The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues, even as states start to reopen restaurants, retail stores, and other businesses. The crisis brought an end to the bull market that started in 2009 and threatens to usher in a recession.1
What does the future hold for the stock market and the economy? When will the economy recover? And how will this crisis impact your retirement and your financial future?
It’s impossible to definitively answer those questions. In many ways, this event is unprecedented. We don’t know how long the virus will present a threat, so it’s impossible to predict how or when the economy may recover.
However, it is possible to make adjustments to your strategy to minimize risk and take advantage of potential opportunities. It’s also helpful to keep in mind the long-term nature of the economy and the financial markets. Nothing lasts forever, including recessions and bear markets.
Stock Market Performance
The financial markets have been a rollercoaster since the onset of the pandemic. On February 19, the S&P 500 closed at 3386. On March 23, it closed at 2237, a drop of 33.93%. Since that time, the market S&P has climbed to 2863 as of May 15.2
It’s important to remember that the stock market isn’t the same as the economy. A drop in the stock market doesn’t necessarily signal a recession, just like a rise doesn’t necessarily spell an economic recovery.
It’s also helpful to remember that bear markets are a natural part of investing. They aren’t always caused by global pandemics, but they do happen. There have been 16 bear markets since 1926. On average, they last 22 months and are followed by a 47% gain in the year following the market’s lowpoint.3 We can’t predict when the market will hit its low point, or if it already has, but if history is any guide, the market will recover at some point.
While the stock market has bounced back somewhat since its March decline, the overall economic news continues to be negative. More than 36 million people have filed for unemployment since late March. In 11 states, more than a quarter of the workforce is unemployed.4
In the first quarter, the economy contracted for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis. GDP declined by an annualized rate of 4.8%. That’s not as steep as the GDP decline of 8.4% annualized decline in 2008. However, it’s possible the economy could face a greater decline in the second quarter. Consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of GDP, fell by an annualized rate of 7.6% in the first quarter. That’s the steepest drop for that metric since 1980.5
While states may be starting the reopen process, there is still significant uncertainty surrounding the crisis and the economy’s future. The good news is you can take action to minimize risk. Contact us today at Fenton Financial Services. We can help you analyze your goals and needs and implement a strategy. 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. 20093 - 2020/5/19
On March 27, the government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, otherwise known as the CARES Act. The Act had a wide range of provisions to provide Americans and small businesses with economic support during the coronavirus pandemic. The bill provided stimulus payments, enhanced unemployment, and various forms of business loans.
One provision that flew under the radar was the ability for qualified individuals to take distributions from their 401(k) plans and IRAs without paying early distributions penalties. Normally, you face a 10% early distribution penalty if you take a withdrawal from these accounts before age 59 ½.1
However, under the CARES Act you can take up to $100,000 as a penalty-free distribution from your qualified accounts, assuming you are a qualified individual.2 Are you qualified? And even if you can take a distribution, is it wise to do so
CARES Act Qualified Plan Distributions
Under the CARES Act, you can take up to $100,000 in qualified plan distributions if you are a qualified individual. Who is qualified? Anyone who meets the following criteria:
If you meet any of these criteria and you decide to take a distribution, you won’t have to pay the 10% early distribution penalty, even if you are under age 59 ½. However, you will still have to pay income taxes on the distribution. You can spread the taxes out over a three-year period, but you still have to pay them.2
Should you take a CARES Act distribution?
A CARES Act distribution may be the right strategy if you are in a financial crisis and have limited avenues available for relief. However, just because the distribution is “penalty-free” doesn’t mean it comes without consequences.
In addition to paying taxes on the distribution, you’ll also forego any future growth on the assets you withdraw. Tax-deferred growth is one of the biggest advantages of a qualified account. However, if you pull out funds, you lose all future tax-deferred growth on that amount. That could lead to a substantial reduction in your future assets at retirement.
Instead of dipping into your 401(k) or IRA, consider what other options you may have available. For instance, perhaps you could tighten your budget. Maybe you could refinance mortgages or other loans, or even renegotiate new payment terms. You may even consider picking up additional work until the crisis passes. It may be tempting to take an IRA distribution, but you’re only taking money from your future self.
Let’s talk about strategies to help you get through this period. Contact us today at Fenton Financial Services. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a plan. Let’s connect soon 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. 20100 - 2020/5/20
Do you have grandchildren in their late teens or 20s? Their generation, known as millennials, grew up with access to the internet, cellphones and other technology that previous generations could never have imagined.
Millennials sometimes get a bad rap as being entitled and self-focused. However, their relationship with technology has given them a unique worldview. They recognize how to use technology to their advantage, and they may see opportunities that older generations don’t recognize.
Are you making your final financial preparations for retirement? Are you comparing various tools to help you build a stable foundation? From IRAs to insurance to investment vehicles, you have a broad range of tools and products at your disposal.
An annuity is one such tool. Annuities are often used to generate income, minimize taxes, manage risk and more. There are several types of annuities, and each is used to achieve specific objectives.
Since its inception in 1974, the IRA has become a popular retirement savings tool. According to a study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, there are more than 25 million IRAs open in the United States, and those accounts hold nearly $2.5 trillion in total assets.1
The IRA is a popular savings vehicle for a number of reasons. They often allow for a broad range of options, and you can use them to rollover your 401(k) assets when you leave a job.
There may be a hidden risk in your retirement plan that has escaped your attention. If you don’t address it now, it could threaten your ability to enjoy a comfortable and financially stable retirement. Don’t think it could happen to you? Imagine the following scenario.
You’re closing in on retirement. It’s less than 10 years away. You’re already planning life after you leave the working world. Perhaps you’re looking forward to enjoying vacations, your favorite hobby, or spending time with family.
Is retirement quickly approaching? It’s a big milestone for many Americans. It’s your time to finally take control of your schedule and spend your time the way you wish.
While retirement should be a happy time, it can also be a challenging transition for some. Some retirees find that they miss having the challenge that comes with a busy career. Others may feel that they lack purpose or direction. And some simply have trouble adjusting to a wide open schedule every day.
It’s National Financial Literacy Month. The goal is for financial institutions and organizations to educate Americans on some important but often overlooked financial issues. Often, the key to a successful financial future is in minimizing risks and threats. One of the most dangerous financial threats any family faces is the unexpected death of a parent.
Despite the threat posed by death, studies show that many households have little or no life insurance protection. A 2015 study from Bankrate found that only 60 percent of Americans had life insurance, and half of those had less coverage than they needed. Among families with children, 37 percent had no life insurance protection, while 32 percent had less than $100,000 in coverage.1
Often in retirement planning, much of the focus is on asset accumulation. No doubt it’s important to save and grow your money so you’ll have a sizable nest egg when you retire. However, it’s also important to minimize expenses in retirement. The higher your spending is, the harder it may be to make your savings last throughout your retirement years.
If you’re like many Americans, your 401(k) plan may be your largest retirement asset. A 401(k) plan is a tax-advantaged tool designed to encourage long-term savings. As long as the funds stay in the account, the growth isn’t taxed. This allows your funds to compound more quickly and can help you accumulate a substantial balance in a shorter amount of time.