A FEW THINGS FOR CONSIDERATION

By: Curtis Roe, Director - Finance, Purcell Murray, croe@purcellmurray.com

A FEW THINGS FOR CONSIDERATION

By: Curtis Roe, Director – Finance, Purcell Murray, croe@purcellmurray.com

We are now into our new year! Now is the time to make sure that you have your financial records in order. Of course now is always now, and there is no time like the present to do this sort of thing. But really, let’s not wait until April to gather up everything and rush into a tax return. Are you part of a flexible spending program with your health insurance? If you didn’t use all your funds, you still have a little time to get that done. The longer we wait to get things in order, the older the information becomes and the more difficult it is to collect. Some tax preparation software has been on sale. I picked my copy over the weekend. No, not as exciting as seeing Bohemian Rhapsody in the theater, but I did that too and really enjoyed it. I also claimed part of the cost of my son’s braces against my flexible spending account. So, ya I feel pretty good about that.
Are you feeling well? Did you start a new year with your medical insurance? Now is the time to make sure you understand it. If you have an HMO, make sure you have the right primary care physician listed. You don’t want to find this out when you are in the moment of need and they aren’t listed.
I read that our new governor plans to allocate part of a budgetary revenue windfall to the cost of the state pension funds. On one hand, I have to say hooray. Any improvement made in that area is definitely welcome. On the other hand, according the Sacramento Bee on April 22 last year, the estimated rate of return on investments for the pension fund is 7%. Doing a quick search on line, I could not find any financial offers for even 3% for my money right now. Unless the state has some insight on the market, it looks like there may be a shortfall on their estimated revenue from investments. One might assume that burden would need to be picked up by future funding. So, I wonder if the governor is really doing the best thing. That same article mentioned that cities are paying 50 cents into CalPERS for every dollar of police officer’s salaries and that could go up to over 75 cents within a few years. Should we wait until we can’t afford any police officers before facing this issue more aggressively? (Uh-oh, I just found on State Controller Betty Yee’s monthly report that state taxes came in $3.45 billion less than expected. That might hurt the windfall.)
Did you hear the president wants to build a wall? Did you hear that Congress doesn’t want to? Did you hear that many of those who currently oppose the wall actually supported a wall just a few years ago. Did you hear there is a big assertion that there a lot of fake news out there today? Huh? Did ya?
So, I think we voted and approved to build a bullet train back in 2008 and the estimated cost was $40billion. Another quick search suggests it could be more like $100billion. I wonder how the vote would have gone with these newer estimates. Setting that aside, do you think you will be getting on one of these trains instead of an airplane? I guess it depends on the price of the ticket.

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