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Over The Hill

I turned 40 recently, which according to most people means I’ve hit the midway point in life. I’m now “over the hill” and everything is downhill from here. Fortunately, I’m an optimist by nature and to me 40 is just another number. Besides, I’m a financial planner and I know my actual life expectancy isn’t really 80. According to the living to 100 life expectancy calculator, I’m going to live to 87 so I still have 3.5 more years before I hit the halfway point. I guess that means I have a few more years to decide which sports car to buy for my mid-life crisis!

Q4 2021 Market Commentary: Endless Cycles

The last two years have felt like an endless cycle of hope and despair. We have lost friends and family to the virus and seen others spend weeks in the hospital, wondering if they’ll ever come home. We have also been reunited with friends and family after months apart and felt the joy of physical connection again. This rollercoaster ride of emotion is not new to us, but COVID has certainly pushed our emotions to the extremes. These emotions can drive us to act in ways that might not seem completely rational to others. We have all had different reactions to this pandemic and those reactions have changed as we’ve gone through the various waves of infections. We see the same type of emotion-driven reaction in the investment markets as they go through cycles like we’ve seen from COVID, and investors react in similarly irrational ways.

2021 Year-End Charitable Giving

The end of the year is a very popular time to give to charities. There are many deserving organizations out there that could use your help, especially in light of the challenges we’ve all faced during the COVID pandemic. While your primary goal in giving to charity should be finding a cause that is important to you, there are many tax advantages to charitable giving that should also be considered. Some of these rules have changed in recent years, so we thought we’d highlight a few things you should be thinking about as you do your 2021 year-end giving.

Q3 2021 Market Commentary - What Scares You?

The third quarter saw weakness in US stock performance for the first time since the COVID crash, with large-cap stocks up less than 1%. After six straight quarters of positive returns, US small-cap stocks were down about 4% on the quarter. International stocks didn’t fare any better, with developed market stocks down just under 1% and emerging market stocks down 8%.

Build Back Better Act

It was only four years ago when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed, ushering in a host of tax cuts and new tax calculations. Since then we’ve seen the SECURE Act in 2019, the CARES Act when COVID hit in March 2020, and the Consolidated Appropriations Act at the end of 2020. Over the summer we told you about the proposed SECURE Act 2.0, which has broad bipartisan support but has yet to pass. On top of all this, we’ve known since the election last November that a major piece of tax legislation would eventually be proposed by the new administration.

Best Planning Ideas 2021

Since March 2020, when the world learned just how dangerous the COVID-19 virus could be, we have all been mostly in reactive mode. Offices and schools were closed so we learned to work from home while the kids learned remotely. The markets plummeted so we harvested tax losses and rebalanced portfolios. Tax deadlines changed and stimulus bills were passed, so we sorted through pages of new legislation to help our clients navigate the new rules. With significant potential changes looming in the tax and estate planning areas, now is the time to shift back into proactive mode. We might not know exactly what changes will be implemented, but it is critical to start thinking about how the proposals might impact you and what you will want to do to prepare.