The election’s over, Trump’s in, and the Market’s down. The speculation about how Trump’s presidency will effect the economy, stocks, jobs, and health care has begun. While some are excited to see significant change, others are in a state of panic about how their finances (among other things) will be effected for the worse. Here’s a snapshot of what to be on the lookout for and how to maximize gains and minimize losses under Trump’s term in office.
Trump’s proposed policies for immigration, combined with his plan to drop corporate taxes to 15%, could result in the market becoming more volatile and risky. We’ll most likely see big dips in companies with international affiliations, like banks, automotive companies, and agriculture. Shifts in market value in these companies might make some get itchy to sell in fear of a 2008 crash occurring again. It seems unlikely that history would repeat itself at this juncture and this may prove to be a time of opportunity.
We have always known that drops in the market should be seen as an opportunity to buy rather than viewed as a sad loss in profits. We’ve experienced volatility before and we’ll experience it again. To win the market game, you have to buy when prices are low and sell when they’re high. The key is to hold steady and look for market advantages. Keep a close eye on whether or not Janet Yellen keeps her position at the end of her term in 2018. Trump wants her out, which could result in rapid increases in interest rates, rather than slow, steady growth. (You know that old adage: “Slow and steady wins the race”?)
Trump is a business man and he fully intends to incorporate a strong business model when addressing economic matters. By making significant tax cuts, business owners will find it easier to expand and hire, which should lead to an increase in jobs. His plan to enforce tariffs on China and Mexico for imported goods is aimed at creating more jobs here in America. Trump has mentioned he wants a higher minimum wage, but has yet to define what that might look like. These are the highlights of his proposed plans.
The darker side is that if Trump’s plans are executed as intended, we’ll find ourselves in a recession again by 2018, not to mention the possibility of a trade war, which could lead to a spike in what we’ll pay for goods here in the U.S. (Money, November 2016). The one step forward we might take in terms of higher wages and less taxes could be negated by having to spend more at the grocery store. It’s also important to consider how reducing taxes from 35% to 15% will effect the national deficit. Over the next ten years, Trump’s plans will add a whopping $5.3 trillion to the deficit, which would exceed the size of the U.S. economy entirely. This doesn’t really seem like a great strategy in the grand scheme of things.
Trump’s first order of business, come January, may be to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will greatly effect how we access health care and who will be able to receive it. For those of us stuck with ridiculously high insurance premiums and deductibles, Trump’s plans might come as a relief. Trump intends to allow us to deduct our health insurance premiums from our taxes and he wants medical providers to be more transparent in posting their rates for services. In an attempt to wrangle pharmaceutical costs, he plans to have medications imported from foreign countries that can produce them cheaper than the U.S. (which contradicts his goal of making more jobs in the U.S. but controls drug prices more).
The downside to these changes mostly applies to those who buy their own health insurance. If you find yourself in a position where you can’t afford your premium and you lose your insurance, you’ll no longer be able to rely on Obamacare to get your insurance back. Furthermore, Marketplace insurance plans are often more affordable than private insurance, but with the destruction of the Affordable Care Act, we could be looking at even higher premiums or no insurance for those with pre-existing conditions.
Trump wants to replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts (by the way, HSA’s are already be utilized by many and are commonly offered through employers), which would shift us away from using insurance to pay for health care and toward each of us paying out of our own pockets for treatment. This may be a viable option for the middle class, who have the financial means to pay for medical care directly, but low-income households who currently rely on medical assistance will be without health insurance and without the means to pay for medical care themselves. The ACA allows people under age 26 to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan, but this perk might also disappear with the repeal of the ACA. If you want to be prepared for these shifts, start saving for medical expenses now. You just might find yourself paying for all medical expenses from your own pocket. (This is a scary thought when you think about how much chemotherapy treatments cost. On second thought, just don’t ever get sick.)
Sorry, college kids. You’re not going to get any tuition breaks under Trump’s “reign”. However, Trump plans to make child care expenses tax deductible for single parents earning less than $250,000 per year. (Um, here again, aren’t we already doing that?) He has a good idea to allow parents to contribute $2,000 a year to a tax-free savings account that can be used for child care expenses or private school. This might save middle class families a few tax dollars but if you don’t have an extra $2,000 on your hands to save, you’re not going to reap the benefits of this proposed plan. In short, child care tax breaks will benefit the wealthy while everyone else tries to figure out how to make ends meet without government subsidies.
Who knows what will actually happen once Trump takes office, but if you want to be in the best possible position to maximize the benefits of his proposed plans, save as much money as you can NOW. It seems like many of Trump’s policies are skewed toward the wealthy and in order to get the most advantage out of the changes we’ll see, you’ll need to have a nest egg to invest in Health Savings Accounts, “dependent care savings accounts”, and buying stocks while prices are low. While you’re at it, get the highest paying job you can get. (I say this with both seriousness and sarcasm.) The advantages will come in the form of tax breaks, so the more money you make and the more deductions you take, the more money in your pocket. Better yet, find a job that provides good health care and lock in your plan now, especially if you have pre-existing conditions or plan to become pregnant within the next four years. (Easier said than done, I know.)
One thing we know for sure is that there will be change and we’ll all just have to wait and see what form it takes. Hopefully, the changes we’ll see won’t take us too much by surprise. Remember the boy scout motto; always be prepared. Now is as good a time as any to be frugal, thrifty, and save as much as possible. Having cash savings available will allow you to be more flexible and will serve as a buffer from the impact of change, whatever it may be.
Nicole Iacovoni is a psychotherapist, author, wealth building coach, and personal empowerment fanatic dedicated to helping you create a life of happiness & prosperity. Her work is centered around personal growth and holistic health and wealth building. Nicole takes an honest, straight-forward approach to helping clients identify where they currently are in their life’s journey. With expertise in how our DESIRES, EMOTIONS, THOUGHTS, and BELIEFS influence our success, Nicole helps clients create a concrete action plan for living the life of their dreams.