The credit crisis of 2008 hit U.S. consumers in two key ways: reduced wealth and lowered income. The wealth part has come back with the improvements in the housing and stock markets. But the income part has not recovered, and remains lower than pre-crisis. In fact, incomes are growing at a lower rate than before the crisis. [link]
40%: American workers who saved for retirement in an employer plan last year
Only 40% of American workers took part in their employer's retirement savings plan last year, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Despite the tough economy, this number is troublingly low. In fact, the US dropped down to 11th place in the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index, a ranking of international retirement systems. This is a decrease of two spots in the index from last year, and further reiterates the growing issue of Americans not saving enough, especially for their increasing life spans.
In these uncertain financial times, retirement may seem like a far off dream. However, it is possible to prepare for a solid future in a number of ways. Starting to save for retirement early, investing wisely, and using catch up payments are all ways to make sure that you won't outlive your savings. [link]
The rise in home values has had a positive influence on consumers in the US, through a so-called “wealth effect.” And consumption is critical in the US economy. The dependency of consumption on consumer confidence and the subsequent reliance of the economy on consumption leaves the economy too vulnerable to financial market conditions. [link]
As stock, bond and housing values rise, consumers tend to feel wealthier, leading them to spend more. That increase in spending comes about not from rising incomes but because consumers are saving less. However, without growing incomes, the economy remains too vulnerable to financial market conditions such as interest rates. The Fed has focused on this recently, but what will they do next? http://goo.gl/FcaFw3
Saving for retirement is hard enough. Unfortunately, many of us make it even harder, often without even realizing it. Here are six things that worry about your 401(k) – and what you can do to help alleviate those worries. http://www.blackrockblog.com/2013/08/26/6-worry-401k/
Don't wait to get your shingles vaccine! If you want to avoid the chance of getting a painful case of shingles, the sooner you get your vaccine the better.
Getting the vaccine when you are between the ages of 50 and 59 will cut your risk of shingles by 70%. If you wait until you are between 60 and 69 the vaccine will cut your chances by 50%. But if you are over the age of 70, you should consult with your doctor because the benefit of the shingles vaccine may be too small to be worth the effort.
Did you know that ID Theft of children is 51 times higher than that of adults? Almost 10% of kids have their ID stolen!
The reason experts believe this is happening is because kid's information is held in many places that have lower security like schools, camps and day care centers. So what should you do? Once a year run a child identity inquiry with all the big credit bureaus like Equifax, Experian and Trans-Union. If there is any indication of tampering with their identity then follow the procedures recommended by the credit agency.
It also makes sense to file a report with your local police department. They will not take action but it creates a record of the theft in case proof is needed in the future.