Bob Carlson Archive
Bob Carlson is editor of the monthly newsletter and web site, Retirement Watch. Carlson is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fairfax County Employees' Retirement System, which has over $3 billion in assets, and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Retirement System, which oversaw $42 billion in assets, from 2001-2005. He was appointed to the Virginia Retirement System Deferred Compensation Plans Advisory Committee in 2011.
His latest book is Personal Finance for Seniors for Dummies, published by John Wiley & Co. in 2010 (with Eric Tyson). Previous books include Invest Like a Fox... Not Like a Hedgehog, published by John Wiley & Co. in 2007, and The New Rules of Retirement, as published by John Wiley & Co. in the fall of 2004.
He has written numerous other books and reports, including Tax Wise Money Strategies, Retirement Tax Guide, How to Slash Your Mutual Fund Taxes, Bob Carlson's Estate Planning Files, and 199 Loopholes That Survived tax Reform. He also has been interviewed by or quoted in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, Barron's, AARP Bulletin, Money, Worth, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, the Washington Post, and many others. He has appeared on national television and on a number of radio programs. He is past editor of Tax Wise Money.
Carlson is an attorney and passed the CPA Exam. He received his J.D. and an M.S. (Accounting) from the University of Virginia and received his B.S. (Financial Management) from Clemson University. He also is an instrument rated private pilot. He is listed in several recent editions of Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World. Email this author.
Let’s take a quick trip through some key parts of the tax code to learn ways to increase your after-tax returns from mutual funds. Of course, what we’re going to discuss in this visit applies to mutual funds held in taxable accounts, not to funds held in qualified retirement plans.
Some of the most serious threats to financial independence are often overlooked. Yet a few simple actions can avoid large losses from these risks. In addition, you can reduce substantially your out-of-pocket expenses when you pay attention to these neglected issues.
The turmoil in long-term care insurance continues. In recent years, a number of insurers raised premiums substantially on existing policies or exited the market. A year ago, it appeared things would stabilize after the shakeout, but a new round of premium hikes and policy changes is taking place.
Identity theft isn’t making the headlines it did a few years ago. Yet it’s still a problem. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that annually about 9 million Americans have their identities stolen, and this costs consumers about $5 billion.
The cost of medical care continues to rise and to be the wild card in retirement plans. Reports and studies update the estimates of the cost of retirement medical care each year. They show the cost to be high and also very unpredictable for individual retirees and couples.
Most people still believe that estate planning is all about tax planning. Since the tax law now exempts most estates, they think they don’t really need an estate plan. But they do, and many people need an estate plan more than ever.
“Great Fortunes Lost” was the title of an article in Fortune magazine some years ago that described how various individuals, usually heirs, lost or squandered very large fortunes. Some lost their health or wasted their lives because of the effects wealth had on them. Don’t let that happen to your loved ones.
When someone is in a coma or similar medical distress and family members and doctors disagree about what to do, the story often makes headlines. The lesson from the media always is: Be sure you have a living will. The answer isn’t that simple. Often in these situations, there is a living will. It isn’t enough.
Traditional estate plans don’t work well for many families these days. A traditional plan is for couples who are in their first and only marriage and have only kids from that marriage. Different plans, tools and strategies might be needed for people with other life stories.