Are Your Finances Negatively Impacting Your Mental Health?

Does money and financial conversations stress you out? Do you feel uncomfortable when having money discussions with your partner? If so, you’re not alone. Money conversations can bring up underlying insecurities and cause anxiety amongst individuals. Given the current market environment and economic uncertainty, extreme volatility, and newly reported record high inflation data, it’s extremely important to discuss mental health as it relates to money.

According to a survey from Bankrate, “some 42% of U.S. adults said that money has a negative impact on their mental health” (The study included nearly 2,500 American adults and took place between April 6 and 8.). We found this statistic alarming, as they also reported  “that 28% of those who said money has a negative impact on their mental health worry about it on a daily basis.” This data reinforces not only the importance of mental health awareness, but the importance of utilizing financial strategies to lessen this overwhelmed feeling individuals have when doing daily financial tasks such as checking their bank statements and paying bills.  

Establishing a financial plan is a great place to start when trying to organize your financial life. If you are feeling anxious, maybe it’s a good time to revisit your budget, risk tolerance, and asset allocation. As mentioned in a previous blog, many Americans actually do not have a financial plan, which means they have no road map to follow. At Sherman Wealth, we always say that life is complicated, but your finances don’t have to be. Consider working with a financial professional to lessen the burden and anxiety you feel when tackling your financial life on your own. With customized solutions and behavioral finance strategies, we can provide you with a plan that will seamlessly lead you in the right direction. 

As mentioned prior, we know money topics can be uncomfortable and scary for some, but it’s very prudent to recognize it and utlilize financial strategies so it does not negatively impact your mental health. We recorded a podcast episode with Music City Pysch’s David Pearl and he provided us with tips on having transparent, honest, judgment-free, conversations with your partner. If you have any questions about your financial situation or are feeling like money is negatively impacting you, please reach out to a mental health professional to  discuss or schedule some time here and we are happy to help. 

Ep. 187 Launch Financial- Inflation Continues To Remain Higher Than Expected

Overview: Tune into this week’s episode of Launch Financial as we discuss today’s release of the producer price index which came in higher than economists expectations. Fed Chair Jerome Powell says inflation continues to remain high, leaving the consumer uncertain whether interest rate cuts are in the foreseeable future. We also discuss the financial strategies behind charitable giving and ways to increase your tax situation when giving back.

Show Notes: 

For more on Donor Advised Funds check out our podcast episode with Elizabeth Goldstein! 

Check out this episode!

Why To Think About Donor Advised Funds This Time Of Year

As we conduct our spring financial clean up and individuals are revisiting their cash flows and budgets, some may be considering their charitable giving strategies and contribution amounts for the year. One powerful and flexible tool gaining popularity is the Donor Advised Fund (DAF). This innovative approach to philanthropy not only simplifies the giving process but also offers substantial tax incentives and benefits for those who are charitably inclined.

What is a Donor Advised Fund (DAF)? A Donor Advised Fund is a philanthropic vehicle that allows donors to make contributions to a fund, receive a tax deduction, and then donate stock from the fund to their favorite charities over time. Essentially, it’s like having a charitable savings account that can be strategically managed to giveback to causes near and dear to the donor.

As tax season has just passed and now you can plan for 2024, you want to ensure you are thinking about all your options to mitigate and strategize your tax liability. With a donor advised fund, you are typically eligible to take an income tax deduction of the full fair-market value of the asset, up to 30% of your AGI. Furthermore, there are several strategies to mitigate or eliminate capital gains tax on long-term appreciated stock, if they’ve been held for more than a year. This is a strategy that many charitably inclined individuals with long-term appreciated stock like to implement into their tax and charitable giving strategy.

Some other benefits DAF’s provide is flexibility, because donors can take their time in recommending grants from the DAF to qualified charitable organizations, meaning they do not have to donate the grants right away or at any particular time. This flexibility allows for strategic, thoughtful giving, especially during times of urgent need or for long-term projects. DAFs provide an opportunity for family involvement in philanthropy, it is a great way to continue generational contributions and get your children involved in charities they want to support. For those who prefer anonymity, donors have the options to remain anonymous when making grants from their fund as well.

Donors can invest the funds within the DAF, potentially allowing them to grow over time, allowing the potential donation to grow in size as well. Lastly, donor advised funds are a great way to streamline the record-keeping process of charitable giving, allowing them all to stream through the DAF and simplifying tax records and documentation. While these are only a few of the many advantages donor advised funds provide, discuss with a financial professional on the account opening process and if it makes sense for you.

Given the time of year, we like to discuss financial strategies as it relates to charitable giving. As we are now well underway approaching the mid-way mark of the year, contributing to a DAF becomes a particularly prudent strategy for those looking to maximize their charitable impact while optimizing tax benefits for the current year. If you have any questions on donor advised fund and their process, email

Benchmarking Your 2024 Financial Resolutions

As we are now approaching the mid-point of the year, it’s prime time to reevaluate our financial strategies and benchmark our financial goals and resolutions we set earlier in the year. In this blog post, we’ll break down straightforward and actionable financial resolutions you can set if you have yet to set goals, and also the importance of re-visiting the progress of your goals set at the start of the year. So, let’s dive in.

For those of you who have yet to set financial resolutions or goals for 2024, there is no time like the present! Let’s explore some financial goals and tasks you can set for yourself from here on out.

  1. Audit Your Finances: Start by taking both a macro and micro level view at your current financial situation. Examine your income, cash flows, budget, expenses, debts, and savings to identify areas that need to be revisited for improvement or evaluation.
  2. Build a Realistic Budget: Craft or tweak a budget that aligns with your lifestyle. Track your income and allocate funds for necessary expenses, savings, and discretionary spending. Regularly review and adjust your budget to accommodate any changes. Spring calls for a great time of year to revisit your spending in the first half of the year and can help you adjust accordingly.
  3. Emergency Fund Priority: Establish or reinforce your emergency fund. Come up with a value as a goal that is comfortable for you and your family in an emergency scenario. This financial cushion will provide security in unforeseen circumstances, such as job loss or unexpected bills.
  4. Tackle High-Interest Debts: If you have outstanding debts, create a practical plan to reduce and eliminate them. Prioritize high-interest debts while making consistent payments on all obligations.
  5. Diversify Your Portfolio: Explore and ensure that your investment portfolio and allocation match your risk tolerance and long-term goals. Seeking advice from a financial advisor can help optimize your investment strategy and align all your goals.
  6. Adjust For Retirement: Contribution limits for retirement accounts increased for 2024, so adjust your retirement contribution accordingly and ensure you are contributing regularly or are on pace to reach your retirement goal for the year. Adjust your investment allocation based on your age and risk tolerance, ensuring your portfolio is positioned for long-term growth.
  7. Boost Financial Literacy: Financial literacy month just passed in April, so dedicate time to expanding your financial knowledge. Stay informed about personal finance strategies, investment trends, and economic developments.
  8. Regularly Review and Adjust: Recognize that financial circumstances change. Schedule regular check-ins to assess your progress and make adjustments as needed. Flexibility and accountability ensures your financial resolutions remain practical and achievable.
  9. Acknowledge Wins and Learn from Setbacks: Celebrate your financial victories, no matter how small. Treat setbacks as learning experiences. Adjust your strategy when necessary and use challenges as motivation to stay focused on your financial goals.

While these are some great resolutions to work on or towards, for those of you who’ve already set your financial goals for the year, now is a great time to assess and analyze your progress. Are you saving less monthly than you’d hope for in January 2024? If so, revisit your budget to ensure accuracy and accountability. Revisiting your financial plan and strategy frequently can help you stay on course and reach your financial goals by year end. I

In 2024, commit to practical and achievable financial goals. By implementing these straightforward resolutions and revisiting them regularly, you’ll be better positioned to strengthen your financial foundation and navigate the rest of the year with confidence. If you have any questions or are seeking a financial check-in/tune-up, schedule a complimentary intro call here or email

The Ultimate May Financial Planning Checklist

May is a perfect time of year to reassess your financial goals and ensure you’re on track to get to where you want to go. Whether you’re planning for retirement, saving for a big purchase, or just looking to improve your financial health, this consolidated financial planning checklist for May will provide you with some ideas and tasks you can work on this spring.

  1. Review Your Budget: Start by reviewing your current budget or creating one if you haven’t already. Take a close look at your income and expenses, and identify areas where you can cut back or reallocate funds. Adjust your budget as needed to align with your financial goals.
  2. Check Your Credit Score: Your credit score plays a crucial role in your financial well-being. Use an app such as Credit Karma to review your score for any errors or discrepancies. Take steps to improve your credit score if necessary, such as paying down debt and making payments on time.
  3. Evaluate Your Investments: Review your investment portfolio to ensure it’s properly diversified and aligned with your risk tolerance and financial goals. If your circumstances have changed or you feel that your allocation has drifted from your target portfolio, revisit or work with a financial professional to adjust.
  4. Assess Your Insurance Coverage: Evaluate your insurance coverage, including health, life, home, umbrella and auto insurance. Make sure you have adequate coverage to protect yourself and your assets in the event of an emergency.
  5. Set Savings Goals: Set specific savings goals for the remainder of the year, whether it’s building an emergency fund, saving for a vacation, or contributing to a retirement account. Break down your goals into manageable steps and track your progress regularly.
  6. Plan for Taxes: If you have filed your tax return, use your 2023 return to plan for 2024. Review your tax situation and make any necessary adjustments to minimize your tax liability.
  7. Create or Update Your Estate Plan: Estate planning is essential for ensuring your legacy is left as you wish and you are protected. Review or create essential documents such as wills, trusts, medical directive, and powers of attorney, and make sure they reflect your current circumstances and wishes.
  8. Assess Your Financial Health: Take stock of your overall financial health, including your net worth, debt-to-income ratio, and emergency savings. Identify areas for improvement and take proactive steps to strengthen your financial position.
  9. Plan for Major Expenses: Anticipate any significant expenses coming up, such as home repairs, tuition payments, or vehicle purchases. Start setting aside funds into various buckets to avoid financial strain when these expenses arise.
  10. Seek Professional Advice: If you’re unsure about any aspect of your financial situation or need help achieving your goals, consider seeking guidance from a financial advisor or other professional.

If you have already set financial goals for the year, now is a great time to benchmark your progress and use this financial planning checklist to make significant strides toward achieving your financial goals. Remember that financial planning is an ongoing process, so continue to monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed to stay on track for success. If you have any questions, email or schedule a complimentary intro call here.

How We Can Help Navigate the 401(K) Landscape For Your Firm 

The recent announcement of Ascensus acquiring Vanguard’s individual 401(k) retirement plan business has sparked questions among plan participants and small business owners on the future of the retirement plans. At Sherman Wealth, we understand the importance of ensuring that your retirement savings are in the best possible hands, which is why we want to discuss the prudency of revisiting your 401(K) plan, re-assessing the fees you are paying, your user interface and integration solutions, and assuring your plan matches your firm’s intended goals. 

Whether you’re currently enrolled in a Vanguard or other 401(K) plan or considering setting one up for your small business, we’re here to help. Our team can help you review your existing plan to identify any potential areas of improvement. From high administrative fees to open architecture investment options and working with the right 401(K) provider, we conduct a thorough analysis to ensure that your plan is optimized for your financial goals.

One of the key factors to consider when evaluating your 401(k) plan is the administrative fees involved. It’s important to carefully analyze these fees to ensure that you’re getting the most value out of your plan and there are no hidden or unknown fees that are unnoticed. Along the line of fees, you also want to ensure you are with the right retirement provider, exploring all the options available within the industry, and carefully selecting the best choice. Next, the user interface of your 401(k) plan plays a crucial role in encouraging employee participation and engagement. A review of your plan includes evaluating the usability and accessibility of the platform to ensure ease of use for your employees and firm in general. Additionally, it’s important to develop strategies or plans to boost employee participation and promote retirement savings awareness among your staff. 

An informed staff also plays an important role within a retirement plan. At Sherman Wealth, we work with many plan participants to provide education and training sessions to empower  employees to make more informed decisions about their retirement savings. From understanding investment options to maximizing employer matching contributions, we can help equip your staff with the knowledge they need surrounding overall retirement planning, answering any questions they may have specifically or generally. Lastly, even beyond the 401(K) plan, we work to support our clients with their overall small business planning needs, helping craft financial strategies to enhance the overall business. 

Within the ever changing retirement plan space, it’s important to periodically review your workplace 401(K) plan and ensure it still aligns with your firm’s needs and goals. Whether it’s setting up a new plan, reviewing your current one, or providing ongoing support and education, Sherman Wealth is here to help quarterback the process, guiding you throughout the way.  Email or schedule a complimentary 30-minute call here to learn more about how we can assist you in maximizing and reviewing your 401(k) potential.