Retirement Blog 3/11/2024

Social Security – Make the best choice!

Obtaining the largest amount of guaranteed (fixed) income can contribute towards a comfortable retirement.

Since 2008, we’ve counseled countless couples and individuals on how to select the best Social Security option unique to their situation.

Practically all of our clients elected to either utilize a delayed strategy or collect at their Social Security full retirement age.  Very few have filed early.

Most clients tell us they are pleasantly surprised at how much more they are receiving than if they would have collected sooner.  If they would have collected earlier, their checks would now be much smaller, at a time when prices of practically everything has skyrocketed.

For those who are now approaching Social Security eligibility age of 62, please don’t make a rash decision.  Obtain the facts unique to your situation.

For our clients who are now approaching Social Security age, by design of our service model, we perform an analysis to guide their decision.

This is an invitation to non-clients; we continue to offer a complimentary analysis to assist your important Social Security decision.  To schedule your complimentary session, either email Chris Tomasso at or call (856) 354-3200 x205.

Stocks – Overvalued?

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit another all-time high before pulling back on Friday.

Can the market continue to move higher? 

The S&P 500 has a forward Price to Earnings (PE) ratio of 21.  Average or normal as suggested by the experts is 16.  Based on the number alone, yes, the market appears overvalued.

Perhaps the main reason for stocks moving higher makes sense, as corporate profitability continues to surprise to the upside.

99% of S&P 500 companies reported earnings with 73% reporting higher profits than expected, and 64% reporting higher revenue than expected.

If inflation continues to moderate, corporate profits continue higher, and the Fed responsibly lowers rates, the market can move higher.

I’m fairly comfortable with current profit projections however it’s challenging to conclude about the path of inflation and how the Federal Reserve will react.

For the week the Dow dropped (.81%), the S&P 500 (.20%) and the Nasdaq (1.02%).  Small caps have been attempting to play catch up, moved higher by .39%.

Over the pond proved positive, as foreign stocks rose 1.62% and emerging markets .85%.

Yields fell slightly last week with the 10-year US Treasury dropping to 4.07.

CPI/PPI/Retail Sales

Investors and the Fed will have more to digest this week.  Tuesday, we’ll hear February’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, followed on Thursday, the Producer Price Index (PPI) and Retail Sales.

Investors are now convinced the Fed will NOT lower rates later this month.  Bets are now hoping for June’s Federal Reserve meeting.  This week’s reports may infuse additional influence as to “when” the Fed will cut.

Many believe the Fed will cut 2 or 3 times beginning in June, then ending as we inch closer to election day.  The thought is the Fed does not want to appear politically sided in either direction.

Personally, I hope the Fed ignores politics and decides purely, on what is best for the US economy.

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