Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine recently posted an article that addressed the current recession and unemployment rate that is happening in the U.S. The article stated that in this era of high unemployment, flat home prices and do-it-yourself retirement savings, some traditional rules for saving and investing are due for an overhaul.
Renting may beat buying. Buying wins hands down when home prices are rising. But when they're flat of failing, it makes sense only if you get a great deal, your monthly payment won't exceed rent on a comparable home by much, and you'll own the home long enough to recoup your costs for both buying and later selling your home.
Consider a Roth. Although the traditional rule of tax planning
is never to pay a tax bill today that you can put off until tomorrow, Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k) plans stand that rule on its head. With a traditional IRA or work-based retirement plan, you get an upfront tax deduction, but every dime you withdraw in retirement is taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. With a Roth, you forgo the upfront tax break, but all withdrawals--including decades of earnings--can be withdrawn tax-free. To contribute to a Roth IRA, your income in 2010 cannot top $120,000 if you're single or $177,00 if your married.