Changing Infrastructure

Would adding more lanes to the nation’s freeways solve our traffic problems? Consider that the Katy Freeway in Houston has 26 lanes at its widest point, and it still bottlenecks during rush hour.1 Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a 2020 presidential candidate, is President Biden’s pick for addressing…

Read More

Tax Topic: Qualified Business Income Deduction

One of the provisions included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was the Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction. It is designed as a tax break for small businesses or self-employed individuals and is comparable to the enhanced tax breaks legislated for larger companies. However, while the corporate tax changes are made permanent,…

Read More

Anticipation: What Will You Do?

If you’ve been cooped up, masked and socially distanced for the last year, what’s the first thing you want to do to celebrate post-pandemic freedom? Plan a dinner party? Go on a trip? Hug your grandchild? Do your plans involve spending money – like buying a new car or remodeling your kitchen? A survey conducted…

Read More

Warren Buffett’s Annual Shareholder Letter

Every year, Berkshire Hathaway’s Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett sends a thoughtfully crafted letter to the company’s shareholders from which the investment industry gleans whatever newfound wisdom possible. Given that 2020 was an unusual year by economic, social and financial standards, there is much to glean. Despite the difficulties the U.S. has experienced in managing…

Read More

Tax Pitfalls

Millions of Americans took advantage of the delayed tax-filing deadline in 2020. In fact, according to one survey, 11% of taxpayers filed their 2019 returns after the July 15 extension, and 3% still hadn’t filed as of last December. The primary reason most taxpayers file late isn’t due to procrastination, but rather because they owe…

Read More

Annuity Insights

Annuity Insights The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) – a trade association for the retirement income industry – advocates annuities as a vehicle that can help provide retirees income, guaranteed by the insurer. The organization has been actively educating and lobbying legislators to expand annuity access as part of employer-sponsored retirement plans.1 Under this scenario, whatever…

Read More

America’s Health-Care System: Where We Are Today

The COVID pandemic brought to light many problems with the U.S. health-care system. In the recent past, Americans who paid the highest premiums were those who purchased health insurance on the individual market. Once the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act went into effect, millions of Americans qualified for tax credits that made their policies…

Read More

Can Money Buy Happiness?

In 2010, a study was published by two Nobel prize-winning economists purporting that people with more money feel better about their lives. However, that held true only up to an annual salary of $75,000 ($90,000 in today’s dollars). Past the $75k threshold, people weren’t necessarily any happier. That scenario has apparently changed in the ensuing…

Read More

Vaccines and Technology: Where to Get Help

One of the biggest flaws in the COVID vaccine distribution plan is its heavy reliance on the internet. Meanwhile, older seniors — the first and most critical targets for the vaccine — are the least-experienced internet users. Most state and local plans have created websites that allow people to sign up for a vaccine appointment.…

Read More

That Pesky Early Withdrawal Penalty: It’s There for a Reason

One way for the government to potentially earn more tax revenue is by eliminating the early withdrawal penalty. This is the typical 10%-tax penalty on distributions from retirement accounts by people younger than age 59 ½.1 If that penalty didn’t exist, investors may be more inclined to pull money out of their retirement accounts, whether…

Read More