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 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.
- HOT TOPIC: Upside Down: What Does the Yield Curve Suggest About Growth?
An inverted yield curve can be an economic indicator along with other factors that contribute to an uncertain outlook for future growth.
- Sticker Shock May Drive Consumers to Used Cars
As new car prices skyrocket, these three trends could make 2019 a good year to buy a three-year-old vehicle.
- Risk Tolerance: Stress-Test Your Portfolio…and Yourself
Do you know your personal tolerance for market risk? Here are three key questions that may help you find out.
- Steps to Help Lower Capital Gains Taxes
Discover how the step-up in basis provision may help reduce capital gains taxes and preserve the value of assets left to heirs.
- Life Insurance Strategies: Reasons Empty Nesters May Want Permanent Coverage
As policyholders age, life insurance could help supplement retirement income, support a surviving spouse, and/or leave a legacy.
- Could Employee Ownership Be Part of Your Succession Plan?
An employee stock ownership plan may be a tax-friendly way for small-business owners to pass the reins to employees when they retire.
- HOT TOPIC: How Geopolitical Tensions May Affect Oil Prices and the Economy
Explore the relationship between fuel prices and economic growth, factors that influence prices, and how U.S. production altered the global oil market.
- Caught in the Middle: The Sandwich Generation
Tips to help balance the competing demands of saving for retirement and providing financial support to adult children and aging parents.
- Consider REITs for Income and Diversification
Explore the basics of equity real estate investment trusts (REITs) including their potential benefits and risks.
- Life Insurance with Long-Term Care Benefits
Concerned about the costs of long-term care? Discover two strategies that combine life insurance coverage with LTC benefits.
- Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts (QLACs)
Worried your retirement might outlast your savings? A qualified longevity annuity contract could provide an income stream later in life.
- A Quick and Dirty Guide to Credit
Learn about four financing options that might help small businesses expand, pursue new opportunities, or cover operating expenses.
- HOT TOPIC: All Eyes on the U.S. Economy as It Caps Off Decade of Growth
This article compares the current economic expansion with prior business cycles and examines developments that could affect future growth.
- Seeking Balance in a Mutual Fund
Balancing stocks and bonds can be a central part of building an investment portfolio. Find out how balanced funds follow a similar strategy.
- What’s the Real Return on Your Investments?
Tax rates, interest rates, and inflation can all cut into the value of investment dollars. This article looks at real return on investments.
- Indexed Annuities: Growth Potential with Downside Protection
Discover how indexed annuities work, including the risks and potential benefits of purchasing an indexed annuity contract.
- New Study Finds Widespread Job Loss After 50
A job loss after age 50 can carry serious consequences. These tips may help you prepare professionally and financially for a late-career challenge.
- Calculating Key Financial Ratios
The financial ratios that help measure an organization’s performance may also be used by potential lenders and investors. Learn more.
- HOT TOPIC: U.S.-China Trade War: Who Pays the Price?
A look at the issues behind the trade war with China, as well as who will carry the costs of the tariffs and the potential effect on the U.S. economy.
- A Steady Strategy in Turbulent Times
Dollar-cost averaging can help investors focus on building their portfolios through regular investing rather than reacting to market swings.
- College Savings: Roth or 529 Plan?
Can a Roth IRA double as a college savings tool? Find out how a Roth IRA compares with state-based 529 college savings plans.
- Avoiding Probate with a Transfer-on-Death Deed
Many U.S. states offer a way to avoid probate when leaving the family home to your heirs. Learn more about transfer-on-death deeds.
- Interest Rates and the Economy
Do you know which factors influence bond yields and why the gap between short- and long-term yields is often viewed as an economic indicator?
- Steps to Executing an Exit Strategy
Monetizing a closely held business can be a difficult process, so owners may want to plan an exit strategy before they really need one.
- HOT TOPIC: 1040 Postmortem: Making Sense of Your Taxes and Withholding
Surprised by the final numbers on your 2018 tax return? Here are some tips for adjusting withholding to help avoid surprises next tax season.
- Bonds Can Offer Stability Even with Rising Rates
Explore three major categories of bonds, plus ideas for navigating the bond market amid climbing interest rates.
- SRI Investing: Not Just for Stocks
Find out how individual impact bonds may allow investors to preserve principal and generate income while supporting activities that are important to them.
- Be Aware of Observation Care
Covered by Medicare? Discover how observation status can impact your out-of-pocket costs and eligibility for post-hospital skilled nursing facility coverage.
- Retirement Planning: How Secure Is Social Security?
View Social Security’s financial outlook, plus seven proposed fixes for a looming shortfall that may affect future benefits.
- Watch Out for Scams That Target Businesses
Financial scams aimed at businesses are on the rise. See which potentially costly schemes owners and employees need to look out for.
- HOT TOPIC: The Fed Hits the Brakes: No Rate Hikes Projected in 2019
The Fed signaled a pause in raising interest rates. How markets reacted and what the change says about the direction of the U.S. economy.
- Do You Need a Power of Attorney?
Explore three types of powers of attorney and find out how a living will can supplement a durable POA for health care.
- Why Americans Are Eating Out Less Than Ever
Dining out is on the decline. Discover why Americans prepared about 82% of their meals and snacks at home in 2018.
- Trusts Offer More Than Estate Tax Protection
Find out whether a testamentary trust, living trust, or special-purpose trust can benefit your family.
- Considering Preferreds? Proceed with Caution
Considering investing in preferred stocks? This overview examines the risks and potential benefits.
- Clarifying Tax Deductions for Meals and Entertainment
Wondering if you can still write off 50% of the cost of business meals? Find out what is and isn’t deductible.
- HOT TOPIC: Keeping an Eye on Corporate Debt
This article looks at credit quality in the corporate bond market and the potential impact on fixed-income portfolios.
- Taking a Team Approach to Retirement Savings
Even if you and your spouse have separate retirement accounts, you may still be able to craft a unified savings and investment strategy.
- IPOs: Consider the Risks Behind the Hype
Discover why it might be worth waiting for a record of financial results before investing in an initial public offering.
- Bridging the Gap Between Retirement and Medicare Eligibility
See three options that may help you bridge the health insurance coverage gap between retirement and Medicare eligibility.
- Estate Taxes: Should a Trust Own Your Life Insurance?
An irrevocable life insurance trust can help pay estate taxes, but recent exemption level increases may warrant a new insurance strategy.
- Succession Plans Often Hinge on Reliable Valuation
Discover the role a reliable business valuation can play in succession, tax, and retirement planning.
- HOT TOPIC: Keeping an Eye on Corporate Debt
- HOT TOPIC: What Are the Costs of the Government Shutdown?
Explore the cost of the longest government shutdown in recent history, from its economic impact to its effect on public safety and services.
- Need to Tap Your 401(k)? Proceed with Care
Explore an overview of rules and tax consequences for 401(k) plan hardship distributions and other early withdrawals.
- Looking Back, Looking Ahead
See the indicators economists rely on to understand the past, present, and potential future direction of the economy.
- Getting Real About Retirement
This article features a worksheet and relevant information to help estimate retirement expenses and income.
- Seeking Synergy: Why Mergers and Acquisitions Matter to Investors
Find out how and why mergers and acquisitions take place (and why they matter to investors).
- A Business Plan Can Be Your Guide to Growth
A business plan can be an important step toward success. Here are some key components to consider.
- HOT TOPIC: After Rocky Year-End, Risks Follow Investors into 2019
In the final quarter of 2018, interest-rate fears and unresolved geopolitical issues upset the financial markets and reversed many of the gains notched earlier in the year.
- ABLE Accounts for Disability Expenses
Explore ABLE account requirements and potential benefits, including new saving opportunities under the 2017 tax law.
- Are Your Designated Heirs Up-to-Date?
The New Year might be a good time to review and update beneficiaries on estate documents, insurance policies, and financial accounts.
- Consider a Customized Disability Policy
Review the potential benefits of an individual disability income policy vs. a group policy, as well as common riders.
- Technology Trend: How Blockchain Could Impact the Future
Businesses and governments are exploring blockchain applications as they seek to improve transparency, increase productivity, and reduce costs.
- Some Small Companies Facing Tariff Troubles
Small-business owners should watch for trade policy changes that could impact their products, supply chains, or competitors.