Thinking Money Over the Holidays

The PBS documentary Thinking Money: The Psychology Behind Our Best and Worst Financial Decisions probably won’t take root as a holiday tradition like gathering the family round to watch It’s a Wonderful Life. But it’s sure to be a worthwhile reprieve from binge-watching A Christmas Story and other holiday TV classics. For more information on when Thinking Money is airing and to watch short clips from the show, check out this website. >> Discussion: What would you do with a …

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 …

Be Thankful, Not Wasteful

Thanksgiving is sometimes known as the “season of plenty,” a celebration associated with a bountiful fall harvest. But Thanksgiving also serves as a reminder that “bounty” can quickly turn into “waste” when it comes to cooking more food than your hungry holiday crowd can possibly eat, and then dumping what’s left in the trash can. In fact, according to an article in U.S. News and World Report, Americans end up throwing away about 25 percent of the food they prepare …

Picking a Financial Adviser? This Tool Can Help

Investors are generally advised to check the background of brokers or other financial professionals before doing business with them. Yet, how many of us really do that, even though it could protect our life savings? It’s safe to say, not a lot. One reason: Even though this information is available online, it’s not been that easy to navigate the multiple websites to find it. >> Should You Invest in Collectibles? Now the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has created the CFTC SmartCheck, …

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 …

Creating Effective State-Sponsored Retirement Plans

By Gary Koenig, Vice President, Financial Security, and David John, Senior Policy Adviser, Financial Security State-sponsored retirement savings plans can help private-sector workers not covered by employer plans build financial security. How many workers? More than you might think. In 2013, about 55 million private-sector employees did not have access to a retirement plan at work, including more than 7 million in California, 2 million in Illinois, and about 1 million each in Indiana and Maryland. Research shows that middle …