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: Bear in the Woods: Emerging Markets Credit Crisis
Looks at some of the reasons behind the big declines in emerging markets, and how these developing economies might affect U.S. investors.
- Seven Classic Investing Quotes
Seven classic quotes about investing from successful investors, economists, and other insightful thinkers.
- Social Security 101
An overview of basic Social Security rules and options that are often misunderstood, whether workers are looking forward to claiming benefits in 1 or 30 years.
- Choosing and Using a College Checking Account
Some tips for parents and college students to consider, whether opening a new checking account or using an old one.
- Dealing with Divorce
Some considerations for a divorcing couple who are dividing marital assets, such as retirement accounts, and filing for Social Security.
- Key Tax Breaks for Business Owners
Small-business owners will want to take full advantage of every legal tax break available, such as deductions for a home office and automobile expenses.
- HOT TOPIC: Blockchain Buzz: Emerging Tech Offers Potential, Not Promises
A glimpse into how blockchain might impact businesses, and a warning for inveStors to heed the risks associated with blockchain investments.
- Risk Tolerance Is About You, Not the Market
An investor’s personal situation should be considered when assessing his or her risk tolerance.
- Insurance with Potential Cash Value
Universal life and variable universal life insurance have risks and potential benefits, including a death benefit with a tax-advantaged savings element.
- Inflation Protection for Investment Dollars
Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) can help hedge a bond portfolio against a potential spike in inflation.
- A Map to Guide Your Family
A letter of instruction could be just as important as a will to help heirs settle an estate and move forward with their lives.
- Family Limited Partnerships for Estate Planning Purposes
A family limited partnership is a legal agreement that enables business owners and their heirs to address tax issues, business succession, and estate planning needs.
- HOT TOPIC — U.S. Fiscal Issues: Larger Deficits Are Driving Up Debt
Why federal budget deficits are rising, and what the current fiscal situation could mean for the future of the U.S. economy.
- ETFs on the Rise
ETFs have some attractive features that set them apart from mutual funds, but there are also cost and risk factors to consider.
- An Affordable Insurance Solution
A new term life insurance policy can be quite expensive as people age. Survivorship life insurance may be a more cost-effective solution.
- Oil Prices and the Economy
The relationship between oil prices and GDP growth has become more complicated in recent years due to the expanded U.S. presence in the global oil market.
- Equity REITs and Rising Rates
Fundamental factors that can affect the short- and longer-term performance of equity REITs, including taxation of REIT shares.
- Reward Workers and Fund Retirement with a Cash Balance Plan
Cash balance plans can be a powerful tool for employee recruitment and retention, plus they have generous contribution limits that increase with age.
- HOT TOPIC — Pain at the Pump: Why Does It Cost More to Fill Your Tank?
A look at the relationship between oil and gas prices, and how global factors have driven up prices at U.S. fuel pumps.
- Indexed Annuities: Potential Gain with Some Downside Protection
Indexed annuities offer potential for gain when the market is rising while helping to protect principal during a downturn. But they are not appropriate for every investor.
- New Tax Law Expands 529 Savings Plans
An overview of Section 529 savings plans, including their traditional use for college saving and the new rules for K-12 tuition.
- Good News, Bad News for Boomer Retirement
Younger baby boomers may be facing a more challenging retirement landscape than older members of the generation, according a recent survey.
- Making Sense of Bond Behavior
Some strategies to help fixed-income portfolios weather a period of interest rate uncertainty.
- Two Technology Trends to Help Power Growth
Cloud computing functions could help small companies increase productivity with smaller up-front costs.
- HOT TOPIC — Pain at the Pump: Why Does It Cost More to Fill Your Tank?
- HOT TOPIC — Wage Growth: Watching for a Tipping Point
The factors that may be restraining workers’ wages and the economic implications of continued weakness or a sudden surge.
- Is Smart Beta for You?
Unlike traditional index funds, smart-beta funds track indexes that are selected and weighted based on factors other than market capitalization.
- Rules of the Rollover
Rolling funds from an employer’s plan to an IRA enables you to maintain control regardless of your employment situation.
- Chained CPI and Your Taxes
One change made by 2017 tax legislation, a new way of measuring inflation, may have a significant effect on individual taxpayers over the long term.
- Beyond Medicare: What Are Your Options?
A Medigap policy or a Medicare Advantage Plan could help provide more stability for health-care spending during retirement.
- New Tax Breaks for Pass-Through Entities
The new tax law includes several provisions that could benefit business owners, such as the pass-through deduction and write-offs for capital investments.
- HOT TOPIC — Changing Market: Municipal Bonds After Tax Reform
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 changed the playing field for municipal bonds that could affect the supply and demand of these securities.
- A New Look at Old Retirement Savings Guidelines
Need help understanding complicated retirement savings guidelines? Here are four ideas to help simplify some savings strategies.
- Where There’s a Will…
A 2017 survey found that only 42% of U.S. adults had a will or living trust. Here are three basic reasons why everyone should have a will.
- The Cost of Caregiving
About 40 million family caregivers in the U.S. provide unpaid care to another adult. Understand the associated financial, physical, and emotional costs.
- A Steady Strategy
Dollar-cost averaging can be an effective way to accumulate shares without focusing on market movements.
- Time to Hire? Consider the Pros and Costs
Some indicators that it might be time to hire additional employees, and how to weigh the potential benefits in light of the costs.
- HOT TOPIC: Trade Tactics: New Metal Tariffs Reflect Policy Shift
An overview of recent changes in U.S. trade policies, and how they might affect international relations and the U.S. and global economies.
- Dividend Investing: Small Payments Can Boost Returns
Focusing on dividends can be appropriate for almost any investor, especially if they are reinvested to purchase additional shares.
- Pick Your Plastic: Debit or Credit?
Some pros and cons for the use of credit cards versus debit cards for purchases.
- Income for the Long Run
A longevity annuity can bring some stability to a retirement strategy by providing a steady income late in life.
- Monetary Policy Update
How the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies influence interest rates, economic growth, and inflation.
- Guard Against Growing Cybersecurity Threats
A discussion of some specific cybersecurity threats and tips to help small businesses protect their interests from hackers.
- HOT TOPIC: Correction Time: The Market Takes a Hit
A look at some of the factors behind the recent market volatility and why investors should focus on long-term goals.
- Four Financial Numbers You Should Know
Four financial numbers that you should understand (and that could potentially improve your financial situation).
- Phasing Out…or Practice Makes Perfect
Here are some ideas for arranging a phased retirement program, as well as tips for trying a practice run.
- Do You Need an Umbrella?
American society remains litigious — an umbrella insurance policy can provide additional coverage for personal liability.
- Going PublicA discussion on the initial public offering (IPO) process, recent trends, and investment risks.
- Preparing to Withstand the Loss of Key PlayersHow key-person insurance policies can benefit small businesses.
- 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.