2015 Outlook

Last year left the U.S. in decent financial shape. Oil prices tanked and the U.S. dollar surged. Inflationary pressure is low, and the stock market ended the year strong. The analysts at Fidelity believe this positive environment should continue at least early into 2015. The economy is in a mid-cycle expansion with solid employment gains and wage increases – although not yet across the board – and the outlook for consumers is good.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “December 2014 Market Update,” from Fidelity, Dec. 12, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Five themes for 2015,” from Fidelity, Dec. 23, 2014.]

Over at Merrill Lynch, analysts are similarly positive. They expect the economy to expand by 3.3 percent in 2015, energized by consumer spending now that individual debt has been reduced. On the job front, analysts expect the economy to generate around 240,000 jobs a month and the unemployment rate to continue dropping.

[CLICK HERE to read the report, “CIO Outlook: Themes for 2015 and Beyond,” from Merrill Lynch, Jan. 2015.]

In the real estate market, housing prices are expected to continue rising but not at the same high growth rate as 2014. Thanks to predicted higher mortgage rates, there will be fewer buyers and the face of those buyers is expected to change. That’s because millennials (young adults under the age of 35) are projected to overtake Gen X (those 35 to 50 years old) as the largest group of homebuyers in the U.S. this year.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Housing Outlook 2015: 11 Predictions from the Experts,” from Forbes, Dec. 18, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “4 predictions for the housing market in 2015,” from Fortune, Dec. 9, 2014.]

In the world of technology, one expert offers a handful of predictions for 2015. Among them, email attachments will evolve into cloud-based links (largely for security reasons), tablets will experience a “surprise comeback” to outsell laptops and there will be a greater focus on security for all devices in the wake of the 2014 breaches at Target, eBay, J.P. Morgan, Home Depot, Nieman Marcus, P.F. Chang’s, Michaels, Goodwill and Sony.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Forecast: Workplace Trends, Choices and Technologies for 2015,” from Recode.net, Dec. 18, 2014.]

Within the health care sector, the new Congress is likely to take aim at targeted points of weakness in an attempt to block the implementation of parts of the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court is already on tap to hear one case concerning the law, and it could end up being a busy year for the legal system.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Supreme Court Decides to Hear King v. Burwell: What Are the Implications?” from The Commonwealth Fund, Nov. 7, 2014.]

On the other hand, do-it-yourself health care appears to be a trend on the rise. Innovative wearable tracking devices, mobile apps and cost-savings due to increasing transparency in the medical field are all expected to gain momentum in 2015.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “10 health care trends to watch in 2015,” from Employment Benefit News, Dec. 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Top Trends Influencing Healthcare IT In 2015,” from CXO Today, Dec. 24, 2014.]

It’s always an exciting time when we enter a new year. It’s an ideal opportunity to re-evaluate current plans, update them and/or make new ones. As always, if we can help in any way to assess your retirement income plans for today and help you feel more confident in tomorrow, please give us a call.

Our firm assists retirees and pre-retirees in the creation of retirement strategies utilizing insurance products. Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency.

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