Posts Tagged ‘math skills’

Price’s Law and Why the Early Retirement Community Will Not Harm the Economy

The FIRE community has been educating the public in attaining financial independence and early retirement for a decade or so now. Whenever the topic arises it is sure to be followed by the exasperated rebuke, “We can’t all do this! Who will do the work if we all retire at 30? The economy will fail.”

The argument has a sort of logic on the surface. If everyone retired by their 30th birthday there could be a problem. A 50% savings rate could crush the economy! Right?

Or maybe not. A high national savings rate doesn’t harm the economy! The United States had a double digit savings rate in the 1950s and the economy roared. China and many other nations with vibrant economies have high savings rates. A low savings rate seems to be the real problem. In the U.S. we struggled more as our savings rate declined to its current low single digit home.

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Should I Prepare My Own Taxes?

There is nothing wrong with doing your own return to the best of your ability and then hiring a tax pro for the return you will file. (Read the last sentence again and again until it sinks in.) Yes, you might have two prep fees for the year: one for the DIY program (required when you print) and the accountant. But you will also see where you missed things.

An alternative is to hire a tax pro when you have a unique issue and then go back to preparing your return for a couple years. Some accountants hate this. I don’t.

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Special Report: Beat the Tax Law Change by Prepaying State Taxes

The recently passed tax bill signed by the President is the largest change to the way Americans and businesses are taxed in over 20 years. Starting January 1, 2018 the new rules take effect, but there are several considerations before we retire 2017. The biggest issues involve the changes to itemizing and the limitations placed…

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Prioritizing Tax Benefits

Two kinds of clients scare me most. The first ask me as they pick up their tax return what they can do to lower their tax bill. The other requires a pry bar to get complete information out of them during the year. Each of these clients scares me because I can’t give them a…

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Buying Stock at a Discount

  The easiest way to invest in equities is with a mutual fund. The surest way to match market performance is to use index funds. Then there are times we get the urge to do things the hard way. Of all investment classes the broad market has performed best. The stock market, for all its…

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How to Buy an Individual Stock (If You Must)

Good fortune has struck the Accountant household again. Cash has piled up while the retirement accounts are maxed out. Significant funds were added to the non-qualified index funds and there is still cash waiting for investment. I’m generally uncomfortable with too much uninvested cash. Never one to time the market (not that I haven’t tried,…

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When Maximizing Gains are a Stupid Idea

There are times thinking like an accountant determines how much of your hard-earned money you get to keep and how well your investments perform. Money isn’t the only thing accountants think about either. Time is more important than money by a long shot and plays into the equation every time. This past week my oldest…

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A Simple Man

I am a simple man with simple tastes living in a complex world. Once upon a time the world was a simpler place. We knew the food we ate and the road we traveled. We trusted the news and those who brought it to us. But simple is not in the nature of man. Take…

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