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: 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.
- HOT TOPIC: Digital Deception: Current Trends in Cybercrime
An overview of recent developments in cybersecurity and tips that could help protect sensitive account information.
- How Much Should You Save for Retirement?
To help calculate retirement savings needs consider factors such as Social Security benefits and medical expenses.
- Managing Risk with a Strong Foundation
How asset allocation and diversification can work together to help form a strong base for constructing a portfolio.
- A Roadmap for Your Family
A letter of instruction has no formal legal status, but it could be just as important as a legal will to help settle an estate.
- Taxing Social Security Benefits
How Social Security benefits are taxed and why the current system may lead to higher tax liabilities.
- Six Steps to Launching a New Venture
Here are some important first steps entrepreneurs should consider when starting a new venture.
- HOT TOPIC: Rising Rates: The Fed Takes Next Step Toward Normal
The possible implications for consumers and investors when the Federal Reserve raises short-term interest rates.
- The Cost of Caregiving
About one out of six American adults had provided unpaid care to another adult during the previous 12 months.
- In or Out of the Nest? Helping Adult Children
Helping young people transition to adult financial responsibilities without making it difficult for parents to pursue their own financial goals.
- Following the Federal Reserve
The regulatory and supervisory responsibilities of the Federal Reserve, including emergency lending, stress tests, and capital controls.
- Improving Market Allows More Owners to Cash Out
Common valuation methods and how small-business owners can get the best price when selling their businesses.
- Making Sense of Beneficiary Designations
How beneficiary designations, per stirpes and per capita, could affect the division of assets to children and grandchildren.
- HOT TOPIC: Three Financial Issues to Watch Under the New Administration
Three financial issues — the Affordable Care Act, tax reform, and the investment climate — that might take center stage early in the Trump administration.
- Consider Munis for Tax-Free Income
Understanding general obligation and revenue bonds, how bonds are rated, and potential benefits of tax-free yields.
- Finding Lost Money
Though finding buried treasure is unlikely, discovering “lost” money or other assets may not be a fantasy after all.
- Why You Need a Will…Even If You’re Not a Prince
The unexpected death of famed musician Prince put the importance of having a will in the national spotlight. A will and personal property memorandum give heirs a clear indication of specific assets you want to bequeath.
- Could the AMT Boost Your Taxes?
An explanation of how the alternative minimum tax works. It is expected to affect about 4.3 million taxpayers in 2016.
- New Overtime Rules Could Be Costly for Small Businesses
It’s estimated that 4.2 million more U.S. workers could become eligible for overtime pay when the Department of Labor’s new rules take effect on December 1, 2016. Employers may need to review employee classifications and staffing as they attempt to comply with the new overtime rules.
- HOT TOPIC: Are Soaring Health-Care Costs Hurting the U.S. Economy?
Recent trends in the changing health-care landscape, and why some economists believe the broader U.S. economy could be at risk.
- Feeling Confident: Steps to Saving More
Ideas that may help readers save more without making a big sacrifice in their cash flow.
- Balancing Medicare and Work-Based Insurance
Rules and other considerations workers who are eligible for both Medicare and employer-based health insurance face.
- Step Up to Help Reduce Taxes on Inherited Assets
Step-up in basis on inherited assets differs from gifts, which are subject to carryover basis rules.
- Medicare Means Testing
Medicare program structure, premiums, and why it’s important to factor health-care costs into retirement planning.
- Bracing for Potential Cybersecurity Threats
Understanding cyber security threats and some tips to help small businesses defend their data and protect their interests.
- HOT TOPIC: Election 2016: The Candidates’ Tax Proposals
An overview of key tax proposals from the two major presidential candidates, based on speeches and other campaign materials.
- Changing Jobs? Careful with Your 401(k)
Are you thinking about cashing out of a 401(k) plan? Do you know your options and the potential consequences?
- Universal Life for Flexibility
With a universal life insurance policy you can change the frequency and amount of premium payments or death benefit.
- Know Your Credit Score
Do you know your FICO score? Here are some tips on how to improve your credit score and maintain your high score.
- Looking for Income? Consider Closed-End Funds
Investors interested in the potential for a regular income stream may want to consider closed-end funds.
- Comparing Your Retirement Plan Options
A look at some specific features of employer-sponsored retirement plans (401(k) plans, SEP IRAs, and SIMPLE IRAs).
- HOT TOPIC: Social Security and Medicare Update: The 2016 Trustees Reports
Key information regarding the current and future financial health of Social Security and Medicare programs.
- How Much Cash Should You Keep?
Common cash vehicles that might be used for emergency savings and investment accounts, including CDs.
- New Law Requires Notification of Medicare Observation Status
The distinction between observation care and inpatient status while in the hospital can make a difference in a patient’s out-of-pocket costs.
- Focused on College Funding
The flexible features and tax advantages associated with 529 plans, as well as their impact on financial aid.
- Reclassifying Real Estate
How REITs differ from other types of stocks and why the sector change might affect the portfolios of some investors.
- Enticing the Crowd: New Rules for Raising Capital Online
An overview of the SEC’s new crowdfunding rules and how campaigns may be used to launch or expand a small business.