According to a December 2013 report from the U.S. Department of Justice, 16.6 million Americans — about 7 percent of the population — fell victim to identity theft in 2012. One form of identity theft involves criminals stealing personal information and opening accounts, borrowing money and generally wreaking havoc on your financial life. However, the majority of cases in the report (85 percent) involved stolen credit or debit card information that was used to make unauthorized purchases. Although less severe, credit card theft is nonetheless alarming — and it can be burdensome to resolve. [Read more...]
Fraud and financial abuse against elders is more widespread than you may realize — and may be on the rise due to a slower economy and an aging population. It appears in many forms, affecting millions of senior citizens and their families. These crimes go largely unseen; many seniors do not recognize when it happens to them or may be ashamed to speak up if they do. If you have elderly parents or other older family members or friends, you can help them protect themselves. [Read more...]
Even if you stick diligently to a strong savings plan, inflation can put your hard-earned nest egg in jeopardy. Price increases over time can have a significant — and often underestimated — impact on savings and investments. [Read more...]
A recent rise in interest rates has caused some fixed income investors to flee the bond market. But is such a reaction warranted? > Read the white paper.
With the new year upon us, now is a good time to assess what key financial changes may affect you in 2014. [Read more...]
Positive economic trends in the U.S. and abroad are tempered by concern over the Fed tapering. > Read the details in our monthly economic analysis.
The promise of tax-free earnings has prompted many investors to convert their traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs) to Roth IRAs. But the tax implications of converting can be steep, so carefully review the potential benefits and disadvantages of your options before taking the plunge. [Read more...]
Economic indicators around the world are positive but softened by the weakness of the eurozone. > Read the details in our monthly economic analysis.
The shift from saving for retirement to spending in retirement requires judicious preparation and a fundamental change in mindset. Giving yourself ample time to plan can make the transition a smoother one. [Read more...]
According to the College Board, the average cost for tuition and fees for one year of schooling at a four-year public college in 2013–2014 was $8,893, and for private colleges, it was $30,094. The steep price tag of higher education is leaving many graduates with debt the size of a small mortgage. You and your children can avoid that burden by saving early, planning ahead and evaluating all financing options. [Read more...]