Financial News Friday – June 7, 2013

Some interesting figures about the middle class. 32% of Americans now consider themselves lower class, up from 25% in 2008. Half of households are middle income, down from 61% in the 1970’s , the average student will graduate with $35,000 in debt, and median income has fallen 5% on a nominal basis (before accounting for inflation) over the past decade. (Yahoo Finance)

The May jobs report is out and unemployment is stubbornly refusing to go down, despite the actions of the Fed. The current unemployment rate is 7.6% up from 7.5% in April. (Yahoo Finance)

It will now be easier for retirees to secure mortgages due a change in the eligibility rules. Previously, loans were granted based on your income. However, the new rules allow retirees to use the balance of their retirement accounts during the underwriting process to prove eligibility. Retirees can now qualify based on the potential income they could withdraw from the account, even if they do not begin withdrawals. (Washington Post)

According to a report by Fidelity Investments, the lifetime cost of healthcare for a 65-year-old couple has decreased by 8% to $220,000. More generics, lowered payment increases to medical facilities, and younger retirees are credited with the decrease. (Reuters)

The new fiduciary rule is still in flux. The Department of Labor expects to have a new draft of the ruling available “a couple of months after July.” One can only hope that the new fiduciary rule is not going to water down the fiduciary standard. A watered-down standard would provide a false sense of security for many investors. (AdvisorOne)

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