As the new year begins, it’s important to reflect upon the previous one while you plan ahead and make resolutions. For many people, planning ahead for the upcoming year includes making some kind of budget and checking where their personal finances stand. Maybe the last year was stellar for you in regards to your personal finances, or maybe it was a bit rocky. Either way, reflection is important so you understand how you can do better this year. In addition to evaluating your finances, check out some of these personal finance trends from Forbes you should keep a look out for in 2017.
Higher interest rates
The Federal Reserve recently raised the interest rate by 0.25%, also mentioning that taxes will likely be raised three more times in the upcoming year. Luckily, this decision is not certain and could change depending on the economy and inflation. These tax hikes will negatively affect anyone who has some form of debt, whether that’s a car payment, student loans, or a mortgage. If you have some form of loans or are anticipating getting one, you should aim for something with a fixed interest rate and see if you can secure the rates on any loans you already have.
More automation for portfolios
More and more companies are simplifying investing by switching to automatic portfolio investment. Two companies who were the first to do so are Wealthfront and Betterment, while other companies are beginning to follow suit. Fees will be lower and you’ll have to do less work. If you feel like an automated portfolio may be right for your investments, look into this option and find your best fit.
Lower income taxes
President-elect Trump has publicly stated that he plans to lower income taxes. There are various aspects to this plan, such as eliminating the estate tax and increasing the amount of deductions possible for joint and single filers. While this plan could change once Trump takes office, the current outline for the new tax plan is available. Meeting with a tax professional could be beneficial because you can discuss how potential changes to the tax code will affect you personally.
Within the last year, the British Pound and Euro have lost strength and become more equal to the United States dollar. Because the currencies are now closer, flights to Europe from the States have become more affordable than they’ve been in a long time. There are various options to choose from. First off, you can invest in different types of currency and shares, depending what direction you think the markets will go in over the upcoming months. If you’re more interested in travel, you can take advantage of these lower travel costs and plan a vacation to Europe. There is a chance that the dollar will continue to strengthen against these two currencies, so you might want to wait and try to score a better deal.
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