2% U.S. Growth & Low Rates. The latest indication of what to expect on interest rates and economic growth came on December 17th, 2019, in an interview with Robert S. Kaplan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. "We expect, again, 2%-plus growth, 2% growth for next year, unemployment rate around 3½%.," Mr. Kaplan told the Council on Foreign Relations. "We'll have some firming in inflation gradually toward 2%. And I think with that profile, I think the right—at 1 ½-1 ¾ fed funds rate, I think the right thing for us to do is stay right where we are unless something changes materially on the upside or the downside." In addition, on December 11th, the Federal Reserve released its latest expectations for growth, inflation, and unemployment for 2020, which are highlighted in the chart.
Delaying Distributions Until Age 72. Postponing required minimum distributions (RMDs) 18 months is a new thing you want to consider. The SECURE Act, which was signed on December 20th, 2019, delays RMDs on IRAs and other federally qualified retirement accounts from age 70½ to 72. This small change can amount to big bucks because your IRA can compound without being taxed for an extra 18 months. Deferring taxes 18 months on a large IRA is a no brainer, if you can afford it. This step in your retirement income plan should be part of your overall strategy to outlive your money and create a legacy for your family.
New Retirement Income Planning Choices. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 will enable more lifetime income annuities to secure retirement. This will be good generally, but there is one huge caveat: annuities can be expensive. Lifetime income backed by an insurance company's creditworthiness makes for a great sales pitch but are best advised on by a professional who places your best interest above all else, including their sales commissions.
Strategic tax and financial planning can boost an individual's retirement fund year after year but requires personal attention from a qualified professional.
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