Monthly Archives: July 2012

WHAT IS A “REASONABLE” RETIREMENT SAVINGS RATE? The answer to that question varies per person.

How much salary should you defer into a retirement plan? Ultimately, the answer is “however much your budget allows you to contribute”. The big-picture question, however, is whether you need to contribute more to your retirement savings in order to maintain your lifestyle after your career is done. An Aon Hewitt analysis (The Real Deal:…
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Weekly Economic Update-July 16, 2012

CONSUMER SENTIMENT CONTINUES TO SLIP Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the University of Michigan’s initial July consumer sentiment index to show a minor gain. That didn’t happen: instead of the projected 0.2% rise to 73.4, the index fell 1.2% to 72.0, a low unseen since December. An exclamation point within the data: just 19%…
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Weekly Economic Update July 9, 2012

WEAK JOB MARKET PERSISTS IN JUNE America’s unemployment rate remained at 8.2% in June with non-farm payrolls expanding by just 80,000 positions. The underemployment rate rose to 14.9%. The Labor Department report offered a troubling big-picture detail: our economy has generated fewer than 100,000 new jobs for four straight months, in what seems like a…
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LOOKING AT THE NEW ESTATE TAX LAWS

What has happened since 2010 & what could happen in 2013. With 2013 approaching, many families and their financial, tax and legal consultants are weighing major estate planning decisions. A short-term window of opportunity may be closing. The relatively low estate tax rates we have now may soon disappear, along with one of the largest…
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WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE-July 23, 2012

July 23, 2012  NO ADVANCE IN CONSUMER PRICES The federal government’s Consumer Price Index was flat in June, though the core CPI (minus food and energy prices) did rise 0.2%. Statistically, this was exactly what economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected. Annualized inflation was running at 3.9% back in September; it was just 1.7% in…
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RETIRING SOLO

Things to think about when planning for a single retirement. Most retirement planning literature portrays a retirement transition in the context of a couple or a family – but what about those who retire alone? What particular challenges do they face, and how must their preparation for retirement differ? Retiring alone presents unique challenges. Singles…
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Can We Avert The "Fiscal Cliff"?

2013 isn’t far off, yet both sides of Congress could end up far apart. Recently, you may have heard about the “looming fiscal cliff”, the “coming fiscal cliff” and so forth. What exactly is it? Briefly stated, the “fiscal cliff” is a potential $7 trillion dilemma facing Congress this fall – a Congress not known…
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The Retirement Reality Check

Little things to keep in mind for life after work. Decades ago, there was a popular book entitled What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School. Perhaps someday, another book will appear to discuss certain aspects of the retirement experience that go unrecognized - the “fine print”, if you will. Here are some little…
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Weekly Economic Update July 2, 2012

MARKETS RALLY ON BOLD EU PROPOSAL Last week, European leaders crafted a new plan to help the continent’s beleaguered banks: eurozone rescue funds would be used to directly recapitalize troubled lenders, without contributing to existing sovereign debt. A single supervisory body would also be created to serve as a banking watchdog. Key details need to…
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