New Survey Shows a Bad Combination of Skepticism and Dependence Are you counting on Social Security for most of your retirement funds – and if so, how comfortable are you that the funds will be there at retirement? According to the recent Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers, you probably aren’t comfortable at all. A surprising 76 percent of survey respondents are concerned that Social Security won’t be there when they retire – including 65 percent of baby boomers, the generation entering their retirement years.
The recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) represents one of the biggest changes to the tax code in many years. Will the Internal Revenue Service be up to the challenge of enforcing these changes? For the last five years, the IRS has been examining fewer and fewer returns. In calendar year 2016, 1.1 million tax returns were audited (0.5 percent of all returns), down from approximately 1.7 million returns in calendar year 2012. Now the IRS faces a new regulatory challenge with approximately the same budget as in 2017 – a decrease of almost $1.5 billion (23 percent) from 2010 when inflation is taken into account.
It’s difficult to purchase a home in today’s market. Pent-up demand and an extreme shortage of homes have led to a rapid increase in prices that outpaces recent wage gains. The problem is acute in the market for starter homes and critical in high-value markets like San Jose, Seattle, and Austin. Desperate homeowners are stretching their finances to buy a home, and lenders and mortgage backers are increasingly willing to accommodate them.
President Trump promised changes in Washington upon his election. Whether you are a Trump fan or foe, there’s no question he’s succeeded in that goal. Sometimes the change is precipitated by the President’s choice to lead an agency, as in the case of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB was born out of the Dodd-Frank legislation in 2010 as a vehicle to both regulate banks after the Great Recession and protect consumers from harmful and predatory financial practices. The CFPB was intentionally structured to be independent of political forces. Its money comes from the Federal Reserve, not Congress.
A new government report provides both good news and bad news about America’s massive consumer debt load. The bad news: America’s total consumer debt continues to rise. According to May’s G.19 Consumer Credit Report from the Federal Reserve, combined (revolving and nonrevolving) outstanding debt rose by $11.7 billion in March to reach $3.875 trillion – continuing a string of monthly debt increases that goes back to January 2016. The March increase equates to a 3.6 percent annualized debt growth.
Are you considering bypassing the hotel or resort experience for your summer vacation and opting for a summer home rental instead? Home rental networks are on the rise and have never been easier to use, thanks to the increased web presence and sites like Vacation Home Rentals, Airbnb, VRBO, and Vacation Rentals. However, just because travel agents and middlemen are being squeezed out does not mean that you are getting the best deal possible. You can negotiate with a vacation rental owner to receive an even better deal by following these steps.
You’ve saved for retirement and built up a sizable nest egg. However, you forgot to consider one factor – excessive debt as you approach retirement. Too many seniors are facing that grim scenario. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the share of families age 75 and above with debt shot up from 31.2 percent in 2007 to almost half in 2016. The average debt of these households is $36,757. The pre-retirement crowd isn’t faring any better. According to EBRI, 77 percent of families with heads of household aged 55-64 are carrying debt. Increasing Fastest Among Oldest However, the percentage of debtors is increasing most rapidly among seniors aged 75 and above.
New Proposal to Fund Retirement and Delay Social Security Benefits Let's face it: Americans are woefully unprepared for retirement. Surveys consistently tell us that far too many workers have insufficient retirement funds or even absolutely nothing saved for retirement at all. Sadly, these workers will be too dependent on Social Security benefits to have a comfortable retirement. Many of these
Student Loan Delinquencies Are Higher Than Any Other Type of Credit in the U.S. According to recent data from the New York Federal Reserve, our $1.38 trillion in outstanding student loan debt is second only to mortgage debt but comes with a higher delinquency rate. As of the end of 2017, approximately 1.3% of mortgage balances were delinquent by ninety or more days. With student loans, the delinquency rate is a startling 11% – and that figure understates the problem.