OVERVIEW The stock market initially posted a major drop at the beginning of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak. Since then, it has gained back some ground, but there continues to be daily volatility with no end in sight. That initial shock affected a lot of people. In fact, the Spectrem Group reported that the number of U.S. millionaires dropped by 500,000 in just the first quarter of 2020. The greatest concern is among people who have either recently retired or were planning to within the next year or so. That’s due to something market analysts call “sequence of returns” (SOR) risk. This is when there has been a sustained market decline (i.e., a poor sequence of returns) that severely reduces an…

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OVERVIEW Investing for income is generally the modus operandi of a retirement portfolio. That’s because the so-called “accumulation phase” ends and the “distribution phase” begins. In other words, retirees stop focusing on getting rich and become more concerned with paying their bills and living a comfortable lifestyle. Income investing is different from growth investing but should still practice a similar strategy of diversification. The goal is to develop two or more streams of passive income so you can retire from work and let your portfolio supplement other forms of reliable income, such as Social Security and a pension. By building a strategic income-oriented portfolio, retirees can draw a steady stream of income without having to liquidate a large portion of…

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A HISTORIC QUARTER The first quarter of 2020 started favorably. In early January, the news centered around politics, with the House sending articles of impeachment to the Senate and the Democratic presidential primary process gearing up. Markets seemed confident that President Donald Trump would be acquitted and responded by climbing to new highs. The economy was humming along, and we passed both the U.S.- Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and a Phase 1 trade agreement with China. As predicted, the Senate acquitted President Trump of all charges and markets set new highs, factoring in a Trump re-election largely resulting from a strong economy. However, concerns of a virus disrupting commerce in China began to emerge, with companies such as Apple warning that…

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Be sure to check out this special interview with an expert from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine about what seniors need to know regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Special guest Dr. Alicia Arbaje will share answers to your most pressing COVID-19 questions, like:     Why do the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise? What most concerns doctors about this pandemic? What can baby boomers do to keep themselves safe?  What can you do NOW to help prepare for the worst?   CLICK HERE to listen to this interview, now!  Remember, if there is anything we can do for you or your retirement strategy, please give us a call.  As your trusted financial professionals, we’re here for you whenever you need us.  Be kind to one another and stay healthy! David Shucavage and Sam Shucavage Carolina Retirement Planners * Click here

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Overview A diversified investment portfolio is generally composed of stocks, bonds and cash instruments. The percentage of how much money to invest in each of these asset classes is referred to as an asset allocation strategy. Strategies are often defined to meet an investor’s goals and tolerance for risk, such as conservative, moderate or aggressive — with variations in between. An asset allocation strategy helps an investor design a portfolio built to meet his or her investing time horizon, goals and comfort with risk,as well as have funds available for unexpected expenses. Diversification Note that asset allocation is not the same thing as portfolio diversification; not exactly. You can choose to diversify your assets across a range of asset classes…

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Overview We tend to get caught up in the day-to-day issues related to jobs, family and home projects. We plan vacations, we plan weddings, we make plans for the weekend. If we spent more than a fraction of that time on financial planning and management, we’d probably all end up in a better place. This spring, in addition to (if not in lieu of) cleaning out closets andthe garage, sprucing up paint jobs and the lawn, consider tackling the chores necessary to clean up your financial picture. This project is likely to be composed of many smaller tasks, from consolidating accounts to throwing away (or shredding) old statements. After all, how many bank accounts does one person need? How many…

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Overview On Dec. 20, 2019, President Trump signed into law the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act as part of a year-end appropriations package. This bill is designed to help employers sponsor more effective retirement plans for their employees and update some individual retirement plan rules. The provisions of the SECURE Act went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. “To a large extent, the SECURE Act is a hodgepodge of a lot of little retirement policy initiatives that have been on the minds of policymakers for the last several years.” Retirement Plan Contributions Historically, one of the problems with retirement plans is that contributions are limited each year; unlike taxable accounts, which allow you to generally invest…

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2019 Goes Out With an Economic Bang After a strong Q3, momentum continued throughout Q4 as we repeatedly hit new highs to close out the year. Q4 market drivers were the same we’ve seen all year; namely the China trade talks, the Federal Reservice, and political turmoil in Washington. The U.S. and China returned to the negotiating table this quarter, eventually reaching a Phase 1 agreement that suspended additional tariffs scheduled to take effect in mid-December but leaving existing tariffs in place. While China agreed to buy more agricultural products from the U.S., the most difficult discussions remain, including those related to forced technology transfers, intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, government subsidies to Chinese businesses, etc. It remains to be…

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Overview There’s an app for seemingly every financial transaction or budgetary needconsumers have. In fact, there are likely dozens if not hundreds from which to select for each type of activity, from tracking your spending to investing. Some tools are focused on a particular goal. For example, a micro savingsapp may automatically transfer small amounts of money from one account to another on a regular basis, while another may round up the total on each of your purchases and redirect the change to a separate savings account. There are apps that track your credit reports, offering additional tips andinformation on paying off debt and improving your credit score. There are apps that allow you to invest on the fly, including…

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Overview We approach the new year with indications of a potential economic decline in the near future. Given the continued strength of the economy to date, there are mixed views on when and how severe a possible recession may hit the U.S. As the accompanying graph demonstrates, it’s perfectly normal for economic cycles to ebb and flow. History of U.S. Economic Cycles We’re actually quite overdue for a correction. Notice on the chart that the longest running economic expansions in U.S. history — nearly 10 years each — have occurred over the past 20 years. The expansion that started in 1991 lasted until 2001. There was another expansion that started later in 2001 and lasted until early 2007. Then the…

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