On Thursday July 12, over 60 TIAA members and guests came together at the Plano Event Center for a seminar focused on financial topics of interest. First, they were given an update on the economy as well as financial tips for seniors by Financial Advisor Lisa Calloway. This included a discussion of recent market trends, geopolitical tensions, financial scams and ways to protect your financial identity. Attendees were particularly interested to learn about ID guard stamps (available at office supply stores and online) that can be used to black-out sensitive data on financial or health-related documents before discarding them – in lieu of shredding the entire document.
Next, Financial Advisor Steven Combest discussed the current stock and bond markets trends. In addition to discussing market volatility, Steven talked about the challenges presented now by relatively high stock market valuations coupled with the persistent low interest rate environment. Also discussed was the importance of having a financial plan and sticking to it during both up and down markets. He also gave several suggestions on how to avoid scams.
The final speaker was CPA and tax consultant Rick Scauzillo who gave a very detailed overview of tax code changes going into effect this year as a result of the tax bill enacted by congress in December of 2017. Rick’s full presentation, which included many topics and examples, will be posted on the TIAA website. Of interest to seniors who annually file a Schedule A (for itemized deductions), the new higher standard deduction may be a more favorable alternative. Attendees were also interested to hear that the Taxpayer Advocate Office, within the IRS, can be of great assistance in resolving taxpayer disputes. Rick pointed out that the contact information on your local Taxpayer Advocate Office could be found by going to www.irs.gov and searching for the telephone number.