As of the end of July, the stock market was still performing relatively well and the Federal Reserve had announced no near-term changes to interest rates.1 However, other economic news was not as rosy. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. economy contracted by nearly a third (32.9% annual rate) in the second quarter of this year.2
The pandemic has taken quite a toll on the U.S. economy. While eventually the economy will recover, individuals may want to re-assess their retirement portfolios going forward. Long term, it’s important to consider what types of permanent changes may take place post-pandemic, and how to anticipate them for long-term retirement planning.
For example, one of the issues with employer-sponsored 401(k) plans is that they are designed to take advantage of tax-deferred growth. However, given today’s historically low tax rates, that is less of an advantage than it was when the idea was first introduced. Consider a median-income married couple with two children:3
- In 1980, the marginal federal income tax rate was 43%. Today, it is 12%.
- In 1980, the capital gains tax rate was 28%. Today, it is 0%.
- In 1980, interest rates were around 15%. Today, they are 0%.
Tax rates could be adjusted upward in light of the debt America continues to accumulate through COVID-19 stimulus efforts. However, they may not rise as high as tax rates were back in the early ’80s.
A leading professional in retirement income research, Olivia Mitchell, executive director of the Wharton School’s Pension Research Council, recommends that more employer retirement plans incorporate an annuity option, and even mandate a 10% allocation to that annuity.4 This would establish a larger pool of insured annuitants to help fund income for retirees who live longer. Until this happens, bear in mind that anyone can incorporate an annuity into his or her personal financial strategy to receive insurer-guaranteed income during retirement. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us.
Another long-term consideration is the status of Social Security. A recent study concluded that potential cuts to benefits could come faster than expected, thanks to COVID-19. Researchers discovered the Social Security Trust Fund may be depleted up four years earlier than previously predicted — as early as 2032. This highlights the importance of saving more toward retirement.5 Post-pandemic, there may be significant changes that could impact investor portfolio opportunities. For example, this type of disruption in business models often leads to new innovations, so keep an eye on sectors and industries coming up with new ideas. Also, the newly accepted remote model for both work and school poses interesting opportunities in terms of people living much further away from their employers and colleges, even in different states. This means people could be less inclined to move to urban areas for jobs. Rural regions may see an uptick in populations where young people could purchase homes and start building equity at a younger age.6
Fresno Retirement Advisor Takeaways
Fresno financial planning is our utmost concern here at Soutas Financial and we thought these takeaways were worth mentioning again: The pandemic has taken quite a toll on the U.S. economy. While eventually the economy will recover, individuals may want to re-assess their retirement portfolios going forward. For example, one of the issues with employer-sponsored 401(k) plans is that they are designed to take advantage of tax-deferred growth. However, given today’s historically low tax rates, that is less of an advantage than it was when the idea was first introduced. Bear in mind that anyone can incorporate an annuity into his or her personal financial strategy to receive insurer-guaranteed income during retirement. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us.
Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles and alternatives—both insurance and investment oriented, depending on what is appropriate for your situation—may offer you a better chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan. We help our clients with problems sometimes associated with retirement such as stopping spend down and avoiding probate. In doing so we leverage stop spend down as well as long-term care strategies designed to help accomplish those goals.
When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno financial advisor is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning, Tax-Efficient Strategies, IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers, Life Insurance Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!
Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc.
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704
Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications.
1 Joseph Woelfel. TheStreet. June 29, 2020. “Stocks Close Higher as Fed Vows Continued Support for Economy.” https://www.thestreet.com/markets/stock-market-dow-jones-industrial-average-general-electric-072920. Accessed July 30, 2020.
2 Anneken Tappe. CNN. July 30, 2020. “US economy posts its worst drop on record.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/30/economy/us-economy-2020-second-quarter/index.html. Accessed July 30, 2020.
3 Aaron Brown. Bloomberg. July 21, 2020. “401(k) Plans No Longer Make Much Sense for Savers.” https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-07-21/401-k-plans-no-longer-make-much-sense-for-savers. Accessed July 28, 2020.
4 Knowledge@Wharton. July 14, 2020. “Post-pandemic Retirement: Can We Build More Resilient Systems?” https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/post-pandemic-retirement-can-build-resilient-systems/. Accessed July 28, 2020.
5 Lorie Konish. CNBC. June 28, 2020. “What you need to know if you’re planning to claim Social Security retirement benefits during Covid-19.” https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/28/coronavirus-what-to-know-if-you-plan-to-claim-social-security.html. Accessed July 28, 2020.
6 CapTrust. July 18, 2020. “Planning a Post-Pandemic Portfolio.” https://www.captrust.com/planning-a-post-pandemic-portfolio/. Accessed July 28, 2020.
Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency.
We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice. Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License # OK48173
The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Insurance product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Diversification cannot ensure a profit or guarantee against losses in a declining market. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. 8/20-1294954C