Author Mary Beth Franklin recently published an excellent primer on the methodology used for calculating the annual percentage increase in Social Security benefits. In summary, average inflation for the third quarter of the current year – as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners (CPI-W) – is compared to the average third […]
The state of Oregon has made available consumer cost information on all individual health insurance plans offered through Cover Oregon at the federal healthcare.gov website (the Marketplace) and all individual plans offered in Oregon outside the Marketplace. The data is published in an interactive Excel table. The table does not consider any tax credit or […]
With the open enrollment period for health insurance having just opened, the New York Times has published easy-to-understand answers to some of the most common questions about the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. You can read the entire November 11, 2014 article here.
A beginner’s guide to repaying student loans, from the New York Times in May, 2014.
Last week, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest pension fund in the US, announced that it would pull all $4 billion from its hedge fund investment program of 24 hedge funds and six hedge “fund-of-funds”. CalPERS was one of the first pension funds to invest in hedge funds in 2002. Hedge funds – […]
Forbes magazine recently featured a column addressing the question of whether most Americans should have a revocable living trust as part of their overall estate plan. In the author’s view, many estate planning attorneys suggest that everyone should have a trust, while most Americans don’t even have a simple will. Since there is an investment […]
Every three years, the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances interviews thousands of American families (6,026 for the newly published 2013 edition) about their income, savings, investments and debts. It is some of the richest information available about Americans’ financial lives, particularly in the 2010-13 recovery from the 2007-09 Great Recession. The results are quite […]
Most people know that having some sort of estate plan in place makes good sense, regardless of your net worth, so that your financial and family goals are met when you die. And having these documents in place can make the end of life a little less painful for those left behind. But which documents […]
When it comes to negotiating a divorce, many couples – or their advisors or attorneys – pay little or no attention to retirement and investment accounts, assuming that they can simply be split in two. However, that’s often a mistake, and a potentially very expensive one. These accounts, and their holdings, require careful examination before […]
In a draft working paper entitled “The Separation of Intelligence and Control: The Retirement Savings Crisis and the Limits of Soft Paternalism”, Jacob Hale Russell, an academic fellow at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford Law School, argues that the migration of American retirement savings from centralized, risk-pooling structures (Social Security and pensions) […]