In a recent study, 35% of married couples described money issues or finances as their primary source of stress. While there are many potential causes of such financial stress, in some cases the root may begin with habits formed early in the marriage.
Fortunately, couples may be able to head off many of the problems money can cause in a marriage. We have put together 10 Tips for Newly Married Couples manage their financial stress. (more…)
Everyone loves a winner. If an investment is successful, most people naturally want to stick with it. But is that the best approach?
It may sound counterintuitive, but it may be possible to have too much of a good thing. Over time, the performance of different investments can shift a portfolio’s intent as well as its risk profile. It’s a phenomenon sometimes referred to as “risk creep,” and it happens when a portfolio’s risk profile shifts over time. (more…)
If you ever have the inkling to manage your investments on your own, that inkling is worth reconsidering. Do-it-yourself investment management can be a bad idea for the retail investor for myriad reasons.
Getting caught up in the moment.When you are watching your investments day to day, you can lose a sense of historical perspective. This may be especially true in longstanding bull markets, in which investors are sometimes lulled into assuming that the big indices will move in only one direction. (more…)
While nature offers four seasons, Wall Street offers only one – four times a year. It’s called “earnings season,” and it can move the markets. So, what is earnings season, and why is it important?
Earnings season is the month of the year that follows each calendar quarter-end month (January, April, July, and October). It is the time during which many public companies release quarterly earnings reports. Some public companies report earnings at other times during the year, but many are on the calendar year that ends December 31. (more…)
Investors are routinely warned about allowing their emotions to influence their decisions. They are less routinely cautioned about letting their preconceptions and biases color their financial choices.
In a battle between the facts & our preconceptions, our preconceptions may win. If we acknowledge this tendency, we may be able to avoid some unexamined choices when it comes to personal finance; it may actually “pay” us to recognize our biases as we invest. Here are some common examples of bias creeping into our financial lives. (more…)
Some retirees succeed at realizing the life they want; others don’t.Fate aside, it isn’t merely a matter ofstock market performance or investment selection that makes the difference. There are certain dos and don’ts – some less apparent than others – that tend to encourage retirement happiness and comfort. (more…)
The conventional wisdom about taking a loan from your 401(k) plan is often boiled down to: not unless absolutely necessary. That said, it isn’t always avoidable for everyone or in every situation. In a true emergency, if you had no alternative, the rules do allow for a loan, but they also require a fast repayment if your employment were to end. Recent changes have changed that deadline, offering some flexibility to those taking the loan. (Distributions from 401(k) plans and most other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.) (more…)
When you are putting together a household, it isn’t unusual to delegate responsibilities. One spouse or partner may take on the laundry, while another takes on the shopping. You might also decide which one of you vacuums and which one of you dusts. This is a perfectly fine way to divvy up household tasks and chores.
One household task it’s valuable for both partners to take part in, however, is your shared financial life. It’s important, regardless of your level of wealth or stage of life. Counting on one spouse or partner to handle all financial decisions can create a gap for the other partner. (more…)
A new term has made its way into today’s financial jargon: de-risking. Anyone with assets in old-school pension plans should know what it signifies.
De-risking is when a large employer hands over its established pension liabilities to a third party (typically, a major insurer). By doing this, the employer takes a sizable financial obligation off its hands. Companies that opt for de-risking usually ask pension plan participants if they want their pension money all at once rather than incrementally in an ongoing income stream. (more…)
Much is out there about the classic financial mistakes that plague start-ups, family businesses, corporations, and charities. Aside from these blunders, some classic financial missteps plague retirees.
Calling them “mistakes” may be a bit harsh, as not all of them represent errors in judgment. Yet whether they result from ignorance or fate, we need to be aware of them as we plan for and enter retirement. (more…)
As a parent or grandparent, you know firsthand the challenges of funding a child’s education. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Act was passed at the end of 2020 and has changed some of the qualifications for students to receive financial aid.
The real rate of return is an important personal finance concept to understand. And it goes hand-in-hand with the rate of inflation. It’s the rate of return on your investments after inflation. The real rate of return indicates whether you are gaining or losing purchasing power with your money.
Recently, you may have seen headlines regarding the Securing a Strong Retirement Act, also referred to as the second version of the SECURE Act, or SECURE Act 2.0.
If there is a “silver lining” to all the inflation talk, it may be that Social Security benefits are expected to see a larger-than-normal increase in 2022. Preliminary COLA Social Security estimates call for a 4.7% cost-of-living increase (COLA) in Social Security benefits next year, which would be the highest since 2009. Benefits rose 1.3% … Continue reading “A COLA With Your Social Security?”
With COVID, there were some who believed that progress on this health issue was a necessary precondition to economic recovery. In recent weeks, we have seen some promising trends emerge on the health front. The CDC is reporting the provision of 295 million vaccinations; 51% of Americans have had at least one injection.1
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