The coronavirus pandemic has launched the country, and the world, into uncharted territory. In much of the world, society is essentially shut down. Schools and large events are closed. People are staying in their homes. Businesses have effectively closed across the country.
The economy has felt the impact of the pandemic. Stocks have declined significantly, and unemployment has surged. On March 3, the Federal Reserve took action by cutting the fed funds rate to 0%. The Fed expects to maintain this rate until “it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events.”1
Given the unpredictability of the current pandemic, it’s hard to say how long rates might be at zero or how the economy may change in the future. However, changes to the fed’s benchmark rate often have ripple effects throughout the economy. Below are some things you may want to consider as we navigate a zero-rate environment for the near future:
Many common types of debt are tied to the prime rate. For instance, if you have a credit card with a variable interest rate, it could fall soon. If so, this may be a good time to get that balance paid off. You also may see lower rates on things like car loans and mortgages. This could be a good time to rate shop, especially if you have good credit. Even if you don’t want to transfer a credit card balance or refinance a home, the prospect of doing so could be enough to convince your lender to reduce your rate.
Student loan rates could also be impacted. Rates for new federal student loans are adjusted every year. The rate for 2019-20 is already set, but the rate for next year could drop significantly if rates stay low for some time. Private student loan rates could be fixed or variable. It depends on the terms of your loan agreement.
Savers have unfortunately been used to low-interest rates for some time. Interest rates on savings accounts had started to climb, but after the Fed’s cut, the average FDIC rate is now down to 0.09%. While CDs may offer higher rates, they also come with less liquidity.
It’s always advisable to have liquid savings available to cover emergencies and unexpected costs. However, it may be difficult to find interest-bearing accounts for those savings at this time. We can help you explore all your options and develop a liquidity strategy that’s right for your needs and goals.
There’s a misconception that a Federal Reserve rate cut always leads to gains in the stock market. One need looks no further than the most recent cut to see that it’s not true. When the Fed cut rates on March 3, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 800 points.2
These are unprecedented times and it’s impossible to predict when the pandemic will end or how it will fully impact investors. While interest rates are a factor, there are many others to consider. Your retirement income strategy should be based on your unique needs and goals.
Now could be the right time to review your strategy and make adjustments. A change in allocation could be appropriate. You also may want to take advantage of financial vehicles that limit your exposure to risk. A financial professional can help you find the right strategy for your needs.
Ready to review your retirement income strategy? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Senior Care Advisors. We can set up a virtual consultation, so you don’t have to leave the comfort and safety of your home. Let’s connect today and start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency. 19959 - 2020/3/31
Tacoma Award Program Honors the Achievement
TACOMA April 3, 2020 -- Senior Retirement Advisors has been selected for the 2020 Best of Tacoma Award in the Financial Planning Consultants category by the Tacoma Award Program.
Each year, the Tacoma Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Tacoma area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2020 Tacoma Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Tacoma Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Tacoma Award Program
The Tacoma Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Tacoma area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Tacoma Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.
SOURCE: Tacoma Award Program
Tacoma Award Program
On March 27, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which provides economic support to Americans who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. You’re probably familiar with the highlights of the bill:
Those components are important and will certainly help many people get through this unprecedented period. However, there are some other provisions that could be important for you, especially if you’re approaching retirement or are already retired.
Extended Tax Filing and IRA Deadline
The IRS pushed back the tax filing deadline to July 15 from the traditional April 15.2 That gives you more time to prepare your return, collect documents, and possibly implement a strategy to minimize your tax bill.
That also gives you more time to contribute to your IRA. You can make an IRA contribution up to July 15 and count it as a deduction on your 2019 return, assuming of course that you meet income requirements.3
401(k) and IRA Distribution Options
It’s possible that you may need additional funds to get you through this period, especially if you or your spouse have been furloughed or have lost income. The CARES Act allows you to tap into your qualified retirement accounts through special distributions.
You can take a withdrawal from your 401(k) and IRA without paying the 10% early distribution penalty, even if you are under age 59 ½. The distributions are taxable, but the taxes are spread over a three-year period. However, you can also repay the distribution over that three-year period and avoid paying taxes on the distribution.3
While a 401(k) or IRA distribution may be helpful, it could also have long-term consequences. When you take a distribution from your account, those funds are no longer invested. That means those funds can’t compound and grow. It’s possible that you may not fully participate in a market recovery if you decide to take a distribution, which could hurt your long-term growth.
Waiver of RMDs
Are you required to take an RMD in 2020? Not anymore. The CARES Act waives all RMDs in 2020, so there is no penalty for not taking a minimum distribution from a 401(k) or IRA. 4
This could be very helpful for your account balance. Your RMD would have been based on your December 31, 2019. Depending on how you are allocated, your account value may have been significantly higher on that date than it is today. That means that had the RMD not been waived, you would have potentially been required to take a substantial withdrawal from an account that had fallen in value.4
This may be a confusing and unprecedented time, but you have options available. We are here to help you explore those options and implement the right strategy for your retirement needs and goals. Contact us today at Senior Care Advisors. Let’s connect and start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency. 19977 - 2020/4/7