U.S. stocks fell slightly Thursday ahead of Greece’s referendum on Europe’s latest bailout offer. June’s slower jobs report weakened expectations that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates in September. The markets were closed Friday due to the Independence Day holiday. For the week, the Dow fell 0.84 percent to close at 17,730.11. The S&P lost 1.16 percent to finish at 2,076.78, and the NASDAQ dropped 2.01 percent to end the week at 5,009.21.
Reversal of Fortunes –
The number of properties repossessed by lenders is reported monthly. The 24,305 homes reclaimed by banks in February 2015 was the 27th consecutive month in which foreclosures nationwide decreased on an annual basis, i.e., comparing a month’s total to the total from the same month a year earlier. Since then, an average of 42,070 monthly foreclosures has occurred, resulting in three consecutive months (March-April-May) of year-over-year increases (source: RealtyTrac, BTN Research).
The Home Stretch –
The S&P 500 has closed at its calendar year high in the second half of the year (i.e., during the six months of July-December) 74 percent of the time since 1950. In eight of the last 12 years, the index’s calendar year high has occurred during the month of December (source: BTN Research).
Borrowing for College -
Twenty-three percent of American adults have outstanding student loan debt. The loans were either taken out for their own college education, for their spouse’s college education or for the schooling of a child or grandchild (source: Federal Reserve, BTN Research).
WEEKLY FOCUS – Shared-Care Insurance for Couples Gaining Popularity
With long-term care insurance premiums becoming more and more costly, a growing number of married couples are turning to shared benefit riders to extend their potential coverage without dramatically increasing their costs.
There are two basic types of plans. The first creates a separate, independent pool of money each spouse can use as needed, but it does not allow either partner to use funds from the other’s policy. In the second, more common arrangement, the policies are combined into a pool either can use. This allows couples to hedge their bets based on the unlikelihood that both spouses will require extended, long-term care.
In the latter scenario, couples take out separate, identical plans with an option that allows each spouse to become a “rider” on their partner’s plan. If one partner exhausts their coverage, he or she can utilize the other spouse’s benefits. Choosing the option involves an added charge, typically 10 to 15 percent, resulting in a total that is still markedly less than both spouses buying higher levels of protection.
Here’s how it works. Suppose each person individually has three years of benefits; they gain a pool of six years of coverage they can share. If a husband needs four years of care, his wife still has two years available for her use. If the reverse occurs, and a wife dies without using any of her coverage, her full benefits will typically be passed on to her surviving husband.
On the other hand, if a wife has a stroke or develops Alzheimer’s and requires extended, long-term care, she may use both persons’ total combined benefits. However, some policies have an extra provision to protect a spouse whose policy has been depleted by their partner, guaranteeing at least 50 percent of their original pool of money.
Shared care options vary from one company to another, so it’s important to review policies thoroughly. Our office can help you decide if shared-care benefits are a good choice for your situation.
The Dorion-Gray Team
Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. A Registered Investment Advisory Firm. Dorion-Gray Capital Management is a Registered Trademark for the 4 Tactical and 9 Strategic model portfolios currently offered by Dorion-Gray Financial Services through Securities America Advisors, Inc. Dorion-Gray Retirement Planning is a trade name of Dorion-Gray Financial Services, Inc. Dorion-Gray Financial Services, Inc. and the Securities America companies are separate, unaffiliated entities.
© 2013. Dorion-Gray Financial Services, Inc.