Strategies for Optimal Social Security Payouts

Strategies for Optimal Social Security Payouts Social Security benefits are typically synonymous with retirement income. It would be inefficient to create a retirement plan without first estimating how much you will receive from the government.1 According to a 2018 report, Social Security benefits represent approximately:2 33% of elderly income 50% or more of income for about…

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Music Plays Instrumental Role in Healing Ailments

Music Plays Instrumental Role in Healing Ailments   Hearing a familiar song from a happy period in your life, such as childhood, can instantly make you feel joyful. It’s as if you’re right back there — toe tapping, head bopping and singing along. Just as with our sight, smell and taste senses, positive auditory memories…

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The Income Gap and the Economy

The Income Gap and the Economy   The income gap between the wealthy and the poor is widening in the U.S.1 Why does that matter? Because there are studies that indicate a wide swathe of income differentiation is not good for economic growth.   In the years following the Great Recession, we often heard how slowly…

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Banking Trends

Banking Trends   In its recent 2018 Banking Industry Outlook report, Deloitte identified six key themes that are driving trends for financial institutions today:1   Redefining what makes for a positive customer experience Managing a myriad of technology platforms Mitigating cyber risk Adjusting to competition from fintech (financial technology) companies Aligning business strategy with regulatory…

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Inflation: Expectations for 2018

Inflation: Expectations for 2018   It seems as if inflation has been biding its time. Since the financial crisis a decade ago, growth in prices and wages has been muted.1 However, many financial analysts believe that’s about to change.   A jobs report from early March revealed continued hiring and a moderate increase in wages. The…

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End-of-Life Issues

End-of-Life Issues   Before today’s modern medicine, people usually died of three things: injury, infections or some type of nutritional deficiency.1 Painkillers may have come in the form of herbal tea or some other applied root, so pain was a fact of life. Life expectancy was much shorter than today, and people often died suddenly or…

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Insights Into Cybercrime

Insights Into Cybercrime Although it’s taken a back seat to domestic concerns over the past year, cybercrime is still on the rise. Attacks such as “Wannacry” shut down health care systems and businesses across the globe in 2017,1 and the World Economic Forum estimates cybercrimes cost the global economy about $445 billion a year. 2 It is…

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Ways to Avoid Financial Scams

Ways to Avoid Financial Scams According to a recent survey, about two-thirds of adults age 70 and older fall for online scammers. Here are some tips to remember about some of the latest frauds:1 Medicare does not employ “sales representatives.” Apple and Microsoft do not sell virus protection software for your computer. There is no…

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The Future of Medicare and Social Security

The Future of Medicare and Social Security   There is little doubt that Medicare and Social Security are important programs that help older Americans in retirement, particularly now that so many are living beyond previous life expectancy rates. In fact, past models for savings rates may be failing many older Americans, who represent the only…

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Investment Themes for This Year

Investment Themes for This Year   In the investment community, all eyes are on inflation this year. Economic analysts at Merrill Lynch anticipate further tightening in the labor market, to the tune of 3.9 percent unemployment by the end of 2018. Along with the tightened labor situation, they also expect personal consumption expenditure (PCE) inflation…

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