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The RPG  Planner

A fresh and simplified perspective on personal finance topics

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Plan Right                      

  • Luck and Skill in Baseball and Investing.  Our quarterly investment commentary examines why no baseball player has hit .400 since Ted Williams did so 75 years ago and why this matters to you, as an investor.
  • 5 Medicare Open Enrollment Mistakes to Avoid.  With the annual Medicare open enrollment period upon us, our recent blog post explains the common and costly mistakes that Medicare participants make during open enrollment.  If you or someone you know is making Medicare choices during this year's enrollment period, this should be valuable. 

Around the Web

 

Investment Commentary
      

As if you needed another reminder, the election is less than a week away.  The conclusion of an exhausting and bitter campaign cycle should help, regardless of the outcome, to remove election-related uncertainty that investment markets disdain.  In spite of election uncertainty, economic data has offered hope for modest acceleration in 2017.  Improved consumer confidence, expanding job creation, and rising wage growth all bode well for economic activity.   

Perhaps no data point has more impact on inflation expectations than wage growth and the prospect of higher domestic wages sparked inflation concerns in the final week of October.  As a result, bonds sold off and the 10-year US Treasury yield reached its highest level (1.86%) since May.  We now wait to see if the Federal Reserve will raise rates at its December meeting but it appears unlikely that rate hikes will be a regular occurrence with Futures markets only expecting 1-2 hikes over the next 12 months.  
 
You can click here to view our monthly market snapshot which provides updated market returns and key economic metrics. As always, we encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about the markets or your portfolio. 

Reminders

  •  Complete College Financial Aid Forms ASAP - If you're sending a child to college in 2017 and you have not yet filled out the 2017 FAFSA, it is time to get moving. Starting this year, financial aid applications (FAFSA) launched on October 1st rather than the typical January 1st start date.  This new schedule means that parents can begin applying for financial aid before children are even admitted to college.  It's important not to procrastinate and to apply as soon as possible since some financial aid is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.  With filing season starting on October 1, applicants will use their 2015 tax return data to apply for 2017-2018 school year financial aid.
  • Revisit Your Medicare Drug Plan - Medicare open enrollment began on October 15th and runs through December 7th.  As expressed in one of our blog posts this month about the common mistakes of open enrollment season, we encourage everyone to review their Part D prescription drug plan each year.  Prices change, formularies change, and the best plan last year is often not the best plan for the coming year.  
  • Review Your Private Health Insurance - Annual enrollment for private health insurance opened on November 1st.  For individuals and families buying private health insurance, you have until the end of January to select a policy. 

Fun Stuff and Free Resources

RPG News and Notes 

  • Congratulations to John Howard for completing the Chartered Special Needs Consultant® (ChSNC) designation in October after months of effort.  John works closely with many special needs families and this designation along with the related education further solidifies his expertise in assisting the special needs community. 
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