Obama Proposes Middle-Class Tax Breaks

In his penultimate State of the Union address, President Barack Obama on Tuesday night announced wide-ranging proposals he said would improve the economic prospects of the middle class, including helping families pay for college and child care, while giving more workers access to retirement plans. To help pay for these expanded benefits, the president also wants to increase the taxes paid on inherited assets of higher-income households. Many agree that it’s a long shot the president will get his wish list — …

Silence Could Be Costly in Family Financial Planning

Parents and their adult children say they want to have honest conversations about finances and retirement issues, but they just don’t agree on when to talk, according to a survey released today by Fidelity Investments. And when these discussions do eventually occur, they often don’t get down to the details needed for proper financial planning, the Boston-based investment firm found. Lauren Brouhard, senior vice president of retirement at Fidelity, urges families to bite the bullet and talk – before parents retire …

Living Alone: One Man’s Lament Touches Nerve With Readers

An emotionally moving essay in the Washington Post last week about the loneliness and frustrations of assisted living has sparked an equally emotional outpouring from readers. More than 530 readers commented online and many sent letters after 62-year-old Martin Bayne wrote about his experience with impersonal administrators, underpaid but hardworking staff, lonely residents, and rooms that, ironically, aren’t set up for people in wheelchairs. Bayne acknowledged that, outwardly, his facility is impressive — clean, attractive, with good quality food and …