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Many Americans' moving towards retirement explore annuities, which is an investment strategy that is issued by an insurance company and designed to help protect you from the risk of outliving your income. Some annuity products can be particularly enticing for individuals who want guaranteed income benefits. These payments may start immediately or at a later time, depending on the stage of life you're in. An investor should conduct their own research to ensure they know what they are buying and understand the annuity contract's fine print, terms, and fees.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), approximately 70 million Americans currently collect some sort of Social Security retirement, disability, or survivor benefit. According to the SSA, Social Security is already paying out more money than it takes in. By drawing on the Social Security trust fund (OASI), the SSA estimates that Social Security should be able to pay 100% of scheduled benefits until fund reserves are depleted in 2034. While no one can say for sure what will happen, there are some solutions that have been proposed to help keep Social Security solvent for many years to come. No matter what the future holds for Social Security, your financial future is still in your hands. Focus on saving as much for retirement as possible, and consider various income scenarios when planning for retirement.

Here are some things to consider as you weigh potential tax moved between now and the end of the year. Some considerations include deferring income to next year, deductible charitable contributions, deductible retirement plan contributions, and tax-loss harvesting.

Understandably, many people put off planning for long-term care. But although it's hard to face the fact that health problems may someday result in a loss of independence, if you begin planning now, you'll have more options open to you in the future.

Long-term care refers to a broad range of medical and personal services designed to assist individuals who have lost their ability to function independently. Long-term care may be divided into three levels; skilled care, intermediate care, and custodial care. Although long-term care can be provided in a number of places, long-term care insurance policies sometimes limit the facilities where you can choose to receive long-term care.

Medicare beneficiaries can make new choices and pick plans that work best for them during the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period. Each year, Medicare plan costs and coverage typically change. In addition, your health-care needs may have changed over the past year. The Open Enrollment Period — which begins on October 15 and runs through December 7 — is your opportunity to switch your current Medicare health and prescription drug plans to ones that better suit your needs.

Owning a home outright is a dream that many Americans share. Having a mortgage can be a huge burden, and paying it off may be the first item on your financial to-do list. Deciding between prepaying your mortgage and investing your extra cash isn't easy, because each option has advantages and disadvantages. But you can start by weighing what you'll gain financially by choosing one option against what you'll give up. In economic terms, this is known as evaluating the opportunity cost.

Massive computer hacks and data breaches are now common occurrences — an unfortunate consequence of living in a digital world. Now more than ever, it's important to safeguard yourself against identity theft. Here are some steps you can take to protect your personal and financial information.


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