Money Monday

Tax reform has fallen out of the headlines lately, mostly due to the stock market's wild ride over the last few weeks. But we have an update for you that just goes to prove something we've been telling here on Simply Money for months.

The latest numbers show that 6.3 million workers are getting a one-time bonus or pay hike due to corporate tax cuts: that's about 4% of the total U.S. workforce.

Meanwhile, corporations have divved out about $109 BILLION in dividends to stock SHAREHOLDERS. All told, corporations have spent about 7 times more on stock buybacks than worker bonuses or raises since the law was enacted.

This is something we've been telling you here on Simply Money, even before tax reform became law: corporations we're going to be the big winners… and for you to get a bigger slice of the pie, you have to be a "shareholder"

That's why, here at Simply Money, we want you to be a shareholder. We don't mean in individual stocks - those are too risky. But even when you're invested in an index fund, you benefit from stock buybacks. (of course, how much stock exposure you have is dependent upon your risk tolerance and your goals)

Being a shareholder of a fund that tracks the S&P500, for example, means you're invested in the biggest 500 companies in America! You're investing in American growth and opportunity!  And, in this case, you're benefiting from lower corporate tax rates.

If shareholders are going to benefit from corporate tax reform, then get in on the action by BEING a shareholder!

Just ahead, a few ways to pay for healthcare costs in retirement.


Every Sunday, Simply Money is answering your money questions in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Sam in Green Township: I’m 64 and hoping to retire soon. I’m thankfully in good health, but I’m still concerned about rising healthcare costs in retirement. Do you have any suggestions for how to handle these costs?


We know it's easier said than done, but you need to stay unemotional about your money and investments! Otherwise, you can make some really silly (and avoidable) mistakes - like these:

Being fearful: We've seen a whole lot of stock turbulence over the last few months… but you need to realize that this is the "price of admission" when investing in the stock market. Stocks go up, and stocks go down.

If you're a long-term investor (which we hope you are), you shouldn't care what the stock market is doing on a day-to-day basis. All that matters is if you're hitting the goals you've laid out in your financial plan.

If all of the recent volatility made you uneasy, then that's a good sign you don't have the proper investment mix of stocks and bonds for your risk tolerance.

Fear of missing out (or, "FOMO," like the kids like to say): Just because other people are investing in something, doesn't mean you should be. Perfect example? Bitcoin. Just a few months ago, it seemed like some people were making money hand-over-fist with their Bitcoins... and in that situation, it's easy to think that you're missing out.

But with investing, it can be dangerous to "follow the crowd." Don't invest in something just because it’s the trendy thing to do. You should reserach every investment thoroughly before putting money into it.

Reacting to everything: The 24-hour news cycle multiplied by our smartphones equals information overload. An infinite amount of news is right at our fingertips. While it’s important to stay informed, it's not wise to react to everything you hear without taking into account your personal situation.

After all, the media can't know the financial objectives and goals of every person they're reaching. Before you make changes to your investment strategy or retirement plan, you need to review your personal circumstances.

Simply put, you need to ignore things you can't control. Stick with your financial plan, and stop obessing over how the market is moving every day.

You need to make decisions about your money and investments with the RATIONAL part of your brain.