Despite Concerns, Retirement Confidence Remains Steady

Despite Concerns, Retirement Confidence Remains Steady

Nearly three quarters of workers and 77% of retirees in a recent survey said they remain at least somewhat confident that they will experience a comfortable retirement, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Nevertheless, a third of workers and a quarter of retirees felt less confident this year due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many respondents citing inflation as the reason. Not surprisingly, those feeling less confident were also more likely to report poor health, lower income and saving rates, and higher debt. Women were much more likely than men to report lower confidence levels.…
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High Inflation: How Long Will It Last?

High Inflation: How Long Will It Last?

In March 2022, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the most common measure of inflation, rose at an annual rate of 8.5%, the highest level since December 1981.1 It's not surprising that a Gallup poll at the end of March found that one out of six Americans considers inflation to be the most important problem facing the United States.2 When inflation began rising in the spring of 2021, many economists, including policymakers at the Federal Reserve, believed the increase would be transitory and subside over a period of months. One year later, inflation has proven to be more…
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Required Distributions: Changes You Need to Know

Required Distributions: Changes You Need to Know

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 changed the rules for taking distributions from retirement accounts inherited after 2019. The so-called 10-year rule generally requires inherited accounts to be emptied within 10 years of the original owner's death, with some exceptions. Where an exception applies, the entire account must generally be emptied within 10 years of the beneficiary's death, or within 10 years after a minor child beneficiary reaches age 21. This reduces the ability of most beneficiaries to spread out, or "stretch," distributions from an inherited defined contribution plan or an IRA. In February…
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Federal Student Loan Repayment Postponed for Sixth Time

Federal Student Loan Repayment Postponed for Sixth Time

On April 6, the U.S. Department of Education announced a record sixth extension for federal student loan repayment, interest, and collections, through August 31, 2022.1 The fifth payment pause was set to end on April 30, 2022. The six extensions have postponed federal student loan payments for almost two and a half years — since March 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona stated: "This additional extension will allow borrowers to gain more financial security as the economy continues to improve and as the nation continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.2 A "fresh start" As part…
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Is the Russia-Ukraine War a Threat to the Global Economy?

Is the Russia-Ukraine War a Threat to the Global Economy?

Before Russia stunned the world by invading Ukraine, it was widely believed that the economic ties formed through globalization would help promote peace. But the war is testing that assumption and drawing attention to the vulnerabilities in far-flung supply chains, which were already under pressure because of the pandemic and recovery. In response to the brutal invasion of Ukraine, the United States, European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK), and their allies are using financial sanctions to inflict severe damage on Russia's economy and pressure its leaders to end the war. But that effort likely comes at a significant cost to…
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