Federal Government

Advancing Tax Proposals Put Corporations and High-Income Individuals in Spotlight

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER   On Saturday, September 25, 2021, the House Budget Committee voted to advance a $3.5 trillion spending package to the House floor for debate. The House Ways and Means Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation had previously released summaries of proposed tax changes intended to help fund the spending package…. Read more »

Housing Market

Too Hot to Handle: What’s Ahead for the U.S. Housing Market?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER   The U.S. housing market, already strong before the pandemic, has heated up to record levels in 2021. The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which measures home prices in 20 major metropolitan areas, reported a 12-month increase of 18.6% in June 2021, the largest year-over-year gain in data going back… Read more »

College Student

Positioning Your Income/Assets to Enhance Financial Aid Eligibility

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER   What Does it Mean to Enhance Your Financial Aid Eligibility? If you qualify for federal financial aid, there are a number of strategies you can try to implement to enhance the amount of aid your child will receive when you apply for financial aid. The idea is to lower your… Read more »

Student Financial Aid

Are There Any Assets Not Counted for Financial Aid Purposes?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER Yes, assuming you are talking about federal financial aid. Under the federal government’s financial aid formula, four main types of assets are excluded from consideration when determining your child’s financial need: All retirement accounts (e.g., IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s) Home equity in a primary residence Annuities Cash value life insurance These assets… Read more »

Financial Checkup

Mid-Year Is a Good Time for a Financial Checkup

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER The first half of 2021 is behind us. As life emerges from the pandemic to a “new normal,” a mid-year financial checkup may be more important than ever this year. Here are some ways to make sure that your financial situation is continuing on the right path. Reassess Your Financial Goals… Read more »

Should I be concerned about inflation?

Should You Be Concerned About Inflation?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER If you pay attention to financial news, you are probably seeing a lot of discussion about inflation, which has reared its head in the U.S. economy after being mostly dormant for the last decade. In May 2021, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), often called headline inflation, rose at an… Read more »

Retirement Confidence

Retirement Confidence Remains Strong, Despite Pandemic

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER Despite the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic, American workers and retirees remain largely optimistic about their financial prospects for retirement. In its annual Retirement Confidence Survey conducted in January 2021, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found that 80% of retirees and 72% of workers were either very or somewhat… Read more »

Inflation

Rising Inflation: Where Will It Go from Here?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER In March 2021, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.6%, the largest one-month increase since August 2012. Over the previous 12 months, the increase was 2.6%, the highest year-over-year inflation rate since August 2018. (By contrast, inflation in 2020 was just 1.4%.)1 The annual increase in CPI-U… Read more »

Indicators

High-Frequency Indicators: Where to Look for Signs of Recovery

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER Since the pandemic began, disruptions in business activity have varied greatly from region to region, and often from one week to the next, according to the severity of local COVID-19 outbreaks. Unfortunately, many of the official government statistics used to gauge the health of the U.S. economy are backward looking and… Read more »

Fund college education

Should I Use My 401(k) to Fund My Child’s College Education?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER You can, but it isn’t your best option. Your 401(k) plan should be dedicated primarily to your retirement. There are two primary drawbacks to using your 401(k) for college funding. First, if you withdraw funds from your 401(k) before you are 59½, you will owe a 10% premature distribution penalty on… Read more »