Friday, August 2, 2019

Current Events in Personal Finance-Part 1

Rutgers Cooperative Extension recently sponsored Financial Education Boot Camp (FEBC), a full-day conference designed to build the capacity of New Jersey educators to teach personal finance. FEBC featured a presentation about trends and current events about financial topics. Below are five questions that were asked and a brief explanation of each answer:

Which 47-year old personal finance magazine ceased print publication in June 2019?

Established in 1972, Money magazine printed its last issue in June 2019. Two prime culprits for its demise were decreased advertising revenue and online personal finance content that is continually updated and often available free of charge.

Approximately how many Americans who received federal tax refunds in 2018 owed the government money in 2019?

Total tax refunds in 2019 were about $6 billion lower than during the 2018 tax filing season and about 1.6 million taxpayers who received refunds in the past owed the IRS. Many people who had planned to use their refunds to pay outstanding debt or buy “big ticket” items instead received an unwelcome “surprise.”

According to a 2019 government report, the Medicare program for older adults will become insolvent in what year?

Medicare’s hospital insurance fund is expected to be depleted in 2026 according to the 2019 annual report provided by Social Security officials. At that time, doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers would not receive full Medicare compensation and patients could face a greater financial burden for health care costs. Public policy solutions are needed.

According to the 2019 P-Fin Index survey, Americans’ personal finance knowledge is lowest on what topic?

 The third annual P-Fin survey by the TIAA Institute and GFLEC found that U.S. adults answered only 51% of the P-Fin Index questions correctly. Lack of knowledge was especially apparent about risk-related concepts and this is consistent with other research studies about financial literacy.

What percentage of Americans adults is not saving any money for retirement according to a 2019 report by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI)?

More than 4 in 10 workers (42%) are not saving anything for retirement. As a consequence of not saving for their “future self,” they are de facto counting on Social Security, alone, to pay their bills in retirement. However, Social Security- from the start- was always meant to be a base of income to build upon. In addition, its trust fund (surplus) is gradually decreasing.

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