Broker Check

Monday Money Report

| March 11, 2024


Jobs data was released on Friday, showing the US added 275,000 jobs in February, well above the expected 200,000. At the same time, unemployment has ticked up to 3.9%, a two-year high.[1] What we’re all hoping for is that the labor market remains strong, and inflation continues to decrease. The Federal Reserve Bank has indicated it may begin cutting rates as early as June, but there’s no guarantee that they will do so; it all depends on the next few months of employment and inflation data.  On Friday, the market declined, breaking it’s 5-week winning streak.

We are also five weeks away from April 15th, so now is the time to work on your taxes. If you’re concerned about the cost of hiring a professional, or can’t find one who is taking new clients, but your return is fairly simple, there are some options available.

First is Free File, an IRS partnership with several popular tax software companies. If your adjusted gross income is below $79,000, go to irs.gov, and click on the left where it says “File your taxes for free.”

The IRS also offers two in-person options for assistance, VITA and TCE.  VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, helps individuals who make under $64,000, are disabled, or speak limited English.  TCE, or Tax Counseling for the Elderly, helps taxpayers who are 60 or older.  You can find a location and schedule an appointment on the IRS website.

Finally, MilTax is an online tool through the IRS that is open to service members and their dependents, including reservists and retirees. Beyond the on-line filing software that is tailored to military service, you can also schedule a consultation with a tax professional.

If you’re concerned about owing taxes, you still have time to make contributions to your IRAs and Health Savings Accounts for 2023, if you qualify.  If you have any self-employment income, you can also open and fund a SEP IRA for 2023. If you had any home renovations last year, check to see if you qualify for any tax credits that were part of the poorly named Inflation Reduction Act.

Your action item this week is for everyone turning 50 this year.  Many accounts allow increased contributions for those of us 50 or over, so if there is room in your budget, increase what you’re putting into your 401(k), TSP, IRA, and HSA.

Be sure to check out our website at covingtonalsina.com, or our Facebook page, for more information and to register for our upcoming educational events, including tonight’s talk on Healthcare in Retirement.

CovingtonAlsina is a registered investment adviser.  Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies.  Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed.  Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

[1] US Bureau of Labor Statistics