Notes to Know: "Noise"

"If I'd have had more time, I'd have written a shorter letter" ~Blaise Pascal

Twenty-four-hour television, get so loud that no one listens Sex and money and politicians talk, talk, talk But there really ain't no conversation Ain't nothing left to the imagination Trapped in our phones and we can't make it stop, stop

This noise Yeah, we scream, yeah, we shout 'til we don't have a voice In the streets, in the crowds, it ain't nothing but noise…

…Just trying to be heard in all this noise…

-Kenny Chesney

You may have noticed that it has been a while since our last "Notes to Know" was published. As Kenny Chesney notes in the lyrics above, we simply felt that there was plenty to listen to for the past several weeks, and we just didn't want to add to the "noise." As we always give credit to the authors that we quote, you can find the full video of Chesney's "Noise" here. Rest assured, we are not out of things to say and look forward to sharing summaries on topics of interest again as we approach the end of this extremely interesting year.

While we may have been quiet, we haven't been idle. We have spent the last several weeks conversing and brainstorming with many of the country's top experts in the areas of investments, taxation, estate planning, insurance and risk management, and essentially any and all things that have to do with your financial well-being. We look forward to sharing their thoughts and comments on a multitude of topics in the coming weeks.

Now that the election "Noise" is over (sort of), we set to the task of interpreting the intent of the incoming administration, evaluating our existing planning in the context of potential new rules, and adapting that planning to best serve our clients. As of this writing, the GOP needs only to win one of the two Georgia Senate seats to preserve control of the Senate, which indeed seems likely, but we note that a few weeks ago, a "Blue Wave" was predicted by many pollsters, which clearly did not materialize. Regardless of the final outcome, we felt Brian Westbury, analyst with First Trust, said it best when he recently commented, "Americans voted for peace and quiet" a group, we are tired of the "noise."

The closeness of the presidential election, the strong showing of Republicans in the house, and the narrow wins of many incumbents indicate that there is little appetite nationally for massive changes. Concepts such as major tax changes, a sweeping Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and court-packing are not likely to garner support from sitting members of congress who will be facing reelection in two years. There will undoubtedly be changes, but we will be here to help you navigate the evolving environment.

While we are working on more detailed notes on these topics, there are three potential action items we wanted to highlight regarding some changes we feel are fairly certain to be seen in the coming year:

  • IF you have a taxable estate and are looking to pass a substantial portion of this estate to your heirs, THEN, you should be actively engaged with your estate and tax planning team RIGHT NOW and evaluate action before the end of this year. If you have questions or need guidance in this area, please reach out to your Cascade advisor.

  • IF you are considering a transaction that may generate significant capital gains and have the flexibility to control the timing, accelerating the gains into 2020 may be advantageous. Individual circumstances vary widely, and no one solution is right for everyone, so engage your tax experts and discuss.

  • STICK WITH YOUR PLAN. The temptation to cast years of investment planning aside in time of rumors, uncertainty, and "Noise" can be high…but rarely, if ever, do we see emotionally led decisions serve to benefit investors. Review your plan in the context of your long-term goals with your advisor, stress test the key components of that plan where necessary, and rest easy knowing you have a solid, long term plan in place.

Most of all, enjoy the upcoming holiday season! We hope you take the opportunity to turn down the "Noise."

Make it a great day!

The information contained within is the view and opinion of the author as of the date it was written, and not necessarily of Cascade Financial Management, Inc. Such views are subject to change without notice. Cascade has no duty or obligation to update the information contained herein.

This is for educational purposes only and should not be used for any other purpose. It is not intended as planning or tax advice for any individual or entity. It does not constitute and should not be construed as an offering of advice or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any services or related financial instruments or advice of any kind. Your tax and financial situation are unique, and you should not take any action or make any investment decision without first discussing your particular situation with your CPA, tax, or legal advisor.

Certain information contained herein concerning economic trends and performance is based on or derived from information provided by independent third-party sources. Cascade believes the sources from where this information has been obtained are reliable; however, it cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information and has not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of such information or the assumptions on which such information is based.

Any distribution, use, or copying of this information by anyone other than the intended recipient is unauthorized.

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