Yeske Buie Weekend Digest 8/14/2009
As you may have noticed, I took a break from sending out the weekend digest during the month of July. Enough interesting items have now accumulated, however, that I thought it was time to send out a fresh edition.
Have a great weekend!
Maximizing Social Security
Dave was just quoted in the August 5 edition of the AARP Bulletin Today in an article discussing little-known strategies for maximizing Social Security benefits. These strategies range from “claim and suspend” — which allows your spouse to claim a “spousal benefit” even while your own benefits continue to grow — to “claim now, claim more later” — which involves claiming a spousal benefit now and then switching to your own, higher benefit later. See the full article.
Flash from the Past
We just stumbled across a Wall Street Journal article from June of 2005 in which Dave warned of the dangers of loading up on real estate. No crystal ball was involved, just the idea that chasing hot assets — “driving with the rear-view mirror” — rarely turns out well in the end. Remaining Cool in a Hot Housing Market.
Yeske Buie on Facebook
Yeske Buie now has a “fan” page on Facebook where we post the occasional item of interest or pearl of wisdom. You don’t have to be a member of Facebook to follow our posts however, as there’s a feed on our website at https://www.facebook.com/YeskeBuie/
In addition to being recognized by Wealth Advisor Magazine as one of the top wealth management firms in the country, Yeske Buie was also named a Top Registered Investment Advisor by Financial Advisor Magazine.
How to Get Help
And don’t forget that our updated client page (https://clients.yebu.com/) offers a full list of who does what and who you should contact for help with various issues. Contact numbers and email links are available from that page as well.
The Virtues of Muddling Through
David Brooks wrote an interesting piece last week in which he describes the “Wise Muddling Through” that allowed Fed and Treasury officials to guide the country through a recession that might have turned into another great depression, even as they continuously underestimated the size and scope of the problem.
In many ways, there are financial lessons for individuals in all of this. Coping with a sometimes chaotic environment requires the ability to adjust, adapt, and muddle through. This might involve the use of safe-withdrawal-rates, spending adjustments, or dipping into emergency reserves, but most of all, it means adapting to reality as it unfolds around us. Read the Brooks column.
What? Me Worry?
Tim Bond, writing in the Financial Times two weeks ago, tells us that it’s “Time to stop worrying and learn to love the recovery.” Bond notes that “never has a bull market climbed a steeper wall of worry,” and then goes on to declare that “pessimistic expectations are likely to collide with the economic reality of a strong recovery.”
Just to keep things balanced, we note that Wall Street retail analyst Kristin Bentz told tech ticker that “Americans are willing to do with less and aren’t going to be so easily seduced by retail,” so “you can kiss that talk of a ‘V’ shaped recovery good-bye.”
Boston University economist Zvi Bodie told me yesterday that such analyses just shows that “nobody knows,” and what we need instead of a crystal ball is “an early warning system, a rapid-response system, and a risk-management system.” At its best, the financial planning process helps us to install all three.
Quote of the Week
But this is not a story of failure. It’s a story of effective muddling through. Bernanke & Co. never really got control of events. But they did avert disaster and committed only a few big blunders. In the real world, that counts as a job well done.