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: Will Artificial Intelligence Upend the American Workforce?This article discusses the race between tech companies to monetize AI and how widespread adoption might affect workers, the economy, and society in general.
- How Taxes Impact Your Retirement-Income Strategy
Retirees face unique challenges when managing their income, particularly when it comes to taxes. This article provides an overview of tax-related issues, from taxing Social Security to the new RMD rules and determining when to tap taxable and tax-advantaged accounts.
- A Mortgage Recast Is an Alternative to Refinancing
This article explains how a mortgage recast works to enable a homeowner to reduce a monthly mortgage payment without having to refinance and why it may be an appealing solution in certain situations.
- Does the Social Security COLA Help If You’re Not Receiving Benefits?
This article explains how the COLA not only helps current beneficiaries, but also may increase future benefits for those who are not yet receiving Social Security payments.
- Most Grocery Shoppers Aren’t Fooled by Shrinkflation
You may have noticed products shrinking in size while prices stay the same or increase. This article includes tips for spotting and reducing the impact of this tricky strategy.
- Cheaper Hearing Aids Are Coming to a Store Near You
Thanks to a recent regulatory shift, it’s now possible to buy an effective hearing aid without a medical exam or a prescription, potentially for a lot less money.
- HOT TOPIC: Rescuing America’s Safety Net
This article looks at the current fiscal outlook for the Social Security and Medicare programs and presents some potential changes that might help to strengthen them.
- Diversifying with Market Caps
The S&P 500 Index ended 2022 down 19.4%. Midsize and smaller companies also lost ground but generally held their value better than large companies. This article explains why holding stocks in companies of different sizes can help diversify a portfolio.
- Keep an Eye Out for IRS-Related Scams
Although IRS scams are especially prevalent during tax season, they also take place throughout the year. This article identifies some common tax scams and offers tips to help avoid becoming a victim.
- Social Security Offers Benefits from Birth Through Old Age
The bulk of Social Security benefits go to retirees, but Social Security is much more than a retirement program. This article outlines other types of Social Security benefits.
- Municipal Bonds: A Tax-Advantaged Way to Put Capital to Work
Muni bonds and tax-exempt funds have long been a mainstay in the portfolios of income-focused investors who want to manage their tax burdens.
- Bear Market Emotions: Strategy vs. Reaction
Staying disciplined in building a well-constructed portfolio over time can help carry investors through the market’s rough spots.
- HOT TOPIC: Bank Failures Shine Light on Interest Rate Risks
Read about the reasons some banks are coming under pressure, including the rapid rise of interest rates, financial market effects, and the role of the FDIC.
- Are You Eligible for Any of These College-Related Federal Tax Benefits?
College students and their parents need all the help they can get when paying for college or repaying student loans. This article explains three federal tax benefits that could take some of the sting out of expensive college costs.
- Time for a Spring Cleanup: Organizing Your Financial Records
Spring is a good time to clean out and organize financial records. This article offers guidelines on how long different types of records need to be retained.
- Retiring in a Down Market? Don’t Panic
Market volatility makes most investors nervous, but a big downturn can be especially disturbing to those who are approaching retirement or newly retired. This article presents three fundamental concepts that may help investors keep market movements in perspective and maintain their focus on long-term goals.
- Trusts — Not Just for Estate Taxes
In the past, trusts were often used to avoid estate taxes, but that purpose has become less important for most people with current high exemption amounts. However, a properly constructed trust can serve many other purposes for families of more modest means.
- Business Owners: Should You Organize as an LLC?
Establishing an LLC creates a separate legal entity to help shield a business owner’s personal assets from lawsuits brought against the firm by customers or employees.
- HOT TOPIC: Red Ink: The Debt Ceiling and Deficit Spending
This report explains the potential consequences of not raising the debt limit in a timely manner and provides an overview of new projections from the CBO for future deficits and the national debt.
- Key Retirement and Tax Numbers for 2023
Find out about cost-of-living adjustments that affect retirement plan contribution limits and other deductions and threshold amounts.
- Creating Your Own “Operation London Bridge”
Queen Elizabeth II had a complex end-of-life plan, but you may also need an appropriate plan to help ease the burden on your family members.
- Double Up with a Spousal IRA
Do you know how to fund an IRA for a nonworking spouse? These IRS rules can help couples build retirement savings based on joint income.
- When Should Young Adults Start Investing for Retirement?
Now is the best time to start retirement investing for two key reasons: compounding and tax management. Read this article to learn more.
- The Inflation Experience is Painful – and Personal
This article discusses consumer price index categories, how they’re weighted, and the top drivers of inflation over the past year.
- HOT TOPIC: SECURE 2.0 Aims to Brighten the Future for Retirement Savers
This article provides an overview of upcoming changes that could affect workplace retirement plan participants and IRA owners due to legislation passed by Congress at the end of 2022.
- Balancing Stocks and Bonds in One Fund
Discover what to look for in a balanced mutual fund and learn how this type of fund might be used in a portfolio.
- Fixed for Life: What Can an Annuity Do for You?
Do you know the difference between immediate and deferred annuities and options for annuitization? Read this article to find out.
- Three Ways to Help Simplify Your Finances
Over time, finances can become complicated. Here are three ideas that might make them simpler and less stressful.
- IRA Strategies: After-Tax Money and the Pro-Rata Rule
The pro-rata rule determines how much of a traditional IRA distribution is taxable. Read this article to learn how the rule is applied.
- Small Businesses Should Prepare for Stronger Tax Enforcement
The IRS is receiving $80 billion to upgrade its technology and workforce. This article offers tips for business owners to help avoid a tax audit.
- HOT TOPIC: Is the Yield Curve Signaling a Recession?
An inversion of two-year and 10-year Treasury notes has preceded each recession for 50 years. This article looks at the current yield curve and what it might mean for the economy.
- Stretch IRA Alternatives
The 2019 SECURE Act effectively eliminated the stretch IRA. Explore three alternatives to help preserve wealth and pass it to beneficiaries.
- A 529 Plan Can Help Jump Start Your College Fund
Do you know how a 529 savings plan can be instrumental in building a college fund? Read this article to find out.
- Tips for Safe Online Shopping
This article offers ideas that could help online shoppers protect themselves from cyber criminals and scams.
- Taking Control of Your Retirement Savings
Leaving a job? Discover four options that are often available for managing funds in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
- Naming a Trusted Contact
It may be wise to designate a trusted contact when opening or updating an account at a brokerage or other financial firm. Learn why.
- HOT TOPIC: ‘Tis the Season for Tax-Friendly Giving Strategies
Donating to charity could offer tax benefits and may increase your ability to give. This article explores various tax-advantaged giving strategies.
- Sectors: Overweight, Underweight, or Just Right?
Did you know varying performance can change the balance of sectors in a portfolio? Learn how sector funds can be used to shift sector weighting.
- Is It Time to Buy an Electric Vehicle?
The electric-vehicle market is evolving quickly. This article offers some ideas to consider before purchasing an electric vehicle.
- IRA Distributions Can Benefit Your Favorite Cause … and Your Tax Bill
IRA owners who are 70½ or older can give to charity without itemizing and still get a tax break. Find out how.
- Talk About These Money Matters Before the Wedding
Get an overview of financial topics couples should discuss to help keep surprises and disagreements from disrupting newlywed bliss.
- Fraudsters and Scammers Pocket Nearly $6 Billion in 2021
This article discusses the most common and costly types of scams, and how would-be victims can spot them.
- HOT TOPIC: What Does a Strong Dollar Mean for the U.S. Economy?
This article looks at why the dollar is surging and how the strong dollar may affect U.S. consumers, businesses, and the broader economy.
- Famous People Who Died Without Proper Planning
Think celebrities are way ahead of the curve when it comes to planning their estates? Many have died with no or inadequate estate plans.
- Retirement Savings in a Volatile Market
Emotional reactions can be an enemy of sound investing. This article offers perspective and strategies that may help investors stay the course.
- New Life for Your Old Insurance Policy
Did you know that there are alternatives to abandoning or surrendering current life insurance coverage? Learn more in this article.
- Virtual Health Care Is Here to Stay
Telehealth skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to be popular. This article looks at the potential benefits of virtual health care.
- How Funding an HSA Could Help Strengthen Your Retirement Strategy
Discover how a well-managed health savings account can help you pay current and future medical bills as well as prepare for retirement.
- HOT TOPIC: CHIPS and Science Act Aims to Preserve U.S. Technology Edge
This article discusses the CHIPS and Science Act’s key provisions, as the U.S. strives to reduce its reliance on semiconductors produced overseas.
- Passive, Active, or Both?
Index funds or traditional actively managed funds: Which approach, or both, is most effective?
- How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
Three approaches to help determine an appropriate amount of life insurance coverage that can help meet changing financial needs.
- Building Financial Resilience
Steps to be better positioned for turbulent events such as inflation, roller-coaster markets, and global events — and hopefully emerge even stronger.
- Donor-Advised Funds Combine Charitable Impact with Tax Benefits
This article discusses how a donor-advised fund might be used to time charitable contributions for tax purposes or to gift appreciated assets.
- Small Businesses Are Short-Staffed and Overwhelmed
The pandemic kicked off a severe labor shortage. What can small-business owners do if they are struggling to meet staffing needs?
- HOT TOPIC: Unpacking the Inflation Reduction Act: What’s in It?
This article provides an overview of provisions that could affect consumers and businesses, including clean energy tax credits, Medicare changes, and new corporate taxes.
- Dividends for Income and Total Returns
Dividend investing can be a dependable source of income for retirees and others. This article provides an overview.
- What the Red-Hot Job Market Means for Workers
A discussion of the dynamics of the current job market — one that is quite possibly the most worker-friendly in many years.
- Preparing for a Natural Disaster
Here are some tips to help homeowners protect their properties and evacuate safely in the event of a natural disaster.
- How Life Insurance Could Help Mitigate Taxes in Retirement
A permanent life policy can be used to help supplement retirement income, pay for long-term care services, or leave a tax-free legacy.
- Diversifying Your Portfolio with International Flair
Do you know the benefits and risks of investing in foreign markets using international mutual funds or ETFs? Find out in this article.
- HOT TOPIC: Unpacking the Inflation Reduction Act: What’s in It?
- HOT TOPIC: Is the U.S. Economy in a Recession?
This article looks at how a recession is officially determined and some current indicators that suggest strength or weakness in the U.S. economy.
- Inflation Protection for Investment Dollars
Did you know that Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) can help hedge a bond portfolio against inflation? This article explains how.
- Life Insurance Living Benefits
In addition to the death benefit, life insurance policies can provide other benefits while the policyholder is still alive. Find out more.
- Uncle Sam Wants to Know About Your Gig Income
Discover how a 2022 IRS tax reporting change could affect people who are self-employed or whose side job pays through an app or online platform.
- Sticker Shock Is No Joke for Car Buyers
This article discusses recent trends affecting the automotive market and includes suggestions for those who want to purchase a vehicle.
- Six Steps to Starting a New Business
Have you thought about starting your own business? Here’s an overview of some important first steps in the entrepreneurial process.
- HOT TOPIC: Tech Sector Turmoil and the Bear Market
This article discusses factors that have been driving market volatility and provides perspective to help investors make sound portfolio decisions.
- A Wealth of Information: How to Read a Mutual Fund Prospectus
Did you know that a mutual fund prospectus provides key details about the fund? This article offers an overview of information in a prospectus.
- Should You Consider Tapping the Equity in Your Home?
Using home equity to fund other financial objectives has potential benefits and risks. This article looks at various ways to tap home equity.
- Adjusting Your Tax Withholding
Consider adjustments to income tax withholding after viewing the prior year’s tax results. See which situations might require special attention.
- WEP and GPO Can Reduce Social Security Benefits
Explore how the windfall elimination provision and the government pension offset can affect Social Security benefits for people who earned a pension in noncovered employment.
- How Long Should You Keep Financial Records?
The end of tax season might be a good time to organize financial records. Discover guidelines to help you decide what to keep and what to discard.