What interest rate hikes mean for your finances
The Federal Reserve's latest rate hike is the ninth increase in the last 12 months — for a total of 475 basis points. The current Fed Funds target rate is 4.75% to 5%; a year ago it was less than 1%.
As a result, Americans have received a very public lesson in interest rate risk, and its impact on the banking system. But now it’s getting ...Read more
Terry Savage: Tips for tax filers
It’s that time of year again — income tax time. If you’ve already filed your return, pat yourself on the back. But if you’re one of the millions who procrastinate, here are some helpful reminders along with some tax changes that you might not have noticed yet.
This year's tax filing deadline is Tuesday, April 18th.
You can get an ...Read more
The unexpected cost of long-term care
It’s the one financial planning issue that everyone wants to avoid. Your retirement may go according to your financial plan. On the other hand, you and your family may face the unexpected cost of long-term care that is not covered by Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans.
This is the cost of getting help doing the basic activities of daily ...Read more
Terry Savage: Social Security makes huge mistakes
The Social Security Administration makes mistakes. Sometimes big ones. If Social Security miscalculated and underpaid you for many years, you might never find out. But these days, many people are getting letters from Social Security saying they have been overpaid for many years.
And Social Security demands that you return such overpayments ...Read more
Good news, bad news
Clint Eastwood said it memorably: “Do you feel lucky?” Now, superimpose Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s stern visage squinting at the markets and asking that question.
It’s a message to stock market bulls who started out the year in euphoria, believing the Fed was about to declare victory over inflation – and might even be forced to ...Read more
Terry Savage: What to do if you've fallen back into debt
During the pandemic, it looked so easy to avoid credit card debt. You couldn’t go out to dinner and you didn’t need to buy clothes for work. And you were scared, very scared about what the world would look like in the future. You promised to be good.
And then the world reopened. Suddenly, it was OK to go to restaurants or fly on a plane for...Read more
Reading your way to financial security
Facts are easy to find in this era of the internet. But good advice is somewhat more elusive. Since my “brand” is The Savage Truth, my goal has always been to expose my readers and viewers to the best advice that is not motivated by hidden costs and incentives.
Every year I find a book that fits the criteria of being truthful, helpful and ...Read more
These Annuities Have Gotten More Popular, and With Good Reason
Although I have previously warned against many annuities, with good reason, this column will focus on one type of annuity that might serve a very good short-term purpose in your financial plan.
That product is a fixed-rate multi-year guaranteed annuity – or MYGA. With a term ranging from two to 10 years, this insurance contract promises a ...Read more
A Peek Into the Future
Every few years, something really “new” comes along, sneaking into our vocabularies and our way of interacting with money. Then suddenly, it reaches a tipping point and becomes ubiquitous. I like to keep an eye out for those life-changing opportunities, which mostly revolve around technology.
Change is inevitable, and it’s up to us to ...Read more
Biden Administration Proposes New Form of Student Loan Relief
A new proposal by the Biden administration would dramatically cut monthly payments in half, with monthly payments as low as zero for many borrowers, while completely wiping out the remaining balance for some borrowers after 10 years of payments.
Unlike the administration's previous plan granting selective student-debt forgiveness, this is ...Read more
529 Plan Updates Under SECURE 2.0 Act
The best way to save for college for your children and grandchildren is a 529 college savings plan. And the recent SECURE 2.0 Act legislation created some improvements on this great product. The tax advantages make 529 plans the clear winner for college planning and saving.
Money saved in a 529 college savings plan can be invested to grow tax-...Read more
Open the envelope!
Some bad news is coming in the mail. Be prepared to face up to it immediately. Open the envelopes — the credit card bills and the brokerage statements. The card balances likely total more than you expected. And the brokerage or mutual fund statements likely show less than you hoped.
Here’s what to do about both of these issues. And some ...Read more