Thanksgiving is the time of year when we pause to count our blessings. So as we all take our place at the dinner table, let’s not forget what we are thankful for. The freedom and opportunity afforded to us for achievement in America are of course on that list.
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I am thankful for my health and my family, my wife of 42 years and my children. I am probably most thankful for my beautiful grandsons, who keep this baby boomer on his toes and fill my heart with immeasurable love.
According to Tracy S. Beard, financial advisor with Savant Capital Management, baby boomers have a lot to be thankful for in 2016. In case you need some reminders, here is a list of his top six reasons for baby boomers to give thanks this year:
No. 1: 2016 Market Returns Boost Boomer Portfolio Values
2015 was a flat or negative year for many asset classes. US large cap stocks rose a mere 1.4%, and US small cap stocks declined 4.4%. So far in 2016, US large cap stocks have produced an 8.87% return, while US small cap stocks produced a whopping 17.34%. The added return can go a long way in providing more peace of mind and confidence for boomers. Also, we have not had another bear market or a great recession in 2016. It can be that simple.
No. 2: Energy Costs Remain Low
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While the price of oil has seen a slight upward trend, we are still benefiting from low energy prices. A low oil and gas price environment allows boomers to engage in leisurely travel, and travel more to visit their kids/grandkids.
No. 3: Stronger Balance Sheets
While wages have remained fairly constant, the balance sheets of boomers have continued to improve since the great recession. With less debt and an improved asset base, boomers have greater confidence to pursue their life goals.
No. 4: Family Time
Our children are our wealth. Boomers spend considerable more time with their families than prior generations. This is a result of many factors. Boomers benefited from great market returns in the 1980s and were able to build strong investment portfolios. The strong asset base allows them to travel to see family or take their families on extended vacations (can you say Disney World?). Advances in technology allow them to Facetime family members and remotely be part of family events occurring thousands of miles away.
No. 5: Access to Health Care
Prior to changes in our health care system, boomers could be declined insurance or be priced out of the market. They would have to continue working just to maintain health insurance. Improvements in the delivery system now allow greater access to care at more reasonable rates.
No. 6: The Election Is OVER!
This one speaks for itself. Happy Thanksgiving!