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: 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?
- HOT TOPIC: Think Twice Before Speculating on a COVID-19 Cure
This article discusses risks involved in developing treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, and why discoveries might not benefit investors.
- Managing Your Workplace Retirement Plan
This article presents some steps employees can take to get the most out of their employer-sponsored retirement plans.
- Will vs. Trust: Know the Difference
Wills and trusts can each help in the distribution of assets at death. This article points out important differences between the two.
- Why You Might Need Disability Income Insurance
This article explains how an individual disability income insurance policy can help provide income if a disability leaves you unable to work.
- Do ETFs Belong in Your Portfolio?
Do you know the potential benefits and risks of exchange-traded funds and how they differ from mutual funds?
- SECURE Act Changes That Matter to Small Employers
The SECURE Act could make it easier and more affordable for business owners to provide retirement plans and help their employees save for retirement.
- HOT TOPIC: Too Much Oil with Nowhere to Go
This article looks at the reasons behind crude oil’s price collapse and the larger issue of imbalance between supply and demand in the global oil industry.
- Keeping Cool: Investment Strategy vs. Reaction
This article offers ideas to help investors focus on strategic decisions rather than react emotionally to the latest market news or movements.
- Social Security May Offer a Lifetime of Protection
This article provides an overview of four times other than retirement when Social Security might affect you or your family.
- The Cost of Family Caregiving
A look at the financial, emotional, and physical costs of family caregiving with some helpful suggestions for caregivers.
- Three Life Insurance Strategies for Small Businesses
This article explores how life insurance might help small businesses attract and retain talent or fund buy-sell agreements.
- Telemedicine: The Virtual Doctor Will See You Now
Many large employers offer telemedicine programs in their benefit packages. Do you know the potential advantages of telemedicine?
- HOT TOPIC: Government Acts to Blunt Financial Impact of Global Pandemic
A discussion of the measures being taken by the federal government to support workers, businesses, financial markets, and the economy in these trying times.
- Setting a Retirement Savings Goal
This article features a worksheet to help you estimate the savings you might need to generate your desired retirement income.
- Looking for Value with P/E Ratios
Discover the basics of P/E ratios, with an emphasis on analyzing them in the appropriate context for making meaningful comparisons.
- Early Retirement and Your Tax-Deferred Savings
Find out how the rules for early-distribution penalty exceptions differ for withdrawals from traditional IRAs and employer-sponsored plans.
- Living Benefits Can Help Counter Retirement Risks
Optional riders that add living benefits to annuities might help retirees address two financial risks: outliving their savings and paying for long-term care.
- Don’t Let a Disaster Keep the Lights Off Forever
As a small-business owner, do you know the types of coverages that may or may not be included in a standard business owner policy?
- HOT TOPIC: Government Acts to Blunt Financial Impact of Global Pandemic
- HOT TOPIC: The Coronavirus and the Global Economy
An examination of how China’s coronavirus-driven slowdown has affected global business activity and a look at its potential economic impact.
- Stay-at-Home Spouse? Consider a Spousal IRA
Stay-at-home spouses can fall behind in saving for retirement. This article explains how a spousal IRA can help keep retirement savings on track.
- Three Lessons from Retirees
A survey of workers and retirees yielded three key findings that may prove helpful in planning for retirement. Find out more.
- Five Red Flags That Raise the Odds of an Audit
Ever wonder why the IRS might take a closer look at a taxpayer’s return? This article discusses different types of audits and what might trigger one.
- Behavioral Biases That Can Lead to Costly Mistakes
Learn about six blind spots that can lead to regrettable portfolio decisions (and how investors might avoid them).
- Classifying Workers: Know the Rules and Risks
This article explores the complex web of federal and state tax and employment laws that determine how businesses must classify workers.
- HOT TOPIC: The SECURE Act and Your Retirement Savings
A discussion of the important provisions in the SECURE Act that could affect retirement, tax, and estate planning strategies.
- Three Generations of Retirement Strategies
Millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers face different challenges in pursuing retirement goals. This article offers strategies to help address them.
- Do Target-Date Funds Hit the Bull’s-Eye for You?
More than half of 401(k) participants invest in target-date funds, but are they right for everyone? This article provides an overview.
- Retirement Savings: Traditional, Roth, or Both?
How does a traditional or Roth structure affect your IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan? And what do their differences mean for older workers?
- Municipal Bonds
Tax changes in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affect some investors more than others, with implications that spill into the municipal bond market.
- What Is Cyber Insurance, and Do You Need It?
Cyber attacks and loss of data can be devastating, so businesses should be proactive about addressing this risk.
- HOT TOPIC: Two Trade Agreements Offer Optimism, But Uncertainty Remains
A look at the U.S.-China “skinny” trade deal and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and their potential impact on consumers and the U.S. economy.
- Give and Receive with a Charitable Remainder Trust
Discover how to give a substantial gift to a favorite charity while receiving a flow of income during your lifetime.
- Running with the Dogs
See how the Dogs of the Dow, an investing strategy known for chasing dividends and value, can be implemented through a unit investment trust.
- Rain, Sleet, Snow — and Lawsuits?
Icy winter walkways can lead to injuries and lawsuits. Find out how an umbrella policy can offer higher liability coverage.
- Business or Hobby? It’s All About Taxes
The difference between a money-losing business and a hobby matters at tax time. This article presents IRS criteria for making the distinction.
- Is It Time to Step Up Your Digital Marketing?
Now that 28% of Americans report being online “almost constantly,” could digital marketing be a cost-effective way to attract new customers?
- Hot Topic: The Ag Economy: Tough Times for Farmers in 2019
Farm bankruptcies rose in 2019, despite billions in federal support. This article discusses the effect on rural communities and regional economies.
- Online Shopping Tips
As web-based retail sales continue to grow, these tips may help ensure a safer online shopping experience.
- What’s Required of the Executor of an Estate?
Being named the executor of an estate can be an honor, but this overview shows why it can also be a difficult and time-consuming job.
- Prices and the Economy
Low inflation may seem like good news, but it has a darker side. See which factors might be driving down inflation in the United States.
- Qualified Charitable Distributions
Discover how qualified charitable distributions work and why they may now be more valuable than taking a tax deduction.
- A New Option for Providing Health Coverage in 2020
Learn more about Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements and how they may help small businesses offer employee health coverage.
- HOT TOPIC: Manufacturing Slowdown. . .What Does It Mean for the Economy?
This article looks at some of the reasons behind the manufacturing slowdown and what it might mean for the broader U.S. economy.
- Three Regrets of Retirees
More than half of retirees surveyed had retirement planning regrets. Explore the three most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
- Medicare Open Enrollment
This article explains the changes that Medicare beneficiaries can make during the annual open enrollment period from October 15 to December 7.
- Closed-End Funds May Offer Higher Income
Discover why closed-end funds may offer potentially higher income streams than traditional mutual funds holding similar securities.
- Taming Investment Taxes
Do you know how investments are taxed and which strategies can help improve a portfolio’s tax efficiency?
- Retirement Plans for the Self-Employed Dangle Tax Benefits
Solo 401(k) plans and SEP IRAs may help small-business owners and the self-employed shelter more income from taxes and save for the future.
- HOT TOPIC: Could a Health Savings Account Help Strengthen Your Retirement Plan?
In addition to setting aside pre-tax income to pay current and future medical expenses, an HSA could play an important role in your long-term retirement strategy.
- Protection to Help Your Family
Explore the benefits of individual life insurance versus work-based coverage, and compare term and permanent policies.
- Five Money Issues to Talk About Before the Wedding
Before saying “I do,” newly-engaged couples may want to discuss these five key financial topics.
- What Medicare Won’t Cover
See potentially expensive services Original Medicare doesn’t cover and how Medicare Advantage, Medigap or private insurance might help.
- Index Update: Shifting Sectors Reflect Social Change
How do recent classification changes reflect shifts in the telecommunications sector, and what does that mean to investors?
- Coping with a Labor Shortage
As small businesses struggle to recruit and retain employees in a tight job market, these tips may help owners meet staffing needs.