Whether at home, work or on a cell phone, it’s a scenario many Americans have found themselves in: answering a phone call only to find out it’s from an unwanted robocaller. In fact, the number of unwanted robocalls in this country has skyrocketed in recent years. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ranks unwanted robocalls highest on their list of consumer complaints.
Due to recent increases in the price of fuel, the IRS has increased the optional standard mileage rates for computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, medical, and moving expense purposes for the second half of 2022. The standard mileage rate for computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for charitable purposes is set by statute and remains unchanged. For July 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022, the standard mileage rates are as follows
Social Security is a pay-as-you go system, which means today’s workers are paying taxes for the benefits received by today’s retirees. However, demographic trends such as lower birth rates, higher retirement rates, and longer life spans are causing long-run fiscal challenges. There are simply not enough U.S. workers to support the growing number of beneficiaries. Social Security is not in danger of collapsing, but the clock is ticking on the program’s ability to pay full benefits.
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. 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. 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 stubborn than expected. It may be helpful to look at some of the forces behind rising prices, the Fed’s plan to combat them, and early signs that inflation may be easing.
Time is usually the number one contributor to financial success when it comes to investing. Over the short-term, it is nearly impossible to predict whether the financial markets or world economies will go up, down, or even sideways. Historically, indices have gone up more often, especially over rolling periods of time.
During the intensely volatile first 100 trading days of 2022, the stocks of companies in the S&P 500 index delivered their worst performance since 1970.¹ The S&P 500 continued to tumble, and the benchmark index descended into a bear market — typically defined as a sustained drop in stock prices of at least 20% — on June 13, 2022. When the market closed, the S&P 500 had dropped 21.8% from its January 3 peak, and the tech-heavy NASDAQ, already in bear territory, had plunged 32.7% from its November 19, 2021 peak.² Some investors who are nervous about the future and their portfolios seem to have taken a defensive stance by selling riskier assets, including investments in growth-oriented technology stocks.
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
Most people are not aware just how often financial market downturns occur. Financial markets are known to dip like an elevator (fast) and rise like taking the stairs (slow & steady). While you might prefer to ride in the elevator up, remember that markets rise based on fundamentals and technicals: earnings, growth, yields, yield curves, federal reserve moves, political, geopolitical events, etc. Drops typically occur due to fear of the unknown. If you plan ahead for your goals and needs, you can rest assured the markets are not something to worry about on a daily basis.
Your life insurance needs will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your family, the nature of your financial obligations, your career stage, and your goals. For example, when you’re young, you may not have a great need for life insurance. However, as you take on more responsibilities and your family grows, your need for life insurance increases.
Businesses sell shares of stock to investors as a way to raise money to finance expansion, pay off debt, and provide operating capital. Each share of stock represents a proportional share of ownership in the company. As a stockholder, you share in a portion of any profits and growth of the company. Dividends from earnings are paid to shareholders, and growth is realized by the increase in value of the stock. Stock ownership also generally gives you the right to vote on management issues.