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Articles

IRAs are about 'free' money and income tax savings:  Of course you have to think seriously about them

Mary Baldwin 02-26-19

 Florida Today

It seems like IRA and 401(k) accounts are complicated; why would I want to participate in a plan if I can't take money out until I'm old.

You can like your stock positions, just be careful about liking them too much

Mary Baldwin 01-21-19

 Florida Today

I have accumulated my company's stock through the employee stock purchase plan, an executive benefit program, and stock options.  I'm going to retire soon.  Any advice?

Socially Responsible Investing:  How to best match money with your values

Mary Baldwin 12-18-18

 Florida Today

Our family gathers during the holidays and we often discuss our social concerns and values.  What can yu tell me about socially responsible investing, so we can avoid talking about politics?

Investing in bull and bear markets

Mary Baldwin 11-13-18

 Florida Today

October made me miserable.  Everyday I watched the value of my stocks change.  The market frustrates me because I can't figure 

what to do.  I'm considering CD's. Any advice?

Never, ever too early to be saving for retirement

Mary Baldwin 10-9-18

 Florida Today

My daughter is spending all of her income on travel and having fun.  Last week she asked me how and when she should start saving for retirement. What should I tell her

 

Planning for Retirement, don't be swayed by market up and downs

Mary Baldwin 9-4-18

 Florida Today

There is a lot in the news right now about the longest bull market in history.  It is worrying me because I'm trying to figure out

what I need to do to get ready for retirement.

 

Questions about pension payouts - which option is best?

Mary Baldwin 7-31-18

 Florida Today

I have a pension plan that offers lump sum, single life, 10-year term certain, or joint survivor income.

 

Worried about inflation and your investments?  Consider this info

Mary Baldwin 6-26-18

 Florida Today

The current U.S. inflation rate is running 2.8 percent, yet my adviser wants to add Treasuries Indexed for Inflation (TIPS) to my retirement account Does this make sense?

 

Benefits, and drawbacks, of supplemental executive retirement plans

Mary Baldwin 5-22-18 Florida Today

What are the pros, cons in a supplemental executive retirement plan?

 

Tax efficient charitable giving

Mary Baldwin 4-17-18 Florida Today

What does it take to set up a foundation?  We're going to have record income this year and wwant to toate it to our favorite charities.

 

How to keep money from wrecking a marriage

Mary Baldwin 3-13-18 Florida Today

I recently heard that money issues are the leading cause of divorce in first marriages.  How can we stop fighting over money?

 

Think about Social Security before planning retirement

Mary Baldwin 2-6-18 Florida Today

I want to claim Social Security benefits before my full retirement age, but know that I will earn more than the annual earnings limit.

 

Fresh thoughts on the Florida Prepaid Savings Plan

Mary Baldwin 1-2-18 Florida Today

If your New Year's resolution is to save for your kids' college, perhaps you want to explore the Florida Prepaid College Savings Plan.

 

Giving it up: Year-end financial strategies

Mary Baldwin 11-28-17 Florida Today

I want to get organized and share some of the profits from my investments this year, where should I start?

 

Thoughts on Equifax:  Be proactive, take precautions
Mary Baldwin 10-24-17 Florida Today
If you're concerned about the Equifax data breach, you're in good company.

 

Prepping for retirement? Think Hurricane prepping

Mary Baldwin 9-21-17 Florida Today

Creating a paycheck in retirement is like getting ready for a hurricane; it requires a lot of preparation, both technically and mentally.

 

Dilemma:  Hold or sell that rental income  property

Mary Baldwin 8-22-17 Florida Today

I have a debt-free rental condo that I've used as a source of income.  .....

 

Your finances can survive a catastrophic medical expense

Mary Baldwin 7-25-17 Florida Today

I am ...concerned about protecting my savings in the event of a catastrophic medical expense or prolonged illness.

 

What if my job doesn't have a retirement plan?

Mary Baldwin 6-20-17 Florida Today

How important is an employer-sponsored retirement plan and what are my options?

 

Best plans meet goals, timeframe, risk tolerance

Mary Baldwin 5-23-17 Florida Today

I want to create a good investment plan and I'm hearing conflicting advice. Should I try to select individual stocks or create a portfolio..

 

When to start collecting Social Security benefits

Mary Baldwin 4-25-17 Florida Today

My wife is 65 and works part-time.  She wants to start taking her Social Security benefit today.

 

 

Saving for retirement should be a top priority

Mary Baldwiin 3-28-17 Florida Today

My accountant just called and said that if we contribute to retirement plans, we can save on our 2016 taxes.

 

 

Debt:  The good, the bad, the beneficial

Mary Baldwiin 2-28-17 Florida Today

Is there any debt that is OK? I carry a balance on my credit card and I have a loan on my personal auto.

 

 

Make your cash work for you and earn money

Mary Baldwiin 1-31-17 Florida Today

My bank account is holding a lot of cash.  I know that I can't achieve my financial goals if I stay in cash, but I don't know when to invest it.

 

 

Reverse mortgages might be an option for you, but please pay close attention to details

Mary Baldwiin 1-3-17 Florida Today

I am 75 years old and I don't want to move out of my affordable little debt-free house.

 

 

Relying on one revenue stream in retirement just a bad idea

Mary Baldwin 12-6-16 - Florida Today

I am currently retired and living on dividends from my stocks.

 

 

Taking a closer look at health insurance costs

Mary Baldwin 11-15-16 - Florida Today

It was a rough year for health care costs with increased premiums and higher deductibles.

 

 

Happy 70 1/2 birthday!  Here are some bewildering facts

Mary Baldwin 10-11-16

 - Florida Today

Approximately 3.5 million baby boomers are turning 70.5 in 2016.

 

 

ETFs, mutual funds' different features

Mary Baldwin  9-13-16

 - Florida Today

Which is better, exchange traded funds or mutual funds?

 

 

Time plays vital role in decluttering records

Mary Baldwin 7-26-16

 - Florida Today

Now we want to declutter the office.  Please provide guidelines on document retention

 

 

Cash is a lot more than simple, folding money

Mary Baldwin 8-23-16

 - Florida Today

I recently sold all of my investments because of my concern over Brexit.  Is my cash safe?

 

 

What happens when insurance changes

Mary Baldwin 6-28-16

- Florida Today

 

My employer recently switched our company health insurance to a high-deductible plan and told us that we now have access to an HSA.

 

 

Storage blues: What to do with parents' items

Mary Baldwin 6-4-16

 - Florida Today

I am tired of paying storage unit fees.  I need to deal with my deceased parent's treasures, but I'm having a hard time.

 

 

Make a good plan to be a savvy financial donor

Mary Baldwin 5-3-16

 - Florida Today

I'm in a position to start helping others and children's charities have caught my attention. What is a financially savvy way to donate to charity?

 

Looking for ways to avoid tax payments next year

Mary Baldwin 4-5-16

 - Florida Today

 

I just finished my tax return and I have to pay.  Can you give me some tips so this doesn't happen again next year?

 

 

Tax on long-term gains less than straight income

Mary Baldwin 3-8-16

 - Florida Today

 

Are you considering retirement soon? Do you have a lot of appreciated company stock in your 401K or other employer-sponsored plan? There may be a tax-saving strategy for you.

 

Plan for retirement age, don't just worry about it

Mary Baldwin 2-9-16

 - Florida Today

 

I am a single woman, and I would like to stop working, but I'm concerned about my finances I think that I have enough saved, but the account values change every day.

 

Plan on living a long time? You may want to read this

Mary Baldwin 1-19-16

 - Florida Today

 

About 80 percent of women will be the sole decision-maker for their money at some point; usually later in life.  Many fear living so long that they will run out of money and have to depend on family members.

 

Surprise: Yes, you can prepare for volatility

Mary Baldwin 12-22-2015

 - Florida Today

 

If you don't know where you're going, then any path will take you there. And during periods of high volatility, you're likely to wander aimlessly making bad decisions along the way.

 

Don't let calendar run out on steps to save on taxes

Mary Baldwin 11/24/15 - Florida Today

 

Review your Charitable Donations.  Are you where you want to be?  For cash contributions, save the acknowledgemnt letters from the charities.

 

Medicare rates going up: What it means to you

Mary Baldwin 10/26/2015 - Florida Today

 

Social Security benefits won't go up this year, but many on Medicare are going to have their biggest price increase in the history of the program.

 

A guide for navigating retirement fees

Mary Baldwin 09/29/2015 - Florida Today

 

The Department of Labor has proposed rules for those who advise on retirement products.

 

 

Some moves make sense in a tumultuous market

Mary Baldwin 09/01/2015 - Florida Today

 

In mid- and late August, stocks slumped around the world, and investors were counseled on "what not to do".

 

Learn about Medicare before you turn 65

Mary Baldwin 08/04/2015 - Florida Today

 

Question: I'm goint to be 65, my wife is 59. I plant to retire while she continues working for another five years.  Should I stay on her employer health plan or apply for Medicare? And, must I apply for Social Security now?

Living longer means new financial strategies

Mary Baldwin 07/07/15- Florida Today

 

Question: A couple at age 65 can expect that one of them hasabout an 80 percent chance of living to age 85.

 

Save the emotion when retirement planning

Mary Baldwin 06/09/15- Florida Today

 

Question: Should we switch both of our 401(k) investments to cash?

 

Explaining pros and cons of Health Savings Account

Mary Baldwin 05/12/15 - Florida Today

 

Question: I'm 45 and have been healthy all my life.  My employer is offering a Health Savings Account.  What's the best way to decide if I should participate?

Successful investing follows basic planning

Mary Baldwin 04/14/15 - Florida Today

 

Question: When a task looks ominous or intimidating, I'll often break it into small pieces.  Usually starting with the fun part and then rewarding myself along the way with chocolate.

Stricter rules on advisers should concern investors

Mary Baldwin 03/17/15 - Florida Today

 

The White House and Wall Street currently disagree on financial regulatory standards for retirement accounts.  If you...

State's prepaid college tuition plans remain a big bargain for the future

Mary Baldwin 02/17/15 - Florida Today

 

Question: We want to save for our kids' college expenses.  Their wonderful grandparents started 529 savings plans last Christmas.  Should we consider the Florida Prepaid?

Don't Try To Get Tricky With Your Investments

Mary Baldwin 01/20/15 - Florida Today

 

Question: The recent swings in the stock market are causing me to question the safety of my retirement account. The forecasts for stocks are inconsistent and I'm too close to retirement to rebuild my account. What should I do?

You Can Be Generous and Also Tax Smart

Mary Baldwin 12/23/14 - Florida Today

 

Question: I want to donate to charities and give money to family this year. Please provide guidance on tax regulations.

Your Affordable Care Act Primer and What it Means for Taxes

Mary Baldwin 11/25/14 - Florida Today

 

Question: Health insurance is so confusing. I'm trying to help my parents who are going to be eligible for Medicare and I also have a group plan with new options. Can you help?

Tax Planning Tips for End of 2014

Mary Baldwin 10/21/14 - Florida Today

 

Question: The end of the year is rapidly approaching, what smart tax-planning things can I do now?

As the Population Ages, the Needs for Serious Financial Planning Grow

Mary Baldwin 9/23/14 - Florida Today

 

Question: I'm a 50-year-old woman, and I need guidance with my financial planning and investments. Where should I start?

Alt Investments Often Seen as Hedge Against Stock Market

Mary Baldwin 8/26/14 - Florida Today

 

Question: What are 'alternative' investments?

Affordable Care Act Subsidies Might Be Option for Retirees

Mary Baldwin 7/29/14 - Florida Today

 

Question: I retired at 60 this year and have savings in my retirement acount plus after-tax investments. I have very little income and think that I will qualify for health care subsidies. My tax rate is low. Where should I start?

Retirement Plans Need a Disaster Contingency

Mary Baldwin 7/1/14 - Florida Today

 

Question: I'm scheduled to retire in two years. I'm nervous, even though I've done the math and the projections show that I'm on track. What potential catastrophic events could derail my plan?

Learn Benefits and Drawbacks of Real Estate Investment Trusts and Varieties

Mary Baldwin 6/3/14 - Florida Today

 

Question: I have read about REITs, and they sound complicated. What do I need to know before I invest?

Goals Should Direct Your Annuity Plans

Mary Baldwin 5/6/14 - Florida Today

 

Question: I have a variable annuity that I bought 10 years ago. My accountant wants me to cash it out but my new adviser suggested exchanging it for another annuity. What should I do?

Learn From Last Year, and Resolve to Organize Finances in 2014

​Mary Baldwin 1/13/14 - Florida Today

Question: My New Year's goal is to organize my finances. Where do I start?

Plan Now for Next Year's Tax Strategy

Mary Baldwin 3/11/14 - Florida Today

 

Question: I just filed my 2013 tax return. What’s the best way to plan for this year’s taxes?

Retirement Rollovers Pose Many Choices

Mary Baldwin 2/11/14 - Florida Today

 

Question: Should I roll my 401(k) into a Rollover IRA?

Target-date Funds OK, but Keep Your Eyes Open

Mary Baldwin 4/8/14 - Florida Today

 

Question: I started a new job with a 401(k) retirement plan. I was advised to select a target-date fund for my initial investments. Are there better options?

Look at Tax Liabilities Before Spending All of Your Holiday Money

​Mary Baldwin 12/16/13 - Florida Today

Question: Have there been any tax law changes recently, and what can I do to save taxes before year-end?

Beware of the Rules Regulating Financial Gift Giving

​Mary Baldwin 11/11/13 - Florida Today

Question: I'm doing some life planning and I have enough money to take care of myself. It's time to give some away; are there rules about gifting?

Research Important When it Comes to Life Insurance

​Mary Baldwin 10/14/13 - Florida Today

Question: How do I know if I need life insurance and how much I should buy?

Mortgage Debt can be 'Good Debt' Sometimes

​Mary Baldwin 9/16/13 - Florida Today

Question: I am planning to retire in two years when I'm 62. I have a small mortgage at 5% interest and plan to keep my house at least another 10 years. Should I sell investments to pay off the mortgage now? This would use most of my non-retirement account.

Don't put all your stock dividends in one basket

Mary Baldwin 8-19-13 Florida Today

I'm going to retire and I've accumulated individual stocks that pay dividends.......