Life. Priorities.

By Merrill Lynch | Get the latest thinking you need to pursue your goals.

Paternity Leave: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

<i>1"U.S. Paid Family Leave Versus the Rest of the World," Think Progress, 30 July 2014. <br>2"Key Characteristics of Parental Leave Systems," Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2016 <br>3 "2015 Employee Benefits," Society for Human Resource Management, June 2015. <br>4 "The New Dad," Boston</i> …

The Workplace

Great Vacation, Great Price

3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor<p>How can I plan ahead to pay for a memorable “bucket list” trip with my family?<br>• What services does the Virtuoso travel agency provide to Merrill Lynch clients?<br>• Can you help me manage my finances while I’m on a lengthy overseas vacation?<p>Connect with an advisor and start a …

Retirement

Be the Cure

CEEYA PATTON-BOLMAN AND HER HUSBAND, R. Morton "Chip" Bolman III, don't have to wonder whether their philanthropic efforts are having an impact on real lives. He's a cardiac surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and she's an ICU nurse. Together they co-founded Team Heart, a charity that …

Banking

Why It’s Not ‘Business As Usual’ for Women Entrepreneurs

THE LIST OF SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES started by women includes many iconic brands—from Chanel and Learning Express to Zipcar. Network hardware giant Cisco and photo-sharing site Flickr were co-founded by women.<p>All successful entrepreneurs, no matter what their gender, are risk-takers, driven by a …

Bank of America

The Basics Q&A: Paying Off Grad-School Debt

<b>A.</b> That advanced degree should pay off financially over the course of your career, but the short-term cost can seem intimidating. In 2012, the typical grad student had accumulated more than $57,000 of student debt, according to New America Foundation research. For medical school, the median amount …

Loans

Follow the (New) Market Leaders

Markets are transforming, reflecting sweeping, long-lasting demographic and economic shifts. In the U.S., baby boomers are approaching retirement, while in Japan, Europe and China older looks to get bigger. This situation confronts a global economy on weak foundations, clouding profit outlooks, …

Economics

Are No-Cost College Courses for You?

WHEN PRINCETON UNIVERSITY OFFERED A FREE online course on algorithms in the summer of 2012, some 80,000 students signed up—about 10 times Princeton's combined undergraduate and graduate population. This incredible turnout testifies to the unprecedented ways that technology is making top-notch …

MOOCs

Healthcare Sector Outlook — Tailwinds from Innovation

THE HEALTHCARE SECTOR has been a standout performer in U.S. equity markets for most of the current cycle. While regulatory concerns were weighing on the sector in the lead up to the Presidential election, we continue to see tailwinds from innovation over the longer-term. In particular, we highlight …

Innovation

The Basics Q&A: Remarried—with Children? An Estate Plan for You

<b>A:</b> A lot of people these days face questions just like yours. That's not surprising, considering that nearly two in five people age 50 or older belong to blended families, according to a Merrill Lynch study, <i>Family & Retirement: The Elephant in the Room</i>.<p>Each family situation is different. While I …

Insurance

Emerging Markets: Some Good News at Last?

AFTER ABOUT A DECADE of strong performance, the last five years have been unkind to Emerging Markets (EMs) as the tailwinds that propelled them have faded (see box). A slowdown in growth in China pulled down demand for hard commodities such as copper, steel and iron ore. This development, along …

Economics

Changing Your Facebook Status to "Remarried"—in Retirement?

THEY SAY LOVE IS SWEETER the second time around. What they don't tell you is that it can also be a lot more complicated financially—especially for couples who find one another later in life. The vow "for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health" takes on new meaning when the newlyweds are …

Retirement

Alternative Energy: Powering a Brighter Future

<b>GLOBAL ENERGY DEMAND IS GROWING and is expected to rise by nearly one-third between 2013 and 2040.</b>1 To meet this increasing demand, the world is continuing to transition to alternative energy sources—also known as renewables—and improve energy efficiency. In 2015, during the United Nations Climate …

Renewable Energy

Why Hospitals Are a Growing Target for Cybercrime

THROUGHOUT THE CURRENT CYCLE, the healthcare sector has been a major source of growth for both the economy and investors. Over the past five years, healthcare expenditure has outpaced U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and consumption growth, and the industry has been one of the largest net …

Cybersecurity

Investing in a Healthier World

THE WORLD HAS A WEIGHT PROBLEM, and it's getting worse. Even though the U.S. had previously been seen as ground zero for the obesity epidemic, the rates are spiking internationally—particularly in low- and middle-income nations. A 2014 study in The Lancet found that more than 2.1 billion people are …

Merrill Lynch

Debt and Opportunity

<b>The rise in global debt</b><br>More than eight years since the 2008 global financial crisis started, the world seems to be drowning in debt. Global economic growth, meanwhile, remains anemic. Some economists attribute this situation to the high levels of debt, reasoning that they have been preventing …

Economics

Is a Trust Right for You?

MANY PEOPLE ASSUME THAT TRUSTS are only for the very wealthy. That's not the case. "Trusts are tools that give you very specific control over how your wealth is used and protected, no matter how much money you have," says Kevin Hindman, managing director and national trust executive at Merrill …

Estate Planning

Healthcare Breakthroughs: Will There Be An Anti-Aging Pill?

<b>Sign up to watch a replay of our webcast, "Are You Ready to Live to 100? Ways to Help You Get (Financially) Fit."</b><p>3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor<p>What are some ways I might think about managing health care costs in retirement?<br>• What's the potential impact of a longer life on my retirement planning?<br>• I'm …

Retirement

Stayin’ Alive: Manufacturing in America

WHATEVER THE LATEST VIEWS on the cyclical outlook for American manufacturing, the structural trend is clear — retrenchment. Its impact on U.S. economic growth has declined over the past four decades, with its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) falling from 30% in the 1970s to a mere 12% …

Manufacturing

The Basics Q&A: "Mommy, Are We Rich?"

<b>A:</b> My son actually asked a very similar question when he was about your daughter’s age. Children often become curious about money at a very young age—no matter what their parents’ income level. They see their parents purchasing things, or watch them withdrawing money from an ATM. And they tend to …

Wealth

Snap Stat: The Incredible Shrinking Cost of Mapping Your DNA

3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor<p>Are there investment opportunities in personalized medicine I should consider?<br>• How might an unexpected medical expense affect my retirement plan?<br>• What’s the best way for me to finance out-of-pocket health-care costs?<p>Connect with an advisor and start a conversation about …

Retirement

Health Perks at Work

ON-SITE YOGA CLASSES. Subsidized gym memberships and bike-share programs. Free activity trackers. Smoking-cessation programs. These are just a few of the preventive health benefits that many companies now offer their employees, in addition to health insurance coverage.<p>Research shows that a …

Retirement

What’s The Ceiling on Home Prices?

3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor<p>What's the current outlook for interest rates?<br>• What do I need to consider before deciding whether to sell my home or buy a new one?<br>• How does the value of my home fit into my overall financial picture?<p>Connect with an advisor and start a conversation about your goals.<p>Give …

House Prices

The Robot Revolution

3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor<p>What sectors and industries could be most affected by the growing demand for robots?<br>• Are there investment opportunities I could consider?<br>• What is thematic investing and how might it benefit my investment strategy?<p>Connect with an advisor and start a conversation about …

Merrill Lynch

Retiring Abroad? Here's What You Need to Know

THERE'S SOMETHING UNDENIABLY appealing about the idea of living an expatriate adventure in retirement. Striking out for foreign shores can seem pragmatic as well as poetic.<p>"Most people envision a twofold advantage: the romance of experiencing a different culture and the notion that they can get …

Retirement

Checklist: 5 Retirement Questions Every Couple Should Ask—and Answer

PLENTY OF DIFFICULT FINANCIAL DECISIONS will come your way as you approach retirement, including questions about Social Security and Medicare, and how best to draw down your retirement assets. But before you even begin to tackle those issues, it helps to have a broader, more personal conversation …

Retirement

To Rent or Own? That Is the Question

3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor<p>What financing options are available to me if I decide to buy?<br>• How might I invest the proceeds from the sale of my home?<br>• Would my income be able to accommodate future rent increases?<p>Connect with an advisor and start a conversation about your goals.<p>Give us a call …

Retirement

Personal Essay: Honey, I Shrunk Our Home!

Much as my wife and I love our children, we can't wait for the day when they're launched in the world and we can go back to being a couple. We already talk about it—a lot. And we agree on at least one thing: for us, it will probably mean living in a city. We want the access to museums, restaurants, …

Minimalism

Technology Is Disrupting Everything—Even Sneakers

3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor<p>What are some ways to invest in disruptive technologies?<br>• What potential risks could such investments present?<br>• Which companies and industries could benefit from these types of innovations?<p>Connect with an advisor and start a conversation about your goals.<p>Give us a call …

Innovation