RSSCategory: Blog

May

7

Using a Roth IRA as a College Savings Tool

A tax-advantaged option too many families overlook. At first glance, a Roth IRA might seem an unusual college savings vehicle. Upon further examination, it may look like a particularly smart choice. A Roth IRA allows you to save for college without the constraints of a college fund. This is an important distinction, because you cannot […]

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May

7

Growth Report – Monday, May 7, 2018

JOBLESS RATE HITS 18-YEAR LOW Unemployment fell to 3.9% in April, the Department of Labor said Friday – the smallest percentage seen since late 2000. Additionally, the U-6 underemployment rate declined to 7.8%, a 17-year low. Payrolls expanded with 164,000 net new jobs last month; the economy has created an average of 200,000 jobs a […]

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Apr

30

Financing a College Education

A primer for parents and grandparents. A university education can often require financing and assuming debt. If your student fills out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and does not qualify for a Pell Grant or other kinds of help, and has no scholarship offers, what do you do? You probably search for […]

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Apr

30

Growth Report – Monday, April 30, 2018

MAIN STREET SUSTAINS ITS OPTIMISM America’s two most respected consumer confidence indices just improved. The University of Michigan’s final April household sentiment gauge rose a full point from its initial reading to 98.8 last week, and the Conference Board’s index came in at a great 128.7 for April – 1.7 points higher than its March […]

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Apr

23

TSP Withdrawal Options Are Changing

New rules could soon mean more flexibility. By 2020, federal employees with Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) accounts should have new withdrawal choices for their invested assets. New rules are scheduled to be implemented through the TSP Modernization Act, permitting TSP participants more flexibility.1 The TSP withdrawal rules have been strict for many years. Too strict, […]

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Apr

23

Growth Report – Monday, April 23, 2018

CONSUMERS BOUGHT MORE IN MARCH According to a report from the Department of Commerce, retail sales jumped 0.6% last month. That was the biggest monthly gain recorded since November (and the first monthly advance of 2018). Sales of cars and trucks were up 2.0%, making March the best month for that category since September.1 CONSTRUCTION […]

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Apr

16

The Major 2018 Federal Tax Changes

Comparing the old rules with the new. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made dramatic changes to federal tax law. It is worth reviewing some of these changes as 2019 approaches and households and businesses refine their income tax strategies. Income tax brackets have changed. The old 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6% […]

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Apr

16

Growth Report – Monday, April 16, 2018

CONSUMER SENTIMENT INDEX DESCENDS SLIGHTLY In its initial April edition, the University of Michigan’s survey of household sentiment saw its index decline to 97.8 from its final March reading of 101.4. The survey’s chief economist, Richard Curtin, believed that “uncertainty surrounding the evolving [U.S.] trade policy” affected the reading, but he added that “confidence still […]

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Apr

9

Catching Up on Retirement Saving

If you are starting at or near 50, consider these ideas. Do you fear you are saving for retirement too late? Plan to address that anxiety with some positive financial moves. If you have little saved for retirement at age 50 (or thereabouts), there is still much you can do to generate a fund for […]

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Apr

9

Growth Report – Monday, April 9, 2018

HIRING WEAKENED IN MARCH Payrolls expanded by only 103,000 net new jobs last month, according to the latest employment report from the Department of Labor. Some economists wondered if harsh weather distorted the number (job growth was also poor in March 2015 and March 2017). The main jobless rate stayed at 4.1%; the broader U-6 […]

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