By Theresa Fry, Senior Vice President and Manager, IRA’s, Retirement and Education Planning
At one time, all Social Security benefits were tax free. Today, if your only source of retirement income is Social Security, then your benefits may still be tax free. Most people pay income taxes on a portion of their Social Security income. The higher your income, the more taxes you’ll pay on your benefits.
Taxes on Social Security are determined based on your combined or “provisional” income.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing survey will be released Monday morning. The consensus estimate is for an overall reading of 65, which would be the highest since the early 1980s. The prices paid component is also expected to be strong (consensus estimate 86.1), which would further fan inflation concerns.
Other key reports include factory orders (Tuesday),
Have you heard? Economic activity is accelerating. People are spending money again. Unemployed workers are finding jobs. Restaurants, bars and sports arenas are packing in the patrons. Vaccinated people are hugging one another. Happy days are here again. So why did the market just have its dullest week of the year?
It’s true, in a week that featured an FOMC policy statement,
By Dan Schulte, Senior Vice President and Manager, Annuities and Insurance
Like most things, taxation ebbs and flows. Today’s environment is no different – and it appears that, for now, taxation is on the rise. When the tax burden on individuals is increasing, the importance of tax deferral becomes especially important.
In this environment it’s important to consider tax-deferred strategies in your financial plan.
One way that market watchers try to get a sense of the market’s mood is by assessing how it reacts to news. A healthy market will respond enthusiastically to good news and pretty much just ignore bad news. Conversely, a market that is unable to rally on good news is probably going to be in trouble if bad news comes along. It’s probably actually more accurate to say that the watchers assess how the market reacts to better-than-expected news and worse-than-expected news.
There is important data to keep an eye on this week, including GDP, durable goods orders, pending home sales, and the Fed’s favored inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures deflator. The data is expected to confirm a robust period for the economy and higher inflation. First quarter GDP is expected at 6.9% with estimates ranging as high as 8.5% to 9%.
By Theresa Fry, Senior Vice President and Manager, IRA’s and Retirement Planning
If you have filed your tax return and are anxiously awaiting your income tax refund, the IRS (and most states) now have a variety of ways for you to quickly check the status of your refund—online, over the phone or through a smartphone app. You will need your Social Security Number, your tax filing status, and the exact amount of your refund to use them.
An already extended market ventured a bit further out on its limb again last week. The promise of the sweet fruits of a rebounding economy has tempted the market’s appetite and has inveigled investors to stretch even further out on the valuation branch. Leafing through last week’s economic reports, there are many reasons for the expansion of that budding optimism: The increase in Retail Sales in March was much larger than expected;
Most major cryptocurrencies were under pressure on Sunday (April 18) just days after the IPO of Coinbase Global. Bitcoin and Ether dropped as much as 15% and 18%, respectively. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell last week said Bitcoin “is a little bit like gold” in that it’s more a vehicle for speculation than making payments. (Source: Bloomberg)