After a couple of months on the job, does President Trump's performance make you want to reconsider your retirement strategy? If so, a new survey suggests that you have plenty of company.
According to a recent survey from Edward Jones, a majority of Americans expect the Trump administration to have an impact on their financial strategy for retirement. When looking at the long-term view, three-quarters of survey respondents believe that their investment assets will be affected, with nearly half (46%) expecting a positive effect. Consequently, a majority of respondents (57%) expect that the Trump administration will affect their retirement strategy as well.
What of the short-term effects? Again, the optimists prevail. While 42% of respondents expect a positive impact on their investments over the next year, only 27% expect a negative impact.
So far this year, the optimists have been right. Stocks are significantly up for the year, logically providing a boost to retirement plans. However, the stock market is not the only factor to consider.
Trump's plan on Social Security is not clear. He has promised to resist cutting benefits, and expects that his economic stimulus program will increase economic growth and at least partially replenish the Social Security coffers. His choice to run the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, is considered a budget hawk, raising concerns that Trump may reconsider cutting benefits and/or raising the full retirement age. With the collective uncertainty, it's best to be conservative and treat Social Security as a decreasing component of your retirement funding.
Health care costs are another massive variable. Estimates from Healthview Services and Fidelity in 2015 suggest that a healthy 65-year-old couple could expect to spend $245,000-$266,600 just on Medicare premiums over their lifetime — and that does not consider out of pocket costs or any long-term care expenses. The imminent repeal and replacement of Obamacare could radically change this estimate, affecting the amount of risk you must take to keep your retirement goals.
Trump's tax policy may also factor in your retirement fund re-evaluation. For example, consider that Trump and the Republican-led Congress have announced plans to streamline the tax brackets from seven brackets to three. If your tax bracket decreases now and your bracket is likely to be higher at retirement, a Roth IRA formed with post-tax dollars becomes increasingly attractive.
Should the Trump administration affect your retirement strategy? Frankly, any President should affect your retirement strategy — because you should be periodically re-evaluating your retirement plans and goals to see if you are on the right track.
You should also strive to make retirement a priority, as well as maintaining an emergency account that keeps you from having to dip into your retirement funds. The key is living within your means. "It's just sad that people live paycheck to paycheck when they are making good incomes," says April Lewis-Parks, Director of Education and Public Relations at Consolidated Credit.
The best way to improve your retirement savings is to cultivate a savings habit. "Even if it's just $10 a week, that's something," says Lewis-Parks. She recommends that people investigate, "...if I put my retirement fund 1% up, how much more money I will save over 30 years?" The free MoneyTips Retirement Planner lets you run countless scenarios like that. "Once people are aware of how little changes have a huge impact, then they will start to make those changes."
Governmental policies change, and so do your retirement needs over time. Keep track of how your retirement funds are affected by governmental and economic changes, but be cautious in making changes to your long-term retirement plans. Stay disciplined in your approach to retirement savings and apply as much savings toward your retirement as you possibly can to minimize changes of the unpleasant variety.
Let the free MoneyTips Retirement Planner help you calculate when you can retire without jeopardizing your lifestyle.