Our Blog

Perks of Growing Older

Getting older has its perks – from potential tax breaks to everyday discounts. It’s like turning 21 and getting carded all over again. Only now, in some ways, the older you are the more you may be able to save. If you’re closing in on retirement, you may be in position to start saving more…
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Opposites Attract: Couple Finances

It’s very common for a married couple to have vastly different financial personalities. One may be frugal and the other a big spender. As we all know, money can be the source of some pretty big challenges in a relationship. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 73 percent of couples said their financial approach…
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Being Wise in a Smart World

These days, it seems like everything’s getting smarter. Smart phones, smart cars, smart appliances, smart technology. Maybe we take things like this for granted, but you can start typing any phrase into Google, and the computer will finish it for you. That’s pretty darn smart. Unfortunately, our increasingly smart world creates a host of new…
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Health Care Spending Trends

For the 40+ year period of 1961 to 2002, health care expenses followed a pretty steady upward trend, thanks to things like the introduction of Medicaid, coverage expansion and occasional price increases.1 But between 2003 and 2007, that rampant growth slowed down considerably, and the impact of the recession was felt from 2008-2013.2 Many Americans lost…
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Pension Matters

When it comes to preparing for retirement, headlines about underfunded pensions can be troubling. One study found that 21 state pensions held less than 40 percent of the assets needed to pay benefits. To make up for that shortfall, each taxpayer would have to contribute an extra $1,385 per year.1 While not every worker in…
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Spending Influences

Everyone has their own unique way of spending money. Even people who live in the same house or grew up under the same parental influences can turn out drastically different. Some people are minimalists while others simply like to buy stuff. A variety of factors can shape our values when it comes to spending and…
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Men in Contemporary Society

With an increased focus on the pay disparity between genders, women in the workplace are a frequent subject of studies. How many work? How many out-earn their husbands? How many make less than their male peers? Meanwhile, we don’t often see many studies about men. Just how are men faring in today’s society? For starters,…
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Life at Home is Your Business

With a businessman running against a career politician in this year’s presidential race, one topic of discussion has been the pros and cons of running the country like a business. The idea has been broached before, with several past presidents boasting more business than public service experience. In fact, 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney once…
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Will New Health Care Provisions Hold Up Long Term?

New incentives and physician payment updates put in place by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act have helped fix short-range physician payment issues, but as the Boards of Trustees for Medicare noted in its June 22 report, these changes raise some long-term concerns.1 The board is concerned these measures will not adjust for economic…
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For Some Businesses, Success is All in the Family

Twenty-five years ago, business analysts thought the traditional family business model would eventually become extinct. But here it is in 2016, and some of the largest brand names in America are still owned and operated by their original families: Walmart, BMW, Tyson, Samsung, Kohler, Christian Dior, Mars, Ford and Comcast. In fact, public and private…
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Americans Entertain Entrepreneurial Ideas

When it comes to TV shows and movies, Americans have shown a recent obsession with the rise of entrepreneurs. “Shark Tank” is an annual Emmy nominee, and the feature film “Steve Jobs” took home a couple Golden Globes earlier this year. Perhaps it’s because many people lost their jobs during the recession, or maybe it’s…
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Retailers Innovate to Meet Shifting Needs

You can tell a lot about people by reviewing their purchase receipts. Where they shop, what restaurants they favor, where they prefer to buy gas. So, what can you tell by evaluating a huge database of receipts submitted over time by a large population of people? Retail trends. When researchers from Wharton School of Economics…
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Boomer Boom or Boomer Bust?

The phrase “boom or bust” refers to a scenario of great prosperity or economic growth followed suddenly by a period of decline. Some economists suspect the aptly termed “baby boomers” could potentially create just such a phenomenon during their twilight years. As the largest demographic group in history, baby boomers have been an important economic…
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Taking Stock of Changing Financial Landscape

A recent report says 30-year returns won’t be as high as they were in the 20th century. According to the McKinsey Global Institute’s stock and bond market research, a 30-year-old today will have to work seven years longer, or nearly double how much money he or she needs to save for retirement, to compensate for…
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Taking Your Best Shot at House Hunting

It’s that time of year again. Homeowners have been painting, repairing, trimming and planting in an effort to get their properties ready for the spring real estate selling season. It’s an annual ritual that, according to those in the industry, hasn’t created enough volume in recent years. Perhaps this year we’re poised for a change.…
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More Retirees Heading for Hubs

When retirement is on the horizon, many people put their current hometown in the rearview mirror. As the retiree population continues its upward trajectory, we expect popular retirement destinations to grow right along with it. A recent study by McKinsey & Company identified 13 U.S. “retirement hubs” – cities that are most likely to experience…
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Crisis Management: Focus on What you can Control

How do you choose what to worry about? In the 24-hour news cycle, we’re hit from all directions with the latest “crisis” the world is facing. Obesity. Sleep deprivation. Student-loan debt. A shortage of biscuits. It’s constant and can be exhausting. That’s not even taking into consideration the “crises” we experience in our own personal…
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Equal Pay Debate Worth Another Look

What are we aiming for when it comes to equal wages these days? Sometimes it seems like a moving target. For example, should two workers doing the same job get the same pay? Or should the person who performs better receive more income, and is that judgment arbitrary or based on strict, measurable criteria? Should…
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Statistics on Centenarians Don't Always Make Sense

While it’s true that people, in general, are living longer than ever, unfortunately there’s no guarantee that applies to everyone across the board. A recent study showed men and women in the lower 25 percent of socioeconomic status have not achieved the same average longevity as those in the highest quarter. We believe the reason…
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Watching the Markets with Interest

In March, the Federal Reserve decided to reign in its plan for raising rates this year, reducing the expected number of rate increases from four to two. The Federal Open Market Committee came away from its most recent meeting projecting an interest rate hike of .50 percent, down from the original projection of 1 percent.…
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