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CARES Act Signed into Law –Brings Relief to Millions of Americans

Saturday, 28 March 2020

On March 27 the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to address the unprecedented public health and economic crisis related to COVID-19.

CARES Act Signed into Law –Brings Relief to Millions of Americans

This $2 trillion bill is meant to impact both individuals and businesses and contains significant tax-savings measures. It could affect prior tax years while also creating immediate cash-flow.

Impact on Individuals

Stimulus Checks

Perhaps the most impactful provision for American citizens is the CARES Act’s promise of cash payments of up to $1,200 per single individual and $2,400 for a married couple. Parents will also receive an additional $500 per qualifying child. Payments are phased-out for individuals with incomes greater than $75,000 and for married couples filing jointly with income greater than $150,000.

Provisions are such that payments will be based on 2018 tax returns, though, like the Affordable Care Act’s tax premium credit, there is a true-up related to the amount for which you are eligible on the 2020 tax return. Nonresident aliens, dependents and estates and trusts are not eligible for a stimulus check.

Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Passes Senate Hurdle – House expected to pass it today

Friday, 27 March 2020

The CARES Act is One Step Closer to Becoming Law

Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Passes Senate Hurdle – House expected to pass it today

Late in the day on March 25, the U.S. Senate passed a massive economic stimulus package called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This $2 trillion bill is meant to impact both individuals and businesses and contains significant tax-savings measures. It could affect prior tax years while also creating immediate cash-flow.

While passing the Senate represents a major step forward, the CARES Act must still be passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and then be signed into law by President Trump, both of which are expected to happen on Friday, March 27.

Impact on Individuals

Stimulus Checks

Perhaps the most impactful provision for American citizens is the CARES Act’s promise of cash payments of up to $1,200 per single individual and $2,400 for a married couple. Parents will also receive an additional $500 per qualifying child. Payments are phased-out for individuals with incomes greater than $75,000 and for married couples filing jointly with income greater than $150,000.

Small Business - COVID-19: Twelve Ideas on What to Do

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Small business owners are no strangers to tough times and are hard-wired to meet a challenge head-on.

Small Business - COVID-19: Twelve Ideas on What to Do

Today, unlike before, it is proving difficult to give ourselves a health break from all the doom and gloom.  In other difficult times, we were able to grab a drink with a friend after work, hit the gym for an intense workout session, get away for the weekend, or have some fellowship at our places of worship. Guidelines recommending social distancing and state-mandated lockdowns have made it difficult for many of us to manage our stress in typical ways. Accordingly, it is important to stay connected with your friends and family and check-in on each other on a regular basis.


“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
—Mahatma Gandhi


Small business owners are no strangers to tough times and are hard-wired to meet a challenge head-on.  I have been speaking with clients, business owners and friends about what they are doing to get by and survive during this time.  Last week I published - “COVID-19 Ten Ideas on What to do” and received a positive response from people so I have written this article for small business owners.  I hope is a useful tool and helps you to navigate through this unfamiliar storm where everything seems to be all over the map.

COVID-19: Ten Ideas on What to do

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

The most important thing to remember is that we will get through this.

What we do in response to the spread of COVID-19 is largely driven by how we choose to impact others. As a society, we want to ensure that everyone who gets sick from COVID-19 has access to the care they need, which includes health professionals who are healthy and well.  Like many people, I’m hunkered down in my apartment, which is also my home office, keeping my social distance.  What can I do to help in this situation?  I believe a good stress reduction technique--and we all could use a little less stress right now--is to think about how we can safely help others.  Below I have listed ten helpful ideas to consider at this time that can help you and others.

This too shall pass...

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Yesterday – March 9 – was the tenth anniversary of the crescendo of global panic that marked the bottom of the bear market of 2007-09.

It is, to me, ironic that the world has elected to celebrate this anniversary with – you guessed it – another epic global panic attack.

At this morning’s opening level of 2,764, the S&P 500 is down over 18% from its all-time high, recorded on February 19. Declines of that magnitude are fairly common occurrences – indeed the average annual drawdown from a peak to a trough since 1980 is close to 14%.* But such a decline in barely a month is noteworthy, not for its depth but for its suddenness.

As we all know by now, the precipitants of this decline appears to have been (a) the outbreak of a new strain of virus, the extent of which can’t be predicted, (b) the economic impact of that outbreak, which is equally unknown, and (c) most recently, the onset of a price war in oil. (That last one is surely a problem for everyone involved in the production of oil, but it’s a boon to those of us who consume it.)

Self-employed: Defying and Redefining Retirement

Monday, 24 February 2020

When asked “What does retirement mean to you?” the self-employed, see it as meaning retiring on their own terms, focusing on themselves, and even continuing to work.

Self-employed: Defying and Redefining Retirement

After surveying nearly six thousand American workers, in July 2019 the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS)[1] published a report - Self-Employed: Defying and Redefining Retirement (Select Findings from the 19th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of American Workers.)[2] I have many clients that are self-employed who have a different view of retirement compared to the traditional retirement strategy - stop work at 65. The TCRS report describes the self-employed view of retirement as follows:

“Self-employment brings both unique opportunities and challenges for saving, planning, and preparing for retirement. The self-employed often lack a steady paycheck with a regular stream of income. Without retirement benefits offered by an employer, the self-employed typically must take a do-it-yourself approach to retirement savings. At the same time, self-employment also brings greater freedom, the freedom to work -- and retire -- on one’s own terms.[3]

In this article, I highlight three key topics of the report - What is retirement? Some of the key findings of the report, and the report’s 10 recommendations for the self-employed to help them navigate and take advantage of opportunities available to them.

Investment Topics #2: Investing, It's A Journey

Monday, 17 February 2020

Saving, Investing, Betting

Investment Topics #2: Investing, It's A Journey

Saving is simply setting money aside in a safe place for a later date when you will need it, sometime in the distant future. Before we invest, we usually need to save money first. Investing is a means to building wealth over the long term--not a one or two-year period, but five, ten years or longer. If you want to build real wealth (returns significantly greater than inflation) in the short-term, or very short-term, your “investing” is high risk and more akin to making a bet. Even though one can make very educated bets, investing is best when it is done with the long view in mind. In order to save or invest, you need some patience; not so with betting.

Investment Topics #1: Why Invest?

Monday, 03 February 2020

Investment Topics #1: Why Invest?

People often come to me with concerns about investing in the financial markets, such as, “How can I invest and not be stressed out?” “How can I trust that I won’t be ripped off?” “All these investment jargons make everything so confusing,” and “I don’t want to risk losing everything.” Maybe you grapple with the same investment questions. So why do people invest? Is it really a good idea? In the next few articles, I want to help you understand how to invest your hard-earned money with confidence and have it work for you, even when the investment road gets bumpy (because it will).

Women's Retirement Outlook...and 10 Steps to Improve it

Friday, 24 January 2020

Women's Retirement Outlook...and 10 Steps to Improve it

This report provides a good overview of the risks being faced by women as they plan and approach retirement. We will all be taking the retirement route someday, remember, it’s never too late to make a plan for your retirement. At Boerum Hill Financial Advisors we want you to be able to retire with the confidence that you will have enough income to maintain your dignity and independence in retirement.

A New Year ...“Sow What”?

Thursday, 02 January 2020

A New Year ...“Sow What”?

Ah, January 1st -- a time when gym memberships skyrocket, people start a new diet or a cleanse, and we can even “cleanse” our budget with the help of books such as “The 21-Day Budget Cleanse[1]” (full disclosure: I’ve not read this book).  A new year brings new hope, and this time it’s more than just a new year--it’s a new decade, the 2020’s!  However, even in the midst of the anticipation and excitement, some of you may be overwhelmed with challenges such as getting rid of credit card debts and the feeling that you should do something different about your finances in the new year.  While I do not have a “2020 quick fix” for finances, a good way to start is taking a look back on 2019.

Retirement Roadmap

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Retirement SMH

Retirement Roadmap

Getting to retirement is a long, eventful and exciting road, and it may progress like this for some people:

                                                                                                      WIDOWHOOD        

                                                                                            RETIREMENT

                                                                                  GRANDPARENTHOOD

                                                                        REMARRIAGE

                                                              DIVORCE

                                                  EMPTY NESTING

                                          CAREGIVER

                                CHILDREN

                     MARRIAGE

           SINGLEHOOD

   CAREER

The environment for retirees and those approaching retirement is changing significantly. Life expectancy is up 30 years since the last century. The U.S. 65-year-old population, currently 53 million, is expected to grow by 50% to 79 million in 2050[1], and the 85+-year-old’s is the fastest-growing demographic in the country. The average number of years we spend in retirement in the 1960s was about five, in 2010 it had grown to 30. All this has led to some retirement financial fears for people, such as - the rising cost of healthcare, the chance of outliving your money, will all my social security benefits be there? Along with this, will there be another market crisis, and how much will inflation eat into savings.

These are real retirement concerns people face for themselves and others.

The Best Way to Avoid Getting Tricked by Scammers this Holiday Season.

Friday, 06 December 2019

Being scammed can take the shine out of your holiday season or any season for that matter

The Best Way to Avoid Getting Tricked by Scammers this Holiday Season.

I thought it would be valuable to you if I listed some strategies to keep your finances safer during the holidays and into 2020. With the help of the Bank of America, I have listed some areas for you to be aware of – forewarned is forearmed!

Also, if you are responsible for someone, such as an elderly relative or friend, I suggest you warn them about scams, giving them a copy of this blog may not be the best idea, I suggest you tell them about some scam scenarios that you think are relevant to them and to contact you before you do anything. As a general rule a scammer will want someone to act immediately, so “do nothing” can be a good strategy.   AARP has a free helpline if you think you or loved one has been scammed – 877-908-3360.

Tips for Small Business Owners

Friday, 15 November 2019

Tips for Small Business Owners

Small business is vital to the U.S. economy, it employs half of the private-sector workers and creates two-thirds of net new jobs, according to federal data. As of 2018, there are 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S (99.9% of United States businesses):

  • Small businesses employ 57 million people in the U.S.
  • 66% of small businesses will outsource services to other small businesses
  • 53% of small business owners rank their happiness level at 9 or above (scale of 1 to 10)

The biggest challenges of running a small business, according to small business owners - Economic uncertainty, the cost of health insurance benefits, and a decline in customer spending, with regulatory burdens almost tying for that third-place spot.

Small Business Tax Planning 2019

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Getting close to December 31

Small Business Tax Planning 2019

Federal state and local taxes are up there with your biggest bills, about one-third of all you earn in your lifetime is going to be paid in taxes, so it makes sense to plan ahead and make sure your tax bill is as low as possible. Being a business owner or self-employed provides greater opportunity for tax-planning when compared to the salary and wage earner. Your goal is to minimize your tax bill (cash outflow) or defer your tax bill to a future period. Yes, tax planning can seem complicated, it involves planning for your retirement, tax installment payments, keeping up-to-date and accurate records and managing a key component of your cash flow. Tax planning also comes with the temptation to underreport earnings, what I refer to as “crossing the line”, but there is no need to put skeletons in your closet, you’ll sleep better, and your life will be less complicated. A former boss and President of a public company gave me some very sage advice early in my career:

“If you can see the line you are too close.”

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