Fear and Perspective (3/23/2020)

I have no more idea where coronavirus and its total impact is going than anyone else. As a pandemic this is unprecedented for the world and the U.S. With global and national travel so fluid today, diseases can spread very rapidly.

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Coronavirus Concerns (3/16/2020)

It is clear to all of us that the coronavirus is impacting every area of our lives. Schools are closed, gathering of 50 or more people are being eliminated, more people are working from home and we are all being told to keep our distance from other people. Here at Secure Planning, we’ve made the decision to not have any appointments in the office but rather to do them by phone, for the time being. This is in both our clients and employee’s best interest.

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Coronavirus Impact (2/28/2020)

It became very clear this week that Coronavirus was having a major impact worldwide.  The spread of the virus caused many countries to quarantine large groups of their population. The biggest impact has been in China, where millions of people have been quarantined. With fewer workers available and transportation greatly reduced, the economy of China and other Asian countries has taken a serious reduction. Since much of the Asian shipping is handled either directly or indirectly by China, the slow down in China has resulted in a disruption of the worldwide supply chain.

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What is the SECURE Act? (1/22/2020)

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE Act) was signed into law in December, and most of the changes took effect January 1, 2020. The SECURE Act was designed to ease the looming retirement savings crisis. Following are some key elements of the new law that could impact your retirement accounts.

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Keeping Track (8/28/2019)

An important topic I raised a few years ago in this blog deserves another mention: when you switch or leave a job, don’t forget about your 401(k). Although it may seem impossible that you would lose track of your retirement plan, we live in a fast-paced world with a focus on reducing the amount of paper we all use. As a result, more and more of our statements, storage and communication are now electronic. Losing track of an account, especially when you do not receive a regular, physical statement, is not impossible.

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Your Home Investment (5/7/2019)

With the 2018 tax filing deadline behind us, we see that many taxpayers used the increased standard deduction this year rather than itemizing as they have in the past.  Taxes and interest from your mortgage are often one of the major deductions in itemizing. By not itemizing, you lose the tax deductibility of mortgage interest along with property taxes.  This may cause some to reconsider the benefit of home ownership as an investment.

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Inverted Yield Curve (4/2/2019)

You may be hearing more these days about U.S. Treasury Bills and the inverted yield curve.

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Highlight (2/28/2019)

At the end of 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced inflation-adjusted figures for retirement account savings for 2019, and many changes that will help savers.  The technical guidance on the numbers can be found in IRS Notice 2018-83.

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The Boomerang (2/8/2019)

Those who have followed me over the years might already have heard my Rip Van Winkle story. It’s back again. We are often so focused on what the stock market is doing today that we lose sight of the bigger picture. As most everyone knows, 2018 was not a good year for the stock market or for many other markets. On the other hand, 2017 was a very good year for most asset classes.

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Life Insurance Check-up (12/17/2018)

As is often said, life insurance is not for those who die, but is for those who live. If you die while you have life insurance in place, the people you have chosen as your beneficiaries will receive a sum of money (the death benefit) from your life insurance policy. The proceeds of life insurance are tax-free to the beneficiary and can be used for anything, but often the main purpose is to help make up for the loss of your income.

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