May 12, 2021 -
Last week the House Ways and Means Committee approved a bipartisan (yes, you read that correctly) bill that makes significant changes to retirement planning.
The Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021 (H.R. 2954) is a sequel to the SECURE Act of 2019 which also passed with strong bipartisan support. Its nickname is SECURE Act 2.0 as lawmakers are hoping it will pass with the same ease.
As you may recall, the 2019 SECURE Act made significant changes such as increasing the age at which Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) must begin to age 72 and limiting the life of inherited retirement accounts to 10 years. The SECURE Act 2.0 also includes some impactful provisions that could alter your financial plan if it is signed into law.
May 5, 2021 -
Every hike begins with a plan. Pick an idyllic location and gauge how far you or your family can walk. Be prepared with water, nutrition, and any defenses you may need against nature (sun block, insect repellent, or bear spray).
Yet, no matter how much you plan and prepare, unexpected twists and turn can throw you off course.
Last week the Biden Administration laid out its plans for a hike. While we do not know whether the tax hikes below will unfold as planned, we can certainly sense the direction they are heading:
April 28, 2021 -
Spring has sprung, and the grass has started greening up and growing again. Thus, adventures in lawn mowing have begun at our house.
Lawn mowing brings out some significant contrasts in my family. There are two distinct approaches that my family members take.
My 15-year-old son is responsible for mowing a specific section of our yard as part of his family responsibilities. His objective is to accomplish this task in as little time as possible. He even Googled the fastest way to mow a lawn to maximize his odds of posting a top speed, and now follows that mowing pattern every time.
April 21, 2021 -
It seems like I spend more time focusing on PSI (pounds per square inch) in spring than any other time of the year.
All of the kids’ basketballs, footballs, and kickballs that sat in the garage all winter need some air. All of the family’s bike tires need to be reinflated before the first ride of the year. The car and camper tires all need to be checked.
Until you stop and think about it, you probably don’t realize how important proper inflation is to your everyday life.
April 14, 2021 -
We know they are coming. The conditions are turning in their favor. The air is getting warmer. The rain is creating standing water.
Yes, the mosquitoes are coming.
Can you predict exactly what minute of what hour of what day you will receive your first mosquito bite this year? Neither can I.
One of the more common questions we are receiving from clients right now is similar in nature.
April 7, 2021 -
During spring training, I saw several commentaries by sports writers about how the Milwaukee Brewers had significantly upgraded their defense in the off season.
Sure enough, four games into the season the Brewers are under-erroring the competition by a score of 2 to 3.
The challenge is they have only (barely) won one game during the first 2.5% of this season and are currently on pace to finish 40-122. Ouch!
Apparently, winning requires more than under-erroring the competition.
March 31, 2021 -
How would you feel after successfully making 49,000 consecutive free throws, executing 49,000 perfect days of parenting in a row, or assembling 49,000 flawless motorcycles?
Doing something perfectly 50 times a day, seven days a week, for 32 months can certainly build your confidence. You may even start to believe that your skills are infallible.
Overconfidence can be the beginning of disaster, and the last week provided two very different yet similar outcomes driven by overconfidence.
March 24, 2021 -
Overall record. Strength of opponents. Individual and team statistics. Shooting percentage. Rebounds. Steals. Turnovers.
The selection committee that determines the seeding for teams in the NCAA basketball tournament has an overabundance of information at their fingertips when evaluating what seeding a team deserves. Rumor has it they also use artificial intelligence to enhance their decision-making process.
March 17, 2021 -
Opportunity knocks, but that persistent harsh knocking sometimes creates fear instead of joy.
Next week Tuesday, March 23rd, marks the one-year anniversary of the end of a harrowing one-month 34% plunge for the S&P 500 Index – a representative basket of 500 U.S. large companies.
In the week leading up to that low point traders were panicking and flailing about as they tried to comprehend how a global pandemic would impact the economy and individual companies. The S&P 500 Index was down 12% one day, up 6% the next, then down 5% the following day.
Fear gripped traders’ imaginations.
March 10, 2021 -
Today the U.S. House of Representatives is likely to approve the latest stimulus package to offset COVID-induced economic shutdowns. It is now on its way to President Biden’s desk for signature into law.
While previous bipartisan stimulus packages have passed with overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate, this latest $1,900,000,000,000 version barely passed along strict party lines.
What is the difference between this more contentious stimulus package and previous popular ones?