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Mortgage refinancing applications surged in the second week of March 2020, jumping by 79% — the largest weekly increase since November 2008. As a result, the Mortgage Bankers Association nearly doubled its 2020 refinance originations forecast to $1.2 trillion, the strongest refinance volume since 2012.1

Low mortgage interest rates have prompted many homeowners to think about…

Dramatic market turbulence has been common in 2020, and you can't help but hear about the frequent ups and downs of the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the S&P 500 index. The performance of these major indexes is widely reported and analyzed in detail by financial news outlets around the nation.

Both the Dow and the S&P 500 track the stocks of large domestic companies. But with…

As the number of COVID-19 cases began to skyrocket in March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The legislation may make it easier for Americans to access money in their retirement plans, temporarily waiving the 10% early-withdrawal penalty and increasing the amount they could borrow. Understanding these new guidelines and the other rules for…

The Roth "five-year rule" typically refers to when you can take tax-free distributions of earnings from your Roth IRA, Roth 401(k), or other work-based Roth account. The rule states that you must wait five years after making your first contribution, and the distribution must take place after age 59½, when you become disabled, or when your beneficiaries inherit the assets after your death. Roth…

The first part of 2020 was rocky, but there should be better days ahead. Taking a close look at your finances may give you the foundation you need to begin moving forward. Mid-year is an ideal time to do so, because the planning opportunities are potentially greater than if you waited until the end of the year.

Renew Your Resolutions

At the beginning of the year, you may have vowed to…

Your ability to earn an income may be your most valuable asset. It might be difficult to make ends meet if you are unable to work due to illness or injury.

According to one report, only 34% of men and 20% of women said they felt extremely confident in supporting their households during a period of income loss.1 It's important to assess your own situation and determine whether you have…

About 80 million Americans actively participate in employer-sponsored defined contribution plans such as 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) plans.1 If you are among this group, you've taken a big step on the road to retirement, but as with any investment, it's important that you understand your plan and what it can do for you. Here are a few ways to make the most of this workplace benefit.

By now you know that Congress has passed a $2 trillion relief bill to help keep individuals and businesses afloat during these difficult times. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act contains many provisions. Here are five that may benefit you or your business.

1. Recovery Rebates

Many Americans will receive a one-time cash payment of $1,200. Each U.S. resident…

An ongoing study of IRA accounts has consistently found that women, on average, have lower retirement savings balances than men (see chart). Though there may be multiple reasons for this disparity, the most fundamental are the wage gap between men and women and the fact that women are more likely than men to take time off to care for children and other family members.1

The wage gap is…

Social Security is much more than a retirement program. Most Americans are protected by the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program — the official name of Social Security — from birth through old age. Here are four times in your life when Social Security might matter to you or the people you care about.

Source: Social Security Administration, 2019

When You…