Best Age to Start Claiming Social Security? It’s Really a Gamble

All you have to do is Google the phrase “When is the best age to take Social Security?” and you’ll get endless advice from people all over on the perfect timing for taking Social Security. Even though not one single advice-giver knows anything about you!

As a financial advisor who plans for people every day, it isn’t really that easy a decision; nor is there an exact science to follow, because every individual’s situation is different. For example, all of these questions - and more - can factor into the decision on timing:

Who Wins the ‘Passive vs. Active’ Institutional Debate? Pt. 5: Foreign Large Cap Blend

In my previous article on this evergreen topic of debate for advisors and investors, we’ve analyzed all U.S. Large Cap Blend, Growth and Value mutual funds, along with the most recent – Who Wins the ‘Passive vs. Active’ Institutional Debate? Part 4: US Mid-, Small-Cap Blends — to see who wins the passive versus active debate. (See all the articles in this series on this landing page.)

Part 4

Who Wins the ‘Passive vs. Active’ Institutional Debate? Part 4: US Mid-Small-Cap Blends

In my first three articles, we hit on the broad U.S. Large-Cap arena—Blend, Growth and Value. All three provided some interesting findings on the hugely debated subject matter relative to the institutional investment space. In this article, we’re going to round out the U.S. core equity investing space by analyzing both the Mid-Cap Blend and Small-Cap Blend. Again—keep in mind, I’m using Morningstar Direct as my source of screening, testing and research on return/expense data points. So how does the U.S. Mid-Cap Blend space fare in the debate?

Part 1

Who Wins ‘Passive vs. Active’ Institutional Debate? Pt. 1: U.S. Large Cap Blend

Advisors and investors alike hear all the time in various articles, speeches and interviews that passive investment funds (indexes) always outperform active investment funds (non-indexes). In my view, however, I’ve found that most articles written on the subject rarely provide precise “apples to apples” comparisons, much less an all-institutional dialogue about true data.

2 Tax-Efficient Savings Strategies for Right Now: Tax Season Lesson, Pt. 2

Because every client’s needs are unique, a canned approach to tax-efficient savings of Roth IRAs, traditional IRAs, 401(k), 403(b), NQ annuities, NQ accounts, etc., is not necessarily the most flexible or tax efficient option for every client. As advisors, we know that the words “tax-free” don’t always mean there’s no tax ever paid, just like the term “pre-tax” doesn’t mean there’s always more tax to be paid later.

Why I Don’t Like Roth IRAs: Tax Season Lesson, Part 1

Tax planning for clients during tax season always generates new strategies and ideas, as unique situations tend to get my analytical wheels turning. From a risk/reward wealth management perspective, I like to look at tax planning with the actual cost to the client in mind, including what is the best cash flow option, because the most tax efficient savings strategy for each person’s situation is the ultimate wealth planning strategy.