MONTH-2-MONTH

JUNE 2022

MONTH-2-MONTH is intended to provide you with updates on AFP and timely financial planning and investment information on a variety of topics. 

If you find our content useful, please forward this e-mail to a friend.

Summer Fun

If it wasn’t clear from the excess heat and humidity, summer is here! For the first time in over two years, the slate of summer events is jam-packed. From live music, to state fairs, to sporting events, there’s no shortage of things to do this summer. If you’re wanting to have fun and save some money, why not visit a local or state park? Check city websites or community/visitors centers as well. Many places offer walking tours of historic areas, or you could find community events worth attending. If there’s one thing the past couple years have taught us, it’s that we need to embrace life and the simple pleasures whenever we can.

• HAPPENING AT AFP


  • Covid Policy Update We are now hosting in-person meetings with clients that have been fully vaccinated with a booster shot. We will continue to conduct meetings via Zoom as well for those clients that prefer it. Please make sure to indicate your preference for either a Zoom or an in-person meeting when scheduling.


  • Mail Issues – We have been experiencing ongoing service issues from our local post office. As a result, we have been receiving our mail sporadically. In May we only received mail delivery a total of three or four times. If you have mailed us something and it seems as if we are ignoring you or being unresponsive, it's probably just that we haven't received it yet. Please keep this in mind going forward when sending us mail, as it may take quite a while for us to receive it.


  • AFP June Webinar – The AFP June Webinar will be held next Friday at noon (June 24th) and the topic is Retirement Readiness. This webinar will cover important information about making sure you're financially prepared for retirement. The webinar will be hosted using Zoom and due to the limited size of Zoom meetings, the webinar links will only be sent to those who confirm their attendance ahead of time. We'll send a reminder email early next week and the Zoom link will be sent out on Friday morning. If you would like to attend, please either reach out to Erik Danielson (edanielson@afp-advisors.com) or reply to the webinar email you were sent previously. If you know anyone who would like to attend or could benefit from this information, we encourage you to pass along this newsletter or the webinar email to them.


  • AFP Website Webinars Page – The April webinar is now available for viewing on our website. You can view all of our previous webinars on this page, and all future webinars will be posted here as well. Click here to view.


  • 25 Years – Our firm is in its 25th year of providing advisory services and we wouldn't exist without our remarkable clients. Thank you all! Stay tuned for news about a 25th anniversary celebration later this year.

FYI


  • Free Covid Tests – As of May 18th, every household in the US is eligible to make another order of up to two sets of free at-home Covid tests. Each of these sets contains four at-home testing kits. You can order these by either visiting www.covid.gov/tests or by calling 1-800-232-0233.


  • Information for the Real ID – Due to the pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security has extended the REAL ID enforcement date to May 3, 2023. Beginning on May 3, 2023, every air traveler aged 18 and older will need a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or identification card (or another TSA-acceptable form of identification) for domestic air travel and to enter certain federal facilities. Click here to learn more.


  • Knudge – We’ve had some questions from our Wealth Management clients regarding Knudge, our financial planning to-do list tracking tool. The tool is intended to help track your progress on your to-do list and helps us reduce administrative time spent tracking your to-dos. You are not required to register with Knudge, however registration does offer additional features. Regardless of if you choose to register or not, it would help us immensely if you could please mark your Knudges completed.


  • Orion Portal Reminder – If you cannot access your Orion Portal, contact Tracey to request a password reset. The Orion Portal requires a password reset every 4 months (120 days) and becomes Inactive after 8 months (240 days).
• THIS MONTH'S BLOG •

Click below to read our June 2022 Blog edition.


Wes Moss: Finding Your Core Pursuits


We would enjoy receiving your feedback on our Blog. Please share any comments or suggestions for future topics with us via email.


• ON A PERSONAL NOTE •
+ Teri's World

It has been an enjoyable month that began with the celebration of my daughter’s 40th birthday and watching two of my grandsons playing soccer and flag football. I was finally able to get things done outside around the house and get the vegetable garden planted. I got a pretty late start this year, so I’m not expecting much. I attended a small gathering of financial planners in Utah that focused on self-awareness and much of the non-technical side of financial planning. The technical side of planning is key, but human nature can have a way of derailing the best intentions. There has been a growing interest in this area and it’s fulfilling to be at the leading edge of this movement in our industry. While we were in Utah, we also spent some time visiting with my best friend from elementary school and her husband. They were music teachers in the Salt Lake area. So wonderful to catch up with them. Gene and I then drove down to Bryce and Zion to hike for a few days and take in the beauty of our national parks. Just can’t get enough of that. Luckily on our return, we had not lost electricity, but my kids all did. So there have been a few days of moving food to different locations and housing those who needed AC. I’m sure we were not alone. We will be celebrating one of my grandchildren’s 4th birthday at the end of this month as well.

+ What About Bob

June has been a very good month! Ashley, Mom, and Layla all had birthdays and we had a wonderful get together to celebrate.


Grandson update


Lowell just had his second neonatal appointment and he met all of his goals for his adjusted age and actual age!! He isn’t talking much yet but he certainly understands what we say to him


Logan just finished his first soccer season and really enjoyed playing. He is loving being a big brother!


Charlie is growing like a weed and is actually bigger than Logan was at this age. He holding his head up well and is rolling over on his own.


Maiden Voyage


After a very interesting week of camper prep, we had a very successful maiden voyage with the camper over Memorial Day weekend. While it wasn’t the best campsite I’ve ever set up, the camp grounds were great and our friends made it wonderful!


Next voyage is to Berkshire Lake with my mom, brother and his family the weekend of June 24th.

+ Tracey's Time

June started busy. Vacation is near, so I have been working at home and in the office to prepare. I am looking forward to a change of scenery and enjoying another RV adventure with my family. Details of our travels will be in the July Newsletter. 


Cayleigh finished her sophomore year with strong marks. The effects of Covid will leave a lasting impression on our kids and despite these struggles, Cayleigh remains a positive force. She has endured some disappointments, but pivots to new ventures with resilience. After two years of String Orchestra, she stands among a handful of violinists chosen to advance to the Concert Orchestra level. She decided to pursue Golf more aggressively and we hired a LPGA pro to coach her. She also applied for a Scottish Cultural Exchange program, and has been working in the office assisting us with administrative projects as well. 


* Since Tracey will be on vacation for most of this month and she isn't here to provide us with vacation photos, we have included photos from some of her previous vacations instead. *

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Tracey shortly after Shackleton wrecked the H.M.S. Endurance

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Tracey leading Vasco da Gama's expedition to India

+ Erik's Exploits

I have spent a lot of time working outside this month. My parents’ fence has been falling apart for a while and my dad has finally had some time to work on it. Unfortunately for us, that meant being out in the 90+ degree heat. We also replaced the corrugated plastic roofing over their back porch as well.


We also had a bit of a misadventure when working outside at my place. While tilling part of the yard in order to build a garden box, my dad severed the buried internet cable. Fortunately we were only without internet for a couple days, but we’ve had a heck of a time getting someone out to bury the new cable. 

• POINTS OF REFERENCE •
Current Economic and Investment Information

FUNDING A RETIREMENT – The S&P 500 has averaged +9.8% per year (total return) over the 25 years ending 12/31/2021. A lump-sum of $865,656 (in a pre-tax account) will sustain a 20-year payout of $100,000 per year (i.e., $2 million of gross distributions before taxes) assuming the funds continue to earn +9.8% annually. This mathematical calculation ignores the ultimate impact of taxes on the account which are due upon withdrawal, is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to reflect any specific investment or performance. Actual results will fluctuate with market conditions and will vary (source: BTN Research).


SPENDING MORE, SAVING LESS – The nation’s personal savings rate, which soared during the early months of the pandemic, has now fallen back to below its pre-pandemic levels. The savings rate was 7.8% in January 2020, rose to 33.8% in April 2020, and now has dropped back to 4.4% in April 2022. The 4.4% rate is the lowest recorded in the United States since September 2008 (source: Bureau of Economic Analysis).


MUST GET IT SOMEWHERE – China is the # 1 importer of crude oil and the # 2 consumer of crude oil among all countries in the world (source: Energy Information Administration).


IN THE RED – The Social Security Trust Fund (OASI) paid out $59.1 billion more than it received in 2021, only the 2nd time in the last 25 years (1997-2021) that costs exceeded income (source: 2022 Trustee Report).


GOOD SHAPE NOW – The Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund was projected to be depleted by the 4Q of 2016 per a 7/22/2015 trustee report. This forced Congress to allocate to the DI fund more of the 12.4% combined payroll taxes collected from employers and employees for 3 years (2016- 17-18). The extra funds have pushed the DI Trust Fund’s exhaustion date to 2096 or 74 years out (source: Social Security Trustees 2022 Report).


MEDICARE – Per a 6/02/2022 report, the trust fund supporting Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) is projected to be depleted by 2028. The long-term (75-year) present value shortfall in the trust fund could be corrected by an immediate 0.70 percentage point increase in combined Medicare payroll taxes (from its current 2.90% to 3.60%) or an immediate 15% reduction in Medicare expenditures (source: Medicare Trustees 2022 Report).


MORTGAGE DEBT– As of 12/31/2021, 62% of US homeowners had a mortgage on their primary residence. 51% of homeowners with debt on their homes have a mortgage rate less than 4%. The national average rate on a new 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 5.23% as of 6/09/2022 (source: Federal Housing Finance Agency).


RUSSIA  The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) did not renew a waiver on 5/25/2022 that had allowed Russia to make principal and interest payments on bonds held by US investors. Lacking that waiver, Russia is more likely to default on its foreign debt, its first such default since 1917 or 105 years ago (source: OFAC).


BE CAREFUL  46,000 Americans reported being scammed out of an estimated $1 billion from cryptocurrency cons over the period from January 2021 to March 2022 (source: Federal Trade Commission).

The Best Months for Stock Market Gains


Many investors believe that equity markets perform better during certain times of the year. Is there any truth to these claims? This infographic uses data gathered by Schroders, a British asset management firm, to investigate.


Click here to view the source.

• TIMELY TOPICS •

Economic Uncertainty

How Bad Is the Economy Right Now? Here's What History Tells Us


By Farnoosh Torabi

Source: CNET

A recent Wall Street Journal-NORC poll found that 83% of Americans believe the economy is "poor or not so good" -- and it's not hard to see why.


Prices for everyday essentials have been rising across the country for most of 2022 -- and new inflation data from the Consumer Price Index shows inflation is at its highest point in 40 years. Mortgage rates are rising, the price of gas and food continues to climb and stocks are falling, with no relief in sight.


As inflation dampens spending and major retailers such as Target and Walmart report lower than expected earnings, more economic experts are raising the possibility of a recession. When economic activity stalls or declines, the ripple effects can lead to disastrous consequences for many households. Earning, saving and investing money become more difficult, leading to financial stress and potential panic.


At a time like this, it's worth reflecting on what happens in a recession, looking at the data to determine whether we're even in one and identifying ways to maintain some historical perspective.


Click here to continue reading this article.

Conflicts of Interest?

AARP’s Billion-Dollar Bounty

AARP's business alliances raise alarms among critics who see a conflict of interest that undermines the group's credibility.


By Fred Schulte

Source: Kaiser Health News

In September, AARP, the giant organization for older Americans, agreed to promote a burgeoning chain of medical clinics called Oak Street Health, which has opened more than 100 primary care outlets in nearly two dozen states.


The deal gave Oak Street exclusive rights to use the trusted AARP brand in its marketing — for which the company pays AARP an undisclosed fee.


AARP doesn’t detail how this business relationship works or how companies are vetted to determine they are worthy of the group’s coveted seal of approval. But its financial reports to the IRS show that AARP collects a total of about $1 billion annually in these fees — mostly from health care-related businesses, which are eager to sell their wares to the group’s nearly 38 million dues-paying members. And a paid AARP partnership comes with a lot: AARP promotes its partners in mailings and on its website, and the partners can use the familiar AARP logo for advertisements in magazines, online, or on television. AARP calls the payments “royalties.”


Click here to continue reading this article.

Retirement May Not Be for Everyone

Happiness Is the Result of a Life Lived with Purpose

For people who like their work, pushing them to retire may do them mental or physical harm,

suggests this advisor.


By David Marotta

Source: Rethinking65.com

I recently had the pleasure of reading “Rules For A Knight” by Ethan Hawke. It is a novel written in the form of a letter from the fictional Sir Thomas Lemuel Hawke to his four children. Chapter 14 is entitled “Discipline” and contains this admonition:


“Often we imagine that we will work hard until we arrive at some distant goal, and then we will be happy. This is a delusion. Happiness is the result of a life lived with purpose. Happiness is not an objective. It is the movement of life itself, a process, and an activity. It arises from curiosity and discovery. Seek pleasure and you will quickly discover the shortest path to suffering. Other people, friends, brothers, sisters, neighbors, spouses, even your mother and I are not responsible for your happiness. Your life is your responsibility, and you always have the choice to do your best. Doing your best will bring happiness. Do not be over-concerned with avoiding pain or seeking pleasure. If you are concerned on the results of your actions, you are not dedicated to your task.”


This passage reminds me of some of the best retirement advice. Retirement is not some distant goal that will make us happy. Now and always, we should find happiness in the work we do.


Click here to continue reading this article.

• QUOTE •


“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”


- Maud Hart Lovelace

Alexander Financial Planning
1621 W. First Avenue
Grandview Heights, OH 43212
614-538-1600

Registered Investment Advisor
This material is distributed by Alexander Financial Planning, Inc., (AFPI) and is for information purposes only. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy. It is provided with the understanding that no fiduciary relationship exists because of this report. Opinions expressed in this report are not necessarily the opinions of AFPI and are subject to change without notice. AFPI assumes no liability for the interpretation or use of this report. Financial planning, investment conclusions, and strategies suggested in this report may not be suitable for all investors and consultation with a qualified advisor is recommended prior to executing any investment strategy. No portion of this writing should be construed as legal or accounting advice. All rights reserved.
© Alexander Financial Planning, Inc.
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