A president can’t fix your finances

Presidential candidates always promise economic improvements that are beyond their power to deliver. Any measures that actually could create more jobs, raise wages or lower tax burdens require the cooperation of Congress or business cycles or both.

Even if a president could lead us to the promised land of rising incomes and wealth, we wouldn’t get there overnight. America’s middle class has been wandering the economic desert for decades, and it will take years of better fortunes to restore what’s been taken away.

“Our economy is so large that both good and bad impacts are not seen until years or even a decade later,” said Michael Kitces, director of wealth management at Pinnacle Advisory Group in Columbia, Maryland.

That doesn’t mean you have to wait. In my latest for the Associated Press, what you can do to improve your own personal fortunes rather than wait for some politician to bail you out.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

help-parents-manage-moneyToday’s top story: Long-term care and wealth planning for aging parents. Also in the news: How Donald Trump’s new economic plan could affect you, student discounts on everything needed for college, and the cost of volunteering for a political campaign.

Long-Term Care and Wealth Planning for Aging Parents
Protecting their assets.

How Donald Trump’s New Economic Plan Could Help You (or Not)
What’s in it for you.

Use These Student Discounts to Save on Everything You Need for College
From books to clothes to computers.

The Costs of Volunteering for a Political Campaign
All that free labor can be pricey.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

bigstock-U-s-Income-Tax-Return-Form-28476797-e1390508229663Today’s top story: The best time to file your tax returns. Also in the news: Picking the right financial advisor, overcoming retirement obstacles, and what the Presidential candidates have planned for your wallet.

The Best Time to File Your Tax Return
What’s the optimum time for you?

Key Steps to Researching a Financial Advisor
Finding the right advisor.

5 ways to overcome obstacles between you and retirement
Don’t let them get in your way.

Keep an eye on candidates’ plans for your wallet: Advisors
They’re both after your money.