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Giving Thanks
Thanksgiving is upon us once again. For many, it’s the annual mad dash to the airport or long drive across the country. For others it’s a day full of cooking and cleaning and preparing for the sea of faces and empty bellies. Still for others it’s a day to eat themselves silly then kick back and watch football.

But Thanksgiving is more than just a day for family, football, and food. As the name implies, Thanksgiving is a day for giving thanks. It’s important for us to take the time to appreciate the people and things we may normally take for granted. 

Acknowledging what the people in our lives do for us provides them with validation. In other words, just saying thank you for something as simple as taking out the trash or doing the dishes goes a long way towards strengthening our relationships. Thankfulness is contagious, so the more you show your appreciation for others, the more you’ll get back in kind.

Reflecting on what we’re thankful for and expressing that thanks improves our health too. When we focus on what we have and stop worrying about what we don’t have, it reduces stress. When we’re intentionally thankful, our thoughts instinctively center on the good in others and the good things in our lives; which promotes good mental health.

So keep these things in mind and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at AFP.

  • Covid Policy Update – We are currently conducting most meetings via Zoom. If you are fully vaccinated and would prefer to meet in person, please let us know. We'll do our best to accommodate your needs.

  • Office Move? - Last Friday we learned that the accounting firm we rent our space from is merging with another firm and listing the property for sale. They will be moving to another location in 2 -3 weeks. We aren't sure yet what this means for us, but stay tuned.

  • Please Join AFP in Welcoming Erik - Erik Danielson joins AFP as our new Communications & Client Services Administrator. Erik graduated from The Ohio State University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication. He has worked in a variety of fields since then including auto sales and logistics. Most recently, Erik was employed at Nationwide Retirement Solutions working with public sector accounts.

  • AFP Congratulates GHHS Boy's Soccer - The Grandview Heights High School Bobcats boy’s soccer team won their first state championship on November 13th. They defeated the Columbiana Crestview Rebels 4-2 to finish 17-4-2 overall.

  • Thanksgiving Hours - This is a reminder that AFP's office will be closed on Thursday Nov. 25th and Friday Nov. 26th.

  • 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 November 2021 Blog edition.

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
The month kicked off with having a few dinners with family to celebrate my birthday, and a trip to Yellow Springs for a Saturday bike ride. Gene had scheduled a double rotator cuff surgery on the 8th and is recovering well. I have been behind the scenes taking care of him when needed. Other than 5 weeks in a sling, he seems to be doing everything on his own now. The surprising news, regarding the sale of the office building we are in, has caused me to spend some time on this issue as of late. The garage build seems to still be on track. Beyond this, I am looking forward to spending time with family as we gather for Thanksgiving. 
Garage Progress
+ What about Bob
November has been a good month. It seems like I start all of these out the same way, which certainly beats the alternative!

We have split this month nicely with a staycation from the 15th to the 19th and then Thanksgiving the following week. We are going to try to balance working around the house with some much-needed R&R. The basement is very near completion so I’m certain part of the staycation will be furnishing and decorating it. I have a wonderful vision of breakfast with a Bloody Mary one of these days.

Layla’s volleyball team went undefeated in tournament play and won the championship match in 2 games. It was such an exciting match and all the girls played very well. However, it took years off of my life expectancy! 

Grandson report
Lowell has reached the 25lb mark and has caught up on all his development goals for a child his age. Christine and I had the opportunity to watch him while Ashley did an engagement photo shoot. It was great, but his teething made him a bit grumpy. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the grandpa tree!

Logan’s vocabulary continues to grow in leaps and bounds. He has gotten to the age where he repeats a lot of what he hears. So we have to be overly cautious about what we say. 

Brittany’s maternity sickness has subsided but she still struggles with being tired a lot. She has realized how challenging it can be with a little one at home and one on the way. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
+ Tracey's Time
We recently had a low key open house to commemorate my 20 year work anniversary with AFP. Where has the time gone? Many thanks to Teri and those of you who stopped in to share in the celebration! It was so nice to visit, even though it was brief. I received a few gift packages. Any guesses on the contents? 

Andy and I both had cataract surgery this fall. I had my left eye done and Andy had both. Andy is seeing the world in a new way, having suffered with vision issues since infancy. We are grateful recipients of successful surgeries and “thankful” might not quite express our feelings about the dramatic improvement for Andy. 

We are looking forward to having our kids join us at home for Thanksgiving dinner again this year. Times when we are all together are becoming less frequent and more special as our adult kids develop their own traditions. 

We wish each of you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving enjoyed with family and friends! 
+ Erik's Exploits
I’m Columbus born and raised, and attended Centennial High School in north Columbus. I majored in Communication at Ohio State and graduated in 2014. I’m an avid sports fan and while most of my attention is focused on Ohio State football and the Columbus Blue Jackets, I also follow the Cincinnati Reds and Ohio State basketball. I also enjoy playing both video games and table top games with my friends. My best friend is an 8 year old black lab named Carly and she can usually be found sitting by my side or begging (unsuccessfully) for my food.

Earlier this month I attended the Ohio State vs Purdue game with my dad. We had a great time, despite the cold.
Current Economic and Investment Information
FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE - The first calendar year of the 8-years that Barack Obama was president (2009) produced a S&P 500 gain of +26.5% (total return). The first calendar year of the 4-years that Donald Trump was president (2017) produced a S&P 500 gain of +21.8% (total return). The first calendar year of the Joe Biden presidency has produced a S&P 500 gain of +26.2% YTD (total return) with 7 weeks to go in the year. The S&P 500 consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity and industry group representation. It is a market value weighted index with each stock's weight in the index proportionate to its market value (source: BTN Research). 

BOND BULL RUN – Just over 40 years ago (9/30/1981), the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note closed at an all-time peak of 15.84%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note closed on 11/12/21 at 1.583%. The all-time low closing yield on the 10-year Treasury note was 0.501% set on 3/09/20 (source: Treasury Department).  

NOT AS LONG AS YOU WOULD THINK - The “weighted average maturity” (WAM) of Treasury debt issued by the US government was 64.6 months (about 5 ½ years) as of 12/31/2020, up slightly from its historical average of 60.2 months (5 years) based on bills, notes and bonds in force since 1980 (source: Treasury Department).   

“TAKE-UP” RATE - 68% of American workers in the private sector worked for employers that provided retirement benefits as of 3/31/21. 51% of the 68% who had access to a plan elected to participate in their company’s retirement plan (e.g., 401(k) plan), i.e., 75% of private sector workers who had an option to participate elected to do so (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics). 

SAVING FOR RETIREMENT - The 401(k) individual pre-tax contribution limit will be $20,500 in 2022, up from $17,000 in 2012 or 10 years earlier. If the same inflation adjustments that have occurred over the last 10 years repeat over the next decade, the 401(k) individual pre-tax contribution limit will be $24,721 in 2032 (source: IRS). For IRAs, contribution limits remain the same as in 2021.

GIFT TAX – The Gift Tax annual exclusion for 2022 will be $16,000.  

GOT YOUR BACK JACK - Employers paid on average 73% of the annual cost of family coverage for health insurance in 2021, a non-taxable economic benefit for the employee (source: Kaiser Family Foundation).   

AMERICAN DREAM – As of the end of the 3rd quarter (9/30/2021), total US mortgage debt was $10.99 trillion, 72% of the $15.24 trillion of total household debt (source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York). 

WHAT HAS CHANGED? – 20,331 homes have been repossessed by lenders nationwide YTD through 10/31/21. That’s down from 50,238 homes repossessed for all of 2020, 143,955 homes in 2019, 230,305 homes in 2018 and 291,579 homes in 2017 (source: Attom Data Solutions).   

TIMELINE - HR # 3684, the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” was passed by the Senate on 8/10/21, passed by the House on 11/05/21 and was signed by President Biden on 11/15/21 (source: Congress).  

GOING UP - Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, advanced +6.22% on a year-over-year basis as of the end of October 2021. That’s the greatest trailing 1-year inflation recorded in the United States since prices were up +6.27% as of November 1990 or nearly 31 years ago (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).  

ONE BIG REASON - The price of imported industrial supplies and materials coming into the US has increased +28% from just prior to the pandemic through 7/31/21. Industrial supplies and materials include paper, building materials, and metals used in other durable goods. All these items are key components in the US supply chain, impacting the price of thousands of finished products in our economy (source: Federal Reserve Bank of NY).   

NOT BABIES ANYMORE - “Baby Boomers” are the 78 million Americans born between 1946-1964, i.e., the last of the “boomers” will turn 65 years old in 2029. By 2030, an estimated 9.5% of the US civilian labor force will be individuals at least age 65 years old, up from 6.6% today (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).   
Forever Home?
Many people near or in retirement try to find the perfect home in which to spend the rest of their lives. However, some soon realize that what they thought was perfect really isn't.
Retirees Spend a Lot of Time and Money to Buy Their 'Forever Home.' Then They Sell it.

By Beth DeCarbo
Source: The Wall Street Journal
To Rick Brown and Jeanne Brown, finding a forever home has seemingly taken forever.

In just five years, the couple—he’s 71 and she’s 72—bought or built two different houses that they planned to live in for the rest of their lives. But their tastes changed—so they decided to pick up stakes both times. Now they have settled on a third home that seems to be their final choice.

If there is one takeaway, Mr. Brown says, never use the words “forever home.

Click here to continue reading this article.
What You Need to Know About Capital Gains Distributions
If you own mutual funds in a taxable account, you may find yourself
with a tax bill despite not having sold a single share.

By Karen Wallace, CFP
Question: Do I have to pay taxes on mutual fund capital gains, even if I don't sell any shares of the funds?

Answer: Unfortunately, sometimes the answer is yes. If you own mutual funds in a taxable account, you may find yourself with a tax bill for mutual fund capital gains and income distributions. And you may have to pay taxes on these gains even if you didn't sell a single share, and even if you reinvested the income or capital gain right back into the fund and never received a check.

Click here to continue reading this article.
2022 401(k) and IRA Contribution Limits
These are your 2022 401(k) and IRA Contribution Limits

By Alicia Adamcyzk
Source: CNBC
Savers can stash away an extra $1,000 in their 401(k)s in 2022, the IRS announced Thursday in a release about cost-of-living adjustments for retirement plans.

The contribution limit for workplace retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, most 457 plans and Thrift Savings Plans, is being raised from $19,500 to $20,500.

Click here to continue reading this article.
2021 Tax Year-End Checklist
2021 Year-End Tax Planning Checklist

By Rob Williams, CFP, CRPC
Source: Charles Schwab
Now is an ideal time to consider year-end tax planning strategies to potentially reduce your taxes and help you achieve your long-term financial goals. Review the checklist below and consider which strategies apply to your personal situation. Then, consider working with a financial and/or tax professional to ensure the strategies suit your overall financial plan.

Click here to continue reading this article.

“The thankful heart opens our eyes to a multitude of blessings that continually surround us”

- James E. Faust
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 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. All rights reserved.