What I Learned from PIMCO and a Medicare Update

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Published by Taylor Financial Group

Last week, I attended the Cetera Conference in Austin, where we heard from economists and portfolio managers regarding the state of the economy and the markets.  Among the speakers, we heard from Anthony Crescenzi, Market Strategist from PIMCO, one of the largest money managers in the World.  PIMCO is well known for their secular forums and their insights into the global economy.  They speak to Ben Bernanke and other market makers monthly, and they follow the markets closely, which makes sense since they manage over $1.6 Trillion.

Anthony Crescenzi, Market Strategist for PIMCO

Crescenzi made clear that Bernanke does not anticipate that Janet Yellen will stay on as Fed Chair.  First, she and her husband are “up in age,” where her husband is in his late 70’s.  Second, Yellen is not in favor of aggressive deregulation and therefore does not agree with this critical part of the White House agenda.  As a result, she does not have much support from the White House to continue in her current role.

PIMCO also believes that the strength in the global stock market has a lot to do with the strength of the global economy.  They anticipate 3.6% global GDP growth for next year.  But, there is a big concern about China, and that after October they will halt the economy and start revamping many of the state-owned enterprises.  Regardless, PIMCO doesn’t believe you should bet against China.  China is predicting a 6.3% annual growth rate for the next ten years, which is ambitious and good for the global economy.

So, the big question is can it all last?  And will the bond market believe in the growth?  PIMCO is concerned about domestic growth as they anticipate only a 0.5% annual increase in the labor force because baby boomers are retiring through 2030.  And the people retiring won’t be readily replaced as immigration typically plays a large role in growth and it will be limited in the foreseeable future.  The other way to grow GDP is through increased productivity, which is an area that has been somewhat limited.  So, PIMCO is cautiously waiting and watching US GDP.

Medicare Open Enrollment Updates 

Medicare Open Enrollment continues through December 7th.  Remember, even if you are happy with your current plan, it can pay to shop around.  Part D and Advantage plans can change their coverage rules from one year to the next, or a change in your prescription drugs can make another plan a better deal.  Remember to fire up the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov/find-a-Plan to start shopping.  The online tool will calculate your total costs (premiums plus out of pocket costs for your drugs) for each plan in your area.

In addition, people shopping for Medicare Advantage plans need to pay attention not only to drug costs and coverage, but also to provider networks.  Unlike traditional Medicare, Advantage plans have limited provider networks, and some networks are narrower than others.  If you have certain preferred doctors, take the time to confirm that they are included on the plan, or what the costs would be if they are not.  Also, some Advantage plans offer vision and dental care, which traditional Medicare does not, so be sure to compare the costs across the board.

As always, let us know if you have questions or if we can help.

 

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