As we look back on the last twelve months, we can certainly say 2021 was quite a year. We continued to battle COVID-19 and re-assimilate into pre-pandemic life, we saw lots of market volatility and corrections, and helped many of our clients achieve major financial milestones.
As we wrap up the year, we want to take a moment to discuss how grateful we are at Sherman Wealth to be able to do the work we do and love and help our clients reach and exceed their financial goals. So what are these financial milestones we are referring to? Let’s check out some of the amazing financial milestones some of our clients hit:
- With historically low interest rates this year, we assisted over 25 clients with their refinancing! And 5 went house shopping and ended up with a new home!
- Eleven families had children this year! And for those who already have children, 45 of them contributed to their children’s 529 plans to save for their college tuition.
- Charitable giving is always top of mind. At Sherman Wealth, we always are looking for ways to get involved in local givebacks and serve the local community. In fact, Brad Sherman was named Board Member of the Year 2021 at So What Else, which was extremely exciting for the Sherman Wealth team. Others were spreading the love too, with 11 clients contributing to their donor advised funds or donating stock!
- While COVID-19 taught us the importance of having a solid financial foundation in place, it also proved that life insurance, wills, medical derivatives, and powers of attorneys are crucial in such unfortunate times. Many took this up, with 28 clients planning or updating their estate.
- We always say retirement planning is key, so shout out to almost all our clients who maxed out their retirement contributions for 2021 (And if you’re reading this before the end of the year, you still have time!)
- 75 clients got a raise!
- 13 clients put their entrepreneurial skills to work this year and started their own company!
Look at all these amazing accomplishments your peers, family members, and friends achieved this year! While these are just a few of the financial milestones we saw this year, we want to stress the importance of financial independence and that you are only a few steps away from financial freedom. While these goals won’t be accomplished overnight, setting up a financial plan to achieve them is a great place to begin. It’s never too late to start on your path to achieving your future financial goals.
For those of you who are close to hitting your end-of-year 2021 goals, there are still a few weeks left before the end of the year to fund those HSA’s, 401k’s, and 529 plans. If you have any questions about your financial situation or setting up a plan to hit your financial goals, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a complimentary 30-minute meeting here.
Overview: Join us on this week’s episode of Launch Financial as we discuss inflation data that is the highest we’ve seen in 40 years along with recent market volatility. As we approach the end of the year, it’s important to hit your year-end goals and make sure you fund all your accounts before the new year.
We’ve seen and learned a lot over the past year and living thru a pandemic. One action taken out of the pandemic has been estate planning and writing wills. Most of us might not think we have enough money to be eligible and qualified to have an estate plan.
According to a 2020 survey by online legal documents company LegalZoom, “Thirty-two percent of the adults under 35 who wrote a will said it was because of the Covid-19 pandemic.” While many think they don’t have “enough” assets or are too young for a will, keep in mind that medical directives and powers of attorneys are great to have in place from a young age. Just know that it’s never too early to plan to protect your assets and estate. Your estate plan will help clarify your wishes for after your death and simplify an already difficult time.
While these decisions are often-times difficult and not always top-of-mind, we have created a checklist that will help simplify the process for you. In addition, we have recently recorded a podcast episode with Head of Trusts and Estates Practice at BBS&G, Adam Moskowitz. Click here to check it out.
- Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament is a legal document that states one’s wishes as to how their assets and property is to be distributed after their death and as to which person is to assume and manage those responsibilities.
- Powers of Attorney
Choosing your powers of attorney is a crucial part of estate planning, as you are deciding who will be handling your affairs for if and when you become incapacitated. For example, if you are no longer able to handle your assets, you can designate that role to someone else for them to act on your behalf.
- Advance Directive
An Advance Directive or a Living Will, is a document that allows you to chose the more medical related decisions for once you are incapacitated. By establishing this, whoever you chose will know how to respond to your doctors based on your health care wishes.
These are just a few documents and matters you should be familiar with as you start thinking about estate planning. To explore all of the estate planning documents you will need in your specific situation, we recommend contacting an estate planning attorney or professional to assist you. Estate planning is not something you should take lightly; it takes thoughtful consideration about who will respectfully live out your wishes once you are gone. If you have any questions about how to make these decisions for your future, email us at email@example.com and we are happy to discuss your options with you.
Join us on this week’s episode of Launch Financial as we discuss a great deal of market volatility over the past two weeks and market corrections we’ve seen.
With everyone having increasing gains and thinking about giving back to charity given COVID-19, donor advised funds have become increasingly popular. To uncover how donor advised funds can benefit you and better your financial plan, we brought on expert Elizabeth Goldstein from the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington to Launch Financial to discuss donor advised funds. Click here to listen now!
The United Jewish Endowment Fund (UJEF) is the planned giving and endowment arm of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. UJEF provides you with the opportunity to establish a legacy that will shape and improve Jewish life for generations. Gifts to UJEF can be made outright during the donor’s lifetime or through one of the planned giving vehicles. Your gift can be added to an existing endowment fund or create a new fund to support a specific field of interest, the annual campaign or unrestricted needs. UJEF allows our community to maintain a permanent, self-sustaining source of income to support existing programs of Federation and to develop new approaches to address emerging needs here and overseas.
More information about UJEF funds, gifts and programs.
For more information on opening a Donor Advised Fund at Federation’s United Jewish Endowment Fund, contact:
Elizabeth Goldstein, Esq.
In our previous blog, we discussed tax implications of short term investments and some options of what to do with those short term gains. At Sherman Wealth, we are very charitably inclined, so we mentioned how setting up a donor advised fund could be a good option. Interestingly enough, we read an article stating that Fidelity Charitable and Schwab Charitable donors gave record amounts of money to support non-profits in 2020, inspired by a desire to help those suffering during the pandemic.
Fidelity Charitable said its donors made 2 million grants totaling $9.1 billion to 170,000 charities last year, a 24% increase in the amount of money donated and a 31% increase in the number of grants compared to 2019, according to a report released Wednesday. In a report in late January, Schwab Charitable said its donors gave 830,000 grants totaling $3.7 billion to nearly 100,000 charities — a 35% increase in the dollars donated and a 39% increase in the number of grants.
According to the company VPs, the pace and the amount of giving stood out compared to previous years.The pandemic changed giving targets, as donors supported organizations that provided food and other necessities for people who experienced economic setbacks due to the outbreak.
For those interested in charitable giving, you can contribute funds into a donor advised fund, which will allow a donor to make charitable contributions, receive a tax deduction and then distribute the money over time. It was so incredible to see such an outpouring of love and support to those in need during such a difficult time. If you are in a position to do so, we always encourage others to consider giving back to those in need or setting up a donor advised fund. If you have any questions about setting up a donor advised fund or charitable giving, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a complimentary 30-minute meeting.
With Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday behind us and the end of the year only a month away, grandparents might be thinking about boosting up their grandchildren’s college savings accounts before 2022. It’s important to know that there are a few exciting changes to FAFSA rules for grandparent-held 529 accounts that will be happening in the near future.
So what are these changes? The major change is that students will not be required to report any cash support they receive, including funds they receive from grandparent-held 529 accounts. This means that grandparent 529 dollars won’t be counted at all and students will not have to count 529 distributions from grandparents as untaxed student income the next year. This is exciting news for both parties involved, allowing grandparents to contribute to help cover the high costs of higher education without impacting students’ financial aid opportunities.
Even with this new proposed change in place, grandparent-held 529 dollars are still being used on the CSS profile, another financial aid form used by private institutions. It is unclear how this will play out in the future, so stay tuned for updates. The new FAFSA form is currently being constructed and is said to be released later than the October 1 deadline, so it’s important to keep an eye out for when this new rule will apply to your situation and plan. We will continue to follow the FAFSA changes for you, and be sure to report any further changes as they arise.
At Sherman Wealth, we believe 529 plans are a great way to save for your children’s and grandchildren’s college expenses or K-12 private school tuition, while also receiving favorable tax benefits. If you aren’t quite sure what a 529 is or how to start one, be sure to check out our previous blogs discussing the components of 529 plans, as well as how and why you should start saving for your children’s or grandchildren’s education as soon as possible. If you have any questions about 529 plans and family contributions, email us at email@example.com or schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation here.