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It's About Context...

People frequently ask my opinion on financial issues and economic events. This blog allows me to answer their questions and provide context for those things that affect their financial health.

How to Prepare for Medical Expenses in Retirement?

The question about handing medical expenses in retirement is coming up more frequently, even among my younger clients.  They hear that the average lifetime retiree health-care costs is over $400,000 for insurance premiums, co-pays and other out-of-pocket costs.

One of the best ways to prepare to manage these expenses is to get healthy now.  What do I mean?

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Gas Prices: Do consumers purchase more when prices fall? Or less when prices rise?

A common water cooler topic and segment on the local news is the price of gasoline. Remember when we were paying $5.00 or more per gallon?  Over the last year or so, you may have been overjoyed at paying closer to half of that amount at just over $2.50 or less per gallon.  Even today’s $3.00 per gallon seems like a bargain.

With all the talk about gas prices, it seems reasonable to assume that when gas prices are high, people drive less and consume fewer gallons.  And, likewise, when prices are lower, people drive more.

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Rising Interest Rates and U.S. Stocks: What Happens Next?

Conventional wisdom suggests that rising interest rates are not good for stocks.  Following the Federal Reserve’s (the Fed) most recent rate hike in December 2015, the market has been increasingly volatile to the downside.
 

Is this evidence that conventional wisdom is right?

Or will a review of the historical evidence suggest that this downside volatility is likely an overreaction?

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Forecasting Bond Yields and March Madness: Another Broken Crystal Ball

I grew up in Basketball Country (aka The Bluegrass State) and there’s nothing like this time of year.   Four full weeks of college hoops. Conference tournaments and then the NCAA tournament.  And, the tens of millions of tournament bracket submissions filled with predictions about who’s going to win and advance round by round.

These are always fun and add to the spectacle of college hoops and the ribbings and banter among friends.   I love it!

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The Latest Bear Correction: Come on Feel the Noise…

For much of this year, the headlines have been filled with doom and gloom.  The pages and airways declared that the economy and stock market are falling apart.  There’s noise everywhere.

But, the reality is that the latest downturn is just a normal part of our economy and financial markets.  The dynamic nature of capitalism often masks the cyclical behavior of both U.S. and international economies.  Because these cycles can take years and decades to play out, it is frequently difficult for many people to see beyond what’s happening in this moment.

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"What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say." ---- Ralph Waldo Emerson