Planning


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…

That Pesky Early Withdrawal Penalty: It’s There for a Reason

March 23, 2021

One way for the government to potentially earn more tax revenue is by eliminating the early withdrawal penalty. This is the typical 10%-tax penalty on distributions from retirement accounts by people younger than age 59 ½.1 If that penalty didn’t exist, investors may be more inclined to pull money out of their retirement accounts, whether…

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…

Pandemic Highlights the Difference Between Economics and Finance

February 23, 2021

Pandemic Highlights the Difference Between Economics and Finance One of the more glaring lessons of the 2020 pandemic was that the economy and the stock market are not the same thing, nor do they necessarily move in lockstep. They are measurements of two different things, often indicating how the other will react. However, as we…

How To Help Maximize Social Security Benefits

January 26, 2021

There are good reasons to delay starting Social Security benefits, but there are also good reasons to begin them early. It really does depend on your circumstances. If you claim earlier than your full retirement age (FRA), your benefit will be permanently reduced. The age to qualify for the full Social Security benefit varies by…

China’s Rebound

December 21, 2020

In mid-November, China signed an important and symbolic free-trade agreement with 14 countries, including Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia. The deal, which represents 30% of the world’s population, eliminates tariffs and quotas on 65% of goods traded in the Asia-Pacific region. Global economists say the deal is further evidence of Asia’s growing power,…

Open Enrollment: Health Care Insurance Takes Priority

December 9, 2020

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) – passed in 2010 and known colloquially as “Obamacare” – has experienced quite a ride. Initially, it was embraced by millions of Americans for whom it afforded tax-subsidized health insurance without access to employer-sponsored coverage. At the same time, it was derided for increasing government sharing costs…

Advantages of Gender-Lens Investing

December 4, 2020

Gender-lens investing is the tactic of screening companies through female-centric filters. According to analysis by the Wharton School of Business, these filters include: Advancing women in finance Advancing women in leadership Advancing products and services that improve the lives of women Advancing companies that have a positive effect on their female employees Advancing companies that…

Americans and Their 401(k)s

September 29, 2020

A recent survey found that working households experiencing financial strain due to the pandemic have not been inclined to make withdrawals from their 401(k)s to help make ends meet. In fact, the vast majority haven’t even changed their rate of contributions. Instead, these households are relying on the “old standbys” of surviving during economic decline:…

How High-net-worth Households are Faring

September 8, 2020

The investment markets rebounded and have proven resilient despite the economic decline resulting from the pandemic. The Federal Reserve continues to boost monetary policy with trillions in market support. Congress and President Trump support the need for further economic stimulus, even though they hadn’t settled on a number as of this writing.1 And yet, according…

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