We’ve all heard the sentiment that you may as well be throwing money away if you’re renting a home, but is that really the case? The answer is that it depends on your specific situation: your needs, finances, and future plans! Home ownership can be beneficial under the right circumstances, but it’s not all sunshine and white-picket fences and while renting may be convenient, you are at the whim of a landlord. There are upsides and downsides to both options and you may find one appealing over the other at different stages in life. We’ll help you explore the factors to consider before deciding whether to rent or buy!
It’s no secret that the earlier you’re able to start saving for retirement, the better. Since private company pensions have virtually gone extinct and Social Security benefits are intended to only cover a portion of your working wages, the brunt of saving for retirement falls on your shoulders. With this in mind, you may wonder how much you should be saving as you progress through your career and how your current savings compare to others in your age range. Fortunately plenty of research has been conducted on these topics to help us all find clarity in the great feat that is saving for our later years!
We focus the discussion below on median retirement savings because it gives a more accurate representation as averages can be skewed by outliers: those with very low retirement savings or those with extremely high savings. [Read more…]
As environmental and social justice matters continue to make national headlines, you may be wondering if your financial investments align with your personal beliefs and values.
In recent years, the concept of socially responsible investing gave rise to the practice of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing, which uses those guidelines to build a sustainable and ethical portfolio. Potential investments are screened for a variety of factors in each category to ensure that investments are made in companies whose leadership has demonstrated through ethical practices and policies that they care about people and the planet. Like all investing, there are both pros and cons, and it’s important to work with a financial company or advisor who is transparent and trustworthy when deciding if and how to begin ESG investing.
The lack of Americans’ retirement savings, referred to as “retirement insecurity”, is a topic we are hearing more and more about as the Boomer generation ages into retirement. Private company pensions are few and far between these days, putting the onus of saving for retirement on individuals, rather than corporations. Compounding the issue of the lack of retirement savings is the fact that Americans are living longer and will need to save more to cover living expenses and potentially higher medical costs later in life. Elected officials have responded to the potential crisis by enacting legislation such as the SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) and the OregonSaves program.
It’s no secret that many firms today offer 401(k) retirement plans to their employees, but if your firm is offering a Roth option in its 401(k) plan, it may be worth considering for your retirement savings.
Like a Traditional 401(k), a Roth 401(k) is a retirement savings plan offered by employers to facilitate their employees saving for retirement. The key difference is that the Roth 401(k) is funded with post‐tax dollars, whereas contributions to a Traditional 401(k) are made prior to paying income tax. The funds in both accounts grow tax‐free, meaning no capital gains tax is owed on the growth of the investments, and the annual contribution limits are the same.