What the experts say
Employees get ID theft protection
“More employees are likely to see a timely new offering when they choose their benefits in a month or so: identity theft protection,” said Suzanne Woodley in Bloomberg.com. Some 70 percent of companies say that the service could be on their benefits menu by 2018, according to brokerage firm Willis Towers Watson, up from 35 percent in 2015. Corporate interest in ID theft protection began to pick up following the massive data breach at insurer Anthem in 2015 and surged again after the recent hack of Equifax. “Employers have a strong interest in their workers using the service.” A 2016 study found that 56 percent of ID theft victims asked for time off work to deal with the issue.
Millennials in love with prenups
The prenuptial agreement “is starting to lose its taboo” among Millennials, said Jonnelle Marte in The Washington Post. For generations, the agreements have been a sticking point for couples who deem them unromantic. But because Millennials are getting married later in life than earlier generations, they are more likely to have their own careers, businesses, and property. “And that, financial advisers say, has made them more protective of what they have built.” A 2016 survey of matrimonial lawyers found that 62 percent had seen an increase in the number of couples seeking prenups; 51 percent noticed more Millennials requesting the agreements. And prenups aren’t just about protecting assets. In an era of rising student loan debt, the agreements let young couples “say up front how they would like to separate their debt loads in the event of a divorce.”
Simple strategies to boost savings
Most Americans admit they’re bad at saving for retirement, said Gail MarksJarvis in the Chicago Tribune. Nearly 70 percent of respondents to an Employee Benefit Research Institute survey confessed that they could put aside more but don’t. The trouble is that people make too many financial commitments—a car loan, gym membership, housing that they can’t really afford—that sabotage their ability to save. “They need to follow some rules of thumb to keep them out of a financial straitjacket.” Among them, spend no more than 30 percent of income on housing. “Consider a 50/30/20 budget.” Fifty percent of pay after taxes goes to necessities such as mortgage or rent, insurance, food, and student loans. “Thirty percent goes to wants, like gyms and vacations, and 20 percent goes into savings.”