This month we are sharing the first edition of our wealth monitor that we will be distributing periodically to you, which will focus on topics related to our clients’ wealth planning. This is intended to complement our quarterly market commentaries that primarily focus on developments in the investment markets. In the wealth monitor, we intend to share articles and timely insights on developments related to the economy, tax and regulatory proposals or legislation, and other best practices that may impact your wealth planning. We hope that you find this wealth monitor interesting and informative and welcome your feedback as well as any timely topics that may interest you.
Inflation, Interest Rates and Retirement Planning
- With inflation and interest rates rising (see chart below), retirement savers and retirees may need to adjust expectations for retirement spending and reassess retirement plans. Increasing cash savings, delaying large purchases and controlling expenses are all good financial habits when there is economic uncertainty. Particularly for retirees, lowering retirement withdrawal rates and re-evaluating the timing of social security election can be worth consideration. The following articles address some best practices for retirement planning in this uncertain environment.
- Rising interest rates have cooled off surging home prices somewhat, as the rate of price appreciation on an annual basis fell two percentage points in June. Due to ongoing supply shortages in the housing market, prices are still 17% higher than one year ago, yet this is a decline from the 19% annual rate previously, and the largest drop off in price appreciation on record. This drop can largely be attributed to the 30-year fixed mortgage rate touching 6% in June (down to 5% currently), which was a significant increase from the sub-3% rate approximately one-year ago.
- The proposed climate and tax legislation currently under consideration and negotiation in the Senate has important implicants for taxpayers and investors. The legislation is intended to increase funding for alternative energy investment as well as healthcare-related subsidies and regulatory changes. One contentious proposal is to eliminate the preferential tax treatment of “carried interest” income that many private equity and hedge fund managers receive. This proposal is projected to raise $14 billion in tax revenue over the next decade, but faces opposition from Republicans and potentially moderate Democrats as well. Additionally, the legislation proposes a 15% corporate minimum tax and increased resources for IRS tax-enforcement.
- As part of the SECURE Act, inherited IRA required minimum distribution rules for most beneficiaries were changed from the traditional “stretch” lifetime distribution rules to the “ten-year rule”. All indications regarding the ten-year rule were that an Inherited IRA simply needed to be fully withdrawn within ten years, regardless of the timing of when funds were distributed within that time period. Recently, the IRS has proposed a further tweak to the ten-year rule, requiring annual minimum distributions each year within the ten-year period after inheritance in the case of an IRA owned by a decedent that died after their “required beginning date” (age 72 currently). This evolving guidance has led to confusion among planners, accountants, and investors. The topic, and final outcome of regulations proposed, bears monitoring as it will affect future inherited IRAs, at minimum.