Inflation, Your Retirement & Purchasing Power

You hear it all the time: you should make sure your retirement savings at least keep pace with inflation. But what is inflation and how does it really affect your retirement savings? Let’s explore. In simple terms, inflation is defined as an increase in the general level of prices for goods and services. Deflation, on the other hand, is defined as a decrease in the general level of prices for goods and services. If inflation is high, at say 10% – as it was in the 1970s – then a loaf of bread that costs $1 this year will cost $1.10 the next year. Inflation in the United States has averaged around 3.29% from 1914 until 2016, but it reached an all-time high of 23.70% in June 1920 and a record low of -15.80% in June 1921. Most will remember the high inflation rates of the 70s and early 80s …

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How Tax Reform Could Impact Annuities

Uncertainty around the Trump administration’s tax reform efforts has made it difficult to predict the kinds of effects that could be in store for a wide variety of consumers, investors and employers. It’s especially hard for annuity experts to determine what might happen to retirement spending. If consumers have more money in their pockets because of lower taxes, they may invest it in long-term savings, while fewer savings incentives might inspire them to simply spend the money somewhere else. So how might this affect annuities? “No one has a clue,” says lawyer Mitchell Miller. The estate tax is one of the rules expected to change, but it’s unclear exactly what might happen. “We have no idea of the form estate tax reform will take: Outright elimination? Increased exemption? Will gift tax be maintained? How about the step-up in basis? What happens to annuities will depend mightily on the details.” Here …

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Maintaining Employee Morale During Tough Times

Maintaining Employee Morale During Tough Times

Let’s face it, even in the best of times the economy can always add a layer of stress to life. Gas prices, higher food costs, layoffs – can all weigh heavily on your employees. According to the American Institute of Stress, occupational fears are the leading source of strain for Americans. So what can you do as an HR professional to help alleviate your employee’s anxiety without adding cost to your already reduced budget? Here are some inexpensive suggestions employers can use to help morale when times are tough: Be honest and inform employees on the economic status of the company. If business is good, discuss new projects and contracts. If business is not so good, focus on the integrity of the company and its management. Let employees know you care.  By providing information to staff about how to stretch a dollar, or where to find gas cheapest, you’re letting them know …

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The Top 10 Risks for 2017

The Top 10 Risks for 2017

All organizations encounter risk. But how they handle those risks—and the price they pay —can make the difference between an organization that prospers and progresses and one that barely hangs on. Whether they are in a private company or a public institution, executives are trusted with helping their organizations become and stay competitive. And capably managing the risks their organizations face is part of fulfilling that charge. Leaders need a thorough grasp of risk management and the total cost of risk. They need to understand how to not only deal with risk when it occurs but also try to prevent it from happening. And do both in the most cost-effective manner possible. Part of risk assessment and prevention is studying the known and the potential risk factors that may affect an organization, studying the environment outside an organization, networking with peers and then putting together some predictive models. In the …

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