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Perspective on this YTD Market Move: The five worst starts in the markets, dating back to the early 1930’s are listed in the graphic below.  The numbers are startling to say the least, especially because 2022’s number makes the list coming in at minus 16% as of the end of May.  What we found interesting is the return data posted in the balance of each of the other years when the market was this far off from its January start.  Where 2022 ends is anyone’s guess but we’re of the mind that there are lots of factors competing with one another as to whether this year’s return is in the green.  To be sure, the year-end of this market is nowhere near finished.

To Gap Year or Not Gap Year, that is the Question: Although none of our children have yet to take a formal gap year after high school, we were intrigued at this list of thoughts offered up by Sara Harberson, who has branded herself as ‘America’s College Counselor’.  She can be found at SaraHarberson.com.

  • Students who submit a deposit to a college during senior year with the intention to enroll are expected to follow through with this commitment.  If not, they must notify the college that they are no longer planning to attend.
  • By requesting and receiving a gap year by their enrolling college in the spring of senior year or early summer, the student is expected to enroll the following year. The college would never have granted the gap year request if they knew the student was not planning to ultimately enroll.
  • Students who have no intention of attending any colleges they were admitted to as a high school senior should not send in an enrollment deposit, nor should they request a gap year. Simply taking a gap year does not increase your chances of getting admitted to certain colleges.
  • Something significant would have to change in the student’s application for a different outcome to happen. Doing something extraordinary during the gap year and writing all new essays can make a difference, though.

Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s): Many of you may already participate in your health plans’ HSA account.  What you may not know is that there are some nice benefits behind the scenes that many of us just didn’t know.  Myself included!  We ran across this article in Apple news and thought you’d enjoy some further education on this front.  As always, please reach out if it creates additional curiosity.  Here’s are the high points:

Tip #1: If you switch jobs, your HSA comes with you 
Tip #2: You can change your HSA contributions at any time 
Tip #3: HSAs offer triple tax advantages  
Tip #4: Your HSA dollars are NOT use it or lose it  
Tip #5: HSAs can double as emergency Health Care funds 
Tip #6: HSA funds can be an investment opportunity 
Tip #7: Your employer can help grow your HSA 
Tip #8: No required minimum distributions for HSAs 
Tip #9: Use your HSA dollars how you want in retirement 
Tip #10: HSAs can outlive their owners

Pickleball Controversies: The 4.8 million adherents to America’s latest athletic craze (and fastest growing sport) are in the news! The low-impact tennis and badminton hybrid, first regarded as an intense but forgiving hobby for the elderly, has grown into a legitimate, organized sport with competing bureaucracies, shady leadership, and widespread debate about how to manage the logistics of land-use, standardized rules, and even the stewardship required to make the game an Olympic sport. The Olympics are unlikely to induct the game until 2023; until then, adherents will have to struggle for land use against proponents of tennis, and figure out where they align between the International Federation of Pickleball (the orthodoxy) and the World Pickleball Federation (the renegade).