Everyone is upset about the debt crisis and how the government is handling it. And we all should be. But at some point, we need to stop being mad and start looking for the positives that could result from the deadlock. Here are three reasons we may soon be celebrating:
Harsh realities bring clarity. Many people understand that Social Security is in trouble and that we have issues with Medicare and Medicaid. But they did not know the severity of those issues, and the other problems the government faces. They were not aware that Social Security is about to fall off a cliff, and that all the money they put into that system could be for naught. The younger they are, the less—if any—they will get.
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Many people also did not know that their health plan for retirement, Medicare, is going off that same cliff, leaving them without health care when they may need it the most. Retirees count on Medicare as primary insurance coverage for major medical expenses. Without it, a catastrophic medical event could bankrupt a retiree's nest egg, or significantly increase private insurance premiums. Clearly understanding the issues is the key to your security. Conflict brings these and other issues to the forefront.
A more fiscally responsible country would restore American confidence. That confidence could strengthen our position as the world's economic powerhouse. Being securely in the number one position brings optimism and confidence, which is something the American people have not had in years.
With this renewed optimism, the U.S. economy and stock markets could rally for years to come. That would significantly help you in retirement, because it would guarantee you had Social Security as a reliable income source, that you had health care at a nominal cost when you needed it most, and that your investments—including your IRAs, 401(k)s, and brokerage accounts—would be increasing steadily. All in all, it would help America get on—and stay on—the right track.
Change is hard, but change is good. If a system is failing, oftentimes it is overlooked or pushed under the rug until failure is imminent. But when our economic, government, social spending, government pension, Social Security and Medicare systems are failing, change must happen.
Change of this magnitude takes conflict, and this could be the conflict to do it. But hold on to your hat because as you have seen it has not and will not be a walk in the park. Don't be upset the U.S. is having troubles, be happy it is finally coming to a head, and that we are dealing with it. Hopefully, it will be dealt with quickly, and that the significant change America goes through will be the change it needs.
In the end, if done correctly, it will put more money in your pocket. Good luck and happy investing.
Kelly Campbell, CFP® and Accredited Investment Fiduciary, is founder of Campbell Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor in Alexandria, Va. Campbell is also the author of Fire Your Broker, a controversial look at the broker industry written as an empathetic response to the trials and tribulations many investors have faced as the stock market cratered and their advisers abandoned their responsibilities to help them weather the storm.