Funding 35-40 years of retirement.

If you live to 100, can you avoid outliving your money? Will you live to 100? Your odds of becoming a centenarian may be improving. Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control reported that the population of Americans aged 100 or older rose 44% between 2000-2014. The Pew Research Center says that the world had more than four times as many centenarians in 2015 as it did in 1990.1,2 If you do live to 100, will your money last as long as you do? What financial steps may help you maintain your retirement savings and income? Consider these ideas.

YEARLY INFLATION INCREASES Consumer prices rose 1.5% in the 12 months ending in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced last week. That is the highest annualized inflation rate seen since October 2014, up from 1.1% in the year ending in August. The headline Consumer Price Index advanced 0.3% last month; the core CPI 0.1%.1  EXISTING HOME SALES REBOUND September saw a 3.2% gain in resales – the first improvement since June, according to the National Association of Realtors. First-time buyers made up 34% of home purchasers, a 4-year peak. Separately, the Census Bureau reported a 9.0% plunge for groundbreaking

Do You Understand the Social Security “Earnings Penalty”? Most baby boomers know that their Social Security benefits can be reduced if they earn too much in retirement. While 76% of baby boomer respondents to a 2015 AARP survey understood this fact, 57% also thought they would never recoup those surrendered benefits. That is incorrect. Social Security’s “earnings test” only applies before you reach Full Retirement Age (66-67 years old, depending on your birthdate). If you receive Social Security benefits before your FRA, your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $2 in wage income or self-employment income you earn

The Markets “Verrrry interesting.” Arte Johnson’s catch phrase from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In may not have described U.S. stock markets last week, but there were some interesting economic, cyber-security, and consumer developments around the world. Major U.S. stock indices finished the week slightly higher. Experts, cited by Barron’s, suggested markets seemed tired and were waiting for clarity around the U.S. election outcome, Federal Reserve rate increase, and corporate quarterly earnings. Across the pond, opposition from Wallonia (a dairy-producing region of Belgium) killed trade negotiations between the European Union and Canada. The New York Times suggested the collapse of trade talks

RETAIL SALES JUMP 0.6% This September gain was impressive – minus auto sales, the advance was still 0.5%. In August, both headline and core retail sales fell 0.2%. While consumers bought more last month, they were less confident earlier this month – the University of Michigan’s initial October consumer sentiment index fell 3.3 points to 87.9.1   INTEREST RATES MAY SOON RISE The minutes from September’s Federal Reserve policy meeting affirmed what some investors suspected. One, last month’s decision not to raise the federal funds rate was a “close call.” Two, the Federal Open Market Committee expects to make a move

Weekly Market Commentary 10-17-2016

The Markets ‘Tis the season! Third quarter earnings season, that is. Every quarter, companies report earnings to let investors know how profitable the companies were during the quarter. When profits grow, a company’s share price may move higher. When profits decline, a company’s share price may move lower. For five consecutive quarters, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) has been in an earnings recession – the earnings for the companies in the index have declined every quarter. Another earnings decline is expected for the third quarter. As of September 30, analysts estimated a -2.0 percent earnings decline for

THE QUARTER IN BRIEF The economy seemed to hit a soft patch this summer, but stocks carried onward and upward – the S&P 500 advanced for a fourth straight quarter in Q3, rising 3.31%. Markets were notably placid for much of the quarter, even with two major banking scandals, multiple terror attacks, and the latest dispatches from an especially contentious presidential race in the headlines. As Q3 went on, the Federal Reserve all but signaled to investors to expect a rate hike before the end of the year. Home sales, residential construction, factory activity, and consumer spending seemed to wane

Monthly Economic Update 10-10-2016

THE MONTH IN BRIEF Investors had plenty of news to absorb in September: the latest monetary policy statement from the Federal Reserve, the Wells Fargo fiasco and the crisis involving Deutsche Bank, and a major deal forged between OPEC member nations. Add in the presidential race and a raft of economic data, and you had all the ingredients for market turbulence. Wall Street saw much of that last month. Yet, at the close on September 30, the S&P 500 was little changed from the end of August – the index was just 0.12% lower. The latest housing indicators showed fewer

Hiring picked up in the Third quarter Employers added 156,000 net new jobs to their payrolls in September, the Department of Labor stated Friday. The August gain was revised up to 167,000, so monthly job growth averaged 192,000 in Q3, improved from 146,000 in Q2. The unemployment rate ticked up to 5.0% in September; the U-6 underemployment rate remained at 9.7%. Yearly wage growth reached 2.6%, with the average hourly wage rising six cents to $25.79.1,2  ISM INDICES SHOW A SEPTEMBER REBOUND America’s manufacturing sector grew again last month; the Institute for Supply Management’s factory PMI improved to 51.5 in

Weekly Market Commentary 10-10-2016

The Markets Was it good news or wasn’t it? The U.S. unemployment rate ticked higher last week. The September jobs report showed the United States added 156,000 new jobs in September. That was 16,000 fewer than economists were expecting and 11,000 fewer than were added in August, according to Barron’s. That doesn’t sound like good news, does it? On the other hand, the report showed more people are working and looking for jobs. Also, wages increased so people are earning more. The Wall Street Journal wrote: “The report – marked by a slight uptick in the unemployment rate to 5

The Markets Markets were relatively calm during the third quarter of 2016, yet they delivered some attractive returns overall. In the United States, all three major U.S. indices posted record highs twice during a single 7-day period in August, reported CNBC.com. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) experienced a 51-day streak without at least a 1 percent decline. The index returned 3.3 percent in the third quarter. Investors were fairly complacent until comments by Federal Reserve officials raised awareness the Fed might raise rates during 2016, possibly as early as September. The S&P 500 lost 2.5 percent and

NO ADVANCE IN CONSUMER SPENDING Personal spending was flat in August even as personal incomes rose 0.2%. These numbers from the Department of Commerce fell short of expectations: economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.2% gain in both categories. In other news linked to consumer spending, the federal government revised second-quarter GDP up to 1.4% in its third estimate; it had previously put Q2 growth at 1.1%.1      HOUSEHOLD CONFIDENCE IMPROVES September brought a big jump in the Conference Board’s closely watched consumer confidence index, which rose 3.0 points to 104.1. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index ended September