SESSION RECAPS

Going into 2024 on Stronger Financial Ground

Earlier this month Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Marisa Bozovic joined us to share her insights on the economy and strategic money moves that could help you start 2024 on stronger financial footing. The discussion started at the macro level, where Marisa highlighted different events throughout the year (e.g. market performance, inflation, etc) and the impact those events had on personal finances. The conversation then shifted to things to into consideration as you prepare to wrap up the 2023 tax cycle. Marisa also explained how beneficial it could be to work with both a CFP and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) because it will lead to more effective tax planning. For example, she explained how a CPA will run various scenarios that consider the tax bracket system and your holdings to determine the best investments to sell to fund tax payments for a Roth IRA conversion.

Economic Trends and Real-World Impact

In recent months economists and news outlets touted decreased inflation.  There’s a disconnect between economic statistics and personal experiences. Marisa’s analysis of rising property taxes, insurance premiums, and housing prices, despite interest rate cuts, underscored the intricate dance between macroeconomic forces and individual financial realities. Skepticism about the housing market’s resilience and the global shift in trade dynamics, driven by the BRICS countries’ campaign, added layers to the conversation.

Government Debt and Tax Implications

A deep dive into the impact of government debt on the economy unfolded, with Marisa providing insights into global events such as the Ukraine war and the COVID-19 stimulus bill. The examination of the government’s approach to handling debt, contemplating solutions like taxes and interest rates, offered a nuanced understanding of the broader economic landscape.

Retirement Planning and Financial Adaptability

The importance of retirement planning took center stage, with Marisa emphasizing the need for a strategic approach, particularly in industries prone to ageism.  Marisa emphasized the importance of saving for retirement, having more than six months’ worth of savings in your bank account, and having two years’ worth of savings in your bank account by the time you exit into retirement. She also discussed the benefits of pre-tax deductions, such as health savings accounts and dependent care flexible spending accounts. She highlighted the impact of previous market downturns and the importance of having pension-type money to weather the storm. This is especially important for the younger generation, since Social Security may not be available in its current form in the future. Marisa recommended diversifying your approach for better results. For example, if you mostly invested in S&P 500 companies, you might be missing out on this year’s 15% increase. International investments have seen a 10% rise, and bonds, which were negative most of the year, have turned positive. While the bond market has been a bit shaky, there’s positive news with the 10-year treasury note going up slightly. Despite some fluctuations, the overall cash market appears stronger.

Real Estate Considerations

Finally, Marisa provided strategic advice on real estate decisions, recommending a cautious approach amid anticipated decreases in property mortgage rates. Refinancing at a later date was offered as a pragmatic solution for those contemplating property acquisitions now since lower property prices are not guaranteed.

Marisa Bozovic’s discussion went beyond the usual financial guidance, offering a broad understanding of the economy. As individuals consider their financial paths, Marisa’s insights act as a helpful guide, covering topics like major economic trends, tax planning, economic impacts, government debt considerations, retirement planning, and decisions about real estate. Given the complexities of the 2023 economic landscape, we hope this conversation helps you with your end-of-year financial planning.

Marisa Bosovic, CFP®, RICP®, ChFC®, CLU

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