Markets Continue to Melt Higher & Secure Act Part of Spending Bill

On behalf of Retirement Refined, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanza!

I hope all of you are able to take time to relax, appreciate all the good in your lives, spend time with family and friends and please make sure you tell everyone who your care about, you love them!

Markets Melt Higher

 Is there an end in sight?  Or will the markets continue higher indefinitely?  I certainly cannot argue with the amount of people out and about, spending money like an endless pit believing market cycles no longer exists.  I happened to stop at Wegmans Sunday evening and could not believe the amount of people shopping with filled shopping carts, that certainly total a hefty price tag!!  Most of the shoppers were Millennials; I certainly hope they are saving some of their earnings, just in case at some point in the future the economy suffers a setback.  “No worries, they’ll just go back and live with mom and dad who will decide not to retire…………!”

Hope I’m wrong! 

For the week the Dow rose 1.14%, the S&P 500 1.68%, the Russell small cap a robust 2.10% and the Nasdaq Composite not to be outdone, 2.18%.

Over the pond, the MSCI EAFE Developed Market Stock Index rose .64% while the Emerging Market Stock Index moved higher by 1.99%.

Bonds as expected fell (.30%) according to the Barclay’s Aggregate Bond Index.

Secure Act Bill Attached to the Spending Bill

Last week the House of Representative approved our Federal Spending Bill that had the “Secure Act” attached.  The House voted 297-120 to advance the bill to the Senate which is expected to be approved this week and then sent to President Trump to be officially signed into law.

I won’t go into much detail now as I prefer to wait for final approval and then examine the bill thoroughly….

For a brief recap however, what will impact many of our clients and blog subscribers is the requirement to begin taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from your IRA’s and other qualified accounts.  The current age is the year you turn 70 ½.  The bill pushes back the age to 72 which for some investors will provide additional time for creative tax planning.  It also pretty much kills the “Stretch IRA” which has been a wonderful planning technique for when non-spouse beneficiaries inherit IRA’s.

I’ll certainly provide details assuming the Secure is officially passed and after I examine all provisions to see where planning opportunities exist.


Answer to last week’s question…!

A spousal benefit can be equal to ½ of the Primary Workers Primary Insurance Amount.

If the spouse was born between 1943 and 1954, what age does he or she need to be to be eligible to collect 50% of the Primary Workers benefit?

  1. 62
  2. 70
  3. 65
  4. 66

The correct answer is letter #4 – Age 66.  Also keep in mind that spousal benefits do not accrue any delayed credits after full retirement age.

As always, please reach out to our office with any Social Security questions related to your situation!




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