Carnival of Wealth, Attrition Edition

If you're going to hire workers to submit to the CoW for you, make sure they don't sleep through the deadline.

 

Apparently the world shuts down the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Because the barrage of submissions we received for this week’s Carnival of Wealth is more of a trickle. Or an subcutaneous drip. There weren’t even any submissions to make fun of (not that we’d dare, at least not this week.) The good news is that the folks who did submit will receive special care and attention.

Again, the Carnival of Wealth is the only personal finance blog carnival worth reading. Dozens (or this week, units) of posts from every vertex of the internet, culled and collated into one easy-to-digest package. If you want to get in on next week’s action, or want to see if the submission link still works, click here. And now we begin:

The inimitable and fecund* Free Money Finance is back, with an excerpt from the book When Life Strikes: Weathering Financial Storms by Cal Brown. Mr. Brown is a certified financial planner and tax analyst who restates some universal axioms. Among them are Don’t quit your job without a plan, and Don’t think your employer will always be there for you. He couldn’t be more right, but lots of people would rather do anything than heed his advice.

We thought we’d already seen every wacky Canadian spelling there is (“flavour”, “programme”, and our favorite, “piezzoelectricity”), and then we remembered that we forgot about “manoeuvre”. But Teacher Man at My University Money didn’t. This week, he demonstrates the Smith Manoeuvre, which illustrates how to deduct your mortgage payments from your taxes.

(All the American readers are scratching their heads right now, just like they did during the mention of last week’s “Boxing Day” edition of the CoW. Yes, Canadians don’t have the luxury that we do of deducting mortgage interest payments from their taxes. Then again, Canada has that year-round pleasant climate, so it’s a tradeoff. Pleasant if you’re a musk ox.)

Teacher Man is unlike most personal finance bloggers in that he usually avoids talking about his personal situation. As you’ve probably seen, myriad bloggers are quick to bare the uncomfortable and embarrassing details of their own finances. Why does daycare cost so much, why won’t the bank forgive this useless but enormous student loan I took on, I can’t believe how much my bar tab was last weekend, etc. Teacher Man only goes into his own life when it’s relevant, as it is today.

Wait, in Canada you can get your company pension as a lump sum upon retirement, instead of monthly payments? Yes you can. Boomer & Echo break down the advantages and disadvantages to both strategies.

Death, taxes, and Darwin’s Money submitting to the Carnival. And speaking of taxes, this week Darwin explains how Social Security taxes will change for Americans this year. We can’t even classify the change as a “hike” nor a “reduction”, because it depends on your perspective, your profession, and your salary. Darwin gives the details, while the idea of a uniform and simple tax code continues to be ignored by politicians of every stripe. Well, every stripe but one.

Look who stopped by this week. Why, it’s the Chairman Emeritus of the Carnival of Wealth himself, Shailesh Kumar of Value Stock Guide. Shailesh handed the CoW off to us a few months ago and we haven’t destroyed it yet. This week he selects 32 dividend stocks for 2012. These stocks have great dividend yield, a history of dividend growth, and the dividends themselves are sustainable. The post includes a downloadable spreadsheet with even more data.

For our British readers, and we know we have more than a few, Adam at Magical Penny explains junior individual savings accounts. As their name implies, they’re a way to save money for your kids before they know what hit ‘em. You can transfer junior ISAs between cash and stocks, you can avoid taxes on them, and they make great Christmas gifts if you’re Eastern Orthodox and aren’t celebrating until Friday.

Tim via Bob at Christian PF explains umbrella insurance, term life insurance, renter’s insurance, insurance against natural disasters, and other ways you can make bets with the insurance company. If you die, get robbed, or lose your house in an earthquake, you win!

Finally, Phil at PT Money reminds us that this year, 401(k) plan sponsors have to tell our functionaries at the Department of Labor how much those 401(k) fees are and what they go to. This is an immensely valuable post for those of you who never knew that 401(k) investment and administrative fees even existed.

Well, will you look at that? We stretched this truncated CoW out to a decent length, after all. We’ll do it again next Monday. See you then.

 

 

*Verbally fecund. We have no clue about his fecundity in other realms.

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