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Higgins Capital Management, Inc.

Interest Rates higher, Alimony Deadline and Jewelry Saver

The Economy:  The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged but signaled a hike in December is likely.  The current range is 2.00%-2.25%.  The Fed is anticipating 3 rates hikes in 2019, moving rates to 3%.  Some analysts see 4 hikes in 2019 while others say inflation hovering at 2% reveals underlying economic weakness and the Fed could be 1 and done in December.

Food for Thought:  If you are in the final stages of a divorce be aware that Trump's 2017 tax overhaul eliminates the deduction for alimony payments starting in 2019.  If you are on the payer side of alimony, this could mean a big savings if you reach a deal by December 31st.  Remember, in the past, the ones paying alimony have been able to deduct the payments on their tax return.  Those receiving alimony were required to report the alimony as ordinary income.  Starting 2019, the new rule states the payer of alimony no longer gets a deduction and the receiver gets alimony that is tax-free.  This is a big flip-flop so pay attention if you are at or close to a divorce heading into year-end.

Mixing Business with Pleasure:  When I travel, I do like to take a couple of pieces of jewelry, but I'm always bummed to return home to knotted jewelry.  I was reminded about the trick of threading your necklace through a straw (either plastic or even paper) and then clasp the ends.  This will save you time and your sanity.