Our Best Wishes for A Happy, Healthy, and Safe Holiday Season!
This year, this time it’s different as we say farewell to 2020, and a very challenging year in so many ways. We thank all of the front line workers who sacrificed their health to save lives and to serve us in so many ways beyond just healthcare and safety-related roles. We learned how to value the little things in life that perhaps we took for granted last year. As we reflect on 2020, let us take the good things that we learned and make 2021 even better based on a strong foundation of those values that are dear to each of us.
May you all enjoy your Holiday Season and Take Time to Reflect on the blessings you have now and the bright future that is ahead of you.
Be Safe and Be WellMarilyn and Ora
On October 26, the Treasury Department released the 2021 adjusted figures for retirement account savings. Although these adjustments won’t bring any major changes, there are some minor elements to note.
The salary deferral amount for 401(k)s remains the same at $19,500, while the catch-up amount of $6,500 also remains unchanged. However, the overall limit for these plans will increase from $57,000 to $58,000 in2021.1
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA)
The limit on annual contributions remains at $6,000 for 2021, and the catch-up contribution limit is also unchanged at $1,000.2
Roth IRA account holders will experience some slightly beneficial changes. In 2021, the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) phase-out range will be $198,000 to $208,000 for couples filing jointly. This will be an increase from the 2020 range of $196,000 to $206,000. For those who file as single or as head of household, the income phase-out range has also increased.
The new range for 2021 will be $125,000 to $140,000, up from the current range of $124,000 to $139,000.3 Although these modest increases won’t impact many, it’s natural to have questions anytime the financial landscape changes. If you’re curious about any of the above, give me a call at the number below for more information.
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Like it or not, we’re all involved in running the “family business.” We worry that our parents might outlive their retirement savings, we are worried about our kids going to college, and what our own role in both might be. We’re often comforted by the thought that family members would probably bail us out if we got into money or personal trouble. We strive to help our children financially, and we’d like to bequeath them at least part of our nest egg. Families in the United States are an important part of the social construct. Families care for one another.
In short, our family is our asset, liability, and legacy. Now here’s the contention: It’s time to build this notion into the way we manage our money. Many people are willing to help their family members out financially, so we should recognize this, not just ignore it.
Here are just some of the reasons why:
Raising Children: Parents do have a legal responsibility to care for their children. If you are fortunate enough, you might want to continue this financial support into college years and beyond. However, that can be a drain on your own wealth and perhaps even hinder your retirement savings.
If you don’t want your adult children swimming in credit card debt, missing mortgage payments, and constantly asking you for money, start by teaching your children financial literacy and best practices at a young age. This is how most people learn about money. Try your best to instill in them positive financial behaviors from a young age. Even if you are not born into wealth, you can teach financial literacy to your children.
That’s trickier than it seems. Children can grow up sheltered from the money talks at home, only seeing spending and not the earning, budgeting, and saving. After all, for children, all purchases are free, so why should they fret about the price tag or control their desires? Instead, teach children the basics of money, about earning money, and the importance of saving.
One way to do this is to make your children feel like they’re spending their own money. Give them an allowance when they are younger based on doing chores, and a clothing allowance when they are teenagers, and insist they live within this budget. This way, instead of you constantly saying “no” to your children, they will learn to say “no” to themselves. They will also learn the benefits of positive spending habits.
Launching Adults: Once your children get into the work force, you want them to get into the saving and investing portion of their financial life cycle where they are steadily building wealth. However, if they do not understand debt, they can fall behind quickly and struggle to ever catch back up.
It is also important to discuss student loans and credit cards with your young adult children. These types of easy access funds can quickly have a snowball effect, because the young adult can quickly borrow and push off the pain of repayment into the future.
If your young adult children can start down a positive financial path early on, the easier it will be for them to meet their goals and less of a financial drain on you. To that end, encourage your children with your words and with your fine example. We don’t have a duty to just support our kids financially, but to teach them how to be financially independent later in life. This starts with the basics of financial literacy.
Source: Recipe sharde by Susan Jarvis, founder of Modu Sauces
3 cups sugar
½ tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup oil
1 ( 15 oz. ) can pumpkin
2 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 c. water
3 ½ c. four
Mix all ingredients ( add pumpkin last ). Pour into 2 greased bread tins. ( I have used coffee cans, greased well and floured. ). Fill about 2/3 full and bake 50 minutes to 1 ½ hours. In the coffee cans it takes less time. You can add nuts ( pecans – 1 cup). Remove from tins, it makes a nice round loaf. Dust with powdered sugar.
This is a moist bread. It is great with cream cheese spread on it.
Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.
We all have stories of strong women in our lives. They may have had to raise their children on their own; they may have overcome an illness or disability; care for a spouse. We don't know how they gathered that inner strength and, most of the time, they don't know how they worked through the adversity. But they have come out the other side of life- changing challenges as a much better person with a richer perspective on life. We all have had personal struggles and it’s how we deal with those negative situations that makes us stronger and more powerful. A Woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in a cup of water. —Eleanor Roosevelt
Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is enough. —Og Mandino
Gratitude is an emotion and a feeling that can have deep impact on our mental, physical and spiritual state of being. The very act of saying “Thank you” to a colleague, family member or a complete stranger can empower your inner emotions.
In our wealth management business, we practice the Art of Gratitude in several ways. One is the simple act of sending a Thank You card for working with our firm and our team. The second is the acknowledgement of critical milestones in our client’s lives, like birthdays, anniversaries, children’s birthday and even pets. The impact of remembering these special dates and events can bring you more appreciation for all that you have in life. Thirdly, as we manage and build our business and serve our clients, we are most grateful that we can.
When you send a note of gratitude/thanks, your mindset shifts to a more positive outlook and a state of mind that looks ahead to more happy results and events. Ancient philosophers like Cicero and Seneca thought of gratitude as a key foundational virtue to any successful civilization.
As you look back on these past seven to eight months with a once in a lifetime pandemic that has crushed the global and national economy and changed so many of your daily regimens, can you recall perhaps, starting your day with the thought that “I am grateful for all that I have”? Rather than starting your day in fear and frustration that we all are suffering and experiencing very challenging times?
The daily regime of waking to a grateful mindset takes intentional practice and we know how difficult that can be with working from home, home schooling your children, planning 3-4 meals day, and fixing and managing all that there is in household that must be online 24x7!
Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that you enjoy today. In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown that this mindset can provide you with opportunities to thrive from this daily practice. Giving thanks may make you happier and more resilient with stronger relationships, improved health, and may reduce your stress.
Let’s start where you are and say “Yes I am Grateful!”