RSSCategory: Blog

Oct

3

Growth Report for Monday, October 3, 2016

NO ADVANCE IN CONSUMER SPENDING Personal spending was flat in August even as personal incomes rose 0.2%. These numbers from the Department of Commerce fell short of expectations: economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.2% gain in both categories. In other news linked to consumer spending, the federal government revised second-quarter GDP up to […]

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Sep

26

Are There Really Tax-Free Retirement Plan Distributions?

A look at some popular & obscure options for receiving money with little or no tax Will you receive tax-free money in retirement? Some retirees do. You should know about some of your options for tax-free retirement distributions, some of which are less publicized than others. Qualified distributions from Roth accounts are tax-free. If you […]

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Sep

26

Growth Report for Monday, September 26, 2016

FED WAITS TO RAISE INTEREST RATES Federal Reserve officials decided against a rate hike last week, but two details in the central bank’s latest policy statement suggested an upward move was near. One, the Federal Open Market Committee voted 7-3 against raising the federal funds rate – an unusually close margin. Two, the Fed’s new […]

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Sep

19

Growth Report for Monday, September 19, 2016

RETAIL SALES DECREASE SLIGHTLY Shoppers bought 0.3% less goods and services in August, according to the latest monthly report from the Department of Commerce – but minus auto sales, the decline was just 0.1%. Retail sales were still up 1.9% from year-ago levels, with online sales rising 10.9% in 12 months.1 CONSUMER COSTS RISE IN […]

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Sep

12

When Is Social Security Income Taxable?

The answer depends on your income. Your Social Security income could be taxed. That may seem unfair, or unfathomable. Regardless of how you feel about it, it is a possibility. Seniors have had to contend with this possibility since 1984. Social Security benefits became taxable above certain yearly income thresholds in that year. Frustratingly for […]

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Sep

12

Growth Report for Monday, September 12, 2016

SERVICE SECTOR SEES WEAKEST GROWTH SINCE 2010 The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing purchasing manager index came in at a disappointing 51.4 in August, 4.1 points below its July level. While American service industries expanded for a 79th consecutive month, the pace of expansion was the slowest since February 2010, and the monthly drop in […]

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Sep

6

Life Insurance … Is It Time?

Have you been putting it off? According to the insurance industry group LIMRA and the nonprofit Life Happens, 43% of Americans have no life insurance.1 Why don’t more young adults buy life insurance? Shopping for life insurance may seem confusing, boring, or unnecessary. Yet when you have kids, get married, buy a house or live […]

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Sep

6

Growth Report

MODEST JOB GROWTH IN AUGUST Payrolls expanded with 151,000 net new jobs last month, according to the Department of Labor’s latest report. The jobless rate was unchanged at 4.9%, and the U-6 rate tracking underemployment remained at 9.7%. After the release of the data, Wall Street traders saw only a 21% chance of a September […]

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Aug

29

Updating Your Estate Plan

When should you review it? What should you review? An estate plan has three objectives. The first goal is to preserve your accumulated wealth. The second goal is to express who will receive your assets after your death. The third goal is to state who will make medical and financial decisions on your behalf if […]

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Aug

29

Growth Report for Monday, August 29, 2016

YELLEN HINTS AT A RATE HIKE Speaking Friday at the Federal Reserve’s annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fed chair Janet Yellen commented that “the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months.” That statement was interpreted by some economists as a sign that the central bank could adjust […]

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