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Summer: The Perfect Time for a Financial Check-up

Financial checkupAccording to a Fidelity Investments survey,  investors top goals were to save more, spend less and pay down debt.

Summer is a natural halfway point between New Year's financial resolutions and year-end tax planning; it's also a convenient time to contact financial experts, tax planners, human resources representatives and other advisors—who are less busy during their “off-season.” Here’s what to look for:

Taxes. By summer, you should have a decent idea of what's going on with your tax situation so it's time to finalized this year's planning. Are there any major life changes since last year to include in your tax strategy? This will mean a transition in your tax situation. If you earned a nice tax refund in April or paid a large tax bill, you should ask for a W-4 from your employer and adjust your withholding. Time to make sure you're maxing out workplace tax benefits—like your flexible spending accounts and retirement contributions.

Insurance. Use the summer to determine if your insurance plans are meeting your needs. Many employers have an open enrollment for health insurance and other benefits in late fall, so now’s the time to think about this.

Estate Planning. If you don't yet have an estate plan in place, speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. Don’t be one of the 64% of Americans that don't have an estate plan in place. Get the basics prepared, especially a durable power of attorney and advance medical directives.

Emergency Fund. Check on your emergency fund and see if it was depleted by a summer vacation or another event like a change of jobs. You should keep three to six months' worth of living expenses readily available. Build your rainy day fund by putting a percentage of your paycheck into savings every month. If you don't see that money available in your checking account, you won't miss it.

The Long Term. Summer vacation is also a great time to look ahead and consider where you'd like to see yourself in the future. Get started with financial strategies that will help you reach those goals.

Reference: US News (July 28, 2016) “Keep Your Money Goals on Track with a Midyear Financial Checkup”

 

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.