This year has been a rollercoaster ride. COVID has dominated the headlines and impacted every aspect of our lives. It has shut down businesses, schools, and workplaces. It’s changed the way we interact and socialize. And of course, it has deeply impacted the economy and the financial markets.
It can be hard in 2020 to find the good news, but there actually are a few economic developments for which we can be grateful. There’s also quite a bit of uncertainty ahead of us. As we approach the end of 2020, now may be a good time to reflect on what has transpired over the past 11 months, and what steps you may need to take to prepare for what comes next.
Below are three positive developments that you may want to consider as you prepare for 2021:
The Markets Rebound
COVID ended the longest bull market and longest economic expansion in history. The previous bull market started in 2009 and lasted for nearly a decade before crashing in just a few short weeks over February and January of this year.1
Between February 19 and March 23, the S&P 500 fell 33.93%. Since that point, though, the markets have surged. From March 23 through October 29, the S&P 500 is up 47.94% and is nearly back to its pre-COVID levels.2
As mentioned, though, there is still uncertainty ahead. The COVID pandemic is far from over. There’s also uncertainty about how the results of the election will impact the markets, the economy, and the country’s COVID response.
While the market's rebound is a fortunate turn of events, there’s no guarantee that it will continue. Now is a good time to evaluate your strategy and lock-in any gains before another potential downturn occurs. A financial professional can help you explore options.
In the second quarter, GDP fell by 31.4%, the largest quarterly drop in history. In the third quarter, it rebounded by 33.1%, the largest quarterly gain in history. That number easily beat the previous record of 16.7% in the third quarter of 1950.3
Much of the rebound was driven by the service industry and the reopening of much of the economy. Of course, the continuing rise in COVID cases may threaten the economic rebound. Twenty-nine states hit record levels for daily new cases in October. Forty states had an increase of 10% just in the last week of October.4
CARES Act Financial Flexibility
The COVID pandemic and its economic fallout have created financial challenges for millions of Americans. While the government is still debating a second round of stimulus, the first round, known as the CARES Act, continues to provide financial flexibility for those facing difficulties.
As part of the CARES Act, you can withdraw up to $100,000 from your 401(k) or IRA without facing early distribution penalties. The taxes on the distribution can even be spread out over a three-year period.5
Granted, withdrawing money from your 401(k) or IRA isn’t the best strategy for your retirement. However, it is an added measure of flexibility that didn’t exist prior to this year and it could be a blessing if you’re struggling due to the COVID pandemic.
The end of 2020 is approaching. It’s been a rollercoaster ride, but there have been some positive developments, especially in the second half of the year. Let’s talk about how to protect what you have and limit your exposure to future risk and uncertainty. Contact us today at Fenton Financial Services and let’s start the conversation.
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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.
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.
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.
Do you dream of early retirement? Or do you wish you had the ability to enjoy the greater freedom that comes with retirement in your younger years? When you achieve financial independence, that dream can become a reality.
Financial independence is different than traditional retirement. The typical idea of retirement follows a process of working until you reach retirement age and then exiting the working world.
Are you considering using a Roth IRA to save for retirement? Or are you thinking about converting a traditional IRA into a Roth? If so, you’re not alone. The Roth IRA is one of the most popular retirement savings vehicles, primarily because of its tax advantages and flexibility.
With a Roth IRA, you don’t get an upfront deduction for contributions as you do with a traditional IRA. However, you do get tax-deferred growth while the funds remain in the account and tax-free distributions assuming you are either disabled or 59 ½ or older.
Are you planning to move to a new locale after you retire? Perhaps you want to move south near the beach or the desert so you can enjoy warmer temperatures. Maybe you’d like to experience a different lifestyle in a bustling city or in a quiet countryside. Or you might even want to immerse yourself in another culture overseas.
Whatever your goal, retirement is the time to pursue the life you’ve imagined for yourself. You’ll have no work commitments, no scheduling obligations, and, hopefully, plenty of money to fund your desired lifestyle.