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If you've ever seen us present or listened to our radio show, Another Money Show, then you have certainly heard us talk about what we call, "The 10 Pillars". The 10 Pillars is simply a list of ten items we continuously monitor as to their effects on your finances. Some "Pillars" are obvious as to their financial connection. Some are not. At Rotchford & Associates we know that almost everything in the world has some sort of financial component to it and we want our clients and listeners to be ahead of the game as to how world events can impact their financial future!

The 10 Pillars

Debt/Deficit

As of 2021 the GDP of the country was 23 trillion. The national debt is over 30 trillion and we're running at about a 1 trillion deficit in 2022. Debt is a critical factor in the solvency of a nation and where we're headed it doesn't look promising.

Financial Markets

This is a very obvious choice to watch when referring to your financial future. The markets are in the longest bull run in history. Are you prepared for when that bull becomes a bear?

Taxes

How does the government earn their income? Through taxes. How does the government raise their income to pay for their debt and deficit? Through taxes. Do you think taxes will be lower, higher, or the same in 5, 10, 20 years? No one knows for certain, but it does seem to point in only one direction. Taxes are currently at historic lows, yet spending is at all time highs. This isn't sustainable.

Inflation

In 2022 this is something we're dealing with in real time. The fed is supposed to fight inflation by raising rates. In theory,  raising rates slows down the economy because it leads to a decrease in lending by the banks. However, even with current rate raises we're still at historic lows in rates, why should lending decrease when money is still cheap? This becomes an issue of greed. The fed doesn't show signs of raising rates significant enough to fight inflation so how will this affect your retirement planning?

Healthcare

This can be a hot topic politically, but what we look at is the financial cost. When we have clients reach their later years their money stops going towards vacations and enjoying retirement. Their time and money all starts getting spent at doctor's offices and hospitals. With a government pushing for healthcare for all, whether you agree with it or not, our question is how is it going to be paid for when we already have a deficit and 30 trillion in debt?

Unfunded/ Underfunded Liabilities

Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, FDIC, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and more are all broke! Is their any plan to get them back on track? For Social Security, their plan is "(1) revenue would have to increase by an amount equivalent to an immediate and permanent payroll tax rate increase of 3.36 percentage points to 15.76 percent; (2) scheduled benefits would have to be reduced by an amount equivalent to an immediate and permanent reduction of about 21 percent applied to all current and future beneficiaries, or about 25 percent if the reductions were applied only to those who become initially eligible for benefits in 2021 or later; or (3) some combination of these approaches would have to be adopted." 

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Erosion of the Middle Class

2020 was a great example of how lower and middle classes of "essential workers" are the key to keeping this country prosperous. While everyday Americans were struggling to get by "billionaires saw their wealth grow by 62% during the pandemic, while workers' wages grew by 10%". What good is a 10% gain when inflation eats away at all of it? 

Social Media

If a tweet from a former president or a tech billionaire move the market, how stable could that market be? 

Geopolitical Missteps

We're no longer a self-sufficient country and as turmoil is raised thousands of miles from our home we feel those effects. We are dependent on much of the world for our food, oil, and manufacturing. Keeping peace in this country isn't enough to make sure that our way of life is maintained.

Civil War

This isn't something any one of us wants to consider as a possibility, but with all the divide in this country and political unrest its a real possibility to consider. Wealth gaps have lead to revolutions in the past and with our country's gap only showing signs of getting worse, what is the endgame? This, coupled with all the other propaganda aimed at causing a divide, where do we go from here, and how does all of this affect you and your financial future?