Finances

So What Now? Your Guide To Post-Election Financial Health

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This article was written by Jini Thornton, an Atlanta-based financial expert who is the CEO of Envision Business Management Group and founder of the #NeverBroke Nation. Follow Jini on IG at @jinithornton.

November 8, 2016, will go down in history as one of the most memorable elections of all time. This past week has been fueled by a lot of disappointment, worry, and fear.  Now that President Obama is counting down his final days in office ☹, and Trump is heading to the White House, what does all of this mean for us financially? Here are a few things you need to pay attention to! 

Obamacare

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Trump has said he will amend, repeal, or replace Obamacare in his first 100 days of office.  Although I think there will be some changes to Obamacare, I’m not so certain Trump can make changes so quickly, especially since over 20 million people have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).   The good news is Trump’s plan proposes to still guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions and allow children to stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26!  

The other good news is Trump’s plan could potentially repeal the fee for not having health insurance, and he is proposing that taxpayers should get a tax deduction for their health insurance premiums cost (right now only self-employed people get this deduction).   So what’s the bad news?  What we don’t know is what the plan is for the 20 million people who have insurance under the Affordable Care Act.  What will happen to their insurance coverage and when? Right now, we don’t know and have to stay tuned for more details.  

In the meantime, Obamacare is STILL the law. Open enrollment started November 1st and goes through January 31, 2017.  If you have a plan through the Affordable Care Act, keep paying your premiums.  If you are looking for health insurance, you still can go to healthcare.gov and sign up for coverage.   

Interest Rates

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The “financial experts” think interest rates will start to go up in December. Are you saying, what the heck do interest rates have to do with me?  If you plan to buy a car, buy a house or get a loan for anything else, it does matter to you. Bottom line, it will cost you more to borrow money.  

Tax Cuts for Everyone! 

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Back in September, Trump released his plan for taxes which included tax cuts for everyone – the rich and low-income workers. The good news is everyone could end up paying less in taxes.  His plan has been criticized because the rich would benefit more than anyone else.

This is something else we will just have to pay attention to and stay tuned for more details.  Just know when you file your 2016 taxes next year, there will be no changes based on Trump’s proposed plan.

How do you prepare for economic/financial uncertainty?

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Whether it’s an election, housing crisis, major storm, or a personal significant life event, how do you prepare for financial uncertainty? Being “prepared” means different things to different people.  Bottom line, you have to do what makes you feel comfortable and gives you peace.  Here are a few things you can do to help you prepare financially for the unexpected:

  • Save, save and save some more  
  • Make and follow a budget
  • Reduce monthly bills
  • Pay down credit card debt
  • Look for ways to make extra money
  • Check your insurance coverage
  • Keep up routine maintenance on your car, house and even for you (don’t skip out on doctor’s appointments)

What’s so crazy about this list is these are things that we should be doing anyway. What will you do now and in 2017 to put yourself in a more secure financial situation?

Although we can’t change the election results, we can take charge of our finances. Pay close attention to changes to things like Obamacare and taxes that can have an impact on you personally.

If you have any financial questions or have any topics you want me to cover, I would love to hear from you!  You can reach me on IG @jinithornton.  

 

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