010
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October 2010

The New Math Of Retirement Planning

You may count yourself among the millions of Americans that sat down with a financial planner to determine how much you should be saving toward retirement. There is probably no other aspect of financial planning that has come off the rails as significantly as retirement planning. Those saving to build a retirement nest egg are finding the numbers more and more difficult to make sense of. Many already in retirement, are learning it is nearly impossible to live on the earnings from their investment portfolio. The new era of one percent CD’s and a stock market that has been flat... Read more →


The New Math Of Mortgage Refinancing

This is part two of a three part series addressing how current economic conditions have made many financial Rules Of Thumb no longer valid. You may have heard it said that if you can save 2 percent or more off your current mortgage rate you should refinance. Based on today’s low rates, this Rule Of Thumb is no longer that helpful. In fact, many people may find it profitable to refinance if they lower their current rate by just 1 percent. Adjustable Rate Mortgages If you plan on being in your home for only 5 to 7 years (which is... Read more →


The New Math Of Life Insurance

The world of financial planning is filled with so-called Rules Of Thumb. Many of these quick principles are useful and provide a way to make complicated concepts easy and memorable. One such rule is used in determining your life insurance needs by multiplying your income by 10. So, if you earn $40,000 per year you should have $400,000 of life insurance in place. The idea behind this life insurance rule of thumb was that a surviving spouse/family could invest the policy proceeds and earn 10% per year on it (replacing the lost income). I remember the days of double-digit stock... Read more →


Will The Latest Government Mortgage Rescue Plan Work?

Those waiting to be rescued by the government from their mortgage woes may have to continue to wait. A new mortgage rescue plan started today. It is called the FHA Short Refinance and like so many of its predecessors, seems to have so many requirements and exclusions, it appears to be simply be more of the same. Prior government efforts to assist troubled homeowners have roundly been considered failures. The reason I continue to address each of these programs as they are announced is that while most people cannot expect to benefit, some will. Yes, some percentage of those in... Read more →


The End Of The Home Phone Line?

The Internet has changed yet another part of our lives. Free and low cost Internet phone calls are slowly bringing an end to the traditional home phone line. This past week Google added another option for those that want to officially discontinue their home phone line. Simply open a free GMail account and make phone calls right from your computer. Calls to the United States and Canada are free and international calling rates start at just 2 cents per minute. If you are a techie, you already know about Skype. Skype offers rates as low as 2 cents per minute... Read more →