Advice

The Coming College Loan Crisis: Lawmakers Face A Tough Decision On Offering Financial Aid

Congress has applied a double standard in which businesses are bailed out from under their debt load while today’s graduates are left saddled with college loans likely to take the average college graduate decades to pay back. That’s the argument from an economics professor who are likely to see the borrowing rate on federally guaranteed Stafford loans double to 6.8% in July unless Congress overcomes its partisan differences and temporarily reduces the rate for a year while a...

The Tumult Facing Investment Advisors To 401(k) Plans; Wall Street Price-Gouging Prompts Calls For Regulatory Reform And Increased Disclosure; Promotes Benchmarking-Mania

    Watch The Retirement Gamble on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.   Frontline correspondent Martin Smith recounts how, beginning in the early 1980s, the responsibility for financing the retirement of 70% of Americans was transitioned from corporate-sponsored defined benefit plans that provided lifetime-guaranteed pensions over to defined-contribution plans that made individuals—instead of corporations—responsible for retirement funding. As the...

The Journal of Economic Perspectives Is Now Free Online

The American Economic Association has made all issues of the Journal of Economic Perspectives available to the public without charge at aeaweb.org/to/jep. This is an excellent journal that deserves a wide readership.  

Free, Unbiased Real Estate Agent Referral Service, Using Hyper-Local Data, Connects Consumers To The Highest-Performing Agent

Say you're selling a home and want to find the best real estate agent to represent you. You can rely on word of mouth and referrals, but why not use data to decide on who will best represent you?  

The American College of Financial Planning Throws Its Weight Behind A New Retirement Designation

  While the federal government is cracking down in bogus financial advisor designations, The American College of Financial Planning, recently launched the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP) designation. While designation proliferation is a growing problem for consumers, regulators, and advisors with legitimate designations, The American College is a well-established educational institution for financial professionals.

TIAA-CREF Study Recommends Ways To Improve Defined Contribution Plans And Boost Retirement Readiness

TIAA-CREF, the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields and a half trillion dollar under management, today released a study recommending best practices for improving retirement plan effectiveness and retirement readiness of plan particpants.

Mind Mapping Streamlines A Business Negotiation

"It was an ugly business divorce with a lot of moving parts," says Rob O'Dell, whose firm manages $135 million for 71 clients through offices in Wheaton, Ill., and Naples, Fla. "There were other siblings involved who didn't have ownership in the business, there was real estate, there were family dynamics and some complicated business finances."  

Stop Analyzing Social Security!

As a financial advisor, I frequently get asked when it’s best to take Social Security benefits.  To do a thorough evaluation requires calculating the benefit amounts based on various starting dates, anticipated COLA increases, the client’s life expectancy, the client’s work plans, and the client’s tax situation. 

Optimize Your Maximization!

I learned long ago that financial plans that contain “maximization” in their names — for example, Wealth Maximization Strategy — are likely to be scams. “Optimization” gets the same reaction from me.

New Financial Advisor Replacement App Targets Retail Investors Promising 4% A Year With No Expenses

FinancialAdvisorReplacement.com (FAR), an app named for its mission, was launched today, promising investors a 4% annualized return over the next five years with no management expenses.

Free Social Security Benefits Evaluator Determine An Appropriate Social Security Strategy That Aligns With Financial Goals

T. Rowe Price has launched the Social Security Benefits Evaluator, a free online calculator to help individuals decide what Social Security strategy may be suitable for their financial goals. Advisors may want to link to it from their website or post a blog about it, pointing out that it's really useful for illustrations but not a tool you'd want to stake your retirement income on.   T Rowe Price's calculator could not be easier to use. The three-step calculation requires filling in...

Nearly 80% Of Americans Admit To Money Mistakes

Not saving enough for retirement topped the list of money mistakes (26%) followed by inadequate tracking of spending (20%) and taking on too much debt (13%), according to a recent survey. Just 8% of respondents indicated that making "bad investments" was their biggest money mistake.

Unfamiliar With Quirks In Variable Annuity Contracts, Fee-Only Advisors Can Easily Miss Out On A Windfall

In the late 1990s, after a major bull market in large-cap stocks, insurance companies were desperate to lure investors. To compete with mutual funds, even the largest and most credible insurers offered riders on variable annuities (VAs) that have turned into financial windfalls today.

Affluent Americans May Be Underestimating Their Needs in Retirement Says New Schwab Survey

More than eight in 10 investors say they have a retirement plan in place, and 80% say they are confident about their financial readiness for retirement. However, when it comes to estimating how much money they’ll need once they actually retire, respondents say they’ll need on average around $66,000 in income annually, far lower than their current average income that is approximately $115,000.

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