The lack of Americans’ retirement savings, referred to as “retirement insecurity”, is a topic we are hearing more and more about as the Boomer generation ages into retirement. Private company pensions are few and far between these days, putting the onus of saving for retirement on individuals, rather than corporations. Compounding the issue of the lack of retirement savings is the fact that Americans are living longer and will need to save more to cover living expenses and potentially higher medical costs later in life. Elected officials have responded to the potential crisis by enacting legislation such as the SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) and the OregonSaves program.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was established and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) began distributing loans to businesses in need. The goal of the program is to incentivize businesses to keep all of their employees on payroll; applicants had to affirm that they needed the funds in order to continue operating and employing their workforce. If you’ve been approved for a loan, you’re likely trying to stay on top of the requirements to have it forgiven. There’s a lot of information out there to digest and, since this is a new program, guidance is still evolving even though funds have already been dispensed. To get you started, we’ve provided answers to common questions with the information currently available.
For many of us, the COVID-19 outbreak has drastically changed the way we live, work, and enjoy our free time. Perhaps we weren’t as prepared for an emergency as we thought we were or never expected the government would tell us to stay home. Restaurants, bars, parks, and beaches all closed? No way! A line to get into the grocery store? You’re kidding. Signs along the highway reminding us to stay home to stay safe? It feels more like an apocalypse movie than real life. Without access to our usual ways of socializing and entertaining, we’re having to get creative – virtual happy hour anyone?
Since we’re all in this together, let’s do what we can to make it as comfortable and tolerable of an experience as we can. Understand that life is different right now and it’s important to adjust our expectations for ourselves and others accordingly. And maybe the silver lining is that we’ll have a better idea of what we need in order to maintain our health, happiness, and overall well-being when life returns to normal.
When it comes to investing our hard-earned savings, it’s difficult to remove emotion from our decision making, especially as those savings fluctuate up and down with the market. For most people these assets are grown over decades through saving and hard work – how could we not be emotionally attached? Especially when considering retirement assets, a portfolio can feel like a member of the family; they’ve seen the good times and the bad, from the job we loved to the one we didn’t, from our youngest child’s wedding to our first health scare. However long you’ve been invested, it’s likely that you know the feeling of watching the markets drop and the inevitable sinking stomach feeling. Perhaps that feeling and the corresponding worry stayed with us longer than it took for the market and our portfolios to recover and now informs our current financial decision-making. Why then, can few of us mark the moments in time when our investments grew significantly and we celebrated their success?
When winter melts away and springtime flowers start to bloom, your first thought is that tax filing season is around the corner, right?
If that’s just us, that’s ok, because we’re reminding our clients of a few things they can do to reduce their previous year’s tax bill. We prefer, however, to be more proactive with tax planning, so let’s talk about what you can do now and throughout the year to plan for your next tax bill.