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…

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…

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,…

Warren Buffett’s Annual Shareholder Letter

April 13, 2021

Every year, Berkshire Hathaway’s Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett sends a thoughtfully crafted letter to the company’s shareholders from which the investment industry gleans whatever newfound wisdom possible. Given that 2020 was an unusual year by economic, social and financial standards, there is much to glean. Despite the difficulties the U.S. has experienced in managing…

Annuity Insights

April 6, 2021

Annuity Insights 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…

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…

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…

Is the Market Poised for a Value Shift?

March 16, 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 9, 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…

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