Fluctuations in your investment accounts can stir up negative emotions, making you want to hit the panic button. But in turbulent times, it’s more important than ever to remain calm and stay on course toward your long-term retirement savings goals.
Despite attempts by Chinese authorities to contain the coronavirus, the numbers make clear that the virus is now spreading around the world. According to the World Health Organization, there are 79,331 confirmed cases, of which 77,262 are in China and 2,069 are outside of China (as of February 24, 2020). Unfortunately, the numbers only seem to be growing, with the Washington Post recently reporting that there were 833 confirmed cases in South Korea and 53 confirmed cases in the U.S.
INVESTORS EXPECT MORE BAD NEWS
Indeed, the markets have taken notice. As of this writing, global financial markets are down by 3 percent or more. Here in the U.S., they are down by almost 5 percent from their peaks. This drop is one of the largest in recent months, and it reflects the sudden apparent surge in coronavirus cases. Investors are clearly expecting more bad news—and rather than wait for it, they are selling.
Is selling the right thing to do? Probably not. The virus could continue to spread and even get worse. But we do know a couple of things.
It’s that time of year when many people set goals with the hope of changing their lives in the months to come. Some may set their sights on losing a significant amount of weight or training for a marathon, while others may want to spend more time with family or other loved ones. Whatever your plans, consider adding a few of the financial changes described below to your resolution list, too, to help you turn 2020 into an even better year.
Pay Down Debt
Having debt is normal, but having too much debt, particularly as your credit card statement start flowing in after the holidays, can quickly become overwhelming. As you start the year, make a plan to pay off the debts with the highest interest rates first. Also, it’s always wise to pay more than the minimum payment. If you’re financially able to pay a bit more than the monthly amount due on your mortgage, car loan, or other debt, do so. You’ll pay off your debt faster and save more on interest in the long run.
Increase Your Savings
Now that we’re exiting the season of “spend, spend, spend,” it’s time to focus on saving. Perhaps you’d like to save for a dream vacation, a down payment for a new home, or an emergency fund to cover the unexpected. By setting a goal and outlining a timeline and strategy for reaching it, you’ll find it easier to achieve your desired result.
Malina Malkani is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) with a Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition. Read about how she became inpired to share her knowledge and love of a healthy lifestyle with her friends, family, and eventually everyone else!
Whether at home, work or on a cell phone, it's a scenario in which many Americans have found themselves: answering a phone call only to find out it's from an unwanted robocaller. In fact, the number of unwanted robocalls in this country has skyrocketed in recent years. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ranks unwanted robocalls highest on their list of consumer complaints.1
Wednesday, 20 November 2019
Here are 10 things to consider as you weigh potential tax moves between now and the end of the year.
1. Set aside time to plan
Effective planning requires that you have a good understanding of your current tax situation, as well as a reasonable estimate of how your circumstances might change next year. There's a real opportunity for tax savings if you'll be paying taxes at a lower rate in one year than in the other. However, the window for most tax-saving moves closes on December 31, so don't procrastinate.
Defer income to next year
Consider opportunities to defer income to 2020, particularly if you think you may be in a lower tax bracket then. For example, you may be able to defer a year-end bonus or delay the collection of business debts, rents, and payments for services. Doing so may enable you to postpone payment of tax on the income until next year.
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