You’ve probably heard about the national debt ceiling and its recent extension, but you might wonder what it has to do with your everyday life as a family. While it may seem like a distant matter, the national debt ceiling extension can have a significant impact on your family's financial well-being and future planning.
So what exactly is the national debt ceiling extension?
The national debt ceiling is a legal limit set on the amount of money the government can borrow to finance its operations and meet its financial obligations domestically and around the globe. When the government reaches this limit, it cannot borrow more money unless Congress raises or extends the country’s debt ceiling. If the ceiling isn’t raised and the United States can’t pay back its debts, the country’s global creditworthiness is affected as well as financial security abroad and at home.
Congress raised the national debt ceiling on June 3, 2023, which means the United States will not default on its loans. This is good news, and yet the extension of the debt ceiling can still affect the economy and your family.
Here’s how the national debt ceiling extension can affect the economy, and your family, and what you can do to mitigate the impacts.
Access to Credit and Loans
You likely rely on credit and loans for various purposes, such as buying a home, financing education, or handling unexpected expenses. When the national debt ceiling is extended, it can create uncertainty in the financial markets, leading to higher interest rates and tighter lending conditions. This means that securing affordable credit and loans for major life milestones or managing financial emergencies may become more challenging.
One of the ways you can mitigate this impact could be to consider starting a business or a side hustle, so you can create multiple revenue streams instead of just being reliant on one, and leverage access to business credit, which can be more accessible and less expensive than using personal credit, even in tight lending markets.
Consumer Confidence and Spending Habits
Your family's financial health may be closely tied to the state of the external economy. When there is uncertainty surrounding the national debt ceiling, coupled with high inflation, it can affect consumer confidence and spending habits. As people become concerned about the government's ability to manage its debt, they may tighten their spending, leading to decreased demand for certain goods and services. This can have a direct impact on your job stability, income growth, and even your ability to save and invest for the future.
One way to mitigate this risk is to begin to separate the well-being of your family from the greater economy by creating your own local economy, wherever possible. If that feels far afield, consider ways that you can begin to generate income locally by making a product that friends and neighbors would want and need, or providing a side service within your local community.
Government Programs and Support
Government programs and support play a crucial role in many families’ lives, especially during challenging times. However, when the national debt ceiling is extended, it can put pressure on government budgets, leading to potential cuts or delays in funding for essential programs and services. This may directly affect your access to healthcare, education, housing assistance, and other forms of support that your family relies on.
If you have a child or family member with special needs or an elderly family member you are supporting this may affect you even more. Now is the time to get into closer relationships with your nuclear and extended family, marshall all the family resources, and get into a conversation about how you can use all the family resources to support all of the children and elders in the best way possible.
Tax and Fiscal Policies
Changes in tax and fiscal policies, often influenced by the national debt, can have a significant impact on your family's finances. As the government seeks ways to manage the national debt, it may consider adjustments to tax rates, deductions, or credits. These changes can directly affect your take-home income, savings, and overall financial planning. Understanding and adapting to these shifts is crucial for effectively managing your family's budget and long-term wealth and legacy.
You can be fairly certain tax rates will go up to support the debt extension. And, the middle class, especially those who do not know how to mitigate tax impacts with legal entity structuring, is likely to bear the burden.
Ongoing Guidance for Your Family
We understand that managing your family's financial and legal well-being can feel overwhelming, especially when it’s hard to know how changes in the law and the financial landscape will affect you. But remember, you don't have to face these challenges alone. Our mission is to provide you with the support and guidance you need as you navigate changes in the law so you can build a life you love while protecting and preserving your wealth and legacy for the next generation.
While we aren’t financial advisors, we can connect you with a trusted network of professionals and work alongside your financial and tax advisors to make sure your estate plan coordinates with your overall financial plan and protects your family’s wishes and wealth no matter what the future brings.
This article is a service of the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, an estate planning law firm in Honolulu, Hawaii. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That is why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you have ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by contacting our office today to schedule a planning session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.
Disclaimer: All information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney trained to work with families on estate planning matters regarding your specific situation. Use of and access to this website or any of the email links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, and any users or any other party.