May 19

Let’s start this week with My Retirement Blog’s U.S Retirement System a Success. To be fair, Andy doesn’t quite agree with the title, but was referencing a paper put out by the Investment Company Institute (ICI). I’ll be reading the paper and writing my own take on it later this week.

Now that she’s finished her Walk For Hunger (congrats for passing $2000 raised, and your team for $5,000+!!) Stephanie is asking herself, “Was my Traditional to Roth IRA conversion a mistake?” You see, she did fine projecting her tax bracket, but the extra income negated her ability to deduct her student loan interest. If it’s any consolation, Steph, the market is up nearly 17% year to date, so you may have already broken even or are ahead of the game despite that small faux pas. If it still bothers you, you have until October 15th to recharacterize that conversion and amend your return, but hopefully you caught much of the market increase this year and are happy with the decision to stay in the Roth. Check out her site Graduated Learning: Life after College.

overdraft

At Five Cent Nickel, I found out that Overdraft fees soared to $32 billion in 2012. WTF? (This is a family friendly site, WTF = “what the factorial?”) You can do the math here, this is $100 for every last person in the US. And probably $300+ given that at least half of us must be more responsible than that. The take-away here? Balance your checkbook. Now.

At Lazy Man and Money, a guest post by Kosmo – Saving Money At The Store. One day you will make enough that you might be able to waste money without a second thought. Few people are there right now, so these ‘frugal’ articles are always welcome reading to me. From this article, one gem of a line – “If you’re paying $3.60 per gallon for gas and get 18 mpg, you’re burning 20 cents worth of gas each mile you drive.” Which is why planning your grocery store trips is a great first step in your path to saving.

At Monevator, The Investor tells us why he’s “Thinking of Hetty Green as I dial back on shares.” I have to admit, I’ve been thinking about this as well. As we went through the 2008-09 crash, we hung in and bought into the market. It’s pretty cool to see a net worth 2-1/2 times as great as it was in 2009 just over 4 years ago. But it would also be ok to take a bit off the table so if and when the market starts to get frothy, I’m not the last one hanging in there.

Let’s close this week with the question If you had be selfish and spend $5,000 by the end of today, what would you buy? This was asked at Punch Debt in The Face, and it got 60 answers pretty fast. I haven’t responded yet, gotta think on this one.

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