Food for thought


Updates on FSAs and HSAs

May 11, 2021

A recent survey found that 40% of respondents with access to a health savings account (HSA) do not fully understand how they work. Basically, HSAs are paired with high-deductible health plans to help people save money for their plan’s high deductible, copayments and other qualified expenses. However, the real value of an HSA lies in…

New Status on Pension Plans

May 4, 2021

Financial professionals and economists have been talking about the “graying of America” and the retirement crisis for at least a couple of decades. Now, it seems, things have reached a tipping point. Even labor union workers, largely beneficiaries of rich benefits and pension plans, have been hit hard. Throughout the past century, unions set up…

Tax Topic: Qualified Business Income Deduction

April 20, 2021

One of the provisions included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was the Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction. It is designed as a tax break for small businesses or self-employed individuals and is comparable to the enhanced tax breaks legislated for larger companies. However, while the corporate tax changes are made permanent,…

Annuity Insights

April 6, 2021

The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) – a trade association for the retirement income industry – advocates annuities as a vehicle that can help provide retirees income, guaranteed by the insurer. The organization has been actively educating and lobbying legislators to expand annuity access as part of employer-sponsored retirement plans.1 Under this scenario, whatever portion the investor…

Can Money Buy Happiness?

March 30, 2021

In 2010, a study was published by two Nobel prize-winning economists purporting that people with more money feel better about their lives. However, that held true only up to an annual salary of $75,000 ($90,000 in today’s dollars). Past the $75k threshold, people weren’t necessarily any happier. That scenario has apparently changed in the ensuing…

Is the Market Poised for a Value Shift?

March 17, 2021

The stock market continues to exhibit resiliency in the face of disrupting factors, ranging from a global pandemic to a severe economic decline to a controversial presidential election. For many years, Wall Street analysts warned a market correction was long overdue. Despite intermittent volatility, those concerns largely have not borne out. You may be tired…

Retirement Planning Insights

March 11, 2021

Amid lost jobs and a scaled-back economy in 2020, some workers may have decided to retire earlier than planned. There are a couple of Social Security strategies worth considering in this scenario. First, if both spouses are over age 62, determine if you can make ends meet by taking only one Social Security benefit while…

Vaccines and the Stock Market

February 16, 2021

Vaccines and the Stock Market   If there’s one thing that can move the economy and stock market forward, it’s hope. This year, that hope is being presented in the form of COVID-19 vaccines. Economists and Wall Street analysts have long proclaimed that comprehensive economic recovery is not possible until we have contained the virus.…

When To “Buy Low”

February 9, 2021

When To “Buy Low”   The beginning of the year is typically full of hope. We make New Year’s resolutions, and it may take a few months for our enthusiasm (and vigilance) to wane. There’s also the “January Effect,” when the stock market generally gets a performance boost thanks to tax harvesting in December and…

The Pros and Cons of Corporate America’s Remote Work Trend

February 3, 2021

The Pros and Cons of Corporate America’s Remote Work Trend   Post-pandemic, will everyone go back to the office like nothing ever happened? Will lost jobs be recovered? Or is remote work and skeleton staffing a trend here to stay? A recent survey of company leaders revealed that eight in 10 plan to allow employees…

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