News & Insights

What We Learned from the WannaCry Ransomware Attack

If you’ve checked the news in the past month, you’ve likely heard of the WannaCry ransomware attack, one of the most widespread cyber attacks to date. Security experts estimate that more than 200,000 users have been infected with this malware. Once infected, all information on the user’s computer is encrypted (i.e., locked away) unless a ransom of $300–$600 is paid to the attackers in Bitcoin.

 

Why You Need an Estate Plan for Your Digital Assets

According to the Pew Research Center, 87 percent of Americans use the Internet. This means most of us maintain at least some personal and financial information online. We pay bills online, keep contact records digitally, and rarely print a photo—because it’s in our online photo album. Although this digitizing of information makes it easier to store and recall, it also presents some concerns when it comes to accounting for all of these “assets” in your estate.

 

What are digital assets?

The Cost of a Wedding

Piggy bank and rings
 

INFOGRAPHIC: 4 Things to do in the 4 Years Before College

College is a huge financial undertaking. With costs increasing every year and the prospect of too much student debt at the forefront of many families' minds, it's more important than ever to be an educated college consumer. Go into the planning process wisely with these four steps.

Cartoon: Father and Daughter Bonding Experience

Father and Daughter Bonding Experience
 

 

Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness: What You Should Know

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLFP) began in 2007 with a simple idea: forgive the student loans of borrowers employed in crucial but often low-paying government or nonprofit positions after they make timely payments for 10 years. Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education lists a broad range of jobs that are eligible for loan forgiveness: law enforcement, emergency management, military service, early childhood education, public librarians, health care providers for disabled or incapacitated individuals, and legal aid attorneys.

Tax benefits of home ownership

Buying a home can be a major expenditure. Fortunately, federal tax benefits are available to make homeownership more affordable and less expensive. There may also be tax benefits under state law.

Mortgage interest deduction

Is it wise to trade your pension for a lump sum?

Most private employers have already replaced traditional pensions, which promise lifetime income payments in retirement, with defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s. But 15% of private-sector workers and 75% of state and local government workers still participate in traditional pensions.1 Altogether, 35% of workers say they (and/or their spouse) have pension benefits with a current or former employer.2

Are you ready to retire?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not you are ready to retire.

Is your nest egg adequate?

It may be obvious, but the earlier you retire, the less time you'll have to save, and the more years you'll be living off your retirement savings. The average American can expect to live past age 78.* With future medical advances likely, it's not unreasonable to assume that life expectancy will continue to increase. Is your nest egg large enough to fund 20 or more years of retirement?

5 Ways to Spot a Phishing E-Mail

Did you know that phishing (i.e., scam) e-mails account for about 91 percent of all cyberattacks? In other words, nearly every cybersecurity issue you could think of—from viruses, to ransomware, to full-blown data breaches—starts with users accidentally clicking malicious links in e-mails.