What's driving the debt of older Americans | Advisers: Same-sex-marriage rulings may have a major impact | CalPERS considers switching to 100% passive investment strategy
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March 26, 2013
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What's driving the debt of older Americans
Research indicates that debt is increasingly a problem for older Americans, jeopardizing their financial security in retirement. Medical expenses drive much of this debt, but a large portion also comes from emotional spending, such as gifts and financial assistance for family members. "We're overinvested in our children," said Eleanor Blayney, consumer advocate at CFP Board. Blayney says she reminds parents that taking care of themselves financially is an important gift for their children. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/25)
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Industry Update
Advisers: Same-sex-marriage rulings may have a major impact
Supreme Court decisions on two cases involving same-sex marriage could have wide-ranging implications for federal benefits for same-sex couples, financial advisers say. "Pensions, Social Security, survivor benefits ... this has tentacles more far-reaching than I think anyone realizes. With millions of additional people eligible for federal benefits, this could even have a fiscal impact on the country," adviser Cathy Pareto says. InvestmentNews (free registration) (3/25)
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CalPERS considers switching to 100% passive investment strategy
The investment committee of the California Public Employees' Retirement System is considering switching the system's entire $255 billion in assets to all-passive investments. The potential move highlights the increasing attractiveness of passively managed funds to pension fund investors, experts say. InvestmentNews (free registration) (3/24)
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Deficit for corporate pension funds continues to grow
The funding deficit for the biggest 100 corporate pension funds in the U.S. reached an all-time high in 2012, despite record contributions by employers, according to consultancy Milliman. Businesses contributed $61.5 billion, 10% more than in 2011. Meanwhile, the aggregate funding deficit increased to $388.8 billion. Pensions & Investments (free registration) (3/25)
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Industry leaders defend value of retirement tax incentives
The retirement industry is working to raise awareness about the long-term ramifications of changing tax incentives for retirement investments. Proposed changes could dissuade employers from offering retirement plans, which could lead to a drop in overall savings, says Brian Graff, executive director of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries. AdvisorOne (3/25)
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Other News
Financial Literacy
University expands mentor program to target financial literacy
A partnership between Western Oregon University and Maps Credit Union's Community Foundation will promote financial literacy among university students. The program will expand the curriculum of the school's student-peer-mentor program to include financial literacy and will establish a scholarship fund for that program. Statesman-Journal (Salem, Ore.) (tiered subscription model) (3/23)
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On the Economy
Consumers are expected to increase spending
After two months of negative factors weighing against consumers, spending growth seen this year is expected to pick up. Reduced debt, rising employment and declining energy costs also are seen as stimulants. "Headwinds in February were temporary. They are going to be tailwinds in March," said Neil Dutta, head of U.S. economics at Renaissance Macro Research. Bloomberg (3/25)
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Building Your Practice
How to get the new worker trained quickly
To bring new hires into your corporate fold, first teach them the fundamentals that are specific to your business, such as how to greet customers, how to create reports and use company resources, writes Chris Kirby, senior business consultant with Securities America Financial. The other key steps: Get the new employees trained on the basics of your industry, using outside resources, and then teach the workers to seek out their own additional training. Financial-Planning.com/The Productivity Expert blog (3/21)
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SmartQuote
There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it."
-- Charles Edward Montague,
British journalist
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