Personal Finance

Obama budget includes entitlement changes

President Obama’s budget blueprint will include proposed changes to Social Security and Medicare, and some new tax increases, administration officials said. The senior officials said Obama’s budget, to be presented next week, will include an offer the president made to House Speaker John Boehner in December — $400 billion in savin...Read More

Retirement confidence remains at low level

American workers are no more confident about being able to afford a comfortable retirement now than they were two years ago, despite the economic recovery and the strength on Wall Street, a Washington, D.C., research group reports. The Employee Benefit Research Institute said 28 percent of workers are not at all confident about having enough money ...Read More

Boomers want answers on how to handle Social Security checks

You can take $1,000 a month now or wait four years and receive $1,320 a month. What should you do? It’s a question baby boomers creeping toward retirement increasingly face as they decide when to claim their Social Security benefits. And financial advisers caution them to study the issue carefully. "This is guaranteed income for you,&quo...Read More

How budget cuts could affect you

Government agencies are already taking steps to comply with automatic spending cuts that took effect March 1. Some examples: — AIRCRAFT CARRIER One of the Navy’s premiere warships, the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, sits pierside in Norfolk, Va., its tour of duty delayed. The carrier and its 5,000-person crew were to leave for th...Read More

Borrowing from 401(K) should be your last resort

Q. I was recently turned down for a business line of credit. I’m considering borrowing from my company 401(k) plan to contribute capital to my wife’s start-up business. A. One of the most common savings strategies today for retirement is your company-sponsored 401(k). Commonly, the primary reasons to participate are tax deferral and an ...Read More

Consider an ‘immediate annuity’ for retirement

When you retire, you have the option of using some of the assets in your 401(k) plan to purchase an immediate fixed annuity to provide a steady income. Now some employers are offering an annuity within their 401(k) that protects your savings in the years before retirement and guarantees lifetime income after you’ve retired. With an immediate ...Read More

Social Security: 5 things to know

You might not talk about Social Security very often, but it’s an enormous part of the national debate — and your retirement future as well. What do you need to know about Social Security? As a potential retiree, everything you can. Here are five of the most important things: It’s not ALL that generous Social Security was never int...Read More

A quick look at Obama’s health care law

The new health care law was devised in Washington, but it’s in the states where everyone will find out if it works. A thumbnail glance at how it’s designed: -The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the biggest safety-net legislation since Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. -At a cost of $1.7 trillion over the next decade, it’...Read More

Boomers need to act now to erase money fears

When it comes to retirement, many of us are running scared. One of the biggest fears is that we’ll live long enough to run out of money, according to a survey by Merrill Edge. Financial adviser Philip Rousseaux says the economy may be recovering, but some of the changes wrought by the Great Recession may be long-lasting: lower-than-expected e...Read More

Health care costs rising faster than income

It might be small comfort for those buried under medical bills, but the consumer’s share of the total U.S. health care outlay is dropping, according to government spending statistics. This comes after a decade of drifting toward higher-deductible plans, higher co-pays, health savings accounts and other defined benefit plans – all design...Read More

Will the 4 percent rule of thumb leave retirees empty handed?

You’ve probably heard the popular investing rules of thumb. The "invest your age in bonds" rule. The Rule of 72. The 4 Percent Rule for withdrawals in retirement. About that last rule? You might want to move it over a finger or two. A study released last month from three respected researchers asserts that withdrawing 4 percent of yo...Read More

How income tax has changed in 100 years

If you’re getting ready to file your income tax return, you should be interested to know that what you’re doing started 100 years ago. But what a difference that century has made! Examples: When Congress passed the income tax law in 1913, a couple making over $4,000 in taxable income after all deductions was subject to a 1% tax rate. Wi...Read More

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