financial planning

We’re all looking forward to the new year more than usual. Even though COVID will remain in 2021, the changing of the calendar can bring about a new mindset and optimism. But before we forget all about 2020, let’s look at the latest COVID relief bill, which includes more stimulus checks and some changes that could affect Medicare beneficiaries. After an eventful 2020, let’s look at what’s in store for us in 2021.

Another COVID Relief Bill

President Trump signed the $1.4 trillion spending bill and accompanying $900 billion stimulus package. In doing so, he avoided a government shutdown and will provide $600 stimulus checks to qualifying Americans, plus $300 per week enhanced unemployment benefits. The bill also continues the Paycheck Protection Program of forgivable loans for small business owners and emergency unemployment benefits for self-employed workers.[1] The day after President Trump signed the bill, US stocks closed at record highs.[2]

What Could Change in Healthcare?

In light of rising healthcare bills that sometimes come as a surprise to patients, the law includes a provision that will require health care providers to decide on a “fair price” in situations where an incapacitated patient received treatment from an out-of-network physician. This is meant to help protect those patients from receiving unexpectedly high medical bills after treatment. A provision known as the Physician Assistant Direct Payment Act could affect Medicare beneficiaries. It will allow Medicare to directly reimburse physician assistants who provide medical care, which is aimed at making it easier for Medicare beneficiaries in rural areas to find care.[3]

Filing Your 2020 Taxes

Tax season will be here sooner than you realize. Gathering documents towards the end of the year is an easy way to get on track for 2021 and beyond. Know how new legislation from 2020 and any financial changes you’ve undergone may affect how you file. For example, the CARES Act allowed penalty free 401(K) and IRA loans of certain amounts in 2020 and suspended Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from retirement accounts.[4] The SECURE Act also enacted several changes that could affect you, such as changing the age at which RMDs start to 72 and eliminating the age limit on IRA contributions.[5] Whatever your situation, consider working with a professional to see how changes to the tax code in 2020 might affect you when you file.

Planning for your future is more important than ever, as is having a dedicated team to help you throughout retirement. We can help you address all areas of retirement planning, such as investing, healthcare, income, and taxes. Make 2021 the year you plan for your future, starting with a complimentary financial review. Sign up to schedule a time to speak with us in the new year. We look forward to it!

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarahhansen/2020/12/27/trump-signs-stimulus-package-600-checks-covid-relief/?sh=dcb9e8145fc8

[2] https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/stock-market-news-today-record-highs-markets-cheer-new-stimulus-2020-12-1029921940

[3] https://www.aapa.org/news-central/2020/12/coronavirus-relief-omnibus-agreement-authorizes-pas-to-receive-direct-payment-under-medicare/

[4] https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-seniors-retirees-not-required-to-take-distributions-from-retirement-accounts-this-year-under-new-law

[5] https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/retirement-plans-faqs-regarding-required-minimum-distributions#:~:text=The%20Secure%20Act%20made%20major,year%20after%20you%20reach%2072.

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