Predicting the future is neither as hard nor as easy as it wouldappear. Anyone can have a high degree of confidence foreseeing thedirection of things for the next four quarters. And while exactprecision (i.e., “black swan” events) might be difficult to discernwhen peering into the crystal ball for hints at what the world willlook like in 10 years (and beyond), it's almost impossible to misscertain general trends.

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The hard part is the vast middle. Forecasting between one yearand 10 years ahead reflects nothing more than dart throwing. Here,the only thing distinguishing the low-brow fortune teller from thehigh-brow academic is their Flesch-Kincaid score. (For those notfamiliar with readability analysis, this refers to the relativecomplexity of the language they use.) With that in mind, the bestlong-term predictions are those that rely on humor rather thancertitude. With that in mind, here are my top three predictions for2017.

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#1: February 2, 2017 – President Trump's DOL suspends theObama DOL's new fiduciary rule, which was finalized in the latterhalf of 2016. “President Trump?” you ask. He beat Joe Biden in alandslide. “Joe Biden?” you ask. He was drafted after Hillaryannounced, just before the Democratic convention, she was steppingaside for “health reasons” and to “spend time with her family.”Later that same week, well after the last editor of The LosAngeles Times left work on Friday, the White House officiallyissued a Nixonian pardon absolved Hillary of any crimes she “may ormay not have beeen involved with.”

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#2: July 15, 2017 – Fidelity reports the number of 401(k)millionaires have surpassed a quarter of a million people, morethan tripling the number reported in February 2015. They attributethis to two factors: First, what is now being called the “TrumpRally”—a more than doubling in the stock market since polls beganpointing toward a Trump landslide in September 2016; and,spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Ted Cruz, the passage of theRomney IRA. The former became a tidal force that raised theretirement savings boats of all employees and the latter removedthe savings cap on all retirement plans.

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#3: September 2, 2017 – In a huge White House ceremony,the Child IRA is signed into legislation, removing the dependenceon Social Security for all Americans born after Jan. 1, 2017. Onthis day, the anniversary of the enactment of ERISA, surrounded bydozens of new born babies and their photogenic moms, agrandfatherly Donald Trump pens the historic law enabling allchildren to begin saving up to $1,000 a year in their own personalretirement savings accounts through age 18. Invested at normalmarket return rates, this new generation will likely have more than$2.25 million when they retire at age 70—and that's before theystart saving for retirement on their own.

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There you go. Believe it? If so, I have a bridge in Arizona tosell you.

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal FiduciaryNews.com and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christophercarosa/)and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChrisCarosa).