Wal-Mart estimates that plans for new and remodeled stores will involve 24,000 construction jobs. The retailer is among companies focusing on domestic hiring and investment.
Rising interest rates might borrowing money harder for solar projects, and possible loss of the solar investment tax credit makes projects riskier. Surety bonds can reduce risk and make banks more likely to provide financing, an executive writes.
Remodeling can make a great difference in comfort and safety for those planning to stay in their home in retirement. Suggested renovations include ones that address accessibility, greeting guests and augmenting income.
Even the best-laid retirement plans go awry, with workers forced into retirement earlier than planned and therefore drawing down funds sooner than expected. Having a Plan B is important, and five steps can help, including keeping work skills honed.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not even half of the employees in small businesses have access to a 401(k) or pension, compared to 90% at large companies. Lacking stable revenues and the knowledge to properly set up a retirement plan are usually the two biggest challenges, says Larry Sher, an actuary at October Three Consulting.
Voya Financial plans to introduce a new fixed-indexed annuity in February as higher interest rates are expected to benefit life insurance and annuity products. Further interest-rate increases open the door to higher crediting rates, which could drive a rebound in the FIA market, says Chad Tope of Voya.
Employee-benefits lawyer Fred Reish says the Labor Department has given annuity sellers some certainty with a new fiduciary-rule FAQ saying a group annuity contract will be considered a "platform or similar mechanism" rather than an investment. "As a result, insurance companies can market their group variable-annuity contracts to 401(k) plans without concern of fiduciary status due to the annuity component," Reish says.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has outlined on its website some of the financial transactions, events and trends that can be early warnings that a single-employer defined-benefit retirement plan is at risk of distress.
Even financial experts encounter surprises when they retire. They say planning can't address every potential retirement scenario, discuss the benefits of aging in place with one's mortgage paid off, and offer other advice.
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