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Finance

Retirement Planning During Changing Times

According to the United Nations, across the globe, people older than 65 now outnumber children under five for the first time in history. In 1960, the average woman gave birth to five children in her lifetime; by 2017, that ratio had dropped to 2.4 children per woman. Meanwhile, our life expectancy has increased around the…

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Medicare Update

Some hard-working, taxpaying Americans get angry when they hear Social Security called an entitlement program, perhaps because the word “entitlement” has come to have a connotation with welfare programs. The reality is that Social Security is, by definition, an entitlement program, along with Medicare, unemployment insurance and worker’s compensation. These mandatory programs are funded by…

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Can Your Portfolio Weather an Economic Storm?

Let’s talk a little about famous last words. On Nov. 8, 2007, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers that the U.S. economy did not appear headed for recession. One month later, the Great Recession of the 21st century began.1   So, on Sept. 6 of this year, when Fed Chair Jerome Powell announced that…

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What’s New in Banking

Nearly a quarter of the adult U.S. population is “underbanked.” This means they don’t regularly use a bank (or a bank’s mobile/online capabilities) to deposit checks and pay bills. That’s about 55 million people ostensibly living from cashed paycheck to cashed paycheck.1 When these underbanked people cash their paychecks for immediate funds to buy groceries…

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Fingerprint, Retina Scans Not Just for James Bond Anymore

Most people using the internet to shop, conduct financial transactions or read firewall-protected content are likely familiar with the aggravation of maintaining passwords. Worse yet, tech experts now say conventional password security is only a marginal defense against hacking.1 We are now entering a new age in electronic security for the average user — one…

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What’s Up With the Markets?

Anyone who followed the often-used investment adage, “Sell in May and go away,” is likely pleased with their decision after the markets struggled in the month of August.1 While recent market events may seem dramatic, August is historically the weakest month of the year for U.S. equities.2 By mid-August this year, both the Dow and…

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The Growing Popularity of Annuities

Annuities are nothing new; in fact, they’ve been around since Roman times, and maybe even before that.1 But they’re seeing a modern-day surge in popularity, fueled by pre-retirees and retirees concerned about stock market volatility and outliving their retirement income. The fixed annuity market experienced significant growth between 2017 and 2018, with a 25 percent…

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Where Is Dad’s Money?

Imagine if, sadly, Dad dies or becomes incapacitated. You’re in charge of handling all his financial affairs, from managing his investments to putting income sources in place for Mom. There’s just one problem: He was an old-school guy who never consolidated his assets or set up online accounts. Also, it appears he worked with different…

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Pros and Cons of Legislative Inertia

While the 2020 presidential election gains steam, it seems that the passion for new legislation has taken a backseat. As of July 1, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives had passed 169 bills this year1 while the Republican-dominated Senate had passed 61.2 Unfortunately, as of the same date, this divided impasse had produced only 24 enacted…

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2019 Midyear Outlook

Kiplinger recently noted that the U.S. stock market appeared more resilient than ever, having bounced back from a devastating end of 2018. Employment remains relatively steady, inflation flat and the Fed has indicated reticence to increasing interest rates through the end of the year. In fact, the only headwinds for the rest of the year…

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