45% of American workers have saved less than $25,000 for retirement, and 26% have saved less than $1,000.
Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2018
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: Shortages and Bottlenecks Expose Weak Links in U.S. Supply Chains
As a consumer, have you noticed shortages? Here are some of the reasons behind supply-chain problems and how they might impact the economy.
- New Changes to College Financial Aid and Education Tax Benefits
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, included several provisions affecting financial aid and education. Learn more.
- How Well Do You Understand Retirement Plan Rules?
From IRAs to 401(k)s, qualified retirement plans can be complex. This short quiz tests readers’ knowledge of a few of the finer points.
- Is the Medicare Donut Hole Really Closed?
This article explains the four stages of Part D prescription drug coverage and how prices can vary in the coverage gap.
- Corporate Debt: Are Juicier Yields Worth the Extra Risk?
This article discusses corporate credit ratings and some differences between investment-grade and speculative-grade bonds.
- Your Business: New Rules for Writing Off Restaurant Meals
The December 2020 stimulus bill lets businesses deduct the full cost of restaurant meals in tax years 2021 and 2022. Get the details.
- HOT TOPIC: Rising Inflation: Where Will It Go from Here?
Read about the causes of the recent inflationary trend. Does it represent a short-term phase or the start of a longer-term acceleration in prices?
- Real Estate for Income and Diversification
Are you familiar with REITs and why they can help diversify a portfolio? Read this article to learn more.
- Five Tips to Follow When Applying for a Mortgage
Historically low interest rates have driven record homebuying. This article provides some ideas to consider when applying for a mortgage.
- Social Security Spousal Benefits
This article offers an overview of spousal benefits, which could make a big difference in funding retirement for a married couple.
- Portfolios Get Personal: Growing Interest in Socially Responsible Investing
This article discusses socially responsible investments that may enable the pursuit of financial returns and make a positive global impact.
- Your Business: Minimum-Wage Laws in the Spotlight
As more states increase the minimum wage, small businesses may start feeling the economic impact. Read this article for some coping tips.
- HOT TOPIC: High-Frequency Indicators: Where to Look for Signs of Recovery
This article discusses various high-frequency indicators economists use to monitor the pandemic’s impact and the economic recovery’s progress.
- A Financial Wellness Plan Can Help Pave the Road to Retirement
This article outlines four elements of financial well-being and offers suggestions to strengthen financial wellness.
- Four Things Investors Should Know About Stock Splits
If you’ve wondered what stock splits are and what effect they might have on your investment portfolio, this article covers the basics.
- All-in-One Funds: Targeting Time or Risk?
This article discusses target-date funds and lifestyle funds, with the more common of the two based on time horizon rather than risk.
- Working While Receiving Social Security Benefits
Do you understand the Social Security retirement earnings test and how it may affect your current and future Social Security benefits?
- Your Business: Reasons to Keep Personal and Business Finances Separate
Find out why it’s important to draw a line between business and personal finances, especially for credit, tax, and personal asset purposes.
- HOT TOPIC: GameStop, Reddit, and Market Mania: What Happened?
Learn the story behind the extreme volatility of “meme” stocks promoted through social media, including the risk for individual investors.
- Key Retirement and Tax Numbers for 2021
IRS cost-of-living adjustments affect retirement plan contribution limits and certain tax considerations. Explore these 2021 adjustments.
- Are Value Stocks Poised for a Comeback?
Do you know the differences between growth and value stocks? Find out why value stocks may hold appeal during the economic recovery.
- Home Sweet Home Equity
Owning a home or having substantial equity may offer financial benefits in retirement. Discover five ways to use or increase home equity.
- Asset Protection: Make Sure Your Umbrella Is Big Enough
While standard home and auto insurance may cover personal liability, a personal umbrella policy can help add an extra layer of protection.
- Is Your Home Office Also a Tax Shelter?
This article explains which taxpayers are eligible for the home office deduction and describes the two methods used to calculate it.
- HOT TOPIC: Pandemic Relief Measures and Your Tax Return
This article discusses various tax issues stemming from the two tax relief bills passed in 2020 in response to the pandemic and how they may affect you.
- Sequence Risk: Preparing to Retire in a Down Market
This article offers a strategy that may help address sequence risk — the danger of poor investment performance at the outset of retirement.
- Watch Out for These Financial Pitfalls in the New Year
Financial opportunities and potential pitfalls can appear at any time. Here are common money mistakes to avoid at various stages of life.
- New Fed Policy Suggests Low Rates for the Long TermThe Fed now seeks to control inflation through the benchmark federal funds rate. Find out what this means for investors and consumers.
- When You Can’t Speak for Yourself
Discover how a living will and durable powers of attorney for health care and finances can help ensure your wishes are carried out.
- Big Data for Smaller Players
Read how small businesses use software services to help streamline operations, understand customers, optimize websites, and find new markets.
- HOT TOPIC: Revisiting the 4% Rule
For years, the “4% rule” helped retirees make their savings last, but now a more aggressive withdrawal strategy might be the new norm.
- Five Tips to Regain Your Retirement Savings Focus in 2021
This article presents five steps that could help focus and enhance a retirement savings strategy in 2021.
- Money Market Funds in a Low Rate Environment
Did you know there still may be reasons to hold money market mutual funds despite low yields? Read this article to find out more.
- Prepare Your Finances for the Next Emergency
The pandemic has underscored the importance of a well-stocked emergency fund. This article offers tips for building up a cash reserve.
- Gift vs. Inheritance: Consider the Tax Difference
When deciding whether to gift assets now or transfer them to heirs at death, you need to understand step-up in basis and tax consequences.
- Take Advantage of Deductions for Business Investments
A look at bonus depreciation and Section 179, plus CARES Act changes that may benefit companies that reconfigured spaces for safety reasons.
- HOT TOPIC: How COVID-19 Has Changed Consumer Behavior and the Future of Retail
This article looks at the “new normal,” its effect on consumer behavior and the retail industry, and what that could mean for the economy.
- Should You Pay Off Student Loans Early or Save More for Retirement?
Wondering whether you should pay off student loan debt today or save for the future? Here are some considerations to help make the decision.
- Putting Your Nest Egg in Three Baskets
Find out how understanding sequence-of-returns risk could help you develop a three-prong distribution strategy for retirement.
- Full House: Adult Children Coming Home
If your adult children have returned to your once-empty nest, these tips might help promote a peaceful and productive living situation.
- Income Investors May Find Closed-End Funds on Sale
Do you know the differences between open-end and closed-end funds? This article compares the two.
- Your Business: Could You Benefit from a Roth Conversion in 2020?
This article focuses on the potential short- and long-term tax ramifications of a Roth IRA conversion.
- HOT TOPIC: The Jobs Recovery: More Work to Be Done
This article looks at the pace, scope and potential future of the jobs recovery following the unprecedented job loss due to the pandemic.
- Five Investment Tasks to Tackle by Year-End
2020 market turbulence underscores the importance of reviewing an investment portfolio. These five steps could help keep it on track.
- Three Questions to Consider During Open Enrollment
Making benefit elections for next year? This article covers three key areas that require careful consideration during open enrollment.
- Passive, Active, or Both?
Passively managed index funds and actively managed funds can perform differently over different market cycles. Find out more about each.
- Your Estate: Have You Looked at These Legal Documents Lately?
This article looks at documents that should be kept up to date, including wills, trusts, advance medical directives, and beneficiary forms.
- Four Steps to Rebuilding Your Business
Small-business owners may need to think on their feet and visualize what a recovery might look like for their operations post COVID-19.
- HOT TOPIC: Election 2020: Uncertainty Creates Potential for Market Swings
A shift in the balance of power can strongly affect economic policies. View the presidential candidates’ tax proposals and other monetary policy positions.
- Return of Premium Life Insurance: Protection and Cash Back
This article provides an overview of the pros and cons of a type of term policy – return of premium life insurance.
- Accumulating Funds for Short-Term Goals
Saving for short-term goals can require a conservative approach. This article explores some guidelines and potential investment vehicles.
- Investing in UITs
A Unit Investment Trust is structured differently than a mutual fund or ETF. Could its unique features help you ladder your investments?
- Business Cycle Basics: Recessions Begin and End Before We Know It
This article discusses how economists identify and measure economic contractions and compares some characteristics of past recessions.
- Insurance to Help Protect Your Business from Lawsuits
Some businesses are exposed to risks that may call for a specialized type of liability policy. Does your business have appropriate coverage?
- HOT TOPIC: The Bull Is Back… Will It Keep Charging?
The S&P 500 index recently saw the fastest recovery in its history following the COVID-19 bear market, but will the surge continue?
- Could You Be Responsible for Your Parents’ Nursing Home Bills?
Filial responsibility laws can hold children responsible for certain parental debts. This potential liability is one reason to plan for long-term care needs.
- Survivor Benefits Provide a Financial Lifeline
Decisions made when claiming Social Security retirement benefits can make a big difference in spousal and other dependents’ survivor benefits.
- Consider Market Caps for Diversification
2020’s market volatility combined with holding stock in different-sized companies might help you diversify your equity portfolio at a discount.
- Student Loan Stress? These Plans Might Help
This article outlines the basic provisions of income-driven repayment plans that can help reduce the burden of federal student loans.
- Why Family Businesses Should Have Succession Plans
Do you know the reasons why business owners might need to take the time to develop a thoughtful succession plan?
- HOT TOPIC: The Bull Is Back… Will It Keep Charging?
- HOT TOPIC: College Disrupted: Students Face High Costs and Pandemic Impact
Paying for college can mean borrowing money or risking savings. This article focuses on financial aid and the importance of informed academic choices.
- Debit or Credit? Pick a Card
Do you know the differences between debit and credit cards? This article discusses both and when it might be better to use a credit card.
- Consider a Roth Conversion for Tax-Free Income
Lower tax rates and asset values may make now the time to consider a Roth conversion. This article outlines the rules and potential benefits.
- Turbulent Times: Bear Markets Come and Go
A look at the economic conditions that triggered the 2020 bear market and why investors may benefit from having a longer-term perspective.
- Indexed Annuities: A Strategy to Turn Savings into Retirement Income
Explore the unique features and risks of indexed annuities and their potential role in investors’ retirement income strategies.
- Crisis Relief: Financial Lifelines for Affected Workers
Temporary crisis relief legislation makes it easier to access retirement account funds and extends paid leave for workers at some small businesses.
- HOT TOPIC: The Shape of Economic Recovery
This article looks at the potential shape of the COVID-19 economic recovery with some historical context and key factors that may affect the direction of the economy.
- Mid-Year Is a Great Time to Fine-Tune Your Finances
The middle of the year is an ideal time to revisit financial resolutions and consider steps that may help develop a stronger financial position.
- Four Questions on the Roth Five-Year Rule
This article provides an overview of two versions of the Roth five-year rule and how they apply to various situations.
- Playing Defense: Three Stock Strategies to Help Control Risk
This article outlines three defensive strategies that may help during economic downturns: low-volatility, dividends, and defensive sectors.
- The Beige Book: A Timely Economic Read
The Federal Reserve’s “Beige Book” provides a broad overview of the economy that is often essential for making economic policy decisions.
- Quarterly Taxes: Deadlines Keep Coming for the Self-Employed
If you are self-employed, do you know how to calculate quarterly estimated tax payments in order to avoid underpayment penalties?