Give Smart this Giving Tuesday

Today marks Giving Tuesday 2014. It is well known that giving comes from the heart and is not typically financially motivated, but it doesn’t hurt to receive a little benefit when your tax liability is reduced.  Taxes and charitable giving are unique to the individual. Since these recommendations might not be appropriate for everyone, always check with a professional advisor before making any final decisions. Donating Appreciated Stock Starting with the basics, you can typically donate appreciated stocks and mutual funds directly to a charity equipped to accept them.  If you want to make several gifts to multiple recipients consider opening a donor advised fund with either Charles Schwab or Fidelity Investments.  The donation to a donor advised fund is tax deductible in the year deposited to the account.  If you want to make several donations or you aren’t sure which charity you want to give to, the donor advised fund is ideal.  For more information on donor advised funds please visit the Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments websites by clicking the links below. https://www.schwabcharitable.org https://www.fidelitycharitable.org Qualified Charitable Distributions The Read on! →

2015: New Rule for After-Tax Contributions to Your Qualified Retirement Plan

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! →

Eric Clark, CFP® featured in The Wall Street Journal

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.    

4th Quarter Small Business Considerations

The Year End Crunch For many, the passing of Labor Day signals the beginning of fall and the inevitable acceleration of year-end activities.  Year-end is punctuated by striving to make annual goals, completion of next year’s business plan and the number of work days reduced by holidays.  In other words, the 4th quarter is very busy and it is never too early to begin thinking about and documenting what must get done. Is Healthcare on the Radar? While not in the news as much, open enrollment for 2015 Affordable Care Act health insurance coverage begins November 15, 2014.  If you are a business owner considering offering health insurance to your employees, take time to review how the Insurance Marketplace works in your area.  The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace is open to employers with 50 or fewer full time equivalent employees (FTE) and might provide an affordable way to provide health insurance to employees.  For businesses with fewer than 25 employees, health insurance costs can sometimes be offset by tax credits.  The tax credit is worth up to Read on! →

Don’t Leave the “What-Ifs” to Chance

If you are like most individuals, once you put your home and automobile insurance coverage in place you rarely, if ever tune in to the subtle, periodic changes your insurance company makes to the coverage parameters and the associated costs.  These typically include inflationary adjustments to reflect increases in home values and mandates by state regulatory agencies.  If you are more diligent, you proactively work with your property and casualty agent to adjust coverages for such things as home improvements, fine jewelry and art purchases and you might even assess deductibles from time-to-time.  While adding coverage for tangible assets may be obvious, what might not be as clear is a trend by insurance companies to change deductibles from specific dollar amounts to a percentage of your home value. The Basics Overall, both auto and homeowner’s deductibles have been climbing in recent years. While auto deductibles are now often $500 to $1,000, homeowners have moved toward $1,000 to $2,500 a claim from the $250 or $500 that once was common.  Traditional dollar based deductibles are still the norm but State Farm Read on! →