The Importance of Financial Literacy

Too few Americans understand personal finance fundamentals. If only money came with instructions. If it did, the route toward wealth would be clear and direct. Unfortunately, many people have inadequate financial knowledge, and for them, the path is more obscure. Are most people clueless about financial matters? That depends on what gauge you want to … Continue reading The Importance of Financial Literacy

May Is Disability Insurance Awareness Month

Do you really want to live without this coverage? If you forgo it, you may pay a high price. Disability insurance is an important insurance coverage that most people lack. Many people think of it as optional – when they think of it at all. Have you thought about it? If you are a parent … Continue reading May Is Disability Insurance Awareness Month

Active & Passive Investment Management

What do each of these terms really mean? Investment management can be active or passive. Sometimes, that simple, fundamental choice can make a difference in portfolio performance. During a particular market climate, one of these two methods may be widely praised, while the other is derided and dismissed. In truth, both approaches have merit, and … Continue reading Active & Passive Investment Management

Building an Emergency Fund

Everyone should aim to have a cash reserve. We all would love to have a little extra cash on hand for emergencies. Saving up that cash can be a challenge – but with a little effort, that challenge can be met. Imagine a 30-year-old couple with no real savings. Let’s call them Kurt and Diana. … Continue reading Building an Emergency Fund

As Anticipated, Interest Rates Rise

The Federal Reserve’s latest policy move corresponds to market expectations. Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate by 0.25%. That decision surprised no one – at least no one in the financial markets. Hours before the announcement, the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool, which calculates the chance of interest rate moves based on Fed … Continue reading As Anticipated, Interest Rates Rise

What You Can & Cannot Control as You Plan for Retirement

Some things you have no influence over. You may have some power to affect other factors. Are you worried about retiring? Many baby boomers are, and they have reason to be, given low interest rates, subpar returns on equities, increasing health care costs, and the issues facing Social Security. Now, do yourself a favor. Read … Continue reading What You Can & Cannot Control as You Plan for Retirement

Mind Over Money

Emotion often drives our financial decisions, even when logic should. When we go to the grocery store, we seldom shop on logic alone. We may not even buy on price. We buy one type of yogurt over another because of brand loyalty, or because one brand has more appealing packaging than another. We buy five … Continue reading Mind Over Money

Managing Drug Costs

How can households meet the challenge? Are prescription drug costs burdening your finances? This problem is far too common today. Consider the price tag of some of the drugs used to treat arthritis, hepatitis C, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. A Kaiser Family Foundation study notes that the cost of medications such as Zytiga, Humira, Gleevec, … Continue reading Managing Drug Costs

Do Our Biases Inhibit Our Retirement Savings Efforts?

They may affect our attempts to build wealth. Picture an 18-wheeler, its 4,000-cubic-foot cargo trailer filled to capacity with stacks of $100 bills. The driver shuts and locks the trailer, closing the door on roughly $10 billion. Now imagine that truck driving off to a landfill, where that $10 billion will be dumped, shredded and … Continue reading Do Our Biases Inhibit Our Retirement Savings Efforts?

Women & Retirement Perceptions

Will the reality of retirement live up to expectations? After 55, do women think more about retirement than men? One recent survey found that to be true. Fidelity Investments polled 12,000 retirement savers 55 and older and found that, within the past 24 months, 59% of women had seriously thought about when they would retire, … Continue reading Women & Retirement Perceptions