blog04nov2007

Hot Off the Web
Jonathan Clements has a must read article in the WSJ for the do it yourself-er entitled “Make it to the end with money to spare” that covers just about all the mechanisms for decummulating your assets in retirement. His list covers: (1) cash-equivalents over the next 3-5 years and perhaps target-date funds for the balance of assets, (2) pension and (delayed) social security, perhaps an immediate annuity with a part of the assets, a (deferred annuity) longevity insurance at 65 or an immediate annuity at 85, to cover the possibility of living to 100+ or exhausting the other assets, or at age 65 put aside 15-20% for age 85+ and decummulate the rest at 1/20, 1/19, 1/18… from 65 to 85, (3) regular income from the new type of regular income funds like Vanguard and Fidelity have just started (available to U.S. residents only ). Wonderful wisdom for retirement finance, all encapsulated in a short article for the “do it yourself”-er. It was perfect! If you implemented it with the lowest cost vehicles, it encapsulated the most important approaches to financial peace of mind during retirement.
Another good read this week is from Duncan Stewart in the Financial Post, entitled “Investing do’s and don’ts” . Wonderful piece of common sense, in his six do’s and don’ts! Among his don’ts: (1) allowing tax avoidance to drive investment decisions, (2) chasing for yield without realizing that it comes with risk; then some of his do’s: (1) choosing an asset allocation, (2) understanding the currency impact.
And finally on the Florida property tax front “Unneeded tax relief, not serious tax reform”  was well put by the Palm Beach Post editorial! Additional benefits (doubled the $25,000 exemption plus portability of the existing SOH benefits) to the already advantaged long time homesteaders benefiting from SOH, and nothing for first time buyers, a ridiculous 10% cap to non-homesteaders in a market where property values are dropping like a rock. In summary, this is continuing the unfairness without “meaningful reform of a dysfunctional property tax system”.
Three other articles summarized well the current state of Florida’s dysfunctional tax system and near-term actions that may be taken to change things in the future. “Anxiety may buoy tax plan” , “Floridians offer their own tax plans for ballot” , “Rubio: Petition for more tax cuts”  These cover the discussion of the upcoming January 29th vote, the Tax Reform Committee deliberations, the petitions that citizens’ tax reform groups are collecting signatures for and house Speaker Rubio may undertake, the legal challenge in progress and new likely challenges due to portability having been put on the upcoming ballot.
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