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MONECO's Weekly Wealth of Knowledge - Week of 3/8/21

March 10, 2021

The Weekly Wealth of Knowledge is your download of this week's most important topics related to financial planning, the markets, and our community. March is here and it is Retirement Planning month at MONECO Advisors. Throughout the month we will be providing you a host of content about planning for retirement and all the things you need to be doing to prepare for it and enjoy it, if you are already there.

In this issue:

  • 2021- A Look Ahead & The New Normal (3 min read)
  • Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits (2 min video)
  • Where to Retire? (3 min read)

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This week, we are welcoming Zahya Beall, our newest Financial Advisor on the MONECO Advisors team!


2021- A Look Ahead & The New Normal

It’s now been over a year since COVID-19 first hit American shores. While the pandemic has affected everyone to varying degrees, we can all agree that everyone’s life is different today than it was a year ago. It’s difficult to remember what normal looks like at this point.

Now that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has been approved, we have three vaccines available in the United States—and some semblance of normal is fast approaching. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have dropped significantly over the past two months. More businesses have reopened. Kids are going back to school. More diners are headed to restaurants. Air travel has picked up.

The US economy—though not back to normal yet—is poised to potentially recover all of its lost output from last year’s recession during the first half of this year. Shoppers are doing their part as retail sales jumped 5.3% in January—the strongest month-over-month increase in seven months. Consumers’ coffers were replenished by the federal government’s roughly $900 billion stimulus package passed in December 2020. US household savings are now $1.4 trillion above last year’s levels, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which should provide fuel for more pent-up spending after restrictions are lifted.

The bridge policymakers began to build a year ago to the end of the pandemic is getting even stronger. Congress is expected to pass another fiscal stimulus package in mid-March, potentially worth over $1.5 trillion and including more direct aid to consumers and supplemental unemployment insurance. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continues to provide unwavering support for the economy. Our economy’s resilience, coupled with this significant fiscal and monetary support, has enabled stocks to do even better than normal—and early in bull markets, normal is pretty good.

Some fear the economy has too much support. A healing labor market with about 10 million fewer jobs than a year ago suggests that more help is
needed. But, as the economy fully opens, we will have to watch inflation closely for signs of overheating. The Federal Reserve may have to pump the brakes sooner than anticipated.

Normal is approaching—or at least the post-pandemic version of normal—and it’s looking pretty good. Stocks and bonds are both telling us we have a lot to look forward to as the economy moves closer to a full reopening.COVID-19 still presents risks of course, and stocks may be due for a pause after such a strong run. But ultimately, we believe the backdrop of improving economic growth, supportive fiscal and monetary policy, rebounding corporate profits, and improving COVID-19 trends will be a favorable one for stocks over the balance of the year.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to the office.


Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits

Above and beyond your investment savings, Social Security can play a key role as part of your financial plan while in retirement. Many believe they should file for it as soon as they are able, but taking it too early could come with consequences. This short video helps to explain the best time to take it, so you can ensure you are maximizing your benefits.

Click here to read the full article.


Where To Retire?

With March being Retirement Planning month at MONECO, we have been including content to help you prepare and eventually live in retirement. Once you have done the hard part of saving and getting a solid financial plan in place, we often ask our clients this question, "What will retirement look like for you?" That may seem like a simple question, but it is not. There are many factors to consider, including location, varying cost of living expenses, weather and even the recreational amenities that may or may not be available. Our last piece of content this week will help you check all the boxes to ensure you are prepared and in the right place, when the time comes.

Click here to read the full article.