Your Thursday Blip 3/18/21

Your Thursday Blip 3/18/21

The markets got whacked today with tech selling off in very low volume. The Dow started the day moving up and doing well, before reversing and finishing the day down 153 points to close at 32,862. The fed continues to send messages that they intend to be market friendly, not just for the rest of this year, but for the next 3 years. Even though they anticipate 6.5% GDP growth this year, which would be the highest growth rate since 1984, they still continue to forecast that interest rates won’t be going up 2024. Their goal is to continue to maintain favorable market conditions until employment is back at full strength and maintained over a period of time.
Fedex delivered good news to shareholders as they reported strong earnings results. Supported by a big wave of deliveries during the holiday season, investors were optimistic going forward and pushed shares up higher in after hours trading. Nike, was probably wishing they got more shoes deliveries through Fedex, as their shares slumped as earnings did not meet expectations, as they are still struggling to get normal sales with many of their physical store locations working at limited capacity. Nike has run up big through the COVID era, gaining about 50% in value, but I guess investors were hoping for more production than they delivered.
Sign me up for some stock in the NFL! They have recently agreed to a new 11 year deal with their media partners, which are CBS (Viacom), NBC (Comcast), ESPN/ABC (Disney), and now Amazon. Amazon got the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football, for about $1 billion a year. The deal is reported to be worth over $100 billion, which means maybe the Seahawks will have some more money to sign the “good lineman” that Russell Wilson wants.
We wanted to pass along a little info to help you, and others, get a general understanding of the Washington Long Term Care (LTC) Trust Act, and let you know that there is a way to opt out of the tax if you want to. In 2019, the Washington State Legislature passed a new bill aimed at providing LTC benefits to people in Washington. Benefits will not start until 2025, but beginning in 2022, there will be an additional 0.58% tax assessed to all wages of every Washington employee’s paycheck through payroll taxes. The taxes go to pay for the LTC benefits, which are currently worth $100 a day for 365 days – a total max lifetime benefit of $36,500. In order to qualify for this benefit, you must contribute for 10 years, or have paid the tax for 3 of the last 6 years, and be a Washington resident. For example, if you are 60 years old, then retire at 65, but wouldn’t require benefits until you are 70, you will have paid the taxes, but won’t qualify for benefits because you didn’t contribute for 10 years or for 3 of the last 6 years. If you’re someone that is younger, and you pay the taxes for the next 20 years, then you decide to retire in Idaho, or Arizona, or wherever, you will have paid the taxes but won’t qualify for benefits because you don’t live in Washington anymore. You can opt out of the tax, if you currently have a personal LTC policy, by contacting the Washington Employment Security Department, after October 1, 2021 and before December 31, 2022, and applying for an exemption. If your policy qualifies you for an exemption, you will need to provide this proof to your employer to be opted out of the tax. If you don’t have a personal LTC policy, and want to opt out of the tax, you still have time to get a policy. Currently you have until the end of 2022, but the legislature is working on an amended bill that will most likely require a policy to be active by mid July 2021. There are many factors that go into deciding what could be best for your situation, and if you would like more information about the LTC Trust Act, or would like a better understanding of how it might apply to your personal situation, please feel free to give us a call at 206-352-9205.