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Money Markets & CDs: Stepping Out Of Cash

By Gary Walker, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Gary Walker serves as New England Sales Director, Founding Partner and Wealth Manager for Seacoast Wealth Management of Steward Partners located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Gary brings 20 years of experience in creating financial planning strategies, asset allocation models as well as support with corporate retirement plans. Gary’s practice focuses primarily on high-net-worth individuals and families as well as business owners. Gary works with clients by first listening to clients’ financial situation, goals and aspirations. He then assists clients in designing a long-term investment plan based on the fundamentals of asset allocation, and provides guidance in choosing investments best suited for a client’s needs. Gary earned his BS in Accounting and Finance from Worcester State College. He also earned the designation of Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS) from the College of Financial Planning. Gary, his wife Kim and two children, Grayson and Kolby, reside in Kensington, New Hampshire. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, fishing and volunteer coaching for youth sports.
Seacoast Wealth Management of Steward Partners
Money Markets and CDs, Seacoast Wealth Management, Portsmouth NH

With the 10th interest rate hike in 14 months, the Federal Funds Rate is currently 4.75%-5% and, unlike some investments, Money Market and Certificate of Deposits have benefitted tremendously.

For many years, money market funds and certificates of deposits were highly sought out investments. But, as we experienced a low interest rate environment during the market’s previous 10+ year bull run, they had decreased in popularity as they were subsequentially low-yielding investments and other investments were comparatively more attractive. Now that rates are on the rise and are projected to be elevated for longer, these investments have re-gained in popularity. Here’s why:

What are today’s rates (as of 5/5/2023)?

  • Money market mutual funds: 2-5%
  • 1-year CD: as high as 5%

What is the risk profile of these instruments?

Money market funds can be comprised of a mix of underlying investments that are generally high-quality, short-term debt securities.  Mutual Fund Money Market Funds are designed to maintain a net asset value (NAV) of $1.00/share and provide interest distributions to the shareholder as the primary source of an investor’s return. Unlike a CD, the yield or interest an investor receives is variable and will change with the yield of the underlying securities. While Mutual Fund Money Market funds are considered a “cash equivalent”, they are not insured by the FDIC.

Certificate of deposits are issued and held at banks, which means they can be insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per bank. Unlike a money market fund, the yield or interest you receive is a fixed rate that is determined at the time of purchase. Established by the Banking Act of 1933, the FDIC insures your money in the event of bank failure.

How do I get my money back?

Money markets and certificate of deposits have different liquidity profiles. Money market funds are liquid daily, meaning you can pull your money out at any time and will take one day for the trade to settle. If an investor redeems before market close, their funds will be available the next trading day.

Certificates of deposits cannot be accessed until maturity date, so they are considered less liquid. The trade-off is that you will be locking in the interest rate at the time of purchase. Keep in mind, brokered CDs sold prior to maturity may be worth less or more than face value.

Where do these fit in my portfolio?

Money market funds and certificate of deposits have been a great “first step” on the risk ladder for clients sitting on high cash positions. As inflation continuously erodes the value of cash, these have been a great way to hedge elevated inflation and take advantage of interest rates we have not seen since May of 2006. For money market funds, we have been utilizing short-term cash in low-yielding interest rate accounts. This way, if a client needs their money, we can get it back to them next day.

Certificate of deposits have been great for investors sitting on cash with a longer time horizon given their liquidity profile. If a client wants to hold onto their money for over a year, a CD might make sense.

Now what?

We are advising clients to assess their idle cash positions to ensure they are taking advantage of the low-risk, cash management opportunities while rates remain elevated. In an inflationary environment this is ever more important. Please contact us to see what cash management strategies might make the most sense for you.

 

The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Steward Partners or its affiliates.  All opinions are subject to change without notice.  Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

This material does not provide individually tailored investment advice.  It has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it.  The strategies and/or investments discussed in this material may not be appropriate for all investors.  Steward Partners recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Wealth Manager.  The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.

CDs are insured by the FDIC, an independent agency of the U.S. Government, up to a maximum of $250,000 (including principal and accrued interest) for all deposits held in the same insurable capacity (e.g. individual account, joint account, IRA etc.) per CD depository. Investors are responsible for monitoring the total amount held with each CD depository. All deposits at a single depository held in the same insurable capacity will be aggregated for the purposes of the applicable FDIC insurance limit, including deposits (such as bank accounts) maintained directly with the depository and CDs of the depository.

For more information visit the FDIC website at www.fdic.gov.

An investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency.  Although the Fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in the fund.

Mutual funds are sold by prospectus.  Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives and risks as well as charges and expenses of mutual funds including the underlying portfolios before investing.  To obtain a prospectus, contact your Wealth Manager.  The prospectus contains this and other information about the investment.  Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Securities and investment advisory services offered through Steward Partners Investment Solutions, LLC, registered broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC, and SEC registered investment adviser.   Investment Advisory Services may also be offered through Steward Partners Investment Advisory, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.   Steward Partners Investment Solutions, LLC, Steward Partners Investment Advisory, LLC, and Steward Partners Global Advisory, LLC are affiliates and separately operated.  <Team Name>Seacoast Wealth Management is a team at Steward Partners.

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2023 Market Outlook

By Gary Walker, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Gary Walker serves as New England Sales Director, Founding Partner and Wealth Manager for Seacoast Wealth Management of Steward Partners located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Gary brings 20 years of experience in creating financial planning strategies, asset allocation models as well as support with corporate retirement plans. Gary’s practice focuses primarily on high-net-worth individuals and families as well as business owners. Gary works with clients by first listening to clients’ financial situation, goals and aspirations. He then assists clients in designing a long-term investment plan based on the fundamentals of asset allocation, and provides guidance in choosing investments best suited for a client’s needs. Gary earned his BS in Accounting and Finance from Worcester State College. He also earned the designation of Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS) from the College of Financial Planning. Gary, his wife Kim and two children, Grayson and Kolby, reside in Kensington, New Hampshire. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, fishing and volunteer coaching for youth sports.
Seacoast Wealth Management of Steward Partners

Investing, in most cases, is best approached with a long-term perspective, however assessing near-term risks in the market is vital in evaluating the health of financial plans as well as preparing clients for what to expect for the coming year. As we close the door on 2022 and look on to 2023, we wanted to recap the past year and provide our team’s thoughts on the market for the year ahead.

 

2022 Recap

Going into 2022, market expectations were for inflation to moderate on its own, to see 2-4 interest rate hikes from The Fed and China Covid restrictions to ease. Based on the discrepancy between market expectations and reality, we can begin to make sense of last year’s poor market performance. (Data from RJ 2022 Equity Market Outlook)

Instead, what transpired was inflation as high as 9.1% year-over-year, 17 interest rate hikes (0.25% increments) to combat high inflation, and a zero-covid China economy. On top of that, we also saw increasing geopolitical tensions, putting upward pressure on oil prices and continued supply chain bottlenecks with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. With that, the US markets saw negative returns in both stocks and bonds for 2022. The S&P 500 was down 19.44% (data from factset) and the Bloomberg US Aggregate Bond Index was down 15.13% (data from factset), and for a balanced 60/40 portfolio, it was the third worst year on record being down 16.9% (data from NYU).

2023 Market Outlook Worst Year for Stock Market
2023 Equity Expectations

Looking at equity markets, we wanted show Raymond James Equity Portfolio & Technical Strategy’s price targets for the S&P 500 this year. Please see below:

Market Outlook, S&P 500

 

 

 

 

 

While these projections can be helpful in building a thesis for market direction, it is important to know that these estimates are based on several variables and expectations that can change quickly.

We believe corporate earnings will come into focus this year as the market shifts away from inflation/Fed to the economic/earnings damage from aggressive monetary policy. It is our view, based on several factors, that corporate earnings will decline in the first half of the year. We believe some of the earnings contractions have already been priced in at current market levels, but we are treating market rallies as suspect in the near-term (3-6 months) and believe it is possible for a retest or undercut of the 2022 lows.

It is important to remember that markets are forward-looking and discount the future, so while we could see a decline in corporate earnings this year and a potential recession, it is our view that the market will be looking ahead to the easing of restrictive monetary policy from The Fed, which could help stimulate equity prices and growth into year-end.

A question we are asked a lot: why not sell if we think a recession is coming?

Market Outlook, Market Timing

(Data provided by Bloomberg)

2023 Fixed Income Expectations

Looking at fixed income markets, we wanted to provide some expectations going into 2023. As mentioned earlier, 2022 proved to be the worst year for bonds in the history of the Bloomberg US Aggregate Bond Index which started in 1976 (data from Bloomberg). The negative performance in fixed income was driven by the one of the most rapid rate hike cycles from the Federal Reserve. Bond prices have an inverse relationship to interest rates, so as The Fed increased rates to combat inflation, bond prices fell. What made the negative move in bonds so aggressive and quick, was how quickly rate hike expectations changed from The Fed. As we mentioned earlier, it was expected for 2-4 rate hikes going into 2022 and we finished the year with 17 (0.25% increments).

The silver lining to higher rates is that the “income” portion of fixed income now carries some weight! Which means investors can be paid a more significant income stream from bonds than we have seen in the past 5+ years. On top of this, should we see a recession or a prolonged period of contracting corporate earnings, we would expect bond prices to rise as The Fed cuts interest rates to stimulate growth (lower rates, higher bond prices). This presents, in our view, an attractive entry point to invest in bonds with higher income and potential for capital appreciation.

Opportunities

  • Bonds – it is our view that bonds provide an attractive opportunity for investors with cash. We feel as though the ability to lock in a higher income stream than was available just 12 months ago and the potential for capital appreciation is attractive. See below info to put it into context: (data from Macrotrends)
      • 10-year treasury annual yield, year open 2023: 3.79%
      • 10-year treasury annual yield, year open 2022: 1.63%
      • 10-year treasury annual yield, year open 2021: 0.93%
  • Equities – it is our view that equities will continue to be volatile over the next 6 months and we recommend adding during pullbacks and being cautious during rallies. We favor quality, dividend-oriented stocks, but believe there are some attractive entry points into the growth space at these levels. Our recommendation is to be a buyer of equities over the next 6 months. While you may not time the bottom exactly, markets tend to turn quickly, and the average bull market provides a return of 152% (data from Raymond James)
  • Cash Management – As the Fed Funds rate currently sits at 4.25-4.5%, it has created great opportunities for investors with excess cash. For short term needs, there are money market funds paying close to 4% and 1-year CD rates are at 4.5% (data from Raymond James)

After a challenging 2022, we encourage you to review your allocation and investment strategy to best position your portfolio for the years ahead. Of course, should you have any questions regarding your financial plan or portfolio, we’re always happy to help!

Best wishes for the New Year!

Gary, Chris, Will, Matt & Derrick

Seacoast Wealth Management, Financial Services, Financial Advisors, Newburyport & Portsmouth

seacoastwealthmgmt.stewardpartners.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Sources:

Treasury yields: https://www.macrotrends.net/2016/10-year-treasury-bond-rate-yield-chart

Bond performance: https://www.forbes.com/sites/qai/2022/09/22/is-this-the-worst-year-ever-for-bonds/?sh=4586f6b32b4f

Timing1: https://www.advisorperspectives.com/articles/2022/09/28/tempted-to-time-the-market-look-at-these-charts-first

60/40: https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2023/01/2022-was-one-of-the-worst-years-ever-for-markets/

The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Steward Partners or its affiliates.  All opinions are subject to change without notice.  Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Keep in mind that individuals cannot invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance. Individual investor’s results will vary. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Future investment performance cannot be guaranteed, investment yields will fluctuate with market conditions.

For index definitions click here

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Tax Loss Harvesting & Roth Conversions – Ideas For A Down Year

By Gary Walker, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Gary Walker serves as New England Sales Director, Founding Partner and Wealth Manager for Seacoast Wealth Management of Steward Partners located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Gary brings 20 years of experience in creating financial planning strategies, asset allocation models as well as support with corporate retirement plans. Gary’s practice focuses primarily on high-net-worth individuals and families as well as business owners. Gary works with clients by first listening to clients’ financial situation, goals and aspirations. He then assists clients in designing a long-term investment plan based on the fundamentals of asset allocation, and provides guidance in choosing investments best suited for a client’s needs. Gary earned his BS in Accounting and Finance from Worcester State College. He also earned the designation of Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS) from the College of Financial Planning. Gary, his wife Kim and two children, Grayson and Kolby, reside in Kensington, New Hampshire. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, fishing and volunteer coaching for youth sports.
Seacoast Wealth Management of Steward Partners
Tax Loss Harvesting Roth Conversions, Seacoast NH & North Shore MA

Tax Loss Harvesting and Roth Conversions are two strategies that can help many of our Seacoast NH and North Shore MA clients make the best of a down year. 2022 has presented many challenges in the market such as inflation, interest rates, geopolitical conflict and lingering covid restrictions. As a result, we have seen bouts of volatility and ultimately negative year-to-date returns for both equity and fixed income indexes. While years like this can be tough to stomach, it is important to know they can also create opportunities that can be taken advantage of with prudent planning. During these years, many investors may elect to hold their investments and others may allocate to cash out of fear. It is certainly hard to criticize a buy-and-hold investment philosophy, but there may be some opportunities that investors are missing by taking this approach. Please read below about Tax Loss Harvesting and Roth Conversions, two strategies Seacoast Wealth Management of Steward Partners is implementing with clients to take advantage of down markets like we have seen so far in 2022.

Tax-loss Harvesting:

Investors with taxable (non-qualified) investment accounts can implement a strategy called tax loss harvesting where a security is sold at a value less than what it was purchased for, creating a realized capital loss. These losses can be used to offset any realized capital gains you may have in your accounts this year – mitigating your tax bill. In a situation where an investor does not have any realized capital gains or the losses generated are in excess of capital gains during the year, investors can carry those losses forward to offset any potential gains in future years. While it may seem counterintuitive to sell a security at a loss, it can enhance the tax-efficiency of your portfolio which, in our view, is worthwhile to explore.

Roth Conversions:

Traditional IRA assets are a cornerstone of many portfolios due to their accessibility and tax advantages. Some of these advantages are due to the fact they are funded with pre-tax dollars and in turn, are deducted from taxable income for that year. The assets will grow tax-deferred in the account and the distributions are taxed at ordinary income – penalty free if taken after age 59.5.  In down years like we have seen in 2022, it may make sense to conduct a Roth IRA Conversion while the account value is suppressed. With this strategy, an investor can convert all or a portion of their traditional IRA into a Roth, paying ordinary income tax on the amount converted. The benefit of implementing this strategy would be to take advantage of the tax-deferred growth and tax-free distributions after age 59.5. On top of that, Roth IRA’s are not subject to Required Minimum distributions at age 72, allowing investments to grow tax-deferred over an investor’s lifetime.

***As financial advisors, we are not licensed to give tax advice, so we recommend consulting a tax advisor before implementing these strategies***

While this year’s market has presented challenges for even the most steadfast investors, there are also opportunities that have been created that are worth exploring. If you have not had the discussion on either of the above strategies or would like to know more, please reach out to us for a seacoastwealthmanagement@stewardpartners.com for a no-cost consultation.

When Steward Partners Investment Solutions LLC, its affiliates and Steward Partners Wealth Managers provide “investment advice” regarding a retirement or welfare benefit plan account, an individual retirement account or a Coverdell education savings account. Steward Partners is a “fiduciary” as those terms are defined under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”), and/or the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”), as applicable. When Steward Partners provides investment education, takes orders on an unsolicited basis or otherwise does not provide “investment advice”, Steward Partners will not be considered a “fiduciary” under ERISA and/or the Code. Tax laws are complex and subject to change. Steward Partners does not provide tax or legal advice. Individuals are encouraged to consult their tax and legal advisors (a) before establishing a Retirement Account, and (b) regarding any potential tax, ERISA and related consequences of any investments or other transactions made with respect to a Retirement Account.

Securities and investment advisory services offered through Steward Partners Investment Solutions, LLC, registered broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC, and SEC registered investment adviser.   Investment Advisory Services may also be offered through Steward Partners Investment Advisory, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.   Steward Partners Investment Solutions, LLC, Steward Partners Investment Advisory, LLC, and Steward Partners Global Advisory, LLC are affiliates and separately operated.  <Team Name> is a team at Steward Partners.

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Call Early for Your Moving Services Estimate – Enjoy Big Savings!

By Heather McDonald, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Heather is the Office Manager for Ferrick Bros. Moving Company. From start to finish Heather gathers all important details about client moving needs, she sends quotes and executes contracts. She helps coordinate move logistics and convey important client needs to the folks facilitating the moves. Heather is there to help answer questions, confirm critical details and she is there in the end to follow up with clients and gather feedback about their moving experience.
Ferrick Brothers Moving Company
moving services

Most people and businesses planning their next move tend to forget something really important before they’ve even gotten started: a moving services estimate. Whether you’re planning a same-city “mini-move” or a long-distance relocation, calling early for a moving-services estimate could save you a lot of money – up to 50% on moving costs, in fact.

Ferrick Bros. Moving Company is a family-owned regional moving company serving commercial, residential, and industrial customers in the Newburyport area and beyond. As a locally owned and operated moving and storage company, Ferrick Bros. offers highly competitive pricing compared to national chains.

Be sure to get your FREE Moving Services Estimate as soon as you begin the moving process! Visit our website for a same-day online estimate or, for best accuracy, we’ll come to you. Online estimates are not as accurate as getting a quote from the owner, Bob Ferrick, either on the telephone or a free, in-house estimate.

Click here to get your moving coupons from Ferrick Bros!

  • $25 off any job between $500-$999
  • $50 off any job between $1,000-$2,000
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Call us anytime 24/7 at 1-978-476-4229 for additional cost-saving moving services and storage tips. Same-day service available.

Ferrick Bros. also provides packing, unpacking, and pad-wrap services, and free boxes and other packing supplies are available upon request. We also understand that some moves require storage options as well. Ferrick Bros. offers furniture storage and portable storage facilities to fit any storage need.

Let Ferrick Bros. Moving Company do your heavy lifting for relocating your business office and equipment, moving into a new house or apartment, and/or transporting your specialty items with care.

Our strong reputation in the Newburyport area reflects our emphasis on best value and excellent customer service. Call or visit us online now to find out how much you could save on your next big move. You can’t afford not to!

Capital Gain Distributions on Mutual Funds, What You Should Know

By William Puduski, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Will Puduski is a Financial Advisor and Partner for Seacoast Wealth Management of Steward Partners located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Will has spent the last 4 years working alongside his team after spending 2 years with Northwestern Mutual. His role is centered around the development and implementation of financial planning strategies for high-net-worth individuals, families, and business owners, as well as managing their corporate retirement plans. Will and his team work with clients first by understanding their financial situation, goals and aspirations, then develop a plan centered around the fundamentals of asset allocation and risk management. Through an ongoing relationship they monitor their clients’ investments and goals, helping them pursue their financial future. Will graduated magna cum laude from The University of Massachusetts, Lowell, with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and finance, while serving as a three-year captain on the Universities’ Division 1 Men’s Lacrosse team. Most recently, Will earned the Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) designation from the College of Financial Planning. Outside of work, Will values spending time with his family and friends; he values their relationships and enjoys the activities that bring them together. Some of those activities include fishing, boating, cheering on the Patriots and volunteer coaching for the Portsmouth High school Boy’s Lacrosse team.
Seacoast Wealth Management of Steward Partners
Capital Gain Distributions, Mutual Funds, Newburyport

In a year where most asset classes have seen significant losses, it is hard to comprehend a mutual fund paying out a capital gain at the end of this year. With clients holding mutual funds in a taxable account, this can be especially bothersome as this can generate a taxable event for the shareholder in a year where many funds are down year-to-date. In today’s article, we will dive into how a mutual fund is structured, why these distributions have been paid out this year, and what this means for your account.

A mutual fund is an investment vehicle constructed by an investment company where a portfolio manager, along with their team of analysts and traders, buy and sell underlying securities with a particular objective in mind. Objectives may include strategies such as market cap-specific (large, mid, or small cap companies), fixed income objectives (tax-free municipal strategies, high yield, or investment grade), themes (sector-specific, value, or growth) or even a mix of all at different weightings.

With each specific fund and objective, underlying securities are traded by managers, creating capital gains and losses inside the fund. By law, the fund must pay out 90% of dividends (from the underlying stocks) and realized gains to shareholders annually. Given the volatility we have seen this year, portfolio managers may have traded excessively to keep up with this year’s dynamic market and to meet outflows from their funds as investors liquidate and allocate to cash. In a situation where fund outflows have surpassed inflows (like we have seen in many funds this year), portfolio managers can be forced to sell securities to meet those outflows, thereby creating capital gains and losses.

If there is a net gain from all the securities sold that year to make up redemption requests, these gains will have to flow to the shareholders. Mutual funds will then post a capital gain distribution at the end of the year to comply to regulations and make up for the trading and shifts in the portfolio. In turn, this can create a taxable event for the shareholder regardless if they hold the fund at a gain or loss.

The bad news? During years like 2022, investors can potentially pay capital gain tax on mutual fund positions they hold in taxable accounts. The good news? With proper financial planning and tax planning, these capital gain distributions can be avoided or mitigated. If you haven’t planned for potential capital gain distributions in your taxable accounts, please reach out to our team for a no-cost portfolio consultation.

We can be reached here:

Seacoastwealthmangement@stewardpartners.com

603.427.8855

William Puduski
Partner, Vise President

Steward Partners Investment Solutions, LLC (“Steward Partners”), its affiliates and Steward Partners Wealth Managers do not provide tax or legal advice.  You should consult with your tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters.

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S Corporation Advantages and Disadvantages

By Michael Capo, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
President of Michael Capo CPA, P.C. Mike has over 25 years of accounting and finance experience in corporate, individual, independent and government environments. Mike's extensive knowledge is invaluable to his clients and allows him to provide a consultative approach personalized to each of his business and personal tax clients.
S Corporation Advantages, Michael Capo, Newburyport

What are S Corporation advantages and disadvantages?  Frequently, this question arises whenever a client is just starting a business, or has been operating as a sole proprietor and may be wondering about the tax advantages of incorporating as an S Corporation.  Also, many clients assume it will be too costly or time-consuming to incorporate—but neither is the case.  The following is a brief outline and comparison of an S Corporation advantages and disadvantages.  However, please feel free to set up a consultation to discuss your specific business opportunity needs and whether or not an S Corporation is right for you.

What is an S corporation?

Essentially, an S corporation is a corporation that is treated, for federal tax purposes, as a pass-through entity through an election made with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be considered an S Corporation. What does that mean?

As a corporation, an S corporation is created through filing Articles of Incorporation with the Mass. Secretary of State. It issues stock and is governed as a corporation. The owners, who are called shareholders, have the same protection from liability as shareholders of a C Corporation.  An S corporation shareholder’s personal assets, such as personal bank accounts, cannot be seized to satisfy business liabilities.

However, like a sole proprietor or a partnership, an S corporation passes through its income and loss items to the shareholders. Unlike a regular corporation, there is no “double taxation,” once at the corporate level and again on the individual shareholder level. Each shareholder is subject to his or her own individual tax rate on the income (or losses) passed through to him or her at year-end. The following are S Corporation advantages and disadvantages to consider.

S corporation advantages

The advantages of an S corporation often outweigh any perceived disadvantages. The S corporation structure can be especially beneficial when it comes time to transfer ownership or discontinue the business. These advantages are typically unavailable to sole proprietors and general partnerships. S corporation advantages include:

  • Protected assets. An S corporation protects the personal assets of its shareholders. A shareholder is not personally responsible for the business debts and liabilities of the corporation as long as there is no personal guarantee. Creditors cannot pursue the personal assets (house, bank accounts, etc.) of the shareholders to pay business debts. In a sole proprietor or general partnership, owners and the business are legally considered the same—leaving personal assets vulnerable.
  • Pass-through taxation. An S corporation does not pay federal taxes at the corporate level.  Any business income or loss is “passed through” to shareholders who report it on their personal income tax returns. This means that business losses can offset other income on the shareholders’ tax returns. This can be extremely helpful in the startup phase of a new business.
  • Tax-favorable characterization of income. S corporation shareholders can be employees of the business and draw salaries as employees. They can also receive distributions from the corporation that are tax-free to the extent of their investment (basis) in the corporation. A reasonable characterization of distributions as salary or dividends can help the owner reduce self-employment tax liability, while still generating business expenses and wages paid deductions for the corporation.  This is one of the major advantages why an S Corporation is preferred by most privately owned businesses.
  • Straightforward transfer of ownership. Interests in an S corporation can be freely transferred without triggering adverse tax consequences. (In a partnership or an LLC, the transfer of more than a 50-percent interest can trigger the termination of the entity.) The S corporation does not need to make adjustments to property basis or comply with complicated accounting rules when an ownership interest is transferred.

S corporation disadvantages

An S corporation may have some potential disadvantages, including:

  • Formation and ongoing expenses. To operate as an S corporation, it is necessary to first incorporate the business by filing Articles of Incorporation with the Mass. Secretary of State and pay the appropriate fees. Massachusetts also imposes ongoing yearly fees, such as an annual report and excise tax fees. Although these fees usually are not expensive, and can be deducted as a cost of doing business, they are expenses that a sole proprietor or general partnership will not incur.
  • Stock ownership restrictions. An S corporation can have only one class of stock, although it can have both voting and non-voting shares. Therefore, there can’t be different classes of investors who are entitled to different dividends or distribution rights. Also, there cannot be more than 100 shareholders. Foreign ownership is prohibited, as is ownership by certain types of trusts and other entities. Typically, this is not an issue with locally private owned businesses.
  • Closer IRS scrutiny. Because amounts distributed to a shareholder can be dividends or salary, the IRS scrutinizes payments to make sure the characterization conforms to reality. As a result, dividends may be re-characterized as wages, which subjects the corporation to employment tax liability.  This is one particular area that needs to be discussed in great lengths to assure that a shareholder is taking the proper amount of salary.
  • Less flexibility in allocating income and loss. Because of the one class of stock restriction, an S corporation cannot easily allocate losses or income to specific shareholders. Allocation of income and loss is governed by the percentage of stock ownership, unlike a partnership or LLC where the allocation can be set in the operating agreement.

If you are interested in further exploring S Corporation advantages and disadvantages in regards to your specific business, contact the offices of Michael Capo, CPA. P.C. to schedule a meeting, 978-499-4300.

Retirement Planning: Estimating Your Retirement Income Needs

By Gary Walker, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Gary Walker serves as New England Sales Director, Founding Partner and Wealth Manager for Seacoast Wealth Management of Steward Partners located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Gary brings 20 years of experience in creating financial planning strategies, asset allocation models as well as support with corporate retirement plans. Gary’s practice focuses primarily on high-net-worth individuals and families as well as business owners. Gary works with clients by first listening to clients’ financial situation, goals and aspirations. He then assists clients in designing a long-term investment plan based on the fundamentals of asset allocation, and provides guidance in choosing investments best suited for a client’s needs. Gary earned his BS in Accounting and Finance from Worcester State College. He also earned the designation of Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS) from the College of Financial Planning. Gary, his wife Kim and two children, Grayson and Kolby, reside in Kensington, New Hampshire. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, fishing and volunteer coaching for youth sports.
Seacoast Wealth Management of Steward Partners
Retirement Planning, Retirement Income Seacoast Wealth Management , Seacoast NH & North Shore MA

At Seacoast Wealth Management of Steward Partners, our practice is built on the fundamentals of retirement planning and overall financial planning. It is our view, that any sound investment strategy must be aligned with a client’s retirement goals, that are measured by clearly defined retirement income and retirement expenses, to help ensure they have a high probability of success in reaching them. At the start of any new relationship, we will carefully assess the factors outlined below as they are critical in developing an investment allocation customized for a client’s unique situation.

You know how important it is to plan for your retirement, but where do you begin? One of your first steps should be to estimate how much income you’ll need to fund your retirement. That’s not as easy as it sounds, because retirement planning is not an exact science. Your specific needs depend on your goals and many other factors. At Seacoast Wealth Management, our financial advisors work with many clients in Seacoast NH and North Shore MA, Boston and beyond to define these important details in effort to build a measurable retirement plan.

Use your current income as a starting point

In your retirement plan, it’s common to discuss desired annual retirement income as a percentage of your current income. Depending on whom you’re talking to, that percentage could be anywhere from 60% to 90%, or even more. The appeal of this approach lies in its simplicity, and the fact that there’s a common-sense analysis underlying it: Your current income sustains your present lifestyle, so taking that income and reducing it by a specific percentage to reflect the fact that there will be certain expenses you may no longer be liable for (e.g., payroll taxes, dependents, mortgage payments) will, theoretically, allow you to sustain your current lifestyle.

The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t account for your specific situation. If you intend to travel extensively in retirement, for example, you might easily need 100% (or more) of your current income to get by. It’s fine to use a percentage of your current income as a benchmark, but it’s worth going through all of your current expenses in detail, and really thinking about how those expenses will change over time as you transition into retirement.

Project your retirement expenses

Your annual income during retirement should be enough (or more than enough) to meet your retirement expenses. That’s why estimating those expenses is a big piece of the retirement planning puzzle. But you may have a hard time identifying all of your expenses and projecting how much you’ll be spending in each area, especially if retirement is still far off. To help you get started, here are some common retirement expenses:

  • Food and clothing
  • Housing: Rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowners insurance, property upkeep and repairs
  • Utilities: Gas, electric, water, telephone, cable TV
  • Transportation: Car payments, auto insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs, public transportation
  • Insurance: Medical, dental, life, disability, long-term care
  • Health-care costs not covered by insurance: Deductibles, co-payments, prescription drugs
  • Taxes: Federal and state income tax, capital gains tax
  • Debts: Personal loans, business loans, credit card payments
  • Education: Children’s or grandchildren’s college expenses
  • Gifts: Charitable and personal
  • Savings and investments: Contributions to IRAs, annuities, and other investment accounts
  • Recreation: Travel, dining out, hobbies, leisure activities
  • Care for yourself, your parents, or others: Costs for a nursing home, home health aide, or other type of assisted living
  • Miscellaneous: Personal grooming, pets, club memberships

Don’t forget that the cost of living will go up over time. The average annual rate of inflation over the past 20 years has been approximately 2%. And keep in mind that your retirement expenses may change from year to year. For example, you may pay off your home mortgage or your children’s education early in retirement. Other expenses, such as health care and insurance, may increase as you age. To protect against these variables, build a comfortable cushion into your retirement plan estimates (it’s always best to be conservative). Finally, have a financial professional help you with your estimates to make sure they’re as accurate and realistic as possible.

Decide when you’ll retire

To determine your total retirement planning needs, you can’t just estimate how much annual income you need. You also have to estimate how long you’ll be retired. Why? The longer your retirement, the more years of income you’ll need to fund it. The length of your retirement will depend partly on when you plan to retire. This important decision typically revolves around your personal goals and financial situation. For example, you may see yourself retiring at 50 to get the most out of your retirement. Maybe a booming stock market or a generous early retirement package will make that possible. Although it’s great to have the flexibility to choose when you’ll retire, it’s important to remember that retiring at 50 will end up costing you a lot more than retiring at 65.

Estimate your life expectancy

For retirement planning purposes, the age at which you retire isn’t the only factor that determines how long you’ll be retired. The other important factor is your lifespan. We all hope to live to an old age, but a longer life means that you’ll have even more years of retirement to fund. You may even run the risk of outliving your savings and other income sources. To guard against that risk, you’ll need to estimate your life expectancy. You can use government statistics, life insurance tables, or a life expectancy calculator to get a reasonable estimate of how long you’ll live. Experts base these estimates on your age, gender, race, health, lifestyle, occupation, and family history. But remember, these are just estimates. There’s no way to predict how long you’ll actually live, but with life expectancies on the rise, it’s probably best to assume you’ll live longer than you expect.

Identify your sources of retirement income

Once you have an idea of your retirement income needs, your next step is to assess how prepared you are to meet those needs. In other words, what sources of retirement income will be available to you? Your employer may offer a traditional pension that will pay you monthly benefits. In addition, you can likely count on Social Security to provide a portion of your retirement income. To get an estimate of your Social Security benefits, visit the Social Security Administration website (www.ssa.gov). Additional sources of retirement income may include a 401(k) or other retirement plan, IRAs, annuities, and other investments. The amount of income you receive from those sources will depend on the amount you invest, the rate of investment return, and other factors. Finally, if you plan to work during retirement, your job earnings will be another source of income.

Make up any income shortfall

If you’re lucky, your expected income sources will be more than enough to fund even a lengthy retirement. But what if it looks like you’ll come up short? Don’t panic — there are probably steps that you can take to bridge the gap. A financial professional can help you figure out the best ways to do that, but here are a few suggestions:

  • Try to cut current expenses so you’ll have more money to save for retirement
  • Shift your assets to investments that have the potential to substantially outpace inflation (but keep in mind that investments that offer higher potential returns may involve greater risk of loss)
  • Lower your expectations for retirement so you won’t need as much money (no beach house on the Riviera, for example)
  • Work part-time during retirement for extra income
  • Consider delaying your retirement for a few years (or longer)

In any retirement plan, there are many variables to consider and assets to account for. From our experience, we have found that individuals that engage with a trusted financial advisor have a much higher probability of having a successful retirement. If you feel you would benefit from a free financial planning consultation to cover some of the aforementioned topics, please reach out to us here.

The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Steward Partners or its affiliates.  All opinions are subject to change without notice.  Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Although Seacoast Wealth Management of Steward Partners has compensated Newburyport.com to have this advertisement featured in its website, this is not a solicitation nor intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors. You should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters.

AdTrax 4939183.2  Exp 9/24

Boat Insurance in MA – Information Boat Owners Should Know

By Hannah Brown, Newburyport.Com Correspondent, Regional Sales Executive, Personal Lines
I’ve worked in the insurance business for over 15 years and held many different positions within the industry. Working for Cross Insurance has afforded me the resources to put my knowledge to use within the community. What drew me to Cross Insurance was the ability to help people with any insurance need they may have, while still maintaining the feel and service of a small agency. I want to fully protect my clients but also educate them about the coverage we provide. It’s important to me that they feel a part of the process. At the heart of it all, Cross is a family owned business who values hard work and relationships. We look forward to not only helping people in the area protect the things that are most valuable to them, but also to exploring and supporting our new community.
Cross Insurance
Boat Insurance, Cross Insurance Newburyport

Protecting You Out on the Water
While boat insurance may be the last thing on your mind when you are out on the water, having your boat covered not only gives you peace of mind, but can provide you with a financial safety net for things like injuries or theft. Whether it’s sailing, fishing, or speeding along, boating is a wonderful way to experience the beautiful lakes, rivers, and bays of Massachusetts.

What Can Boat Insurance Cover?
Coverage for physical damage to a boat is one of the most obvious reasons to have a policy. However, liability can be an even more important reason to consider having boat insurance. In fact, many private marinas and docks may also ask you for proof of insurance before they let you dock your boat at their property. It is also important to be prepared for the unexpected such as hurricanes, theft or vandalism.

Does My Homeowners Policy Cover My Boat?
You may be thinking- wait, does my homeowners insurance policy cover my boat as well? In most instances, home insurance policies do not provide adequate coverage to protect your boat. To see what coverages you may need, reach out to a local insurance agent. Cross Insurance- Newburyport is conveniently located in the Port Plaza Shopping Center.

Boat Insurance Quotes

It is important to meet with an experienced insurance agent who can help recommend the right solution based on your specific circumstances. Boat insurance coverage will depend on the type of boat you have, the value of the boat and a number of other factors as well. Cross Insurance- Newburyport offers a broad scope of insurance products. Cross is an independent insurance agency, and can help recommend the best insurance carrier to meet your needs. Policy discounts may be available if the insurance carrier is providing coverage for more than one policy. Let a local agent from the Newburyport Cross Insurance team help navigate the process.

Refinance Your Mortgage…Factors to Consider with a Refi

By Liz Ryan, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Sales Manager for the Newburyport CrossCountry Mortgage regional office, Liz Ryan is a top producing Senior Loan Officer with extensive experience in the mortgage industry since 2005 and a prior background in real estate. Born in Sweden and raised with a “can do” attitude and great work ethic, Liz is a consistent Chairman’s Circle member and has served as a strong mentor for the rapidly growing Newburyport office, supporting customers in MA, NH and ME. Liz is highly respected by her local finance industry peers and greatly appreciated by her extensive following of loyal customers. Her passion for serving clients is apparent. Liz enjoys working with customers from all walks of life with a broad range of financial needs. Whether they are purchasing their first home, a vacation home, an investment property; or they need assistance with a refinance or a more specialized loan product such as a VA Loan, Liz always excited to help.
CrossCountry Mortgage
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Refi Evaluation: term & debt consolidation

Refinance your mortgage? When considering a refi, you’ll want to evaluate your particular situation—not just the interest rates and global environment.

In preparation for a refinance, you’ll want to ask yourself important questions. How long do you intend to live in your current home? Should you refinance to a new 30 year mortgage extending the time it will take to own your home? Are you in a position to consider a shorter term enabling you to pay less interest over the course of the loan? Changing the term on a mortgage (for example, from 30 years to 15 years) can help you achieve specific financial goals. Shortening your mortgage term may help you avoid penalty clauses if you plan to pay off your loan early. If you refi with a shorter term, you will pay less interest over the life of your loan. You may also be able to extend your repayment term if needed.

When considering a refinance make sure to look at the big picture. Do you have other loans? Are there major expenses that you need to plan for: college, weddings or home renovations? Consolidating multiple debts into one easy-to-manage loan can make life easier and potentially save you money, particularly if other debts feature higher interest rates. Converting multiple mortgages into one mortgage can make repayment simpler and potentially save you money.

Make sure you have access to an industry-leading tool like the CrossCountry refinance calculator to help you decide if refinancing your home makes sound financial sense.

Other Refinance Considerations:

Besides mortgage rates, there are charges and fees that must be considered when determining the costs of a refinance.

Closing Costs

Closing costs are expenses over and above the price of the property that are incurred by buyers and sellers when transferring ownership of a property. They normally include an origination fee, charges for title insurance and escrow costs, etc.

In addition to your down payment, you’ll be responsible for paying closing costs — the fees that CrossCountry Mortgage and other parties charge as part of the home financing process.

Closing costs and fees can be paid at the time of closing or they can be wrapped into the new mortgage. It may be appealing to have costs wrapped into the loan but it is important to consider whether you will realize the the lower interest rate savings before you sell your home.

If you need assistance refinancing your mortgage or are considering any type of home loan products, contact the local CrossCountry Mortgage office and they will help guide you through the process. Liz Ryan NMLS ID: 441907 – NMLS ID #3029 (For licensing information, go to www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) Equal Housing Lender. Conditions may apply.

 

Trends in Massachusetts Divorce Law: Equality and Structure

By Damian Turco, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Founder & Principal Attorney of Turco Legal, Attorney Turco is highly regarded as an expert in the areas of divorce and family law. He has represented hundreds of clients through divorces, modifications, contempt matters, and other family law matters from beginning to end. He sits on multiple committees for the Mass Bar Association, has been recognized by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of the state’s upcoming top 25 lawyers of 2015. Attorney Turco’s donates considerable time to help within the community. He serves on the board of LARC, a legal non-profit that helps thousands of lower income folks get desperately needed legal help. He also volunteers his time monthly delivering legal assistance at homeless shelters, day shelters, and soup kitchen’s in Boston, Lowell, Lawrence, and Salem.
Turco Legal
Turco Legal, Divorce Law Trends, Newburyport MA

Divorce law trends are moving in a direction of equality and structure. Divorce may seem like a modern issue.  That is, it sometimes seems like one of those problems with society that’s far worse now than it used to be.  Perhaps that’s because it’s the type of thing that nobody seems to discuss until it’s happening to them, especially not in a tight community like Newburyport.  Or maybe because it is consistently ranked as one of the greatest challenges one may face in his or her lifetime.  Who wants to talk about that?

Actually, despite it not being talked about much, it’s been an important and impactful part of society since shortly after the existence of marriage.  Its prevalence has fluctuated over the thousands of years of recorded history and the trend has largely followed the influence of religion on government and society generally.

While there is disparity around the world as to the popularity of divorce, it is clear that in Massachusetts, like most states, the law is trending from what we would consider traditional to a system of equality and structure.  Here’s how the main issues in divorce are treated in Massachusetts and are trending nationally today.

Child custody” is still the terminology used in Massachusetts, but many states have done away with it, instead opting for more neutral terms such as “time sharing”, reflecting a growing national view of co-parenting that makes it a point to not characterize children as property or either parent as the “primary” one.  While most divorces with children still result in one parent having about a third of the time and the other having two thirds, there are more judgments granting equal time between parents than ever.  Family Law Judges in Massachusetts continue to have broad discretion in fashioning parenting schedules, so putting the relevant facts about ones case into evidence is just as critical as ever.

Child support is treated as a statutory calculation, considering the income of the parties, the parenting schedule, employment-related child care, and health insurance in nearly every state.  While there is not much movement nationally on this issue, every state periodically adjusts the guidelines figures, so the amount set for child support tends to go up over time.

Alimony is perhaps the most inconsistently treated issue across the country, recently having been overhauled in Massachusetts in 2011.  While some states have actually done away with permanent alimony altogether, Massachusetts has added more structure and limitation into the law.  Permanent alimony is now generally only available in Massachusetts when the marriage lasted over 20 years, with shorter term types of alimony are more tailored to the situation.  Generally, the longer you’ve been married, the longer the alimony is likely available, if available at all.

Property division is unique in Massachusetts, with judges having more discretion than in most other states.  That’s because in Massachusetts all property is part of the marital estate subject to division by the court including premarital property, gifts, and inheritances.  Many states carve these types of assets out of the marital estate, but in Massachusetts we give judge’s more authority to determine an equitable or fair result.

Massachusetts divorce law is quite sophisticated.  We live in a community of highly intelligent, hardworking, family-focused individuals who for many can’t avoid the realty of the breakdown of a marriage.  There will always be an element of loss associated with divorce and that comes with a grieving period.  But, when properly educated on divorce law and with the right counsel and support, more parties can and do move on to a better life.  So, if you’re facing divorce and living in our community, don’t be afraid of the issues.  While you may not want to discuss it over drinks at your favorite local restaurant or while the kids circle you at the candy shop, there are plenty of Newburyport divorce lawyers, including me, who will help you through the process.

 

The Biggest Financial and Non-Financial Benefits of Owning A Home

In the midst of a global pandemic, our homes have become much more than a space that provides a roof over our heads. We’ve experienced sheltering in place for several months, so having a place we can call our own has become invaluable. For many, our homes have also turned into our workspaces and even schools for our children.

Moreover, a recent survey by Gallup just ranked real estate as the best long-term investment among several options—with 41 percent of Americans seeing it as superior to stocks, gold, savings accounts, and bonds.

But unlike other investment options where the benefits are purely financial, owning a home provides both financial, non-financial, and social advantages that allow every homeowner to take great pride in. As National Homeownership Month kicks off this June, we’ll cover some of those benefits that will hopefully make you more excited to kickstart your homeownership journey, or even celebrate if you already have a place to call your own.

Building equity

Home equity refers to the value of your property that “you truly own.” It is your property’s current market value minus the amounts owed on any mortgages or liens against the property. Owning a home builds equity because equity grows with each payment you make toward your mortgage, which brings you closer to owning more of your home. It’s opposed to making monthly payments to your landlord if you’re a renter, where you will own nothing no matter how long you stay there. Performing routine maintenance on your home and other renovations that help increase its resale value is also another way to build equity.

Your home equity is a form of forced savings that is essentially part of your net worth, which means you’re preparing for your future since you can use it down the road to help you accomplish other huge financial goals.

 

Helps build a strong credit history

A mortgage is considered “good debt” so as long as you’re consistently making your monthly loan payments on time, you are showing to other lenders that you are a good borrower. This helps to build your credit and proves your credit-worthiness, which can be helpful when you may want to consider other loans in the future, such as for buying a car, remodeling your home, or getting a business loan. It’s an additional perk that many buyers may not consider at first but will prove to be beneficial later on.

 

 

Better control and stability over housing-related costs

One of the most significant financial benefits of being a homeowner, and the biggest advantage versus being a renter, is that you will have better control over your monthly housing payments. Unlike rent costs that continue to go up each year, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your monthly mortgage payments remain relatively steady despite rising interest rates and periods of inflation, especially if you have a fixed-rate mortgage where the cost of your home is locked in for the term of your loan.

Other costs of owning a home like property taxes and insurance premiums may fluctuate, but this doesn’t typically happen as often as rising rents. You can also choose to install energy-efficient appliances and features that can help save you thousands of dollars in utility bills every year. With this kind of control, you can budget accordingly and make better short- and long-term financial decisions.

 

Tax deductions

Another financial perk of being a homeowner is that you qualify for many tax deductions and tax credits. To make it clear, a tax deduction reduces your adjusted gross income, which in turn reduces your tax liability. Meanwhile, credits represent money taken off of your tax bill.

While we won’t elaborate on them further, the most common tax deductions for homeowners include:

 

 

  • Mortgage interest

  • Points

  • Real estate taxes

  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

  • Home office deduction

  • Medically-necessary home improvements

  • Capital gains tax exclusion

On the other hand, tax credits may be available for those who were issued a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC). You can also check if your state offers tax credits or rebates for energy efficient-improvements you’ve made to your home.

Increased privacy and security

In the 2020 National Housing Survey from Fannie Mae, one of the top three reasons Americans value homeownership is because it helps them achieve a sense of privacy and security. Unlike when living in an apartment where you often have to deal with thin walls and be able to hear almost every move of your neighbors, you are less likely to experience this when you own a home. You are also more likely to have the same neighbors for many years, increasing trust among the community. Moreover, privacy and security were proven to have become even more valuable as we’ve dealt with the challenges of the recent health crisis.

 

Freedom and control over your living space

Owning a home means you have a space that is uniquely yours. You have the freedom to customize it to your liking; accomplish renovations to make your home look exactly how you want it. In the National Housing Survey mentioned above, 91 percent of respondents said homeownership could help them achieve control over what they do with their living space.

Many renters have rules and limitations over the color they can paint the rooms or changes they can make to the appearance of their living spaces to make it feel like home, or even against having pets. But when you own, you’re free to create the space you want and renovate how you see fit (but still within the boundaries of your homeowner’s association and local zoning rules). It’s a liberating feeling that can never be taken for granted, especially if you’ve been a long-time renter first before finally owning your space.

Increased civic participation

Unlike their renter counterparts, homeowners often settle in their area for longer periods and don’t have to worry about moving anytime soon. This in turn adds a certain degree of stability to the neighborhood. With their stronger connection to their community, homeowners are often more committed to volunteer work. They are likely to contribute to the maintenance of their properties and surrounding areas. They are also more likely to get involved in community organizations and build relationships with other people in their neighborhood, potentially leading to an overall increase in civic participation.

 

 

Pride of ownership

The feeling of accomplishment and the sense of pride that comes along with homeownership is something that can never be underestimated. In the Fannie Mae survey, 87 percent of consumers believe owning a home is important to “living the good life.” Having a place where you can settle and raise your family, make memories, celebrate holidays and other special occasions, and spend time with family and friends is an important milestone that contributes to your overall health and well-being, which ultimately leads to a better quality of life. This sense of stability and life satisfaction is the reason why homeownership continues to represent the American dream for thousands of families each year.

Finding the Best Agent Just Got Easier

By Robert Bentley, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
CEO/Owner & Residential/Commercial Sales Specialist for Bentley's, Robert has been the #1 agent in the Greater Newburyport market since 2011 per MLSPIN.com and Bentley's Sales Records. Robert's success is due to his dominance with on-line real estate marketing, strong negotiation skills, and good old fashioned work ethic. Robert has a strong sales, marketing, and finance background and always does what is necessary to get the deal done, and make his clients happy. Experience and proven reputation are key when you are making the largest financial transaction of a life time. Call or text 781-858-5115.
Finding the best agent just got easier, Newburyport MA

Finding the best agent just got easier.  In partnership with Zillow and Trulia, RealTrends.Com is a national site that provides rankings of Real Estate Agent performance.  They have been tracking Real Estate Agent performance at the agent, team, and brokerage level for the past eight years and provide consumers the data necessary to make an educated decision.

Buying and selling a home is typically one of the largest financial transactions you will make in your life time.  Therefore it is critical to choose a local experienced agent with a proven track record.  Do you purchase or sell a car without checking ratings websites?  Almost all people research properties online, but researching agents is also an important part of the equation.  You need someone you can count on to get the job done.

In real estate, like many other fields, the more transactions an agent has done, the more capable they are of effectively advising their clients.  At the end of the day, you don’t need a new best friend, you need someone with extensive knowledge and experience, which directly correlates with sales performance.

Avoid Tax Scams With Awareness Of IRS Process

By Michael Capo, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
President of Michael Capo CPA, P.C. Mike has over 25 years of accounting and finance experience in corporate, individual, independent and government environments. Mike's extensive knowledge is invaluable to his clients and allows him to provide a consultative approach personalized to each of his business and personal tax clients.
Tax Scams, Newburyport MA, Michael Capo, CPA

Protect yourself, your family, and close friends against common tax scams.  Take the time to understand key facts that can help you know if you are being legitimately contacted by the IRS, or if you are being approached as part of a common tax scam.  Please read the links below and if you have any questions, feel to free to call the office of Michael Capo to discuss at 978-499-4300.

The IRS will not call you as initial contact for a tax matter.  You will always receive a letter from the IRS if you have a tax issue.  This is a confirmed tax scam.  Do not give them banking or credit card information over the phone.

https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/irs-repeats-warning-about-phone-scams

CP2000 email / Affordable Care Act
The IRS will not email you any tax related notices.  The CP2000 notice can be a valid IRS document however it will come via USPS not email. If you believe that you have an issue with the Affordable Care Act, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.

http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/tax-practice/irs-warns-about-fake-tax-notice-scam-79334-1.html

We proactively share information with clients regarding many important tax related topics.  Highlighting tax scams is just one example.  We strive to provide awareness of tax related issues as well as impacts/ramifications of key tax related decisions.  We work to ensure that our customers are armed with information necessary to make informed decisions related to their specific circumstances.

We pride ourselves on  providing top notch accounting services for both individuals and businesses and we offer a broad scope of services.  We assist many clients with a basic personal returns, and for other clients we are managing important tax related elements of their business such as invoicing, payroll taxes, preparation of 1099’s as well as training on accounting tools such as QuickBooks.  Call to schedule an appointment as we welcome the opportunity to assist you with your tax and accounting needs.

Market Update – When Should You Put Your House on the Market?

By Robert Bentley, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
CEO/Owner & Residential/Commercial Sales Specialist for Bentley's, Robert has been the #1 agent in the Greater Newburyport market since 2011 per MLSPIN.com and Bentley's Sales Records. Robert's success is due to his dominance with on-line real estate marketing, strong negotiation skills, and good old fashioned work ethic. Robert has a strong sales, marketing, and finance background and always does what is necessary to get the deal done, and make his clients happy. Experience and proven reputation are key when you are making the largest financial transaction of a life time. Call or text 781-858-5115.
put your house on the market, Newburyport MA

Market Update – When Should You Put Your House on the Market? Are you waiting for the Spring market because you’ve heard that is the best time to list your property?  Some will say list your house, “just after the Super Bowl, or as soon as the snow starts to melt.”  Timing of when to put your house on the market is a very common question.  The answer depends on a few factors but the most important factors are: when is your house ready to show and when are you ready.

The Greater Newburyport real estate market is currently lite on inventory, as it frequently is in the middle of Winter months.  What’s this mean to sellers in the Greater Newburyport real estate market?  It means, don’t wait if your house is ready to be put on the market.  List now and you are likely to get a better price because there are many educated, quality buyers just waiting to act when they see the right property.

The Spring market is traditionally a very popular time to list, but sellers will experience substantially more competition because buyers have more options during the busy Spring market.  There are many very educated buyers in the Greater Newburyport real estate market place right now, many of which have been searching for quite some time.  These folks are sitting on the sidelines patiently waiting for the right property, and they clearly recognize when a great property comes along.   Don’t over-analyze when to put your house on the market.  This is a simple supply versus demand equation.  If your house is ready, jump in now and you are likely to get premium pricing while buyer demand is at its highest.

Call, text 781.858.5115 or email RobertBentley@Newburyport.com  to schedule a meeting to discuss listing your home or condo.

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