Don’t Let Rising Interest Rates Catch You by Surprise

You’ve probably heard the news that the Federal Reserve has been raising its benchmark federal funds rate. The Fed doesn’t directly control consumer interest rates, but changes to the federal funds rate (which is the rate banks use to lend funds to each other overnight within the Federal Reserve system) often affect consumer borrowing costs.  Read more ➝

Student Loan Debt: It Isn’t Just for Millennials

It’s no secret that today’s college graduates face record amounts of debt. Approximately 68% of the graduating class of 2015 had student loan debt, with an average debt of $30,100 per borrower — a 4% increase from 2014 graduates.1 A student loan debt clock at finaid.org estimates current outstanding student loan debt — including both  Read more ➝

Alternatives to Long-Term Care Insurance

The costs of long-term care can be overwhelming, potentially exhausting retirement income and savings. You may be thinking about buying long-term care insurance (LTCI) to help cover some of the potential costs of long-term care, but LTCI can be expensive, and if you do buy the coverage, you probably hope you never have to use  Read more ➝

advisor

Four Numbers You Need to Know Now

When it comes to your finances, you might easily overlook some of the numbers that really count. Here are four to pay attention to now that might really matter in the future. Retirement plan contribution rate What percentage of your salary are you contributing to a retirement plan? Making automatic contributions through an employer-sponsored plan  Read more ➝

Expect the Unexpected: What to Do If You Become Disabled

In a recent survey, 46% of retirees said they retired earlier than planned, and not necessarily because they chose to do so. In fact, many said they had to leave the workforce early because of health issues or a disability.¹ Although you may be healthy and financially stable now, an unexpected diagnosis or injury could  Read more ➝

Is Smart Beta a Smart Strategy for You?

Traditional investment indexes such as the S&P 500 are weighted based on market capitalization, the value of a company’s total outstanding stock. This means the largest companies in the index may have much greater influence on index performance than smaller companies. For example, the 10 largest companies in the S&P 500 account for more than  Read more ➝

fishing

Is It Wise to Trade Your Pension for a Lump Sum?

Most private employers have already replaced traditional pensions, which promise lifetime income payments in retirement, with defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s. But 15% of private-sector workers and 75% of state and local government workers still participate in traditional pensions.1 Altogether, 35% of workers say they (and/or their spouse) have pension benefits with a current  Read more ➝

Tax Benefits of Homeownership

Buying a home can be a major expenditure. Fortunately, federal tax benefits are available to make homeownership more affordable and less expensive. There may also be tax benefits under state law. Mortgage interest deduction One of the most important tax benefits of owning a home is that you may be able to deduct any mortgage  Read more ➝

Are you ready to retire?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not you are ready to retire. Is your nest egg adequate? It may be obvious, but the earlier you retire, the less time you’ll have to save, and the more years you’ll be living off your retirement savings. The average American can expect to  Read more ➝

What is an ERISA fiduciary?

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was enacted in 1974 to protect employees who participate in retirement plans and certain other employee benefit plans. At the time, there were concerns that pension plan funds were being mismanaged, causing participants to lose benefits they had worked so hard to earn. ERISA protects the interests of  Read more ➝