Market analysts are using new core sales figures to forecast the direction of the economy for the third quarter of 2014. Lucia Mutikani of Reuters looks into their projections. As the employment picture continues to improve, Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab offers a caution about growing pressures on wages and inflation. One way to make sure you can access funds for your immediate expenses in retirement is to use investment “buckets”. Rob Williams explains how these buckets can protect part of your portfolio from market fluctuations.

Data Suggest U.S. Economy Is Strengthening– Consumer-spending and manufacturing data are leading economists and executives to suggest the U.S. economic recovery is gaining traction. Core retail sales rose 0.6% in June, after a 0.2% gain in May, the Commerce Department said. A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York points to increased factory shipments and hiring.

Employment Data Is Converging And Telling Better Story– Liz Ann Sonders, Chief Investment Officer at Schwab, believes the unemployment rate is likely to continue to fall.  As it gets closer to what could be considered “full employment,” inflation could become a bigger problem.  This might create trouble for the stock market, although it’s not yet the case.

Retirement Income: How To Use Buckets To Manage Your Portfolio– When planning your spending in retirement, you can use investment “buckets” to help keep your income flowing in without letting the ups and downs of the market knock you off track.  Rob Williams explains the concept.

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John R. Day, Bill Ennis, Stephanie Davidson and Matt Heller

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