President-Elect Trump and Your Financial Future

This week is Thanksgiving in the USA and we have a lot of things to thankful for, both for living here in this country and in our own family life. But do we take the time to think about those things? There is at least one day of the year we try to do it and that day is Thanksgiving. It’s a great time to take stock of you fortunes and your blessings and share with your family. Sure, we all have problems, but we also had so many things to be grateful for don’t we? That makes it a very important day.

With a new incoming administration, the US faces quite a bit of uncertainty. Here are some of the considerations that will affect your financial future.

But having said that, the dust hasn’t yet settled on the 2016 presidential election and it’s clear to see that there is a lot of uncertainty in our social, political and economic future. The election of Donald Trump to the presidency, an idea that a year ago seemed more like only a comedy bit on SNL than a possibility, is now a comedy bit on SNL about our next president! That has put a cloud of uncertainty over us. That cloud has a lot of people, about half of all Americans, worried about what path the country will be taking over the next 4 years. For many, those concerns are social and political in nature. But financially speaking, there are big concerns that can affect everyone no matter what your situation is or on which side of the political spectrum you stand upon. What will you financial future look like?

One of my biggest pet peeves is when the talking heads on the cable news channels address subjects like this that no one has the answers to by saying things like “here’s what we don’t know”. This only makes us more nervous and confused than ever. But no matter what you or I really feel about that, the Trump presidency is the poster child for that phrase.  After dinner on Thursday at Thanksgiving, you may want to spend a few minutes and ask yourself some questions. Maybe you can find the answers that the pundits haven’t done.

What are the fears that you face?

Uncertainty of what exactly Mr. Trump really believes in many cases is fueling the fires when it comes to potential policies that may or may not be instituted. For one thing, over the past 18 months and in some cases even further back than that, he’s shown a pattern of reversing what he says quite often. In fact, just looking at his political loyalties to party will show that he has changed parties several times between Democrat and Republican and even a period of Independent declaration with no affiliation more than once. When it comes down to specifics, the same thing seems to happen over and over again in such issues as immigration, trade, and even whether or not he will defend himself in such things as the Trump University lawsuit.  Just this week he reversed himself by settling the case when he had repeatedly sworn that he would never do that, ever. Uncertainty in the behavior of the leader of the free world impacts everyone and everything. Financial markets are subject to that bear just like you and I. So, I ask myself…

What will happen to the stock market, here and around the world?

Just prior to the election on November 8th, the US stock market was in a decline, and actually was losing value for a period that was longer than any series of days in a row since the market drop in 2008. Granted, the decline wasn’t as severe as the 2008 bust and it has since recovered slightly, but it had investors very worried that we might be on the brink of a huge drop-off when the election results became known, especially if Mr. Trump were to win.

The same was true all around the world as many of our allies were and are worried that our foreign policies with allies and foes alike will change. A Trump-led foreign policy calls for much more withdrawn protectionist, even isolationist, policies which may result in negative results for world economies. We saw that happen briefly after the British Brexit results but have seen some stability return to European and Asian markets since then. Nevertheless, a large number of financial analysts still are predicting dire results for US markets in 2017.

What will happen to Social Security and your future?

The dilemma about the solvency of Social Security continues just as it has for over the past 30 years. The problem now is that we are on the brink of the system really and finally realizing the shortages that were predicted decades ago. It always seemed like it was far off in the future and that we would certainly have plenty of time to handle it. Yeah right, a funny thing happened on the way to today, and that was nothing was actually done. Does that surprise anyone? Washington had been stuck in the mud (or swamp if you prefer) on a lot of issues and Social Security has become another one of them.

What will change about Social Security to preserve or even improve it? Will it become privatized under a Trump Administration like President George Bush, Jr. tried to implement about 10 years ago? The next president is unclear as to what his approach will be. On the one hand, he said he will not touch “entitlements” like Social Security. Then on the other, he says that he may want to privatize the system.  Will the taxable amounts of your pay be increased or even include all of your pay being taxed? What will be the age you can retire: 67? 68? Will it be even higher? Will new policy mean that future generations will get no Social Security at all?

Will US foreign trade policy change and what about the cost of imports to the USA?

There is great uncertainty on what will happen to trade policies such that Trump has threatened that if he can, he will repeal NAFTA and prevent the TPP from being instituted here. If that happens, it will affect many Americans who currently benefit from cheaper imports into the US and make lots of products we buy much less affordable to purchase. Yes, the critics are correct that it has cost our country jobs. Trade is a such a pocketbook issue and that is a concern for everyone here and abroad.

Does anyone have a job for me?

Fact: according to the US Labor Department, more people are working today than ever before. This comes after a decade of high unemployment that reached 10% of the US population and now is under 5%. Critics will say that the reported numbers are flawed with underemployed people in the mix and the many who just have given up looking for work which depresses the job market.

Mr. Trump optimistically calls for policies which he claims will provide work and new jobs for millions over the next decade, including jobs in industries like steel, auto manufacturing, and energy. The lost jobs have either left our country or are a product of those who wanted to develop jobs from only clean energy sources.

Is climate change a myth?

Controversy 101.  Is climate change caused by man-made phenomena? Or is it a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese government as per President-Elect-Trump? If we ignore the changes, and create more new jobs in the coal industry as he has promised, is that good? Is that progress? Whatever the path that is chosen, it will have a major effect on lives today and perhaps on lives long into the future.

Final Thoughts

Thanksgiving dinner is a time to have family and friends around you and I hope all of us are lucky enough to do just that. But also, when I think of this time, I can’t help but think about the future too. Not just mine, but of the loved ones who are here and will follow me into the future. That’s why I suggest taking some time when you have everyone together to talk about such serious things as our future. Politics is not the purpose of this post. What is though are the social and economic impacts that the President-Elect’s policies (or lack thereof) may have on our lives both today and in the future.

We have so much to be grateful for and despite the controversy and disagreement about almost everything we do and say as Americans, we can all agree on one thing. That is that we’d all rather be here facing our problems than anywhere else. I feel certain we will face our problems and solve them together as we have done in the past. The stakes are high; we all know that to be true. Now that we have made our choices in Election 2016, it’s time to do whatever we all can do to make sure we protect our future!

Are you worried about the changes that may occur under the new presidential administration? Do you worry about the economy and Wall Street and the effects it can have on your financial future?


  1. Wishing you and the family a Happy Thanksgiving! I believe there is a level of uncertainly anytime a new president is elected. Will they change course on promises they made to get elected? They only thing we can do is wait and see. The best thing we can do is give the new administration a chance, do our part by supporting our neighbors, working hard, helping one another. We all have to do our part too.

  2. Emily @ JohnJaneDoe

    Honestly, I have no idea what to expect from the Trump administration financially. We’re on ACA, and I worry about the cost of healthcare for us when the subsidies go away (which I expect.) The tax plan sounds ominous, especially for single parents with multiple kids…and frankly for us. The stock market is hitting record highs, but something tells me it’s like the end of a sinking ship poking up before it plunges. Maybe not.

    Mostly, I’m trying to look to historical data for comparisons, but i know I’ll need to look beyond my lifetime and I’m still not sure what it means for our wallet.

  3. I like the Scouts comment Gary – be prepared (and hope for the best!) Our plan has some contingencies that we can use down the road if needed. I’m not expecting our pensions and SS to “go away” but doubt they will ever be fully funded (especially SS). Health care is the scary one – and the one that seems to be giving most people stress. Happy Thanksgiving Gary – and thanks for all you share!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Gary! I’ve learned over the years that since I can control very little of the world outside of my own actions, that it’s best if I prepare for a secure future for me/my loved ones. No debt. Plush savings. Stockpiling. If we prepare for a potential worst, we’ll be secure in most things no matter what the future holds.

  5. Kelly

    The dollar now is great. Most of US companies based in other countries are returning to US because of the promise of Trump to prioritize America first. I think it’s a good sign of better economy for the US.

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