Protect Your Retirement Savings

02/23/2015

Bad Investment Advice due to Conflict of InterestProtect Your Savings

 

What You Need to Know about Retirement “Conflicts of Interest,” in Three Big Sentences:

Today, the President is announcing major actions to update the rules in place to protect you and your retirement savings.

What exactly is a retirement “conflict of interest” and why should you care? Read on for a quick primer. And if you’re really short on time, just skip to the second big sentence to get a sense of what this means to the average American worker.

Want to dig deeper? Take a look at the new report released by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors today, which gives an in-depth breakdown of how these conflicts of interest are hurting the middle class right now.

Under our current system, your advisor can accept a back-door payment or hidden fees for directing you toward a retirement plan that’s not in your financial best interest. And it’s completely legal.

As it turns out, what’s legal is often the worst scandal. Right now, your financial advisor — someone who’s supposed to be acting in your best interest — can direct you toward a high-cost, low-return investment rather than recommending a quality investment that works better for you. That’s because those lower-return investments come along with hidden fees that benefit their Wall Street firms on your dime.

One percent a year may seem small — but you’d be surprised at how quickly it adds up.

Let’s look at an example:

Meet Stella, a 45-year-old worker who is rolling her $100,000 401(k) into an IRA. If she gets conflicted advice from her broker — exactly the kind of advice that’s legal for them to give right now — she could lose an estimated $37,000 by the time she turns 65.

You read that right. That’s $37,000 that would otherwise have been in Stella’s pocket, if not for backdoor payments and hidden fees encouraging her financial advisor to put his interests ahead of hers.

Now, let’s be clear for a second: Many advisors don’t accept hidden fees. They work on a business model that puts their customers’ best interests first. They are hardworking men and women who got into this work to help families achieve their dreams. But how are you, the investor, supposed to know who you can trust? Outdated regulations, loopholes, and fine print make it hard to know the answer to that question.

We’re fixing it by making the system more transparent.

Remember the housing crisis? We already know what happens when outdated policies allow lenders to direct their customers toward bad products. That’s why the President created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a watchdog on the beat to protect Americans from the abusive practices that predated the crisis.

And that’s why we’re taking action to fix the retirement advice market.

Today, the President is directing the Department of Labor to crack down on Wall Street to protect families from conflicted retirement advice. That would kick off a rulemaking process that would require all retirement advisors to abide by a “fiduciary,” or trust standard. In short, that means they’d be required to put their client’s best interest before their own profits.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/02/23/what-you-need-know-about-retirement-conflicts-interest-three-big-sentences

.

February 23, 2015

Remarks by the President at the AARP

AARP
Washington, D.C.
2:05 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) It is great to be back here — not just to pick up my AARP card. (Laughter.) I want to thank Jo Ann and everybody at AARP for the work you do every single day on behalf of seniors. I am especially grateful to all of you for the work you’re doing to help us prepare for the White House Conference on Aging, which will be coming up later this year and will cover a whole host of issues, including protecting one of the most critical components of middle-class life, and that’s a secure and dignified retirement. And that’s what we’re here to talk about today.

I want to thank some other people who care passionately about this issue: My energetic, tireless Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez. (Applause.) A couple of outstanding Senators, Cory Booker from New Jersey — (applause) — and Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts. (Applause.) And Congressmen John Delaney is here — proud of the work he is doing. (Applause.)

So six years after the financial crisis that shook a lot of people’s faith in a secure retirement, the good news is our economy is steadily growing and creating new jobs. Last year was the best year for job growth since the 1990s. And all told, over the past five years, the private sector has created nearly *2 12 million new jobs. And since I took office, the stock market has more than doubled, which means that 401ks for millions of families have been replenished.

America is poised — as long as Washington doesn’t screw it up, as long as we keep the progress going with policies that help and don’t hinder the middle class, no stalemates, no standoffs, no self-inflicted wounds or manufactured crisis — if we stay away from those things, then the projections are that the economy can do very well again this year.

But we’re going to have to choose whether we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well, or whether we build an economy where everybody who works hard can get ahead, and have some semblance of security in this ever-changing world?

Because while we’ve come a long way, we’ve got a lot more work to do to make sure that the recovery reaches every single American out there and not just those at the top. That’s what I’ve been calling middle-class economics — the idea that this country does best when everybody does their fair share, and everybody gets a fair shot and everybody is playing by the same set of rules.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/02/23/remarks-president-aarp

.

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Wages Increase the Most in Six Years during Another Strong Month for Job Growth

02/07/2015

The Employment Situation in January

With today’s strong employment report, we have now seen eleven straight months of job gains above 200,000—the first time that has happened in nearly two decades. We are also seeing nominal wage growth exceed the latest inflation readings, but additional steps are still needed to overcome the long-standing challenges affecting wages and family incomes. America is poised for another strong year, and so it is critical to avoid brinksmanship and unnecessary austerity, and instead to make investments in our future growth. That’s why earlier this week the President released a budget proposal that will help hardworking families make ends meet, while boosting America’s productivity and giving workers the tools they need to secure well-paying jobs in the 21st-century global economy.

Private Sector Payroll Jan 2008 - Jan 2015 
FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

1. The private sector has added 11.8 million jobs over 59 straight months of job growth, extending the longest streak on record

2. The labor force participation rate rose to 62.9 percent in January, and has been relatively stable, on balance, since October 2013—during which time the unemployment rate has fallen by 1.5 percentage point

3. Nominal average hourly earnings for private production and non-supervisory workers have risen 2.0 percent over the last twelve months — implying real wage growth of around one percent, but still below rates needed to overcome the long-standing challenge in this area

4. Consistent with a general pattern of upward revisions during the recovery, job growth in November and December was revised up substantially, and the benchmark revision to March 2014 added 91,000 jobs (on a seasonally adjusted basis)

5. Job growth in a number of industries diverged from recent trends in January

US Job Growth 2012 -  2015

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/02/06/employment-situation-january

.

Find Out What President Obama is  Doing to Improve Our Economyhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/economy

Moving-America-Forward_Democrat-party
Obama_Biden_thumbnail

 


Congress do your JOB and fund the Government

02/02/2015

FY2016 Budget logo

“Now, today, I’m sending Congress a budget that will make sure you’ve got what you need to achieve your mission.  It gives you the resources you need to carry out your mission in a way that is smart and strategic, and makes the most of every dollar.  It’s also a broader blueprint for America’s success in this new global economy.  Because after a breakthrough year for America — at a time when our economy is growing and our businesses are creating jobs at the fastest pace since the 1990s, and wages are starting to rise again — we’ve got some fundamental choices to make about the kind of country we want to be.

Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well?  Or are we going to build an economy where everyone who works hard has a chance to get ahead?

And that was the focus of my State of the Union Address a couple weeks ago — what I called middle-class economics.  The idea that this country does best when everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules.

The budget that Congress now has in its hands is built on those values.  It helps working families’ paychecks go farther by treating things like paid sick leave and childcare as the economic priorities that they are.  It gives Americans of every age the chance to upgrade their skills so they can earn higher wages, and it includes my plan to make two years of community college free for responsible students.  It lets us keep building the world’s most attractive economy for high-wage jobs, with new investments in research, and infrastructure and manufacturing, as well as expanded access to faster Internet and new markets for goods made in America.

It’s also a budget that recognizes that our economy flourishes when America is safe and secure.  So it invests in our IT networks, to protect them from malicious actors.  It supports our troops and strengthens our border security.  And it gives us the resources to confront global challenges, from ISIL to Russian aggression.

Now, since I took office, we have cut our deficits by about two-thirds.  I’m going to repeat that, as I always do when I mention this fact, because the public oftentimes, if you ask them, thinks that the deficit has shot up.  Since I took office, we have cut our deficits by about two-thirds.  That’s the fastest period of sustained deficit reduction since after the demobilization at the end of World War II.  So we can afford to make these investments while remaining fiscally responsible.  And, in fact, we cannot afford — we would be making a critical error if we avoided making these investments.  We can’t afford not to.  When the economy is doing well, we’re making investments when we’re growing.  That’s part of what keeps deficits low — because the economy is doing well.  So we’ve just got to be smarter about how we pay for our priorities, and that’s what my budget does.

At the end of 2013, I signed a bipartisan budget agreement that helped us end some of the arbitrary cuts known in Washington-speak as “sequestration.”  And folks here at DHS know a little too much about sequestration — (laughter) — because many of you have to deal with those cuts, and it made it a lot harder for you to do your jobs.

The 2013 agreement to reverse some of those cuts helped to boost our economic growth.  Part of the reason why we grew faster last year was we were no longer being burdened by mindless across-the-board cuts, and we were being more strategic about how we handled our federal budget.  And now we need to take the next step.  So my budget will end sequestration and fully reverse the cuts to domestic priorities in 2016.  And it will match the investments that were made domestically, dollar for dollar, with increases in our defense funding.

And just last week, top military officials told Congress that if Congress does nothing to stop sequestration, there could be serious consequences for our national security, at a time when our military is stretched on a whole range of issues.  And that’s why I want to work with Congress to replace mindless austerity with smart investments that strengthen America.  And we can do so in a way that is fiscally responsible.

I’m not going to accept a budget that locks in sequestration going forward.  It would be bad for our security and bad for our growth.  I will not accept a budget that severs the vital link between our national security and our economic security.  I know there’s some on Capitol Hill who would say, well, we’d be willing to increase defense spending but we’re not going to increase investments in infrastructure, for example, or basic research.  Well, those two things go hand in hand.  If we don’t have a vital infrastructure, if we don’t have broadband lines across the country, if we don’t have a smart grid, all that makes us more vulnerable.  America can’t afford being shortsighted, and I’m not going to allow it.

The budget I’ve sent to Congress today is fully paid for, through a combination of smart spending cuts and tax reforms.  Let me give you an example.  Right now, our tax code is full of loopholes for special interests — like the trust fund loophole that allows the wealthiest Americans to avoid paying taxes on their unearned income.  I think we should fix that and use the savings to cut taxes for middle-class families.  That would be good for our economy.”

2/2/15 Exceprts from President Obama’s 
remarks on the FY2016 Budget

Each year, after the President’s State of the Union address, the Office of Management and Budget releases the Administration’s Fiscal Year budget, offering proposals on key priorities and newly-announced initiatives. This year, we did things a little differently, from our expanded and enhanced State of the Union coverage to our interview with YouTube creators — and we wanted to do the same with the budget.

That’s why we’re releasing all of the data included in this year’s budget in an easy, machine-readable format on GitHub, a website for hosting open-source repositories. The budget process should be a reflection of our values as a country, and we think it’s important that members of the public have as many tools as possible at their disposal to review the President’s proposals — and to have an opportunity to give feedback. And, if you’re motivated to create your own visualizations or products from the data, you can do that too.

Explore the budget in a new way:

SEIU - GOP Congress should fund the Govt

GOP holds security hostage to immigration

February 1, 2015 By Washington Post Editorial Board

HOW FAR will Republicans in Congress take their reckless flirtation with undermining government this time?

Will they, as seems increasingly likely, fail to pass a bill that the president can sign ensuring adequate funding for the Department of Homeland Security and its 280,000 employees before the agency’s support expires Feb. 27? Are they ready to let funding lapse, secure in the knowledge that Border Patrol officers, Secret Service agents, airport security personnel and other so-called essential employees would still have to report to work — even though they would not be drawing paychecks?

A number of prominent Republican lawmakers clearly believe that denying funding to the nation’s premier organ of domestic security is no big deal, as long as the move expresses the GOP’s anger about President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/gop-holds-security-hostage-to-immigration/2015/02/01/55776ae8-a8d3-11e4-a06b-9df2002b86a0_story.html

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


US Deficit $1.4 trillion in 2009 reduced to projected $468 billion in 2015

01/26/2015

CBO: Deficit Shrinks To Lowest Level Of Obama Presidency

The deficit was a whopping $1.4 trillion in fiscal year 2009, when Obama took office.

“The federal budget deficit, which has fallen sharply during the past few years, is projected to hold steady relative to the size of the economy through 2018,” CBO concluded. “Beyond that point, however, the gap between spending and revenues is projected to grow, further increasing federal debt relative to the size of the economy—which is already historically high.”

The primary long-term fiscal challenges are spending under Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare and net interest costs, CBO said.

Under estimates based on current tax and spending laws, the budget office projects that the economy “will expand at a solid pace in 2015 and for the next few years.”

The CBO projected that Obamacare spending on coverage provisions will be 7 percent — or $101 billion — less over a decade than last April’s forecast. The federal government is projected to spend $76 billion in 2015 and $1.35 trillion from 2015 to 2024 under the health care law to broaden insurance coverage.

 13-drivers-of-long-term-deficits

9-causes-of-deficits-since-2001

 

Learn more about President Obama’s Plan for the US Economy:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/economy

Opportunity for All: The President’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Overview: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/overview

For more charts and graphs of the US Economy: https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/49892-Outlook2015.pdf

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Call on Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act

01/15/2015

FACT SHEET: White House Unveils New Steps to Strengthen Working Families Across America

Tomorrow, the President will unveil new proposals to strengthen the middle class by giving working families the flexibility to balance their families and jobs and giving all Americans the opportunity to earn sick days.  Building on the steps the Administration announced last year during the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families, tomorrow’s announcement includes:

  • Calling on Congress, as well as States and cities, to pass legislation [The Healthy Families Act] that would allow millions of working Americans to earn up to seven days of paid sick time per year;
  • Proposing more than $2 billion in new funds to encourage states to develop paid family and medical leave programs and announcing that the Department of Labor will use $1 million in existing funds to help States and municipalities conduct feasibility studies; and
  • Modernizing the Federal workplace by signing a Presidential Memorandum directing agencies to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave for parents with a new child and calling on Congress to pass legislation giving federal employees an additional six weeks of paid parental leave.

The challenge of balancing work and family has grown as families have shifted so that today in most families all parents work and all parents contribute to caregiving.  Across married and single parent families, all parents are working in more than 60 percent of households with children, up from 40 percent in 1965.  And today, more than 60 percent of women with children under the age of 5 participate in the labor force, compared with around 30 percent in the 1970s.  Yet the fundamental structure of work has not kept pace with the changing American family, and many families are struggling to balance obligations at home and on the job. In fact, the United States remains the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave.

That is why the President is announcing additional efforts to help working families that build on the steps he announced at last June’s White House Summit, including support for states to design paid leave programs and a Presidential Memorandum that established a “right to request” flexible workplace arrangements for Federal workers and directed Federal agencies to expand flexible workplace policies to the maximum possible extent. The White House Council on Economic Advisers also released a report (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/leave_report_final.pdf) last June on the economic benefits of paid leave. From increasing the minimum wage, to equal pay for women, to workplace flexibility, to child care, to paid leave – President Obama is taking action on issues that impact America’s working families.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/14/fact-sheet-white-house-unveils-new-steps-strengthen-working-families-acr

.

Maternity Leave Law by Countries

The United States it the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave.

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Pre-SOTU: Pres Obama on 21st Century Digital Infrastructure & Cybersecurity

01/10/2015

Cyber

President Obama recognizes that technology is an essential ingredient of economic growth and job creation. Ensuring America has 21st century digital infrastructure—such as high-speed broadband Internet access, fourth-generation (4G) wireless networks, new health care information technology and a modernized electrical grid—is critical to our long-term prosperity and competitiveness.

President Obama is committed to ensuring America has a thriving and growing Internet economy. The Internet has become a global platform for communication, commerce and individual expression, and now promises to support breakthroughs in important national priorities such as health care, education and energy. Additionally, the Internet and information technology can be applied to make government more effective, transparent and accessible to all Americans.

.

FACT SHEET: Safeguarding American Consumers & Families

Today, President Obama will build on the steps he has taken to protect American companies, consumers, and infrastructure from cyber threats, while safeguarding privacy and civil liberties.  These actions have included the President’s 2012 comprehensive blueprint for consumer privacy, the BuySecure initiative—launched last year— to safeguard Americans’ financial security, and steps the President took earlier this year by creating a working group of senior administration officials to examine issues related to big data and privacy in public services and the commercial sector.

In an increasingly interconnected world, American companies are also leaders in protecting privacy, taking unprecedented steps to invest in cybersecurity and provide customers with precise control over the privacy of their online content.  But as cybersecurity threats and identity theft continue to rise, recent polls show that 9 in 10 Americans feel they have in some way lost control of their personal information — and that can lead to less interaction with technology, less innovation, and a less productive economy.

At the Federal Trade Commission offices today, President Obama will highlight measures he will discuss in the State of the Union and unveil the next steps in his comprehensive approach to enhancing consumers’ security, tackling identity theft, and improving privacy online and in the classroom.  These steps include:

President Obama Proposes that Congress passes into law:

Learn more:

“In this interconnected, digital world, there are going to be opportunities for hackers to engage in cyber assaults both in the private sector and the public sector.  Now, our first order of business is making sure that we do everything to harden sites and prevent those kinds of attacks from taking place…But even as we get better, the hackers are going to get better, too.  Some of them are going to be state actors; some of them are going to be non-state actors.  All of them are going to be sophisticated and many of them can do some damage.

This is part of the reason why it’s going to be so important for Congress to work with us and get an actual bill passed that allows for the kind of information-sharing we need.  Because if we don’t put in place the kind of architecture that can prevent these attacks from taking place, this is not just going to be affecting movies, this is going to be affecting our entire economy in ways that are extraordinarily significant.”

 – President Obama, December 19, 2014

.

Monday, January 12
President Obama delivers remarks on tackling identity theft and improving consumer and student privacy
Federal Trade Commission, Washington DC

Tuesday, January 13
President Obama delivers remarks on cybersecurity, including ways of getting the private sector and federal government to voluntarily share more cybersecurity information.
National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, Washington DC

Wednesday, January 14
President Obama delivers remarks on making affordable, high-speed Internet available nationwide
Cedar Falls Utilities, Cedar Falls, Iowa

Thursday, January 15
Vice President Biden holds a roundtable discussion on training Americans to join the cybersecurity workforce
Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Virginia

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Pres. Obama Pre-SOTU travel to Michigan, Arizona and Tennessee

01/06/2015

PBO Pre-SOTU travelRebuiling the Economy From Middle Class

Riding high on economic growth, Obama hits the road 

01/03/15 By Sarah Muller – msnbc

Riding high on the surge of recent economic growth, President Barack Obama plans to start the new year laying out a mix of executive actions and policy proposals on the economy, teeing up to the highly-anticipated State of the Union Address at the end of the month.

While a new GOP-controlled Congress reconvenes in Washington on Tuesday, the president will hit the road this week to highlight economic progress, building off the strong momentum of the latest GDP numbers which show the fastest U.S. growth in more than a decade. Obama is scheduled to travel to Detroit and Phoenix in the three weeks prior to delivering his State of the Union speech. He’ll also made a joint appearance with Vice President Joe Biden in Tennessee.

According to White House spokesperson Eric Schultz, Obama will address ways to help more Americans become homeowners and get college educations. The president also plans on discussing his plan to create more good-paying jobs.

The push begins Wednesday with the Detroit portion of his trip. While in the Motor City, he’ll focus on the automotive industry’s bounce back from the bailout, which has impacted more than one million jobs. The next day in Phoenix, an area with the housing sector on the mend, he will announce new measures to help more Americans achieve the dream of home-ownership. Obama plans to spotlight during his stop in Tennessee his administration’s efforts to create new manufacturing jobs.

“The President is eager to get to work, and looks forward to working with the new Congress on policies that will make sure middle class Americans are sharing in the economic recovery,” said Schultz. “There are a number of issues we could make progress on, but the President is clear that he will not let this Congress undo important protections gained — particularly in areas of health care, Wall Street reform and the environment.”

For more: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/riding-high-economic-growth-obama-hits-the-road

.

.

United States of America Annual Gross Domestic Product

Year    U.S. GDP
2005  $13,093,700,000,000
2006  $13,855,900,000,000
2007  $14,477,600,000,000
2008  $14,718,600,000,000
2009  $14,418,700,000,000
2010  $14,964,400,000,000
2011  $15,517,900,000,000
2012  $16,163,200,000,000
2013  $16,768,100,000,000
2014  $17,555,000,000,000

 .

President Obama will travel to Detroit, Phoenix and Knoxville to preview his plans for the US to building on the economic gains of 2014

Wednesday, Jan 7

President Obama delivers remarks on the return of manufacturing jobs and his decision to bail out the auto industry
Ford Motor Company, Wayne, Michigan

Thursday, Jan 8

President Obama delivers remarks on new initiatives he will propose to help Americans buy a home
Central High School, Phoenix, Arizona

Friday, Jan 9

President Obama delivers remarks on new educational opportunity initiatives
Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, Tennessee

President Obama delivers remarks on Manufacturing Jobs
Techmer PM, Clinton, Tennessee

 

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 310 other followers