TSG Financial Blog

Posted by Debbie Gluzband on Feb 21st, 2017

Many employers offer high deductible health plans (HDHPs) to control premium costs and then pair this coverage with health savings accounts (HSAs) to help employees with their health care expenses.

An HSA is a tax-favored trust or account that can be contributed to by, or on behalf of, an eligible individual for the purpose of paying qualified medical expenses. For example, individuals can use their HSAs to pay for expenses covered under their HDHPs until their deductibles have been met, or they can use their HSAs to pay for qualified medical expenses not covered by their HDHPs, such as dental or vision expenses.

HSAs provide a triple tax advantage—contributions, investment earnings and amounts distributed for qualified medical expenses are all exempt from federal income tax, Social Security/Medicare tax and most state income taxes. Due to an HSA’s potential tax savings, federal tax law includes strict rules for HSA contributions.

Links And Resources

·    IRS Publication 969, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-favored Health Plans

·    IRS Notice 2004-50

·    IRS Revenue Procedure 2016-28, which includes the inflation-adjusted HSA contribution limits for 2017

Contribution Limits

·   For 2017, $3,400 for individuals with self-only coverage and $6,750 for individuals with family coverage.

·   Individuals who are age 55 or older may make an additional $1,000 “catch-up” contribution. 

Contribution Rules

·   For each month an individual is HSA-eligible, he or she may contribute one-twelfth of the applicable maximum contribution limit.

·   The full-contribution rule is a special rule that allows an individual who is HSA-eligible for only part of a year to make a full year’s worth of HSA contributions.

·   A special contribution limit applies to married spouses when either spouse has family HDHP coverage. 

This Compliance Overview is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.

© 2015-2017 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved. EM 1/17

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TSG Financial LLC is a Financial Services company located in Garden City, NY. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC (www.sipc.org). Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. TSG Financial, Risk Strategies Company and Securities America are separate entities. Securities licensed in: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, VA, DC . The third-party comments displayed are not verified, may not be accurate and are not necessarily representative of our client experience.

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Posted by Debbie Gluzband on Feb 13th, 2017

Several of this year’s changes to Social Security are so minor, they could be easy to miss. Beginning this month, benefit payments will be 0.3 percent larger, thanks to a modest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). For the average beneficiary who receives a $1,360 monthly check, this will result in approximately $5 extra. However, the beneficiary who has their Part B Medicare premiums taken out of their Social Security check will see little if any change since the COLA will be offset by a Medicare premium increase around the same amount.

Here are a few more noticeable changes:

The maximum monthly benefit at full retirement age will move from $2,639 to $2,687 a month. A higher payment may be possible for those who delay drawing beyond their full retirement age.

As the full retirement age continues to increase, individuals with later target ages will still be allowed to retire at 62 but will incur greater reductions in their monthly benefits.

Individuals who retire early will be allowed to earn an additional $1,200 this year, bringing the maximum annual amount they can earn without affecting their Social Security benefits to a total of $16,920. They will still lose $1 in benefits for every $2 of earned income over that amount until the year they turn their full retirement age. Those reaching their full retirement age in 2017 can earn up to $44,880 in the months prior to their birthday without losing benefits. If their income exceeds $44,880 before their birthday month, they will lose $1 for every $3 over the limit. Once they’ve reached full retirement age, their benefits will not be affected by income.

About 12 million Americans will see a tax hike as the largest percentage increase in Social Security maximum taxable earnings since 1983 goes into effect. For the past two years, workers only paid Social Security taxes on their first $118,500 of earnings. This year, the taxable maximum jumps to $127,200. For high-income earners, an extra $8,700 could be subject to the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax, resulting in up to $539 in extra taxes. Self-employed individuals could see their tax bill jump over $1,000, although they can deduct the employer portion on their return. 

You may not be able to control legislation Congress passes affecting Social Security, but you can do your part to work toward a secure retirement. Please feel free to call us and set up an appointment to review your portfolio and discuss your retirement goals.

Securities America and its representatives do not provide tax advice; coordinate with your tax advisor regarding your specific situation.

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TSG Financial LLC is a Financial Services company located in Garden City, NY. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC (www.sipc.org). Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. TSG Financial, Risk Strategies Company and Securities America are separate entities. Securities licensed in: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, VA, DC . The third-party comments displayed are not verified, may not be accurate and are not necessarily representative of our client experience.

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Posted by Debbie Gluzband on Feb 8th, 2017

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, causing about 610,000 deaths annually. Heart disease is also an extremely expensive disease—costing the United States about $207 billion annually in the cost of health care, medications and lost productivity. 

Fortunately, heart disease can often be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle and properly managing health conditions. American Heart Month, organized by the American Heart Association (AHA), is designed to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it. Some simple self-care and prevention strategies include the following:

  • Visit your primary care physician regularly.
  • Refrain from smoking.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit your sodium intake.
  • Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Manage your stress levels.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.

The AHA’s website provides a detailed list of risk factors and common symptoms of heart disease. If you are concerned about your risk of developing heart disease or would like to find out more information about the condition, visit the AHA’s site and contact your primary physician. 

© 2017 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

TSG Financial on National Wear Red Day 2017

TSG Financial on National Wear Red Day 2017

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TSG Financial LLC is a Financial Services company located in Garden City, NY. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC (www.sipc.org). Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. TSG Financial and Securities America are separate entities. Securities licensed in: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, VA, DC . The third-party comments displayed are not verified, may not be accurate and are not necessarily representative of our client experience.

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Posted by Debbie Gluzband on Jan 31st, 2017

President Trump moved swiftly after taking office on Friday, issuing an Executive Order intended to minimize the economic and regulatory burdens of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The order is somewhat symbolic and has no immediate effect on employers, many of whom are in the process of complying with the ACA’s onerous reporting requirements (Forms 1094 and 1095), which are not rescinded by the order.

The order directs HHS and the heads of other departments and agencies (e.g., U.S. Department of Labor, Treasury Department) to exercise all available authority and discretion to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision of the ACA that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications. It should be noted that employers are not among those explicitly listed as requiring protection from regulatory burdens.

The order is broadly drafted and does not specify which provisions of the law should be targeted. However, to the extent that following the order would require revision of regulations issued through notice-and-comment rulemaking, the agencies will need to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”).

To read the full article, click here!

About The Authors. This alert was prepared for Risk Strategies by Marathas Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP, a national law firm with recognized experts on the Affordable Care Act.

Want more information? Call us today at (516) 747-3355 to learn how to sign up for newsletters from TSG Financial.

TSG Financial LLC is a Financial Services company located in Garden City, NY. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC (www.sipc.org). Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. TSG Financial, Risk Strategies Company and Securities America are separate entities. Securities licensed in: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, VA, DC . The third-party comments displayed are not verified, may not be accurate and are not necessarily representative of our client experience.

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Posted by Debbie Gluzband on Jan 16th, 2017

Celebrities have always been trendsetters. Consider the impact Kate Middleton’s stunning style statements have had on the clothing industry. But when it comes to personal finances, the practices of the rich and famous often don’t merit emulating. For example, you may recall Nicholas Cage went through a $150 million fortune and wound up owing the IRS $6.2 million.

There are, however, a number of celebrities who are mindful with their money. Take Jay Leno. When he worked simultaneously at a Ford dealership and McDonald’s during his youth, he spent the salary from one job and saved the other. Years later, Leno lived off his earnings as a standup comedian and saved his entire check from hosting “The Tonight Show.” As a result, his current worth is reported to be $350 million.

Despite being the second richest person in the United States with a net worth of $58.5 billion, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett’s lifestyle is surprisingly frugal. He still lives in the Omaha home he purchased in 1958 for $31,500 and has a habit of buying used cars.

Growing up in a family of eight on welfare left “Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker with a conservative streak. Even though she is known for her fashion sense, she dressed her son in hand-me-downs from his older cousins during his early years. According to Stella McCartney, her billionaire father, Paul McCartney, was another thrifty parent – requiring her to attend a state college to get a lower tuition.

A few celebrity couples have been recognized for their modest habits. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan had a tiny wedding in Zuckerberg’s backyard and are often seen in fast food chains. Former vampire slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and her husband, Freddie Prinze, Jr., have an estimated net worth around $15 million. Still, Gellar clips coupons, keeps an eye out for sales and brings her own bags to grocery stores. Finally, “Law and Order” stars, Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann, work at being good financial role models for their children, putting most of their money into savings rather than a lavish lifestyle.

Without having long-term goals and strategies for achieving them, it’s human nature to spend more as income increases. But spending without a plan can be a slippery slope that draws money right through your fingers. If you need help maintaining a disciplined, focused approach, give us a call. We’re always happy to be your financial sounding board.

Want more information? Call us today at (516) 747-3355 to learn how to sign up for newsletters from TSG Financial.

TSG Financial LLC is a Financial Services company located in Garden City, NY. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC (www.sipc.org). Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. TSG Financial, Risk Strategies Company and Securities America are separate entities. Securities licensed in: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, VA, DC . The third-party comments displayed are not verified, may not be accurate and are not necessarily representative of our client experience.

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Posted by Debbie Gluzband on Jan 11th, 2017

Historically, one of the top New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Unfortunately, many people look to fad diets and weight-loss products to achieve their goals quickly. While fad diets may prove effective initially, research shows that many people don’t find long-term success with these types of diets.

Instead of setting a goal to lose weight fast this New Year’s, set a goal to lead a healthier lifestyle. Common lifestyle New Year’s resolutions include the following:

  • Exercise regularly—Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week and to do strength training exercises of major muscle groups at least twice a week.
  • Maintain a well-balanced, healthy diet—Try to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein-rich foods and healthy fats. Make it a goal to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet.
  • Increase the amount of sleep you get—One of the best ways to become healthier is to get enough sleep. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep, the expert-recommended amount, per night.

Regardless of what you choose to make your New Year’s resolution, make sure it is a “SMART” goal—one that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely—to increase the odds that you will stick to it. 

This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.

© 2016 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Want more information? Call us today at (516) 747-3355 to learn how to sign up for newsletters from TSG Financial.

TSG Financial LLC is a Financial Services company located in Garden City, NY. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC (www.sipc.org). Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. TSG Financial and Securities America are separate entities. Securities licensed in: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, VA, DC . The third-party comments displayed are not verified, may not be accurate and are not necessarily representative of our client experience.

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Posted by Debbie Gluzband on Jan 3rd, 2017

On Nov. 22, 2016, a federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction, halting the enforcement of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule nationwide until further notice. The rule, which was set to take effect on Dec. 1, 2016, would have increased the salary threshold for the “white collar overtime exemptions" from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year. 

What Is the Future of the Overtime Rule?

The DOL may be facing an uphill battle in implementing changes to the overtime exemptions. Despite this, supporters of the rule remain committed to what they describe as fair increases in the overtime exemption salary threshold. 

The DOL has filed a motion for an expedited appeal of the Nov. 22 injunction. The court process, though, is lengthy and it is unclear whether or not the appellate court will make this case a higher priority than others. This means that a final court decision could take months and will probably not be made by Inauguration Day. If a decision is not made on the overtime rule by the time Trump is inaugurated, he may request the DOL to withdraw its appeal.

In the event that the DOL is successful in its appeal, it is possible that the state plaintiffs who are involved in the court case could file a petition to be heard by the full circuit, which could delay the court’s order. It is also possible that Trump could take executive action to block or amend the rule, but it is not clear at this time what approach he would take to change or undo the rule. If the appellate court strikes down the rule, though, further court or executive action would not be necessary.

What Does This Mean for Employers?

The judge’s ruling gives employers across the country a reprieve from having to raise salaries for exempt employees to the new threshold or pay them overtime.

Employers that have already made adjustments to comply with the new rule may find it difficult to reverse any changes. However, employers may decide to postpone any changes that have not yet been made.

Employers should continue to watch for new developments related to the overtime rule, as some uncertainty remains. Until a final decision is reached in the case, employers can rely on existing overtime exemption rules. 

© 2016 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Want more information? Call us today at (516) 747-3355 to learn how to sign up for newsletters from TSG Financial.

TSG Financial LLC is a Financial Services company located in Garden City, NY. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC (www.sipc.org). Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. TSG Financial and Securities America are separate entities. Securities licensed in: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, VA, DC . The third-party comments displayed are not verified, may not be accurate and are not necessarily representative of our client experience.

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Posted by Debbie Gluzband on Dec 12th, 2016

Whether we’re buying a personal item or investing in stocks, we try to achieve the best return for our expenditures. Some of us aren’t as careful when it comes to charitable giving. With over a million public charities in the United States and an ever-flowing stream of appeals, it’s easy to react emotionally to those that move us. But to have the greatest impact, we need to use our heads as well as our hearts. So here are a few tips for becoming a discriminating giver.

While diversification is usually a smart strategy for portfolios, the opposite is true for philanthropy. Concentrating on causes you care about most makes it easier to evaluate organizations’ effectiveness, achieve substantive change and avoid being inundated with subsequent solicitations.

You can look for a prospective charity on the three major charity watchdog sites: charitynavigator.org, charitywatch.org and give.org. These sites reveal how organizations spend money, protect donor privacy and govern themselves. To provide a measuring stick, Charity Navigator’s data shows nine out of 10 effective charities spend at least 65 percent of their budget on the programs and services they provide. You can also read a nonprofit’s annual report, audited financial statement and IRS Form 990, which will show salaries of the highest paid employees. But bear in mind, $150,000 is a typical salary for a talented leader of a multi-million dollar organization.1 

Make your donations stretch further by seeing if there is a matching program through your employer or a generous donor. And give directly; professional fundraisers often keep 40 to 80 percent of the donations they take in.

To achieve tax advantages, verify the organization is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity by asking for a copy of its IRS determination letter. Be sure to keep a bank record, credit card statement or receipt along with the date of your donation for tax records. Remember, contributions are deductible in the year you mail a check or charge a credit card.

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TSG Financial LLC is a Financial Services company located in Garden City, NY. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC (www.sipc.org). Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. TSG Financial and Securities America are separate entities. Securities licensed in: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, VA, DC . The third-party comments displayed are not verified, may not be accurate and are not necessarily representative of our client experience.

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Posted by Debbie Gluzband on Dec 7th, 2016

The holidays can bring joy, but they can also bring stress. Whether you are worried about money, gift-giving or finding enough time to get everything done, using the following coping mechanisms can help you manage and reduce your holiday stress.

  • Get organized—Writing down the things you need to do or places you need to be can help you visualize your to do list and make it seem much more manageable.
  • Know that it’s OK to say “no”—If attending an event that isn’t important to you will interfere with you getting work done or running errands, just say “no” politely.
  • Create and stick to a budget—Money is one of the biggest holiday stressors for people. Set a realistic budget this holiday season and don’t go over it.
  • Ask for help when you need it—You don’t have to decorate, wrap presents or cook by yourself. Ask friends or family members to help you complete these tasks.

Want more information? Call us today at (516) 747-3355 to learn how to sign up for newsletters from TSG Financial.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice. © 2016 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

TSG Financial LLC is a Financial Services company located in Garden City, NY. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC (www.sipc.org). Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. TSG Financial and Securities America are separate entities. Securities licensed in: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, VA, DC . The third-party comments displayed are not verified, may not be accurate and are not necessarily representative of our client experience.

 

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Posted by Debbie Gluzband on Nov 22nd, 2016

2016 ELECTION—IMPACT ON COMPLIANCE ISSUES

OVERVIEW:

After hard-fought campaigns by both candidates, Republican candidate Donald Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States. Trump’s victory in the election, along with Republican majorities retained in both the Senate and House of Representatives, will likely have a significant impact on a number of compliance issues over the next four years.

During his campaign, Trump called for a repeal of President Barack Obama’s hallmark health care reform legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition, Trump’s victory raises uncertainty over the future of other policies enacted under President Obama, including the new overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

ACTION STEPS:

President-elect Donald Trump will not take office until he is inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2017. This means that, despite the coming change in power, there will likely be no significant legislative or regulatory changes prior to 2017. As a result, employers should continue to prepare for upcoming requirements and deadlines to ensure full compliance.

Want more information? Call us today at (516) 747-3355 to learn how to sign up for newsletters from TSG Financial.

TSG Financial LLC is a Financial Services company located in Garden City, NY. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC (www.sipc.org). Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. TSG Financial and Securities America are separate entities. Securities licensed in: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, VA, DC . The third-party comments displayed are not verified, may not be accurate and are not necessarily representative of our client experience.

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