Terry Savage’s Archives
Below you will find the columns terry has written by date.
Below you will find the columns terry has written by date.
Meet the Market
The stock market has traded in a fairly narrow range in recent weeks, holding its breath for a deal on the debt ceiling and for signs of oncoming recession. The market is also awaiting future Fed actions. Bulls and bears have been in a standoff – debating whether a weaker economy will cause the Fed..
Long Term Care Insurance & Inflation
A recent survey from the Senior Citizens League detailed the impact of inflation on the items senior consumers purchase most often. Over the past 23 years – from 2000 to 2023 – they point out that Social Security increased benefits by 78%, averaging 3.4% annually. But during the same period, the cost of goods and..
More SS Horror Stories
I recently posted a column telling the story of an older woman, a widow recovering from heart surgery, who was being harassed by Social Security demanding a “clawback” of more than $88,000 in benefits she had received over the years – all because they made a mistake in calculating her benefits. Social Security threatened to..
Scary Scam Story
I’m going to tell you a scary story. Or rather, I’m going to let the person involved tell you his true story – one that should make you aware how easy it is for your parents – or you – to get drawn into a financial scam. Technology has enabled fraudsters to grab your money..
People tend to avoid the discussion of estate planning because no one likes to think about their mortality. Plus, there’s the presumption that only the wealthy have an “estate” that needs planning. But many moderate-income families may have a very special need to do some simple estate planning. If they arrange their assets properly, they..
I Bond Rates Drop Sharply
Updated 04/29/23 The new rate for Series I bonds purchased after May 1, 2023 is 4.30%. That includes a new higher base rate of 0.90%, which will stay with the bond for its entire lifetime. Future inflation adjustments on these bonds will be made on top of that 0.90% fixed base rate. The current inflation..
Speaking of Safety
In the search for safety of your financial assets, there’s a sudden recognition that the FDIC doesn’t cover deposits above a certain limit-- $250,000. You can extend that coverage through the use of joint accounts or trust accounts, but that begs the question of why you want to juggle those accounts when it is easy..
Social Security Going Broke
The Social Security trustees just announced that the primary trust fund used to pay retirement benefits is set to become depleted in 2033. At that point, the only money available to pay promised retirement benefits will come from those currently paying into Social Security out of their monthly paychecks. And, in 2033, that inflow is..
Money, markets, and Fear
Given the recent headlines, I just want to say a few words about the safety of your money in the bank — and all the “end of the world” financial stories, memes, and postings that have started to circulate— again. This is not the first time Americans have worried about the survivability of the US..
Rate Hikes Hit Home
The Fed’s latest rate hike is the ninth increase in the last 12 months — for a total of 4.75 basis points. Interest rates have more than tripled after years of Fed rates as low as 1%. As a result, Americans have received a very public lesson in interest rate risk, and its impact on..
The Unexpected Costs of Care
It’s the one financial planning issue that everyone wants to avoid. Your retirement may go according to your financial plan. On the other hand, you and your family may face the unexpected cost of long-term care that is not covered by Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans. This is the cost of getting help doing the..
It’s that time of year again – income tax time. If you’ve already filed your return, pat yourself on the back. But if you’re one of the millions who procrastinate, here are some helpful reminders along with some tax changes that you might not have noticed since you haven’t started doing your return: • Tax..
Banking Crisis Update — What Happened?
Update: March 19th. I posted the article below on Monday, March 13th -- and everything I wrote has been verified over the past five days. The "crisis of confidence" spread to other regional banks, and one big Swiss bank that had previously suffered from poor management and made serious lending errors. But over the past..
Social Security Horror Stories
Social security makes mistakes. Big ones. If they miscalculated and underpaid you for many years, you might never find out. But these days, many people are getting letters from Social Security saying they have been OVERpaid for many years. And Social Security demands you return such overpayments even if the overpayments were Social Security’s mistake!..
What Happened to the Market?
Clint Eastwood said it memorably: “Do you feel lucky?” Now, superimpose Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s stern visage squinting at the markets and asking that question. It’s a message to stock market bulls who started out the year in euphoria, believing the Fed was about to declare victory over inflation — and might even be forced..
Facts are easy to find in this era of the internet. But good advice is somewhat more elusive. Since my “brand” is The Savage Truth, my goal has always been to expose my readers and viewers to the best advice that is not motivated by hidden costs and incentives. Every year I find a book..
You Broke Your Debt Promise
During the pandemic It looked so easy to avoid credit card debt. You couldn’t go out to dinner and you didn’t need to buy clothes for work. And you were scared, very scared about what the world would look like in the future. You promised to be good. And then the world reopened. Suddenly, it..
An Annuity that Works for You (MYGA)
Though I’ve previously warned against many annuities, with good reason, this column will focus on one type of annuity that might serve a very good short-term purpose in your financial plan. That product is a fixed-rate multi-year fixed-rate guaranteed annuity – or MYGA. With a term ranging from 3 to 10 years, this insurance contract..
ChatGPT – The Future is Now!
Every few years, something really “new” comes along, sneaking into our vocabularies and our way of interacting with money. Then suddenly, it reaches a tipping point and becomes ubiquitous. I like to keep an eye out for those life-changing opportunities, which mostly revolve around technology. Change is inevitable, and it’s up to us to make..
529 Plans Even Better Now
The best way to save for college for your children and grandchildren is a 529 College Savings plan. And, the recent Secure 2.0 legislation created some improvements on this great product. The tax advantages make 529 plans the clear winner for college planning and saving. Tax Benefits Money saved in a 529 College Savings Plan..