Will Britain Bid the European Union Cheeri-EU?

While we celebrate the Memorial Day holiday in the United States, the big question on European minds is how the British people will vote on June 23.  Will they vote to leave the European Union (what’s being called the “Brexit”) or decide to continue to be part of the 28-nation economic alliance?

What’s at stake?  It’s hard to know, exactly.  Great Britain already maintains its own currency, separate from the euro, so the vote will be about whether the country continues to pay into the EU budget and adhere to the eurozone’s regulations.  Norway is also living outside the EU, yet it contributes to the budget, adheres to the regulations and seems to get most of the benefits of membership—and thereby offers a way for Britain to exit and still maintain all the trappings of membership.  The uncertainty over the seven years that would be required to transition out of membership would be over how, exactly, a new relationship would be structured.

The eurozone is suffering from high unemployment, low economic growth and a disparity between the richer (UK, Germany, Scandinavia) and poorer (Greece, Spain) nations.  All European Union members are governed by policies created by the European Commission and the European parliament, and subject to the dispute resolution powers of the European Court of Justice.  British voters might decide they don’t like the shared sovereignty and ties to the economic problems.

Naturally, there is a lot of lobbying on both sides in the run-up to the vote.  Economists seem to be uniformly against a Brexit, pointing out the obvious: that it would be hard for London to continue its role as the financial capital of Europe if its nation is not actually a part of the European Union.  They point out that, unlike Greece, Britain already controls its own currency, and it is not a part of the passport-free zone, which is shorthand for having control over its own policies in regard to the Middle Eastern refugee crisis.

Those in favor of Brexit say that Britain would be freer to enter into trade deals with other countries (think: China) than it is today, and of course there is a lot of nationalist sentiment about reducing foreign influence over British affairs.

Who will win?  The most recent polls show 46% of British voters will cast a ballot to leave the EU, vs. 44% who will vote to remain—and 10% who say they don’t know how they’ll vote.  A little less than a month from the actual Brexit election, there appears to be plenty of time for either side to continue pressing their case.

Ultimately, hand-wringing over the vote during the month of June will likely contribute to stock market volatility until the vote is settled. My personal opinion is that British Citizens will vote to remain in the Union. Europeans, including the British, fought hard for decades to unite; they likely won’t give up on that union that easily.

If you would like to review your current investment portfolio or discuss any other financial planning matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our website at http://www.ydfs.com. We are a fee-only fiduciary financial planning firm that always puts your interests first.  If you are not a client yet, an initial consultation is complimentary and there is never any pressure or hidden sales pitch.

Enjoy your Memorial Day Holiday. We are grateful to the soldiers and families who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Sources:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/70d0bfd8-d1b3-11e5-831d-09f7778e7377.html#axzz40tXOLR6p

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/e7b2d4d4-daea-11e5-98fd-06d75973fe09.html#axzz48O9tGx46

http://www.economist.com/node/21697253

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/668624/EU-referendum-ICM-poll-UK-on-course-for-Brexit-Europe-Day

The MoneyGeek thanks guest writer Bob Veres for his contribution to this post

Work Longer, Live Longer

There’s finally an answer to an age-old question: How can you live a longer, more satisfying life?

The answer: work past the traditional retirement age of 65.

A new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health looked at the risk of dying for different age groups of Americans, and compared it to their retirement age.  The researchers found that the likelihood of dying in any given year was 11% lower among people who delayed retirement for just one single year—from age 65 to age 66.  By age 70, people who continued working experienced a 38% lower risk of dying than people of the same age who had retired at age 65.  By age 72, the risk was 44% lower.  These results seemed not to be affected by other variables, like gender, lifestyle, education, income and even occupation.

CA - 2016-5-6 - Work longer, live longer

Why is working longer good for your health?  The article suggested that when you continue working, even part-time, your normal age-related decline in physical and mental functioning happens more slowly.  You’re having to stay engaged in the complicated work-world, which keeps you sharp—and, apparently, alive.

If you would like to discuss your retirement age or any other financial planning matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our website at http://www.ydfs.com. We are a fee-only fiduciary financial planning firm that always puts your interests first.  If you are not a client yet, an initial consultation is complimentary and there is never any pressure or hidden sales pitch.

Sources:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/retiring-after-65-may-help-people-live-longer-1462202016

The MoneyGeek thanks Bob Veres for his contribution to this post.

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