May’s Hits

Jonathan Clements  |  June 1, 2021

FORGET THE PANDEMIC, bitcoin, inflation and other topics that were supposedly on the minds of investors. Last month, it seems HumbleDollar’s readers were more interested in the nuts and bolts of personal finance—buying the right insurance, managing taxes, getting organized, investing cash. Here are May’s seven most popular articles:

  • “I typically keep enough cash to finance our normal expenditures for at least six years,” writes Andrew Forsythe. “In fact, with the current bubbly stock market, I’m above that level.”
  • Yes, if you expect your tax bracket to be higher once you’re retired, a Roth conversion can be a smart move. But as Adam Grossman explains, converting also offers four other key benefits.
  • Rick Connor and his wife just retired to the Jersey Shore. Sound appealing? Rick offers four tips for those looking to downsize.
  • Worried about getting sued? Adam Grossman makes the case for buying umbrella liability insurance—and talks about how to pick the right policy.
  • “If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to make your life less stressful,” writes Dennis Friedman. “Here’s one thing you can do with your money that can be a big help: Organize and consolidate.”
  • “Bonds shouldn’t be viewed as the same as cash,” writes David Powell. “Both can be a good diversifier for stocks—and bonds are often better—but cash investments are the place for money you’ll need soon.”
  • Remember the three-legged retirement stool? Phil Kernen says it’s time to revive and revise the idea—with a focus on ensuring tax flexibility in retirement.

What about our weekly newsletters? Last month’s two best read were Built for Ease and Not So Different. Meanwhile, the most popular Voices questions asked about how to get a good deal on a car and where to stash money you’ll spend soon. Not sure how to log on so you can comment? Click here.

Jonathan Clements is the founder and editor of HumbleDollar. Follow him on Twitter @ClementsMoney and on Facebook, and check out his earlier articles.

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Roboticus Aquarius
Roboticus Aquarius
22 days ago

I’m just starting to look into my big question on Roth vs Traditional: once you have enough saved in traditional that you expect the eventual marginal rate to be 22/24%… there is a big gap to the next highest income level, I believe. So despite the fact that there is theoretically no difference between Roth and Traditional results when marginal tax rates are the unchanged in the future (except situational quibbles), I’ve started investing everything in Roth: 401K and IRAs. If nothing else, this should give me tax diversification.

If taxes go up this is the right move. If taxes go down, I will benefit in that my retirement withdrawals will yield more after-tax than I’m currently expecting. I think that I at least break even in most circumstances, but this is a surface-level thought process so far.

It’s unusual for me to jump the gun before doing the legwork, but there are other advantages to using the Roth right now, and I’ve had a lot of upheaval in my life lately. Any starting points as I look to analyze this would be appreciated.

Jonathan Clements
Jonathan Clements
22 days ago

In addition to Adam’s article (link above), you might check out this piece:

Unless you’re close to age 72 and the need to take required minimum distributions, it’s hard to predict what sort of tax bracket you’ll be in, so tax diversification strikes me as a wise strategy. And if you end up in a low bracket at that juncture, you can always leave your Roth to grow and bequeath it to your heirs.

22 days ago

Another month that provided a very helpful boost to my finances and life. Thanks to the writers and comments.

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