TSG Financial Blog

Posted by Debbie Gluzband on Apr 17th, 2017

Since 2004, the United States has recognized April as Financial Literacy Month, a time set apart to focus on the knowledge and skills needed to ensure financial well-being across all stages of life. Why concentrate on financial literacy?

If you’re reading this, you’ve attained at least a mastery of financial basics. And you strive to stay abreast of the latest developments in the financial world. But much of society hasn’t mastered the basics. That matters, especially if you have children or grandchildren. You can’t assume they’ll achieve financial literacy through school.

A 2015 report by Champaign College’s Center for Financial Literacy on financial education in the U.S. found only five states deserved an A; “26 states received grades of C, D or F. Twenty-nine percent of the states had grades of D or F.” Those are not the kind of grades you want to see on your child’s report card. By the time they graduate from high school, most students still don’t have a basic grasp on finances or how to budget. They also don’t understand the financial aid process, credit, loans or inflation. What’s worse, mastery of financial knowledge doesn’t seem to improve over time. A 2016 Fidelity Investments study found 37 percent of college professors felt they were beginners when it came to investing.

Financial literacy should start at home. While money and finances should be a part of family discussions, one survey indicated parents spent about the same amount of time talking about money management as about the facts of life. In other words, not a lot. Yet making financial decisions can easily be woven into the fabric of everyday life. Include children and grandchildren in financial decisions at the store. Give them a small budget and have them decide what to purchase. Discuss their choices and point out the good and not-so-good about each one. Let them earn their allowance. Teach them to allocate a percentage of their allowance to immediate spending, savings and charitable giving.

Raising financially literate children and grandchildren contributes not only to their own personal future but also toward a healthy U.S. economy. Some experts say that a lack of financial literacy across society in part led up to the Great Recession.

To learn more about talking to your kids or grandchildren about money matters, contact our office. Leaving a legacy of financial literacy is as important as bequeathing tangible assets. Working together, we can make this legacy a reality.

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 Mar 27th, 2017

OVERVIEW

On March 24, 2017, Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives withdrew the American Health Care Act— their proposed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

A House vote was scheduled to take place on that day, but House Republicans could not secure enough votes to approve the legislation and, instead, canceled the vote. As a result, the ACA will remain in place at this time 

IMPACT ON EMPLOYERS

Because the House was unable to pass the American Health Care Act, the ACA remains current law, and employers must continue to comply with all applicable ACA provisions.

President Donald Trump has indicated that he would not continue to pursue an ACA repeal if the American Health Care Act could not be passed. Both President Trump and House leadership have stated that they now intend to focus on other issues. Despite this, Congress may choose to pursue their own ACA repeal and replacement in the future.

LEGISLATIVE PROCESS

Two separate bills that make up the American Health Care Act were released in response to a budget resolution passed by Congress on Jan. 13, 2017. The budget resolution is a nonbinding spending blueprint that directs House and Senate Committees to create federal budget “reconciliation” legislation. To become law, budget reconciliation bills must go through the legislative process. However, a budget reconciliation bill is generally filibuster-proof, and can be passed by both houses with a simple majority vote.

A full repeal of the ACA cannot be accomplished through the budget reconciliation process. A budget reconciliation bill can only address ACA provisions that directly relate to budgetary issues—specifically, federal spending and taxation. A full repeal of the ACA must be introduced as a separate bill that would require 60 votes in the Senate to pass.

Debate on the American Health Care Act began on March 8, 2017. To address concerns raised by both Democrats and fellow Republicans, the House Republican leadership released amendments to the legislation on March 20, 2017, followed by a second set of amendments on March 23, 2017. The House vote was originally expected to take place on March 23, 2017, but was delayed for one day, until March 24, 2017.

Following the announcement that the House vote would be delayed, President Trump stated that he would not continue to pursue an ACA repeal if the House could not pass this legislation. As a result, the ACA will remain in place at this time. However, Congress may choose to pursue their own ACA repeal and replacement in the future.

This ACA Compliance Bulletin 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.

© 2017 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, 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 Mar 22nd, 2017


Contact us to learn more ways to save money on health care.

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Posted by Debbie Gluzband on Mar 22nd, 2017

Though it may seem like a difficult feat, you can still maintain your diet while enjoying a meal out with friends and family. Since restaurants, especially fast food chains, tend to serve meals with more fat, salt and sugar than a meal prepared at home, it is important to understand what foods to avoid and which ones to select from a menu.

In general, steer clear of these foods while dining out:

  • Condiments such as salad dressings, cheese sauces, tartar sauce and gravy
  • Butter and cheese
  • Fried foods such as chicken or french fries
  • Beverages such as regular soda, whole milk and alcoholic drinks

One of the most important proactive approaches to healthy eating while you are out to eat is to watch your portion sizes. Restaurant portions are typically double what you would normally eat at home. Either request a smaller portion of the desired meal or ask the wait staff to wrap up half the meal right away and take it home to eat the next day.

Most importantly, don’t get discouraged. Everyone has their off-days, and just because you have one bad day doesn’t mean that you have to give up or overcompensate by starving yourself the next day or pushing yourself too hard in the gym.

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.

© 2017 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, 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 Mar 14th, 2017

DID YOU KNOW?

Becoming health care literate can be complicated. Knowing your benefits and their costs can be a daunting task for anyone.

In fact, being health care literate might be even harder than you think.

  • More than 1 in 3 Americans (77 million people) have difficulty with common health tasks, like reading a prescription drug label or making a wise health care decision.
  • Low health literacy is estimated to cost the United States $106 billion to $238 billion annually and accounts for 7 to 17 percent of all personal health care expenditures.

Source: U.S. Department of Education’s National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL)

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.

© 2017 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, 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 Mar 8th, 2017

Are you following TSG Financial on Twitter and LinkedIn? Here's what's happening on our social media:

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Posted by Debbie Gluzband on Mar 6th, 2017

According to a recent Motley Fool article, the average U.S. citizen carries eight credit cards in their wallet, which begs a question regarding the optimal number. The answer probably varies with your objectives and circumstances.

If you’re most concerned about maintaining a high FICO™ score, the number of cards isn’t as important as other factors. While Fair Isaac Corporation, the company that assigns the scores, doesn’t divulge the exact formula it uses, it shares factors considered with their respective weights:

  • Payment history: 35 percent
  • Amounts owed: 30 percent
  • Length of credit history: 15 percent
  • Credit mix: 10 percent
  • New credit: 10 percent

Having a small proportion of debt compared to available credit helps your score. Having six cards and owing $2,000 is better than having one card with a $3,000 limit and a $1,500 balance – provided you make payments on time. Fair Isaac says your FICO can suffer a little once you acquire more than seven revolving debt accounts. And opening too many new cards in a short period can particularly ding it.

Using multiple cards makes tracking spending more difficult. But even if you don’t use many of your cards, you still need to monitor them to make sure the bank didn’t add or increase an annual fee or someone hasn’t used them fraudulently. An alternate way to improve your ratio with fewer cards is to periodically ask your credit card company to increase your limit by a few thousand dollars.

In addition to lowering your debt-to-available-credit ratio, closing accounts can knock points off your length of credit history. For this reason, you should try to keep a few cards open long-term, especially any you had before you got married. (It’s important to keep some accounts that only have your name on them.) You may need to use cards periodically so the company doesn’t cancel them. If you close an account, talk to a live operator and specify you want the account closed “at the cardholder’s request.” A closed account’s positive information will stay on your report from seven to 10 years.

For more information on monitoring your accounts and credit history or for tips on protecting your finances, please give our office a call.

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 Mar 1st, 2017

Stress in the workplace is on the decline, according to a recent study from health portal provider MediKeeper, Inc.

The majority of respondents said, on a scale of one to five, that their stress level was at a two in 2016. This is down from 2014, where the majority said they were at a level three.

Similarly, the number of people who reported a level one increased by 58 percent over the same two-year period.

Curb your stress with these helpful tips:

  • Make to-do lists of tasks that need completing and cross off items as you finish them.
  • Talk with a co-worker about things that are bothering you. Getting support from friends is a great way to relax and reduce anxiety.
  • If you continually run late, set your clocks and watch ahead to give yourself extra time.
  • Read over your job description so you know exactly what is expected of you.

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.

© 2017 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, 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 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

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 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.

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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