2020 provides unique year-end tax planning opportunities for several reasons, including lower tax rates, the Secure Act passed in late 2019, and the Cares Act passed earlier this year. While we expect there to be tax code changes down the road as a result of a new presidency and legislature, it is important to stay focused on current tax planning opportunities with an eye to the future.
Potential opportunities include
Income Bracket Management:
We are including our 2020 End of Year Checklist for your review. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions.
Last month we wrote about essential planning documents for our young adults. This month it is all about you! Living through a third surge of Covid-19 is reason enough to get your house in order.
Ideally, you have executed a complete set of estate planning documents, including a will, revocable trusts, health care power-of-attorney, advance directive, and durable power-of-attorney. If your estate is larger and/or more complex, planning may extend beyond these documents.
Many of our clients have college age/young adult children over 18. Even though that might not be the milestone they are most excited about (like the one that comes 3 years later!), it is a major milestone in the eyes of the law. At that point our government considers them adults. They can now:
+Join the Military (men have to register for selective service)
+Manage their own money
+Serve on a jury
+Sign a contract
On the other hand, parents are no longer able to:
-Access their medical information
-Make health care decisions
-Access their financial accounts (unless you have joint ownership)
-Access their school records (even though you may be paying)
It is easy to get caught up in life and lose sight of the details. We live busy lives. Whether you are raising a family or approaching retirement, one can unintentionally veer off-track. Often it is our financial health that can suffer.
When the unexpected happens (which it often does) the impact can feel devastating. Having a strong balance sheet can soften the blow. Our personal balance sheet is a barometer of our financial strength and it also provides very important clues about risk and financial vulnerability.
We are passionate about helping our clients grow and preserve their assets. In the course of our financial planning* for clients we are noticing an absence of umbrella policies, particularly for those who fall into the affluent or business owner buckets. Hence we have prepared a short summary about umbrella policies including what it is, how to determine your coverage needs and why it is important to your financial security.
One of the biggest milestones in a person’s life is the decision to start a family (or not). With the arrival of that cute bundle of joy comes a whole host of other experiences and adventures. But in the back of almost every parent’s mind is ‘how am I going to save for college’? And while it usually feels like it is an eternity away - we all know the saying ‘the days drag and the years fly’. Before you know it they are taking SATs and doing college tours. There is good reason that this concern is one of the many, many issues we worry about as parents; college can be extremely expensive, and the costs continue to increase dramatically over time.
This seems like a good time to talk about risk. Today risk is present in everything we do - from deciding to wear a mask, to going to the grocery store, to visiting with friends, to flying on a plane. Doing ordinary activities that we barely gave a second thought to six months ago are now important decisions to be made. Is the risk worth it?
In the investment world we talk about risk...a lot. It is a key investment concept.
Looking for vacation alternatives? A good old fashioned road trip is at the top of the list for many people this summer. However, COVID-19 adds a layer of consideration and we thought this list might be helpful if you are planning a 4-wheel getaway.
Have fun and enjoy the ride!
A growing concern of gerontologists, financial regulators, and law enforcement is the increasing number of cases of elder financial abuse, often due to diminished mental capacity. This includes mild cognitive impairment as well as dementia and in the beginning it is not easy to recognize. It can accelerate quickly or slowly. Every case is different.
During stressful situations, our brain alerts us to "proceed with caution". That makes sense...if we were cave men or women, it might have saved our lives. Now we are living in a stressful world with the Coronavirus and it is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Having a financial plan in this new reality is more important than ever.
Jenifer Aronson is the Founder of Mosaic Fi.