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 — …

Job Gains for the 55-Plus: Not Too Shabby

Employers capped a year of solid hiring by adding 252,000 jobs to the economy in December — and older workers welcomed those gains. The national unemployment rate for people 55-plus dipped by 0.6 percent to 3.9 percent last month, a bigger monthly decline than the rate for workers overall, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Better still, workers 55 and older saw their jobless rate fall over the past year from 5.1 percent in December 2013. Older women seemed …

House Rule Sets Up Election-Year Battle Over Social Security

Buried in new rules that will govern the House for the next two years is a provision that could force an explosive battle over Social Security’s finances on the eve of the 2016 presidential election. The Social Security disability program has been swamped by aging boomers, and unless Congress acts, the trust fund that supports it is projected to run dry in late 2016. At that point, the program will collect only enough payroll taxes to pay 81 percent of …

Reimagine Your Life Through Quiet Time

Here we are again: the hustle and bustle, the family, the parties — and for many, there’s the added stress, pressures and the noises of life. Well, we can also make this a time for refreshing, renewing and reimagining our lives for the future. As the holiday season is in full swing and we approach a new year, I recently had a great Black Community Book Club conversation with music mogul, entrepreneur, philanthropist and best-selling author Russell Simmons about his new …

Making Social Security Work for Women

Social Security is gender neutral, meaning men and women earning the same amount in their careers should receive the same size benefit. In reality, a woman’s benefit on average is lower than a man’s — $1,103 vs. $1,417 in 2012 — because her work and personal experiences are rarely the same. Women tend to earn less — an average of 78 cents for every $1 a man makes. They are more likely to be in low-paying jobs without pensions and to …

Small-Business Owners Agree: Secure Choice Is Right for Illinois

BREAKING UPDATE 12/2/14: The Illinois House of Representatives passed the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program.   I want to bring your attention to something happening right now in Illinois that could give small businesses a competitive edge and help millions of Illinois workers have a secure financial future — but time is running out. Only three days remain for the state House of Representatives to pass the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program and give over 2 million Illinoisans a pathway to …