Posted by: Marvin Remmich | March 6, 2018

Take the stress out of tax time this year

Albert Einstein once said, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax.” Luckily, tax preparers and DIY tax software take much of the mystery out of the process. Whether you prepare your taxes yourself or send them to a professional, it’s still important to collect and sort your information, including any changes in status or economics that occurred during the year.

The information I’m sending this month is intended to prepare you for tax time. Page one provides a list of financial details you may need to gather ahead of time to make the process easier,  as well as some tips to help you get your refund faster. Page two outlines steps to take to help you protect your identity from thieves who wish to gain access to your information.

Tax season doesn’t have to be stressful. With a bit of preparation, the process becomes a breeze.

Market Update:

California’s homeownership rate ballooned during the Millennium Boom, but is now free falling.  At what pint will California’s homeownership rate stabilize, and what factors will contribute to future increases and decreases?

California’s home-ownership rate is historically around 10 percentage points below the national home-ownership rate (at 64.2% as of Q4 2017).  This is due to a combination of factors, including the lesser impact the national policy of pushing the “American Dream” of home-ownership has had on more mobile Californians.

California’s rate of home-ownership has declined dramatically since the 2008 Great Recession, a drop of nearly seven percentage points since its peak year of 2006.  (If underwater homeowners are excluded from the number of homeowners since they have no equity stake in their properties, the California homeownership rate is closer to 50%).

Looking forward

For the nest 25 years or so, and in reverse of the direction taken during the past 30 years, interest rates will rise and this will inhibit homeownership – as occurred in the 1960-1980 period.  The Fed intentionally raises short-term interest rates to deliberately induce a business recession when the economy is over-performing.  The effects usually take hold in a two to three years.  More precisely, the recession sets in around 12 months after short-term rates rise above long-term rates.

This cyclical action has occurred periodically since WWII, until the early 2000s, when the Fed skipped the second phase of this action due to the events of September 11th.












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