Happy New Year!

A few days before New Year’s Eve, Katie and I asked Francis if he wanted to stay awake past his bedtime to see the New Year’s Eve ball drop. If you ask any child if they want to stay awake you are probably going to be told yes; Katie and I were no different.

After ordering take out our family was prepared for a fun evening of singing and dancing in celebration of 2021. Francis’ normal bedtime is 8:00, however we told him he could stay up until 10:00 (New York New Year’s). Everyone was having a great time until 9:45 or so. Katie and I noticed Francis starting to drag a bit and before we knew it, he had climbed up onto the couch and closed his eyes. Since Katie and I wanted to keep our promise of letting him stay awake, we gently nudged him, and he said he was just resting his eyes and wanted us to wake him up three minutes before the ball drops. If there was ever a moment where Francis sounded more like his Pops (Ed) it was then.

Well ultimately woke Francis up and we all got to see the ball drop. Francis was in bed by 10:10 with Katie and me not far behind. What made the start of the year even better was Francis not waking up until 9:45 AM the next morning.

While the year is still early, many people are starting to look to the future when people have been vaccinated and they can once again see family, travel and get back to a more normal existence. When speaking of the vaccine, we have started to hear firsthand of people being targeted by vaccine scams. Be it calls or text messages saying one can pay money to get to the front of the vaccination line to emails saying you can buy the vaccine from an online pharmacy, do not fall for these scams.

It has been shown that fraudsters prey on people during and after a stressful time, including after natural disasters. Below are some things to keep in mind:

  • You should never give cash or any form of payment to suspicious callers or internet “friends”, as well as do not provide personal, medical or financial information.
  • Do not click on any unexpected links in either emails or text messages. It is not uncommon for a friend to have their email compromised and the scammer uses their email address to email friends who unsuspectingly click on a link in the email. Always verify with the sender of the email that they indeed sent it with the links or attachments.
  • The IRS will not call unexpectedly. Do not provide any information to anyone calling claiming to be from the IRS.

If you think you are a victim of any scam, please be sure to contact the appropriate authorities and give our office a call so as we can provide heightened monitoring of your accounts.

As in years past, the new year means Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) will be recalculated. We have received a few questions this week about RMDs and if they will be optional in 2021 as they were in 2020. The short answer is no, we do not believe RMDs will be suspended for 2021. The reason is twofold. 2020 saw the suspension of RMDs due to the extremely high levels of volatility in February-March 2020 which caused values of accounts to decrease for a short time. Since no one knows what the markets will do, when passing the CARES Act, Congress did not want to force people to take out money and potentially sell holdings at depressed values. Looking to 2021, a major reason why we do not believe RMDs will be suspended is the United States government needs the tax revenue. With the amount of spending that has occurred over the prior ten months, there is a need for continued sources of revenue, and the taxes from RMDs is one such source. If anything changes, we will be sure to contact you.

We know 2020 was a difficult year, however, we can all hope for 2021 to be filled with much more joy and happiness.

Chris

Chris Zeches, CFP®
Managing Partner