We Shouldn’t Be Worrying About Tax Law Changes

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Following yesterday’s discussion of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, here’s some advice from the NYT’s Ron Lieber:

In the coming days, politicians and pundits will speak with great authority about what will happen now and what it means for you. That’s their job.

My job, however, is to remind you that we should express great skepticism toward anyone who claims to know how this tax bill will evolve, and how any bill would actually change our behavior and our financial lives.

I love this piece because Lieber lists a number of reasons why we shouldn’t spend too much of our time worrying about this tax bill (starting with “it’s probably going to go through multiple revisions and may not even pass”) before reminding us of what is more likely to affect our finances, long-term:

The biggest question mark for any of us comes from the unknowable future.

Will we change jobs? Earn more? Have kids? Help our adult children? Retire early because of our own choice, or choices made by employers who no longer want us around? These things matter so much more than any tax rules. Depending on how our lives change, any tax changes may help or hurt.

If you are still anxious about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or about the unknowable future, Lieber ends with a list of strategies that might help you prepare for these—or any other—financial changes.

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