Annuity Essentials

In its most basic form, annuities are insurance that provides an income stream either for a fixed period of time or for the rest of your life. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? The trouble is that annuities are often sold and not bought. Consumers are pushed into ill-fitting products because that’s what the broker is selling that month. When shopping for …

Gift Tax Limits: How Much Can You Gift?

For 2021, the annual gift tax exemption was $15,000 per recipient. In 2022, that number went up to $16,000. You can give up to $16,000 to as many people as you want during the coming year without any of it being subject to a gift tax. The IRS imposes the gift tax if you transfer money or property to another person without receiving at …

5 Tips for a Financially Strong 2022

The start of a new year is a great time for introspection and evaluating the areas of your life you want to improve. When setting New Year’s resolutions, individuals often think about their career or physical health, but financial wellness is just as important. It’s no surprise then that January is Financial Wellness Month. Financial wellness is a personal journey …

How Rising Interest Rates Impact Investments

In an attempt to control inflation, the Federal Reserve has signaled its intention to raise the federal funds rate (currently set at zero) three times in 2022. This will effectively raise interest rates in general, making it more expensive to borrow money. Even small increases in the federal funds rate can have an impact on investor decisions. Here are three …

A Beginner’s Guide to Alternative Investments

Alternatives are investment options beyond the typical stocks, bonds and cash found in most portfolios. They can be tangible assets like precious metals, or they could be financial assets like private equity or hedge funds. Alternatives tend to be riskier than traditional assets, which means investors usually have to meet certain criteria to access them. Here’s a closer look at …

Financial Conversation Tips for Couples

Communication about money is often fraught for couples, and bringing the topic up with your partner can be challenging. But discussing financial concerns, goals and habits is key to a strong relationship. And open communication about these topics can help you and your partner work as a team toward common financial goals. How to talk about money and which topics …

Breaking Down Socially Responsible Investing

Many investors want more out of their investments than just a good return. They want to know that the companies they invest in are ethical and responsible — that they build environmentally sustainable business models, advance a social good and operate in a transparent, ethical way. To identify these companies, socially responsible investors can use a set of criteria known …

Preparing Teens for Financial Adulthood

Learning how to properly manage money is a crucial life skill that can take years to develop. For teen who may be earning an income for the first time, there can be a steep learning curve when it comes to financial literacy, but laying the foundation for this education early can help establish healthy financial habits that carry into adulthood. …

Tips for Making the Most of Your Inheritance

Baby boomers in the U.S. are set to bequeath $68 trillion in wealth by 2043, as part of the Great Wealth Transfer. Much of that will be left to Generation X and millennial heirs. If you expect to receive an inheritance, planning ahead for how you will use the wealth and account for any taxes will help you make the …

Women and Wealth: Taking Charge of Your Finances

When it comes to financial planning, women are likely to face different challenges than men. For one, they earn less than men on average, and they’re more likely to work part-time jobs or take time away from their careers to raise children and care for family. Time off and lower lifetime income means women face unique financial planning challenges. Here’s …