Tax Reform Alters Popular Retirement Planning Technique

The ability to recharacterize (lookback and undo) the conversion of a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA no longer exists. Beginning in 2018 with Roth conversions, the one popular technique will no longer be available. Paul Fowler covers the details in a new post, Retirement planning after tax reform.

On The One Hand

  1. Industrial production increased 0.9% in December and was up 1.0% if the upward revision to the November figure is included. Capacity utilization rose to 77.9% from a revised rate of 77.2% in November. The majority of the gain was the result of expansion in mining and utilities.
  2. After several weeks of gains, initial unemployment claims decreased by 41,000 to 220,000. Claims have now been well below 300,000 for 150 consecutive weeks. Continuing claims increased by 76,000 to 1.952 million.

On The Other Hand

  1. Housing starts were off 8.2% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.192 million units. Building permits declined 0.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.302 million. Severe winter weather is likely to blame for the soft starts.
  2. The Philadelphia Fed Index declined to 2.2 in January from December’s reading of 27.9. The softer reading continues above the zero level signaling continued expansion in the region.
  3. The University of Michigan’s preliminary Consumer Sentiment Index for January dipped to 94.4 from the final 95.9 reading for December.

All Else Being Equal

The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model forecast for Q4 real GDP growth rose one-tenth of a percent to 3.4%.

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The information provided is obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Forecasts cannot be guaranteed. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.