The S&P 500 is on track for its best month in almost two years, largely fueled by strong earnings by Apple and Amazon, among other companies. The Federal Open Market Committee raised interest rates by 0.75%, which means the variable interest rates for things like credit cards and lines of credit are increasing as well.
Gas prices are declining across the country, with 16 states averaging less than $4 a gallon. The US Dollar continues to strengthen, which is great if you are planning to travel abroad, but not so good for emerging market currencies.
Another item that is increasing is solo seniors, or seniors without any close relatives. Old age raises a number of planning concerns around capacity and care.
If you’re alone, no matter your age, having your estate planning documents is a good first step. A basic will, Power of Attorney, and Medical Directive or Power of Attorney are the minimum documents. As you age, you may want to consider guardianship or conservator options, or a trust using a law firm or professional trust company. Seniors or those with terminal illnesses may also want to consider a MOLST, or Medical Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment. It’s a bit more extensive than a Do Not Resuscitate Order, or DNR.
If you don’t have close friends or relatives who can serve as your Personal Representative, what used to be called an Executor, a law firm can usually fill that role. They can also serve as a trustee for you.
You may also want to plan for care. There are social workers who provide coordination of care, as well as home health care agencies. You might consider a Continuing Care Retirement Community, where you move in when you’re still healthy and independent, and age in place through assisted living and skilled nursing care. Planning now, while you’re healthy, provides you with some control in the future when you may not be able to care for yourself.
Your action item this week is to make a meal plan. With food costs continuing to rise, planning out your meals and then making a grocery list is a great way to help your budget. Remember grocery prices follow a three-month cycle, and the week the coupon comes in the Sunday paper corresponds with the highest price point in the cycle.
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Investment advice offered through Great Valley Advisor Group, a Registered Investment Advisor.
All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
The opinions voiced in this show are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies or investment(s) may be appropriate for you, contact the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a decision.
 Wall Street Journal, Today’s Stock Market News 07/29/2022 no byline
 Wall Street Journal, Today’s Stock Market News 07/29/2022 Ryan Dezember