I remember, in the far distant past just after the earth cooled, when a package of chewing gum went from 5¢ to 10¢.  I still bought the gum but was happy to see the number of sticks in the package go from 5 to 7.  In my naivety I thought that was a pretty good deal.  It took me awhile to find the irony in this event, double the cost for less than a 50% increase in goods.  That, and a whole bunch more, is called inflation.  When we fast-forward to many of the strategies used for funding retirement, inflation has a serious effect.  Or, buying a home.  Most financial experts will recommend shorter mortgages (15 yrs. vs. 30), or extra payments.  My advice has always been to take the longer mortgage and use inflation to minimize the payment over time with deflated dollars.  Then, when you have saved a pile of money outside the equity in your home, whether it’s 10 years or whatever, if you want to pay off the mortgage, go ahead.  Your choice, not the bank’s.  As the article attached very clearly points out, there are advantages and disadvantages of inflation.  Part of our client centered process, “The Liberated Investor Advantage™” takes a much deeper dive into this topic.

I recently had a couple of long-term clients pass.  The families, while going through the grieving process, were comforted with the life directives in place.  The passing of Barbara Bush has put palliative vs curative care front and center in the news this past week.  The importance of this topic cannot be overstated.  I hope the article motivates all of us to revisit this topic and make sure everyone involved is aware of our wishes or start a conversation if we haven’t done so.

I can always tell when I’ve had too much winter, Jean and I get cabin fever.  This last weekend we had a small wine & cheese type event outside on our deck.  We started at 4 and before we knew it, we were at 7 and still going strong.  Science is just catching up to the fact that spending time outside in the woods or working in the garden is very therapeutic.  My mother knew that when I was 6 years old or, maybe, she just wanted some quiet time and kicked me outside.

Not sure what’s going to happen in the equity markets this week, but the economic indicators are all good.  We’ll just have to find out, like we do every week.  Make it a super one.

Doug Alden

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