Social Security trust funds projected to run dry by 2034

The recent Social Security trustees report calls for congressional action to keep the program solvent

Jon VoglerTime to read: 2 min

On June 5, the Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report on the long-term financial stability of the Social Security trust funds. The report found that the combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASDI) are projected to become depleted in 2034 (the same finding as last year’s report), with 79% payable at that time (slightly higher than last year’s projected 77% figure).


Three ways a 529 plan could help your star student earn their stripes in college

A 529 plan can be a powerful tool in your college savings strategy

Time to read: 2 min

Every year, Americans celebrate Independence Day with a host of time-honored traditions. From parades and pool parties to barbecues and fireworks, the American flag is a constant fixture throughout the day, its stars and stripes waving proudly against the summer sky. This July 4, I’m reminded of another special tradition: flying the college flag.


Less than 40% of workers feel their retirement savings are on track

A recent Federal Reserve Board study shows that less than half of non-retired adults feel confident about their retirement savings

Jon VoglerTime to read: 2 min

According to a May 2018 report from the Federal Reserve Board, less than 40% of non-retired adults think their retirement savings are on track — while over 40% feel their savings are not on course, and about 20% are not sure.

The “Report on the Economic Well-Being of US Households in 2017” draws from the Board’s fifth annual Survey of Household Economics and Decision-Making, which polled more than 12,000 people in November and December 2017.

Respondents’ answers varied with the amount of current savings and time remaining until retirement.


How do summer jobs affect 529s and financial aid?

Your teen’s summer gig can prepare them for the future — and help them save for college

Time to read: 2 min

Longer days and warmer weather can only mean one thing: Summer has finally arrived. As another school year comes to a close, your teenager’s calendar may be filling up with beach trips, pool parties — and perhaps a summer job.

Your teen may be focused on the opportunity to earn a little extra spending money, but I believe a job does more than keep kids busy during the dog days of summer: It can set up young adults for a lifetime of success down the road. These days, employers tend to favor candidates with experience over education, and summer jobs add to their resume. A resume packed with work experience can offer a powerful complement to your child’s college degree (as well as a competitive edge) when they begin their career.

Looking at the big picture


DOL fiduciary rule is all but gone

Focus switches to SEC standards of conduct for broker-dealers and investment advisors

Jon VoglerTime to read: 4 min

I’ve been writing about the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule for several years, but I may soon need to write the obituary.

In the most recent edition of Washington Insights, we discussed the latest — and likely final — chapter in the DOL fiduciary rule saga. On March 15, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals voted to vacate (or nullify) the rule. The DOL had until April 30 to appeal the verdict to either the same three-judge panel or to the full Fifth Circuit. But that deadline has passed, meaning that the rule should be officially vacated soon (unless a third party successfully intervenes in place of the DOL to defend the rule).

The AARP and


Operating without a net

The benefits and risks of adding a lifetime income rider to a variable annuity

What is probably the most difficult set of decisions faced by any financial advisor? Wading through the countless financial products available and selecting what is best for a client. Variable annuities (VAs) are a popular choice for those desiring an income-focused investment approach, and there are a variety of riders that can be used to tailor benefits to a client’s unique needs. Let’s examine the lifetime income rider,1 and how accepting or declining this feature may affect asset allocation considerations within a portfolio.

First, a brief refresher — a variable annuity is a long-term, tax-deferred investment contract usually written by an insurance company. In return for an up-front payment(s), the contract is designed to provide investors with a way to accumulate funds and then distribute those funds as income later on — typically during retirement.

The lifetime income rider

What is it?