Weekly Observations for 12/22/2017

First and foremost, I hope you are having an incredible holiday season enjoying the love of family and good friends!

I’ll be spending this weekend sitting at the piano rehearsing for a Christmas jazz set on Sunday — something I’ve been looking forward to for months. Then an elegant Christmas party in a barn (yes, “elegant” and “barn” for the same event), and a couple of days with family.

Here are a few of the things I encountered this week that I noted as having particular relevance to our financial life:

–  The tax bill has passed Congress — all 1,097 pages of it. To help in understanding it, there is a simple explanatory statement that is a mere 570 pages. This has not been signed into law yet, but is expected to be signed by the President soon; possibly today.

–  While the details of the tax bill are highly complex, here is a very simple calculator that will give you a good idea of how much your personal taxes will change.

–  The U.S. stock market has not had a single monthly downturn for the entire 2017 year — this is not normal. My apologies if highlighting this a week before the end of December changes the outcome!

–  I mailed out a handful of copies of “The New Retirementality” to clients yesterday; something I try to remember to do as they cross over age 50 or reach retirement. So I was encouraged to run across a great story of one retiree this week that is diving into this next season of life and work by incorporating the principles from this book.

– Whether we’re dealing with tax laws, investment decisions, or long-range financial planning, it’s easy to get wrapped up in precision and accuracy as the best way to handle complexity. But simple solutions are usually superior.

Now on to more important matters. May you be richly blessed in the coming days!