There is definitely no shortage of thought-provoking articles on the Web. Here's a few of the most interesting ones we read this week. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and opinions, or to recommend some articles of your own.
When life insurance ‘guarantees’ don’t add up
"With all of the “ifs“ and “buts“ in an insurance contract, how can anyone get to the bottom of the investment in a “combination“ product—that is, an insurance policy with an investment component?"
A New Commission: Time to Cheer or Yawn?
(The New York Times)
"The fate of the Class Act, which would have established the nation’s first voluntary public long-term care insurance program, was sealed in 2011 when the Obama administration shut it down, essentially calling it unworkable."
Four Key Questions for Health-Care Law
(The Wall Street Journal)
"Thanks to the Supreme Court and Barack Obama's re-election, the Affordable Care Act—"Obamacare" to foes and a few of its friends—isn't going away. The issue now is how it will work."
Less-Trusting Millennial Investors Post Challenge to Advisors
"Millennial investors have emerged from two boom-and-bust cycles more conservative about investing and more skeptical of financial advice than older generations who were hit hardest by the market, according to an Accenture survey released Wednesday."
How entrepreneurs can get big tax breaks for retirement savings
"Egged on by economists and Congress, more employers are automatically enrolling workers into 401(k) plans. The self-employed, by contrast, must decide to save for retirement and then pick their way through a maze of different plans, each with its own benefits and gotchas. But there’s a payoff: They’re permitted to sock a lot more away on a tax-favored basis than ordinary wage slaves."
The U.S. must embrace a growth agenda
"A weak economy and limited job creation make growth in middle-class incomes all but impossible, add pressure to budgets by restricting tax revenue and threaten essential private and public investments in education and innovation. Worse, they undermine the American example at a dangerous time in the world."
Overnight Health: White House rules out raising Medicare age
"It's not altogether surprising — Democrats firmly backed away from the Medicare change during the last round of budget negotiations, and congressional Republicans didn't push especially hard. But by backing away from its own proposal on the Medicare age, the White House is eliminating one option to save more than $100 billion over the next decade, and probably more over the longer term (because the change would gradually phased in more than 10 years)."
Obama’s Minimum Wage Gamble
"He tried to make the idea sound bipartisan: 'Working folks shouldn't have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up while CEO pay has never been higher. So here's an idea that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on last year: let's tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on.'"
Are Annuities Solution to Old 4% Retirement Rule?
"While the word 'annuity' may be a dirty one for clients who have traditionally sought aggressive investment returns (or worried about their high costs), the evidence cannot be ignored: new studies suggest that annuities are a competitive alternative to the newly old-fashioned 4% rule. For those clients unwilling to modify their retirement income planning strategy so dramatically, many advisors have discovered a new method for determining retirement withdrawal rates, inspired by the system used by the IRS itself."