Cosigning child’s student loans ‘risky business’

Just a few weeks ago, thousands of proud Kern County families watched their students walk across auditorium stages and into exciting lives as college students. Those were proud moments. But now, reality has set in. How are those college educations going to be financed? For the top of the class and financially needy, there will … Read more

Workplace advising becomes ‘hot’ benefit

The “hot” employee benefit for 2017 is financial wellness programs, according to surveys of the nation’s employers. These programs can focus on a variety of areas, including debt management, budgeting, financial planning, etc. A much-quoted survey by human resources consultant Aon Hewitt revealed 55 percent of companies already offer their employees some help in at … Read more

Congress complicates Social Security strategies

Kern Business Journal February 16, 2016 Once upon a time – not so long ago – Americans nearing their full retirement age of 66 walked with a bit of a swagger, as they anticipated using tactics that could expand their Social Security income by many tens of thousands of dollars. They planned to use strategies … Read more

Happy birthday! Will you have the money to retire?

The Bakersfield Californian January 2016 Many of my friends and I are celebrating our 40th birthdays. It’s a landmark birthday that calls for great parties. It is also the perfect time for us to check our retirement plans. When it comes to retirement saving, our 40s is a critical decade. It is when most of … Read more

Oh no! Will being laid off scuttle retirement plans?

Kern Business Journal December 2015 It’s a common problem prompting a common question: I have just been laid off. What should I do with my retirement money? During the layoff frenzy of the Great Recession of 2009, I was answering this question nearly every day until economic recovery kicked in and people returned to work. … Read more

Investors: Adjust strategy as higher interest rates loom

Kern Business Journal October 2015 It’s not a question of “if.” Rather, it is a question of “when” will interest rates increase? Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen has held firm to her promise to keep interest rates at an historic low – basically zero since 2008 – until the U.S. economy shows real signs … Read more

Financial Wellness – More states are entering retirement savings business

Kern Business Journal August 2015 Illinois and Washington already have approved state-run retirement plans for employees of private companies. Oregon is following the trend. And at least 25 other states, including California, are studying the feasibility of starting programs. Small business owners must brace for the likelihood that state governments soon will be operating payroll-deducted retirement savings programs for … Read more