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Dorion-Gray Capital Management® Weekly Commentary September 26, 2016

| September 26, 2016
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Market Commentary


U.S. stocks fell Friday as energy shares lagged amid lower oil prices. Major indexes still posted gains for the week thanks to a boost after Wednesday’s Federal Reserve announcement that it would not raise rates. For the week, the Dow rose 0.76 percent to close at 18,261.45. The S&P gained 1.20 percent to finish at 2,164.69, and the NASDAQ climbed 1.17 percent to end the week at 5,305.75.

Not Untouchable – When a 1983 Social Security committee (chaired by Alan Greenspan) implemented changes that gradually increased the age at which a retiree would receive full Social Security benefits from 65 to 67, only Americans who were 20 or more years from turning 65 were impacted (source: Social Security, BTN Research).

Not The Most – Household median income in the U.S. was $56,516 in 2015. The highest level of household median income recorded was $57,909 in 1999, a total that has been adjusted for inflation (source: Census Bureau, BTN Research).
Out of Business - Lehman Brothers, a 158-year old company, was forced to file for bankruptcy protection on Sept.15, 2008 (eight years ago), when no one emerged to rescue the company from its substantial investment in subprime mortgages. It was (and still is) the largest U.S. bankruptcy in history. Since Lehman Brothers’ 2008 filing, central banks around the world have cut interest rates 670 times (source: JPMorgan, BTN Research).

WEEKLY FOCUS - Save Money on Health Care

With more insurers charging higher premiums, raising deductibles and switching from fixed co-pays to coinsurance, Americans are paying more for health care. In fact, 2015 statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development show our per capita health care spending is more than twice the average of other developed countries. The following measures may help reduce those costs.
Ask. Ask your physician if proposed tests are necessary. Ask about free samples, generic prescriptions, therapeutic alternatives or using a reputable mail-order pharmacy. Request prescriptions for over-the-counter drugs so you can pay for them with your flexible spending or health savings account. Before having tests, x-rays or surgery, inquire about alternate facilities. The same procedure in an outpatient surgery center or scans in an independent radiology facility may cost significantly less than in a hospital.
Verify. Before having a procedure, make sure the facility and all health care professionals involved are in your network. Even if you will be paying out-of-pocket, you can save with the insurer’s negotiated pricing. Review bills and Estimate of Benefits statements for discrepancies. According to a recent Forbes article, 50 percent of hospital bills have significant errors.
Research. Identify your options for after-hours care before it’s needed. Going to an emergency room that’s in network will be less expensive, but the cost of a visit to an urgent-care center could be a fraction of that. And a trip to a convenience-care clinic (like CVS’ Minute Clinic) still less. Determine whether costs for doctors’ visits or quotes for medical tests or surgery are in line with other providers in your area Compare costs and get coupons for specific drugs
Negotiate. If you’re paying out of pocket, explain your situation to your health care provider and ask for discounts. If you’re able to pay cash, ask about a reduced rate for doing so. Some providers will cut your bill by 20 percent. Make sure you still get your insurer’s negotiated rate, and submit the bill yourself so it counts toward your deductible. If you require hospital treatment, meet with the facility’s ombudsman beforehand and explain you want to create a plan for affordable care. 
If it has been a while since you evaluated the role health care costs play in your retirement savings, or if your situation has changed, contact our office to schedule a time we can meet to help you stay on track with your long-term goals.

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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