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The Retired Investor: Increase Tax-Deferred Contributions Right Now
By Bill Schmick,
04:23PM / Thursday, February 02, 2023
In 2022, Congress increased the amount an individual can contribute to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) as well as a 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans. If you have not already, it is time to increase your contributions for 2023 to take advantage of this opportunity.   If you missed it, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced in October 2022 the largest-ever annual increase in 401(k) contributions. It boosted the maximum contribution limit by $2,000 to $22,500 for 2023. For those over 50 years old, an additional "catch-up" contribution will rise by $1,000 to $7,500. As for the contribution limits for an individual IRA, an additional $50 in contributions

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The Retired Investor: Back to the gym
By Bill Schmick,
04:52PM / Thursday, January 26, 2023
As the New Year gets underway, the fitness industry is breathing a sigh of relief. It has been a rough three years for those who provide the means to a healthy body for millions of Americans, but times are changing for the better.   During the pandemic, one in four health and fitness facilities across the nation closed permanently. Americans, who were forced to hunker down at home either gave up their fitness routine overall or made do as best they could with a few dumbbells and maybe, if they could afford it, online membership to one of the many internet fitness sites such as Peloton.   Most readers are not aware that gyms and fitness studios were among the

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The Retired Investor: The Billionaire Lottery
By Bill Schmick,
03:59PM / Thursday, January 19, 2023
On the surface, you would think that inflation has hit the lottery. Billionaire-dollar jackpots were infrequent until recently. But lately, the total winnings in the Mega Millions lottery have hit close to or over that magical mark several times. Is it inflation, or something else that has moved these jackpots to a whole new level?   There was a time when winning a million dollars in one of the nation's weekly lotteries was a big deal. Today, million-dollar winnings are no more than consolation prizes for those who picked a couple of winning numbers, but not the whole enchilada. As of today, there have been only a few times that the U.S. lottery has surpassed $1 billion.

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The Retired Investor: Beware Political Pollsters
By Bill Schmick,
04:38PM / Thursday, January 12, 2023
The pollsters were wrong in 2016, 2020, and now 2022. The recent "Red Wave" of GOP wins, so confidently predicted in the final days of the mid-term elections, failed to be no more than a red ripple. Is this a question of "three times you're out?"   Heading into November 2022, Republicans were shown to have a clear edge in battleground states, as well as throughout the nation generally, according to the average of most polls. A minority of polls, mostly those of traditional pollsters, seem to dispute those results but were drowned out by the red wave forecasters.   Some argue that the traditional pollsters got it right,

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The Retired Investor: U.S. Income Inequality
By Bill Schmick,
02:03PM / Friday, January 06, 2023
In 2022, 68 percent of the total wealth in the United States was owned by the top 10 percent of wage earners while the lowest 50  percent of workers accounted for just 3.2 percent of that wealth. The gap between the haves and the have-nots continues to widen.   I was brought up believing that hard work, determination, and pulling oneself up by your bootstraps could guarantee success in America. In my case, as the son of lower-middle-class parents, I have moved up a rung to solidly middle-class. Unfortunately, most Americans have not been able to even do that.   As most readers probably know, income and wealth inequality in the U.S. is wider than in almost

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