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Jill on Money: Fear, greed and year-end planning

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There are only two emotions when it comes to investing: fear and greed. We started the show with a call from Russ in MD, who cashed out all of his investments at the bottom and now is wondering what to do. The situation allowed me to riff on fear vs. greed.

Barry wrote in with a similar problem: too much cash. But in his case, he's wondering about whether to allocate a portion of the cash into a fixed rate annuity.

Sandy from CA doesn't suffer from fear or greed; she is frustrated by her husband's inaction on establishing a retirement plan. After reviewing her options, we got to a far more important financial planning issue for a young couple with two kids: no wills!

Anne and her husband have about $1.3 million in retirement accounts and upon retirement, she will only need that money to generate $10,000 annually. That's a slam dunk, so Anne should feel free to retire whenever she wants.

What a treat to have Michael Goodman, the President and founder of Wealthstream Advisors Inc., join the show to talk about year-end financial and tax planning, amid the swirling uncertainty of the "fiscal cliff". Michael is a Certified Public Accountant, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, a Personal Financial Specialist, and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, but beyond those designations and his many achievements, he is a down to earth, smart guy knows his stuff. Check out his take on whether or not you should take capital gains or losses this year and how you may want to take advantage of the current estate tax law limitsh.

As always, we fielded a few questions about retirement. "J" is 66 years old and plans to retire at 70. His financial advisor is recommending that he keep part of his $500,000 portfolio in the stock market, a sentiment with which I concur. BUT, the advisor also said that J could count on earnings approximately 9 - 15 percent for the next four years. WHAT? I'm hopeful that this is all a big misunderstanding...

"F" wrote in about her required minimum distribution and how she should best use it to save for her only child, who is currently 30. Meanwhile "D" checked in about re-titling an annuity contract and John asked for a retirement reality check and I am happy to report that he is doing just fine!

Vince learned a painful new term recently: "Highly Compensated Employee" or HCE. With this classification, his 401K contributions have been reduced and he wants to know what to do now. (For fun, Vince noted that there are two distinct "Jills": the "404 Podcast" Jill and the "Jill on Money Jill"!)

Here are web sites and resources mentioned in this week's show:

-- Jill's Blog

-- NAPFA: National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (fee-only advisors)

-- The ABCs of Annuities: 6 Questions to Ask

-- The Pros and Cons of Annuities

--Immediate Annuity Calculator

-- Annuity salespeople don't like me

-- Social Security estimator

-- When to take Social Security?

-- Retirement Calculator

-- Retirement Plan Required Distribution Calculator

Thanks to everyone who participated and to Mark, the BEST producer in the world. If you have a financial question, there are lots of ways to contact us:

Call 855-411-JILL and we'll schedule time to get you on the show LIVE

Send an email: askjill@jillonmoney.com

Tweet me: @jillonmoney

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