economy, income, retirement

How Can Student Loan Debt Threaten Your Retirement?

I recently talked to a client who is 50 years old and has $75,000 in student loan debt that they do not seem to be making any headway to eliminate. It illustrates a huge issue many people are facing as they approach retirement.

 

In 2018 student loan debt totaled $1.5 trillion… Student loans are unique in terms of unsecured debt in that the government can take extreme measures to recover defaulted student loans, including seizure of tax refunds and garnishment of wages. (1)(4)

 

In addition, the government can also garnish up to 15% of a person’s social security check to pay back defaulted student loans. For most American’s Social Security makes up the bulk of their retirement income. Loss of part of the income can have a catastrophic effect on a house hold.

Continue reading “How Can Student Loan Debt Threaten Your Retirement?”

economy, income, interest rates, retirement

What are the risks as bond yields move higher?

Since December of 2017 bond yields for US Treasuries have moved up substantially. The increase in bond yields is having an impact on the US stock market, as well as markets around the world.

 

What is driving bond yields higher?

 

One significant driver is the Tax Cuts passed in December of 2017. The tax cuts are leading to an increase in the budget deficit and the need for additional bond issuance. More bond supply can lead to lower bond valuations and higher bond yields.

Continue reading “What are the risks as bond yields move higher?”

Climate change, environment, income, retirement

Climate Change, Sea Level Rise and Retirement Risk

One of the oft repeated risks from climate change is the threat that comes from rising sea levels. Depending on the forecast, even in the most optimistic ones, seas are projected to rise several feet before the end of the century. With the accelerating build-up of CO2 and the rate of temperature increase (2016 being the hottest year on record), many expect dramatic sea level rise to occur much sooner than most expect. (https://www.co2.earth/ )

 

While people might want to buy shore property for benefits that include potential rental income, capital appreciation and personal use, they also face potential risks of hurricanes, sea level rise, etc. Some of these risks can be mitigated by purchasing flood insurance.

 

Last summer I explored the question, “if sea levels rise, what will be the impact on a clients’ net worth and portfolio?”

 

The answer is one few people are willing to confront.

Continue reading “Climate Change, Sea Level Rise and Retirement Risk”

economy, new economy, protection, retirement, Socially Responsible Investing

Embracing the Future: An Interview with Charlotte Markward

I met Charlotte and her Husband Randy years ago at a Green Drinks in Philadelphia. It was before the days of Tesla, widespread solar power and organic food sections at the grocery store. People got together to share a beer and dream about a future that would be more sustainable. Things have changed a great deal in the past few years.

 

Charlotte is a graphic designer based in Philadelphia. She has agreed to share some of her experiences and insights so that we all might have an easier path to financial security.

 

Charlotte has been interested in supporting socially responsible investing for many years. I asked her what it means to her. Charlotte said, “For one thing it’s smart. We have a finite amount of resources and we are running out of them. To continue doing things in the old ways is to set yourself up for failure. Green investment is where the growth will be.”

Continue reading “Embracing the Future: An Interview with Charlotte Markward”

economy, new economy, protection, retirement

Millions of new entrepreneurs in the past few years

We are entering a new age…

According to Bloomberg, over the past few years millions of people have entered the ranks of the self-employed. The digital economy has made it easier for the business savvy to go off on their own and be their own boss. Facebook has brought people closer together, texting and email have increased communication. Associations and Meet-up groups create networking opportunities. LinkedIn in particular has created rolodex transparency within companies and whole industries. (1)

While being self-employed is not for everyone, it is easier now than ever before. A connection on Facebook or LinkedIn is a potential client. Whatever you do, whatever your expertise the reality is there are hundreds and thousands of people who need to talk to you. Many of these are newly sprouted entrepreneurs as well. Building connections to individuals, as well as businesses is the new road to success.

Continue reading “Millions of new entrepreneurs in the past few years”

economy, ESG, new economy, protection, retirement

Women and Financial Security

In Iceland the government there recently passed a law making it illegal to pay women less than men.(1)

A recent study by Economic Policy Institute found that women earn 74 cents for every $1 earned by a man with similar education and experience. This wage gap has always existed and is disturbing in a society founded upon equality and justice. (2)

This wage gap has important implications for women and their financial security, especially during retirement.

Continue reading “Women and Financial Security”

economy, interest rates, retirement

Psychology and the Market

On Thursday February 8th 2018 the Dow dropped over 1000 points in a single day.

 

Human behavior is driven two forces, fight or flight. When facing a dramatic event we as individuals are forced to REACT to what happens. 

When looking at the market, if a person is underinvested and it goes up day after day making new highs, that person may experience FOMO… fear of missing out. They might make the decision to invest based on emotion instead of fundamentals.
Continue reading “Psychology and the Market”

economy, income, new economy, retirement

How to Deal with Being Laid Off: 5 Strategies To Prepare For Job Change

Each day we read reports that the economy is booming.

 

“U.S. manufacturing production just had its best year since 2011.” (1)

“Factory output is poised to speed up.”

“Stronger global growth expectations and a weaker dollar should help.”

 

With that being the case you might find it surprising that several large corporations have recently announced they will be laying off large numbers of employees, especially managers.

Continue reading “How to Deal with Being Laid Off: 5 Strategies To Prepare For Job Change”

economy, income, interest rates, retirement

What do rising rates mean for investors?

In early February 2018 equity markets started to sell off. Volatility increased. On February 8th, 2018 the DJIA dropped over 1000 points.

 

Question: Why?

Answer: The repricing of risk.

 

In 2013 the economy was recovering from the Great Recession of 2008/2009 and was still fragile. A lot of economic data points showed contradictory trends. Believing the economy had sufficiently strengthened, the Federal Reserve announced it’s intention to start reducing its policy of Quantitative Easing which was put into place after the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession. Quantitative Easing was the government policy to buy US treasury bonds in order to keep interest rates low and support the economy.

Continue reading “What do rising rates mean for investors?”

AI, disability, economy, life insurance, new economy, retirement

Jobs at Risk

A recent study by McKinsey Global Institute examined how robotics will affect labor and the economy. The study estimated that 800 million jobs (1/5 of all jobs) will be impacted by advances in robotics.

Among the jobs most impacted include brokers, accountants, office staff, machine operators, and food service. Lower skilled, repetitive tasks are most likely to be replaced.

What does this mean for family finances in the years to come?

Continue reading “Jobs at Risk”