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Getting Personal

Getting Personal

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We have about $100,000 in GMAC Demand Notes & are now getting a little worried about the security of GMAC. We need about $25,000 liquid -- how should we invest to get a return & keep some funds liquid? Bonds? Thank you.

Question re: stimulus package- Hi, I'm on ssdi, Chris and was told to file for 2007 because I would also get a $300.00 ck, so I did and then heard nothing and got nothing. I went to irs.gov to their stimulus package tracking device and the answer came back that I didn't make enough money to get a stimulus ck...is this a joke?
thanks,
Penny

Chris,
I thought you and Tess had mentioned a spot on the site that gave some guidance in finding tax professionals. Could you point me to the area or give me some advice to that end?
thank you
Dick Hoffmann

Chris,
I would be interested to get your perspective on David Swensen's advice per his latest book "unconventional Success" where he advocates an index base portfolio as noted below:
• VTSMX - Domestic Total Mkt 30%
• VGTSX - International Total Mkt 15%
• VEIEX - Emerging Mkts 5%
• VGSIX - REIT 20%
• VFISX- S/T Treasury 5%
• VFITX - Inter- Term Treasury 5%
• VUSTX - L/T Treasury 5%
• VIPSX - TIPS 15%
As you can see, he recommends 30% domestic equities, 15% international, 5% emerging markets, 20% REITS, and the remaining 30% in bonds.
For someone in their 50’s, is this allocation too conservative for a retirement portfolio? Is the REIT portion too high? What do you think about index funds? Low cost investing seems to make sense to me, particularly in a taxable account.

Dear Professor Daniel:

I have to add one more comment. You may be contacted by insurance agents or brokers who will advise you to roll over your retirement assets into an annuity. This earns the salesperson a nice commission. Although the product might sound attractive, it might not be appropriate for your circumstances.
There has been so much recent "senior abuse" associated with these products that the US Securities and Exchange Commission has a fraud alert. Dateline NBC did an exposé on predatory practices and high-pressure sales.
Please, please investigate carefully before you buy.

http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/equityidxannuity.htm
http://insidedateline.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/04/11/877725.aspx

Dear Professor Daniel:
Your question is really complicated.
The amount invested to your account with dividends should have been sent to you on year-end statements by the fund administrator / transfer agent. If your personal records are misplaced, then persist in asking them to send you a transaction history on your account.

Withdrawals are a completely separate issue. You have to create a withdrawal strategy of your own design fitting your needs (include the effect of taxes, penalties, minimum mandatory withdrawals, etc). I'd recommend joining AAII (www.aaii.com) to access back issues of their journal with excellent articles on this subject. If this fund is a retirement plan (e.g. 403b), use the IRS web site for tax and plan information.
http://www.irs.gov/retirement/participant/index.html
Have a great retirement!

Sir or Madam, I enjoyed hearing this early morning that there is a group that might be able to help me with a significant retirement question. I just retired as a Univ. professor and have the majority of my retirement assets in a mutual fund that has changed names often since 1969. It seems they do not want to inform me of the amount I have invested and the amount that I will redeem as far as the exact amount that I should take out and what my taxes will be. Who do I correspond with regarding the exact particulars of my inquiry? I would appreciate learning what to do now that I am retired? Thanks. Hal J. Daniel III, Professor Emeritus, Biology, East Carolina University, Greenville,NC 27858 252-328-6895 and/or danielh@ecu.edu

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