Ilyce Glink Show Notes – December 20, 2009

It’s Christmas Already? What Happened to 2009?

It’s hard to believe it’s Christmas week. Best wishes to all of my WSB listeners and site visitors for a Merry Everything and Happy Always season.

For many people, this has been an incredibly difficult year. If you lost a job, lost money in your 401(k), or found yourself on the short stick financially, you’re not alone. For those of us who live on Main Street, it’s been a really tough year.

My Christmas wish is that everyone gets the opportunity to have a “do-over” in 2010. I am hoping that while obstacles remain and difficult times lay ahead, that we are able to take a step forward toward stabilizing our own financial lives, and those of our neighbors.

There are no easy fixes, unfortunately. The damage that has been done over the past few years might take a decade or more to fully unwind. But taking a step or two in the right direction can help enormously.

I hope it’s a better year for you.

And The Census Says

I started the show discussing some of the Census numbers that were released this week:

110 billion text messages were sent in December 2008, compared with 48 billion in December 2007. The Postal Service delivered the fewest pieces of mail in a decade in 2008. And, the number of newspapers in 2008 dropped to 1,408 (from 1,480 in 2000).

Looking for news about layoffs? In 2008, employers ordered 8,263 layoffs (defined as when asn employer has at least 50 unemployment insurance claims pending at least 31 days) compared with 5,363 in 2007.

Numbers are interesting, but they only tell part of the story. And, don’t forget, they can be manipulated in so many different ways.

Speaking of numbers …

NEW THINKGLINK/REAL WORLD SEMINARS EVENT – How To Invest In 2010 – March 27, 2010

The worst economy in decades has been followed by an incredible 60 percent bounce in the stock market. Some economists are predicting we’ll have a double-dip recession while others think the worst is behind us. Most investors are scratching their heads, wondering “What’s next?”

Will the economy move forward?
Will it fall back into recession?
Will the stock market move forward or retest market lows?
Should you play it safer or take on more risk?

For our next event, How To Invest In 2010, we’ll bring together the best local investment advisors, financial planners, tax experts and successful investors.

Together, we’ll explore this new world of investing. We’ll look at short-term and long-term investments, retirement savings and your child’s college education fund. We’ll look at stocks, bonds, ETFs, real estate investing and the biggest mistakes investors make.

So plan to join me on March 27, 2010 for my How To Invest In 2010.

The ticket window is open. The EARLY BIRD SPECIAL is on for a limited time only! If you’ve been to one of my events, you know that the best price is the first price. You can also purchase a VIP ticket, or a special package of ebooks we’re creating especially for this event.

You’ll have face-to-face time with our experts and will be able to get answers to your own investing questions. So, SAVE THE DATE and join us March 27, 2010 for How To Invest In 2010.

401(k) Hardship Withdrawals

Leslie called asking about her husband’s withdrawal from a 401(k) plan to make ends meet. I told Leslie that she should sit down with her tax preparer to figure out now what kind of tax bill she and her husband might face on April 15.

After the show, Ben wrote in: Ilyce, On today’s show (12/20/2009), you had a caller whose husband had lost his job and was older than 55. She mentioned having withdrawn from the husband’s 401-k plan to make ends meet. You suggested that they investigate whether it could be considered a hardship withdrawal to avoid the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty. Please note: One of the exceptions to the 10% penalty is “Distributions or withdrawals made to you after termination of employment, if the separation from your employer occurred in or after the calendar year you reached age 55.”

Ben is correct. On October 1, 2009, the IRS published this list of questions and answers about the 401(k) Hardship Disbursement rules.

New ThinkGlink Ebooks About Investing in Real Estate Are Now Available

We created five new ebooks that together provide you with more than 100 pages of important, money-saving information about investing successful in real estate. here are the five topics:

  1. 1031 Tax-Deferred Exchanges. Everything you need to know about 1031 Exchanges (also known as Starker Trusts) and how to use them to defer capital gains and recapture taxes.
  2. LLCs, Corporations, And Other Ways Of Holding Title To Real Estate. The time to start thinking about you’re going to hold title is BEFORE you buy an investment property. This ebook walks you through the different ownership options and what you need to know.
  3. How to Profit From Foreclosures: 9 Top Tips From Investors. Avoid the most common and most devastating mistakes real estate investors make by reading this ebook.
  4. Finding Great Tenants And Profitably Managing Real Estate Investments. If you don’t have good tenants, you’ll wind up with losing money with your real estate investment – or perhaps destroying your credit. This ebook tells you how to find great tenants, how to price your unit to rent, and how to manage your property effectively and efficiently.
  5. The Successful Real Estate Investors Guide: Top Tax Tips. Investing successfully means you’ve got to keep your expenses low. That means, watch what you pay in taxes. This book walks you through the major tax areas you’ll encounter with real estate investing.

We also have FREE BOOKS and other ebooks in the store.

You can get a FREE copy of my book 50 Simple Steps You Can Take to Disaster Proof Your Finances” or “The REALLY Useful Guide to Working Smarter Not Harder” at the store. You pay the shipping and we’ll send you any number of books for free!

Order Your ThinkGlink Ebook or Free Book Today!

Buy 3 Ebooks and Get 1 Free Ebook DEAL!

If you select 3 ebooks from our store and enter the discount code “freeebook” (no quotes), you’ll get one of those ebooks for free. It works with all of our ebooks. Just use the code to get the discount. It will show up when you check out of the ThinkGlink store.

HealthCare Debate

On today’s show, I made the suggestion that Congress ought to have its free health care taken away and they should have to purchase health insurance and services in the free marketplace.

I really believe that our Senators and U.S. Representatives have no idea what is going on with those of us who live on Main Street. Maybe if they had to shop for health care coverage – with all of their bumps, bruises and pre-existing conditions – it would help them have a more positive and constructive conversation about health care reform.

After the show, Mike sent this email:

“I thank you for your excellent financial advice and I enjoy listening to you very much. I hate the way politicans are destroying our financial future but your comment today that Congress gets free healthcare is just not true. Congress gets the same choice I do as a federal employee and that is certainly not free, and yes my premiums go up and up each year. (They do get routine treatment when in session but I don’t think even that is free.) Also another myth that just will not end is that they do not pay Social Security. That also is not true since around the mid 80’s. I am not defending any of the DC gang. I am distraught with what they are doing but I just hate to see misinformation perpetuated.

Thanks again for your show. Merry Christmas.

Mike: Thanks for your note. Again, the point was to suggest that there is so much infighting and when you have been in Congress for DECADES, your understanding of exactly what goes on with the rest of us is somewhat diminished.

Anyway, my promise for this coming year is that we will do what we can to cover the issues that matter most to you: health care, money, real estate, debt, credit, scams and other issues of interest that I come across.

Merry Christmas. Be sure to tune in next week for our special year-end tax show.