Finance

Retirement: Savings and Financial Health

As many baby boomers near retirement, some new facts are coming into focus. According to the latest Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on retirement security, 29 percent of households aged 55 and older have no savings set aside for retirement and no pension. If that doesn’t change, they’ll be relying solely on Social Security during…

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Real Estate Investing

Investing in real estate can be an option to help diversify a portfolio because the market isn’t directly correlated with stock and bond markets. You don’t have to buy properties and become a landlord to participate, and there are a number of different financial vehicles available based on an investor’s key objectives, timeline and tolerance…

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Tax Tips: Look ahead while looking back at 2018

If you didn’t adjust your tax withholding in early 2018, you might be in for a surprise when completing your tax return this year. A lot of people opted for the “wait-and-see” approach to determine if the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would impact their return. Initially, the Tax Policy Center projected the new legislation…

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Annuity Strategies That Keep the Income Flowing in Retirement

More than 90 percent of American workers in their 50s don’t have a pension and 46 percent don’t participate in an IRA or 401(k) at work. A recent study found four in 10 middle-class Americans will likely live on or below the federal poverty line by age 65.1 Many experts say annuities may be appropriate…

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2019 Market Prognostications: What the Experts Say

By the end of 2018, not one of the eight asset categories tracked by Ned Davis Research was on track to post a return greater than 5 percent. Since it’s common for the market to yield at least some “winners” and “losers” among asset classes each year, this was a significant phenomenon that hasn’t occurred…

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Responsible Investing Options Keep Sprouting

Nearly $23 trillion of assets worldwide are managed using responsible investing (RI) strategies, a 25 percent increase since 2014, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance. New funds focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues have also doubled since 2014.1   RI used to suffer under the guise of a do-good passion project or…

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Pros and Cons of Municipal Bonds

U.S. stock markets were enjoying an eighth consecutive year of a bull market until volatility toward the end of 2018 erased all of the past year’s gains.1 In times like this, as share prices continue to bounce back and forth on a day-to-day basis, investors close to or in retirement often transition to more conservative…

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Stability Grows for Emerging Markets

Thirty years ago, developed markets were seen as much more stable than smaller, emerging countries. But as political division and uncertainty permeates the West, the differences have faded, and emerging markets (EM) have shed the high-risk perception that accompanied foreign investment. Sound government situations, conservative monetary policy and lower levels of debt were once staples…

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Decreasing Benefits Contribute to Retiree Bankruptcy

For most of the 20th century, it was common for employers and unions to sponsor health care insurance for retired workers, which helped pay for some or all of Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements and deductibles. However, this trend reversed sharply in the mid-1990s. A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that only 19…

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Stock Buybacks Explained

When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, the hope was companies would spend their influx of money on expansion and increased jobs and wages. Instead, public companies’ most popular way to spend the excess capital has been to buy back their own stock.1…

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