My readers know that the SECURE Act, passed unanimously out of its House committee and overwhelmingly on the floor of the House, was conjured into existence by the insurance industry in order to increase the distribution of expensive, opaque annuity products in 401(k) retirement plans. It incidentally also includes a few other provisions designed to reduce the taxes paid by the … [Read more...] about What to watch for as the Senate panics over the SECURE Act
Become a Patron! A lot of financial planning and advice can start to seem pretty routine over time: maximize contributions to tax-advantaged savings vehicles, invest in a basket of diversified, low-cost assets, and periodically (but not too often!) rebalance. I'm always interested in identifying places where that kind of routine advice breaks down, and the other day, I … [Read more...] about Are there 529 plans so bad they aren’t worth their state’s income tax benefits?
Become a Patron! I've noticed an interesting phenomenon, which I call "common knowledge about common knowledge" (doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, I know). It's when some piece of conventional wisdom becomes so banal that someone decides to refute it, and then the refutation becomes as widely known as the original factoid, if not more so. To give an easy example, … [Read more...] about The Fidelity “dead accounts” study is fake, not wrong
Become a Patron! I've had two conversations lately that got me thinking about a question which, for obvious reasons, doesn't come up in most people's lives: what do you do after you've exhausted all the obvious financial planning tools? Financial planning isn't complicated, it's just hard Most people have been trained to think about financial advice in terms of investment … [Read more...] about What do the wealthy need from their financial advisors?
Become a Patron! I've written before about what I consider the two best 529 college savings plans: the Nevada-sponsored Vanguard 529 plan and the Utah-sponsored my529 (formerly UESP). In general, most people making contributions in excess of their in-state tax deduction for 529 plan contributions (if any) should consider using one of those two plans, thanks to their broad … [Read more...] about Why I just changed my 529 asset allocation