Obsidian Market Update 12/17/21
It’s time once again for our weekly check-in. We hope you’re all making the most of the holiday season in whatever way you most enjoy.
This week, we don’t have a lot of answers about the national debt, but we have many questions. So we’ll spend some time diving into the facts of the matter and what policymakers are thinking. Then, we’ll look at some of the best places to retire (retirement— one of our favorite subjects!). And you’ll definitely want to check out our How We Help segment this week to see a news interview with our very own Pat Carroll.
Before we get into all of that, we want to remind everyone of our holiday hours. We’ll be closing at noon on December 23, and closed altogether on December 24.
There are enough facts about the national debt to keep anyone occupied for quite some time, so let’s break it down. The national debt is simply a measurement of how much the United States owes its creditors — specifically, the debt held by the public as opposed to by the federal government. The national debt rises because the US tends to spend more than it takes in. As of November 1, 2021, the national debt was $28.9 trillion (about $86,842 per person living in the US).
Debt has been part of the US government’s operation from essentially day one, as the government found itself in debt following the Revolutionary War. Debt has since been fueled by more wars and by economic recessions.
Politicians disagree about the effects of the national debt and methods of debt reduction, and these conflicts often lead to gridlocks in Congress that can delay approving the budget. National debt is more palatable to the public when it is in service of fueling expansion that will lead to long-term prosperity, but if the debt is raised to fund public consumption, it loses that support.
The national debt is a source of much disagreement between economists and policy analysts. There are two main schools of thought:
- Keynesian macroeconomists think it’s beneficial to run an account deficit to boost demand in the economy. Most believe that fiscal policy tools like deficit spending are only useful after the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy has shown to be ineffective and nominal interest rates are near zero.
- Chicago and Austrian school economists think that carrying national debt is harmful to private investment, that it suppresses exports and manipulates interest rates and capital structure. They believe that carrying national debt will unfairly harm future generations through tax increases or inflation.
We don’t know exactly what will happen in the future with the national debt (or anything else–our crystal ball was damaged at the cleaners). So what do you think? Is the national debt something we can keep up or not? Let us know!
Whatever the situation with the debt, we hope you’re planning for your retirement, if you’re not retired already. We have been pondering this year’s Forbes list of the top 25 retirement spots in the US, and wanted to share some of our favorites with you (but read the whole article–their methodology is interesting!):
- Savannah, Georgia. Surely we’re not the only ones who read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and added Savannah to our vacation destination list. But why just visit when you could stay? Savannah offers reasonably priced homes, a mild climate, and great tax law for retirees.
- Knoxville, Tennessee. Knoxville is a cool place with a lot of culture, easy access to outdoor activities, affordable housing, and no state income or estate taxes. Break out the sweet tea!
- Fargo, North Dakota. All right, some of you like winter and Coen Brothers movies. Here’s a less-warm locale with no state estate tax but a lot of bike trails and great air quality. If you don’t mind bundling up, this might be the spot for you.
- Asheville, North Carolina. If you like outdoor activities but don’t want to freeze, Asheville has you covered. Plus, it has a great art scene and lots of music venues.
- Sun City, Arizona. If you want to make friends with other folks your age, Sun City, Arizona is an age-restricted retirement community. It’s warm, sunny, and has no state estate or Social Security taxes. Plus, it’s not a terribly expensive place to live.
Where are you thinking of retiring? We would love to help you identify just the right city!
That’s it for us this week! Have a terrific weekend, and we’ll be back in your inbox next week.
How We Help
We love being a sounding board for clients looking into purchasing investment properties. Whether you have questions about refinancing or what terms you may want for your mortgage or anything else, we can act as a consultant to help you work through that decision. If you want to know more about our approach, watch this interview Pat did with WUSA-9 News.
Advisory Services offered through Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC. Securities are offered through Triad Advisors, member FINRA/SIPC. Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC, and Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, Inc, are not affiliated with Triad Advisors