It is only fair that if there was an edition two weeks ago titled “Biggest Losers” there be an accompanying edition, “Biggest Winners.” Because there are A LOT of winners out there. But the financial and news media do not sell advertising talking about winners.
Here are the most obvious Winners, especially financially speaking:
1: Those who have used the zero-interest rate environment to refinance mortgages. As of the Fed’s downward move in March 2020, interest rates in the US are essentially set at zero and are said by the Fed to remain at zero through as late as 2022-2023.
- Average savings from numbers I reviewed personally range from between $250-$400 per month, or a savings of $3,000 to $4,800 per year. And often much higher.
2: Those who built or are building and fortifying their emergency funds from savings resulting from not eating out as often, not going to movies and not traveling or taking family vacations due to the coronavirus.
- While realizing there have been a handful of fun “Corona Purchases” (read here), choosing to build emergency funds amidst the pandemic – by savers and investors of ALL AGES – will pay off far more in terms of future financial security.
3: Those who took advantage of the “RMD Holiday” in 2020 and who will have less taxable income and pay less taxes for the 2020 tax year.
- These same people may also save on their Medicare Part B premiums in a future year due to the lag between tax year filings and resulting Medicare Part B premium calculations.
- There is still time to halt RMDs for the remainder of 2020 for those who did not yet. Please ask me about the “60 Day Rule”.
4: Those who did a deep dive into their overall spending earlier in 2020. Several of my clients and I painfully combed through their spending as part of the financial planning process.
- These conversations revealed solutions that are partly temporary and partly permanent. In most cases, these people came out with a greater awareness of who and what is most important to them.
The not-so-obvious Winners are those who realized the value of family, neighbors, friends, and support structures to get us through this pandemic and political & economic strife. Those who somehow, through these trying times, simply rolled up their sleeves amidst furloughs and home-schooling of toddlers and teenagers and said, WE CAN DO THIS. There are still millions of Americans struggling. And the Winners are the reason we will get through this thing! Let’s go!