MAY 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.

Getting Ready for Summer

Spring comes with blooming flowers and blossoming trees, but also a list of home improvement chores that may have built up over winter. Now that the weather is improving, it could be a good time to take on cleaning projects, outdoor maintenance, and checkups on HVAC systems before the sweltering months hit. 

If you need a break from home maintenance, you may want to take in a trip to one of our local parks, such as Franklin Park Conservatory or Innis Woods. The lower humidity and temperatures may make this an enjoyable exercise before the heat of summer kicks in. 


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • AFP May Webinar – The AFP May Webinar will be held next Friday at noon (May 27th) and the topic is Estate Planning Basics with Jon Murphy. Jon is an attorney with the law firm Bailey Cavalieri LLC and will be helping us cover important information on estate planning. 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 ( 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.

  • 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.

  • Spring Housing Event – Our Spring Housing Event was a great success. While we didn't get quite the turnout we wanted, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our attendees. The guest speakers were truly the stars of our event and provided a wealth of great information and facilitated terrific discussions. Thank you to everyone that attended!
Housing Event 4.jpg
Housing Event 2.jpg
Housing Event 1.jpg


  • 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 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).

Click below to read our May 2022 Blog edition.

3 Tips for Buying an Energy and Water-Efficient Home

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

+ Teri's World

It has been great spending a bit more time outside doing anything. Gene and I went on a long weekend getaway at the beginning of the month to visit some friends in Arizona. The air was so different from Ohio with it being very dry and hot, but there was a nice breeze that made it tolerable. There were also some plants blooming that triggered everyone’s allergies. We did visit a wonderful music museum in Scottsdale, the Musical Instrument Museum, and took a drumming class. We easily could have spent the whole day there. It was a nice getaway. Unfortunately, I tested positive for Covid when I came back. As a result, a planned trip to WV the following weekend with some of my kids and grandchildren could not take place. In the meantime, I am following CDC recommendations and hoping to be feeling better soon.  Planting the vegetable garden has been put on hold. Hopefully, this will get done in the next week or so.

+ What About Bob

We just got back from a spectacular pilgrimage to Israel & Jordan. We flew into Tel Aviv and spent 3 days there. We were there while they celebrated their Independence Day. We visited and did some shopping in Old Jaffa.

From Tel Aviv we did a day trip to Caesarea, Mt Tabor, and Cana. We then drove to the city of Tiberias, which is on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. We spent 2 days here and did day trips to Tabgha, Mount of Beatitudes, and Capernaum. On our way to Jerusalem we stopped at the Jordan River, Nazareth, and Bethlehem. We spent 3 days in Jerusalem where we visited the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered.

We swam in the Dead Sea, visited the West (Wailing) Wall and saw an amazing laser light show in Old Jerusalem. From there we traveled to Jordan where we spent 2 days. We went up on Mt. Nebo where Moses saw the Promised Land. We then spent a day exploring Petra and ascending nearly 800 steps to visit the Ad Deir monastery.

We spent the last morning of our trip exploring the desert of Wadi Rum in southern Jordan. We then drove to Amman and flew home early the next morning. We are still recovering from the jet lag but getting better. 

sea of galilee.jpg

Sea of Galilee

wadi rum desert.jpg

Wadi Rum Desert

wailing wall.jpg

The Wailing Wall

+ Tracey's Time

May has been a busy month so far. We ordered new kitchen appliances in November, which were finally delivered at the end of April. We switched out our old electric range for gas so Andy has been working overtime on installations. In addition to the minor kitchen renovation, we have been working outdoors and enjoying the pleasures of home ownership…cleaning and maintenance! We have planted flowers and vegetables, weeded, and spread half of our mulch. Thanks to fertilizer, we have no dandelions but the mowing now needs done twice weekly. There is still a lot to do including prepping for vacation. On the bright side, Andy and Cayleigh cleaned our porch and it is ready for relaxing when the work is done.

+ Erik's Exploits

May is often associated with Spring Cleaning, and that has certainly been true for me so far. The amount of things we've accumulated over the years has reached a breaking point, and most of my free time this month has been dedicated to addressing this. With any luck the German Village Valuables Sale this weekend won't be rained out and we'll be able to sell off some of our surplus. 

I did manage to find some time to see a friend visiting from Chicago last week. We got dinner and got to enjoy one of Ohio's rare nice spring days on the patio. I'm hoping to have the opportunity to visit them in the Windy City later this summer. 

Current Economic and Investment Information

STOCKS – From 12/31/2019 to 12/31/2021, the value of all US individual stocks increased by $19.5 trillion (+57%) to $53.4 trillion, before falling $5.1 trillion (10%) in the 1Q 2022 to $48.3 trillion (source: Siblis Research).

THE INDEX TO FOLLOW – As of 3/31/2022, the S&P 500 index represented 83% ($40.3 trillion) of the market capitalization of the entire US stock market ($48.3 trillion) (source: S&P).

HOW MUCH? – Fed Chairman Jerome Powell foreshadowed on 5/04/2022 the prospect of rate increases at each of the remaining 5 Fed meetings in 2022, including 0.50 percentage point increases at the next 2 meetings (scheduled for June and July). Powell’s comments equate to 2.5 percentage point increases in 2022, matching the 2.5 percentage point rate hikes implemented by the Fed in 1994 or 28 years ago (source: Federal Reserve).

WHY THEY ACTED – The 1994 Fed rate hikes (6 rate hikes totaling 2.5 percentage points) were implemented because the Fed was concerned about a strengthening economy and an uptick in domestic inflation. Inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index) was only +2.7% in 1993, +2.7% in 1994 and +2.5% in 1995 (source: Commerce Department).

CHANGE IN DEBT – From 12/31/2019 (pre-pandemic) to 3/31/2022, mortgage debt in the US has increased +17% (to $11.18 trillion), auto loan debt has increased +10% to $1.47 trillion, credit card debt has declined 9% to $840 billion and student loan debt has increased +5% to $1.59 trillion (source: Federal Reserve Bank of NY).

CAMPAIGN PROMISE – President Joe Biden is considering eliminating up to $10,000 of student loan debt per borrower, action that may be done through an executive order issued by him. This would cost US taxpayers an estimated $377 billion, wiping out 24% of the $1.59 trillion of total student loan debt and would eliminate completely the student loan debt held by approximately 33% of all borrowers (source: White House).

RECORD HIGH Tax receipts collected by the US in April 2022 were $863.6 billion, creating a monthly surplus of $308.2 billion, both numbers representing all-time monthly records for the US (source: Treasury Department).

WAITING The median age of American women giving birth was 30 in 2019 (the latest year that data has been released), the oldest age in US history and a number up from age 27 in 1990 (source: Census Bureau).

YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOSE A buyer of an average-priced existing US home ($266,300) in January 2020 (at the beginning of the global pandemic) who put 10% down would have a $1,078 monthly principal and interest payment on a 3.51% national average 30-year fixed rate mortgage. A buyer of an average-priced existing US home ($375,300) in March 2022 who put 10% down would have a $1,746 monthly principal and interest payment on a 4.67% national average 30-year fixed rate mortgage (source: Freddie Mac).

CARPENTERS NEEDED – 3.78 million new single-family homes began construction in the US in the back-to-back months of December 2021 and January 2022, the highest number of new residential construction starts in back-to-back months since 3.90 million single-family homes were started in April and May 2006 (source: Census Bureau).

How an Energy Efficient Home Can Be a Bright Idea

This graphic, using data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Dept. of Energy, highlights some cost savings that an energy efficient home can provide.


Click here to view the source.


Estate Planning


Where There's A Will, There's Not Always An Estate Plan

By Jamie Hopkins

Source: The Wallstreet Journal

When I ask retirees if they have an updated estate plan in place, I get a mix of responses. Some people recognize their estate plan is lacking, as millions of Americans either don’t have one or have an outdated plan that doesn’t align with their life anymore. Other people believe they have an updated estate plan, but even this group is mistaken. Their “estate plans” are really just wills.

Wills have been the go-to estate planning documents for generations. They dictate guardianship guidelines and transfer aspects of your property and assets. Wills are an important component of estate planning, however they’re just one piece of it.

Click here to continue reading this article.

When Reality Falls Short of Imagination


People Who Hate Retirement - and What the Rest of Us Can Learn From Them

Thanks to the Great Resignation, there may be a lot more retirees who regret leaving the workforce. Preparation may make all the difference.

By Beth DeCarbo

Source: The Wall

It’s the dream that so many people share: After 30 or 40 years of work, they retire, finally able to live the life they’ve long imagined. But for some of those people, reality turns out to fall far short of their imagination. “To retire full time and shift your life, I intellectually understood it,” says Brant Pope, who retired from academia in 2020. “But emotionally I’ve struggled with it.”

At the University of Texas, Mr. Pope held what he calls a “huge, exciting and stimulating job,” overseeing the school of theater and dance. There, he managed almost 90 people, ranging from research professors to cutting-edge artists. Though he loved the challenge, Mr. Pope, who is now 69, decided it was time to make way for new blood. So in 2019, he took a buyout package that started with a sabbatical and culminated in full retirement a

year later.

Click here to continue reading this article.

Understanding IRMAA


IRMAA - Who is She and How to Deal with Her

By Joanne Giardini-Russell

Source: Advisor Perspectives

If there’s one thing that bugs people with higher income as they head into the Medicare system, it’s the income-related monthly adjusted amount (IRMAA). People at all income levels arrive into Medicare feeling that the system is “free” or “largely subsidized.” They quickly learn that it is neither.

IRMAA is not the same as a Medicare late-enrollment penalty. People often confuse the IRMAA surcharge with Medicare penalties. IRMAA is a surcharge (or a tax, if you’d prefer to look at it that way). It means that you, as a Medicare beneficiary, are paying a higher fee of your Medicare Part B premium than your neighbor may be. You will be paying that higher portion if you have more income than your neighbor. Fair or not, that is how it works.

Click here to continue reading this article.


“I make no secret of the fact that I would rather lie on a sofa than sweep beneath it. But you have to be efficient if you're going to be lazy.”

- Shirley Conran

Alexander Financial Planning
1621 W. First Avenue
Grandview Heights, OH 43212

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.
Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin