Contributed by: Kali Hassinger, CFP®
Happy 2017 everyone! A new year is a great opportunity to evaluate your financial wellbeing and set goals for the future. Some of you may have existing financial plans in place, and others may be thinking that 2017 is the year to take control of your finances. In either situation, it’s important to understand that financial planning is an ongoing and ever-evolving process. Separate from your personal circumstances, there are many outside forces that affect your financial plan, and there are a few items that may be especially important to evaluate this year.
Given the events of 2016 and possible changes in 2017, the following circumstances could be prime examples of why it’s important to review and update your plan.
- Taxes – With the impending presidency of Donald Trump and the GOP in control of both the House and the Senate, we are anticipating a possible overhaul of the current tax system. For almost all taxpayers, your current tax rate could be reduced. If the brackets are consolidated as expected, 2017 may be a good year to accelerate taxable income or max out your Roth IRA contributions. You can read more about the proposed tax plans here (http://www.centerfinplan.com/money-centered/2016/12/22/is-tax-reform-coming ).
- Estate Planning – Just as with taxes, the political landscape of 2017 is set to possibly repeal the current Estate Tax. Because this tax is such a central point for Estate Planning with high net worth individuals, some current estate plans may need to be revised. There is also the possibility that the current gift tax laws may be on the docket for elimination. Although nothing is certain at this point, we will remain up to-date on any changes as they come.
- Allocation – 2016 was certainly a year of surprises for the market. After a decline in January, the shock of Brexit, and Donald Trump’s unanticipated election, the market overcame intermittent volatility and reached all-time highs in November. Just as no one could predict that the market dip after Brexit would recover so quickly, no one expected the markets to actually go up in the wake of Trump’s election. There is no way to predict the future, but there is a disciplined investing approach that can help you through market uncertainties. With a balanced investment portfolio it is possible to reap the benefits of part of these gains while also insulating yourself from potential volatility. Your balanced portfolio returns may not reach the same highs as the S&P 500, but it can help you reach your goals with proper management over time.
Regardless of your situation, a new year is always a great opportunity to reorganize and review your goals. Life can be unpredictable, but not unplannable. We are always here to help, and we encourage you to reach out with questions.
Happy New Year!
Kali Hassinger, CFP® is an Associate Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®
This information does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material, it is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Opinions expressed are those of Kali Hassinger, CFP®, and are not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change. There is no assurance that the statements, opinions or forecasts mentioned will prove to be correct. Investing involves risk, investors may incur a profit or loss regardless of the strategy or strategies employed. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or guarantee against loss. Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. and its advisors do not provide advice on tax or legal issues, these matters should be discussed with the appropriate professional. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. Please note that direct investment in an index is not possible.