Personal Finance

What Does a Trump Presidency Mean for Your Finances?

Love or hate him, say what you will about him, Donald J. Trump has been elected as the 45th President of the United States. Most are undoubtedly familiar with the platforms on which he ran. They included promises to build a large wall between the United States and Mexico, imposing a ban on Muslims from entering the country, and repealing and replacing Obamacare. However, many voters may still be somewhat unclear on what his other platforms could mean for their wallets.

Trump has come out on a number of topics from taxes to infrastructure during the campaign and even after the election results were fully tallied. These views have made it a little bit easier to ascertain how he might govern the country with respect to these many facets. Additionally, anything that he has not formally been asked about in the past might also be gleaned from his rampant use of Twitter. It is notably his favorite way of communicating.

Trump was a very public figure who relished having his every thought published for a couple million of his followers. In some cases, this social media resource has proven to be helpful. It gives a deeper comprehension of the direction he might very well go when it comes to certain areas of finance.

Every election means some fluctuations in the stock markets. Trump’s victory was no different. The results brought a swift reaction from investors. That was followed by the inevitable course correction that was expected to come shortly thereafter.

However, once Trump takes the oath of office on January 20th he will be the driving force behind all of the major policies in the country. His decisions could have a serious impact on your finances. In an effort to make heads or tails of what the next four years might entail, we are going to take a look at how President-elect Trump might lead the nation on some of the most pressing issues facing our overall financial outlook.

If there is one thing Trump proved to everyone, it is that forecasting the future can be pretty meaningless. If you are going to take him at his word, these are the ways he plans to make policy over the next four years of his administration. It may be too soon to tell if he can bridge the divide that has split this country so dramatically. However, we do have some indicators as to how he will deal with many of the other critical challenges that lie ahead.

His Tax Plan

One of the first things Americans wanted to know is how the President will change tax policy before they voted. Trump promised significant tax cuts across the board. He also claimed his administration would spend a lot to rebuild the country’s infrastructure. He was all for getting the nation’s roads and bridges repaired and refurbished.

As a real estate developer, he insisted he knew how to do those things better than anyone else. His economic plan was to put “America First”. He claimed he would strengthen the U.S. economy by renegotiating better trade deals and becoming the strongest economic nation in the world. What that means is lowering taxes and giving people more of their money to spend on stimulating fiscal growth.

He plans to do all of this by lowering the tax rate for everyone. Individuals, families, and businesses alike will enjoy reduced tax rates. However, many analysts believe that low-income earners and the middle class will feel the pinch. That is because they will end up ultimately paying more under his plan. Trump has proposed three tax rates instead of the seven different brackets that currently exist.

Those rates would be 12%, 25%, and 33% for individuals and families, which are down from the current 39.6% for the highest earners, and just 15% for businesses. This represents the largest reduction in taxes as the current laws prescribe a 35% rate at the highest for business taxes. He has made it clear he wants to increase the standard deduction for all filers who choose to take that instead of itemizing their eligible deductions for the year.

Yet, that is just the start of it. Trump also plans to make other sweeping changes to the present tax code. They entail repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax and the estate tax. Plus, his intentions for Obamacare would obviously eliminate any of the taxes that come with it.

All of these changes would provide every bracket with their own tax cut. However, the wealthiest would end up getting the largest reduction with the highest earners enjoying a 14% drop in their taxes. The middle-class percentage in tax reductions would only end up being around 2%. For those making even less, it comes in at around 1%. Yes, there is a drop in taxes. It just doesn’t add up to much unless your income is well into the millions annually.

Financial experts also estimate that those who might be hit the hardest by these tax cuts will be single parents and families with a large number of children. Trump’s proposals would actually raise taxes on both of these groups due to the increase in the standard deduction, as well as new tax breaks for child care costs. Raising the lowest tax bracket from 10% to 12%, and his intent to eliminate the household status and personal exemptions, would prove financially tough on parents.

All of these cuts (and increases as a result in some cases) are estimated to drive up the debt in this country by $20 trillion over the next two decades. His cuts would stimulate economic growth in the first ten years. Yet, it would wind down steadily through the next ten years in comparison to the policies that exist right now.

What does it mean for you? Unless you’re among the top 1% of earners in this country, you may find yourself paying more in taxes than you may have been under the previous administration.

The Jobs Picture

Another one of Trump’s biggest campaign platforms was built on his reputation for excellent business acumen. Many of his supporters voted for Trump because they were impressed by his track record and felt he could bring that same type of savvy expertise to running the country. He certainly promised them all that he was the man to do it, and claimed that he was prepared to drive job growth in the U.S. by taking jobs back from foreign countries like China and Mexico.

He planned on renegotiating the current trade deals that were in place, which is a disaster in his view. He promised to impose a “border tax” on any companies that took their factories to countries where labor and manufacturing were cheaper. He has already threatened companies like Ford with financial penalties if they manufacture their cars outside of the country.

There is one area where we can judge the President-elect by his deeds and not his words. It is in the way he has made good on his promise before he’s even taken office. His deal with the air conditioner company Carrier back in December 2016 saw Trump save around 1,000 jobs in Indiana, preventing them from being sent to Mexico.

It only cost $7 million dollars in tax breaks and incentives, as well as a $16 million dollar investment in the company’s Indianapolis factory. It is no coincidence that the Vice President-elect is still the governor of the state of the Indiana. In the end, Trump saved some of those jobs that were being shipped south of the border. The fact remains, though, that Carrier’s parent company still shipped jobs to Mexico.

There is a larger concern, however, in that the Carrier deal could provide a playbook for other corporations under the Trump administration. The precedent may already be in place now for other corporations to announce they too will be moving jobs elsewhere with the intent of receiving sweet, lucrative concessions similar to those enjoyed by Carrier.

Throwing money at the problem is not the way to save jobs in this country. However, it appears to be the only method Trump has in his arsenal to make good on his campaign promises. Perhaps that will change once he finally assumes the mantle of President of the United States.

We can also assess the situation from the standpoint of Obamacare. Repealing it would end up eliminating an estimated 3 million jobs in one fell swoop. Taking a closer look at that number shows us that almost a third of those jobs would be in the healthcare industry. From there, jobs would also be lost in the real estate, construction, retain, insurance, and finance sectors.

The states hit the hardest by job losses under a repeal of the Affordable Care Act would be California, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. Analysts believe that losing this many jobs in a short period of time could have a negative impact on spending by consumers and businesses alike. It is just one component of many that could come about under Trump’s proposals to bring on another recession.

Conversely, Trump has publicly stated that he wants to put an emphasis on rebuilding the infrastructure of our nation. That could be a strong source for creating new jobs should he be able to pass a spending plan through Congress.

It would provide employment options for those who are struggling with finding work. Job growth has been on the upswing since November of 2016. However, there are still many Americans out of work. If Trump keeps his promise to focus more intently on rebuilding roads and bridges, the job market would be stimulated and wages might improve.

What does it mean for you? It could mean that you need to rethink your present job position. However, it is still too early to determine what effect, if any, Trump’s stated proposals might have on your employment.

You may be just a bit concerned if you work for a firm that has international dealings with respect to exports or raw materials that originate overseas. Your job could be directly impacted should your boss be faced with dramatic changes in trade deals or imposed taxes or penalties under the vision Trump has for corporate America.

On the flipside, you could also benefit under these new mandates for business with a Trump administration. New employment opportunities could become available. That might lead you to seek a raise from your current employer to keep you from going “across the street” as it were. You may also find that you are not entirely happy with the industry in which you work.

In that case, Trump’s promises of increased job growth might give you access to finding a job in an industry that is more appealing to you or that you have wished to explore up until now. Some workers may see the writing on the wall and their job could be phased out, particularly if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. If that applies to you, then you may need to go back to school or train for a new position either in the same field or in another one altogether.

The Stock Market

The market reacted with volatility on the evening Trump was elected. Futures dropped sharply by about 700 points. They regained all of those losses by the next day. They quickly soared to record highs as the week went on.

However, that is hardly an indication of how the trend will continue. That is because the markets will likely remain unstable for the time being. The unpredictable nature of their performance will not reach solid ground until Trump assumes the office in late January. That is when he starts implementing his policies.

Stocks are down in the United States at the moment. However, there is no indication that everyone is running for the hills just yet. It is going to take some time for everything to level off. Trump himself has even commented that he would like to replace Janet Yellen as the head of the Federal Reserve. Therefore, the transition period is bound to make more than a few investors squirm as they try to read the tea leaves.

What does it mean for you? It does not make much sense to closely monitor the everyday progress of the markets. Instead, it is best to remain centered on any retirement investment plans that you have already established. Stay the course over the long term.

Do not react in a knee-jerk fashion to what is happening at the moment. That means continuing to contribute to your retirement savings be it a 401(k) or IRA account, particularly if your employer offers to match your contributions on the former.

With many of Trump’s intended policies regarding healthcare and insurance, saving as much as possible now could not be more important. It is better to be prepared for the worst, both with respect to any increases in your premiums or the costs of care itself.

Continue finding ways to diversify your portfolio and if you have not developed any sort of savings strategy, now is definitely the time to get that worked out. Social Security should remain largely untouched under Trump. That is because he has publicly said he does not feel that system needs to be overhauled at the moment. Though, of course, nothing has been set in stone, as he has not taken office yet at the time of writing.

The End of Obamacare

One of Trump’s most outspoken platforms was his very vocal displeasure with the current Affordable Care Act. He campaigned hard to repeal the law entirely on day one of his administration. He favors a plan that allows the free market to give insurers the ability to sell plans across state lines, That would, of course, eliminate all the taxes and penalties that come with it.

Repealing Obamacare comes with a lot of moving parts and pieces that incorporate all Americans of every age and income bracket. Seniors are likely to be impacted the hardest due to the fact that many of the programs offered under the mandates of the Affordable Care Act cater to them. This could represent a dramatic economic hardship when those programs are no longer available. In addition, the healthcare programs that have been in place even before Obamacare was created are still having issues with funding. Republicans are eager to cut those budgets even further or cut off funding entirely with an eye on privatization.

However, seniors are just a small fraction of the 25 million people who will lose health care if or when Obamacare is eliminated under Trump. The loss of coverage would be due to the eradication of major programs that provide care and financial aid for those who may not have sufficient incomes to pay the premiums on their coverage each month.

Some of the laws in place that affected how insurance companies could set prices may also be eliminated. Before the Affordable Care Act was enacted, insurers could charge more based on age, gender, and pre-existing conditions. They were routinely cited as a reason for denying coverage and/or care altogether.

Trump has stated that he feels the consumer protections related to pre-existing conditions and other reasons for denial of care should remain outlawed. Consequently, that is no guarantee he will actually follow through on that belief. The GOP has no current plan for replacing Obamacare. Anything that they have put forth largely resorts back to the previous methods of doing business with the insurance companies.

What does it mean for you? Other than “do not get sick,” it could mean a major increase in coverage premiums and health care costs. Some consumers may argue that what they are paying now for their current insurance coverage is just as cost prohibitive. Yet, they may find themselves surprised to know that the money they are saving will pale in comparison to what they end up having to spend in medical costs that are not covered under their reduced plans.

As a result, in the end, the coverage they are getting could actually cover very little. Therefore, the best thing to do is get a clean bill of health now. Do this while your plan is still in effect. Additionally, practice pre-emptive care so you will not face medical expenses down the line, no matter what the new mandates provide under Trump. Find ways to eat better, lose weight, and generally improve your way of life so that you can live without pain or illness.

Our Final Thoughts

The world was shocked by the Brexit vote in the UK back in 2016. Pundits and experts felt it signaled a sea change for other countries around the globe. The election of Trump has proven just as stunning for many on both sides of the proverbial aisle. Love him or not, there is no getting around the fact that he has won the presidency. He will be the next leader of the free world starting in January 2017.

We have only scratched the surface as to what that means for your financial outlook, as well as the market forecasts in every index. As always, it pays to look ahead and identify ways to boost your nest egg. You should secure revenue streams that will last for extended periods of time.

That means steady, well-paying employment and making the right investment moves. Also, generating passive income ideas, and even figuring out the best retirement options so that your money can grow tax-deferred. You should also keep as much of it as possible in your pocket.

There is a lot of uncertainty facing the country right now with an individual who has never held public office ascending directly to the highest one in the land. For now, it is best to be frugal until we have been shown he has a firm grasp on the rigors of the job.

Everyone wants the new president to succeed because if he fails so do many of the systems that define this country. Our economy is just one facet of a much larger picture that must come into focus soon if there is any hope of the United States becoming more, well, united.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.