Planning


Tax Strategies

June 29, 2021

In an effort to pay for new legislation, the Biden administration has proposed higher taxes for the nation’s highest earners. The president advocates returning the top tax rate to 39.6% for individuals earning $452,700 or more, and married couples with more than $509,300 in combined taxable income.1 This top tax rate was just reduced in…

What’s Driving Oil Prices?

June 8, 2021

Oil prices are influenced by supply and demand, and 2020 was a great demonstration of this principle. With global and local shutdowns due to the spread of the coronavirus, there was less demand for products and services. While online shopping was up, foot traffic in stores languished and retailers – both local and nationwide –…

Gen X Prepares to Ascend the Throne

June 1, 2021

Generation X, comprised of adults between the ages of 40 and 55, have entered their prime earning years while at the same time enjoying a bull market for stocks. This demographic represents about a quarter of households in the U.S. (26.8%) and a similar share of household net worth (26.9%). However, many economists see Gen…

Investment Consolidation Strategies

May 25, 2021

Throughout the investment industry and financial media sources, we constantly hear the message that our money should be diversified. By spreading assets throughout a number of different vehicles, we can take advantage of various market opportunities while helping protect them from some investment risks. But how much diversification is too much? And what exactly should…

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…

What the Stimulus Could Mean for Investors

April 27, 2021

Millions of Americans have embraced the new relief money resulting from the $1.9 trillion America Rescue Plan. They’ve been able to pay for utilities and put food on the table while looking for employment. Those who maintained their jobs throughout the pandemic have embraced the payout as well, but for different reasons. For them, it’s…

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…

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