US Teachers' pensions suffer from excessively high fees

US 403(b) Plans’ High Fees Eat Teachers’ Retirement Plans

Posted Leave a commentPosted in News

One of my main missions as a fee-only investment advisor is to shine light on how every day professionals can best save and invest for retirement, and know exactly what they’re paying for such services and what they get from those services. I was glad to see this latest Barron’s article highlighting US teachers’ 403(b) […]

Top IRA Mistakes

19 Top IRA Mistakes as of 2019

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Retirement

The US Individual Retirement Arrangement / account (IRA) is one of the world’s simplest, cheapest, most flexible, world-class tax shelters in which to save and invest for retirement. While the individual IRA contribution limits for 2019 have been raised to US$6,000 ($7,000 if you’re age 50 or older), some higher earners find these limits relatively […]

financial new year's resolutions

Top 3 Financial New Year’s Resolutions for 2019

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Personal finance

I find new year’s resolutions a great place to regularly set and review “SMART goals“. I am fortunate to live in Hong Kong, where the January weeks between the western new year and Chinese lunar new year provide a relatively quiet and cleaning-oriented time to both review the resolutions I completed (or not) the previous […]

First in our calculator series is a simple retirement calculator

Simple retirement calculator

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Calculators

As I have often mentioned publicly and in my book, I have long preferred a simple rule of thumb I call the “4 house pension” to many of the retirement calculators I have seen online.  That said, I have started brushing up on my JavaScript to write a few smartphone-friendly pages to do quick cost-benefit […]

HKMC Annuity provides guaranteed income for life for Hong Kong

HKMC Annuity guarantees fixed income for life – is it a good deal?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance, Retirement

This month, HKMC Annuity Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the HKSAR Government’s own Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation, closes its first subscription round for the HKMC Annuity policy that promises a guaranteed fixed income for life for Hong Kong permanent residents aged 65 and older.  According to the HKMC Annuity plan calculator, a 65 year […]

How to have over $1,000,000 in MPF by age 40

How to have over $1,000,000 in MPF by age 40

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Investing, Personal finance

If you have worked as a professional in Hong Kong since the first MPF scheme was launched in December 2000, and contributed the minimum each month into a low-cost Hong Kong stock index fund, you should have over $1,000,000 in MPF by now. MPF stands for Mandatory Provident Fund, and is Hong Kong’s equivalent to […]

IRA Deadlines for 2018

US IRA Deadlines for 2018

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Retirement

Spring is here, Easter is this weekend, and April starts next week, which for Americans may all serve as reminders of the April 15th (April 17th in 2018) tax filing deadline for US taxes. Even if you are taking an extension to file your 2017 US tax return, remember that you may still need to […]

MPF vs ORSO

MPF vs ORSO: How to Decide, How Much to Put In

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Personal finance

When starting a new job in Hong Kong, some employers offer new employees the choice of MPF vs ORSO for retirement savings.  Many employers only offer MPF, and while I earlier posted some data on some of the best MPF plans in Hong Kong in lowering fees below 1% (still many times higher than many […]

Investing Retirement Accounts: Starting with $20,000,000, a retiree withdraws $800,000 in the first year, and 2% more each following year. At 4% and 5%, the retiree runs out of money, while at 6%, the account keeps growing.

Investing Retirement Accounts: What rate of return vs level of risk to aim for?

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Investing

When investing retirement accounts, we are often told to invest aggressively (mostly in stocks) when saving as young employees, and then rotate more and more of the account towards more conservative investments (bonds and REITs) as retirement approaches.  One overly simple rule is to allocate 100 minus your age in stocks, so that a 20 […]

Vintage ad for a convertible car: more romantic than considering Roth conversions as an expat?

Roth conversions as an expat: if, when and how much?

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Personal finance

Considering Roth conversions as an expat is similar to considering if, when, and how much to do one when living in the US. What is a Roth conversion? A Roth conversion turns a traditional IRA (on which you may have already gotten a tax deduction, but will need to pay tax when you withdraw at […]