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From the Desk of Dale Crossley and Evan Shear

From the Desk of Dale Crossley and Evan Shear

As we approach Thanksgiving, we’re hoping that you and your loved ones can find a safe way to celebrate – whether a smaller than usual gathering or via Zoom, it’s such a great day to think about what’s positive in your life and forget, even for a moment, about the negative of 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic, rollercoaster-like markets and an unprecedented presidential election, 2020 will not soon be forgotten. Despite all that, we both feel that we have so much to be grateful for, particularly during these times. We speak for the entire team in saying that we’re extremely thankful for our clients. We truly appreciate you entrusting us with your financial well-being, particularly as we approached the uncertainty with the election cycle.

Leading up to, and now after the unprecedented presidential election, we’ve been completely inundated with news and headlines and not surprisingly, the election drew the highest percentage of registered voters since the presidential election in 1900. The polls predicted a blue wave, but as it stands today, Biden is President-elect, the Democrats maintain the House majority and the Republicans will most likely retain the Senate. However, much attention will be focused on runoff elections, particularly in Georgia. Recounts and potential legal challenges, in addition to runoff elections in January, could reshape what we know today, but probably not significantly.

Key Takeaways
Below are key takeaways related to economic policies that we expect to take shape in the new administration. These key takeaways are discussed in more detail by Larry Adam, CIO and Washington Policy Analyst, Ed Mills in Raymond James’ 2020 Election Policy Insights, a collection of videos and articles. (https://www.raymondjames.com/commentary-and-insights/washington-policy).

1. Watch for a new, probably smaller fiscal stimulus package, possibly by the end of the year and likely before December 11 when the federal spending agreement is set to expire.

2. Moving forward, the Fed monetary policy will likely remain largely the same, providing continued liquidity and low-interest rates.

3. Taxes will likely not increase if the Republicans maintain the majority in the Senate. Otherwise, a 10% decrease in corporate earnings is possible in 2021.

4. Look for improved trade relations, particularly with Europe, potentially resulting in increased earnings for large multinational U.S. companies.

The makeup of government in Washington, DC is important to your investments, but there are other essential components. The overall economy, earnings growth, the policy of the Fed and secular factors all play a part in the markets. These factors all have an effect on portfolio performance and we take them into consideration when constructing your portfolios. With that in mind, we hope you can forget about the headlines for just one day and enjoy some turkey and stuffing. We hope you and your loved ones have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members. Raymond James does not provide tax or legal services. Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professional.

There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Making Sense of Medicare Myths

Making Sense of Medicare Myths

Take the time to learn the facts behind these common Medicare misconceptions.

Retirement planning is complex, at best, but when you throw Medicare into the mix, it can get downright confusing. Many pre-retirees find the program hard to navigate without some guidance. Here are the facts about five common Medicare myths.

Myth: Medicare offers free healthcare.

Fact: Not quite. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known more simply as the Affordable Care Act, allows beneficiaries an annual well­ness check at no charge. Beneficiaries also are entitled to free recommended preventive screenings, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, annual wellness visits and personalized prevention plans. For most people, Medicare Part A – which covers hospital stays and services up to certain limits – does not require a premium. But that’s it. You’re still responsible for copays, coinsurance and deductibles.

For instance, you’ll pay a $1,408 deductible in 2020 before Part A coverage kicks in for hospital stays of up to 60 days.

Just like health insurance during your working years, the other parts of Medicare also have premiums, copays, coinsurance and deductibles.

  • The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B in 2020 is $144.60.
  • You’ll pay more if you’re single and earn more than $87,000 or $174,000 for a married couple filing jointly.
  • High earners will face a surcharge ranging from $12.20 to $76.40 per month, depending on income, for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.
  • Many Medicare beneficiaries purchase a Medigap supplemental insurance plan to help cover out-of-pocket costs.

Myth: Medicare covers everything.

Fact: Not true. For example, dental, vision and hearing are not covered by Medicare. And prescription drug coverage is only offered through Part D and Medicare Advantage plans. What’s more, you are responsible for the premiums, deductibles and copayments associated with the coverage you choose. However, starting in 2012, Medicare began covering more preven­tive services, including screening and counseling for alcohol abuse, depres­sion and obesity. Supplemental insurance plans are available to help cover out-of-pocket costs.

Myth: A Medicare Advantage plan or Part D coverage will fill gaps in my coverage.

Fact: Medicare can be complicated. Medicare Advantage plans – sometimes known as Part C – offer optional coverage through private insurance companies. Many of these plans cover dental, vision, hearing and prescription drug costs, not covered by Original Medicare. However, the plans may have limited networks to keep costs down.

Part D is optional prescription drug coverage that has myriad variables, such as premiums, copays, coverage gaps and coinsurance. You can choose which prescription drug plan best fits your needs.

Myth: Medicare may not cover me.

Fact: One major advantage of Medicare is that you can’t be rejected for coverage or be charged higher premiums because you’re too sick. However, if you’re a high earner, you’ll pay higher premiums for Medicare Part B and Part D. In addition, the Affordable Care Act now prohibits discrimination based on a pre-existing condition.

Myth: I will be notified when it's time to sign up for Medicare.

Fact: No. Unless you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you must apply for Medicare. You will not receive any official notification on when or how to enroll.

If you’re over 65, still working and covered by employer healthcare, you may want to delay enrollment in part B to avoid paying for coverage you don’t need. Once you stop working, you must enroll within eight months – even if you’re receiving COBRA or retiree health benefits from your employer – to avoid permanent late penalties. For example, if you miss the deadline, you’ll pay 10% more in Part B premiums for every 12 months you delay. If you are under 65 and retired, you should enroll before your 65th birthday to avoid these penalties.

For those without employer coverage, it’s a good idea to sign up when you’re first eligible for Part B. If you’re eligible for Part B when you turn 65, for exam­ple, you’ll want to enroll during your initial enrollment period, the seven-month period that starts three months before your birth month. If you sign up in the first three months, you can avoid delays in coverage. If you sign up during your birth month or later, your start date will be delayed by one to two months.

There’s also an open enrollment pe­riod from October 15 to December 7 each year for Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug cov­erage. From January 1 to February 14 each year, seniors with Medi­care Advantage plans can review their options during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. During this time, members can drop their plans, return to Original Medicare and pick up a standalone prescription drug plan. Medicare.gov recommends that you review your current coverage each fall to see if you need to make changes for the following year.

Source: Medicare.gov

Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members. Raymond James does not provide tax or legal services. Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professional.

6 Things to Remember When Markets Fall

6 Things to Remember When Markets Fall

Maintain your composure – and long-term focus – when volatility emerges.

It can be unsettling for investors when their portfolios and the markets start heading into the red. Here are six investing basics to keep in mind during volatile times.

1. Periods of volatility are normal.

All markets move in cycles, and periods of steep contraction are completely normal. While the length of market contractions varies, periods of growth and expansion are usually waiting on the other side. The markets have proven remarkably resilient over the long term, and while returns can be quite volatile year-to-year, they’re generally positive over multi-year periods.

2. Don’t panic.

Letting emotions dictate your investing strategy is a risk you shouldn’t take. Short-term decisions can have long-term consequences on your portfolio. Being patient can pay dividends.

3. Know your portfolio.

Understand your investments and how specific assets represent different goals and outcomes. Keep in mind your risk tolerance and investment timeline, and if either has changed, consider talking to your financial advisor about rebalancing your portfolio. Diversification can potentially help balance risk during a downturn and mitigate extreme swings in value.

4. Stay the course.

Remember your financial plan and long-term goals and stick to them. A disciplined investment approach is a sound strategy for handling market downturns and will likely enable you to participate when the markets rebound.

5. Consider opportunities.

Working with your financial advisor, determine whether periods of volatility are a good time to take advantage of investment opportunities in line with your long-term plan.

6. You’re not alone.

Your financial advisor is available to answer your questions and provide help when you need it. He or she can guide you through difficult markets and be the independent voice that helps you stay focused on your long-term goals.

Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members. Raymond James does not provide tax or legal services. Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professional.

Veal or Chicken Cutlet With Ham and Fontina Cheese

Veal or Chicken Cutlet With Ham and Fontina Cheese (Alla Valdostana)

Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4
Difficulty Level: Easy

Val d’Aosta is a wonderful northern Italian region with a great culinary tradition. This is a “secondo” dish or entrée. It can easily be made with chicken or pork cutlet.

Ingredients

800 gr (1.7 lb) veal, chicken or pork cutlets (8 slices, each approximately 0.2 lb)
200 gr (7 oz) prosciutto ham (4 slices, each 1.7 oz )
120 gr (4 oz) fontina cheese (4 slices, each 1.0 oz)
6 medium eggs
300 gr (10 oz) breadcrumbs
200 gr (7 oz) all-purpose flour
Sea salt
Black pepper
1lt (4 cups) sunflower oil

Mise en place:
Lightly pound veal slices with kitchen mallet (put them between parchment paper sheets so you don’t tear the meat).
Egg wash (crack 6 eggs into a large bowl and whisk evenly with a fork).

Directions

Lay 8 veal slices next to each other on a table/cutting board and lightly season them with salt and pepper. Put a slice of ham on top of each veal slice, then a slice of cheese on top of each ham slice.

Cover the 4 veal slices with the other 4 slices of veal letting the lightly seasoned side face the internal side (with ham and cheese), as if you are making a sandwich.

Lightly season each “sandwich” with salt and pepper and set them apart.

Put 4 cups of sunflower oil into a large pan with high edges and let it reach 340° F before starting to fry.

Meanwhile, flour the meat “sandwiches” with all-purpose flour, then soak them in the egg wash and breadcrumbs, repeating the process “egg wash/breadcrumbs” for the second time, tapping the meat sandwiches to let the breadcrumbs stick nicely.

Fry the veal until golden brown (8/10 minutes approximately), then remove them from the oil and place on absorbent paper to dry the excess oil.

Plate the veal, which you may enjoy with a side of French fries or roasted potatoes and a light salad. It’s great with a crisp and dry white wine such as Pecorino or Verdicchio.

 

Article printed from LA CUCINA SABINA: https://www.lacucinasabina.com

URL to article: https://www.lacucinasabina.com/recipe/veal-or-chicken-cutlet-with-ham-and-fontina-cheese-alla-valdostana/

Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members. Raymond James does not provide tax or legal services. Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professional.

Answering Four Common Questions About COVID-19 and 529 Plans

Answering Four Common Questions About COVID-19 and 529 Plans

Learn how virtual classes, gap years, K-12 expenses and refunds may impact your education savings.

The COVID-19 outbreak has upended normal life across the world, and higher education has been no exception. As more college students respond to the pandemic by taking a gap year (i.e., a year-long break from school) or opting for reduced course loads, you may be wondering what these and other changes could mean for your 529 plan. Fortunately, we’ve got answers.

My college student is enrolled in virtual classes this semester. What expenses are covered under my 529 plan?

Higher education expenses that would normally be covered under a 529 plan also apply to virtual classes. These expenses include tuition, books, school supplies, fees, computer equipment and peripherals. Room and board will also be covered if your student is enrolled at least half time. To explore estimated expenses for an academic year, visit the respective college or university’s cost of attendance page.

If my college student takes a gap year or enrolls in fewer classes this semester, how would it affect my education savings?

Since 529 plans do not have an expiration date, your funds will be ready when you need them. This means you can resume distributions as you normally would once your student returns to school. If your student has opted for a reduced course load, then tuition, supplies and fees will all be covered by your 529 plan. However, they will need to be enrolled at least half time for room and board to qualify under your plan. If you have any questions regarding your student’s level of enrollment (partial, half time or full time), contact their educational institution.

I have a K-12 student. Can I use my 529 plan to purchase a computer? What about tutoring services?

The K-12 provision in 529 plans applies exclusively to tuition expenses. You may use up to $10,000 each year to cover these costs. While K-12 distributions are considered a qualified expense under federal law, not every state treats K-12 distributions in the same manner. To determine how your state treats K-12 distributions, consult with a local tax professional.

I received a refund from my student’s school. What are my options?

You have several options when it comes to managing amounts refunded by the school. The first is to use the refunded amount toward other qualified education expenses that same calendar year. This will ensure that your 1099 matches the incurred expenses. The second option is to re-contribute the refunded amounts back into the 529 plan within 60 days of the day the school issued the check. This contribution will be counted as a current year contribution. Just remember to safely store documentation of the refund and re-contribution for your records.

Earnings in 529 plans are not subject to federal tax and in most cases state tax, as long as you use withdrawals for eligible education expenses. However, if you withdraw money from a 529 plan and do not use it on an eligible education expense, you generally will be subject to income tax and an additional 10% federal tax penalty on earnings. Investment products are: not deposits, not FDIC/NCUA insured, not insured by any government agency, not bank guaranteed, subject to risk and may lose value.

Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members. Raymond James does not provide tax or legal services. Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professional.

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