333 Thornal Street, Suite 9B
Edison, NJ 08837
Toll Free: 888.SIMON.SAYS®
Phone: 732.623.2070
Fax: 732.623.2088
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I do my best to stay in touch but change happens very quickly. With change comes opportunity – I am always here to help!

Here are a few action items that may necessitate the need for a new financial plan or an update of your current plan.
 

Marriage

Update beneficiary designations
Review life insurance needs
Create/update your will and other legal documents



Buying a House

Life & disability insurance to protect
the mortgage for loved ones

Discuss mortgage options and how they
fit into your financial plan



Retiring

Make sure your money will last
Reassess your investment risk



Having a Baby

Review life insurance needs

College savings funding options for children and
grandchildren – give the gift of an education!



New Job

Consolidate old retirement accounts
Review your new benefits



Cash Windfall

Update your financial plan
Evaluate investment choices



Loss of a Loved One

Advise on estate settlement



Have you gone through any of these life changes recently? Or perhaps you will soon? Call me and we’ll discuss appropriate ways to prepare for these events.

CRN-2209409-081318


Brought to you by:

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Saul M. Simon, CFP®, CFS, RFC

Simon Financial Group
333 Thornall Street, Suite 9B
Edison, NJ 08837
Phone: 732-623-2070
Toll free: 888SIMONSAYS
Fax: 732-623-2088
simonsays@LFG.com
www.saulsimon.com

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Living longer than anticipated is a very real possibility. More Americans are living well into their 90’s. Outliving your money can put you in a difficult situation. Planning well can help you pursue the retirement you deserve. Some things to consider:
AVOID FINANCIAL LOSSES DUE TO INFLATION
DON'T REACT OUT OF FEAR TO THE MARKET'S UPS AND DOWNS
DON'T WAIT TO BUY LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE
DON'T MISS YOUR MEDICARE DEADLINES
DON'T FORGET TO DO YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY HOMEWORK
DO ANY OF THESE ISSUES CONCERN YOU?

Call or email today. I am always here to answer any questions you may have.
CRN-2147072-061118

Brought to you by:

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Saul M. Simon, CFP®, CFS, RFC

Simon Financial Group
333 Thornall Street, Suite 9B
Edison, NJ 08837
Phone: 732-623-2070
Toll free: 888SIMONSAYS
Fax: 732-623-2088
simonsays@LFG.com
www.saulsimon.com

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Making College More Affordable with 529 Plans

When you were younger, you may have had aspirations to be a pop star, a professional athlete, maybe even a superhero. Most of us adjusted our expectations as we grew older, ultimately pursuing careers in areas such as education, law, medicine or financial services instead. Your child is no different, and a college education may be an important part of making their goals a reality. Unfortunately, the affordability of a college education is seemingly out of reach for many Americans: in-state tuition and fees at public universities have increased by a staggering 237 percent over the course of the past 20 years.1 Choosing an appropriate savings plan may make a big difference.

What is a 529 plan?

A 529 plan is an investment account that allows for tax-deferred growth to help pay for future college costs such as tuition, textbooks, and room and board as well as other educational expenses. One of the many benefits of the 529 plan is that the earnings are not subject to federal income tax and, in most cases, state income tax if used for qualified educational expenses.2 In addition to the federal tax savings, currently more than 30 states offer a full or partial tax deduction or credit on state tax returns for 529 contributions.3 Another notable provision of 529 plans is that there are no income limits, or age limits, so participation in a plan is available to almost everyone interested in saving money for college.

When opening a 529 plan, the account owner is the person who controls the account for the benefit of a designated beneficiary. Beneficiaries may be a relative or friend, or one can even name him or herself as the beneficiary. While an account holder may wish to seek professional guidance or consult her state’s tax rules regarding beneficiary designations, it is possible to change beneficiaries on the account with no tax consequences. For example, in the case where one child gets a full scholarship or decides not to attend college, the owner can change the beneficiary so that a different family member can use the funds towards their college education, without triggering a taxable event.

There are two types of 529 Plans: a prepaid tuition plan or a college savings plan. Each provides different saving options with the same overarching goal of planning for future education expenses.

Prepaid Tuition vs. College Savings Plan

The prepaid tuition plan option is usually sponsored by state governments and allows you to purchase units or credits at participating colleges and universities for future tuition and mandatory fees (usually excluding future room and board) at current prices.4 Unfortunately, the plan may pay a lesser return on the original investment if the beneficiary does not ultimately attend a participating college or university. The prepaid tuition plan is helpful in cases where the prospective student knows where they would like to attend college - usually a public, in-state school - so they can build units/credits towards that specific college.

The college savings plan allows you to open an investment account to save for a wide range of education expenses, including room and board. Also, beginning in 2018, you may use up to $10,000 in annual tax-free 529 account withdrawals for pre-college students such as private high school and elementary costs.5The plan consists of various investment portfolio options. Typical options include various mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) portfolios as well as a principal-protected bank product. These portfolios may also include static fund portfolios and age-based portfolios. In contrast to a static portfolio, an age-based portfolio works on a glide path towards more conservative investments as the beneficiary ages closer to college. Keep in mind that while the account holder can make changes to the investment options in the plan, they are only permitted to change the investment option twice per year, or when there has been a change in beneficiary.6 Also, you may only withdraw money that you invest in a college savings plan for qualified education expenses, otherwise you may be subject to taxes and other penalties.

Similar to other investments, there are expenses associated with both plans that may include an enrollment fee, and investment expenses, as well as continuing administration and management fees. Before choosing a particular plan, we suggest that investors carefully review the plan so they fully understand all potential fees and expenses.

There are many reasons why a 529 savings plan may be beneficial to you and your children, chief among them being that by saving for college today, your children may need to borrow less in the future to cover their college expenses. Typically, most students don’t begin to consider their debt until after they graduate, but unfortunately, a large amount of college debt may leave them financially unprepared for future endeavors such as purchasing a home or renting an apartment.

Contact us to learn more about 529 plans, or to determine if a 529 plan would fit into your family’s overall financial plan.

1 https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2017-09-20/see-20-years-of-tuition-growth-at-national-universities 
2 https://www.sec.gov/reportspubs/investor-publications/investorpubsintro529htm.html
3 http://www.savingforcollege.com/intro_to_529s/name-the-top-7-benefits-of-529-plans.php
4 https://www.sec.gov/reportspubs/investor-publications/investorpubsintro529htm.html
5 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/21/your-money/529-plans-taxes-private-school.html
6 https://www.sec.gov/reportspubs/investor-publications/investorpubsintro529htm.html

Content written by Symmetry Partners, LLC. Our firm utilizes Symmetry Partners, LLC for investment management services. Symmetry Partners, LLC, is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm only transacts business in states where it is properly registered, or excluded or exempted from registration requirements. All data is from sources believed to be reliable, but cannot be guaranteed or warranted. No current or prospective client should assume that future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, product, or non-investment related content made reference to directly or indirectly in this article will be profitable. As with any investment strategy, there is a possibility of profitability as well as loss. Please note that you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this article serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Symmetry Partners or your advisor.

Please be advised that Symmetry Partners, LLC does not provide tax or legal advice and nothing either stated or implied here should be inferred as providing such advice. The information is provided for educational purposes only. Please be advised that Symmetry Partners is merely relaying this information and has no control if some of the timelines are amended.

CRN-2071572-032818

 

Simon Says: Gain Control of Your Financial Life

click hereDear Friend,

I hope this message finds you and your family healthy and happy.

Each week I provide an e-mail communication that covers a wide variety of financial related topics. The content is educational in nature and considered "general information" which I hope you continue to find interesting and helpful.

However, your specific needs might require more detail and depth. Click on the informational brochure to the right. It "dives a little deeper," and speaks more specifically to coordinating the different pieces of your financial life.

Even in today's digital era, there is no substitute for one-on-one conversation. If/when convenient for you, I would love to schedule a time to talk, address any financial questions, issues or concerns you may have.

Please reply to this email with a few dates and times that work for you - I look forward to catching up.

Best,

Saul

 

 

 

Charitable Bequests: Strategies for Supporting a Charitable Cause and Your Heirs

Are there causes and charities that you would like to fund or donate to while also helping to ensure that your family is taken care of after you’re gone? Fortunately, leaving a charitable legacy doesn’t have to mean that you’d be short-changing your family. With the help of certain estate planning strategies, you can create an income stream during retirement, or provide for your heirs, while also supporting a charity of your choice.

Very simply, a charitable bequest is the giving of personal property to an organization through the provisions of a will or an estate plan, and donations can be made in many forms including cash, stocks, bonds, or real estate. Many people make charitable contributions prior to their death because, typically, they can benefit from an income tax deduction in the year that the gift was made. If you’re planning to leave a gift once you’re gone, however, there are different strategies that you may wish to consider.

One simple strategy is to bequeath the asset to the charity under the terms of your will. In this scenario, the donor’s estate may benefit from a tax deduction while the charity would benefit from the gifted assets once the donor’s estate has been settled. For those of higher net worth, or who plan on leaving a very generous bequest to charity, however, a charitable trust may offer some significant benefits.

Charitable Trusts – Some Common Types

One of the most popular types of charitable trusts is the Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT). Typically, this option enables the donor to claim a charitable income-tax deduction in the year that they contribute the assets to the trust. If the eligible deduction exceeds the donor’s income in that year, he or she can carry it forward to offset any income in future years.1

In addition to the tax deductibility benefit, CRTs allow the donor to place appreciated assets such as stock or bonds into the trust, and then sell those assets without incurring any income or capital gains taxes. Proceeds from the sale can then be invested into income producing vehicles that can provide the trust’s beneficiary - either the donor or another named individual - with annual income over the donor’s lifetime, or a specified term. Once the term is up, or upon the passing of the donor, the remaining assets would be given to the charity named in the trust.

As opposed to generating income for the trust’s beneficiary, Charitable Lead Trusts are created to generate income for the chosen charity for a specified number of years, or over the donor’s lifetime. During the period where income is being paid to the charity, the underlying assets remain invested, thereby giving them the potential to appreciate in value during that time. Once the specified term is up, the remaining funds can be passed to a non-charitable beneficiary – usually one or more family members - either partially or completely free of estate or gift taxes.2

While charitable trusts can offer significant benefits from an estate planning perspective, there are many things to consider before you call your alma mater with the good news that you are interested in supporting them financially. First of all, it may be wise to discuss your planned donation with the charity prior to making the gift. In doing so, you may discover some specific needs of the organization, or similarly, you may be able to offer insight as to specific projects or initiatives that you wish to fund.

Additionally, bear in mind that once assets are placed in a charitable trust, they are often irrevocable. As such, it’s important that you’ve carefully weighed both the pros and cons of placing assets in a trust, and that you’ve adequately planned for your heirs’ financial well-being before committing to a charitable organization.

Lastly, there are other types of charitable trusts in addition to those mentioned in this brief overview. Each is designed to help the donor achieve different estate planning objectives in addition to supporting a worthy cause, so becoming familiar with their potential benefits is essential.

Given that trusts and their related taxation can be complicated, determining whether a charitable trust would be beneficial for you, as well as the most appropriate type of trust, are decisions that should be made with the guidance of a qualified estate attorney.

As always, please contact us with questions, for additional information, or if we can provide assistance with any of your other financial planning needs.

1 www.cnbc.com/2015/07/16/donations-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving-for-donors.html
2 www.fidelity.com

*Trusts should be drafted by an attorney familiar with such matters in order to take into account income, gift and estate tax laws (including generation skipping transfer tax). Failure to do so could result in adverse tax treatment of trust proceeds.

 

 

How to Be Aware of Long-Term Care

Each decade, American lifespans increase. Today, some 2 million people are 90 years of age and older, and that population is expected to quadruple by 2050. While most welcome the chance at longer life, fewer are ready to deal with the ailments and chronic conditions that often accompany the latter years. That’s why understanding long-term care services is an important part of planning for the future.

The majority of people 90 and older have some type of disability or chronic condition. The cost of care for these people can be staggering. A private room in a nursing home costs around $97,000 a year (national average). For those who prefer to receive care at home, the national average hourly rate for a home health aide is nearly $22 per hour, while skilled home health care rates are significantly greater, with the national average fee for a registered nurse at $79 per hour.

As eye opening as these figures can be, there are several other important factors to consider when thinking about long-term care.

Don’t Count on Medicare

Many retirees are surprised to learn that Medicare, the health insurance program for those 65 and older, doesn’t pay for nursing homes or in-home care. Medicare pays for only a few, limited services, such as:

Skilled nursing care. The program will pay for rehab in a skilled nursing care facility following a hospital stay. For example, if you fell and broke your shoulder, you would be entitled to a stay in a facility that helped you recover so that you could go back home and continue living independently. Medicare only covers up to 100 days of this type of care.

Home health care. If you need short-term care while you recover from an illness or injury, Medicare will cover the cost of having nurses or therapists come to your home. However, this is not around-the-clock care and is limited to 35 hours per week, though your doctor can help you qualify for more. It should be noted that Medicare does not cover the largest aspect of long-term care, which is custodial care, such as help with bathing or dressing.

Hospice. Medicare covers end-of-life care for a terminal illness. You are eligible if you are not being treated for your illness, and your doctor must certify that you have no more than six months left to live.

Medicaid Will Pay, But Only Sometimes

Medicaid, the government health insurance program for low-income people, does cover long-term care services. However, eligibility requirements vary from state to state, restricting access for those with income and assets above their state’s threshold. This often requires individuals to spend down their assets before qualifying, potentially impacting the standard of living of a spouse and legacy plans.

The program is careful in ensuring people aren’t sheltering money elsewhere, so there’s now a five-year “look back” period. In other words, if you transfer assets to a trust or to your children, you cannot apply for government aid for at least five years.

Additionally, only certain nursing homes accept Medicaid patients, so you might be limited in which facility you can go to.

Pay Out-of-Pocket

Paying for long-term care on an as-needed basis is how some people plan to address this expense, or in combination with the other options. However, nearly 75 percent of people significantly underestimate the costs associated with long-term care.

Long-term care can be a difficult topic to discuss. A majority of people do not believe they will have a long-term care need in their future, and the thought of aging can be unsettling. But if it’s left unaddressed, families may be left to make some very rushed and expensive decisions. Advisors estimate that clients who experience a long-term care event and do not have protection in place could draw down their retirement savings at rates two to three times faster than planned.

While it’s true that most long-term care needs begin in the home with care provided by family or friends, the number of people using nursing facilities, alternative residential care places, or home care services is projected to increase from 15 million in 2000 to 27 million in 2050.

Plan ahead for long-term care by determining where you’d like to receive care if you need it and how you would pay for the care so that you can spend your latter years enjoying life with dignity and not worrying about how you’ll get the care you need.

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