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Now that another year is ending, it’s a good time to take stock of where you are on your journey toward financial security. Of course, you could find many different “measuring sticks” to assess your progress, but you can certainly gain considerable information just by asking yourself some basic questions.
Are you a member of the “Sandwich Generation?” This designation — which applies to people caring for their aging parents while supporting their own children — may be applicable to you if you’re either a younger baby boomer, born in the late 1950s or early 1960s, or an older member of “Generation X,” born in the mid-1960s. But any way you slice it, being in the “Sandwich” group is probably going to present you with some challenges, particularly of the financial kind — so you’ll need to make the right moves.
As you probably know, a mutual fund may contain many different types of investments, such as stocks, bonds and government securities. But as an investor, you need to pay attention not only to what goes into your mutual fund, but also what comes out of it — namely, the three ways in which a fund can compensate you.
Throughout your career, you have been working hard to save in one or more retirement accounts. Then, once you retire, you’ll have some new decisions to make. But one choice has already been made for you: the age at which you must start taking withdrawals, or “distributions.” It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these distribution rules because they can have a big impact on your retirement income. And you may even want to take action before the end of the year.
After plenty of haggling, and a fair amount of political theater, Congress reached a last-minute agreement to raise the debt ceiling and end the partial government shutdown. Most people would agree that a fully functioning government that can pay its bills on time is a positive thing — and it’s certainly good news for investors, because a default on the part of the U.S. government could have had serious repercussions in the financial markets. But what’s next?
At many places of work, it’s “open enrollment” season — the time where you get to make changes to the various benefits you receive from your employer. As you review your overall benefits package, what areas should you focus on?
Halloween is upon us. Of course, whether you’re navigating the dark corridors of a “haunted house” or just dealing with the “creepy” characters coming to your door demanding candy, you’re probably not too fearful of the sights of the season. But as you go through life, you’ll want to avoid some things that really are scary — such as these investment moves:
As an investor, how much risk can you tolerate? It’s an important question — because the answer can help you make the right investment choices.
Generally speaking, if you’re efficient at a particular task, you’ll get good results without wasting effort. As you’ve already learned from your life experiences, it’s usually far better to be efficient at something than to be inefficient — and that’s certainly true with investing.
It’s harvest time again. Of course, harvest season may not mean that much to you if you don’t work in agriculture. Nonetheless, you can learn a lot from those who do — especially in your role as an investor.
Congress has designated the third week in October as National Save for Retirement Week — which means it’s a good time to think about your own retirement savings strategies.
Financial-services firm Edward Jones has introduced an income management account designed to help investors simplify, track and access income from multiple sources, according to Joseph B. Ortiz, an financial advisor in Ahwatukee.
You probably have thought about what you’d like to do during your retirement years. But all your plans probably depend, to at least some extent, on your financial situation. What happens if you reach the age at which you wish to retire and you just don’t have the money you thought you’d have?
Fall is almost officially here — and if you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering how summer went by so fast. Those trips to the lake or the beach are fading in memory now, giving way to helping kids with homework, raking leaves and the other rites of autumn. And just as your day-to-day tasks change with the seasons, so, too, will your money management and investment activities at different phases of your life.
National Grandparents Day is observed on Sept. 8. And although this “day” is not as widely known as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, it does remind us of the importance of grandparents. If you’re a grandparent yourself, you may be thinking of ways to help your grandchildren on their journey through life. One of the greatest gifts you can give them may be financial support for their college education — and one way you can help provide this support could be found in the distributions you receive from your retirement accounts.
We observe Labor Day on Monday. A federal holiday since 1894, Labor Day celebrates the achievements of American workers — people, like yourself, who work hard for their money. But to make progress toward your long-term financial goals, you need to do more than just earn money — you have to invest it wisely. And that takes work, too.
As you’re well aware, we’re living in difficult economic times. Consequently, you may be forced to make some financial moves you wouldn’t normally undertake. One such move you might be considering is taking out a loan from your 401(k) plan — but is this a good idea?
Almost everyone would agree: Moving is a hassle. In addition to selling your current home and finding a new one, you may need to deal with a new school for your kids, a new doctor, a new dentist — the list goes on and on. But you’ll also need to consider the financial aspects of your move — specifically, your investments, insurance, taxes and even your estate plans.
You’ve no doubt heard about the risks associated with investing. This investment carries this type of risk, while that investment carries another one. And it is certainly true that all investments do involve some form of risk. But what about not investing? Isn’t there some risk associated with that, too?
If you’re somewhat familiar with investing, you may know that the Roth IRA is a great retirement-savings vehicle. But are you aware that some of its benefits can also pay off for the next generation of your family?
If you’re starting out as an investor, you might be feeling overwhelmed. After all, it seems like there’s just so much to know. How can you get enough of a handle on basic investment concepts so that you’re comfortable in making well-informed choices?
If you have children, you’re keenly aware that it’s getting close to back-to-school time. Today, that might mean you need to go shopping for notebooks and pencils. But in the future, when “back to school” means “off to college,” your expenditures are likely to be significantly greater. Will you be financially prepared for that day?
Over the past couple of years, the economic picture has brightened for many cities and states — but some of them are still facing potential financial problems. As a citizen, you may well have concerns about these issues. And as an investor, these financial woes may affect your thinking about one particular type of investment vehicle: municipal bonds.
Every year in early July, thousands of people “run with the bulls” in Pamplona, Spain. While the event is exciting, it is also hazardous, and many runners have gotten badly injured over the years. As an investor, you may find that running with the herd is dangerous to you, too — because if you’re constantly following what everyone else is doing, your own financial goals could end up getting “trampled.”
If you’re planning to get remarried, you have plenty of company: More than 40 percent of all U.S. weddings are second marriages for at least one of the participants, according to an estimate by the National Stepfamily Resource Center. Naturally, a second marriage will bring many changes to your life — not the least of which may be changes in your financial strategy and goals.