Weekly Economic Update 12-3-18

In this week’s recap: stocks soar, the USMCA is signed, households spend more, and two housing market indicators fall short.

 

COMMENTS FROM JEROME POWELL INSPIRE A RALLY

Wall Street liked what it heard from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell last week. While speaking Wednesday to an audience in New York, Powell stated that interest rates “remain just below the broad range of estimates of the level that would be neutral for the economy – that is, neither speeding up nor slowing down growth.” He also noted there was “no preset policy path” for raising interest rates in the near term. These dovish signals helped to send all three major U.S. stock indices 2.3-3.0% higher for the day, and their weekly performances were stellar: across five trading sessions, the Nasdaq Composite gained 5.64%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 5.16%; the S&P 500, 4.85%. They settled Friday as follows: Nasdaq, 7,330.54; Dow, 25,538.46; S&P, 2,760.16.1,2

 

NAFTA REPLACEMENT DEAL TAKES ANOTHER STEP FORWARD

Friday, President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto formally signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) at the 2018 G20 summit in Buenos Aires. The legislatures of each nation must now vote to approve the accord. The USMCA may face significant resistance in Congress.3

 

CONSUMER SPENDING PACE ACCELERATES; CONFIDENCE GAUGE STILL HIGH

In October, personal spending rose 0.6%, while incomes improved 0.5%. (In noting this, the Department of Commerce revised the 0.4% personal spending gain of September down to 0.2%.) The monthly consumer confidence index, maintained by the Conference Board, declined 2.2 points in November to 135.7; that still exceeded the 135.5 consensus forecast from analysts polled by Briefing.com.4

 

NEW HOME SALES AND PENDING HOME SALES DECLINE

Demand for new homes has faded in the last 12 months. The Census Bureau said that sales slipped 8.9% in October, leaving the annualized sales pace 12.0% below where it was in October 2017. Housing contract activity also waned in October: the National Association of Realtors announced a 2.6% dip for pending home sales, which had increased 0.7% during September.4,5

 

 

T I P   O F   T H E   W E E K


When you write a will, you must name an executor: either a friend or relative, or a financial or legal professional. A financial or legal professional who serves as your executor will probably be paid with assets from your estate.

 

 

THIS WEEK

The Institute for Supply Management presents its November manufacturing PMI on Monday. | Tuesday brings some earnings: AutoZone, Bank of Montreal, Dollar General, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Restoration Hardware, and Toll Brothers. | On Wednesday, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell testifies on the U.S. economic outlook in the Senate; the Fed also releases its latest Beige Book, ADP unveils its November employment change report, ISM offers its November service sector PMI, and American Eagle Outfitters, H&R Block, Five Below, Hudson’s Bay Co., Korn/Ferry, Land’s End, and Lululemon Athletica all share earnings news. | The latest Challenger job-cut numbers are out Thursday, along with a new initial jobless claims report and earnings from Broadcom, Hovnanian Enterprises, Kroger, Michaels Companies, Thor Industries, Toro, and Ulta Beauty. | Friday, the Department of Labor’s newest employment report takes center stage.

 

 

Q U O T E   O F   T H E   W E E K

“Resolve to be thyself: and know, that he who finds himself, loses his misery.”

Matthew Arnold

 

Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 11/30/182,6,7,8

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

 

 

T H E   W E E K L Y   R I D D L E

It can be open, closed, empty, or full. Sometimes you see one, sometimes two. It can be bare, but never a bear. What is it?

 

LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: What two things will you never eat for dinner?

ANSWER: Breakfast and lunch.

 

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

 

 

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Please feel free to send us their contact information via phone or email. (Don’t worry – we’ll request their permission before adding them to our mailing list.)

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs, or expenses. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

CITATIONS:

1 – investors.com/news/economy/fed-chairman-jerome-powell-fed-rates-neutral-dow-jones/ [11/28/18]

2 – markets.wsj.com/us [11/30/18]

3 – businessinsider.com/g20-summit-trump-signs-usmca-nafta-update-mexico-canada-2018-11 [11/30/18]

4 – briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/2018/11/26-30 [11/30/18]

5 – cnbc.com/2018/11/28/new-home-sales-october.html [11/28/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F30%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F30%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F30%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F29%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F29%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F29%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F1%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F1%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F1%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/30/18]
7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [11/30/18]
8 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [11/30/18]  

 

Tax Considerations for Retirees

Are you aware of them?

 

“The 2018 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, may or may not help older Quad Cities Retirees, the effects are complicated, and worth taking a much closer look at.” – Gregg Hancock

 

The federal government offers some major tax breaks for older Americans. Some of these perks deserve more publicity than they receive.

      

If you are 65 or older, your standard deduction is $1,300 larger. Make that $1,600 if you are unmarried. Thanks to the passage of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, the 2018 standard deduction for an individual taxpayer at least 65 years of age is a whopping $13,600, more than double what it was in 2017. (If you are someone else’s dependent, your standard deduction is much less.)1

   

You may be able to write off some medical costs. This year, the Internal Revenue Service will let you deduct qualifying medical expenses once they exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. In 2019, the threshold will return to 10% of AGI, unless Congress acts to preserve the 7.5% baseline. The I.R.S. list of eligible expenses is long. Beyond out-of-pocket costs paid to doctors and other health care professionals, it also includes things like long-term care insurance premiums, travel costs linked to medical appointments, and payments for durable medical equipment, such as dentures and hearing aids.2

 

Are you thinking about selling your home? Many retirees consider this. If you have lived in your current residence for at least two of the five years preceding a sale, you can exclude as much as $250,000 in gains from federal taxation (a married couple can shield up to $500,000). These limits, established in 1997, have never been indexed to inflation. The Department of the Treasury has been studying whether it has the power to adjust them. If modified for inflation, they would approach $400,000 for singles and $800,000 for married couples.3,4

 

Low-income seniors may qualify for the Credit for the Elderly or Disabled. This incentive, intended for people 65 and older (and younger people who have retired due to permanent and total disability), can be as large as $7,500 based on your filing status. You must have very low AGI and nontaxable income to claim it, though. It is basically designed for those living wholly or mostly on Social Security benefits.5

 

Affluent IRA owners may want to make a charitable IRA gift. If you are well off and have a large traditional IRA, you may not need your yearly Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) for living expenses. If you are 70½ or older, you have an option: you can make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) with IRA assets. You can donate up to $100,000 of IRA assets to a qualified charity in a single year this way, and the amount donated counts toward your annual RMD. (A married couple gets to donate up to $200,000 per year.) Even more importantly, the amount of the QCD is excluded from your taxable income for the year of the donation.6

 

Some states also give seniors tax breaks. For example, the following 11 states do not tax federal, state, or local pension income: Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania. Twenty-eight states (and the District of Columbia) refrain from taxing Social Security income.7

 

Unfortunately, your Social Security benefits could be partly or fully taxable. They could be taxed at both the federal and state level, depending on how much you earn and where you happen to live. Whether you feel this is reasonable or not, you may have the potential to claim some of the tax breaks mentioned above as you pursue the goal of tax efficiency.5,7

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.

Citations.

1 – fool.com/taxes/2018/04/15/2018-standard-deduction-how-much-it-is-and-why-you.aspx [4/15/18]

2 – aarp.org/money/taxes/info-2018/medical-deductions-irs-fd.html [1/12/18]

3 – loans.usnews.com/what-are-the-tax-benefits-of-buying-a-house [10/17/18]

4 – cnbc.com/2018/08/02/some-home-sellers-would-see-huge-savings-under-treasury-tax-cut-plan.html [8/2/18]

5 – fool.com/taxes/2017/12/31/living-on-social-security-heres-a-tax-credit-just.aspx [12/31/17]

6 – tinyurl.com/y8slf8et [1/3/18]

7 – thebalance.com/state-income-taxes-in-retirement-3193297 ml [8/15/18]

The Flat-Out Truth


What is a yield curve, and why are stock investors interested in its shape?

A yield curve gives a snapshot of how yields vary across bonds of similar credit quality, but different maturities, at a specific point in time. For example, the US Treasury yield curve indicates the yields of US Treasury bonds across a range of maturities. Bond yields change as markets digest news and events around the world, which also causes yield curves to move and change shape over time.

Exhibit 1 includes snapshots of the US Treasury yield curve on the last trading day of September for the last three years. Rates across the entire curve have generally moved higher since 2016. However, short-term rates moved at a faster pace than long-term rates leading to a “flattening” of the slope of the yield curve.

Historically, yield curves have mostly been upwardly sloping (short-term rates lower than long-term rates), but there have also been several periods when the yield curve has either been flat or inverted. One question often posed by investors is whether inverted yield curves predict a future stock market decline. While the handful of instances of curve inversions in the US may concern investors, the small number of examples makes it difficult to determine a strong connection, and evidence from around the world suggests investors should not extrapolate from the US experience.


Exhibit 1.  The US Yield Curve Has Flattened in 2018

US Treasury yield curve data (monthly) obtained from US Department of the Treasury website. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

THE US MARKET

Exhibit 2 illustrates growth of a hypothetical $1,000 investment in the S&P 500 Index since June 1976 plotted against the difference between 10-year and 2-year Treasury yields. This difference is referred to as the term spread[1] and is a commonly used measure of yield curve steepness. Also marked on the chart are the onset of the four periods when the yield curve inverted for at least two consecutive months, and short-term rates began to exceed long-term rates.


Exhibit 2. Relation Between Yield Curve Inversions and US Stock Market Performance Monthly Data: June 1976–September 2018

US Treasury yield curve data (monthly) obtained from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. S&P 500 Index © 2018 S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a division of S&P Global. All rights reserved. Indices are not available for direct investment. Their performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

The inversion prior to the 2008 financial crisis is interesting to review. The US yield curve inverted in February 2006, after which the S&P 500 Index posted a positive 12-month return. The yield curve’s slope became positive again in June 2007, well prior to the market’s major downturn from October 2007 through February 2009. If an investor had interpreted the inversion as a sign of an imminent market decline, being out of stocks during the inverted period could have resulted in missing out on stock market gains. And if the same investor bought additional stock once the curve’s slope became positive, they would also have been exposed to the stock market weakness that followed.

INCREASING THE SAMPLE

The small number of US yield curve inversions over the last 40 years makes it challenging to draw strong conclusions about the effect on stock market performance. We can, however, look at other countries to gain a better sense of the relation between inversions and subsequent market returns. Exhibit 3 shows the hypothetical growth of 1,000 of the country’s local currency invested in the local stock market index the month before yield curve inversions began in five major developed nations, including the US, since 1985.

In 10 out of 14 cases of inversion, local investors would have had positive returns investing in their home markets after 36 months. This is not much less than the historical experience of these markets over the same time frame, regardless of the shape of the yield curve. These results show that it is difficult to predict the timing and direction of equity market moves following a yield curve inversion.


Exhibit 3.  Stock Market Performance in Selected Developed Countries Following a Yield Curve Inversion

Yield curve inversions based on 2-year and 10-year government bond yields for each country. Yields obtained from Reserve Bank of Australia, Bundesbank, Japanese Ministry of Finance, Bank of England, European Central Bank, and US Federal Reserve. Stock returns based on local currency MSCI indices. MSCI Australia Index (gross div., AUD), MSCI Germany Index (gross div., EUR), MSCI Japan Index (gross div., JPY), MSCI United Kingdom Index (gross div., GBP), MSCI USA Index (gross div., USD.) These countries were selected to represent the world’s major developed country currencies. Indices are not available for direct investment. Their performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. MSCI data © MSCI 2018, all rights reserved. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Though the data set is limited, an analysis of yield curve inversions in five major developed countries shows that an inversion may not be a reliable indicator of stock market downturns. So, what can investors do if they are concerned about potential equity weakness? By developing and sticking to a long-term plan that is in line with their risk tolerance, investors may be better able to look past short-term noise and focus on investing in a systematic way that will help meet long-term goals.

APPENDIX:  TERM SPREAD AND SELECTED INVERSION EVENTS

For the purposes of this paper, a new inversion is defined, based on month-end data, as two consecutive months of inversion. Using two consecutive months of inversion helps to avoid short-term events that may not be as impactful to markets. An inversion is deemed to have ended when there has been no more than one inversion within a 12-month period. (Again, we apply the one-month exception to avoid potential false positives.)

 


1 Term spread is the yield difference between bonds with different maturities but similar credit quality.

2 The data showed a 71% chance (10 of 14) of a three-year positive return following a yield curve inversion. To compare, we measured returns three years following every month-end between January 1985 and December 2014 in each of the five markets based on the local currency MSCI indices. The average chance of a three-year positive return in those five markets was 77%.

Source: Dimensional Fund Advisors LP.

Indices are not available for direct investment. Their performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Diversification does not eliminate the risk of market loss.

There is no guarantee investment strategies will be successful. Investing involves risks, including possible loss of principal. Investors should talk to their financial advisor prior to making any investment decision. There is always the risk that an investor may lose money. A long-term investment approach cannot guarantee a profit.

All expressions of opinion are subject to change. This article is distributed for informational purposes, and it is not to be construed as an offer, solicitation, recommendation, or endorsement of any particular security, products, or services. Investors should talk to their financial advisor prior to making any investment decision.

End-Of-The-Year Money Moves

Here are some things you might want to do before saying goodbye to 2018. 

What has changed for you in 2018? Did you start a new job or leave a job behind? Did you retire? Did you start a family? If notable changes occurred in your personal or professional life, then you will want to review your finances before this year ends and 2019 begins.
   
Even if your 2018 has been relatively uneventful, the end of the year is still a good time to get cracking and see where you can plan to save some taxes and/or build a little more wealth. 
  
Do you practice tax-loss harvesting? That is the art of taking capital losses (selling securities worth less than what you first paid for them) to offset your short-term capital gains. If you fall into one of the upper tax brackets, you might want to consider this move, which directly lowers your taxable income. It should be made with the guidance of a financial professional you trust.1 
  
In fact, you could even take it a step further. Consider that up to $3,000 of capital losses in excess of capital gains can be deducted from ordinary income, and any remaining capital losses above that can be carried forward to offset capital gains in upcoming years. When you live in a high-tax state, this is one way to defer tax.1
  
Do you want to itemize deductions? You may just want to take the standard deduction for 2018, which has ballooned to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for joint filers because of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. If you do think it might be better for you to itemize, now would be a good time to get the receipts and assorted paperwork together. While many miscellaneous deductions have disappeared, some key deductions are still around: the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, now capped at $10,000; the mortgage interest deduction; the deduction for charitable contributions, which now has a higher limit of 60% of adjusted gross income; and the medical expense deduction.2,3
   
Could you ramp up 401(k) or 403(b) contributions? Contribution to these retirement plans lower your yearly gross income. If you lower your gross income enough, you might be able to qualify for other tax credits or breaks available to those under certain income limits. Note that contributions to Roth 401(k)s and Roth 403(b)s are made with after-tax rather than pre-tax dollars, so contributions to those accounts are not deductible and will not lower your taxable income for the year. They will, however, help to strengthen your retirement savings.4
  
Are you thinking of gifting? How about donating to a qualified charity or non-profit organization before 2018 ends? In most cases, these gifts are partly tax deductible. You must itemize deductions using Schedule A to claim a deduction for a charitable gift.5
 
If you donate publicly traded shares you have owned for at least a year, you can take a charitable deduction for their fair market value and forgo the capital gains tax hit that would result from their sale. If you pour some money into a 529 college savings plan on behalf of a child in 2018, you may be able to claim a full or partial state income tax deduction (depending on the state).2,6
  
Of course, you can also reduce the value of your taxable estate with a gift or two. The federal gift tax exclusion is $15,000 for 2018. So, as an individual, you can gift up to $15,000 to as many people as you wish this year. A married couple can gift up to $30,000 in 2018 to as many people as they desire.7
  
While we’re on the topic of estate planning, why not take a moment to review the beneficiary designations for your IRA, your life insurance policy, and workplace retirement plan? If you haven’t reviewed them for a decade or more (which is all too common), double-check to see that these assets will go where you want them to go, should you pass away. Lastly, look at your will to see that it remains valid and up-to-date.  
  
Should you convert all or part of a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA? You will be withdrawing money from that traditional IRA someday, and those withdrawals will equal taxable income. Withdrawals from a Roth IRA you own are not taxed during your lifetime, assuming you follow the rules. Translation: tax savings tomorrow. Before you go Roth, you do need to make sure you have the money to pay taxes on the conversion amount. A Roth IRA conversion can no longer be recharacterized (reversed).8
  
Can you take advantage of the American Opportunity Tax Credit? The AOTC allows individuals whose modified adjusted gross income is $80,000 or less (and joint filers with MAGI of $160,000 or less) a chance to claim a credit of up to $2,500 for qualified college expenses. Phase-outs kick in above those MAGI levels.9
  
See that you have withheld the right amount. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act lowered federal income tax rates and altered withholding tables. If you discover that you have withheld too little on your W-4 form so far in 2018, you may need to adjust your withholding before the year ends. The Government Accountability Office projects that 21% of taxpayers are withholding less than they should in 2018. Even an end-of-year adjustment has the potential to save you some tax.10
  
What can you do before ringing in the New Year? Talk with a financial or tax professional now rather than in February or March. Little year-end moves might help you improve your short-term and long-term financial situation.
  
 


This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
 
Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.
    
Citations.
1 – nerdwallet.com/blog/investing/just-how-valuable-is-daily-tax-loss-harvesting/ [4/16/18]
2 – marketwatch.com/story/how-to-game-the-new-standard-deduction-and-3-other-ways-to-cut-your-2018-tax-bill-2018-10-15 [10/15/18]
3 – hrblock.com/tax-center/irs/tax-reform/3-changes-itemized-deductions-tax-reform-bill/ [10/10/18]
4 – investopedia.com/articles/retirement/06/addroths.asp [2/2/18]
5 – investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/041315/tips-charitable-contributions-limits-and-taxes.asp [10/1/18]
6 – savingforcollege.com/article/how-much-is-your-state-s-529-plan-tax-deduction-really-worth [9/27/18]
7 – fool.com/retirement/2018/06/28/5-things-you-might-not-know-about-the-estate-tax.aspx [6/28/18]
8 – marketwatch.com/story/how-the-new-tax-law-creates-a-perfect-storm-for-roth-ira-conversions-2018-03-26 [9/15/18]
9 – fool.com/investing/2018/03/17/your-2018-guide-to-college-tuition-tax-breaks.aspx [3/17/18]
10 – money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/taxes/articles/2018-10-16/should-you-adjust-your-income-tax-withholding [10/16/18]

 

Social Security Gets Its Biggest Boost in Years

Seniors will see their retirement benefits increase by an average of 2.8% in 2019

Social Security will soon give seniors their largest “raise” since 2012. In view of inflation, the Social Security Administration has authorized a 2.8% increase for retirement benefits in 2019.1      

This is especially welcome, as annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs, have been irregular in recent years. There were no COLAs at all in 2010, 2011, and 2016, and the 2017 COLA was 0.3%. This marks the second year in a row in which the COLA has been at least 2%.2

Not every retiree will see their benefits grow 2.8% next year. While affluent seniors will probably get the full COLA, more than 5 million comparatively poorer seniors may not, according to the Senior Citizens League, a lobbying group active in the nation’s capital.1

Why, exactly? It has to do with Medicare’s “hold harmless” provision, which held down the cost of Part B premiums for select Medicare recipients earlier in this decade. That rule prevents Medicare Part B premiums, which are automatically deducted from monthly Social Security benefits, from increasing more than a Social Security COLA in a given year. (Without this provision in place, some retirees might see their Social Security benefits effectively shrink from one year to the next.)1

After years of Part B premium inflation being held in check, the “hold harmless” provision is likely fading for the above-mentioned 5+ million Social Security recipients. They may not see much of the 2019 COLA at all.1

Even so, the average Social Security beneficiary will see a difference. The increase will take the average individual monthly Social Security payment from $1,422 to $1,461, meaning $468 more in retirement benefits for the year. An average couple receiving Social Security is projected to receive $2,448 per month, which will give them $804 more for 2019 than they would get without the COLA. How about a widower living alone? The average monthly benefit is set to rise $38 per month to $1,386, which implies an improvement of $456 in total benefits for 2019.1

Lastly, it should be noted that some disabled workers also receive Social Security benefits. Payments to their households will also grow larger next year. Right now, the average disabled worker enrolled in Social Security gets $1,200 per month in benefits. That will rise to $1,234 per month in 2019. The increase for the year will be $408.1

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

 

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.

 

Citations.

1 – fool.com/retirement/2018/10/26/heres-what-the-average-social-security-beneficiary.aspx [10/26/18]

2 – tinyurl.com/y9spspqe [8/31/18]

 

Weekly Economic Update 11-26-18

In this week’s recap: a gain in existing home sales, a dip for consumer sentiment, more pain for the oil sector, and more losses for the big three.

SUDDENLY, MORE HOMES SELL

Existing home sales improved in October for the first time in seven months. The National Association of Realtors announced a 1.4% monthly increase, while also noting that the annualized sales pace was 5.1% slower than it had been 12 months earlier. Across the year ending in October, the median sales price for an existing home rose 3.8%. There were 4.3 months of housing inventory listed last month, corresponding to the definition of a “tight” market among real estate professionals.1

 

AT THANKSGIVING, CONSUMER SENTIMENT WEAKENS

In its final November edition, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to a mark of 97.5, 1.1 points under its final October level. Analysts polled by Refinitiv anticipated a reading of 98.3. In March, the gauge reached a 14-year peak of 101.4; it has trended downward since.2

 

WHEN WILL OIL RECOVER?

Next week? Next month? Last week, the commodity lost value again, slumping 7.7% on Friday alone (albeit in thin, post-Thanksgiving trading) to a NYMEX settlement of $50.42. That left light sweet crude 34% below its close on October 3. Oil industry analysts widely believe that OPEC will announce supply cuts at its December 6 meeting.3

 

A SHORT WEEK BRINGS SIGNIFICANT DESCENTS

Oil’s troubles also affected equities, which were already hindered by investor pessimism in the days near Thanksgiving. The S&P 500 stumbled 3.79% across an abbreviated trading week, down to 2,632.56 at Friday’s closing bell. Thanksgiving week also saw the Dow Industrials slide 4.44% to 24,285.95. The Nasdaq Composite lost 4.26% in three-and-a-half trading sessions to fall to 6,938.98.4

 

 

T I P   O F   T H E   W E E K


If your college student has a chance to enter a work-study program, you may worry that the part-time job and the course load will prove too much to handle. Most work-study programs set reasonable limits on the hours students work, however, and the job experience can help build your student’s resume.

 

 

THIS WEEK

On Monday, nothing major is scheduled. | The Conference Board’s November consumer confidence index appears Tuesday, plus earnings from Cracker Barrel, Salesforce, and Stein Mart. | Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivers a speech on monetary policy in New York on Wednesday, shortly before the closing bell; investors will also interpret the latest new home sales report from the Census Bureau, the second estimate of Q3 GDP, and earnings news from Burlington Stores, Chico’s FAS, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Guess, La-Z-Boy, J.M. Smucker, and Sportsman’s Warehouse. | Thursday, minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve policy meeting arrive, along with October consumer spending figures, the NAR’s October pending home sales report, a new initial jobless claims report, and earnings from Abercrombie, Dell Technologies, Dollar Tree, Express, GameStop, HP, Kirkland’s, and TD Bank. | Friday, the G20 summit starts in Buenos Aires, and with it, the possibility of renewed trade talks between the U.S. and China.

 

 

Q U O T E   O F   T H E   W E E K

“Sometimes the questions are complicated, and the answers are simple.”

Theodore Seuss Geisel

Sources: ft.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 11/23/185,6,7,8

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

 

 

T H E   W E E K L Y   R I D D L E

What two things will you never eat for dinner?

 

LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: What goes back and forth all the time while keeping time, causing a bit of noise only some of the time?

ANSWER: A pendulum.

 

 

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

 

Know someone who could use information like this?
Please feel free to send us their contact information via phone or email. (Don’t worry – we’ll request their permission before adding them to our mailing list.)

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs, or expenses. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

CITATIONS:

1 – bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-21/u-s-existing-home-sales-rise-for-first-time-in-seven-months [11/21/18]

2 – cnbc.com/2018/11/21/consumer-sentiment-final-november-reading.html [11/21/18]

3 – cnbc.com/2018/11/23/oil-prices-slump-to-their-lowest-level-of-2018-even-as-opec-considers-cuts.html [11/23/18]

4 – markets.ft.com/data/world [11/23/18]

5 – markets.wsj.com/us [11/23/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F24%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/23/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F24%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/23/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F24%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/23/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F22%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/23/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F22%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/23/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F22%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/23/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F24%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/23/18]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F24%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/23/18]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F24%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/23/18]
7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [11/23/18]
8 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [11/23/18]

 

Board of Director, SENB Bank, Dick Kleine – Awarded 2018 Outstanding Philanthropist by Association of Fundraising Professionals, IL QC Chapter

 

Dick Kleine

Dick Kleine, 2018 Outstanding Philanthropist. Nominated by Sherry Ristau, Quad Cities Community Foundation

Dick passionately says that there are three stages in life: Learning, Earning, and Returning. He believes that once one has had the opportunity to learn and has put in the work to earn, it is finally time to return — to give back to the community that he loves so well, through leadership, volunteering, and philanthropy. He lives this belief every day as evidenced in the long list of accomplishments.

As a community leader, Dick helped launch the Achieve Quad Cities program, designed to reduce the high school dropout rate. He served as Chairman for the United Way campaign for the Quad Cities. He was a member of the Quad City Times Editorial Board, served on the Task Force for a Quad City Scan, and passionately served his church and the Diocese of Davenport.

Dick has volunteered at the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend for over 20 years, including eight years on the Board of Directors, two years as the Board Chair, and volunteering in a staff position as the Director of Corporate Relations. He also contributed funds to set up the first-ever Donor Advised Fund at the CFGRB, which has granted to over 70 non-profits in the Quad Cities community.

Dick served on the steering committee for the Genesis Health Foundation’s Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House endowment and he continues to sere on the Genesis Health System Foundation Board of Directors today. Dick has served on the Board of Directors for The Carmelite System, Center for Active Seniors (CASI), Handicapped Development Center, Family Resources, and Advisory Council for the Business School at St. Ambrose University, Diocese of Davenport and St. John Vianney.

These contributions tell only the story of Dick’s volunteer impact. As a professional, Dick developed an innovative participatory management style that was written about in the book Worker Leadership: America’s Secret Weapon in the Battle for Industrial Competitiveness, published in 2013.

Dick believes that personal philanthropy is important — he strives not to just meet fundraising goals, but to achieve goals that effect change at a community-wide level for greatest impact.

This article was shared from the AFP 2018 National Philanthropy Day Conference Book  and the nomination printed was written by Sherry Ristau, Quad Cities Community Foundation

Weekly Economic Update 11-19-18

In this week’s recap: a bit more inflation pressure, a big fall retail sales gain, another setback for light sweet crude, and a down week on Wall Street.

IN OCTOBER, INFLATION JUMPED THE MOST SINCE JANUARY

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.3% last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was the largest monthly gain for the headline CPI since its 0.5% move in the first month of the year. A 3.0% leap in gasoline prices played a significant role. Core consumer inflation, which does not include volatile food and energy costs, increased by 0.2% in October.1

 

RETAIL SALES RISE 0.8%

Consumers certainly entered fall in a buying mood. Even with car and truck sales factored out, the gain was still 0.7% in October, and that left overall U.S. retail purchases up 4.6% year-over-year. In September, retail purchases tailed off 0.1% (the Department of Commerce first reported a 0.1% advance).2

 

WTI CRUDE FALLS INTO A BEAR MARKET

Oil’s fourth-quarter slide continued last week. Friday, light sweet crude ended the week at $56.46 on the New York Mercantile Exchange after its price slid 6.2% across five trading sessions, hitting a 12-month closing low of $55.69 on Tuesday. The commodity is now on a 6-week losing streak.3

 

MAJOR INDICES RETREAT

Investors were left cold by some of last week’s key earnings reports, and the significant October inflation advance seemed to provide additional substantiation for a year-end Federal Reserve interest rate hike. The S&P 500 lost 1.61% in five days, falling to 2,736.27 at Friday’s closing bell. It fared better than both the Dow Industrials and Nasdaq Composite; last week, the blue chips slumped 2.22% to 25,413.22, while the tech-heavy benchmark dipped 2.15% to 7,247.87.4

 

 

T I P   O F   T H E   W E E K
Did you know mortgage rates fluctuate daily during the week? If you are looking for a home loan, be sure to assess the terms of different loans on the same day. If you finalize negotiations on a loan, ask your lender to lock in the terms.

 

 

THIS WEEK

Agilent Technologies, Intuit, Jack in the Box, and Urban Outfitters present earnings on Monday. | Analog Devices, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Campbell Soup, Foot Locker, Gap, Hormel Foods, Kohl’s, Lowe’s, Medtronic, Ross Stores, Stage Stores, Target, and TJX all announce earnings on Tuesday; in addition, the Census Bureau releases a report on October housing starts. | Wednesday sees the release of the final November University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, the October existing home sales report from the National Association of Realtors, the October leading indicator index from the Conference Board, and a new monthly report on capital goods orders from the Census Bureau. | U.S. financial markets are closed Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving. | Friday, stock and bond markets reopen for a shortened trading session, with no major economic news or earnings announcements scheduled.

 

 

Q U O T E   O F   T H E   W E E K

“We must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.”

Indira Gandhi

Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 11/16/184,5,6,7

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

 

 

T H E   W E E K L Y   R I D D L E

What goes back and forth all the time while keeping time, causing a bit of noise only some of the time?

 

LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: A young man runs away from home. Cheered on by onlookers, he makes three lefts, then finds two masked men ahead of him, but he runs toward them. Can you explain why?

ANSWER: He is rounding the bases in a baseball game and heading toward home plate.

 

 

 

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

 

Know someone who could use information like this?
Please feel free to send us their contact information via phone or email. (Don’t worry – we’ll request their permission before adding them to our mailing list.)

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs, or expenses. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

CITATIONS:

1 – cnbc.com/2018/11/14/us-consumer-price-index-october-2018.html [11/14/18]

2 – investors.com/news/economy/retail-sales-rise-amazon-walmart-ecommerce/ [11/15/18]

3 – marketwatch.com/story/oil-reclaims-more-ground-though-the-sharp-selloff-accounts-for-a-4-weekly-loss-2018-11-16 [11/16/18]

4 – markets.wsj.com/us [11/16/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F16%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/16/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F16%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/16/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F16%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/16/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F15%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/16/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F15%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/16/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F15%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/16/18]

5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F17%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/16/18]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F17%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/16/18]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F17%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/16/18]
6 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [11/16/18]
7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [11/16/18]

Is Generation X Preparing Adequately for Retirement?

Future financial needs may be underestimated.

 

“As a Gen Xer myself, I can say there are many more tools today to help us better prepare for a secure retirement. I would encourage each reader to enlighten themselves of the resources available at their disposal. Your future-self will thank you.” Gregg

   

If you were born during 1965-80, you belong to “Generation X.” Ten or twenty years ago, you may have thought of retirement as an event in the lives of your parents or grandparents; within the next 10-15 years, you will probably be thinking about how your own retirement will unfold.1

 

According to the most recent annual retirement survey from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, the average Gen Xer has saved only about $72,000 for retirement. Hypothetically, how much would that $72,000 grow in a tax-deferred account returning 6% over 15 years, assuming ongoing monthly contributions of $500? According to the compound interest calculator at Investor.gov, the answer is $312,208. Across 20 years, the projection is $451,627.2,3

 

Should any Gen Xer retire with less than $500,000? Today, people are urged to save $1 million (or more) for retirement; $1 million is being widely promoted as the new benchmark, especially for those retiring in an area with high costs of living. While a saver aged 38-53 may or may not be able to reach that goal by age 65, striving for it has definite merit.4

 

Many Gen Xers are staring at two retirement planning shortfalls. Our hypothetical Gen Xer directs $500 a month into a retirement account. This might be optimistic: Gen Xers contribute an average of 8% of their pay to retirement plans. For someone earning $60,000, that means just $400 a month. A typical Gen X worker would do well to either put 10% or 15% of his or her salary toward retirement savings or simply contribute the maximum to retirement accounts, if income or good fortune allows.2

 

How many Gen Xers have Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)? These accounts set aside a distinct pool of money for medical needs. Unlike Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), HSAs do not have to be drawn down each year. Assets in an HSA grow with taxes deferred, and if a distribution from the HSA is used to pay qualified health care expenses, that money comes out of the account, tax free. HSAs go hand-in-hand with high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), which have lower premiums than typical health plans. A taxpayer with a family can contribute up to $7,000 to an HSA in 2019. (The limit is $8,000 if that taxpayer will be 55 or older at any time next year.) HSA contributions also reduce taxable income.2,5

 

Fidelity Investments projects that the average couple will pay $280,000 in health care expenses after age 65. A particular retiree household may pay more or less, but no one can deny that the costs of health care late in life can be significant. An HSA provides a dedicated, tax-advantaged way to address those expenses early.6

 

Retirement is less than 25 years away for most of the members of Generation X. For some, it is less than a decade away. Is this generation prepared for the financial realities of life after work? Traditional pensions are largely gone, and Social Security could change in the decades to come. At midlife, Gen Xers must dedicate themselves to sufficiently funding their retirements and squarely facing the financial challenges ahead.

 

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Please Note: Investment products provided by SENB Wealth Management are not FDIC insured, are not obligations of, deposits of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, involve Investment risk, Including the possible loss of principal amount invested, are not insured by any federal government agency.

Citations.

1 – businessinsider.com/generation-you-are-in-by-birth-year-millennial-gen-x-baby-boomer-2018-3 [4/19/18]

2 – forbes.com/sites/megangorman/2018/05/27/generation-x-our-top-2-retirement-planning-priorities/ [5/27/18]

3 – investor.gov/additional-resources/free-financial-planning-tools/compound-interest-calculator [11/8/18]

4 – washingtonpost.com/news/get-there/wp/2018/04/26/is-1-million-enough-to-retire-why-this-benchmark-is-both-real-and-unrealistic [4/26/18]

5 – kiplinger.com/article/insurance/T027-C001-S003-health-savings-account-limits-for-2019.html [8/28/18]

6 – fool.com/retirement/2018/11/05/3-reasons-its-not-always-a-good-idea-to-retire-ear.aspx [11/5/18]

 

When You Retire Without Enough

Start your “second act” with inadequate assets, and your vision of the future may be revised.

   

How much have you saved for retirement? Are you on pace to amass a retirement fund of $1 million by age 65? More than a few retirement counselors urge pre-retirees to strive for that goal. If you have $1 million in invested assets when you retire, you can withdraw 4% a year from your retirement funds and receive $40,000 in annual income to go along with Social Security benefits (in ballpark terms, about $30,000 per year for someone retiring from a long career). If your investment portfolio is properly diversified, you may be able to do this for 25-30 years without delving into assets elsewhere.1

 

Perhaps you are 20-25 years away from retiring. Factoring in inflation and medical costs, maybe you would prefer $80,000 in annual income plus Social Security at the time you retire. Strictly adhering to the 4% rule, you will need to save $2 million in retirement funds to satisfy that preference.1

 

There are many variables in retirement planning, but there are also two realities that are hard to dismiss. One, retiring with $1 million in invested assets may suffice in 2018, but not in the 2030s or 2040s, given how even moderate inflation whittles away purchasing power over time. Two, most Americans are saving too little for retirement: about 5% of their pay, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Fifteen percent is a better goal.1

 

Fifteen percent? Really? Yes. Imagine a 30-year-old earning $40,000 annually who starts saving for retirement. She gets 3.8% raises each year until age 67; her investment portfolio earns 6% a year during that time frame. At a 5% savings rate, she would have close to $424,000 in her retirement account 37 years later; at a 15% savings rate, she would have about $1.3 million by age 67. From boosting her savings rate 10%, she ends up with three times as much in retirement assets.1

   

Now, what if you save too little for retirement? That implies some degree of compromise to your lifestyle, your dreams, or both. You may have seen your parents, grandparents, or neighbors make such compromises.

 

There is the 75-year-old who takes any job he can, no matter how unsatisfying or awkward, because he realizes he is within a few years of outliving his money. There is the small business owner entering her sixties with little or no savings (and no exit strategy) who doggedly resolves to work until she dies.

 

Perhaps you have seen the widow in her seventies who moves in with her son and his spouse out of financial desperation, exhibiting early signs of dementia and receiving only minimal Social Security benefits. Or the healthy and active couple in their sixties who retire years before their savings really allow, and who are chagrined to learn that their only solid hope of funding their retirement comes down to selling the home they have always loved and moving to a cheaper and less cosmopolitan area or a tiny condominium.

      

When you think of retirement, you probably do not think of “just getting by.” That is no one’s retirement dream. Sadly, that risks becoming reality for those who save too little for the future. Talk to a financial professional about what you have in mind for retirement: what you want your life to look like, what your living expenses could be like. From that conversation, you might get a glimpse of just how much you should be saving today for tomorrow.

 

Gregg A Hancock Jr.

Vice President SENB Wealth Management

Trust Business Development Officer

SENB Wealth Management

309-517-5122

wealthmanagement@senb.com

www.senb.com

 

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

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Citations.

1 – investopedia.com/retirement/retirement-income-planning/ [6/7/18]