Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #174 – March 4, 2011
Welcome to the March 4, 2011 Edition #174 of the Carnival of Financial Planning.
The Carnival of Financial Planning takes a long-term view of personal financial planning for individuals and families. We focus on efficient and sustainable personal financial planning practices that can lead to lifetime financial security.
This edition is arranged by subject heading, so that you can browse efficiently.
The Skilled Investor , Editor
Budgeting and Economics
Ryan @ MFN presents Military Discounts  posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “With prices rising faster than pay raises, it’s important to find was to save money. If you are in the military, then you should always ask for a military discount when you shop – you can often save money.”
N.W. Journey presents An Analysis of Budgeting Tools  posted at Networth Journey, saying, “Get important information about budgeting tools.”
The Skilled Investor presents How to Save More  posted at Personal Financial Strategy, saying, “Budgeting and self-control in consumption is far more important than clever investing. Expenditure control and budgeting works, while “clever” investing usually is counter-productive.”
Jeff Rose, CFP presents What Happens When You Die Without a Will?  posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Here’s some very helpful information about wills and why you don’t want to die without one.”
Jon Elder presents How I Graduated College Debt Free and Survived | Free Money Wisdom  posted at Free Money Wisdom, saying, “I graduated college debt free. Most people would say it’s impossible, but I’m living proof that it’s not! It’s so rare these days that most people I tell my story to don’t believe me. Maybe I should write a book on this haha.”
Frank Knight presents Strategic Asset Allocation  posted at Best Personal Financial Planning Software, saying, “When you are already there and invested in an asset class, you are following a passive asset allocation strategy. Tactical asset allocation strategy advocates suggest that you can anticipate the crowd, but flow-of-funds studies show that almost all tactical asset allocation fund flows are late money flows that chase performance after valuations have already moved.”
Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog presents Resources to help keep your personal and professional financing on track  posted at The Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “There are a number of programs and agencies out there to help you make important financial decisions, you just need to know how to find them.”
Larry Russell presents No Load Mutual Funds  posted at Best Index Mutual Funds, saying, “Superior past performance has simply not been shown to be a reliable predictor of superior future performance. However, low costs can lead you to the best mutual funds
Jon Elder presents Roth 401k Versus 401k: What is Right for Me?  posted at Free Money Wisdom, saying, “A Roth 401k acts in the same way in terms of your boss managing your plan. Also, just like a typical 401k, money is taken out of your paycheck and placed within the Roth 401k plan.”
Christien presents How much does Financial Planning cost?  posted at How Much Does Everything Cost?, saying, “Anyone with a decent income or moderate amount of wealth can benefit a lot from financial planning. It is the process of setting up financial objectives, assessing resources and assets, getting prepared for future finances and creating plans to achieve several monetary goals. Financial planning involves many scopes such as risk management, asset allocation, taxation, retirement and estate plans.”
Janet Russell presents Inferior Mutual Fund Performance  posted at Best No Load Funds, saying, “The investment research literature does provide some modest evidence that substantially inferior past mutual fund performance is more likely to lead to inferior mutual fund returns in the future. Excessive costs and high management expense ratios are the likely culprits, when explaining sub-par diversified investment fund returns.”
Ryan @ MFN presents Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits While Using the GI Bill?  posted at The Military Wallet, saying, “Military veterans who seperate from active duty and want to use their GI Bill benefits to go to school are still eligible for unemployment benefits, enabling them to concentrate on earning their degree.”
yazzyislam presents Tax Tips for Students  posted at Wiley Student Blog.
Tim Chen presents Considering a Medical Credit Card? Proceed with Caution  posted at NerdWallet Blog – Credit Card Watch, saying, “Originally used for elective surgeries like liposuction, medical credit cards are increasingly used by those with limited or no health insurance to pay doctors, dentists, chiropractors and even veterinarians.”
Consumer Boomer presents Is Investing in Tax Lien Certificates and Tax Deeds Safe?  posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “This article will give you some important information about investing in tax lien certificates and tax deeds and will answer you questions about their safety.”
Darwin presents Yield Curve Explained – MBA Mondays  posted at Darwin’s Money, saying, “Learn about the yield curve, why it’s important and how you can see what the market is trying to tell you about future recessions, inflation and more.”
Dividends4Life presents 23 Stocks With A Vision Of Higher Dividends  posted at Dividends Value, saying, “To succeed as a dividend growth investor you must identify and purchase stocks with sustainable dividend growth. Inertia is powerful force. Once a company has established a track record of growing its dividend over the decades and developed a shareholder base that expects higher dividends each year, it becomes increasing difficult for management to cut or fail to raise their dividend.”
The Skilled Investor presents Stock Market Timing  posted at Personal Investment Management, saying, “Always stay invested to earn risk premiums. You must have your money invested and at risk to get risk premium returns. Jumping out and in or “timing the markets” doesn’t work.”
Frank Vertin presents Best Index Funds  posted at Index Mutual Funds, saying, “Top ten no load index funds that track the Standard and Poors 500 composite index in terms of lowest costs.
Mike Piper presents Picking Mutual Funds: Don’t Just Look at the Winners  posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, “When researching mutual funds, many investors only look for characteristics common among winning funds. But that’s only half the picture.”
Frank Knight presents Muni Bond , posted at Best Financial Planning Software, saying, “Municipal bond investments and your state and federal marginal income tax rates: Some investors hold municipal bonds in an attempt to reduce their tax burden. This article discusses the relationships between tax-exempt municipal bonds, bond market returns, marginal tax rates, and investment asset tax location.”
Managing Credit and Debt
Aaron presents You Can Do More Than Just Make Purchases With A Prepaid Card  posted at Prepaidcards123, saying, “You can do more than just make purchases with a prepaid card.”
Charles Chua C K presents 8 Reasons Why You Have Unmanageable Debts  posted at All About Living with Life.
David presents 6 Tips To Protect Yourself Against Card Fraud  posted at Credit Card Offers IQ, saying, “Tips to protecting yourself against card fraud”
Michael presents Giving Your ZIP Code to Cashiers  posted at Consumerism Commentary, saying, “How annoying is it to give your zip code to someone who doesn’t want it, and doesn’t care? Well those days are about to be over.”
Jim Wilkerson presents Choose Mature Noload Mutual Funds  posted at Best No Load Funds, saying, “Very young stock and bond mutual funds are more likely to put you into the position of being an experimental guinea pig of mutual fund companies and the ETF industry.”
Job-Interview-Site.com presents Compare Online Colleges Side by Side  posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “Online colleges are those colleges that offer their degrees on an online basis. The online colleges can be either a virtual arm of the Brick and Mortar College, or can be only an online college.”
Pasadena Financial Planner presents Vanguard Index Funds  posted at Top Mutual Funds, saying, “Compares Vanguard’s actively managed mutual funds and Vanguard’s passively managed index mutual funds. Vanguard investors should read and understand this study.”
Michael Pruser presents What To Do When You Lose Your Passport  posted at The Dough Roller, saying, “When you lose your passport, remember not to panic, and follow these simple guidelines.”
Jeff Rose, CFP presents How To Take Money Out Of Your Retirement Accounts  posted at Jeff Rose, saying, ““How do I get a paycheck? How do I actually draw money from my retirement accounts?” I want to address those questions and demonstrate real quickly how that works.”
mike presents The Perfect Retirement Myth  posted at Money Smarts Blog, saying, “For younger people, retirement planning shouldn’t be too detailed.”
2 Cents presents Safe Retirement Withdrawal Rates and Probable Outcomes  posted at Balance Junkie, saying, “Some of the conventional research on safe withdrawal rates does not put enough emphasis on the effects of secular cycles and valuations on the longevity of our retirement savings.”
Frank Knight presents Roth Conversion Retirement Planning Software  posted at My Financial Freedom Plan, saying, “Whether to invest in a Roth IRA or Roth 401k versus their traditional retirement account alternatives is one of the most complex personal financial decisions. Roth accounts do not make sense financially for most people. They are a good deal, for a minority, but you need to do the analysis.
Jim Yih presents Understanding Government Benefits  posted at Retire Happy Blog, saying, “Government benefits represent the cornerstone of the Canadian Retirement Income System. If you are nearing retirement or in retirement it is important for you to understand how these government benefits play a role in your retirement income.”
Walter W. Fouse presents Top 10 Large Cap Funds  posted at Best Mutual Fund, saying, “This table of low cost top 10 S&P 500 mutual funds has been organized with the lowest cost index fund first. Nevertheless, each of these S & P 500 index funds is among the least costly on the market.”
Risk Management and Insurance
Consumer Boomer presents Permanent Life Insurance Rates  posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “This article will help you learn more about universal life insurance rates, and you’ll find out how a permanent rate can be a good thing.”
Jules Wells presents Investment Risk Questionnaire  Investment Software , posted at Financial Answers saying, “There is a way for you to get a much better assessment of your risk tolerance than you would from a simple conservative versus aggressive financial industry investor questionnaire.”
Jeff Rose, CFP presents TurboTax SnapTax Review – File Your Taxes in Seconds!  posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Snap Tax allows you to fill out your taxes completely on your mobile phone. Here’s how.”
Consumer Boomer presents Finding Out Where Your Federal Tax Refund Is  posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “The Internal Revenue Service has a page on it’s website dedicated to helping people track their refunds. Find out more information by reading this article.”
PT presents Alternative Minimum Tax Patch for Tax Year 2010  posted at Prime Time Money, saying, “Confused about the Alternative Minimum Tax? Here is a clear explanation about the AMT and 2010’s patch to the tax.”
Madison DuPaix presents Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)  posted at My Dollar Plan, saying, “Not sure what the Earned Income Tax Credit is? Read this to find out.”
Financial Freedom presents IRA Contributions Retirement Tool , posted at Financial Freedom, saying, “The Roth tax optimization puzzle for asset conversions, as well as for annual Roth contributions during working years, is one of the most complex decisions that the ridiculously complex US taxation and retirement planning system forces upon individuals.”
Craig/FFB presents Where is My IRS Form 1040 Tax Package (or Where Can I File Free)?  posted at Free From Broke, saying, “This year you won’t find tax forms in the mail. See where you can get them and where you can file for free.”
Ken presents Child and Dependent Care Credit: What Expenses Can I Include?  posted at Spruce Up Your Finances, saying, “Child care expense is not just limited to the money you paid your babysitter, it is much more than that.”
Money Crashers Blog presents 14 Commonly Overlooked Personal Tax Deductions For Individuals  posted at Money Crashers, saying, “The only thing worse than paying taxes, is paying more than you have to. With this year’s tax filing deadline coming up, make sure you’re getting every penny you deserve by checking if you’re eligible for these 14 little-known tax deductions.”
Larry Russell presents Roth IRA Calculator  posted at Retirement Planning Tools, saying, “Trying to decide about a traditional IRA to Roth IRA conversion without first having a comprehensive lifetime financial plan in place makes absolutely no sense. Without such a plan, you cannot figure out whether or not you are likely to achieve the tax savings in retirement that would warrant paying higher taxes now.”
Ken presents Who Can You Claim As Dependents on Your Return  posted at Spruce Up Your Finances, saying, “When you file your return, you are entitled to a personal and dependent exemption of $3,650 in 2010. That’s why having dependents can help you reduce taxes as well”
Matt Jabs presents 10 Most Commonly Missed Tax Deductions  posted at Debt Free Adventure!, saying, “Use this list of the most commonly missed tax deductions to lower your adjusted gross income and save money. Don’t overpay taxes!”
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Financial Planning using our carnival submission form . Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page .