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The Independent Investor: Attention Retirees!
By Bill Schmick,
05:10PM / Thursday, November 14, 2019
It has been more than a year since President Trump admonished the government to strengthen retirement security in America. This week, in response, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a proposal to comply with that executive order. Its suggestions were decidedly underwhelming.   Truth be told, financial planners and tax accountants have been speculating for years that, at some point, the IRS was going to have to recognize certain facts of life concerning retirement. One of which is that Americans are living longer. Why should that matter so much to you, the retiree?   Because everyone that has a tax-deferred savings account like an IRA, 401(k), 403(b),

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The Independent Investor: Fringe Benefits Important as Paycheck
By Bill Schmick,
04:31PM / Thursday, November 07, 2019
Most of us know to the penny how much we made last paycheck, but how many of us know the details of our fringe benefits? Not many, I suspect, and that is a big mistake.   Retirement benefits are available to 77 percent of private industry workers and 91 percent of state and local government employees as of March 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Back in the day, offering perks to workers was a way to stand-out from your competition, but today they are essential tools of recruitment. And countless studies have shown that these benefits are a means to engage employees and increase productivity. That all sounds good on paper but in real life things may be

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The Independent Investor: NCAA Up Against Ropes on College Pay for Athletes
By Bill Schmick,
05:08PM / Thursday, October 31, 2019
This week the Board of Governors of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) met at Emory University in Atlanta to hear the pros and cons of allowing athletes to accept money for endorsements. It has been a long time coming.   This is an issue that has been around for as long as I can remember, but it has only been the recent moves by certain states, as well as the Federal government, that has forced the NCAA to at least acknowledge that the status quo is no longer working for them or for their students.   It is currently illegal for athletes to receive gifts or income related to their college athletic activities. If they do and get caught, the

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The Independent Investor: Will Trump Ruin Thanksgiving?
By Bill Schmick,
05:19PM / Thursday, October 24, 2019
Nov. 21 will mark the deadline for the nation's lawmakers to approve a government budget for next year. Given the animosity between the two parties, the present all-encompassing focus directed at an impeachment inquiry, and the rage of many congressmen towards Trump's handling of the Syrian Crisis, is there any hope for a meeting of the minds when it comes to a budget resolution?   Right now, I would say it is a good bet that Congress just does not have the time to pass all of the 12 annual spending bills that are required to fund the portions of the government that Congress controls. Some of those bills will come up for a vote next week. That should give us an

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The Independent Investor: Was There Really a Trade Deal?
By Bill Schmick,
02:52PM / Friday, October 18, 2019
Last Friday a "phase one" trade agreement between the United States and China was announced with great fanfare. The problem is that nothing was written down, nor were the terms agreed upon. In the end, we only have a gentlemen's handshake. Will that be enough?   With the stock market up by over one percent, President Donald Trump spent most of the that day in front of the cameras crowing that China had agreed to buy $40-$50 billion worth of food imports from our nation's farmers. He repeated those numbers over and over, throwing in comments of how famers were going to have to buy bigger tractors to handle the business.   China's Vice

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