FORBES/Eric Brotman
How The 2020 Elections Will Affect Your Retirement Plan—Regardless Of The Outcome

“November may seem far off, but the 2020 election is right around the corner. With the current state of the country, we can expect a lot of changes to take place soon after the election, no matter what the outcome is.

These changes will have huge impacts on Americans financially, so you’ll want to start preparing as soon as possible.

It’s going to be taxing.

We are on the heels of one of the largest stimulus packages in human history, and there are talks of another—even larger—package to come. Basically, our budget deficit and national debt have never been greater and will only grow from here.

At some point, Americans will need to pay this back. Governments of every level—local, state and federal—will need to find more revenue in the form of taxes.”

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CNN/Martin Neil Baily and Benjamin H. Harris
The Great Recession was especially bad for older workers. The pandemic could be even worse

capital building“Recessions often have profound impacts on retirement savings, but not necessarily in obvious ways. In the wake of the Great Recession, for example, 401(k) balances rebounded after a yearlong freefall. But those hit the worst by the downturn were older workers who were required to take early retirement and were pushed out of the labor market before they were financially prepared or ready to stop working. For these premature retirees, the recession meant a hit to their standard of living that has lasted throughout their retirements.

As bad as the 2009 recession was for older Americans, Covid-19’s impact on retirement will likely be worse and more widespread.

The sheer magnitude of the current layoffs will mean that many older workers will lose their jobs and may never find another one. According to a late-May Census Bureau survey, approximately 40% of households with people in their 60s reported losing wages during the pandemic. And if prior experience is any guide, older workers will have a disproportionately hard time regaining their lost income. For example, laid-off men over 62 are over 50% less likely to find a job than a younger worker and typically experience steep pay cuts when they do.

Record-low interest rates are making matters worse for retirement savers. In cutting target interest rates to close to zero, the Federal Reserve has locked in ultra-low interest rates for the foreseeable future.”

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CNBC/REUTERS
Gold firms as new virus cases cast shadow over economic recovery hopes

gold bars“Gold prices rose on Thursday, as fears that new coronavirus cases could impede economic recovery bolstered demand for the precious metal and weighed on riskier assets.

Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,731.88 per ounce, having earlier hit a near one-week high of $1,736.49. U.S. gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,744.80 per ounce.

Gold, seen as a safe asset during times of economic turmoil, continues to be supported by persistent concerns over the state of the global economy, said FXTM market analyst Han Tan. “Investors are currently dealing with competing narratives, between the risks of a second wave and the optimism surrounding the post-pandemic recovery,” Tan said.”

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MARKETWATCH/Sean Kelly
The government says there’s no inflation — except for the things people are actually buying

market watch charts“The things that we are still spending money on — food, rent, booze and video streaming — are going up in price as the coronavirus pandemic wears on. The things that we aren’t buying as much of — gasoline, clothing, transportation and hotel rooms — are going down in price.

And the government says there’s no inflation.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday that the consumer price index fell 0.1% in May, driven by deep discounting on energy, car insurance, clothing and public-transportation prices. The so-called core rate of inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, also fell 0.1%; it marked the first time the core rate has fallen three months in a row.

I’m not questioning the accuracy of the data, but there are serious questions about whether the consumer price index over the past few months reflects the experience of many households. After all, do you care if gasoline prices fell 3.5% in May if you didn’t buy any?

Most households spend most of their income on necessities, such as food, shelter, transportation, health care and clothing. Low-income households typically spend 82% of their income on those five categories, while middle-class families spend 78% of theirs, according to researchers at the Brookings Institution. Even high-income families spend about two-thirds of their income on necessities.

But there are necessities, and then there are the absolute necessities.”

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