Financial Planning

Q1 2021 Stock Market Commentary

The market continued to surge higher as we said goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021. Additional stimulus, mass vaccinations, and hopes for a return to a fully opened economy provided a nice backdrop for the market to further its gains. As rosy as that all sounds, we did run into some volatility late in…

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American Rescue Plan Act Provides Relief to Individuals and Businesses

On Thursday, March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA 2021) was signed into law. This is a $1.9 trillion emergency relief package that includes payments to individuals and funding for federal programs, vaccines and testing, state and local governments, and schools. It is intended to assist individuals and businesses during the…

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Financial Aid Changes on the Horizon

The U.S. Department of Education has designated February as Financial Aid Awareness Month, and this year there’s a lot to talk about. On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, another relief package in response to the pandemic. Included in the bill were several provisions related to education, including many changes to…

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Year-End Tax Tips for 2020

As we wrap up 2020, we are all looking forward to brighter and more COVID-free days ahead. Year-end tax planning has never been more crucial. This year brought new challenges that can impact your personal and financial situations – COVID-19, economic relief measures, and new tax laws. Now is the time to take a closer…

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New College Cost Data for 2020-2021 School Year

Every year, the College Board releases updated college cost data and trends in its annual report. Although costs can vary significantly depending on region of the country and college, the College Board publishes average cost figures, which are based on a survey of approximately 4,000 colleges across the country. Following are cost highlights for the…

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The Jobs Recovery: More Work to Be Done

In April 2020, the U.S. economy lost an astonishing 20.8 million jobs, by far the largest loss recorded in a single month dating back to 1939. To put this in perspective, the second largest monthly job loss was about 2 million in September 1945, when defense industries reduced production at the end of World War…

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IRA and Retirement Plan Limits for 2021

Many IRA and retirement plan limits are indexed for inflation each year. While some of the limits remain unchanged for 2021, other key numbers have increased. IRA contribution limits The maximum amount you can contribute to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA in 2021 is $6,000 (or 100% of your earned income, if less),…

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The FAFSA and Your Income.

Your income from two years prior is what counts on the FAFSA. For example, the 2021-2022 FAFSA will rely on income information in your 2019 tax return. FAFSA for 2021-2022 Academic Year Opens on October 1.   The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2021-2022 year opens on October 1, 2020. The…

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Student Loan Relief Extended Through End of Year

In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provided a six-month automatic payment suspension on federal student loans through September 30, 2020. In August, the president signed a memorandum to extend federal student loan relief through December 31, 2020. What does this mean for student loan borrowers? All…

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