Good financial planning involves taking a comprehensive and holistic approach to looking at your financial picture. It isn’t just investment management, but also tax planning, retirement income planning, estate planning, and protection of assets. It also means trying to maximize saving money through tax reduction strategies and expense management.
After much debate and speculation, the Republican’s tax reform package was signed into law by President Trump just before Christmas. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 is a pretty significant tax reform package and will likely affect you (some positively and others negatively) starting with your 2018 income tax return.
In our blog series that we published last year - “Health Care Costs – The Storm Cloud Hanging Over Your Retirement”, we discussed the Fidelity health care cost study that the investment company conducts each year. Well, they just released the results of their study for 2017 and those costs have increased another 5.5% from 2016.
One of the more important and misunderstood benefits available through Social Security is the spousal retirement benefit. The original purpose of the spousal benefit was to provide a retirement income for stay at home spouses who had limited work history because they did not work or spent several years out of the workforce while raising a family.
As we have discussed in previous blog posts, we are in an historically long bull market. The current market recovery started roughly March of 2009 and now continues into a 98th month. Given that the average bull market lasts somewhere around 48-60 months, this one is well above the norm for length. Does this mean that a bear market is imminent? Not really.
For the first couple of months of 2017, the market’s “Trump Rally” continues and it seems as if all major market indexes reach new highs on virtually a daily basis. What is somewhat surprising is that we have continued robust market growth, but without the volatility that usually comes along with a growth spurt of this magnitude.