The IRS has released the 2023 contribution limits for health savings accounts (HSAs), as well as the 2023 minimum deductible and maximum out-of-pocket amounts for high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). An HSA is a tax-advantaged account that’s paired with an HDHP.
How to Prepare for the Next Natural Disaster
Wherever you live, there are steps you can take today to protect your home and family when disaster strikes.
Holding Equities for the Long Term: Time vs. Timing
Legendary investor Warren Buffett is famous for his long-term perspective. He has said that he likes to make investments he would be comfortable holding even if the market shut down for 10 years.
Investing with an eye toward the long term is particularly important with stocks. Historically, equities have typically outperformed bonds, cash, and inflation, though past performance is no guarantee of future results and those returns also have involved higher volatility.
Trusted Contacts for Your Financial Accounts
When you open an account or update an existing account at a brokerage or a financial firm, you may be asked you if you want to designate a “trusted contact.” This individual may be contacted in certain situations such as when financial exploitation is suspected or there are other concerns about your health, welfare, or whereabouts. Naming a trusted contact is optional, but may help protect your account assets.
The person you name as a trusted contact must be at least 18 years old. You’ll want to choose someone who can handle the responsibility and who will always act in your best interest — this might be a family member, close friend, attorney, or third-party professional. You may also name more than one trusted contact.
Understandably, you might be concerned that the person you name could make transactions in your account but that’s not the case. Your trusted contact will not be able to access your account or make financial decisions on your behalf (unless you previously authorized that person to do so). You are simply giving the financial firm permission to contact the person you have named.
Here are some examples of times when a financial firm might need to reach out to your trusted contact.
To confirm current contact information when you can’t be reached
If financial exploitation or fraud is suspected
To validate your health status if the firm suspects you’re sick or showing signs of cognitive decline
To identify any legal guardian, executor, trustee, or holder of a power of attorney on your account
A firm may only share reasonable types of information with your trusted contact. U.S. broker-dealers are required to provide a written disclosure that includes details about when information might be shared. Ask your financial firm or professional if you have any questions about the trusted contact agreement.
You may add, remove, or change your trusted contact at any time, and you’ll need to keep your contact’s information up-to-date. It’s also a good idea to let the person you’ve chosen know so that he or she is prepared to help if necessary.
High Inflation: How Long Will It Last?
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.
Going Green: A Fast-Growing Corner of the Global Bond Market
Green bonds are debt instruments that corporations and governments can use exclusively to finance major climate-related or eco-friendly initiatives. Global issuance of green bonds reached a record $523 billion in 2021, and is expected to exceed $775 billion in 2022.
Planning to Quit Your Job? What to Know Before You Go
About 4.3 million U.S. workers quit their jobs voluntarily in December 2021, after a record 4.5 million quit in November — the largest number since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began recording voluntary job separations in December 2020.
Is the Russia-Ukraine War a Threat to the Global Economy?
Before Russia stunned the world by invading Ukraine, it was widely believed that the economic ties formed through globalization would help promote peace. But the war is testing that assumption and drawing attention to the vulnerabilities in far-flung supply chains, which were already under pressure because of the pandemic and recovery.
U.S. Credit-Card Debt Levels Begin to Return to Normal Seasonal Patterns
U.S. credit-card debt saw a record drop during the second quarter of 2020 — the height of the pandemic. This was largely the result of Americans paying down their balances with the help of COVID-19 financial assistance in the form of stimulus payments, suspended student loan payments, and broad state-sponsored unemployment benefits, as well as a reduction in spending due to lockdowns.
Inflation Cuts into Wage Gains
Driven by labor shortages, median hourly wages increased at an annual rate of 5.2% in December 2021, the highest level since June 2001. However, inflation cuts into buying power, and real wages — adjusted for inflation — actually dropped as inflation spiked in 2021. By contrast, negative inflation (deflation) during the Great Recession sent real wages skyrocketing temporarily even as non-adjusted wage growth declined.