Category Archives: Money

Gender differences—In Retirement

 

You may have read that women are far more likely to face poverty in retirement than their male counterparts—but you may not realize just how big the disparity is.  In fact, women are 80% more likely to fall into poverty toward the end of their lives, compared to men, according to a 2016 study by the National Institute on Retirement Security.

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What the Tax Bill Means to You

The new tax law hasn’t been formally ratified by the U.S. House and Senate, but all indications are that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will be sent to the President’s desk in the next few days.  As you probably know, the House and Senate versions were somewhat different.  What does the new bill look like?

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Bitcoin Bubble?

It is probably not a good sign for an investment when its largest clearing firm takes out an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal asking for more regulatory oversight and warning investors that its investment category is so volatile that futures contracts could create devastating losses.  Yet this is exactly what has happened recently when Interactive Brokers, the clearing firm for the bitcoin cryptocurrency, responded to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s plans to start listing bitcoin futures.

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’Tis the Season

The period between Thanksgiving and the end-of-year holiday season would seen like a sleepy time for financial planners, but in fact it is anything but.  You might be surprised at how much activity takes place on behalf of you and your investments in the final month of the year.

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Savings Rates Decline

You don’t hear much about America’s personal savings rate these days, and the reason may be because the news is discouraging: collectively, the percentage of our income that we save is trending downward again, and may be about to hit record lows.  The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis tracks the U.S. personal savings rate, going back to the late 1950s, when when people were setting aside a thrifty 11% of what they made.  Americans achieved a record 17% savings rate in the mid-1970s (see chart) before a long decline set in.  In 2013, the rate briefly spiked again above 10%, but as you can see from the chart, Americans have become less thrifty since then.  The most recent data point shows Americans saving just 3.6% of their income.

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The New Tax Legislation

Chances are, you’ve heard that tax “reform” is right around the corner—that is, if you can call it “reform” when hundreds or perhaps thousands of new pages are about to be added to the tax code. First, the White House released its tax legislation wish list. Now the Republicans in the House of Representatives have released a proposal called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” which fleshes out some of the details.

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Tax Reform—or Not?

You can be forgiven if you’re skeptical that Congress will be able to completely overhaul our tax system after failing to overhaul our health care system, but professional advisors are studying the newly-released nine-page proposal closely nonetheless.  We only have the bare outlines of what the initial plan might look like before it goes through the Congressional sausage grinder:

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