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Tale of Two Economies By Fulbright Financial Consulting, PA

It’s not the best of times, nor the worst. But the latest data is a tale of two of U.S. economies. From a record-high level in September 2018 of 61.3%, manufacturing activity has plunged, and the latest monthly data shows it slipped further in July. This data series is designed to signal a recession when it falls to less than 50%. At 51.2%, the manufacturing economy inched closer to indicating a recession could be on the horizon. Meanwhile, the survey of purchasing managers at non-manufacturing companies, those in the service economy, declined to 53.7% in July. It has also plunged from a record level in September, but it’s still well within its normal range. It’s much more important and it’s indicating growth is ahead.The “Service Economy” is not growing like it did during the tax-cut fueled peak of September 2018, but it’s doing okay. Continued growth is confirmed by the survey of 60 economists conducted in early August by The Wall Street Journal. The consensus forecast of 60 economic professionals for the next five quarters is for an average quarterly growth rate of 1.8%. That may seem paltry compared to the 3.1% growth rate in the first quarter, but it aligns with the long-term growth rate expected by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. With the service economy expected to grow slowly through 2020, the manufacturing sector is more vulnerable to higher tariffs on U.S. exports to China. The tale of two economies is an epoch and the drama affecting manufacturing draws headlines but is not so important to the epoch story of America’s economic growth.

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MYM 07-14-2019 Tax Planning In The Four Stages of Retirement with Ed Fulbright, CPA, PFS on Mastering Your Money Radio

Retirement can be a new, complex world. Our goal here is to help you understand that the retirement distribution game – spending assets in retirement – is much different than the accumulation game when you’re saving for retirement. Chances are, you have been in the accumulation phase of your life for several decades. You’ve been working hard trying to save money and hopefully your accounts have grown. But now, as you enter or prepare for retirement, you’re in an entirely different phase… The distribution phase. And the distribution phase has new, strange rules that can catch people off guard. Along with those new rules, there are often many changes in your own personal life that can have a big impact on your taxes, too.

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