The usual pundits and prognosticators are at it again — making all sorts of predictions and observations about how this next year will play out.
For starters, the New Year will get a little darker. That’s because manufacturers will cease making 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulbs, having already phased out the production of 100- and 75-watt bulbs in 2012 and 2013. You can still buy incandescent bulbs as long as supplies last, but U.S. manufacturers are no longer permitted to produce or import them. Incandescent bulbs do not meet the new standards that require all screw-in light bulbs to use 25 percent less power by 2014 and 65 percent less by 2020. It appears we are in for darker times moving forward, indeed.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Majority of Americans Still in the Dark About Incandescent Light Bulb Phase-Out,” from NBC News, Dec. 26, 2013.]
[CLICK HERE to read the “Sylvania Socket Survey,” from Sylvania, December 2013.]
On the economic front, the painstakingly slow recovery is expected to continue. Wall Street analysts do not expect U.S. equities to perform as well as they did in 2013. However, if you’ve sat conservatively on the sidelines throughout this latest bull market, remember that small corrections and price drops offer the opportunity for selective entry points. You may want to evaluate your retirement strategy for this year and consider what may work best for your situation.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Here’s What 14 Top Wall Street Strategists are Saying About the Stock Market in 2014,” at FinancialPost.com, Dec. 26, 2013.]
As you review your financial picture, also stay cognizant of the upcoming changes in tax laws for 2014. Tax breaks on the chopping block include deductions for college tuition and fees, private mortgage insurance premiums and mass transit commuter expenses.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “8 Disappearing Tax Breaks,” at CNNMoney.com, Dec. 27, 2013.]
Politically, it should be yet another interesting year as hopefuls and members of Congress prepare for the 2014 elections. We enjoyed a slight whisper of bipartisanship with the signing of the new budget bill in December, but this will once again be tested when the deficit ceiling is reached this spring. Another hot item expected to be debated this year is immigration law.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Obama Looks Ahead to 2014 After Finishing 2013 Business,” from The Huffington Post, Dec. 27, 2013.]
It appears Hollywood will have to step up its special effects movie-making game if it wants to keep up with the United States military. This year, the Navy expects to launch its first laser weapon on board a ship in the Persian Gulf, the Army is making a serious effort at taking advantage of 3-D printing technology and the Air Force is hiring a slew of “cyber professionals” to progress in areas of cyber warfare.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Military Tech in 2014: Lasers, Drones and Cyberops,” at Cnet.com, Dec. 27, 2013.]
And to end on a light note, if you’re a fan of film, the next link provides a detailed list of movies you can look forward to watching in 2014.
[CLICK HERE to read the “The Most Popular Feature Films Released in 2014,” at IMDB.com, Dec. 27, 2013.]
As usual, if there’s anything we can do to help you make your financial outlook brighter and increase your confidence in retirement, please give us a call. By contacting us, you may be offered information regarding the purchase of insurance products.
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