Bob Carlson

Bob Carlson is editor of the monthly newsletter and web site, Retirement Watch and managing member of Carlson Wealth Advisors, L.L.C. He also is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fairfax County Employees' Retirement System, which has over $3 billion in assets, and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Retirement System, which oversaw $42 billion in assets, from 2001-2005. He was appointed to the Virginia Retirement System Deferred Compensation Plans Advisory Committee in 2011.

His latest book is Personal Finance for Seniors for Dummies, published by John Wiley & Co. in 2010 (with Eric Tyson). Previous books include Invest Like a Fox…Not Like a Hedgehog, published by John Wiley & Co. in 2007, and The New Rules of Retirement, as published by John Wiley & Co. in the fall of 2004.

He has written numerous other books and reports, including Tax Wise Money Strategies, Retirement Tax Guide, How to Slash Your Mutual Fund Taxes, Bob Carlson’s Estate Planning Files, and 199 Loopholes That Survived tax Reform. He also has been interviewed by or quoted in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, Barron's, AARP Bulletin, Money, Worth, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, the Washington Post, and many others. He has appeared on national television and on a number of radio programs. He is past editor of Tax Wise Money.

 Carlson is an attorney and passed the CPA Exam. He received his J.D. and an M.S. (Accounting) from the University of Virginia and received his B.S. (Financial Management) from Clemson University. He also is an instrument rated private pilot. He is listed in several recent editions of Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.

Analyst Articles

Estate planning discussions in 2012 have focused on deca-millionaires and those with even more wealth. Regular people have been left out. Let’s focus on some shrewd gift giving strategies that are valuable whether you’re in a position to give away $5.12 million or an amount with substantially fewer zeros in it. The tax law provides ways everyone can maximize the amount of current and future value that can be transferred tax free to loved ones. Take advantage of those rules. Read More

When cash is tight or opportunities arise, people often want to tap their IRAs or other retirement accounts. There could be a penalty for doing so if you are under age 59½. But there are 13 exceptions to the penalty, so with a little planning you might be able to avoid the penalty and have more after-tax cash to spend. Read More

IRAs are among the most valuable asset most people own. But there are many misunderstandings about IRAs. These misunderstandings frequently result in taxes and penalties that easily could be avoided. Read More

One of the most important and fastest-growing transactions in personal finance is growing under the radar of most of the financial media and other observers. It and the follow-on transactions are critical to the financial lives of most Americans. Yet, people receive little guidance on the transactions and, as a result, frequently have thousands of dollars siphoned by taxes. Read More

Taxes will increase, especially for investors, in 2013 and beyond. The only question is how high they will increase. Those in retirement or planning for retirement should expect to pay higher tax rates during their post-career years. You can act now to avoid the worst effects of the coming retiree tax attack.  Read More

Many bulk have the bulk of their nest eggs in IRAs. Unfortunately, a lot of the value in their IRAs isn’t being maximized. People don’t focus on the key strategies that can make IRAs more valuable in their lifetimes and beyond. Read More

Trusts are simpler than lawyers would make you believe. Once only for the wealthy, trusts are included in many estate plans because they achieve so many goals. You need to understand the different types of trusts. Read More

Most people focus on the income tax benefits of Roth IRAs. Those with a longer-term view might find substantial estate planning benefits for them and their loved ones from converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Read More