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Following the Federal Reserve

January 2017

The Federal Reserve and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) operate under a dual mandate to conduct monetary policies that foster maximum employment and price stability. Adjusting the federal funds rate is one of the tools used by the central bank to influence short-term interest rates, economic growth, and inflation. Theoretically, lowering interest rates fuels… Read more

In or Out of the Nest? Helping Adult Children

January 2017

Almost a third of young adults ages 18 to 34 were living with their parents in 2014, up from one out of five in 1960. And for the first time on record, dating back to 1880, the percentage living with a parent was higher than the percentage living with a romantic partner. This may have… Read more

The Cost of Caregiving

January 2017

A 2015 study found that almost 40 million Americans — about one out of six adults — had provided unpaid care to another adult during the previous 12 months. About 60% of caregivers were women, and the average age was 49. It’s probably not surprising that many caregivers were older, but one out of four… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Rising Rates: The Fed Takes Next Step Toward Normal

January 2017

On December 14, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted unanimously to raise the federal funds rate by 0.25% — to a range of 0.50% to 0.75%. This was the second increase since December 2008, when the benchmark rate was lowered to a near-zero level (0% to 0.25%) during the Great Recession.1 The rate hike… Read more

New Overtime Rules Could Be Costly for Small Businesses

December 2016

When the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finalized its changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rules in May 2016, the minimum salary for exempt workers more than doubled — from $23,660 to $47,476. It’s estimated that 4.2 million more U.S. workers could become eligible for overtime pay when the rules take effect… Read more

Could the AMT Boost Your Taxes?

December 2016

After years of Congress enacting temporary “patches,” the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 permanently indexed the exemption level of the alternative minimum tax (AMT) to inflation. Although this change limited future expansion of the tax, the AMT is still expected to affect about 4.3 million taxpayers in 2016 (see chart). The AMT is a… Read more

Why You Need a Will…Even If You’re Not a Prince

December 2016

The unexpected death of famed musician Prince in April 2016 put the importance of a will in the national spotlight. Prince, who apparently died intestate — without a legal will — left an estate worth an estimated $150 million to $300 million. The disposition of those assets will now be up to the state of… Read more

Finding Lost Money

December 2016

The idea of finding buried treasure or receiving an inheritance from a long-lost relative is a staple of fantasies and adventure stories. Though finding treasure is unlikely, discovering “lost” money or other assets from a relative, a business, or a government agency may not be a fantasy after all. The Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization estimates… Read more

Consider Munis for Tax-Free Income

December 2016

The city of Detroit’s 2013 bankruptcy and the continuing debt crisis in Puerto Rico have cast municipal bonds in a negative light for some investors. In general, however, “munis” are considered to be a relatively safe investment and more stable than corporate bonds. A 2015 study found that only 0.14% of municipal bonds default within… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Three Financial Issues to Watch Under the New Administration

December 2016

On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Between now and then, attention should largely focus on efforts to facilitate an orderly transfer of power, but there will be no shortage of conjecture over what may happen after the inauguration. While changes are likely,… Read more

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