Social Security

Social Security’s Uncertain Future: What You Should Know

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER   Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system, which means today’s workers are paying taxes for the benefits received by today’s retirees. However, demographic trends such as lower birth rates, higher retirement rates, and longer life spans are causing long-run fiscal challenges. There are simply not enough U.S. workers to support the… 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 »

Student Loans

Federal Student Loan Interest Rates Set to Increase for 2021-2022

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER After two years of decreases, interest rates on federal student loans are set to increase almost a full percentage point for the 2021-2022 school year.1 The interest rates on federal student loans are reset each year after the May auction of the 10-year Treasury note. The rates apply to new federal student… Read more »

Retirement

How Are Workers Preparing for Retirement?

ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER In general, workers seem to begin preparing for retirement almost as soon as they get their first job. However, according to the 2021 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), retirement preparations do vary a bit by age group. Retirement Preparation Nearly three-quarters (72%) of workers say that… 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 »

CARES Act

American Families Plan Would Provide Benefits for Some, More Taxes for Others

On April 28, 2021, the White House released a fact sheet for President Biden’s American Families Plan (AFP), which proposes about $1 trillion in investments and $800 billion in tax cuts. There would also be tax increases for those making more than $400,000 per year. Major provisions proposed in the plan are summarized here, including… 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 »