May 2017

Medicare Delayed Enrollment Penalty

I hope you’re doing well. My wife and I took your FERS planning course (and then audited a second time) last year and we have a question that has come up.  I hope you don’t mind helping on this point. As we are approaching a certain age we are being flooded with ads for Medicare Advantage type insurance and also I saw an article yesterday that mentioned the medicare delayed enrollment penalty. Our understanding is that we should sign up for Part A (free) anytime within 7 months before and after our 65th birthdays.  However, since I plan to continue working at least til age 70 (maybe longer) and we will maintain FEHB enrollment, I thought we could delay signing up for Part B until I retire without incurring a penalty. Is this correct?  The Washington Post article I saw yesterday suggested otherwise.  We recognize the combination of FEHB and... View More

May 2017

TSP Report for May 2017

Alrighty! The May TSP Planning Report is out! Once again, the environment is favoring stock investing. C fund and S funds are looking good. Even the I fund shows signs of normalcy. So, Take a look at some of the more aggressive portfolios. You may be surprised to see a downside exposure that is “stomach-able.” My lower yielding portfolios are G fund heavy because when stocks do well, you only need a small dose of stocks to lift your overall portfolio performance. Facts: The S&P 500 was up 1.25% in the month of April.   The 3-month performance was 4.77% PMI levels were at 54.8%, which is well over the mid-range of 50. Unemployment was slightly improved, down to 4.4% which is 0.1% lower than it was last month. However, the initial GDP estimate for the 1st quarter 2017 was a paltry 0.7%, a notable drop. Assessment: Again, PMI’s numbers display... View More

April 2017

TSP Report for April 2017

The following is an excerpt from my monthly TSP report that I’ve created to guide Federal Employees in allocating their money in the Thrift Savings Plan. Facts: Of the four broad economic indicators, three were positive this month. Unemployment was improved, down to 4.5% which is 0.2% lower than it was last month. PMI, again, showed solid ground at 57.2%.  The 3-month performance has been comfortably over 56%.  The last time PMI had a 3-month run over 56% was early 2011! The GDP growth estimate for the 4th quarter 2016 was revised up to 2.1%, from the previous estimate of 1.9% The S&P 500, however, dropped 1.5% in the month of March.   The 3-month performance is still a solid 4.47% Assessment: Again, PMI’s numbers display strong expansion, and is a nice indication that U.S. manufacturing is alive and well. Unemployment is going down, meaning more people have jobs, which in turn boosts... View More

February 2017

February TSP Report Available Now!

Facts: Signs were split this month. The S&P 500 gained close to 1%.  The three month return was a hefty 7.95%! PMI had a whopping increase to 56.0, from 54.7.  This is the first time PMI has broken 55 since November 2014. GDP growth for the 4th quarter 2016 decreased sharply from 3.5% to 1.9%.  This level is about where it stood for much of 2015 and the first half of 2016. Unemployment was relatively flat, staying at 4.8% which is just 0.1% higher than it was last month.  The 3-month trend shows a dip in unemployment. Assessment: PMI’s numbers display strong expansion, and is a nice indication that U.S. manufacturing is alive and well. Even Unemployment’s slight 0.1% increase is put into perspective by it’s 3-month & 12-month overall decrease. The S&P 500 is clearly resonating with the positive indicators. The GDP drop is concerning but is put into... View More

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