The Fed Steps Up

Five million Americans have been out of work for more than six months. Less than half of the eight million jobs lost during the recession have been restored. In his press conference announcing the latest plan by the Federal Reserve to help improve the U.S. economy, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke made it clear that the […]

Scraping Together Retirement Income

  According to the Federal Reserve’s 2010 Survey of Consumer Finances released in June, the typical U.S. household between ages 55 and 64 held just over $42,000 in their tax-exempt (IRA, 401(k), etc.) retirement plans, and the average value of bank savings accounts dropped in half, to $18,000. That’s about $60,000 available for retirement which, when coupled with […]

Great Recession Strikes Home

According to a new study by Prudential Financial, the majority of women today are financially responsible for providing their own and their families’ income. Among the 1,400 women surveyed, 53 percent are primary breadwinners, and 22 percent of women who are married or living with a partner report being the one who makes the most […]

A Health Care Plan – For You

A survey released in late July found that one in three doctors say they will quit practicing medicine in the next decade. But not because they’ll retire. Reasons given included declining reimbursement, unprofitable practices, and the high cost of doing business. According to the report, “this confluence of economic and regulatory pressures is driving some […]

What “Recovery” Feels Like

What “Recovery” Feels Like Today’s headlines are dominated by the claims, promises, accusations and trash talk of our noble presidential candidates. Each says they’re fighting for the future of middle-class Americans, a category of citizens for whom neither can admit to being a card-carrying member. But who is the middle class, anyway? Recent research and […]

Making Homeownership Viable Again

There’s been discussion in recent years about renting being a better investment than buying a home. Analysts have emphasized that homeowners need to take the perspective that owning a home is more about quality of life than the road to riches. But that’s like saying don’t invest in stocks when prices are low, which is […]

Midyear Recap

The commentaries are in – July brought with it a host of analysis about how the economy is doing so far this year.   According to Fidelity Investments, “The U.S. remains in a mid-cycle expansion and the corporate sector remains solid, but improvement has slowed, and global and policy risks dampened the overall outlook for […]

Banks: Too Big to Break Up?

After the Great Depression, Congress passed the Banking Act of 1933, which included banking reforms such as the Glass-Steagall Act (named for its Congressional sponsors, Senator Carter Glass (D) of Virginia and Representative Henry B. Steagall (D) of Alabama). That Act was designed to limit the activities and affiliations commercial banks could engage in with securities and securities firms. In […]

Does Student Loan Debt Make You Smart?

It used to be that garden-variety wisdom behooved you to go to college to make something of yourself. These days, with around $1 trillion in outstanding student loan balances nationwide ($150 billion in private student loan debt), many are questioning that wisdom.   According to finaid.org, the average college student’s debt is more than $18,000, […]

The Medicaid Extension Debate

Since the Supreme Court published its decisions regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, there’s been far more discussion over the option to reject the Medicare expansion plan than the mandate that all Americans must purchase health insurance.   For Republicans, the option to reject federal aid offers a glimmer of hope that there’s […]