Roth vs. Traditional IRA

It would be nice if the Roth IRA had been around long as the traditional IRA. Imagine the long-term benefits of tax-free growth throughout a 40-year career. Annual contribution limits for IRAs are relatively low ($6,000; $7,000 for 50-plus), but the Roth is a good complement for investors who also contribute to an employer-based retirement…

Read More

The COVID Vaccine, 50 Years in the Making

Back in the 1970s, a Hungarian scientist named Katalin Kariko began working on mRNA therapeutics, but her research was believed to be too radical and a financial risk. Years later, she moved to the U.S. and found better support. It was then that Kariko developed a vaccine approach using synthetic mRNA, which became the basis…

Read More

Vaccines and the Stock Market

  If there’s one thing that can move the economy and stock market forward, it’s hope. This year, that hope is being presented in the form of COVID-19 vaccines. Economists and Wall Street analysts have long proclaimed that comprehensive economic recovery is not possible until we have contained the virus. The prospect of wide distribution…

Read More

How To Help Maximize Social Security Benefits

There are good reasons to delay starting Social Security benefits, but there are also good reasons to begin them early. It really does depend on your circumstances.   If you claim earlier than your full retirement age (FRA), your benefit will be permanently reduced. The age to qualify for the full Social Security benefit varies…

Read More

Open Enrollment: Health Care Insurance Takes Priority

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) – passed in 2010 and known colloquially as “Obamacare” – has experienced quite a ride. Initially, it was embraced by millions of Americans for whom it afforded tax-subsidized health insurance without access to employer-sponsored coverage. At the same time, it was derided for increasing government sharing costs…

Read More

The Millennial Economy

The millennial generation hasn’t had it so great. A recent economic analysis reports that since entering the workforce five to 20 years ago, the average millennial has experienced slower economic advancement than any other generation in U.S. history.1 It’s not just a matter of long periods of high unemployment. It’s also because getting that first…

Read More

Americans and Their 401(k)s

A recent survey found that working households experiencing financial strain due to the pandemic have not been inclined to make withdrawals from their 401(k)s to help make ends meet. In fact, the vast majority haven’t even changed their rate of contributions. Instead, these households are relying on the “old standbys” of surviving during economic decline:…

Read More

The High Price of Health Care in America

If the U.S. health-care sector was a separate country, it would be the fourth largest economy in the world when measured by gross domestic product. Currently, the nation spends an average of $3.5 trillion annually on health care, more than Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom combined.1  …

Read More

What Might Be Next – Inflation or Deflation?

Consumer prices fell by 0.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis in April, the biggest drop in more than a dozen years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Conversely, prices for grocery items jumped 2.6%, the highest one-month increase in 46 years, with eggs rising by 16%.1   What’s going on here? Well, the devil is…

Read More

Medicare Reform Outlook: Uncertain

With a new administration in the nation’s highest office, there is growing debate about Medicare reform. The federal program, which helps provide health insurance to those over 65 and certain younger people with disabilities, is partially funded by participant premiums and a 1.45 percent payroll tax, matched by employers. Yet, it routinely exceeds its funding…

Read More