Well, that was...something. Now that the election dust has settled and we have a winning candidate, what can we expect? Here are a few things coming down the road and what it means for you, money-wise:
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You'll probably see some change in your investments.
Don't be worried about that! The Market historically reacts with a drop after each election. People tend to have a visceral reaction when new leader of the free world is elected, nbd. Things will right themselves in due time. If you're looking to make a little bit of money out of the deal, I hear gun stocks are down.
Your health insurance situation may get a little complicated.
In undoing the ACA, more than 22 million Americans will be left without coverage. If you are one of these people, your choices will be to partake in the plan offered by your employer (if that's an option), apply for Medicaid (which is also being cut), or pay out of pocket for your health costs.
The things you're used to buying could cost more.
The TPP is a trade deal that allows 12 countries to trade freely without tariffs. Think EU, but with China and America as the major partners. If the US does withdraw from the TPP, we can expect to see the price of food, medicine, and just about everything rise. The US is a key player in this - essentially, the Pacific Rim wants our food and we want all the stuff they manufacture so cheaply. If we bow out, we could be effectively cut off from trade with the remaining 11 countries - including China, who sends us $340 billion in product each year.
You could pay more taxes than you do now.
Trump plans to lower the standard deduction (a dollar amount that reduces your taxable income, sort of like free money from the government) to $30,000 for married couples. This combined with a change in the tax brackets (the percentage of taxes you pay based on your taxable income) will create a situation where most people earning between $30,000 and $70,000 per year will pay more in taxes. If you have an average income and children, your taxes will go up.
Your earnings may not change.
Trump is not in favor of raising minimum wage, except for when he flip-flops his position and is all for it - but not like you think. He will instead work to create more higher paying jobs and therefore eliminate the need for people to work in minimum paying positions. If you're one of the millions of workers earning an unlivable wage, grassroots movements have your back. Learn more at the Fight For 15.
The student loan crisis can change, a lot.
Trump would like to eliminate the Department of Education. However, he has not gone into detail on how he'll replace the functions of that department's duties once it is dismantled. Privatizing loans is another point that Trump is very into, however he has not provided any details moving forward.
He has mentioned plans for lenders to make assumptions on your potential salary based on your declared major and for them to lend an amount that will commensurate with that salary.
He is also in favor of colleges turning away students who are known not to be high performers. Ideally, Trump would like colleges to have some "skin in the game" and also risk losing money when their students do not do well post-graduation.
If you're one of the 43 million people who owe student loan debt (and you probably are), just keep on keepin' on. Make efforts to repay what you owe and hope for a plan that will encompass and reword all monies owed.
You'll need to dig deeper for retirement.
Trump plans to "save Social Security," putting a stop to the "tremendous waste, fraud and abuse" in the program, despite that being patently untrue. He opposes raising the retirement age (it is currently 66 or 67), but does note that current retirees and those close to retirement can be assured of their benefits. No further details have been given.
He has suggested that the super rich and those not in need of the safety net, like himself, should forgo the payout and allow those funds to be redistributed to others.
If you plan on getting old, I suggest you do not plan on Social Security being your safety net. The fact of the matter is, it may not be there for us when we retire. For workers under the age of 40, it's looking very bleak. The fund will be exhausted by 2034, only able to pay out 75% of what recipients are due. Pensions have disappeared or at best are no longer a sure thing. 10,000 retire every single day in America. The only way to shore up the Social Security benefits to cover everyone (and the generations to follow) is to raise taxes to increase contributions, raise the retirement age, or both.
This 2012 report sums it up nicely: Too many people are living too long, all the baby boomers are retiring, and things cost more than they used to.
No one will take care of you better than you can take care of yourself. Save early, often, and as much as you can.