It's Money Roundup time! Here's our collection of some of the best recent articles on investing, personal finance, and stewardship.
- These are the key questions to ask before buying that annuity (CNBC). The Alliance for Lifetime Income — a trade group with members such as Allianz, Invesco, and T. Rowe Price — has put together a list of terms to understand and questions to ask before committing to buy an annuity.
- How early can you file your tax return in 2020? (Kiplinger). For you early birds out there, the IRS announced the date on which it will start accepting 2019 tax returns.
- Tax breaks for college tuition and medical expenses just came back from the dead — read this before filing your taxes (MarketWatch). The big bill Congress passed before Christmas included lots of "extenders" — extensions of tax provisions that either already had expired or were to set expire at the end of 2019.
- Getting ready to retire? Here's a planning guide for the 5 years before your last day. (Barron's). If you're nearing that five-year window, you may want to print this one out and keep it handy.
- Understanding non-qualified Roth IRA distributions (Investopedia). Before you take money out of a Roth IRA, be sure you know the rules. Non-qualified distributions are subject to both taxes and a 10% penalty.
And from the bloggers and pundits...
- Why I’m considering financial advice (John Woerth, Vanguard Blog). A long-time do-it-yourself investor explains why he is thinking about enlisting the aid of a professional. (If you are having similar thoughts, check out SMI Private Client.)
- Nobody saw this coming (Ashby Daniels, Retirement Field Guide). No one knew the U.S. stock market would strongly outperform in 2019. No one knows what it's going to do this year either.
- Annual asset class returns (Jon Petersen, Novel Investor). Want to pick the best-performing investment year after year? It's not easy.
- Your 2020 financial to-do list (Christine Benz, Morningstar). "The myriad tasks associated with maintaining an organized financial life seem daunting in list form, but more manageable when spread throughout the year."
- The "wicked problem" of Social Security in one chart (Donald Sensing, Sense of Events). We don't hear much about Social Security's future funding challenges these days, but they haven't gone away. Not by a long shot.
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