Q2|2023 Market Commentary
- Fans of Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975), may remember the movie scene affectionately known as “Not Dead Yet”- where in the middle-ages, people would come around with a cart and collect the dead from the plague or any numerous maladies of the time. In the scene, a younger man approaches the cart with an older man thrown over his shoulder and the elder man immediately pipes up, “I’m not dead yet!!” This is somewhat analogous to the world economy. Many thought the economy would struggle under the weight of dramatically increased interest rates attempting to alleviate high inflation, but so far, economic results have held steady. The 12-month inflation rate is 3% in June, well off the highs set last year, but still elevated compared to the Fed’s (Federal Reserve Bank) 2% goal. Recent quarterly inflation moderated as well.
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- Redefining the Retirement Plan is Axia’s guide to trends and strategies that will help employers get the most out of their retirement programs. Defined Benefit plans and Social Security have been the simple answer to retirement for the past century. Life expectancy has improved though and an added strain has been placed on plan sponsors to help their employees replace their incomes in retirement. Fortunately, employers are equipped with more tools than ever before to help their employees retire with dignity.
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One tax-efficient way to save for retirement healthcare expenses is through a Health Savings Account (HSA) coupled with a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). Even though the HSA savings vehicle was created in 2003, it has generally been misunderstood and is just beginning to gain legitimate acceptance. With the recent interest, many people have questions pertaining to these accounts. Below are some of the more common questions.
The SSA highlights some sobering statistics that confirm what studies have shown: most people have not saved enough for retirement. As a result, people are not determining their Social Security benefit timing. Instead, benefits usually begin immediately after gainful employment ends as their savings buffer is limited. For prepared investors, the goal is to make an active decision on benefit commencement.
On June 9, 2017, the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule went into effect. The rule, also known as the Conflict of Interest Rule, expands the fiduciary definition under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). In the simplest terms, the DOL Fiduciary Rule will require advisors to put their client’s interests ahead of their own when giving advice to retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs. Further, any potential conflict of interest must be disclosed along with a clear statement of the fees and commissions received in exchange for the advice.