Life, Liberty, and Tax-Advantaged Investing
Life, Liberty, and Tax-Advantaged Investing Americans are passionate about taxes. We have reason to be. In recent years, Americans have spent more on taxes than on food, clothing, and housing combined.1 The Tax Foundation estimates...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Father's Day
Collect the Best Recipes for Dad's Cook Book Most dads have at least one recipe they like to cook for family and friends. Some have dozens. This year, celebrate Father's Day by collecting the recipes from the men in your family. Bring...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Memorial Day
At 3:00 p.m. local time on Monday, May 25, 2020, the National Moment of Remembrance takes place by silently thanking the men and women of the United States military who gave their lives for our country.1 Originally, Memorial Day was...Read More
Celebrating the Bravery and Dedication of Our Veterans
"We received a wire about eight that hostilities would stop at eleven. At that time, all the guns shot off a volley, the bugles sounded cease fire, the men cheered, and the great little war was over. Every band formed the nucleus of a...Read More
Halloween - By the Numbers
A number you're probably not looking for is 1.5 billion. That is the number of pounds of pumpkins grown every year. History.com said that is more than twice the weight of the Empire State Building. Here are a few other interesting...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Labor Day is an Important Day
Labor Day is not just the last day to wear white or have a bit of summer fun. Just over 100 years ago, Americans typically worked physically demanding jobs. Adults toiled 12 hours a day, seven days a week for low wages. Americans did...Read More
Protect Yourself in a Smart and Connected World
The world is becoming smarter and more connected all the time – and that has serious implications for people who want to protect their personal data and their privacy. If you’ve been enjoying the convenience of smart...Read More
LifeStyle Newsletter - Sleep: It’s More Elusive as We Get Older
If someone tells you older people need less sleep than younger people do, don’t believe it. Older Americans need about eight hours of sleep, just like everybody else. What’s different is quality sleep is harder to come by as you age....Read More
How Will Rising Healthcare Costs Affect Your Retirement?
It’s no secret healthcare costs are going up. Medical expenses have been steadily increasing for years. In 2007, costs were up almost 12 percent. However, the rate of increase slowed to 6 percent during the past five years and that...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day
On St. Patrick’s Day, it’s okay to celebrate even if you’re not Irish. St. Patrick himself wasn’t Irish. As we celebrate, we would like to share some of our favorite facts and tidbits about St. Patrick’s Day:1 • St. Patrick’s Day is an...Read More
Baby Boomers and Digital Assets
How many password-protected accounts do you have?If you keep mental inventory, use a password manager, or have a written record of your passwords (which is not recommended by anyone), take a quick count. You’re likely to find you may...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Valentine’s Day Spending
Valentine’s Day means different things to different people. Some welcome Valentine’s Day as a time for romance, while others see it as an opportunity to cherish friends and family. No matter how it’s celebrated, Valentine’s Day...Read More
Make Sure Your Smart Home is Safe from Cyber Attack
Whether you own a house or rent an apartment, building a smart home is easier than it has ever been. Homeowners and renters can purchase kits that integrate specific smart items or they can select smart home products, such as light...Read More
Holiday Greeting - A Day On, Not a Day Off
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation establishing the third Monday of January as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.1 Dr. King, who is remembered for his powerful oratory and transformative ideas, once said, “Life’s most...Read More
Tax Season is Here Again
It’s only January, but you may want to jumpstart your 2018 taxes since there are a slew of new regulations that may affect you. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 goes into effect this year so make sure you understand how tax...Read More
Holiday Greeting - How to Keep a New Year's Resolution
Eat healthier. Get more exercise. Save more money. Those were the top New Year's resolutions for 2018, according to Statista.1 Few people achieved them. One of the reasons so few resolutions become reality is because people tend to...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Fill Your Holidays with Happiness
Holidays can be joyful and a little stressful. Here are a few ways to bring a moment of happiness into your life and the lives of those around you:1 • Take time to call an old friend.• Buy coffee for a stranger.• Briefly chat with your...Read More
Are Volatile Stock Markets Good for Investors?
When the ups and downs of stock markets leave you stressed and wondering whether stocks really will help you pursue your long-term financial goals, there are two things to remember:1. Historically, over long periods, stocks have tended...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Thanksgiving: A True American Holiday
Thanksgiving is a true American holiday. It celebrates generosity and gratitude, and it recognizes the relationships that helped colonists who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 survive beyond their first winter. History.com explained:1...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Gratitude for Our Veterans
There are more than 20 million veterans living across the United States. These men and women fought in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, the War in Afghanistan, which continues today, and many...Read More
Should Parents Pay for College Tuition?
It’s a pricey question.It’s a pricey question.College Board estimated the average cost for full-time, in-state students who live on campus at four-year public colleges or universities during the 2017-18 school year is $25,290...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Halloween Jokes for Children
If trick-or-treating in your neighborhood requires a trick to get a treat, your little ghosts and goblins will need some short and easy-to-remember options. Here are a few that were recommended by Reader’s Digest:1• What has hundreds...Read More
LifeStyle Newsletter - Just Give Me that Countryside…
Remember the television classic, Green Acres? Eddie Albert, who portrayed a New York City lawyer, and Eva Gabor, who portrayed his sophisticated spouse, move from the big city to the country – and it’s not quite what they expected...Read More
Women and the Retirement Crisis
Here’s a number that will knock your socks off: $400 trillion.1By 2050, the retirement savings shortfall in eight of the world’s largest economies is expected to reach $400 trillion, according to estimates from the World Economic Forum...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Labor Day and Labor Unions
Labor Day is set aside to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers. It was proposed as a holiday by Matthew Maguire in 1882 while he served as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York, NY. The labor...Read More
Can Social Security Benefits Help with Longevity Risk?
How long will you live? How long will you live? It’s not a question anyone can answer with any certainty, and that creates a significant risk when planning for retirement. Your retirement may last for a long time, and you will need to...Read More
Ready, Set, Trade War?
In recent years, investors have largely ignored geopolitical risks. Russia’s invasion of the Crimean Peninsula, the Brits’ vote to leave the European Union (EU), unrest in the Middle East, and other global events have not affected...Read More
LifeStyle Newsletter - Are You a Subscriber?
In the olden days, the word ‘subscription’ typically was applied to just magazines and newspapers. Today, that’s not the case. Americans are buying everything from meal kits to baby products to vitamins by subscription. A McKinsey &...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Out of Revolution a New Nation was Born
On July 4, 1776, the American colonies banded together and declared independence from Great Britain. The countries had been at war for more than a year due to a number of issues, particularly in regards to harsh taxation and a lack of...Read More
What Happens When the Well Runs Dry?
To the relief of many South Africans, Day Zero has been pushed back to 2019. Day Zero is the date on which Cape Town will run out of water, and its four million residents will begin to collect daily water rations of about seven gallons...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Make It All About Dad
There are many perceived requirements of being a dad. “One of the jobs of a good dad is to help kids become a little tougher, a little more resilient, a little more separate…dads push kids to leave the nest; they brush off the dirt...Read More
How to Prepare for a Changing Bond Market
The words ‘bear market’ have been bandied about a lot lately. When you read or hear them, remember to respond the same way you would if you saw an actual bear in the woods – by staying calm and keeping your wits about you. A changing...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Mindfulness and Memorial Day
If you’ve ever composed a grocery list in your head while driving carpool and listening to your children discuss who got in trouble at school and why, then you know what it’s like to have your attention divided. If you’ve ever worked...Read More
Holiday Greeting - 10 Reasons Moms are Important
Mother’s Day is almost here! We all have moms and, whether they gave birth to us or not, they have helped us become the people we are today. Here are 10 reasons moms are so important, adapted from Psychology Today:11. She gave birth to...Read More
LifeStyle Newsletter - Life in the Future
Technology is a life changer. GPS has improved interpersonal relations by eliminating arguments about asking for directions. Apps for car services, food delivery, video streaming, news media, and social media have changed the way we...Read More
Home is Wherever You Make It
“There’s no place like home.”1Conjuring an image of ‘home’ was a lot easier for Dorothy than it is for people who are on the cusp of retirement. After all, isn’t retirement supposed to be a new start? Aren’t retirees supposed to wave...Read More
Holiday Greeting - St. Patrick and the Irish
It’s almost time to don green and gold. That’s right, March 17 is upon us. There’s more to the holiday, however, than eating corned beef and cabbage and celebrating the Irish. For instance, St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland,...Read More
Two Ideas Worth Thinking About When Markets are Moving
Here’s a number most people would like to see on an annual statement: 21.6 percent. That was the annual return for the Standard & Poor (S&P) 500 Index during 2017. In general, U.S. stock indices did quite well last year – and the year...Read More
Holiday Greeting - It’s Almost Valentine’s Day
If you’re looking for a gift that will express your love better than chocolates or a bouquet of flowers, don’t fret. Trendhunter.com has some innovative and unconventional suggestions:• Literary love tattoos. Perhaps, you’d like Rainer...Read More
What Would You Do?
Here’s a riddle for you: Some people are reluctant to start me, unless I’m automatic. I’m frequently exhausted when I don’t roll over. I’m sometimes left behind. Retirees devour me. What am I? Answer: A retirement savings plan.New jobs...Read More
Holiday Greeting - What Do You Know About Martin Luther King, Jr.?
Most Americans know Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister and the leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States until he was assassinated in 1968. Test your knowledge with this quiz about Dr. King.1. Before...Read More
LifeStyle Newsletter - Are We Ready for the Baby Boom Retirement?
Fifteen years ago, a Health Services Research report described the challenges ahead for the United States as the Baby Boom generation aged into retirement. Four issues were paramount: 1) improving payment and insurance systems for...Read More
Will Interest Rates Move Higher?
The last bear market in bonds began in the middle of the last century and lasted for about 31 years. Some investors who bought bonds in 1950 locked in relatively low rates of return for a very long time. On January 1, 1950, 10-year U.S...Read More
Holiday Greeting - 2018: A Really Big Year!
New years bring new adventures, and 2018 is no different. To paraphrase Ed Sullivan: 2018 could be a really big year. Here are a few of the events we can look forward to:• Men’s World Cup in Russia. CBS’s power rankings put Brazil at...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Finding Joy During the Holidays
“The holidays are often seen as a time of joy: ruddy cheeks, festive parties, and twinkling laughter, all wrapped in a warm, tinsel-framed glow. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It may be the ‘season to be jolly,’ but not...Read More
Are You Ready to Retire?
There is a simple and unsettling reality in the United States. Most Americans are not financially prepared for retirement. There is a simple and unsettling reality in the United States. Most Americans are not financially prepared for...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Let’s Talk Turkey!
Thanksgiving is the mother of all family dinners. It’s a celebration of our great nation and the many blessings that occur when people unite together in the spirit of communication. As you’re gathered around the table this year, here’s...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Fight for the Brave Men and Women Who Fought for Us
All too often, we assume the men and women who fought for our country can take care of themselves. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. There are some important ways ordinary Americans can help those who are returning from battle...Read More
Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits
Retirement and Social Security are inextricably linked. Not only did Social Security help establish the official U.S. retirement age at 65, it also provides a significant portion of today’s retirees’ incomes. Retirement and Social...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Halloween Trivia Anyone?
Halloween is almost upon us! Whether you’re wearing a costume, decorating your yard/house, or handing out treats, you won’t be alone. More than 179 million Americans are expected to participate in 2017’s Halloween festivities – and...Read More
LifeStyle Newsletter - A Sturdy Case Isn’t All You Need to Protect Your Smartphone
Smartphones are incredibly handy. That may be why about three of every four Americans own them.1 On average, smartphone users spend almost three hours a day – 86 hours every month – using their phones. They send texts and email,...Read More
College is Coming – Have You Started Saving Yet?
How times change! In 1940, half of Americans finished their education in eighth grade. College degrees were relatively rare. Just 6 percent of men and 4 percent of women had one.1During the past 80 years, college has become far more...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Happy Labor Day!
Labor Day is about a lot more than the end of summer and the start of a new school year. The holiday, which celebrates American workers, became a federal holiday in 1894 and was created to recognize the contributions and achievements...Read More
After the Diagnosis: Making a Plan for Alzheimer’s
In a 2002 interview with Mike Wallace, former First Lady Nancy Reagan said she often reread the love letters written by her husband, former President Ronald Reagan. The letters, which had sustained and enriched their relationship,...Read More
Beware of Spam!
While some may be concerned about the iconic American meat that arrives in a rectangular 12-ounce tin (and is inexplicably popular in certain island states and American territories), more should be wary of its namesake – the spam that...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Happy Birthday, United States of America!
On July 4, 1776, the American colonies claimed independence from Britain. This declaration eventually led to the formation of the United States. As we celebrate the birth of our great nation, test your knowledge with this brief quiz.1...Read More
What Comes Next? Bull, Bear, Correction?
The bull market in U.S. stocks has been charging ahead for more than eight years.1 While that’s young in people years, it’s ancient in bull market terms. Since World War II, the longest bull market in U.S. stocks lasted for almost...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Getting to Know Your Dad
You’re probably familiar with ‘20 Questions.’ It’s a classic long-distance-car-trip game that encourages creativity and deductive reasoning. On this Father’s Day, try playing a version that can help you learn a lot more about your...Read More
Supersize Me: Here’s a Way to Fatten Up Your Retirement Savings
Wouldn’t it be something if you could plump up your retirement savings as easily as you can put on a few pounds eating fast food? Here’s one way to do it: Open a health savings account (HSA). It offers a triple tax advantage and you...Read More
Holiday Greeting - What Do You Know About Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have given their lives in the service of our country. See what you know about Memorial Day by answering a few questions from an AARP quiz.1 1. Memorial Day was created to honor...Read More
Holiday Greeting - The Joys and Doubts of Motherhood
Changing diapers, arranging play dates, driving car pools, calming squabbling siblings, attending musicals and sporting events, chaperoning proms, coaching teams, helping with college applications…moms have a lot of responsibilities....Read More
It's Time to Talk About Aging
We are all, inexorably, marching toward old age. By 2030, 72 million Americans will be age 65 or older.1 The good news is longevity has been improving, and people are remaining healthy and vibrant at older ages. The bad news is...Read More
LifeStyle Newsletter - Name a Device – Any Device – That You Can't Live Without
Some people may name a medical device or implant, such as a hearing aid, an artificial joint, or a pacemaker. Others may say they couldn't live without their electric bikes, GPS devices, tablets, or food processors. A surprisingly...Read More
Beware of Schemes During Tax Season
It’s tax season! Every year, around this time, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes its dirty dozen – a list of scams criminals use to try and ferret out personal information and/or steal money.1 For example, if you received an...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day
It has been said everyone in America is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Whether you have Irish ancestry or merely enjoy a good celebration, test your knowledge of the old country by taking this quiz. 1. What is Gaeltacht?1a. A region of...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Valentine’s Day: Why Chocolates?
The celebration of Valentine’s Day is attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer who wrote a poem about love and St. Valentine in the 1300s. Although this poem did not mention chocolate, the tasty treats have since become a Valentine’s Day...Read More
Online Security: Avoiding Account Vulnerability
How many times did you login to a digital account today? It probably was more than once. Some people access digital sites via computer or tablet, but many others rely on their phones. Deloitte recently reported the essentials of life...Read More
LifeStyle Newsletter - Retirement Can Be a Bed of Roses…
…And, it may have some thorns. There’s something you should know about retirement. It’s not as easy as everyone makes it seem. Remember what life was like when you tied the knot? How about once you had children? Or, when you accepted a...Read More
Holiday Greeting - New Year's Day
Holiday Greeting - The Way You Eat in 2017 What can we expect in the New Year? If international food consultancy Baum + Whiteman is correct, we may find ourselves embracing new food trends including:1 • Restaurants without seats. We...Read More
Retirement IncomeHere’s a million dollar question: How will you transform your savings into income that will last throughout your retirement?1There are probably as many answers to that question as there are retirees. However, all...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Stay Safe Online While Traveling and Shopping
We hope your holidays will be filled with family, friends, merry-making, and good cheer. One way to ensure a happy holiday season is to stay safe online. Here are a few tips that may help. 1. When using public Wi-Fi at a hotel, coffee...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Thanksgiving is Almost Here!
Thanksgiving is America’s second favorite holiday,1 and it offers something for everyone. You can enjoy family togetherness, feasting, football, school plays, parades, gratitude, and, of course, shopping. If you’re a traditionalist,...Read More
Holiday Greeting - Why Do American Soldiers Fight?
“American soldiers in battle don’t fight for what some president says on TV. They don’t fight for Mom, apple pie, the American flag. They fight for one another. ”1 Stars and Stripes used the words of Lieutenant Colonel Harold “Hal”...Read More
The Uncovered Costs of Increased Longevity
In the 1970s, a TV episode of The Odd Couple taught viewers never to assume.1 It’s a lesson we appear to have forgotten. Many Americans assume Medicare will provide financial assistance to help with long-term care costs in retirement....Read More
Holiday Greeting - It’s Almost All Hallows’ Eve!
People of a certain age will remember ‘It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.’ The animated television special debuted in 1966,1 way back when there were only a few channels and you had to get out of your seat to change them from one...Read More
LifeStyle Newsletter - And, the Answer is: More than $260 Billion
That’s how much Americans had spent on pain relief medications and treatments when the Institute of Medicine (IOM) completed its report in 2011. If you factor in lost productivity, the economic cost of pain rose to more than $560...Read More
LifeStyle Newsletter - Working While Retired
Would you accompany a group of high school students studying photojournalism and social change in Argentina? How about a group learning about language and culinary traditions in France? Does working for a season or two in a great place...Read More
When Your Children Leave Home, Will You Save More for Retirement?
You may be asking yourself whether that’s a trick question. After all, almost one-third of 18- to 34-year-olds are still living at home with their parents. It is, in fact, the most common living arrangement for this age group and a...Read More