Fifty-seven percent of American workers have saved less than $25,000 for retirement, and 28% have saved less than $1,000.
Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2013
Will you outlive your retirement income? Are your financial expectations for the coming year realistic?
Our financial newsletters are designed to provide helpful information on a wide variety of financial topics. Simply click on one of the newsletter topics below to read the article in its entirety.
- HOT TOPIC: Business Tax Breaks: Impact on Earnings and the Economy
An overview of the tax changes affecting corporations and pass-through businesses and the potential implications for GDP growth.
- Options for Inherited IRAs
Here is an overview of IRA distribution rules and options for surviving spouses and nonspouse beneficiaries.
- How Long Should You Keep Financial Records?
The beginning of the year is a great time to organize records and discard old documents to make room for new ones.
- Why Hold Money Market Mutual Funds?
Why investors still hold money market mutual funds despite low returns.
- Settling an Estate
Settling an estate can be a difficult and time-consuming job as there are some specific duties that often fall on an executor.
- Disaster Insurance Can Help Your Company Stay Afloat
It’s important to identify the potential risks that threaten your business, create a disaster plan, and obtain adequate insurance.
- HOT TOPIC: Tax Reform: How Will You Be Affected?
On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax-cut package that fundamentally changes the individual and business tax landscape. This Special Report provides an overview of the major corporate tax changes and a more comprehensive outline of the provisions likely to affect individual taxpayers.
- International Investing: Opportunities Overseas?
Investing in emerging markets and developing economies has both risks and opportunities.
- An Introduction to Trusts
A properly constructed trust can serve many purposes for families — and not just for the wealthy.
- Keeping Savings on Track with a Spousal IRA
IRS rules allow a working spouse to contribute to an IRA for a spouse who earns little or no income.
- Illinois Highlights Credit Risk
A look at the tax advantages and credit risks associated with municipal bond investments.
- No Shortage of Liability Risks
Liability insurance can help offset unforeseen legal costs that could consume a business’s profits.
- HOT TOPIC: Junk Jitters: What’s Behind the Exodus from High-Yield Bonds?
High-yield bond funds experienced a recent sell-off. What role do they play in the current investment climate?
- Consider a Roth for Tax-Free Retirement Income
Roth IRA withdrawal and conversion rules and how they differ from other retirement plans.
- Market Measures: Beyond the Dow
A description of the 5 market indexes that are often used as benchmarks to track various categories of investments.
- How a Pension Could Affect Social Security Benefits
The potential impact on Social Security benefits by the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset.
- Better Late Than Never
Understand the rules and deadlines for the estates of recently deceased taxpayers when seeking portability relief.
- Two Tax-Friendly Retirement Plans for the Self-Employed
Solo 401(k)s and SEP IRAs are relatively simple for small-business owners and self-employed individuals to set up.
- HOT TOPIC: Spanish Showdown, Slow Brexit
Geopolitical tensions, like the Spanish showdown and Brexit, can affect economies and move financial markets.
- PPO or HDHP? Making Health Insurance Choices
The similarities and differences between an HDHP and a PPO plan and contribution limits for health savings accounts.
- FAFSA in the Fall for Lower Stress
New rules enable families to begin the FAFSA earlier using tax returns from two years prior to the academic year.
- Medicare Open Enrollment
The changes Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plan beneficiaries can make during the annual enrollment periods.
- Required Minimum Distribution Rules
When calculating RMDs for multiple accounts, it’s important to understand which amounts can be combined and which accounts must distribute separate RMDs.
- Stacking Up Tax Breaks for Business Investments
Tax code provisions may allow for larger, immediate deductions for businesses: bonus depreciation and IRC Section 179 expensing.
- HOT TOPIC: After the Storms: The Economic Impact of Harvey and Irma
The potential economic impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on a local and national level.
- Birthday Opportunities
Test your knowledge of the financial benefits and responsibilities related to certain age milestones between 50 and 70½.
- New Life for Your Old Insurance Policy
Consider options that could be more beneficial than surrendering a life insurance policy or letting it lapse.
- The State of State Pensions
A look at some of the challenges facing state pension funds and steps that might help improve the long-term outlook.
- Bracing for Higher Rates
Bond laddering is a time-tested strategy that can help manage interest rate risk.
- Insuring a Home-Based Business
Operate a business out of your residence? Consider an in-home business insurance policy as homeowners insurance coverage may not be sufficient.
- HOT TOPIC: Brick-and-Mortar: The Precarious Fate of Traditional Retail
How current trends in the retail industry could affect consumers, workers, and the broader economy.
- Buying and Selling: Trading Basics
Investors should understand basic terms and types of trades, like bid and ask prices, market order and limit order.
- Insuring Your College Student
Before leaving for college, be sure your student has his/her insurance needs (medical, auto, personal property) addressed.
- New Math for Social Security
In 2017, Americans born in 1955 become eligible to claim Social Security benefits at the earliest claiming age of 62.
- Estate Planning: Life Insurance Options for Leaving a Legacy
A whole life or survivorship life insurance policy can play an important role in a family’s estate plan.
- Keeping Up with Quarterly Taxes
Making accurate quarterly payments on schedule can help taxpayers avoid interest penalties for underpayment to the IRS.
- HOT TOPIC: Low Volatility: Calm Before the Storm?
Several key factors have helped calm the U.S. stock markets, but consider the potential for future volatility.
- Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?
The differences between term life insurance and permanent life insurance and the advantages of an individual policy.
- Deficit Trading: The Import/Export Imbalance
Some facts to help understand the issues behind the trade deficit headlines, and how China factors into the story.
- ETFs or Mutual Funds: What’s the Difference?
The differences between ETFs and mutual funds, with an emphasis on the potential cost and risk factors of ETFs.
- Demographic Dilemma
Some economists believe shifting demographics may be the primary reason GDP growth has been weak versus past recoveries.
- Social Media Marketing Strategies
Social media is a convenient way for a small business to build customer relationships and gain market exposure.
- HOT TOPIC: Volatility Puts Tech Sector in the Spotlight
What can go wrong when investors chase performance and/or have a portfolio overly concentrated in one sector.
- When a Saver Marries a Spender, Every Penny Counts
Guidelines to help facilitate financial discussions between spouses who have different points of view on spending.
- Surprise! It’s Retirement Time
Consider these tips to prepare for the possibility that you might retire earlier than planned.
- Interested in Interest Rates?
With interest rates expected to keep rising here is a short quiz to test one’s interest rate knowledge.
- Anticipating Inflation?
One way to help protect a bond portfolio from a potential spike in inflation is by investing in Treasury inflation-protected securities.
- Offering Life Insurance as an Employee Benefit
Making life insurance part of an employee benefit program could be a cost-effective way to recruit and retain valuable employees.
- HOT TOPIC: Full Employment: What Happens Now?
The current employment picture and why the labor force may continue to hold back the U.S. economy.
- Investing in Your Values
Investing based on principles of sustainable, responsible, and impact could have a positive social outcome.
- Do You Need Disability Insurance
An individual disability income policy could provide much-needed income in the event of an accident or illness.
- Student Loans Meet Retirement
Considering a higher-education loan for yourself or others? Here are some factors older adults should keep in mind.
- Indexed Annuities
The benefits and risks of indexed annuities, including ways in which return rates are calculated.
- The Pros and Cons of Financing Options
Common types of financing that might be available to help small businesses expand or cover operating expenses.
- HOT TOPIC: Robos Have Arrived, But Life Often Calls for a Human Touch
Understanding what robo advisors do, how they do it, and their limitations versus what a human advisor can offer.
- Mutual Benefits: Funds to Pursue Your Goals
An overview of nine different types of mutual funds, ranging from lower risk to higher risk.
- The State of Social Security
The current state of the Social Security program and possible solutions to address the program’s projected shortfall.
- Use Sense with Student Loans
Some guidelines before taking on student loan debt including steps students have taken to make college more affordable.
- Advance Medical and Legal Directives
Expressing your wishes in advance could help loved ones feel more confident making medical or legal decisions.
- Consider Taxation When Setting Compensation
The tax considerations involved in setting a small-business owner’s compensation.
- HOT TOPIC: Debt Ceiling: A Stop Sign for Federal Borrowing
The debt ceiling may become a focal point during upcoming federal budget and tax reform negotiations. Here’s why.
- Are UITs for You?
How unit investment trusts operate and potential investment risks.
- Is It Wise to Trade Your Pension for a Lump Sum?
The pros and cons of keeping a pension versus accepting a lump-sum payout.
- Factor-Based Investing
How smart-beta mutual funds and ETFs are constructed and the role they may play in an investor’s portfolio.
- Real Estate Markets on the Mend
The U.S. tax code favors real estate ownership, allowing for tax savings that might help families build wealth over the long term.
- Cash Balance Plans Can Help Supercharge Retirement Savings
Generous contribution limits for cash balance plans can help high-income business owners maximize retirement savings
- HOT TOPIC: Automating the American Workforce
What current trends in workforce automation could mean for U.S. workers, industries, and the broader economy.
- Tax Breaks for College Costs
Three federal tax provisions can help ease the financial strain of paying for rising college costs.
- What Is the Roth IRA Five-Year Rule?
There are two separate five-year holding requirements that may affect the tax treatment of Roth IRA distributions.
- Chasing Performance vs. Diversification
While chasing performance can lead to disappointing returns, diversifying investments may help manage risk.
- Tax Tips on Capital Gains
Tax season is an opportunity to look at the tax implications of investment strategies and plan for the year ahead.
- LLCs: Hybrid Structure May Offer Best of Both Worlds
A look at the distinctions between LLCs, partnerships, and sole proprietorships.