As I write this on Monday, it appears that President Trump’s and the Senates Republicans’ attempts to repeal (and potentially replace) Obamacare have failed. By the time you read this, though, that may certainly change. For if there is one thing this story has taught us, it is that there is little one can count on during contentious political times.
Heck, it’s not like passing the Affordable Care Act was an easy thing even when the Democrats were in power during (slightly) less contentious times.
Getting into the political debate over the issue is not necessary or proper for this spot. If you want blogs that do that, you can find enough of them to keep you occupied until … well forever most likely as it is not likely this battle is end sanytime soon. From the moment Trump was elected, though, questions abounded as to how one’s tax picture would change if our country’s current health care plan went away.
Those questions were plentiful, and possible answers to those questions were probably more plentiful. Note though that they were only possible answers at the time and seem ever less likely to be possible the longer it takes for this saga to play out. It is impossible to say that prognostication plays no part in the financial world (the stock market is run by it in some way, after all), but it really should only go so far.
After all, if anyone made any significant changes because they were certain changes were coming in their company’s obligations concerning health insurance, they are hurting now as they roll back some numbers to what they were before any of this predicting began.
In here are many lessons …
First, work only from the numbers that are definite in your reporting. I have warned against fudging such things in an optimistic way before, for no matter how glass half-full you want to be, dealing with real numbers is what will allow you to get to the point where you can feel great because things are actually great.
Second, just as you have to work with real numbers, you have to work with real situations. If things happen in the political realm that suddenly improve your situation, celebrate that bonus when it happens. Counting on serendipity, however, is not sound financial advice.
Third, understand the timing of the political world. Things felt like they were going to completely change when Trump was elected, as it symbolized a great new world for some and a feared new world for others. Both sides, however, would now have to admit that whatever hopes or horrors they saw coming did not come to pass as quickly as felt possible at the moment. One must look to the future to be successful, but dealing with the present takes precedence.
Finally, try to keep your political views separate from your financial ones. You may wish that things were different than they are, but those wishes will not change your legal obligations. Be active in the political world if there is change you want to help enact, but concede that you must operate in the world as it now is.
There are so many twists and turns along the way in life that we can never really know how things are going to turn out, so let’s start by owning today.
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