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Retirement Plan Is Key to Confidence, Survey Finds

Retirement confidence is highest among workers who say they or their spouse have a retirement plan, such as a work-sponsored plan or an individual retirement account (IRA), reports the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). In its 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey, EBRI found that 28% of those with a retirement plan said they were "very confident" about their ability to afford retirement, compared with just 12% of those without a plan.

In addition, 34% of workers who said they or their spouse have a retirement plan had saved at least $100,000 for retirement, while 64% of those without a plan say they had saved less than $1,000.

Notifying USCIS of a Change of Address

Notifying USCIS of a Change of Address

 

Nearly every alien holding status in the U.S is required to inform USCIS of a change of address to a new non-temporary residence. Specifically, aliens residing in the U.S. are required to report this change within 10 days of relocating within the U.S. The only individuals who are exempt from this rule include diplomats, official government representatives to an international organization, and certain nonimmigrants who do not possess a visa and who are physically present in the U.S. for fewer than 30 days. 

If you fall within one of the following categories, you are legally obligated to comply with the requirements below:

ABLE Accounts: A New Savings Tool for Individuals with Disabilities

If you or a family member has a disability that began before the age of 26, you may be able to benefit from a new type of savings account called an ABLE account. This savings option was made available through the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 that was signed into law in December as part of the tax extenders bill. The ABLE Act authorized the establishment of private tax-advantaged savings accounts that can help you save for long-term expenses without sacrificing eligibility for public benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Are stock dividends reliable as a source of income?

Dividends can be an important source of income. However, there are several factors you should take into consideration if you'll be relying on them to help pay the bills.

An increasing dividend is generally regarded as a sign of a company's health and stability, and most corporate boards are reluctant to cut them. However, dividends on common stock are by no means guaranteed; the board can decide to reduce or eliminate dividend payments. Investing in dividend-paying stocks isn't as simple as just picking the highest yield; consider whether the company's cash flow can sustain its dividend, and whether a high yield is simply a function of a drop in a stock's share price. (Because a stock's dividend yield is calculated by dividing the annual dividend by the current market price per share, a lower share value typically means a higher yield, assuming the dividend itself remains the same.)

How important are dividends in the S&P 500's total returns?

In a word, very. Dividend income has represented roughly one-third of the total return on the Standard & Poor's 500 index since 1926.*

According to S&P, the portion of total return attributable to dividends has ranged from a high of 53% during the 1940s--in other words, more than half that decade's return resulted from dividends--to a low of 14% during the 1990s, when the development and rapid expansion of the Internet meant that investors tended to focus on growth.*

And in individual years, the contribution of dividends can be even more dramatic. In 2011, the index's 2.11% average dividend component represented 100% of its total return, since the index's value actually fell by three-hundredths of a point.** And according to S&P, the dividend component of the total return on the S&P 500 has been far more stable than price changes, which can be affected by speculation and fickle market sentiment.

Millennials vs. Boomers: How Wide Is the Gap?

Can you tell the difference between the attitudes of baby boomers and millennials when it comes to finances? Take this quiz and see.

Texting versus email (or even snail mail). Angry Birds versus Monopoly. "The Theory of Everything" versus "The Sound of Music." "Dancing with the Stars" versus "American Bandstand."

It's no secret that there are a lot of differences between baby boomers, born between 1946-1964, and millennials, who were generally born after 1980 (though there is disagreement over the precise time frame for millennials). But when it comes to finances, there may not be as much difference in some areas as you might expect. See if you can guess which generation is more likely to have made the following statements.

Boomer or millennial?

1) I have enough money to lead the life I want, or believe I will in the future.

2) My high school degree has increased my potential earning power.

Visa Issues Continue as Experts Try to Restore System

Visa Issues Continue as Experts Try to Restore System

 

As we reported last week, the Bureau of Consular Affairs continues to face technological issues with its visa systems. The Department of State (DOS) posted a statement yesterday that it endeavors to have the system fully reconnected this week. As of noon yesterday, 22 posts around the world have been reconnected. This represents approximately half of the global nonimmigrant visa volume. 

The agency stated that it has made good progress as it processes the large backlog of cases created by the system shutdown. Some posts were able to handle visa interviews as well as some visa printing by the end of last week. Several posts have also begun rescheduling visa appointments.