Many readers of this blog contact me directly with questions and comments. While often the responses are very specific to a particular circumstance, occasionally the subject matter is general enough that it might be of interest to others as well. Accordingly, I will occasionally post a new "MailBag" article, presenting the question or comment (on a strictly anonymous basis!) and my response, in the hopes that the discussion may be useful food for thought.
In this week's mailbag, we look at two recent inquiries: 1) whether or not it's a good deal to use 1031 real estate exchanges to avoid the new 3.8% Medicare surtax on investment income that begins in 2013; and 2) some thoughts on the recent Center for Retirement Research brief about using the RMD method as a retirement income/withdrawal strategy.