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Inform me, please!!
Old 01-10-2016, 12:28 AM   #1
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Inform me, please!!

I'm only 16, and as I try to keep up on politics, I rarely ever understand them. I would like to know how policies and laws currently are/going to affect my financial status now and later on in life. ANY information would be helpful. Thanks!!
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:08 AM   #2
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Well, congratulations on at least trying to figure that out. When I was 16 I was just trying to figure out how to get a girl to go out with me on a date.
I'm 62 and have been planning my retirement for 40 years. Every year, for 40 years I have met with the same attorney and accountant, making short term plans for how much I could put away in various investment vehicles. You can only imagine how many times the laws have changed over that time. For a few years I could not invest in a tax deductible IRA because I had a corporate pension fund, then for a few years I could, then I couldn't.
Every year various "loop-hole" investments were closed up to me, as the IRS decided they wanted more of my money. When I started working, the idea of making enough money to trigger the "Alternative Minimum Tax", was a joke. But decades of inflation without raising the ceiling on AMT, and now it's not a joke.
Every year for 40 years we'd discuss what "may" happen and how that might affect my plans. The bottom line is that I, and my advisors were wrong as often as we were right.

My advice: pay attention to what is going on, but don't fret about it. If you are lucky, you'll develop some sort of "feel" for where things are going. Trying to figure out now, where things will be in 20, 30, or 40 years? You probably won't.

Set some long term goals, medium term goals, short term goals, and then figure out what you can do today and tomorrow and the day after that to move you along the road you think you'd like to travel. Don't ever feel like the road you picked when you were 16, or 18, or 25, or any age is the road you have to stay on, just because you chose it.

Don't get so focused on the destination that you ruin the journey. And the best advice I ever got was from my Mom, "find a skill. Be of use, and you'll never starve"...she was right about that.
Best of luck.
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HadEnuff View Post
Well, congratulations on at least trying to figure that out. When I was 16 I was just trying to figure out how to get a girl to go out with me on a date.
I'm 62 and have been planning my retirement for 40 years. Every year, for 40 years I have met with the same attorney and accountant, making short term plans for how much I could put away in various investment vehicles. You can only imagine how many times the laws have changed over that time. For a few years I could not invest in a tax deductible IRA because I had a corporate pension fund, then for a few years I could, then I couldn't.
Every year various "loop-hole" investments were closed up to me, as the IRS decided they wanted more of my money. When I started working, the idea of making enough money to trigger the "Alternative Minimum Tax", was a joke. But decades of inflation without raising the ceiling on AMT, and now it's not a joke.
Every year for 40 years we'd discuss what "may" happen and how that might affect my plans. The bottom line is that I, and my advisors were wrong as often as we were right.

My advice: pay attention to what is going on, but don't fret about it. If you are lucky, you'll develop some sort of "feel" for where things are going. Trying to figure out now, where things will be in 20, 30, or 40 years? You probably won't.

Set some long term goals, medium term goals, short term goals, and then figure out what you can do today and tomorrow and the day after that to move you along the road you think you'd like to travel. Don't ever feel like the road you picked when you were 16, or 18, or 25, or any age is the road you have to stay on, just because you chose it.

Don't get so focused on the destination that you ruin the journey. And the best advice I ever got was from my Mom, "find a skill. Be of use, and you'll never starve"...she was right about that.
Best of luck.
+1
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:59 AM   #4
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A lot has changed over the years on various taxes for sure, FIT rates, SS and Medicare, estate taxes, capital gains and dividend rates, etc. A financial periodical might help you keep up with it, such as Kiplingers or Money.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:05 AM   #5
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I'll put in a plug for the Wall Street Journal. I find their articles to be very educational, well-written, and easy to understand. (If you don't care for the right-wing tone of their editorial board, just skip the editorial page).

If you haven't started reading the WSJ, I'd recommend it. The subscription is fairly expensive, so check with your school's library to see if they can get it for you. Or, your local library is sure to have it.

Good luck!
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:54 PM   #6
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A few thoughts:

1) Go to realclearpolitics.com and realclearmarkets.com and peruse the articles across the political spectrum each day. You'll become very informed, far more so than 99% of your peers. Ignore any articles telling you to "get into" or "out of" things "right now." They're nonsense. Try to understand the long term shape of things and drivers.

2) Your 16.
Job 1: get great grades to get a good education

Job 2: Get a good education, ideally in a STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medical)

Job 3: Get a job -- any job -- where you learn to show up on time, work hard and save money

Job 4: Enjoy your life. Date (if that interests you). Have friends. Take risks. Money is a part of life -- one you need to manage so it doesn't manage you -- but only a part of life.
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