CINCINNATI, Oct. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- It's election season, and that means the campaigns and the rhetoric are heating up. But what does the election mean for investors, savers, business owners and retirees? That's the question Fifth Third Bank (NASDAQ: FITB) posed to investment industry experts during a recent roundtable discussion of the differences between a Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Presidency. In a five-part series released today, the Bank and veteran financial reporter Nicole Lapin explore the major issues on the line this November– and what each could means for investors in the short- and long-term – it a five-part video series released today.
The series includes analysis of what the 2016 presidential election means for retirement planning. Joe Gagnon, an economist at the Peterson Institute, is joined by Fifth Third Private Bank's Melissa Register, senior wealth planner, and Jeff Korzenik, Chief Investment Strategist, in assessing how each candidate stacks up.
"The long-term solvency of Social Security, the one source of retirement income most Americans count on, has been called into question," explains Register. "As a result, that previously ironclad source of retirement income has begun to feature itself more prominently into political conversations."
Register says that for her Generation X clients, she runs a simulation that omits Social Security as one of its assumptions.
"It's doubtful this election will significantly reduce or even discontinue Social Security, but it's amazing how quickly and dramatically the retirement picture changes when Social Security is no longer in the mix," she said.
Roth IRA Concerns Linger
It's not just Social Security that's on the table in this election. A post-election reconfiguration in Washington could lead to new rules for Roth IRAs, says Michael Donovan, a Fifth Third wealth management advisor in the greater Chicago area.
Currently, people holding traditional IRAs and 401(k)s have the option to convert their savings into a Roth. But Congress has the ability to revise some of the provisions that make the plans so appealing, such as introducing a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD), eliminating the stretch Roth IRA for young beneficiaries, capping IRA account balances, and eliminating the so-called "backdoor Roth IRA."
In addition, Donovan says many of his clients fear that the tax-free growth in a Roth account will eventually be taxed if the government comes to need the revenue. "Many of my clients don't want to convert into a Roth for that reason," he observes.
Outside of Roth IRAs, other retirement plans, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, will likely remain untouched, regardless of who wins in November, Register says. "The only changes we expect are continued inflation adjustments to maximum contributions. It's now $18,000 for 401(k) plans, but that will increase over time."
The Role of the Economy in Retirement Planning
For business owners, the estate tax looms large in retirement planning. Their companies—often an illiquid asset—are the "800-pound gorillas of their portfolios," Donovan notes. As such, the prospect of a forced sale of their company to meet the estate tax has long been a concern that affects how those business owners approach retirement.
Steady increases to the estate tax exemption, now at $5.45 million per individual (or $10.9 million per couple), has alleviated some succession planning concerns of small-business owners. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has said she'd lower the estate tax exemption to $3.5 million per individual, while Republican candidate Donald Trump has stated he'd like to abolish the estate tax altogether. But it's not likely to be a top priority for either one after they're in office, says Register. "There are much bigger tax and economic issues to address before the estate tax should be up for discussion again."
"Most small-business owners who are on the cusp of retirement and trying to find the most advantageous time to make their exit are closely watching the election as a harbinger of the economy and the capital markets," says Glen Johnson, who has many business owners as clients in his role as managing director at Mirador Family Wealth Advisors. "The political composition of the White House and Capitol Hill can impact the business climate, which plays a significant role in their ability to get the best price and the best terms on the sale of their company."
"If there's a wholesale shift from a split government with the Republicans in charge of Congress, to, a Democratic sweep, then a more-profound change in economic policy could result that would raise the level of uncertainty among investors," says Korzenik.
Nonetheless, he remains confident that after the election the stock market should continue to provide a positive return, even if it is less than 10 percent, in 2017. And given that most people have a sizable portion of their retirement savings tied up in the markets, that would be good news for both retirees and would-be retirees alike.
For more on the potential impacts of Election 2016, Fifth Third Private Bank has compiled a helpful guide at http://investing.53.com/FifthThirdPrivateBankElectionOutlook2016. The five-part video and article series explores the major issues on the line this November, and how the election may affect retirement, the economy, investment strategies, taxes, and creating or preserving wealth for the next generation for years to come.
About Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $144 billion in assets and operates 1,191 full-service Banking Centers, including 94 Bank Mart® locations, most open seven days a week, inside select grocery stores and 2,541 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth and Asset Management. Fifth Third also has an 18.3% interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2016, had $305 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $26 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com/. Fifth Third's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.
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SOURCE Fifth Third Bank