April 30, 2021
The S&P 500 closed out the month on a high note, propelled once again by more strong corporate earnings, positive economic reports, and accommodative fiscal and monetary stimulus. Tech giants Microsoft and Amazon reported this week, adding to the recent round of stellar earnings reports. Pandemic-fueled spending on cloud services, videogaming, and ecommerce sales helped bolster their bottom lines. This week’s economic reports also showed that consumers were more than ready to spend their most recent stimulus checks, sending Q1 GDP, personal income, and spending to levels rarely seen. Not to be outdone, the Federal Reserve did its part to boost investor sentiment by affirming it would continue to hold rates steady and maintain its bond buying program to help further fuel post-pandemic economic growth. China’s manufacturing and services sector reports did flash some cautionary signs by failing to meet estimates. The backslide is thought to be related to supply chain constraints, particularly in semiconductors, which could bode poorly for inflation more generally as we move into summer. Despite markets slipping on Friday, the S&P 500 managed to close out the month up 5.24%, bringing the index’s year-to-date gain to 11.32%.
U.S. Q1 2021 GDP Booms
Consumers Set to Tap Their War Chests
China Maintains its Post-Pandemic Recovery But Concerns Arise
It will be another big week for markets with April nonfarm payrolls as well as ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing reports on tap.
Is it Time for “The Talk” with Your Parents?
Ask where to locate the following important documents:
- Will and estate plan
- Marriage and birth certificates
- Military records
- Titles to property and vehicles
- Insurance policies, such as life insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and supplemental insurance
- Powers of attorney
- Advanced directives
- Bank account records
- Credit card statements
- Mortgages and other debts
- Tax returns from the last 3-7 years
- Social Security statements
- Pension, annuity, and investment documents
- Dues paying memberships
- Usernames and passwords for online customer portals
- Combinations and/or keys for safety deposit boxes
Develop a list of contact information, including phone numbers and emails, for the following advisors:
- Financial advisor
- Insurance agents (property/casualty and life)
- Accountant / CPA
Make a medical contact list of parents’ doctors and note details of any medications that your parents are taking, including where and how often their prescriptions are filled. In a medical emergency, it can be important to communicate any regularly taken medicine to doctors.
Talk over your parents’ expenses and develop a strategy for meeting their living and medical expenses if something were to happen. Discuss caregiving options and long-term plans such as moving to a retirement community with continuing care options or to an assisted living facility if their health should require that. If they prefer to stay in their home, discuss any long-term care insurance needs that would cover the cost of having an aide assist them.
Ask about their funeral wishes. This might be hard to bring up, but knowing what your parents would want will allow you to honor their wishes. One of our clients approached her parents to begin these conversations and learned that her mother’s wish is for her adult children to have an invitation-only service followed by an “after party” that would include a “roast and toast” with family and close friends. Our client’s mother said she wanted everyone to have a good laugh on her and then have her ashes spread in the ocean. Our client might not have learned of her mother’s specific requests had she not asked.