• Annuities: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    Over the past twenty years, I have noticed that the national financial media has had a true love - hate relationship with annuities. At times, the prevailing theme seems to be that all annuities are expensive boondoggles designed only to benefit the insurance companies and agents who represent them. At other times, however, many financial authors seem to feel that they should be an integral part of any well-thought-out retirement plan. What gives? Both opinions can’t be right, can they?
  • Smile Your Way through Retirement

    As millions of Americans prepare for and enter retirement, it’s natural for many of us to feel worried or concerned about how much money is needed to live comfortably. Despite all of the apprehension, there are a few reasons to smile.
  • Financial Empowerment: Strategies for Women

    The demographics of women have evolved and changed rapidly over the last half-century. Currently, women outnumber men in American colleges and universities. This reversal of the gender gap is a recent trend. As of 2009, 57 percent of bachelor's degrees, 60 percent of master's degrees, and 52 percent of doctoral degrees were awarded to women, according to the Department of Education. Fortunately for women, this increase in education translates into increased influence—and affluence.
  • Financial Resolutions for Retirees

    Many of you are headed into the New Year with a list of resolutions to improve your life. If some of those resolutions are financial in nature, they undoubtedly have to do with saving more and spending less. Such fiscal good intentions may be just fine for those in the prime of their working years, but do they make sense for retirees?
  • How to instill good financial practices in children

    No one is born an expert in finances. Financial capability is a skill that must be acquired, and in most cases, children learn it from their parents. But it appears that these lessons are often inadequate, leaving children unprepared to manage their own finances responsibly. Using, saving, investing and sharing are four useful money practices that can be implemented today by parents and caretakers to teach children the essential concepts and skills of responsible money management.