For the Week of June 7, 2021
Stocks rose Friday. The Labor Department’s May jobs report showed unemployment fell to a pandemic-era low of 5.9 percent, and new job growth was stronger than April’s but short of expectations. The mixed news appeared to assure investors the Fed would retain its accommodating money policies. For the week, the Dow rose 0.69 percent to close at 34,756.39. The S&P gained 0.64 percent to finish at 4,229.89, and the NASDAQ climbed 0.49 percent to end at 13,814.49.
|Returns Through 6/04/21||1 Week||YTD||1 Year||3 Year||5 Year|
|Dow Jones Industrials (TR)||0.69||14.55||34.92||14.45||17.00|
|NASDAQ Composite (TR)||0.49||7.51||44.72||23.18||24.08|
|S&P 500 (TR)||0.64||13.35||38.08||17.65||17.28|
|Barclays US Agg Bond (TR)||0.12||-2.17||0.16||5.29||3.15|
|MSCI EAFE (TR)||0.73||11.22||32.51||8.18||9.95|
Source: Morningstar.com. *Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three- and five-year returns are annualized. The Dow Jones Industrials, MSCI EAFE, Barclays US Agg Bond, NASDAQ and S&P, excluding “1 Week” returns, are based on total return, which is a reflection of return to an investor by reinvesting dividends after the deduction of withholding tax. (TR) indicates total return. MSCI EAFE returns stated in U.S. dollars.
Did You Need It? — 40.3 percent of college graduates aged 22 to 27 are working in jobs in which they are underemployed, i.e., they are working in a job that typically does not require a college degree. Historically, 33.5 percent of college grads are underemployed (source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York, BTN Research).
Will It Be Spent Eventually? — The personal savings rate in the U.S. in the first quarter 2021 was 21 percent. The personal savings rate in the U.S. in the first quarter 2001 was 5 percent. The personal savings rate is defined as savings (i.e., after-tax income less consumption spending) divided by after-tax income (source: Department of Commerce, BTN Research).
Not a Big Number? — At its peak, 3.7 million home mortgages (out of 52.4 million mortgages nationwide) had requested and received forbearance protection afforded through the CARES Act that was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, 2020. As of March 2021, that total had fallen to 2.2 million home mortgages still in forbearance, or just 4.2 percent of all mortgages (source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York, BTN Research).
WEEKLY FOCUS – June Is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month
It’s difficult to find someone who has not been emotionally and/or financially impacted by Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is one of our nation’s costliest diseases. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, total payments for all individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias are estimated to total $355 billion in 2021 (not including unpaid caregiving). Sadly, afflicted individuals without adequate long-term care insurance frequently lose most, if not all, of their financial assets.
But even dementias’ beginning stages and mild cognitive impairment experienced by healthy seniors can put personal wealth at risk. That’s why it’s important to begin having conversations about your aging family member’s finances well before you see signs of mental decline. Obviously, this has to be done with great sensitivity and respect. Make sure they know you don’t want to take control, but you would like to ensure they are protected and their wishes honored in the years to come.
During ongoing dialogs, try to learn what you’ll need to know if it becomes necessary to manage their finances: the names and contact information of their financial planner, accountant, and attorney; financial records and where they are kept; their monthly income and the sources; insurance policies; the location of financial accounts; regular bills and how they are paid; and log-in information for online accounts.
Suggest meeting jointly with their financial professional and/or other family members. Gain an understanding of their priorities and wishes. Ask which assets are most important to them, what causes they want to support, and whether their will is up to date.
Propose having legal documents created that will allow you or another family member to make decisions if your loved one becomes unable to. This can include: a health care power of attorney (POA) or a more limited living will, either a limited or durable power of attorney for finances, an authorization to disclose account information, and a form authorizing a financial institution to contact you if concerns arise about their ability to manage finances. Not having these documents when they’re needed can make helping your elderly relative considerably more difficult. For example, without a POA, you may need to go to court to attain guardianship of your family member to access accounts on their behalf.
Contact our office if you would like more information about protecting your loved one or help creating a plan to care for them.