In a survey of workers who participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, 71 percent said they wanted their employers to increase their savings rate automatically by 1 percent each year. Some plans have auto-escalation features that increase workers' contributions by a percentage point on an annual basis.
Regardless of whether you save by default or by choice, increasing your retirement contributions could make a big difference in the amount you accumulate during your working years.
Although there's nothing magical about a 1 percent annual increase, it may be a manageable way to get closer to an appropriate contribution level for your age and personal situation. Industry estimates suggest that workers need to save 13 percent to 15 percent of salary throughout their careers to fund a retirement lifestyle equivalent to their pre-retirement standards of living. People who don't start saving until later in life may have to save a higher percentage.
The fact that businesses come and go is no surprise to anyone. Taking the current economy into consideration, many businesses are suffering. As business owners, we are trained to hang in there and ride out the storm. We are taught to sacrifice and put everything into the business.
To an owner, the business is like a child that was birthed. A failing business is a painful thing to endure because it is no longer fun. Both the owner and employees dread coming to work.
Win by any means necessary is the motto for many owners. Unfortunately, the conversation involving when to shut the business down is all too rare. Few want to admit failure or defeat. They do not even want to think about closing down.
Too many times pride stands in the way of folks asking for help. But if you are a small business, asking for help is the only way to stay above the fray. One area that business owners tend to run from is tax preparation.
Whether the business is fledgling or experienced, tax preparation is always dreaded. It is a necessary evil that cannot be avoided under any circumstance.
Here's a snapshot of the tax issues that can arise and detrimentally affect a business:
This is a question you could soon begin asking as a recent rise in interest rates contributed to price declines in many bond funds. News the Federal Reserve feels comfortable enough with the strength and state of our economy to consider a change in current monetary policy is, without doubt, a positive development. Unfortunately, for some bond investors, good news may be bad news!
Bond prices and yields have an inverse relationship, meaning they move in opposite directions. This means as yields (interest rates) rise, bond prices (values) can fall. Many investors – driven by fear, the need for income, increasing underweight allocations, or other factors – have invested heavily in bonds. Over the past five years, this demand has helped drive bond prices higher, lowering yields and subjecting many investors to the often ignored or forgotten risks associated with these investments, one of which is "interest rate risk".
"Interest rate risk" is a term used to describe how an investment's value will change due to an increase or decrease in interest rates. As a simple example: a bond yielding 4 percent is more valuable to investors if interest rates fall to 2 percent and is less valuable to investors if interest rates rise to 6 percent. This is because their fixed interest income would either be greater than or less than what a new investor would receive purchasing a bond at current rates. Interest rate risk affects all bondholders, but typically bonds with longer maturities and/or lower yields are most impacted.
WASHINGTON – Cheryl Lofton had never intended to be a small business owner. Her grandfather, J.C. Lofton, was the first African American to own a tailoring school and related business in Washington, D.C. She spent her summers working with him, learning the craft. She was able to earn money while enrolled at Howard University by ironing, mending, and tailoring her classmates' clothes.
When her grandfather became ill, she found herself spending more time on the business – including purchasing a new building – and less time sewing and attending to financial matters.
"The day I opened the doors to the new building was the day he died," she recalls. "I was the first college-educated person in my family, and I went so I wouldn't have to join the family business. But my conscience wouldn't let me let the business go under. At the time, no one else in the family was interested or able."
Quality childcare is not just about babysitting and entertaining the child. As competition amongst centers increases, so does the need to offer a creative and learning environment where a child's appetite for learning is stimulated.
Tiffany Glover, owner of The Academy of Creative Learning, makes it her mission to challenge and develop young minds at her three-star academy. Equipped with an advanced degree and credentials, Glover prides herself on heading up a staff of like-minded professionals that use every opportunity to educate and motivate the children in their care.
Carlee McCullough: Tell me about yourself?
Tiffany Glover: I am the owner of The Academy of Creative Learning. I hold an MBA and I have over 18 years of professional experience as a human resources professional, entrepreneur, leader, early childhood educator and consultant. Additionally, I have a credential as a Tennessee Early Childhood Administrator (master level).
NEW YORK – About 1 in 6 unemployed workers are addicted to alcohol or drugs – almost twice the rate for full-time workers, according to the government's National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The survey shows that 17 percent of unemployed workers had a substance abuse disorder last year, whereas 9 percent of full-time workers did so. The numbers are self-reported, and therefore, could be even higher in reality.
Substance dependence is defined by several factors, including having withdrawals, repeatedly using a substance over the course of one month and witnessing related adverse effects at home, work or school. Addictions to alcohol, illegal drugs and misused prescription drugs are all included.