Jill On Money

  • Fed snapshot shows financial preparedness progress

    Fed snapshot shows financial preparedness progress

    In 2013, the Federal Reserve initiated a comprehensive survey, “The Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households,” which attempted to provide a snapshot of people’s financial lives. At that time, just five years after the 2008 financial crisis, many were still reeling. Some had lost homes,...

  • Retirement stresses us out, especially those who have saved

    Retirement stresses us out, especially those who have saved

    The 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey (“RCS,” a joint venture between the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute and research firm Greenwald & Associates) is out, and about two-thirds of Americans feel confident or at least somewhat confident in their ability to retire comfortably. Yet...

  • Bull market has made many of us complacent

    Bull market has made many of us complacent

    I have a confession: I’m rooting for a recession and a bear market. Of course, I don’t want people to suffer, but the longer both the expansion and bull market continue, the more we tend to forget that they can actually end, leading some to make poor financial decisions. U.S. stocks are now in...

  • Tax season is over, but there's more to do

    Tax season is over, but there's more to do

    Your 2017 taxes are done. Congratulations! But you’re not done yet. While you have all your tax forms and documents handy, this is the perfect time to analyze last year’s finances and use those insights to prepare for the big changes that will occur in 2018 and beyond. The sooner you get started,...

  • Fiduciary rule debate enters new phase

    Fiduciary rule debate enters new phase

    It’s time to drop my annual F-bomb: fiduciary. The big news this spring is that the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has announced a change to its Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct. Starting Oct. 1, 2019, CFP professionals must act in the best interest of the client at all times...

  • Market gyration is important reminder that investing can be risky

    Market gyration is important reminder that investing can be risky

    We knew that a stock market correction was coming, but why then did everyone seem so shocked when it arrived on Feb. 8? Corrections, defined as 10 percent drops from the recent highs (Jan. 26), usually occur every year or so. Until the early February sell-off, it had been two full years since the...

  • Haven't filed yet? Here's what to know

    Haven't filed yet? Here's what to know

    Tax season opened on Jan. 29, and the IRS expects more than 155 million returns to be filed this year. More than 70 percent of filers should receive a refund. Once again, due to a District of Columbia holiday (Emancipation Day), the filing deadline is delayed. Procrastinators, mark April 17, rather...

  • A savings plan for each generation

    A savings plan for each generation

    You’ve seen the frightening surveys that show Americans are not prepared for retirement, but let’s take a more positive and proactive approach. No matter how old you are, you can make improvements. I’m going to break it down by generation. Millennials (born 1980-2000): Ask anybody who is retired...

  • A few money questions for the new year

    A few money questions for the new year

    Last year defied most expectations. Synchronistic global growth led to a surge in corporate profits, which in turn pushed worldwide stocks higher. The FTSE All-World index shot up nearly 22 percent, its biggest rise since 2009. U.S. markets were along for the ride: The Dow Jones Industrial Average...

  • New mindset needed for successful saving

    New mindset needed for successful saving

    A colleague recently asked me how he might be able to finally stick to a budget. For years, he has tried to create and adhere to a specific annual spending plan, only to blow a hole through it at some point during the year. “What's wrong with me?” he asked. “I know that I should do it, but there’s...

  • The biggest stories affecting your money this year

    The biggest stories affecting your money this year

    The year is almost over, and that makes it a good time to look back on what happened last year. Here are the seven stories that had the greatest impact on personal finance. The stock market rally: The post-election rally continued throughout 2017. Early in the year, investors bought on the hope...

  • Bitcoin is soaring, but caution is vital

    Bitcoin is soaring, but caution is vital

    U.S. stocks are now in the second longest bull market on record (the longest was 1982-2000), but there seems to be a missing element to the current stampede: investor euphoria. Remember the late 1990s, when everyone was talking about stocks? It certainly doesn’t feel that way today. In fact, investors...

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