Looking Forward for 2021

2021 could present certain trends and implications that our financial planning clients may find worth noting. Now that the Democratic party has the oval office and majorities in both the Senate and House, some portion of the federal estate tax exemption for those with a certain net worth could be on the chopping block and there seems to be no end to the pandemic’s effect on the health of the economy. 

It’s time to speak with us now in order to weigh your options and position your portfolio. Here’s what’s on the line…

  • Interest rates under a new administration
  • Tax policy changes under a more progressive government
  • Pandemic considerations in spite of vaccinations
  • Cash for savings, money markets, short-term Treasuries, and CDs to cover short and long term situations
  • Stock investments in an uncertain market ahead
  • More targeted charitable giving during Covid-19
  • Advance directives, such as a living will, health-care proxy, and do-not-resuscitate order
  • Considerations based on where you are in your life (raising a family, heading for retirement, currently retired, employment situation) 

Financial planning, wealth management and investment planning work together to help you reach your financial goal regardless of what may come in 2021. Call today.

Advent Season, Advent Wreath

When it comes to preparation for the Covid Christmas of 2020, we can go nuts on decorating the inside and outside of our house, spend hours shopping online, gain a few pounds baking cookies and cakes, and feel really sorry for ourselves that we won’t be wearing that ugly Christmas sweater to all the usual festivities.

Or, we can put the craziness on pause and prepare ourselves and our families for the annual remembrance of the coming of Jesus Christ through our own acts of charity, personal reflection, honest conversation…and an Advent wreath.

The time between November 29 and Christmas Eve is Advent Season—four weeks of spiritual preparation for the coming of a child that changed the world. For many Christians, it’s a devotional time spent lighting candles on an Advent Wreath prior to the evening meal, a Bible reading, and a small prayer prior to the blessing of the food. Others may use an Advent Calendar to encourage children to count down the days through pictures and items that represent each day of December leading up to Christmas. 

The candles on the Advent Wreath invite us to pause in silence to understand the real reason for the season: preparation for Christ’s coming.

Only if people change will the world change; and in order to change, people need the light that comes from God, the light which so unexpectedly entered into our night on that first Christmas.

—Pope Benedict XVI. Homily at Mass for the Nativity of the Lord, 25 Dec 2008

Meanings of the Advent Wreath

The wreath is a circle signifying continuous life: no beginning, no end; an eternal God; immortality of the soul; and everlasting life through Christ.

The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. One candle is lit each Sunday until all four burn brightly. Three candles are purple, one is pink.

The Prophecy Candle
The first purple candle symbolizes hope in remembrance of the prophet Isaiah who foretold the birth of Christ. 

The Bethlehem Candle
The second purple candle reminds us of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and symbolizes trust in God’s promise.

The Shepherd’s Candle
The third candle is pink. It symbolizes joy that the world experienced with the birth of Jesus.

The Angel’s Candle
The third purple candle marks the final week of prayer and penance as we await the birth of our Savior, much like the shepherds in the field near Bethlehem.

Christ Candle
It’s become a popular tradition to place a white candle in the middle of the wreath to represent purity of sinlessness as seen in the life of Christ. It’s lit on Christmas Eve at evening prayer, and again at morning prayer on Christmas day. What a wonderful way to prepare our mind and heart for the promise of Christmas!

Blessings to you and your family from all of us at the Stewardship Foundation.