The dollar hit an eight-month high amid growing speculation of U.S. interest rate increases. In light of reports on third quarter earnings and major corporations’ profits, stocks closed mixed Friday but closed higher for the week. For the week, the Dow rose 0.09 percent to close at 18,145.71. The S&P gained 0.41 percent to finish at 2,141.16, and the NASDAQ climbed 0.83 percent to end the week at 5,257.40.
Some Day –
As of Friday, Oct. 14, the bond market was priced to reflect a 7 percent chance of a Federal rate hike at its Nov. 2 meeting and a 69 percent chance of a rate hike at its Dec. 14 meeting (source: CME Group, BTN Research).
The U.S. economy has been growing for the last 87 months (i.e., no recession), an expansion exceeded in length only three times since 1900 (source: National Bureau of Economic Research, BTN Research).
Looking Into the Future -
Eight of 10 Wall Street equity strategists polled by Barron’s on Dec. 12, 2015, forecasted a year-end closing value for the S&P 500 between 2100 and 2200. On Friday, Oct. 14, the S&P 500 index closed at 2132.98 (source: Barron’s, BTN Research).
WEEKLY FOCUS - The $ Advantages of a Healthy Retirement
Among retirees and pre-retirees, health care costs are a major concern. Not only have they become one of the largest expenses in retirement, they are dependent upon several factors beyond our control. They are rising faster than general inflation; experts predict future health care costs will grow at a rate two to four times the Consumer Price Index. Medicare premiums, deductibles and coverage can change from year to year. And we don’t know what health challenges we may eventually face.
We can improve our chances of remaining healthy by eating the right amounts and types of food, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep and moderating stress. If the possibility of living a long life filled with vitality isn’t an adequate incentive to pursue a healthy lifestyle, consider potential financial benefits.
According to a recent USA Today article, 60 percent of Americans have to retire sooner than they planned, and health challenges are a common reason. This often results in lower Social Security benefits and/or tapping savings earlier. In contrast, with today’s longer life expectancies, many healthy individuals enjoy working on a full or part-time basis into their seventies.
Healthier individuals incur lower annual out-of-pocket health care costs. The Medicare News Watch website compares 2017 out-of-pocket cost estimates for Medicare Advantage Plan members in poor, good and excellent health living in different locations. For example, in St. Louis, Miss., a retiree in excellent health could expect to spend $3,334 on applicable plan copayments, deductibles and premiums, while a retiree in poor health could expect to pay $6,661.
Many of us hope to live long and die fast. Healthy people often live longer, which at a minimum will require more years of monthly health care premiums. But at the same time, they’ll receive more years of Social Security benefits. It would also seem maintaining one’s health could decrease the odds of developing costly chronic health conditions or diseases that diminish the quality of life.
Given a choice, all of us would rather spend money on vacations than health care. To ensure a secure, rewarding retirement, invest in your health while you prudently grow your nest egg. Let us help you determine the amount you should save for retirement to maintain the same quality of life you have now and cover projected health care costs. Contact our office today.
The Dorion-Gray Team
Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisory Firm. Dorion-Gray Retirement Planning is a trade name of Dorion-Gray Financial Services, Inc. located at 2602 IL Route 176, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. Dorion-Gray and the Securities America companies are separate, unaffiliated entities.
Diversification seeks to reduce the volatility of a portfolio by investing in a variety of asset classes. Neither asset allocation nor diversification guarantee against market loss or greater or more consistent returns.
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