Two Decades of Inflation

After being largely dormant for the last decade, inflation roared back in 2021 due to various factors related to the pandemic and economic recovery. For perspective, it may be helpful to look at inflation over a longer period of time. During the 20-year period ending September 2021, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), often called headline inflation, rose a total of 53.8%. While the prices of some items tracked the broad index, others increased or decreased at much different rates.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021 (data through September 2021)

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Are You a HENRY? Consider These Wealth-Building Strategies

HENRY is a catchy acronym for “high earner, not rich yet.” It describes a demographic made up of young and often highly educated professionals with substantial incomes but little or no savings. HENRYs generally have enviable career prospects, but many of them feel financially stretched or may even live paycheck to paycheck for years, especially if they are working in cities with high living costs and/or facing large student loan payments. Continue reading “Are You a HENRY? Consider These Wealth-Building Strategies”

Retirement Plan Limits on the Rise in 2022

Retirement savers have some reasons to celebrate in 2022.

Many IRA and retirement plan limits are indexed for inflation each year. Although the amount you can contribute to IRAs remains the same in 2022, other key numbers will increase, including how much you can contribute to a work-based retirement plan and the phaseout thresholds for IRA deductibility and Roth contributions.  Continue reading “Retirement Plan Limits on the Rise in 2022”

Your Social Security Statement: What’s in It for You?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides personalized Social Security Statements to help Americans age 18 and older better understand the benefits that Social Security offers. Your Statement contains a detailed record of your earnings and estimates of retirement, disability, and survivor benefits — information that can help you plan for your financial future.

You can view your Social Security Statement online at any time by creating a my Social Security account at the SSA’s website, ssa.gov/myaccount. If you’re not registered for an online account and are not yet receiving benefits, you’ll receive a Statement in the mail every year, starting at age 60. Continue reading “Your Social Security Statement: What’s in It for You?”

401(k) and IRA: A Combined Savings Strategy

Contributing to an employer-sponsored retirement plan or an IRA is a big step on the road to retirement, but contributing to both can significantly boost your retirement assets. A recent study found that, on average, individuals who owned both a 401(k) and an IRA at some point during the six-year period of the study had combined balances about 2.5 times higher than those who owned only a 401(k) or an IRA. And people who owned both types of accounts consistently over the period had even higher balances.1

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Don’t Let Debt Derail Your Retirement

Debt poses a growing threat to the financial security of many Americans — and not just college graduates with exorbitant student loans. Recent studies by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR) and the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reveal an alarming trend: The percentage of older Americans with debt is at its highest level in almost 30 years, and the amount and types of debt are on the rise. Continue reading “Don’t Let Debt Derail Your Retirement”

Tax Filing Information for Coronavirus Distributions

In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The legislation included a provision that allowed qualified retirement plan participants and IRA account holders to take penalty-free early distributions totaling no more than $100,000 between January 1 and December 31, 2020. If you took advantage of this measure, here’s what you need to know for tax filing. Continue reading “Tax Filing Information for Coronavirus Distributions”

Sequence Risk: Preparing to Retire in a Down Market

“You can’t time the market” is an old maxim, but you also might say, “You can’t always time retirement.”

Market losses on the front end of retirement could have an outsize effect on the income you receive from your portfolio by reducing the assets available to pursue growth when the market recovers. The risk of experiencing poor investment performance at the wrong time is called sequence risk or sequence-of-returns risk. Continue reading “Sequence Risk: Preparing to Retire in a Down Market”