Too Much Cash?

Michael Perry

Michael is a former career Army officer and external affairs executive for a Fortune 100 company. In addition to personal finance and investing, his interests include reading, traveling, being outdoors, strength training and coaching, and cocktails.

Too Much Cash?

Michael Perry  |  Nov 17, 2022

I’VE SPENT THE PAST seven or eight years lamenting our cash position, both the interest it was earning and the size of it. The former was too little, the latter too much.
Some years ago, we sold an investment property with the idea of buying another somewhere we might potentially retire. But as I noted in a recent article, we’ve never been able to settle on where that would be. We were also constantly thinking we were going to move or be moved away from the Houston area,

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Free in the World

Michael Perry  |  Nov 1, 2022

YESTERDAY EVENING we went under contract to sell our home of the past 10 years, by far the longest I’ve ever lived in one place. In our neighborhood, the average time on the market is currently 33 days. We’d been on the market for one day and the offer was over asking. We credit this to taking good care of our home, and having a sharp listing agent and staging consultant.
This experience, and what we learned from it,

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Tips for Safe Travel

Michael Perry  |  Aug 23, 2022

TRAVELING TO AND living in foreign countries has been a big part of my adult life. My wife and I are looking forward to even more travel now that we’re no longer working. In fact, we just spent three months in Europe. It’s our second such trip since retiring late last year.
Over the decades, we’ve given a fair amount of thought to how we can stay safe during our travels. Below are 10 suggestions for those venturing beyond our borders.

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Retirement Revamp

Michael Perry  |  Feb 15, 2022

I RECENTLY RETIRED and have a lump sum from my former employer to invest. For months now, I’ve presumed that I would just add it to our existing investments in the same proportions, easy-peasy. In practice, however, one consideration has led to another, so I’ve made no firm decisions.
Within our 70% stock-30% bond portfolio, I’ve long had a soft rule of keeping well over a third of our stocks in broad market index funds.

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Thy Will Be Done

Michael Perry  |  Nov 18, 2021

SOMEONE I KNOW recently learned she has a rare cancer that’s already at stage four. She’s getting treated for the cancer, as well as for various complications. I’m not surprised she’s battling the disease. She’s strong, independent and driven.
What is surprising? She’s never written a will, and must now deal with that along with a serious medical issue. Moreover, among her three adult children, one still lives at home—and has a child of her own.

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Too Heavy a Load

Michael Perry  |  Oct 16, 2021

I’M A MORNINGSTAR subscriber. I find that the site provides investing and personal finance information that’s sensible and useful for the average person, and that it promotes good investing and planning behaviors. Still, I was taken aback by a recent article, which discussed four funds that investors have been buying.
In terms of deciding what I buy, I don’t really care what others have been purchasing. Still, it’s interesting to see, so I checked it out.

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Getting to Zero

Michael Perry  |  Oct 5, 2021

AFTER YOU QUIT the workforce and before you start Social Security, you may find yourself with little or no taxable income. As many financial experts have pointed out, this can be a great time to convert a traditional IRA to a Roth and pay taxes at a relatively low rate.
But here’s another tax-savings opportunity to consider: If you have winning stocks and funds in your regular taxable account, this period can also offer the chance to realize long-term gains and pay taxes at a 0% federal rate.

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Final Countdown

Michael Perry  |  Sep 15, 2021

AS I TYPE THIS, I’m less than a week from walking out the door of my workplace for the last time, bringing my second career to a close. I’m looking forward to the rest of my life.
We’ve been anticipating this day and we’re more than ready. My wife is already retired. My work for a large corporation is fine, but I’m not passionate about it. While there are some positive aspects to where we currently live,

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Working My Losses

Michael Perry  |  Aug 24, 2021

AT THE START of the pandemic, we picked up a nice chunk of capital losses. I say “nice” because these were intentional. When the market dropped significantly, we realized losses and immediately reinvested the proceeds in other fallen stocks.
What about capital gains? In 2020, some of our mutual funds distributed capital gains, but we didn’t intentionally realize any other gains. Some of our realized losses offset the distributed fund gains. Another $3,000 was applied against ordinary income.

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An Appreciated Gift

Michael Perry  |  Jul 28, 2021

MY NEPHEW GRADUATED from high school this past spring and starts college in the fall. Alex is fortunate to have received a full scholarship from his college of choice.
Wait, scratch that.
Alex isn’t fortunate. Rather, his diligence and academic success in high school have been rewarded.
While Alex needs no help paying for college, his notable accomplishment should still be recognized. We’d write him a check, but where’s the fun in that? How about a financial gift that’ll allow some one-on-one time that might spark an interest in sensible investing?

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