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Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy Every Weekday
SECURE Act Passed By Full Congress
Passage of the SECURE Act is being hailed as a major accomplishment that will allow Congress to turn to other important retirement issues next year.
Many Have Unrealistic Expectations for Drawing From Savings in Retirement
A Shroders survey shows it’s 10.1% on average. Plan sponsors can help form more realistic expectations.
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Data and Research
The Growing Interest in Guaranteed Income Options
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
Data and Research
Employers Feel the Strain of Rising Labor Costs
Investment Product and Service Launches
Vanguard changes manager structure of value funds, Northern Trust expands collateral management services, and Vanguard decreases expense ratios for international funds.
Economic Events
Existing-home sales fell in November, taking a small step back after October’s gains, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Northeast and Midwest both reported growth last month, while the South and West saw sales decline. Total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 1.7% from October to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million in November. However, sales are up 2.7% from a year ago.

In the week ending December 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 234,000, a decrease of 18,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 252,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 225,500, an increase of 1,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 224,000.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.73%, and the average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.19%, both unchanged from one week ago, according to Freddie Mac.
Market Mirror
Thursday, the Dow gained 137.68 points (0.49%) to finish at 28,376.96, the NASDAQ closed 59.48 points (0.67%) higher at 8,887.22, and the S&P 500 increased 14.23 points (0.45%) to 3,205.37. The Russell 2000 was up 5.36 points (0.32%) at 1,667.09, and the Wilshire 5000 climbed 145.95 points (0.45%) to 32,654.28.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was virtually unchanged, with its yield at 1.921%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was down 1/32, increasing its yield to 2.357%.
Multiple Fiduciary Breaches Alleged in Cintas ERISA Challenge
Among other issues, the plaintiffs allege that defendants failed to utilize the lowest cost share class for many of the mutual funds within the Cintas Corporation retirement plan.
UPenn Seeks Supreme Court Voice in University Retirement Plan Lawsuits
The university says the high court should re-establish the pleading standard it previously set, as well as issue a decision to stop the pressure to settle cases against university retirement plans.
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1606, the “Susan Constant,” “Godspeed” and “Discovery” set sail from London. Their landing at Jamestown, Virginia, was the start of the first permanent English settlement in America. In 1803, the United States Senate ratified a treaty that included the Louisiana Territories from France for $15 million. The transfer was completed with formal ceremonies in New Orleans. In 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the American Union. In 1864, Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, Georgia, as Union Gen. William T. Sherman continued his “March to the Sea.” In 1879, Thomas A. Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, New Jersey. In 1946, the Frank Capra film “It’s A Wonderful Life” had a preview showing for charity at New York City’s Globe Theatre, a day before its “official” world premiere. In 1963, the Berlin Wall was opened for the first time to West Berliners. It was only for the holiday season. It closed again on January 6, 1964. In 1968, author John Steinbeck died at the age of 66. In 1990, the world’s first website and server went live at CERN. The first website was In 1998, in Houston, Texas, a 27-year-old woman gave birth to the only known living set of octuplets. In 1999, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples were entitled to the same benefits and protections as wedded couples of the opposite sex.

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas light show.

Who knew violin strings were so sharp?

In Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, McMaster University researcher Travis Casagrande said he used a beam of charged gallium ions that acted like a sandblaster to create what is believed to be the smallest gingerbread house in the world. Images provided by the school’s Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy showed the house sitting atop a cap on the head of tiny winking snowman made from materials used in lithium-ion battery research, the AFP reported. The pair of decorations stacked one on top of the other are barely taller than the diameter of a human hair. [pics]

In Perth, Australia, a heat wave is going on. And, a man used it to cook his dinner in his car. He placed a 3.3-pound pork roast in a baking tin on the car seat and let the blazing sun prepare his main dish. He reported on Facebook December 14 that the temperature in his old Datsun reached 177.8 F at one point, even though the car had tinted windows and a rust hole in the roof, according to the Huffington Post. He showed off his finished product in a video complete with carving and a taste test. “It worked!” he said in the video.

Have a wonderful weekend, and happy holidays!
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