Terry Savage: Take stock of your portfolio in December

Business / Terry Savage /

Long ago, when Americans mostly owned stocks and mutual funds in accounts outside of retirement plans and IRAs, December was known as the tax-loss selling season. This was the practice of “harvesting” losses to offset gains, and a limited amount of ordinary income.

But these days, the majority of individual investments are held in tax-...Read more

Terry Savage: Holiday season is for giving to those in need

Business / Terry Savage /

At this time of year, headlines are filled with “holiday shopping deals” as stores advertise the best prices on everything from clothing to electronics. Your in-box is filled with “flash sales” on brands you’ve shopped before. And personal finance columns remind you of the dangers of credit card debt, to be repaid with high interest ...Read more

Terry Savage: Making charitable gifts from IRAs

Business / Terry Savage /

It’s the season of the year when thoughts turn to charitable gifts and IRA required minimum distributions. With deference to turkeys, this is a classic case of being able to kill two birds with one stone! Let me explain.

You know you must take an required minimum distribution (RMD) before year-end from all retirement accounts (except those ...Read more

Terry Savage: Social Security horror stories

Business / Terry Savage /

Social Security is clawing back $21.6 billion in mistaken overpayments to elderly retirees and disabled people because the agency miscalculated benefits, often for decades! It could happen to you — or your parents. Social Security has unchecked power. If you don’t repay their mistakes, they simply stop sending your monthly benefit!

I ...Read more

Terry Savage: The Fed, money and markets

Business / Terry Savage /

Every Federal Reserve Board meeting is second-guessed by the markets — and the latest is no exception. No one can deny the power of the Fed to impact the economy by increasing or cutting interest rates. But not even an informed group of experts can set the perfect rate to keep the economy moving on an even keel — not too hot and inflationary...Read more

The Disadvantages of Medicare Advantage

Business / Terry Savage /

As Medicare open enrollment continues through December 7, it appears those media commercials for Advantage plans are working. Now, more than half of Medicare participants have left traditional Medicare plus supplements behind, lured by the enticements of “more benefits at lower monthly cost.”

But before making the switch, you should ...Read more

Terry Savage: What to know about retirement account RMDs

Business / Terry Savage /

If you have a retirement account — an IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or other “qualified” retirement account — and you are, or have reached, the age of 73 this calendar year, it is time to calculate and withdraw your required minimum distribution, or RMD.

It’s actually a very simple process, but failure to calculate the RMD accurately can result...Read more

Terry Savage: College application time

Business / Terry Savage /

High school seniors and their parents are thinking past Homecoming to college going! This is the moment when families should start strategizing for college applications and financial aid. A quiet family discussion and a meeting with the high school guidance office can avoid tears and recriminations later.

The starting point revolves around how ...Read more

Terry Savage: Navigating Medicare open enrollment

Business / Terry Savage /

It’s that time of year again, when seniors face the challenges of open enrollment in Medicare, starting October 15.These are the most consequential decisions seniors must make, not only because of the financial impact, but the impact on care they may receive when needed.

Typically, the big decisions on Medicare are made when you first enroll ...Read more

Terry Savage: Don't try to beat the market; be the market

Business / Terry Savage /

So you think you can beat the market? You watch business television all day and sign up for expert newsletters. You stay ahead of the “game” in understanding what’s next in technology, and you chat in online forums exchanging ideas with others “in the know.”

How well are you doing so far? Since the start of the year, the S&P 500 is up...Read more

Terry Savage: Debt in retirement causes real trouble

Business / Terry Savage /

There’s a personal debt crisis coming. I see it in the posts on the “AskTerry “ section of my website, These stories go beyond the frightening national statistics to reveal the human costs. Especially for seniors.

Americans are now carrying more than $1 trillion in credit card debt — a new record. And the average ...Read more

Turning Points

Business / Terry Savage /

Summer is over and autumn is here. You’re not surprised to see Halloween candy on the shelves of your local WalMart. Fall is just part of the cycle of nature, predictable in general — although we still may suffer with some high-temp days and nights. Summer is over.

If we’re not surprised by the cycles of nature, why should we be surprised...Read more

Terry Savage: Surviving a Recession

Business / Terry Savage /

Will you be able to survive a recession? The odds are rising that a recession will arrive sooner rather than later. In fact, here are a few signs a recession could be just around the corner.

—Credit card delinquencies are rising. Credit card debt in America has now topped $1 trillion for the first time ever. Even worse, the rate of card ...Read more



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