How COVID-19 Has Impacted Women

As the coronavirus continues to sweep our country, we are seeing more and more data on how this past year has impacted certain demographics. One demographic in particular, women, have found this pandemic to be quite strenuous for various reasons. 

Women are really seeing a big impact from the coronavirus pandemic, especially when it comes to their jobs.

Not only have they lost the most jobs from the beginning of the pandemic, but they are exhausted from the demands of child care and housework — and many are now seeing no path ahead but to quit working. A large portion of job losses during the pandemic has come in businesses such as restaurants and hotels, both sectors with high female employment

In a recent survey by Daily Capital and Empower Retirement, women revealed that this pandemic has altered their confidence in their financial future. Below are some findings they discovered:

  • A majority (62%) of single working moms do not feel confident in their ability to plan for retirement. Conversely, less than half of the general population (40%) lacks confidence in their retirement plans.
  • More than two-thirds (64%) of single moms no longer feel confident in their ability to retire when they want. That’s in contrast to 43% of the general population.
  • More than half (52%) of single moms do not feel confident in their ability to build emergency savings. Again, this stands in contrast to 39% of the general population and 36% of single dads.

While this data is quite astounding, this brings light to discuss the importance of financial literacy and continuing to educate women on their finances. While the coronavirus pandemic has surely set back some women in their careers, they need to remain driven and determined to reach their financial goals, even if that might mean switching up their financial plan. It’s important to discuss these topics with a financial advisor who can help you alter your plan when life throws you curveballs or setbacks. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary 30-minute appointment here

How To Take Advantage of the Tax Deadline Extension

For those scrambling to get their tax returns together before next month’s deadline, you’re in luck. The federal income tax filing deadline has been extended one month, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Treasury Department announced this week. It’s official. The federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year is now May 17, 2021 instead of April 15, 2021.

The 2021 tax filing season began on February 12th, 2021. The IRS is still urging Americans to file as soon as possible even though the deadline has been extended. The filing deadline extension applies to individual taxpayers, including those who pay self-employment tax, the IRS said. After May 17, Americans who have not filed will be subject to penalties, interest and additions to tax. 

Because the tax deadline has been extended, that means you have more time to fund your retirement accounts as well. Take advantage of this extension to make sure you are well prepared for the May deadline. If you have any questions regarding this year’s tax return, as always, reach out to your tax professionals or CPA for guidance on your particular circumstance. Additionally, for more detailed information, check out the IRS website detailing the fine print of this extension. As always, you can reach us with any questions at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation here.

MCPS Business Pitch Challenge on March 19th

Brad Sherman is very honored to be asked to judge the MCPS Business Pitch Challenge on March 19th. Students from nine high schools will be participating in this year’s event. As an entrepreneur, Brad Sherman is thrilled to support such a wonderful event promoting leadership, financial literacy and empowerment, and creativity. With the lack of financial literacy around the world, this event is a great opportunity for students to start thinking financially and as an entrepreneur from a young age. 

The event will run from 9 a.m.–noon. Participating high schools are: Montgomery Blair, James Hubert Blake, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Gaithersburg, Northwest, Northwood, Paint Branch and Sherwood. Students will pitch their business ideas for a solution to an existing problem, improvement of an existing product, or create a need for a product/service to a panel of local entrepreneur judges.

The Challenge will be aired via the MCPS homepage, the MCPS YouTube channel and MCPS-TV (Comcast 34, Verizon 36 and RCN 89).

Brad, along with representatives from the MCPS Business, Management and Finance Program Advisory Committee will serve as judges, mentors or supporters. The three top winning teams will receive cash prizes.

Please tune in on Friday, March 19th at 9 a.m. as these bright students pitch their business ideas. Check out our blog from the 2019 MCPS Business Pitch Challenge on ways we helped coach the students in preparation for the big event. Support student growth and empowerment by attending this wonderful event. If you have any questions about the event, email ASKMCPS@mcpsmd.org or let us know at info@shermanwealth.com and we are happy to connect you with the right contacts. 

 

What You Need To Know About the Third Stimulus Package

On Wednesday March 10th, Congress approved the American Rescue Plan, the third stimulus relief package since the pandemic started a year ago. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act includes measures ranging from stimulus checks to child tax credits, jobless benefits to vaccine-distribution funds, healthcare subsidies to restaurant aid. The legislation is the largest aid package to pass since widespread restrictions tied to the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.

Here’s what to know: 

  • Federal unemployment benefits of $300 per week have been extended until early September.
  • If you collected unemployment in 2020 or do so in 2021, you do not owe taxes on the first $10,200 in assistance. 
  • Lots of people will receive $1,400 stimulus checks in the coming weeks. Individuals with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less and married couples earning $150,000 or less qualify. 
  • Most Americans with kids will qualify for a new child tax credit: $3,600 per year for every child under 6 and $3,000 for each kid ages 6-17. 

Aside from these stimulus bill changes, tax day, April 15th, remains the same. Make sure to file your return on or before that date to avoid penalties. Check out our definitive guide to your 2021 tax return with detailed information on this year’s tax season. In addition, make sure to fund your retirement accounts by this year’s deadline. We will continue to monitor any changes to 2021 filing dates, but we recommend to check with your CPA with any questions on your situation. 

If you have any questions on the third stimulus package and what it entails, please reach out to us at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary 30-minute introductory call here.

Where the Market Is A Year Since COVID-19 Began

As we approach the one-year mark since the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) began, we want to reflect on the year that the market has had. Its been quite a wild ride, especially in the past week or so, with the 10-year treasury yield hitting its highest level in one year, reaching 1.619%, to date. We have also seen a great deal of volatility in technology stocks, as they are currently down relative to the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

As we continue to see volatility a year into the pandemic, we want to stress knowing your timeframes, understanding volatility along with time in the market versus timing the market.

Below we have attached a chart from JP Morgan illustrating the difference in return if you were to miss the best days in the market. This chart will help you see the true understanding of sticking to your long term plan.  Check out the video below for Brad’s take on the market in detail, including tax implications, timing the market, and more. Let us know what you think and reach out to us with any questions at info@shermanwealth.com.

https://youtu.be/StB66SVXaIY

Here’s Why Women Need to Take Control of Their Finances

In response to recent studies and data, we have found that women are contributing more and more to their family’s finances, and that the younger generation is increasingly claiming the title of breadwinner, according to a recent study by Wells Fargo

The study, released in conjunction with International Women’s Day, included 2,195 women. It found that more than half  of all partnered women reported greater or equal earnings to their spouse. And nearly one-third of millennial and Gen X women reported being the primary breadwinner, versus the 20% rate reported by baby boomers and traditionalists. 

Despite these gains in financial contributions to their households, the study also revealed that many women are intimidated by financial concepts and many did not learn enough about finances in school or growing up. With International Women’s Day just passing and financial literacy month upcoming, we want to use this new data as an opportunity to encourage and motivate women to take control of their finances and better educate themselves to become financially independent. 

As a financial advisor who works to empower women to become confident to make their own financial decisions, we have found that many women are often met with anxiety when it comes to having to make financial decisions on their own. For that reason, it is extremely important to start educating yourself about financial concepts from a young age, along with passing that on to the next generation, such as your children or grandchildren. At Sherman Wealth, we strive to educate all of our clients, no matter gender, age, or background, to become financially independent and feel confident to make their own decisions. If you have any questions or would like to talk to us about ways to educate others about financial concepts, please reach out to us at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a 30-minute complimentary introductory call here. 

 

30-Year Mortgage Rate Tops 3% for First Time Since July

As we follow up on our previous blog regarding the skyrocketing 30-year treasury yield, we are seeing its impacts on mortgage rates. Last week, the 30-year treasury yield hit its highest level in a year, before the coronavirus pandemic began. As this yield has risen, we have seen subsequent increase in the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage since mortgage rates tend to move in the same direction as the yield on the 10-year treasury. So, Americans who purchased new homes or refinanced their mortgages over the past few months may have done so at just the right moment.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.02%, mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac said Thursday. When rates hit 2.98% in July, it was their first time under the 3% mark in about 50 years of record-keeping, according to Freddie Mac. We will continue to monitor these rates and the impacts they have on other metrics. If you have any questions about refinancing or mortgages, please reach out to us and we will be happy to connect you with a mortgage professional. As always, give us a shout at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation here.

Here Are The Impacts Of The Skyrocketing 10-Year Treasury Yield

Due to tremendous economic aid, interest rates, particularly the 10-year treasury yield, has skyrocketed back up towards where it was a year ago around 1.2%, prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

We have been following this rate quite closely on our instagram handle, @shermanwealth, as we recorded it last week hitting 1.6%. Of course this spike has created tremendous volatility in the housing market in terms of interest rates as well as the stock market in terms of how equities have been priced.

We will continue to follow the 10-year treasury yield closely for you all. Check out the video below for Brad’s take on these interest rates and the effects they are having countrywide. As always, if you have any questions for us, please reach out with questions at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation here

 

How Millennials Boosted Their Credit Scores in 2020

Millennials have been receiving some hot press recently. Let’s take a look and see what they’re up to. In a recent blog we discussed how despite the pandemic, millennials have doubled their assets over the past four years, topping $10 trillion in assets. As we continued to monitor how America’s young adults are setting themselves up for financial success, we found that millennials boosted their credit score more than any generation in 2020. However, we have also seen how individuals are struggling financially despite a high credit score.

The average FICO Score for U.S. consumers hit a record 710 last year, and millennials led the pack with an 11-point increase, according to Experian’s 2020 Consumer Credit Review.

No matter your age or situation, it’s always important to know your credit score matters. And remember, it’s never too early to start building credit. Consider some of these tips if you are beginning to build your credit: make payments on time, pay in full, and consider utilizing a credit score tracker to ensure nothing falls through the cracks, like an old Verizon bill from college. Tiny unpaid bills such as those can have a lasting effect on your credit score, so make sure you stay on top of your finances and bills. 

It’s also important to note low interest rates and how you can use them to leverage your situation. With a high credit score, you can take advantage of historically low interest rates on all loans, including car, home, and student loans. By putting to use some of the tips listed above, you will have a much easier time with lenders when it comes time to take out a loan. If you have any questions about how to build or maintain a healthy credit score, please reach out to us at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary 30-minute conversation here

Here’s How to Track your Expenses in 2021

Staying on top of your finances and tracking your expenses can seem like a daunting task. When your life continues to get busier, it’s often easier to push aside your finances. However, due to the great technological advances in society, you now have access to simpler and immediate tools that will help you manage your overall finances. 

Luckily, there are various ways you can track your own expenses, depending on what works best for your lifestyle. Some consumers like a more hands-on approach in which you log each transaction as it happens, while others prefer creating a spreadsheet to capture a big-picture look at their monthly expenses overall. There are even budgeting apps that automate the process, making it easy to keep tabs on your cash. In one of our previous blogs, we touched on the technologies we provide our clients with that help them see their overall net worth and all the pieces in between in one snapshot. 

Our biggest recommendation in managing your expenses and finances is automation. As mentioned earlier, our world today has made it so simple to have access to your finances at the click of a button. Using software and automating your bank statements and payment schedule, credit cards, and more can not only save you time, but help keep you more organized and on top of your spending. It’s easy to swipe your credit card without thinking twice, but with new features such as purchase notifications, you can see in real time how much you are spending and where your credit card balance lies at all times. 

How you manage your money is a personal decision that only you can make. While some may prefer logging each of their transactions manually, others may like an app that syncs to their accounts and tracks expenses for them. No matter what route you choose, make sure you are setting aside routine time to check on your spending and evaluate your financial progress as you go. If you have any questions on how to better manage and automate your finances or would like a free trial to our technological software, please reach out to us at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation on our site.