On Thursday, March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA 2021) was signed into law. This is a $1.9 trillion emergency relief package that includes payments to individuals and funding for federal programs, vaccines and testing, state and local governments, and schools. It is intended to assist individuals and businesses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and accompanying economic crisis. Major relief provisions are summarized here, including some tax provisions.
Stocks rallied by the end of the day last Monday, paring losses from a morning plunge. Strength in bank stocks and financials helped stem the tide as the other major market sectors generally sank. Investors were hit with news that a new strain of the COVID virus was moving rapidly through the United Kingdom, prompting a major sell-off in European stocks. Crude oil prices and Treasury yields fell, while the dollar advanced.
When it’s time to prepare the next generation for a financial legacy, you might want to bring your family members together to talk about money. But sitting down together isn’t easy, because money is a complicated and emotionally charged topic. Rather than risk conflict, your family may prefer to avoid talking about it altogether.
If your family isn’t quite ready to have a formal conversation, you can still lay the groundwork for the future by identifying and sharing your money values — the principles that guide your financial decisions.
At some point in your life, you may lose the ability to make or communicate responsible health-care decisions for yourself. Without directions to the contrary, medical professionals are generally compelled to make every effort to save and sustain your life. Depending on your attitude toward various medical treatments and your views on the quality of life, you may wish to take steps now to control future health-care decisions with one or more advance medical directives.
The headline unemployment rate for October was 6.9%, a 1% improvement over September and less than half the rate in April. The rate is moving in the right direction but has a long way to go, and the headline rate — officially called U-3 — is not always the best indication of the state of employment. The U-3 rate only measures those who are unemployed and have actively looked for work during the previous four weeks.
Stocks rebounded last Monday with each of the benchmark indexes gaining value, led by the Russell 2000, which added 2.0%, followed by the Global Dow, the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq. Treasury yields fell while the dollar and crude oil prices advanced. It is unclear what drove the market uptick. Some analysts suggest investors may see fiscal relief coming shortly after the election, while others proffer that the market gains were nothing more than dip-buying following last week’s selloff. Each of the major market sectors ended the day in the black, with energy and materials each advancing more than 3.0%.
Open enrollment is your annual opportunity to review your employer-provided benefit options and make elections for the upcoming plan year. You can get the most out of what your employer offers and possibly save some money by taking the time to read through your open enrollment information before making any benefit decisions. Every employer has its own open enrollment period (typically in the fall) and the information is usually available online through your employer.
During the Medicare Open Enrollment Period that runs from October 15 through December 7, you can make changes to your Medicare coverage that will be effective on January 1, 2021. If you’re satisfied with your current coverage, you don’t need to make changes, but it’s a good idea to review your options.
The IRS provided COVID-19 guidance for health Flexible Spending Arrangements and section 125 cafeteria plans related to high-deductible health plans through Notice 2020-29.
A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional or a CFP® practitioner is a financial professional who meets the requirements established by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. While others may call themselves financial planners, only those who demonstrate the requisite experience, education, and ethical standards are awarded the CFP® mark.