True Contrarian Investments LLC
Steven Jon Kaplan began TrueContrarian.com in August 1996 as a weekly blog and later expanded this to a daily newsletter with intraday updates in February 2006. He has been trading his own account, and those of family and close friends, since 1981, and handles separately managed accounts for qualified clients. As a registered investment advisor, Steve charges a 20 % performance fee on net profits and no management fees. He has been quoted in Barron's, Market Watch, Dow Jones Newswires, Seeking Alpha, Kitco, and elsewhere and has appeared on Market Watch cable TV with Stacey Delo.
Steven's goal is to identify those assets which are farthest away from the best estimates of their realistic fair-value levels. This is done through designing algorithms which examine the most reliable signals in the financial markets. These include insider buying relative to selling; investor inflows and outflows; media and advisors' sentiment; and intraday behavior especially near multi-decade tops and bottoms. He studies historical interrelationships to mathematically identify which divergences from typical behavior are pointing the way toward essential trend changes.
Steve enjoys running with the New York Road Runners Club, composing and performing on piano and voice, writing stories, and traveling to unique places. He enjoys hearing from anyone about a wide range of topics, so please let him know what you think about the web site or whatever is on your mind. You can find his music on ReverbNation.
BES, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, The Johns Hopkins University
Assets Under Management:
20% of net profits; zero management fees.
True Contrarian Investments LLC
Steven Jon Kaplan explains why investors repeatedly fool themselves.
Steven Jon Kaplan: April 2010 conference
That sounds like a simple question, but the answer is complicated. It depends a lot on how much your total income varies from year to year. As a general rule, you will pay the lowest overall taxes if your income is exactly the same each year; they used to have a form called Schedule G where you could smooth out your income, but that was abolished in 1986. Therefore, you should attempt to do that yourself; when your income is lower than usual as you get into November and December, increase it by filling out your marginal tax bracket. For example, if you can withstand another 20 thousand in income in 2017 before you jump from the 15% to the 25% federal tax bracket, take 17 or 18 thousand out of your 401(k) or any other non-Roth retirement account during 2017. On the other hand, if your income is higher in a particular year and you are already in the 25% tax bracket, don't withdraw any money from a retirement account (you won't have to until you're 70-1/2).
By smoothing out your income and using up the lower tax brackets, you will save money on taxes in the long run, even if you pay more in any given year.
There are many valid answers to this question. I would strongly recommend Benjamin Graham's 'The Intelligent Investor', first published in 1949. It is just as valid today as it was when it was published, and probably more so now that so many analysts are recommending the same kind of failed trendy "new paradigm" ideas that are popular near all major market peaks.
I would definitely not do anything in advance, other than being sure not to lock yourself into any particular strategy. Tax plans can change frequently before they are passed into law, or fail to pass. Wait until the rules are fully known and then be prepared to adjust to them intelligently.
There is no difference between transferring money from an offshore account to a U.S. account than when transferring from one U.S. account to another. I am assuming, of course, that you have been properly checking the box on your Schedule B which asks if you have any offshore accounts and requires that you list them, and that you have been meticulously providing a full accounting of such accounts to the IRS. Once you transfer the money to the U.S., you will no longer have to provide this information to the IRS in future tax returns.
If you have been illegally concealing the offshore money from the IRS by not checking this box or intentionally omitting some accounts, then find a good attorney and good luck. You'll need it.
If you run the numbers, you will find that you usually end up with the highest total lifetime sum if you and your wife both wait until reaching 70 before collecting Social Security. However, this is only true if both of you are in good or better health. If you think you or your wife won't reach the age of 80, then whoever won't live that long should begin taking Social Security whenever you qualify for regular (not early) retirement. Obviously, that is always a guessing game, but that is the equation you should rely upon when making your decision, especially since your major expenses are already paid in full and you won't have a desperate need to have the money early.
Whether the younger or older person is the main wage earner shouldn't affect your calculations. It should be based entirely upon your health. How long you decide to work or not work is also independent of collecting Social Security, assuming you have enough savings and investments to use for all necessary expenses even if you aren't collecting Social Security.