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Consider your needs before switching to a Roth 401(k)

A guy walks into a bar where he was told there was a talking dog that's an expert on retirement plans.

He asks the dog if he should do a conventional 401(k) or a Roth 401(k.) The dog goes, "Roth! Roth!" In disgust, the guy walks back out thinking that the dog is just barking.

The dog then turns to the other bar patrons, and, clearly annoyed at the interruption, continues to share his thoughts on the subject as follows:

Rescind unfair drug program

In 1988, Congress voted for a prescription drug benefit to be added to Medicare. A few months later, when the full magnitude of the cost became apparent, they rescinded the vote and the program was relegated to the dustbin of history.

This demonstration of fiscal responsibility was reflected in the cutback of many government spending programs at the time. Welfare as we once knew it, the legacy of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, was brought to an end by President Clinton and a responsible Congress. In the waning years of that administration, we began to enjoy a budget surplus.

Medical deduction a sound investment

I thought some might be happy to know that my heart scan showed no cholesterol effects after a lifetime of high readings.

Thanks to advice from my health-food store I, now 61, have been battling my problem with massive amounts of oatmeal, soy protein drinks, odorless garlic, exercise and the advice of Lafayette's Open Sesame store owner, who told me to lose 10 pounds.

Taxpayers pay price for evaders

Struggling with our income tax return is hardly the most pleasant way to spend time, but imagine how annoyed we would be if we knew that every one of us is being overcharged by 25 percent. But this year, someone whose fair share for living in this country is $8,000 will actually be forced to pay $10,000.

It's estimated that 20 percent of what honest Americans pay in taxes is to compensate for the amount that does not get collected from those who don't pay their fair share.

2005 gave people corporate power

If optimism is the opiate of the masses, then I think we as investors have some reasons to expect an exhilarating high in the year ahead.

This is not to be confused with a prediction of what the stock and bond markets might generate. My basis for optimism derives from what I consider to be the past year's major housecleaning of twisted ethics in the world of commerce.

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