Crypto Investing For Newcomers; Rethinking Retirement Income

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Year-end investment moves.

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Forbes Investment Guide

As we approach the new year, one of your resolutions might be to put your hard earned money to work. But with inflation rising and markets fluctuating after a hectic year, it’s always good to read up on the best practices to maximize your investments. To address inflation, embrace equities over cash and consider investing in commodities. If your resolution is to widen the scope of your portfolio, consider investing internationally, or even taking the plunge as a new investor in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies—either way, these guides should have you covered. And for those looking for sky-high payouts, here are a few tips to navigating high yield investments intelligently.

End Of Year Tax Moves

A few simple year-end moves could save you thousands of dollars off your 2021 tax bill. From charitable giving to retirement and education planning, here are ten surefire tax moves to consider before the end of the year. Speaking of tax planning, Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen might have benefited from some—- he owes millions in back taxes and had been negotiating with the IRS for an “offer in compromise” that would settle his debts for less than he owed. But in a just filed lawsuit, Sheen claims the IRS Los Angeles area director arbitrarily turned down his $3.1 million offer, after various other people at the agency had approved it. The IRS apparently believes he can afford to pay more—if he sells some real estate. 

Also on the tax front, this deep dive looks into the role of political salesmanship on the tax policies in place today (and in the past) and how politicians and large-scale events catalyze change on our fiscal system.

Novel Graphic: Swelling Stocks – In 2021 Equity Inflows Topped $1 Trillion

Inflow to equities exceeds inflow of past 19 years.

BofA Global Investment Strategy, EPFR

Source: BofA Global Investment Strategy, EPFR

Student Loan Forgiveness For Some

The Education Department has proposed a set of changes that would offer debt relief to Total and Permanently Disabled borrowers. The TPD Discharge changes would, among other things, eliminate post-discharge income monitoring and expand who can certify a disability. This follows the Biden administration’s automatic discharge of $5.8 billion in federal student loans through the TPD Discharge program earlier this year for borrowers receiving Social Security disability benefits. For everyone else who does not qualify for student loan forgiveness, student loan payments will restart next month. Here’s what you need to know to avoid any surprises.

Worries about the Omicron variant coupled with extended inflation have reduced consumer confidence according to a new survey. However, spending is still rising as the holiday season progresses, with gift-buying and celebratory gatherings leaving a dent in consumers’ wallets.

Retirement Is Like A Box Of Chocolates…

Back in 1994, Bill Bengen published seminal research on retirement distributions that has come to be known— somewhat misleadingly—as the 4% rule. People think it means you can spend 4% of your retirement portfolio in the year after retirement, and then adjust your spending upward each year for inflation, and your money will last at least 30 years. But Bengen wasn’t setting out a spending rule for new retirees—instead he was showing what would have happened historically with a portfolio made up of 50% large-cap U.S. stocks and 50% bonds. Here’s what his well-known finding actually teaches us.

When it comes to retirement planning, it pays to keep in mind the wisdom of Forrest Gump’s mama: “Life is like a box of chocolates you never know what you’re gonna get.” Sure, you can—and should— plan for financial security. But that has little to do with informing how best to prepare for, and enjoy, your retirement years. Our contributor offers some suggestions for how to prepare for this surprising stage of life.