First of all I want to thank you for all your help in nominating my blog in the 4th annual Plutus Awards, an event for personal finance bloggers. Your votes put me into the finalists in two categories.
A big thank you for getting me there! I still may not win because I’m competing against other good blogs in these two categories:
Best Investing-Focused Personal Finance Blog, sponsored by JemStep
Best Researched Personal Finance Blog, sponsored by Experian
The winner of each category will be selected by a panel of bloggers. They will be announced on October 17.
Health insurance exchanges opened for business last week. This marks a big change in the health care landscape. I have a few posts coming in the next weeks, focusing on its effect on people who retire before age 65.
If you’d rather not wait, read this good summary by Michael Kitces at Nerd’s Eye View: Understanding The New Premium Assistance Tax Credit
Meanwhile, my former co-blogger Professor Austin Frakt wrote The most confusing source of premium tax credit eligibility made simple, in one chart. Most people working for an employer that offers health insurance land in box B.
I also read these other good articles last week:
Early vs. Traditional Retirement by Darrow Krikpatrick at Can I Retire Yet?
I would say early retirement is much more enjoyable than traditional retirement.
When Does a 100%-Stock Portfolio Make Sense? by Mike Piper at Oblivious Investor
I think it only makes sense when you have very little to invest or when the stock market is going up and up (joking). Even then, if that very little represents all you have at that point, you may care about it much more than its economic value. Everybody says they have good risk tolerance when the market is going up.
ETFs May Be Bogle’s Best Friend by Rick Ferri at RickFerri.com
I agree. Whether you use index mutual funds or ETFs, you are still doing indexing, and that beats active management in the long run.
Safe withdrawal rate: Is 3 percent the new 4 percent? by Larry Swedroe at CBS MoneyWatch
I read somewhere the answer to headlines in a question form is usually "no" (Betteridge’s law of headlines) but unfortunately it’s not the case here.
Lifetime Sequence of Returns Risk by Wade Pfau at Wade Pfau’s Retirement Researcher Blog
The chart in the article shows that the years right before and right after retirement are absolutely critical.
Bond risk: A theory of relativity by Joe Davis at Vanguard Blog
My problem with this article and others along the same line is that they present a false dichotomy: either stay in bonds or take more risks in stocks. It may be so for Vanguard, but not for individual investors who have plenty of choices in CDs, savings bonds, special savings accounts, paying down mortgage, etc. etc.
PenFed Announces a Large CD Rate Increase for October by Ken Tumin at DepositAccounts.com
Bond yields came down somewhat and CD rates are up. It’s giving you another opportunity to switch to CDs.
How to Transfer Money Between Accounts at Different Banks by Matthew Amster-Burton at MintLife and The Invisible Plumbing Of Our Economy by NPR Planet Money
Both articles talk about transferring money between accounts. Having dealt with many banks, I have a lot of experience with this. If you remember push not pull, it will solve half your problem. You solve the other half by using a bank that acts on your push request on the same day.
How To Double the Yield on Your Savings by Scott Burns at AssetBuilder
When I read the headline I thought Scott Burns is getting on my bandwagon for doubling the bond yield, but he’s talking about something completely different.
Find Cheap(er) Airfares by Searching for One Ticket at a Time by Michael at Financial Ramblings
Good tip if you are buying tickets for more than 2 people.
[Photo credit: Flickr user Jon Ashcroft]