Friday, April 30, 2010

Your House and Your Retirement Plan

In the not-too-recent past, you could expect the equity in your house to provide not only a portion of your future retirement nest egg but also the distinct possibility that you had enough to move, possibly even to another location and have your new home paid-for.  Not that those dreams are necessarily dashed completely.  In fact, if you currently own your home (I must say that calling a home with a thirty-year mortgage as something you own has always struck me as ironic.), you might still be able to do what you had planned.
But some things have changed.  Let’s start with the dream of moving to downsize. In most areas of the country, with a few notable exceptions, home prices have stabilized and have even begun to modestly recover. More on this new retirement plan consideration.
More from Paul Petillo, Managing editor of and a fellow Boomer

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Your Retirement Plan Directed by You

Today we are going to tackle the self-directed IRA. We all know what an Individual Retirement Account or IRA is. Briefly, it is the retirement tool for those of us who may not have access to a 401(k) that defers taxes for retirement. The deferring part is not really as complicated as it seems. In a 401(k), you have your contribution taken out before you pay taxes; in an IRA, you pay with after-tax money and then take the deduction when you file, basically subtracting the taxes from your contribution to be paid later.
How is a regular IRA different than a self-directed IRA?
The differences are not as obvious as the title of these products sounds. An IRA is an investment chosen by you and you direct the funds to it for your retirement. It seems like this should be called self-directed but in reality, it is very different from what the IRS views as a self-directed IRA.
In a self-directed IRA, you become the manager of the whole process. Rather than simply sending money to a mutual, fund company, the most common sponsors of IRAs, you direct the underlying investments. In the previous example, the institution is the middleman. In a self-directed IRA, the institution, whomever or whatever one you chose, does what you tell them to do.
To learn more.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Federal Funding For Boomers & Seniors Health.

HHS Prevention and Wellness Initiative:

Federal funding will educate seniors to self-manage chronic illnesses

By Editor Of Everything's Long Beach

Communities Putting Prevention to Work:

Communities Putting Prevention to Work Chronic Disease Self-Management Program will provides funds so states can administer self-management programs to seniors with chronic diseases, build statewide delivery systems and develop the workforce that delivers these programs.

The first baby boomers will turn 65 in 2011 and of these, more than 37 million—or 6 out of 10—will be managing more than one chronic condition by 2030. For example, 14 million boomers will be living with diabetes while almost half of the boomers will live with arthritis (that number peaks to just over 26 million in 2020).

State agencies on aging, public health departments, and Medicaid agencies will work together to support the deployment of evidence-based chronic disease self-management programs targeted at older adults with chronic conditions. Grantees will serve at least 50,000 older adults and gather evidence regarding the impact of these programs on health behavior and the health status outcomes of the participants.

To see the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program State Funding Table, visit To learn more about the Chronic Disease Self-management Program grantees, visit

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Social Security Allows You to Invest with More Risk

You should consider Social Security as part of your retirement plan. For three reasons: one, the program offers those who pay into it – and you do so from the first dollar you make right up until the last one you earn – about a 5.5% return on your investment; two, this contribution, half by you, half by your employer or all of it by you if you are self-employed – up to $106,800 – is conservatively invested leaving you the opportunity to take a few more risks with your 401(k); three, no matter when you begin to collect it – and for the youngest among us, those first years will get pushed further back as we continue to assess the program’s solvency, which right now is good until 2037 – it will be there.

And that should be comforting thought for Boomers worried that they have not done well enough. More thoughts on the subject of Social Security and your retirement plan here.

Paul Petillo is the Managing Editor of and  a fellow Boomer.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Cleaning for your 401(k)

Most of us like to be reminded of the things we often forget. For instance, changing the batteries in your smoke detectors is often prompted by the change of the clocks. And despite numerous reminders to do these sorts of regular reviews of our retirement plans, specifically those of us who have the defined contribution sort, we seldom do.
Right around the end of the year is bad and not because of Christmas; because many mutual funds make distributions. Right around the beginning of the year is bad because we tend to break resolutions before we even have a chance to do anything. But doing so around tax-time may be the best solution. Your 401(k) after all, is a taxable (or should I say, tax-deferred) event.

Read more here