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: 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.
- HOT TOPIC: Consumer Nation: Can Confidence Drive the Economy?
A look at what’s driving the high consumer confidence level and the importance of consumer spending to the broader economy.
- Competing Goals: Pay Off Student Loans or Save for Retirement?
Some college grads pay off student loans at the expense of saving for the future. See steps that may help them do both.
- Low-Volatility Strategies for a Less Stressful Ride
Some stocks and stock funds may help reduce the volatility in a portfolio.
- Know Your Mutual Funds
Millions of Americans own mutual funds. This overview can help you review the mix of funds you own.
- Insurance Strategies: Giving Old Life Insurance a New Purpose
A 1035 exchange may allow a permanent life policy to be traded for a more suitable insurance product.
- Weighing a Wider Range of Health Plan Options
Association health plans may enable small businesses to save money, but how do AHPs compare to small-group health insurance?
- HOT TOPIC: Monetary Policy: Should Investors Fear the Fed?
How the Federal Reserve Board’s actions influence interest rates, economic growth, and inflation.
- Is a Roth 401(k) Right for You?
An overview of the potential benefits, limitations, and rules of Roth 401(k) accounts.
- Community Property Laws: Yours, Mine, and Ours
Community property laws that apply in nine states and “equitable distribution” laws that apply in other states.
- Help with College: A Gift for Your Grandkids
Helping a grandchild obtain a college degree could be life-changing for the student. Still, it’s important to consider how a gift could affect student aid and taxes.
- Health Savings Account: Funding an HSA Could Help You Prepare for Retirement
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.
- Reviewing Business Structure in Light of Tax Changes
A flat 21% tax rate may seem like a good reason for a pass-through entity to convert to a C corporation, but there are other factors to consider.
- 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.