One positive outcome from Covid & 2020

While there are many aspects of 2020 which we might prefer be forgotten, there were a few positive outcomes from the year which need to be highlighted.  As a majority of individuals in the U.S. were sheltering-in-place during Covid-19 an interesting thing happened. Because we were unable to travel, dine out and generally entertain ourselves by spending lots of money, the U.S. personal savings rate jumped to a record 15% of gross income. As can be seen from the chart below, not since the early 80’s has the U.S. seen a savings rate even in excess of 10% and it has been as low as 3%, which occurred just prior to the Great Recession. Even though the jump in personal savings was not spread evenly throughout the population, it does represent a very positive change, one that shouldn’t be abandoned when the world returns to it’s new “normal”. It is interesting to note that in order to successfully fund retirement, it is recommended that a consistent annual savings rate of 10-15% is required. With this chart going back to 1960, Read on! →

Choosing an Advisor in the Time of Covid-19

If the shelter-in-place restrictions were not enough to take you off balance, the March recession and changes to your ongoing employment likely tipped the scale for you. Given the many months this crisis has continued on and amid so many uncertainties, where should you turn and how do you go about choosing an advisor to partner with for the future? Can you even search for an advisor during Covid-19? Clearview Wealth Management is fully able to meet virtually with you to help determine if there is a mutual fit for your situation and if we have the expertise you need to help you meet your goals. Whatever is driving your search for an advisor, there are some important aspects which should be considered before making your decision. Because this is not a decision most people make more than a few times in their lives, consider the following to help you narrow down your search for the right person. Choosing the Right Advisor – A Clearview Case Study example of advisor characteristics you should consider NAPFA Advisor Comparison Tool  – A Read on! →

The 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act and you!

As we begin the new year, there are many changes afoot which will impact clients in a variety of ways.  The passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduces many changes to personal income taxation beginning with the 2018 tax return filing.  The following contains a few of the highlights which will impact your overall taxation going forward.     2017 Individual Income Tax Rates 2018 Individual Income Tax Rates Married Filing Jointly and Surviving Spouses: Married Filing Jointly and Surviving Spouses: 10% (Taxable income not over $18,650) 10% (Taxable income not over $19,050) 15% (Over $18,650 but not over $75,900) 12% (Over $19,050 but not over $77,400) 25% (Over $75,900 but not over $153,100) 22% (Over $77,400 but not over $165,000) 28% (Over $153,100 but not over $233,350) 24% (Over 165,000 but not over $315,000) 33% (Over $233,350 but not over $416,700) 32% (Over 315,000 but not over $400,000) 35% (Over $416,700 but not over 470,700) 35% (Over $400,000 but not over 600,000) 39.6% (over $470,700) 37% (over $600,000) Single Individuals: Single Individuals: 10% (Taxable income not Read on! →

Moving from “tax” prep to “life” prep

At this time of year, everyone becomes a master at document gathering.  There is a shoe box or a filing system or a folder on your laptop to hold all the tax-related documents which are needed to complete your income tax returns.  It requires a diligent attitude to ensure nothing has been neglected or omitted which is important to the outcome of the bottom line.  Once the taxes have been submitted for the year, there is always a sigh of relief in getting to completion. Before you pack everything up and put it away for another year, take a step beyond tax prep and begin your life prep.  What does life prep really mean?  Like tax preparation, the devil is in the details and it is critical to your financial success that you take the time to examine and shore up the other areas of your financial life. You can start with that recently completed tax return.  Did you save to your employer plan and thereby reduce your current income?  If eligible, did you contribute to a Roth or regular Read on! →