Current Affairs

What is in the Inflation Reduction Act? 

Patrick EngWhat is in the Inflation Reduction Act?  A staggering brew of green energy spending and corporate taxes, as well as major changes to Medicare. Will new Medicare laws help retirees? And will the new laws help the economy? Maybe. Or maybe not. When it comes to massive legislation, the future is always a bit hazy.

The timeline below details some of the major Medicare law changes that are planned. Since health care is one of the biggest unknown costs in retirement, lowering drug costs and making spending more predictable for Medicare recipients could absolutely have a positive impact on millions of people. The new rules also could mean premium changes as insurance companies figure out their models.

Whether the overall bill will live up to its name, lower inflation, and have a net positive impact  on the economy also remains to be seen. Some economists project the bill will end up modestly reducing inflation and trimming the federal budget over the next decade. Others are concerned about the impact of the new corporate tax rules written into the legislation.

Legal challenges or post-election changes could end up altering much of what’s in the new legislation. Much depends on the actual execution of the new rules. As is usually the case, only time will tell.

 

 

What is in the Inflation Reduction Act

Sources:
https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/how-will-the-prescription-drug-provisions-in-the-inflation-reduction-act-affect-medicare-beneficiaries/
https://www.morningstar.com/articles/1109390/the-inflation-reduction-acts-impact-on-retirees
https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/prices-increased-faster-than-inflation-for-half-of-all-drugs-covered-by-medicare-in-2020/
https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/insulin-out-of-pocket-costs-in-medicare-part-d/
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/awardees/vaccine-management/price-list/index.html
https://www.moodysanalytics.com/-/media/article/2022/assessing-the-macroeconomic-consequences-of-the-inflation-reduction-act-of-2022.pdf
By |2022-09-23T15:02:02-07:00September 27th, 2022|Current Affairs, Health Care|

Recession News (Sort of)

recession newsAre we in a recession? It depends on who you ask. Recession news can be complicated, especially in 2022.

The most common definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth. The economy met that bar after the most recent report on gross domestic product (GDP), which showed the economy shrank in the first half of 2022.

Still, we won’t know whether we’re actually in a recession for several more months. Why? The official arbiter of recessions is the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and its recession criteria depends on more data than GDP. To formally declare a recession, the NBER looks for a significant and widespread decline in economic activity that goes on for a while.

2022 Recession News

We may very well be in a recession. However, a mixed bag of positive and negative economic factors makes it weird and hazy.

On the positive side: The labor market remains strong, still creating plenty of new jobs. Consumer and business investment also is looking sturdy.

On the negative side: Inflation is obviously on everyone’s radar, as is the Fed’s latest interest rate hike.

Whether we’re officially in a recession or not, the economy is flashing some undeniable warning signs. Despite recent gains, we can expect more market volatility. That’s the cyclical nature of the economy and investment markets. Ups and downs are normal.

The best thing we can do is have faith in our proven investment strategy, stick to our written financial plans, and ride out the current storm.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels.com
By |2022-08-23T12:55:47-07:00August 31st, 2022|Current Affairs, Investing|

Understand Medical Identity Theft

Jacob Cavaleri - understand medical identity theftMedical identity theft is often over-looked and not discussed enough. It’s a form of fraud in which someone uses your personal information to receive medical services and bills your insurance or Medicare. According to the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, roughly 1.5 million adults are found to be victims of this each year. It’s important to understand medical identity theft and to protect yourself.

Understand Medical Identity Theft

You may be a victim of medical identity theft if:

  • You get a bill for services you did not receive;
  • You’re told by your insurance company you have hit your limit on benefits when you have not; or
  • You receive a denial for coverage of a nonexistent medical condition.

If someone steals your medical identity, your records are compromised. That means you could  experience misdiagnosis, delays in treatment, or inappropriate care.

Reduce Your Risk

Taking a few quick, proactive steps to protect yourself may reduce your risk and save you a lot of time and frustration in the future.

  • Give personal information only to approved medical professionals.
  • Remove prescription labels before recycling or discarding the containers.
  • Shred papers with personal information before throwing them away.
  • Review your medical and insurance records periodically for suspicious information.
By |2022-06-28T07:48:51-07:00July 18th, 2022|Current Affairs, Cyber Security, Health Care, Insurance|

Conquer Your Paper Piles

Shannon Curkendoll - conquer your paper pilesWe’re living in an electronic age. Yet, many of us still have piles of paper throughout our homes. Money and finances are the biggest culprits when it comes to paperwork – bills, bank statements, insurance records, loan documents, investment accounts, and the list goes on. Here are some guidelines to help conquer your paper piles.

Sort and Organize

Tackle one pile at a time, and sort papers into  categories, like Pay, Read, File, Shred, and Recycle. You may find important receipts, unpaid bills, and other important items you didn’t realize were there. You’ll also probably find a lot of things you don’t need to keep. This flow chart can help you sort and organize.

Convert to Electronic

Once you’ve sorted your piles, you’ll probably find items and accounts that can go electronic. At Perspective, we converted client files to a secure online portal years ago (which clients can access at here). Important items like estate planning documents, insurance paperwork, and loan documents can be scanned and uploaded to your Perspective document vault.

Things like your credit card, phone, and utility bills can be managed online with text/email notifications or auto-pay.

After you’ve sorted your documents and determined which ones you need to keep in printed form, designate an easily-accessible place in your home where they can be filed and stored.

High School Grads and Money Skills

high school grads and money skillsWhat do you wish you were taught in high school about money and finances? When it comes to high school grads and money skills, what do you believe is important for today’s teens to learn?

A new poll from the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE) sheds light on what U.S. adults believe are key topics that should be taught in schools.

About 88 percent said their state should require a semester- or year-long financial education course for graduation;  and 80 percent said they wish they had been required to take such a course in high school. Roughly 75 percent said spending and budgeting is the most important financial education topic to teach, followed by managing credit (55 percent), saving (49 percent), and earning income (47 percent).

“Americans overwhelmingly recognize the importance of learning money skills at an early age and this poll reinforces there is demonstrated national support for personal finance to be a part of learning in all schools,” said Billy Hensley, president and CEO of NEFE.

If you’d like to offer a recent graduate in your life a boost in their personal finance education, your financial planner is happy to help. Talk to your advisor about high school grads and money skills.

By |2022-06-06T15:34:56-07:00June 8th, 2022|Current Affairs|