Life. Priorities.

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

Checklist: 9 Questions Every Advisor Should Be Able to Answer

Whatever your priorities, this can help you find someone who understands you and has the resources to help you manage your financial life

Merrill Lynch

The Rise of High-Tech Healthcare: 5 Trends to Watch

THE SILICON CHIP AND THE STETHOSCOPE have long gone hand in hand. Indeed, Moore’s Law, a widely used forecast of rising computing power, can often seem to be nudging healthcare into the realm of science fiction, with life-saving high-tech innovations coming at a rapid rate today — and plenty more …

Augmented Reality

4 Big Retirement Risks—and How to Prepare for Them

OVERSPENDING, INVESTING TOO CONSERVATIVELY and veering away from your plan—these are some of the most common traps people fall into on the way to their retirement. The good news is they’re easy to avoid with a little discipline and forethought.<p>Other risks—like a health crisis or a market …

Retirement

Snap Stat: Life’s Biggest—and Least Understood—Expense

<b>RETIREMENT IS THE BIGGEST EXPENSE</b> for most people, according to <b>Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions,</b> the latest study by Merrill Lynch in partnership with Age Wave. And the cost of funding it is rising as people live longer. For more surprising insights, download the study here. …

Retirement

7 Critical Challenges Shaping the Future

WHEN IT COMES TO TACKLING the world’s biggest challenges, neither government policies nor piecemeal philanthropic efforts have, by themselves, proved equal to the task. Leaders from across industry, government and the nonprofit world are increasingly aware that working in concert is the key to …

Innovation

Picking a College Major That Matters (and Pays)

HERE'S THE DEAL: YOU'RE A FRESHMAN or sophomore on campus, looking forward to exploring new skills and interests, and you're supposed to decide, right now, what you're going to do with the rest of your life. It's that high-stakes college quiz called, "Choosing a Major!" Ready or not, most colleges …

Employment

Responsible Growth: How Investors Are Making a Difference

MAKING INVESTMENTS THAT MATCH people’s personal values has changed significantly over the past few decades. Early versions of “socially responsible” or “values-based” investing were primarily based on excluding specific investments that conflicted with an individual’s values (often at a potential …

Finance

Capitalism and the Rise of Responsible Growth

It would be hard to overstate how much capitalism has transformed the world. In the last couple of decades alone it has given us longer life spans, generated a global online economy, spurred countless innovations, turned China into an economic powerhouse and connected billions of people via social …

Capitalism

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> …

Parenting

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 …

Merrill Lynch

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 …

Finance

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 …

Debt Management

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, …

Finance

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 …

Learning

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 …

Digital Health

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 …

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 …

Finance

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 …

Wealth

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 …

Longevity

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% …

Finance

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 …

Money

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 …

Merrill Lynch

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