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Roth Conversions: Two weeks ago, we mentioned the importance of reaching out to your tax accountant in order to get any tax projections and paperwork for the current tax year settled. As we near the calendar year’s end, another item of business to have on your radar is Roth conversions. Several clients use this option to help reduce the tax load. Some top-line reasons to consider a Roth conversion:

  • You believe your tax bracket will be higher at retirement.
  • You want to maximize your estate for your heirs.
  • Your accounts aren’t diversified by tax treatment.
  • You have irregular income streams and lower-than-usual income this year.

Something important to remember is that conversions take some time to process, namely a needed analysis and the paperwork required for us to handle with you. Charles Schwab will process them in 2-5 days until December 1. After that, they will do their best effort to complete them. Please start those processes now if you’d like to consider a Roth conversion for this tax year. It will need to be completed by December 31 to qualify for 2023.

Social Security Increase: To help keep up with inflation, more than 71 million Americans receiving Social Security benefits will see their checks rise by 3.2 percent next year. That’s more than the typical cost-of-living adjustment but a significant drop from the record-setting bump of 8.7 percent in 2023 amid rapid inflation increases.

Business Briefing:

  • Resilient Economy: On Thursday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said inflation had cooled significantly this year but remained unacceptably high and won’t come down to the central bank’s 2% target until the economy and job market slow. Powell commented, “We have a very resilient economy on our hands.” He added that growth is now running for years above its longer trend, mentioning that the Fed still might not have to raise interest rates again this year because spiking long-term bond rates are increasing borrowing costs just as the Fed rate hike would, which could cool growth. (The Associated Press)
  • Workplace Health Insurance Premiums: According to a recent survey, the annual cost of workplace family health insurance coverage paid by employees and their companies jumped 7% this year to an average of nearly $24,000. Employees now pay an average of $6,575 for their share of the premium, up nearly $500 (roughly 8%) from 2022. Companies pay the rest. Coverage for single workers jumped 7% to $8,435 a year. The increases were roughly equal to the rise in wages and inflation. (Reuters)
  • Retail Sales Beat Expectations: U.S. retail sales rose more than expected last month as Americans spent more on new cars and dining out, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Retail sales increased 0.7% in September, and the August increase was adjusted to 0.8% from the initial reading of 0.6%. (Reuters)

Hackney Diamonds: In case you missed it, the Rolling Stones launched their first album in 18 years. In their seventh decade as a rock n’ roll band, Mick Jagger, 80, and his band tore through a half-dozen songs for a crowd at the Racket NYC club.


The Rolling Stones members, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood, perform during a private record release party of their new album "Hackney Diamonds" in New York City on October 19 – REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton.