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Regularly reviewing existing estate plans is a good financial practice, and the looming change to the lifetime estate/gift tax exemptions at the end of 2025 makes now an opportune time to review your plans. Two powerful tools in estate planning are time and interest rates. With time, the more you have remaining, the greater the number of estate planning options available to you. With interest rates, the lower the prevailing rates, the more likely investments can achieve excess returns, thus the more attractive many strategies become. The ultra-low interest rates of the past decade were a boon for many estate planning strategies, but the increase in interest rates does not mean the end of effective estate planning opportunities. Indeed, there are a handful of strategies that become even more attractive in a higher interest rate environment. Rising interest rates influence the effectiveness of various estate planning tools. Leveraging these tools...09.18.2023
The year 2022 was a bloodbath for both equity and bond markets–the S&P 500 was down 18% and the Bloomberg US Aggregate Bond Index had its worst year ever, down 13%. This year, 2023, began with the US debt ceiling standoff, followed by a banking crisis, and continued rate hikes by the major central banks. The economy seemed like it would get worse before it got better, and the consensus was calling for a near-term recession. However, the stock market quickly shrugged off many of these concerns. Year-to-date as of August 31, the S&P 500 is up approximately 17% and NASDAQ is up approximately 34%. The S&P 500 is officially in a bull market (i.e., up at least 20% from its recent lows in October 2022). With the Federal Reserve and some economists no longer forecasting a recession, it makes one wonder what has changed in the last few months....