The holidays provide an opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. As you enjoy the company of your loved ones this holiday season, take a moment to reflect on the planning that should be done to prepare for the unexpected and protect your family. If something happened to you, would your loved ones be taken care of? Have you had open family discussions about income protection in the event of job loss, disability, or death? Do you plan to leave an inheritance, and who will be in charge of the execution of your estate? What if you have a health issue, do you have proper Health Care Powers of Attorney in place, and is your family aware of what role they have been designated to play? Remember, part of the process of implementing your financial plan involves informing your loved ones of your decisions to ensure proper execution of your wishes and avoid family turmoil in the future. What better time than when surrounded by family and friends to remind us to review our coverages/documents and to have Read on! →
As we head into the homestretch of 2014, now is a good time to provide an update for the tax-related changes you can expect for 2015. Some of these will be purely informational; some of them should spur you to take action so you are prepared when the year begins. Social Security Social Security benefits will increase by 1.7% beginning in January to account for cost-of-living increases. For those individuals receiving Social Security benefits prior to Full Retirement Age (FRA) for Social Security, the earnings limit for 2015 is $15,720. For every $2 in earnings above the limit, $1 in SS benefits will be withheld. For employees, Social Security and Medicare tax withholding are as follows: Social Security taxes will be withheld at a rate of 6.2% for employees up to a wage base of $118,500, or a maximum of $7,347 for 2015. Medicare taxes are withheld at a rate of 1.45% for employees for all wages, with no maximum wage base. The Medicare surtax will be withheld by employers for those employees whose wages exceed $200,000, at an additional Read on! →
Will a tax incentive motivate you to save more? The reality for most is a resounding, YES. If this sounds like you, you may be interested to learn about a new rule regarding after-tax contributions that may affect your 401(k) Plan in 2015. A recent ruling by the IRS may give many small business owners and high wage earners incentive to contribute more to 401(k) plans. Beginning in 2015, eligible employees will be allowed to shift after-tax 401(k) contributions directly to a Roth IRA upon separation from service. For individuals who can easily exceed 401(k) pretax contribution limits or income limits for Roth IRA contributions, this means there is a new option for additional retirement savings and the potential for substantial tax savings during retirement. The Roth IRA Advantage In 2015, couples earning $193,000 or more and individuals earning $131,000 or more are not eligible to directly contribute to a Roth IRA. For couples and individuals whose earnings are under these thresholds, contributions up to $5,500 (plus $1,000 “catch up” if 50 or older) per year are allowed. The advantages Read on! →
Clearview Wealth Management has gone to great lengths to leverage interactive technology platforms to enhance the overall client experience, improve client-advisor communication, and increase service standards to provide a more proactive and versatile approach to each client relationship. Eric Clark was recently featured by The Wall Street Journal to showcase Clearview’s hands-on approach to help older clients embrace online technology. If you have a subscription to The Wall Street Journal online, you can read the article in its entirety here.
In the past, employees traditionally worked for one company for the majority of their career. However, this is becoming increasingly uncommon for today’s workers. Employees are typically feeling unappreciated and overworked, and as a result a number of individuals are seeking a job change more often than we have seen in the past. With intra-career job transition becoming more the “norm” in today’s society, it’s important for you, as the employee, to understand the impact such a transition will have on your financial situation, the level of control you will have with certain benefits, the benefits you might be forced to leave behind and the critical decisions you’ll need to make along the way. Regardless of why you are transitioning into a new role, if you find yourself in this position make sure you consider the following to ensure a smooth transition. Considerations for your current/previous employer benefits Changing jobs presents you with an opportunity to consolidate and take control of your retirement benefits. While each company specific plan will have its own rules, there are a number of questions to consider when Read on! →