Guard Your Home Equity With Your Life

Home ownership is the foundation of middle-class wealth. The home equity asset is created when mortgages are paid down. It represents the difference between what your house is worth and what you owe on your mortgage. African Americans are less likely to own homes than others — fewer than half of all African Americans own their homes, compared with 66 percent for others. With fewer assets, however, we often have more pressure to tap into home equity than others. >> …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. The average cost of a wedding stands at $32,213, including $555 for the cake. (Learn more at The Knot) 2. Social Security records erroneously show that 6.5 million people in the United States have reached the age of 112. (Learn more at Associated Press) 3. Barbra, Nanette, Sondra, Elmo and Waldo are on their way to extinction as baby names. (Learn more at Yahoo! Parenting!) 4. The zorro bubble-nest frog, Amsterdam albatross and tropical …

Could You Retire From Your Job in Debt?

Think about retiring from your job with no savings — not even a little bit — just debt. Unfortunately this is the case for one in five Utahans, according to a new study released recently by Notalys LLC. This news is troubling, to say the least. To make matters worse, with 45 percent of working-age households having nothing — zero dollars — saved toward retirement, what’s playing out in Utah could have significance nationwide. That’s why Utah and other states around …

Groundbreaking Law Will Help 2.5 Million Workers Retire With Confidence

”Great news from Illinois: A new law will help 2.5 million workers retire with confidence. Signed by former Gov. Quinn this year, the Illinois Secure Choice Program gives millions of state residents a way to save for their future at work — a tool that increases savings rates by 15 times.  Upon signing the bill, Gov. Quinn shared, “This is a special … opportunity, for all of us to go forward at helping people save for retirement. Secure Choice is …

The $64,000 Question: Where Did My Retirement Savings Go?

Investment advice should be free of conflicts of interest The way Americans save for retirement has changed drastically over the past few decades. Thirty years ago, the typical worker had a pension through his or her job. Today, if workers have a retirement plan at all, it is likely a 401(k) or IRA. Why does this matter? Because now more than ever, individuals must make the complicated decisions about financial security in retirement: what to invest in, how much, how to …

What Happens to Your Pension When the Company Goes Bust?

Studebaker auto workers found out the hard way in 1963. When the Studebaker Corp. shut down its plant in South Bend, Ind., workers who had been promised pensions saw their hard-earned benefits vanish in an instant. Instead of receiving fixed payments throughout retirement, thousands of employees were forced to take one-time lump sums worth a fraction of what they’d earned. Thousands more received no benefits at all. The Studebaker Corp. had been promising pension benefits to its employees, but in …