CONSUMER PRICES UP 0.2% for JanuaryMajor factors in this increase in the Consumer Price Index include a 0.9% rise in the price of clothing as well as rising rents and healthcare costs. Core CPI also rose 0.2% in January. The annualized inflation rate hit 2.3% last month, yet the Federal Reserve expects but a 1.6% gain in the CPI across 2012. Wholesale inflation ticked up 0.1% for January, with the core Producer Price Index up 0.4%.1 RETAIL SALES FALL SHORT OF (HIGH) EXPECTATIONS The Census Bureau reported a healthy 0.4% rise in U.S. retail purchases for January. However, economists polled by...Read More
Centralized Design Provides AEA Members Access to Array of Low-Cost Investment Options and Access to Community Based Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisors New York, NY, February 14, 2012 – TIAA-CREF, a leading financial services provider, today announced its selection by the Alabama Education Association (AEA) as the exclusive endorsed retirement plan provider for AEA’s more than 104,000 members in 173 school districts and community colleges across the state. “The market volatility of the past several years highlights the importance of working with a financially strong and low-cost...Read More
WILL THE MORTGAGE ACCORD BRING MUCH RELIEF? While the $25+ billion settlement reached last week between five large mortgage servicers and 49 states was momentous, it may not help many borrowers in trouble. Only about 1 million of the estimated 11 million underwater homeowners will see relief as loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren’t included in the deal. Much of the settlement money will go toward mortgage modification. Roughly 750,000 homeowners are slated to receive financial compensation from the accord (an average of about $2,000 per household). The lenders involved are...Read More
Getting off on the right foot in 2012 – A look at some financial changes & the opportunities they may present.
Every year brings some financial change, so here are some relevant changes relating to investment, tax and estate planning for 2012. Retirement plans. 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plan annual contribution limits rise slightly to $17,000, and you can contribute an additional $5,500 to these accounts if you are 50 or older this year. IRA contribution levels are unchanged from 2011: the ceiling is $5,000, $6,000 if you will be 50 or older in 2012.1 As you strive to contribute as much as you comfortably can to these accounts this year, you will probably notice some changes with the retirement plan at...Read More
True or false? You may have heard this claim before (or something like it): “Many Americans are being forced to retire later because their savings and investments took a hit in the Great Recession.” Recently, a big-name economist disputed that belief. In a commentary for Bloomberg, former White House budget director Peter Orszag wrote that some of the statistics don’t seem to back up this conventional wisdom, but perhaps it all depends on which statistics you cite. A fact that can’t be ignored. In mid-January, a widely reprinted Washington Post article mentioned that since the start...Read More