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Mid-Year Is a Good Time to Fine-Tune Your Finances

Mid-Year Is a Good Time to Fine-Tune Your Finances

 

The first part of 2020 was rocky, but there should be better days ahead. Taking a close look at your finances may give you the foundation you need to begin moving forward. Mid-year is an ideal time to do so, because the planning opportunities are potentially greater than if you waited until the end of the year.

Renew Your Resolutions

At the beginning of the year, you may have vowed to change your financial situation, perhaps by saving more, spending less, or reducing your debt. Are these resolutions still important to you? If your income, expenses, and life circumstances have changed since then, you may need to rethink your priorities.

While it may be difficult to look at your finances during turbulent times, review financial statements and account balances to determine whether you need to make any changes to keep your financial plan on track.

Take Another Look at Your Taxes

Completing a mid-year estimate of your tax liability may reveal planning opportunities. You can use last year’s tax return as a basis, then factor in any anticipated adjustments to your income and deductions for this year.

Check your withholding, especially if you owed taxes or received a large refund. Doing that now, rather than waiting until the end of the year, may help you avoid a big tax bill or having too much of your money tied up with Uncle Sam.

You can check your withholding by using the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator at irs.gov/individuals/tax-withholding-estimator. If necessary, adjust the amount of federal or state income tax withheld from your paycheck by filing a new Form W-4 with your employer.

Review Your Investments

Review your portfolio to make sure your asset allocation is still in line with your financial goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. Look at how your investments have performed against appropriate benchmarks, and in relationship to your expectations and needs. Consider whether any changes are warranted, but be careful about making them while the market is volatile.

Asset allocation is a method used to help manage investment risk; it does not guarantee a profit or protect against investment loss. All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful.

Check Your Retirement Savings

If you’re still saving for retirement, look for ways to increase retirement plan contributions. For example, if you receive a pay increase this year, you could contribute a higher percentage of your salary to your employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k), 403(b), or 457(b) plan. If you’re age 50 or older, consider making catch-up contributions to your employer plan. For 2020, the contribution limit is $19,500, or $26,000 if you’re eligible to make catch-up contributions. If you are close to retirement or already retired, take another look at your retirement income needs and whether your current investment and distribution strategy will provide enough income.

Read About Your Insurance Coverage

Are you familiar with the terms of your homeowners, renters, and auto insurance policies? Do you know how much disability or life insurance coverage you have? If not, it’s time to add your insurance policies to your summer reading list. Your insurance needs can change, and it’s possible that your coverage hasn’t kept pace with your income or family circumstances.

 

Source: http://www.mckeefinancialresources.com/Mid-Year-Is-a-Great-Time-to-Fine-Tune-Your-Finances.c9575.htm

 

This information is not intended as tax, legal, investment, or retirement advice or recommendations, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek advice from an independent tax or legal professional. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. This material was written and prepared by Broadridge Advisor Solutions. © 2020 Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.

 

Interesting Economic Facts

 

WHERE DID THEY GO? - The number of publicly listed companies, i.e., companies traded on an exchange, has dropped from a peak of 8,090 in 1996 to just 4,397 today (source: theglobaleconomy.com).

 

YOUR HOME - 62% of first alien home mortgages are federally backed, i.e., the loans are guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration or the Veterans Benefits Administration. The government announced on 6/17/20 that the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions on federally backed, single-family mortgages has been extended to 8/31/20. Borrowers who experience “financial hardship” due to the pandemic may extend the moratorium for an additional 6 months to 2/28/21 (source: Federal Housing Finance Agency).

 

THE RICHEST - The top 1% of wage earners in the USA reported at least $515,371 of pre-tax income in 2017 and own an estimated 39% of the total wealth in the country (source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities).

 

STILL DOWN BUT COMING BACK - As of the date that the CARES Act was signed into law by President Trump (3/27/20), total spending by American consumers was down 30.2% from total spending in the country in January 2020. As of 7/01/20, total spending by American consumers had rebounded and was down just 9% from total spending in January 2020 (source: Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker).

 

TAKE IT AND SPEND IT - The CARES Act authorized nontaxable distributions of $1,200 per individual and $500 per child (under the age of 17). 159 million electronic payments and checks totaling $267 billion were paid to income-eligible Americans (source: CARES Act).

 

NEED A LOAN? - The $349 billion of PPP loans (Paycheck Protection Program) to small businesses (less than 500 employees) from the CARES Act was all loaned out by 4/16/20, prompting Congress to authorize an additional $310 billion of PPP loans as of 4/24/20. As of 6/30/20, $130 billion of the $310 billion had yet to be loaned out. The deadline for applying for PPP loans is Saturday 8/08/20 (source: Congress).

 

DEATHS - The first American death from the COVID-19 pandemic occurred on 2/06/20. As of 9am ET on 7/06/20, i.e., 5 months later, 130,937 Americans had died from the pandemic. 93% of the American death total has occurred in the last 3 months, i.e., since 4/06/20 (source: NBC News, Meet the Press: First Read).

 

JUST IN CASE - 45% of Americans surveyed in May 2020 have living wills in place. Living wills document an individual’s “end of life” medical care wishes in case he/she loses the ability to communicate (source: Gallup).

 

OTHER PANDEMICS - Dating back to the 14th century, i.e., the 100 years that began 1/01/1301, there have been 15 pandemics where more than 100,000 people died, not counting the current COVID-19 pandemic. We are in the 21st century today, i.e., the 100 years that began 1/01/2001 (source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis).

 

HOW LONG? - 37% of 1,000 American voters interviewed during the last week of June 2020 anticipate that the US economy will “fully recover” within a year from now, i.e., 63% of those interviewed believe it will take at least another year for the US economy to come all the way back (source: FT-Peter G. Peterson Foundation).

 

HEAD SOUTH - The government divides the USA into 4 geographical areas: Northeast, South, Midwest and West. As of May 2020, the Northeast states had 972,000 job openings while the states in the South region had 2.070 million job openings. The total number of US job openings: 5.397 million (source: Department of Labor).

 

BIG RED NUMBERS - On 4/24/20, the CBO forecasted a budget deficit for fiscal year 2020, i.e., the 12 months ending 9/30/20, of $3.7 trillion or 18.1% of our $20.4 trillion economy. The “deficit dollar amount” record in the USA is $1.41 trillion from fiscal year 2009. The “deficit as a percentage of GDP” record in the USA is 29.6% from fiscal year 1943 (source: Congressional Budget Office, Office of Management and Budget).

 

VERY LARGE HUMAN BEINGS - The average weight of a starting offensive lineman in the NFL in 1970, i.e., 50 years ago, was 254.3 lbs. The average weight of the projected starting offensive linemen in the NFL for the upcoming 2020 season is 315 lbs., or nearly 61 lbs. heavier (source: Elias Sports Bureau).

 

...and for the History Lovers... This Week in History

 

July 13, 1866

The Great Eastern begins a two week voyage to complete a 12-year effort to lay telegraph cable across the Atlantic between Britain and the United States.

 

July 14, 1938

Howard Hughes and crew set a new world record for an around-the-world flight.

 

July 15, 1958

President Dwight Eisenhower sends 5,000 Marines to Lebanon to keep the peace.

 

July 16, 1969

Apollo 11 blasts off from Cape Kennedy, Florida, heading for a landing on the moon.

 

July 17, 1801

The U.S. fleet arrives in Tripoli.

 

July 18, 1877

Inventor Thomas Edison records the human voice for the first time.

 

July 19, 1799

The Rosetta Stone, a tablet with hieroglyphic translations into Greek, is found in Egypt.

 

Additional fun facts: the U.S. fleet arriving in Tripoli lead to the Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon and his United States Marines raising the American Flag over the Old World for the first time.  This was significant enough that Tripoli is mentioned in the Marine Corps Hymn. 

 

The McKee Financial Resources LLC Website

 

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This material is not intended as tax, legal, investment, or retirement advice or recommendations, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

 

Source: http://www.mckeefinancialresources.com/learning_center/tax_library/

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