Wealth and Wisdom: Week of April 15, 2024

Interest rate cuts? Hold on just a minute.

After taking a victory lap for vanquishing inflation – and all but promising three interest cuts in 2024 – the Fed now must sit on its hands and wait for better news to arrive. Inflation, you see, is now running at an annualized rate of 3.5% based on March numbers released last week. That’s a pretty big jump from the February rate of 3.2%.

It’s not just that we’re still paying high prices for gasoline and housing, we’re also seeing more volatility in stock prices – mostly to the downside – because investors had been counting on those interest rate cuts. Any parent will tell you what happens when you promise a 6-year-old a bag of candy and then take it away at the last second.

And speaking of things unlikely to go down anytime soon – Happy Tax Day.

Will spending and debt ruin the country?

Government debt is almost the equivalent of what the U.S. economy produces each year – and new research says it’s almost certain to get worse. (Reading time: 3 minutes)

75 may be the new 65

Why do we still believe people should stop working when they reach a certain age? (Reading time: 4 minutes)

The pros and cons of raising the retirement age

One idea that could help save Social Security will likely help some seniors – and hurt others. (Reading time: 5 minutes)

Delaying Social Security: not for everyone

Depending on your job, life expectancy, and financial condition, postponing Social Security until age 70 might not be an option. (Reading time: 3 minutes)

5 things you need to know before you retire

This is a lengthy read, but it offers some sound insights from one retiree who advises not working any longer than you have to. (Reading time: 11 minutes)

Will they ever get inherited IRAs straightened out?

Inheriting an IRA to a non-spouse has been a ball of confusion ever since the law changed in 2019. Here’s the latest. Reading time: 3 minutes)

Are you too old for a Roth IRA?

The younger you are, the greater the potential benefits of a Roth IRA – but there are some advantages regardless of your age. (Reading time: 5 minutes)

Roth IRAs for children

How much money might you have today if your parents could have contributed to your Roth IRA when you were a teenager? (Reading time: 7 minutes)

Keeping politics out of your portfolio

Regardless of which party comes out on top this November, the long-term odds remain on the side of investors who stay the course. (Reading time: 4 minutes)

Rich Dad, Wrong Dad

He’s made a fortune writing books and issuing scary predictions about the next market crash. Lucky for us, Robert Kiyosaki isn’t very good at it. (Reading time: 7 minutes)

Words to the Wise

“One of my greatest complaints about forecasters is that they seem to ignore their own records. The amazing thing to me is that these people will go on making predictions with a straight face, and the media will continue to carry them.”

– Howard Marks

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