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.
Probate is the process of proving the validity of a will and supervising the administration of an estate usually in the probate court. State law governs the proceedings in the probate court, so the process can vary from state to state. Supervising the administration of an estate can result in additional expense, unwanted publicity, and delays in the distribution of estate assets for a year or longer, which is why planning to avoid the probate process may be beneficial.
Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Vacation Home
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 led to a surge in demand for vacation/second homes — mainly spurred by government shutdowns and stay-at-home advisories. Whether working remotely, attending school online, or meeting up with friends and family virtually, people found themselves spending more time than ever at home. If you are thinking about buying a vacation home, here are three things to consider before taking the plunge.
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.
Food Inflation: What’s Behind It and How to Cope
As measured by the Consumer Price Index for food at home, grocery prices increased 3.4% in 2020, a faster rate than the 20-year historical average of 2.4%.1 More recently, food inflation accelerated by 6.5% during the 12 months ending in December 2021, while prices for the category that includes meat, poultry, fish, and eggs spiked 12.5%.
What’s Your Retirement Dream Elevator Pitch?
Imagine stepping into an elevator and realizing that you’re about to spend the 30-second ride with someone who could make your retirement dreams come true — if only you could explain them before the doors open again. How would you summarize your financial situation, outlook, aspirations, and plans if you had 30 seconds to make an “elevator pitch” about achieving one of your most important goals?
Answering that question — and formulating your own unique retirement dream elevator pitch — could help bring your vision of the future into sharper focus.
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.
Market Week: May 2, 2022
The markets seemed to react with fear last week. The major indexes fell, with about 90% of S&P 500 stocks losing ground and every major market sector closing in the red. Investors turned to bonds, sending the price of 10-year Treasury notes up and the yield down. Wall Street is also preparing for what is expected to be the first 50-basis point increase in the federal funds rate since 2000, following the meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee this Tuesday and Wednesday. The Nasdaq (-3.9%) and the Russell 2000 (-4.1%) led the drop in the indexes, followed by the S&P 500 (-3.3%), the Global Dow (-3.0%), and the Dow (-2.5%). Crude oil prices added more than $3.00 to climb past $104.00 per barrel. The dollar advanced, while gold prices slid.