Market Week: December 14, 2020

Market Week: December 14, 2020

The Nasdaq opened the week by reaching a new high last Monday after climbing for the ninth straight day. Otherwise, stocks tumbled, as the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases had investors worried that more restrictions might be forthcoming. The Global Dow and the Dow each fell 0.5%, followed by the S&P 500 (-0.2%) and the Russell 2000 (-0.1%). Communication, technology, and utilities were the only sectors to gain ground. Treasury yields and crude oil prices declined, while the dollar was mostly higher.

SECURE Act Changed IRA and Retirement Plan Inheritance Rules

SECURE Act Changed IRA and Retirement Plan Inheritance Rules

At the end of 2019, President Trump signed a federal spending package that included the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. A provision in this legislation effectively eliminated the “stretch IRA,” an estate-planning strategy that allowed an IRA to continue benefiting from tax-deferred growth, potentially for decades. Most nonspouse beneficiaries, including children and grandchildren, can no longer “stretch” distributions over their lifetimes.

Five Tips to Regain Your Retirement Savings Focus in 2021

Five Tips to Regain Your Retirement Savings Focus in 2021

In early 2020, 61% of U.S. workers surveyed said that retirement planning makes them feel stressed.1 Investor confidence was continually tested as the year wore on, and it’s likely that this percentage rose — perhaps even substantially. If you find yourself among those feeling stressed heading into the new year, these tips may help you focus and enhance your retirement savings strategy in 2021.

Market Week: December 7, 2020

Market Week: December 7, 2020

November closed on a sour note as investors took profits from stocks last Monday. The Russell 2000, which gained more than 18.0% in November, fell nearly 2.0% on the day. The Global Dow dropped 1.7%, followed by the Dow (-0.9%), the S&P 500 (-0.5%), and the Nasdaq (-0.1%). Treasuries and the dollar advanced, while crude oil prices fell. Health care and information technology were the only market sectors to post gains. Energy, financials, industrials, and utilities each dropped at least 1%.

Sharing Your Money Values Can Be Part of Your Legacy

Sharing Your Money Values Can Be Part of Your Legacy

When it’s time to prepare the next generation for a financial legacy, you might want to bring your family members together to talk about money. But sitting down together isn’t easy, because money is a complicated and emotionally charged topic. Rather than risk conflict, your family may prefer to avoid talking about it altogether.

If your family isn’t quite ready to have a formal conversation, you can still lay the groundwork for the future by identifying and sharing your money values — the principles that guide your financial decisions.

Incapacity and Advance Medical Directives

Incapacity and Advance Medical Directives

At some point in your life, you may lose the ability to make or communicate responsible health-care decisions for yourself. Without directions to the contrary, medical professionals are generally compelled to make every effort to save and sustain your life. Depending on your attitude toward various medical treatments and your views on the quality of life, you may wish to take steps now to control future health-care decisions with one or more advance medical directives.

Market Week: November 30, 2020

Market Week: November 30, 2020

Last Monday saw stocks advance following encouraging news in the development of yet another COVID-19 vaccine. The Russell 2000 climbed nearly 2.0%, followed by the Dow, the Global Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq. Treasury yields and crude oil prices surged, while the dollar was mixed. Among the market sectors, energy jumped higher, followed by industrials, financials, materials, and consumer discretionary. Health care, information technology, and real estate fell.

Is It Time to Think About Tax-Free Income?

Is It Time to Think About Tax-Free Income?

Federal and state governments have spent extraordinary sums in response to the economic toll inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. At some point it is likely that governments will look for ways to increase revenue to compensate for this spending and increase income taxes as a result. That’s why it might be a good time to think about ways to help reduce your taxable income. Here are three potential sources of tax-free income to consider.