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Retire Wise | July 2020

Retire Wise | July 2020

July 17, 2020
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A Mid-Year Review During a Mixed-Up Time

We are now just over halfway through 2020, and these last six months have felt like six years. With the amount of change that’s occurred, your financial strategy may need some adjustments. Take these four steps to analyze your financial life and determine how your path forward may need to change.

1. Review or re-evaluate your goals.
Look back at any plans or resolutions you had for 2020. If this was the year you planned to take a bucket list vacation or move homes, these goals likely didn’t go as planned but can be shifted to a safer time. Others may warrant a second look. You may find during your review that your priorities have changed: perhaps you’ve discovered a non-profit organization to which you’d like to contribute time or money, or you’ve realized some of the material goods you planned to purchase don’t feel right at this time. Write down any changes and keep them handy.

2. Meet with a financial professional to review or update your strategy.
This step is fairly self-explanatory. You can contact the office at any time to set up a call or appointment and we can walk through those 2020 goals, the strategies we put in place last year, and any other thoughts or concerns you may have about your financial situation.

3. No long-term strategy? Put one in place.
Reaching retirement in a confident position is a major accomplishment, but it’s not the end of the road. We can collaborate on your vision for this “next normal,” preparing for life, health, leisure, and other important areas where you’d like to focus your finances.

4. Review estate planning documents and update your beneficiaries.
This year has reinforced that life can change in an instant. Ensure your wishes are up to date and that any beneficiaries listed on your estate plan or insurance policies are your intended recipients. If you don’t have an estate plan in place, we can work with a qualified attorney to determine how to best protect and distribute your legacy.

Ready to review? Please contact the office any time to schedule an appointment.

Tax Trivia

2020 brought another major change: a three-month shift in the tax filing deadline. In honor of this week’s Tax Day, here are some interesting notes about taxes, compiled by the Cetera Investment Management team. (You can read more about why taxes are an important part of an investment strategy here).

  • Sweet 16: The Sixteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1913, granting the federal government the power to collect federal income taxes.1
  • Unbalanced Budget: From 1962 to 2019, the federal government had an annual budget deficit 52 times and a surplus just five times.2
  • How Much Debt? The total amount of federal debt was $23.2 trillion at the end of 2019, or roughly 107% of U.S. GDP.2 That already-high number is expected to climb further in the years ahead. Most of Europe’s developed economies are in a similar predicament, and Japan has a debt-to-GDP ratio of over 200%.
  • Always Pay Your Taxes: What landed Al Capone at Alcatraz? Not racketeering, smuggling, murder, or extortion—tax evasion!3
  • Legal Income Tax Shelters: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming don’t have a state income tax. New Hampshire and Tennessee don’t tax wage income, but they do levy taxes on dividend and interest income from investments.

As always, please contact the office if you have any questions about your retirement strategy or know of someone who can benefit from retirement services.

1 National Constitution Center. https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendment/amendment-xvi 

2 Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

3 FBI. Famous Cases and Criminals: Al Capone. https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/al-capone