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The Christmas Gift

  Today, Christians throughout the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and His promise of everlasting life for those who choose to follow His word. Too often we get caught up in the busyness of the holiday season and miss its true meaning. Each of us is fortunate to live in this great country where we […]

Tis the Season of Giving

  No doubt about it, December has everyone in the giving mood. People are busy buying and exchanging gifts, acknowledging friendships and the love of family members. Giving can also be smart tax planning while providing much needed support for those less fortunate in our community. Here’s a summary of the most popular ways people give and get […]

Are Bonds Riskier Than U.S. Stocks?

  Here are three questions from The Birmingham News readers: Question: Are investment grade bonds riskier than the stock market? V. F. This reader commented, “As we all know the stock market has both gyrated and gone sideways in the last decade. Yet when I seek to invest in A to BBB corporate bonds I […]

Too Big To Fail…Again

  It reads like a 29,000 page conspiracy theorist novel and it took two years and the Freedom of Information Act to discover that the Federal Reserve, led by Ben Bernanke, secretly loaned the big banks more than $1.2 trillion in bail-out money on December 5, 2008. This secret lending ballooned to as much as $7.7 […]

Surviving the Holidays…Financially Speaking!

  Black Friday…the biggest shopping day of the year. Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday season that will be filled with parties, gathering of friends and family and the sharing of gifts. It’s also a time to remain vigilant over your personal finances so that you don’t begin the new year with new debt. A recent survey suggests […]

Is My Retirement Money Safe?

  This week, readers continue to search for answers to their most pressing financial questions. Here are the ones that I felt could benefit a cross-section of our readers: Question #1 “My wife and I are both retired and have our retirement savings in the Alabama RSA1 and federal TSP programs, both of which claim to […]

Social Security Tax Strategies

  Last week I discussed several strategies for maximizing your social security benefits. This week I’ll examine some of the nuances of how your Social Security benefits are taxed and how you might be able to reduce those taxes.  To determine if your Social Security benefit is taxable then you have to calculate what is […]

Social Security Secret Strategies

  Eighty million Baby Boomers are headed for retirement and for many, Social Security will be the centerpiece of their retirement income plan. Today, I’ll reveal three little-known strategies that just might put thousands of dollars in your pocket. First, let’s begin with a few basics. If you were born between 1943 and 1954 you can claim […]

401k’s Dirty Secret?

  In these turbulent financial times, people have lots of questions about their personal finances and investing their money. Here’s one reader’s question: I have a 401K of a high six figure account and I am thinking of rolling it over to an IRA. I am retired and feel that this may give me greater options.  […]

Reader Questions Retirement and College Funding Strategy

  I recently wrote about investment alternatives for retirees who are seeking higher income in today’s challenging investment environment. A younger reader wrote me with a question from his age group’s particular perspective:  “My question is what do you recommend for someone that still has around 25 years left in the workforce. I’m maxing out my 401(k) […]