Terry Savage’s Archives
Below you will find the columns terry has written by date.
Below you will find the columns terry has written by date.
Take Your RMD!
A quick reminder: If you are age 72 or older, you MUST take a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) before year end from your traditional retirement accounts (not Roth). The penalty for failure to do so is steep: 50% of the amount that should have been withdrawn! A few key points: What number is the RMD..
In the last-minute rush for holiday gifts, and then the post-holiday rush to return, please take one more minute to reconsider your holiday giving. You have a few more days to make a big difference before the end of the year. The changes in the tax law made in 2018 increased the standard deduction and..
Ravages of Inflation
Inflation is very simply the debasement of the currency. Your money buys less stuff. Inflation starts out barely noticeably -- and is often welcomed as a sign of growth and prosperity. But like kudzu – that fast-growing green vine that has taken over many landscapes – the devastation takes a while to reveal. With kudzu,..
Student Loan Forbearance Update
Update on 12/23/21: See first paragraph below written two weeks ago. Well, ,a "student loan forgiveness miracle" has happened! The day of reckoning has been postponed to May 1, 2022! The politicians felt the pressure! Now what should you do? Will this be followed by another extension -- or perhaps a fixed amount of loan..
Grown Up Money Gifts
In last week’s column, I provided some holiday gifting ideas for children – ranging from 529 accounts to gift cards for $5 worth of shares in almost any company from Stockpile. But what do you gift grownups – especially to those who already “have everything”? Or if they are millennials who already ‘know everything”? Consider..
Money Gifts for Children
My annual holiday money gift column for children and young adults arrives just at the start of the holiday shopping season. In a time when many are hesitant to shop in stores, all of these ideas can be accessed online. And unlike presents that will be quickly outgrown or broken, these gifts are meant to..
Small Business Health Insurance Deal
This is the third in a series of columns designed to help with this season of healthcare decisions. The first was for seniors making Medicare Open Enrollment decisions about prescription drug and all-in-one advantage plans. The next could explained how more individuals could purchase Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) at Healthcare.gov, with new higher subsidies and..
I-bonds Yield 7.12% — Chicken Money Alert!
All of you patient "chicken money" holders have something to cheer about -- if you understand the rules and restrictions. The headline is that for the next six months, Series I savings bonds will carry an interest rate of 7.12%. Now, before you jump into this deal, please read the details below! Series I U.S...
Buy Now, Pay Later: A Warning!
Remember when you promised to pay down your credit card debt? Millions have forgotten that promise as consumer spending soars in a post-Covid rebound. And now, just as the original Covid-19 mutated, there is a new mutation in consumer debt that is spreading widely and could be even more toxic than the original credit card..
More Affordable Healthcare
Here is the LINK to find your subsidy at Healthcare.gov -- without going through the application process. The American Rescue Plan passed last February created a huge revision to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that has made the best health insurance more affordable to more Americans – regardless of income. Even applicants with higher incomes..
Phishing for your Money!
It’s happened to all of us. We receive a text or email from a financial institution that we do business with asking us to click on a link. It all appears so realistic -- a logo you recognize, a request to take immediate action. And that’s how easily you can be scammed in what’s known..
Medicare Open Enrollment
Every year. seniors on Medicare are faced with the task of examining their Medicare coverage and making important decisions. Those who think that Medicare is a one-time enrollment, which then covers everything, are truly mistaken. In fact, Medicare decisions are complex, frequent, and far reaching. For starters, you need to know that Medicare is divided..
Average is OK in Stocks
Few people want to be average. It may be a distinctly American character trait that we want to be outstanding, special, “above average.” Garrison Keillor made a fortune on this hypothesis, writing about the fictional Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”..
Parents of high school and college students once again face the difficult task of filling out the FAFSA – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The process starts on October 1st, and since the “early bird” gets first crack at some scholarship aid and state-specific financial assistance, there’s every incentive to get going right..
Debt Ceiling & Shutdown
Mark Twain said it best over 150 years ago: “No man’s money is safe while Congress is in session!” Or something like that, reportedly. So, it’s not news that the legislature makes changes that impact ordinary people in unexpected ways. What’s relatively new is the acrimony that seems to prevent Congress from coming to compromises...
Housing: The Other Bull Market
While everyone has been watching the stock market bounce around all-time highs, there’s another bull market that has also been in uncharted territory. And while stocks impact all those who have retirement accounts, it could easily be argued that the bull market in housing directly affects even more people, and in more tangible ways. If..
Starting Over this Fall
There was a time when the new calendar started after Labor Day — at least mentally. It meant the end of summer and the start of the school year. September meant the start, or re-start, of everything. It’s no wonder many people feel so unsettled these days. The social distancing during the pandemic has pushed..
The Job Opportunity
Every month, the unemployment statistics are watched closely by the financial markets, the news media and the Federal Reserve. It’s the Fed’s mandate to keep inflation low and labor participation high. And recent statements from the Fed show they think the economy is moving in the right direction, absent potential setbacks from COVID-19 variants. The..
Our National Debt
Our national debt is the sum of all the money we have borrowed over our country’s history. It is currently nearing $29 trillion. Sadly, we have grown accustomed to such huge numbers. Now they’re called “MEGO” numbers. That stands for “my eyes glaze over!” To put numbers into perspective, the national debt reached a record..
College Prep & Payment
Parents of college students starting the fall semester have come to the moment of truth — the moment when it’s time to start paying out all that money they’ve been saving and borrowing. There are some rules involved in how you spend scholarship and grant money, as well as money you've saved in tax-advantaged accounts...