Planning in an Age of Uncertainty
As we enter the beginning of a new administration in Washington, many provisons of federal law are being considered for possible changes. At this point (January 28, 2017) it's not possible to say what will be changed and when, but it is important to be ready for change and to take advantage of opportunities it presents and avoid problems it creates. We will try to anticipate these changes as soon as we know enough to be helpful, but meanwhile consider these areas of possible change:
- the possible reduction or elimination of federal estate taxes and federal gift taxes. It's crucial to remember that changes that are made can be unmade, and to plan as if the law will remain uncertain for at least several years.
- changes in federal income tax rates and the elimination or addition of deductions and credits. Planning income strategies will be important, including shifting income and deductions between tax years.
- changes in the ability to save for retirement, including new methods of saving and changes in the rules on taxation.
- health insurance and healthcare changes, which can have a substantial impact on the cost of care.
- changes to the Social Security and Medicare programs in particular, as decisions might have to be made in a short time about how and when to receive benefits.