Financial Insights

KCM On Balance – December 2020

Although the dreaded second wave of the pandemic has brought record rates of infection to many parts of the US and Europe, this long and treacherous year is ending on a note of optimism. Heralding better times to come is the news that a COVID-19 vaccine could be available as early as mid-December. Pfizer, which has developed a vaccine in cooperation with BioNTech, has applied to the FDA for emergency use authorization and Moderna is expected to apply imminently. Pfizer believes that the vaccine could begin shipping almost immediately should the FDA grant approval at its December 10 meeting. There could be no better gift for the holidays. With a possible end to the pandemic in sight, the outlook for the economy has improved and there is renewed hope for a recovery in 2021. The Trump administration has given approval for the presidential transition to move forward, removing considerable political uncertainty, and a second stimulus package is expected at the beginning of 2021. The markets reacted to this spate of good news by reaching record highs at the end of November, with the Dow breaking 30,000 for the first time on November 23.

Our first article this month offers a selection of methods you can employ to reduce your 2020 income tax bill. Next, read about strategies you can use to help aging parents enjoy financial stability in their golden years. Our third piece highlights changes to contribution limits for 401(k) plans and the impact that will have on retirement savers. Moving on, read about how a Biden presidency might affect you financially and steps that you can take to prepare. Finally, we include a comprehensive gift guide that should deliver holiday cheer for everyone on your shopping list.

Year-end offers an opportunity for reflection. Over the course of 2020, the pandemic created suffering, financial hardship, and anxiety, leaving almost no country untouched. As we look forward into 2021 with renewed hope, we should all remember the relationships that have sustained us through this difficult time. We’ve made it our mission to reduce the burden of financial anxiety over this tumultuous year and remind our clients that the markets reward those who hold a steady course. Over the coming year we’ll strive to continue offering the sound advice and best-of-breed solutions that can help you achieve your financial objectives.

We wish you and your family a joyous holiday season and a healthy, prosperous New Year.

Articles of Interest


11 Year-End Moves to Lower Your 2020 Tax Bill

The financial decisions you make between now and the end of this year can have a significant effect on your tax liability come April 15. This is particularly true if you’re saving for retirement, itemize deductions, or hold investments outside a retirement account. It’s important to act now though, as most of the measures included in this article won’t be available to you after December 31.

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Helping Our Aging Parents Plan for a Well-Lived Future

As we—and our loved ones–age, it becomes ever more imperative to have a plan for keeping our financial house in order. You’ll want to capitalize on every resource available to ensure that aging parents enjoy a stress-free and financially stable retirement. This piece dives into the financial and estate planning topics associated with aging and emphasizes the importance of getting all family members on the same page.

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New 401(k) Contribution Limits for 2021

Retirement savers won’t be eligible to put more money into a 401(k) next year. The contribution limit will remain at $19,500 in 2021, but some income limits for plans will increase. This article provides complete details on what changes savers should anticipate in the coming year.

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Every Holiday Gift Guide from the Strategist in One Place

Holiday shopping is stressful in the best of times, and this is no ordinary year. This comprehensive gift guide offers unique ideas for everyone on your list. There are even suggestions for inexpensive gifts – as little as $5 and under – as well as ideas for the entire family, your best friend, children of every age, and more. Just remember to order early as online retailers are likely to be swamped.

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