The Retirement Channel

What Investors Want Most in Investment Reporting

Trust is core to the relationship that financial professionals build with their clients, but certain issues that impact that relationship are out of the advisor's control. Performance reporting is clearly under your control, and our research shows what advisors need to do to respond to their clients’ concerns.

Factoring a Gap Year into College Savings

Can 529 funds be used for gap-year expenses? I recently had a parent ask me if their child’s 529 college savings account money could be used to help pay for gap-year expenses. Here’s the short answer: Maybe.

Retirement Update

Financial professionals provide a retirement update as they share perspectives on emerging trends and conditions affecting older individuals and their advisors.

Automation and Anxiety

With artificial intelligence now trained on more commercial applications, many are wondering what other things machines might eventually do better than people. And that prospect is creating economic unease around the world.

“Mother of All Bubbles” Keeps Gold in Focus

Today I want to discuss reports that global debt levels are at all-time highs, and what this means for your investment decisions going forward.

Schwab Market Perspective: Are Danger Signs Rising…or Will the Bull Run Continue?

Are risks growing or will the bull market continue? We believe the answer to both is yes. Political bumbling, monetary policy shifts, and geopolitical tensions have all escalated, but the bull continues to power ahead, largely unscathed by the tumult that surrounds it.

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear about Social Security!

If you’re like many working Americans, you may be concerned about the state of Social Security and whether it will be there for you when you retire. Gail Buckner, CFP, our personal retirement and financial planning strategist, explores some myths about Social Security and eases some concerns about its future.

Housing Finance Reform: First Things First

Why is the U.S. housing sector diminishing when demand for housing remains robust?

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Down Another 15K

Today's seasonally adjusted 233K new claims, down 15K from last week's revised number, was better than the forecast of 245K.

Five Decades of Middle-Class Wages: June 2017 Update

We've updated this series to include Friday's release of the Consumer Price Index as the deflator and the June monthly update. The latest hypothetical real (inflation-adjusted) annual earnings are at $37,121, down 12.5% from 44 years ago.

Misperceiving Risk and Pricing for Perception

Low Treasury yields and high equity prices aren’t necessarily contradictory. Both suggest expectations of continued unexciting growth, low inflation and a steady Fed. What could go wrong?

Despite Scary Headlines, No Big Changes to Social Security’s Outlook

Every year the Trustees of the US Social Security and Medicare trust funds provide their report on the current and projected financial status of these programs.

More & More Americans Having to Work Past Age 70

Nearly one-fifth (19%) of Americans age 70 to 74 were still in the workforce as of the end of June, according to the latest jobs report from the Labor Department on July 7. Some are working because they are healthy and enjoy their work. Most, however, are still working because they haven’t saved nearly enough for retirement.

Just more of the same…

Some good data below so I won’t draw out this intro. Stay focused overseas. Keep an eye on earnings which will hopefully be better than the reception that the big banks received on Friday. (But don’t worry, the bank disappointments were interest margin and loan growth caused, not credit related.)

The Big Four Economic Indicators: June Real Retail Sales

Note: With Friday's release of June Retail Sales and the Consumer Price Index, we've updated this commentary to include the latest Real Retail Sales. Month-over-month nominal sales in June fell by 0.2% (0.16% to two decimals). Real Retail Sales, calculated with the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index, also fell by 0.1% (0.13% to two decimals). The chart gives us a close look at the monthly data points in this series since the end of the last recession in mid-2009. The linear regression helps us identify variance from the trend.