Save for Retirement and Tackle your Student Loans

A recent Forbes.com article entitled “Yes, you can save for retirement and pay your student loans” featured advice by Cheryl Sherrard regarding the desired approach for tackling student debt while also saving for the future. An excerpt from the article follows: Fund your emergency savings account. Once you’re doing the basics in terms of retirement savings and student loan payments, start stashing money in an emergency savings account. If an unexpected event occurs, having a rainy day fund will keep you from borrowing from your retirement account or taking on credit card debt. “You’ve got to have a cushion for emergencies,” says Cheryl J. Sherrard, a certified financial planner and director of financial planning and clearview wealth management in Charlotte, N.C. Increase payments strategically. After you’ve got your emergency account squared away, you can start thinking about the best way to direct any additional funds. If you have high-interest, private student loans, using extra cash to pay those off first is a smart move. If your student loans have low interest rates, you may be off better putting money in the Read on! →

Top 10 Financial Mistakes Women Make

An article posted December 8, 2015 by Sallie Krawcheck highlights “The Top 10 Financial Mistakes Women Make”. Here are her top 3 mistakes; see if they apply to you. Letting your husband or partner manage the money without your involvement. Signing your joint income tax return without reading it. Using your husband’s or partner’s financial provider, even if you don’t really like/know/can’t stand him. For the complete article, click here. If you want to be empowered and educated about your own financial situation, contact a Clearview Wealth Management advisor to discuss.  

2016 Tax and Plan Limits Announced

Based on recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers, the IRS and Social Security Administration have announced their 2016 limits. Social Security Social Security benefits will not see a cost-of-living increase for 2016. For those individuals receiving Social Security benefits prior to Full Retirement Age (FRA) for Social Security, the earnings limit remains at $15,720. For every $2 in earnings above the limit, $1 in SS benefits will be withheld. For new Medicare recipients, the cost of Medicare Part B is likely to be significantly higher. Because of the lack of a Cost-of-Living increase in existing SS benefits, many of those already on Medicare will not see an increase in their Part B premiums due to a long-standing hold harmless rule.   Therefore, the increase in Medicare costs will have to be shouldered primarily by new Medicare recipients and high income recipients, unless Congress takes additional action to control these increases. 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, Read on! →

When Millennials Move Back Home

Cheryl J. Sherrard, CFP was quoted in a September 21st article in the Wall Street Journal, focused on what parents should know, and do, about the financial challenges of boomerang children. More millennials are spending early adulthood in the same place where they spent their formative years: in their parents’ homes. It’s crucial that both parties understand the financial implications of this homecoming. For parents, a child’s return often means a greater financial burden, just as the parents may be struggling to meet their own savings and retirement goals. It also can make it more difficult for the millennials to acquire the financial skills they’ll need later in life. According to a recent study by PEW Research Center, the percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds living with their parents is higher today than it has been in decades. Currently, 26% are back in the nest, up from 22% in 2007. The rise has occurred among both high-school and college graduates, and has continued since the recession’s end, despite the fact that millennials are earning more and have a lower unemployment rate than Read on! →

Is This Proposed Medicare Benefit Enough?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled End-of-Life Talk Proposed as New Medicare Benefit highlighted an issue encountered as patients approach the very end of their lives.  While there may be doctors who are willing to discuss end of life plans with their patients, they are not currently being reimbursed by Medicare for the time they spend in these important discussions.  Does this result in doctors opting out of these conversations altogether, or they are waiting until it is essentially too late to talk about it? A Frontline special a few months ago highlighted the fact that many doctors continue to pursue medical options to the very end of a patient’s life, even when there is no hope and when continued treatment creates additional physical trauma for patients and their families.  Obviously doctors have the ultimate goal of healing their patients, but when the end is inevitable, lack of training has been cited as one of the reasons many medical doctors never have end-of-life discussions with their patients. While we may not be able to control whether or not Read on! →