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On May 13, 2019, escalating trade tensions between the United States and China sparked a worldwide stock sell-off that wiped out more than $1 trillion in global equity values.1 The markets recovered over the next three days, but tensions between the economic giants continued to drive volatility with no resolution in sight.2 Investors sometimes overreact to short-term events, but the conflict with China has been simmering for decades, and an extended trade war could have long-term economic consequences.
Most Americans will eventually receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. Each year, the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds release lengthy reports to Congress that assess the health of these important programs. The newest reports, released on April 22, 2019, discuss the current financial condition and ongoing financial challenges that both programs face, and project a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2020.
At its meeting on March 20, 2019, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) maintained the benchmark federal funds rate at the target range of 2.25% to 2.50% that was set in December 2018. This in itself was not surprising. But other communications signaled a definite hiatus in the Fed's policy of raising interest rates and tightening the money supply.1
Small business owners face unique challenges. Learn about strategies and resources that can help you plan for your future.
Taxpayers have until their tax return due date (not including extensions) to contribute up to $5,500 to an IRA for 2018 ($6,500 if they were age 50 or older on December 31, 2018). For most taxpayers, the contribution deadline for 2018 is April 15, 2019 (April 17 for taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts).
Make your contribution today!
One of the most important documents participants must receive automatically when becoming covered under a health benefit plan that is subject to ERISA (the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act) is a summary of the plan, called the Summary Plan Description or SPD. The fact is, many employers are confused about this very important ERISA-required disclosure, which can put them at risk.
Health FSA Limit to Increase in 2019
The ACA imposes a dollar limit on employees' salary reduction contributions to health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs) offered under cafeteria plans.
The 2019 Federal and State minimum wage chart has been published. Employers should be advised that different rates may apply to employees and in cities and counties that have passed local minimum wage ordinances. Be sure to confirm the wage requirements that apply to your business with your state Department of Labor.
To view a copy of the current chart, please use the link below.
With Brooks Financial Group, you can learn how financial planning can help small business owners design the life —and live the lifestyle—of their choosing in their retirement years.