Single Point of View

Single Point of View is our way to occasionally share planning ideas relating to personal finance. Our goal is to pass along concepts that you may not be exposed to on a daily basis.
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Rene Jarquin: SPP Welcomes New Partner

Rene Headshot 4Each decision we make at Single Point starts with the question: “Will this improve the quality of advice, service, and overall experience for our clients?” Never have I been more certain of the answer to that question than when making the decision to bring on our new partner, Rene Jarquin. I am very excited to share the news that Single Point Partners is welcoming Rene Jarquin to the firm as Chief Investment Officer.  Rene is a deep investment thinker who will elevate our cross-asset allocation and research capabilities.  Rene is someone I have worked closely with, and known personally, for over 6 years.   As we explored the possibility of Rene becoming part of the Single Point family, we started with a shared vision of financial advice being a partnership between our clients and us.  We strongly believe that a team approach built with members with unique areas of expertise and...
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Fidelity Trading Costs Reduced

Very good news for our clients with accounts held at Fidelity.  Fidelity has announced that it has reduced trading costs on equity trades (including Exchange Traded Funds) from $7.95 to $4.95 per trade.  As you may know, there are a number of iShares ETFs that trade at no cost on Fidelity's platform as well.     We wanted to make you aware of this change as it impacts many of you (in a positive way).
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An Intern's Experience at Single Point

We were very fortunate to have Liam Cronan spend several weeks with us in May as part of his high school senior project.  He was finishing up his senior year at Thayer Academy and will be starting at Bentley University in fall.  He has a great work ethic, quickly completed projects and was eager to help.  It was great to have a fresh perspective on how we can improve our services.  Many of you may have read the informative  blog he wrote on children and money. As part of the project, Liam was required to write about his experience.  We thought it would make for some light summer blog reading: For the better part of the month of May, I had the pleasure of the opportunity to work as an intern at Single Point Partners in Boston.  Single Point was founded in 2012 by Mr. Shaun Erickson, a Bentley college (the school...
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Welcome to the new Single Point of View

Same content, new page.  We've moved our Single Point of View blog directly onto the www.spcfo.com website.  You'll notice a slightly new look to the blog.  We plan to continue using this format for communicating planning related thoughts and educational information to you.     We've also set up a Single Point Partners Facebook page if it is easier for you to follow us there.  
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Children and Money

We have been fortunate over the past couple of weeks to have Liam Cronan join us at Single Point to work on a few projects.  Liam is a senior at Thayer who will be attending Bentley in the fall.   In a previous blog we touched on the topic of how to help teach your children about money: http://singlepointpartners.blogspot.com/2015/08/should-kids-have-to-do-chores-for-their.htmlWe thought it would be interesting to hear a firsthand perspective on the topic.  In this guest blog post, Liam discusses his personal experience with how his family handled conversations about finances. Some would argue that money and finances, especially those relating directly to the family, are not the business of children. Others may say the processes, not to mention stresses, involved in earning, maintaining, and expanding personal wealth is a topic that should not be a child's concern on the grounds they are too immature to understand it or that their innocence regarding...
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Thank You

We wanted to say thank you to Emily Green for her 3 plus years with us.  Emily has been with us since the inception of Single Point.  Among many other roles, she designed the look and feel of our company's brand from our website to brochures, etc. Emily will be greatly missed.  However, we are very excited for her in her next opportunity.
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Single Point Hosts Financial Planners from Brazil

To kick off the Financial Planning Association Conference Weekend, Single Point hosted a group of Financial Planners from Brazil. There were interesting conversations on many aspects of financial planning and investing, both domestically and cross-boarder. We also shared some of the resources and best practices we utilize to help serve our clients. The worlds of financial planning and wealth management are getting flatter!    
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Planning For Medicare

If you weren't able to catch our webinar on Medicare, you can watch the recording here: http://spcfo.com/planning-for-medicareAs always, feel free to contact us with any questions. Call 617-600-0510 or email info@spcfo.com
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DEADLINE: Switching from a SIMPLE IRA plan to a 401k

So here are the numbers for 2015: If a company currently has a SIMPLE IRA plan, the employee can defer up to $12,500/yr., plus an additional $3,000 if they are over age 50. The employer can choose to make a 2% non-elective contribution (more about this at the IRS website ) or match employee contributions, up to 3% of compensationSIMPLE IRA Summary: The absolute maximum combined employer and employee contribution is $31,000   In a variation of a 401k plan, you can defer up to $18,000,  plus an additional $6,000 if you are over age 50. Employers can contribute additional funds, such as matching contributions and profit sharing.401k Summary: The absolute maximum combined employer and employee contribution is $59,000   This can all be fully tax deductible if you wish.   For those that have a SIMPLE IRA plan in place now, and want to switch to a 401k, here are items to consider: ...
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Save the Date | Planning for Medicare

Single Point Partners is hosting an educational Webinar on Medicare. This presentation is geared towards people approaching Medicare eligibility or already on Medicare; it covers the enrollment timeline, Medigap plans, availability to early retirees, and much more.Online WebinarWe will email you instructions on how to view the webinar when the event gets closer.Wednesday, September 30th2:00pmFor updates on this event visit:http://planningformedicare.splashthat.com
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Save On Your Electric Bill: Summer Update

It may be due to the heat we have had the last couple weeks or just the fact that many folks have been finally able to work on their personal "to-do" lists. Regardless of the reason, questions about switching electric suppliers have resurfaced in conversations.   Keep in mind that if you are in the middle of a "fixed rate" contract with your current supplier and you change suppliers, your current (and soon to be former provider) may back charge you for a higher rate (the difference you would have paid if you were on a "variable rate" contract).  This does not mean that you should not change, it just means you need to do the math and buyer beware.   For more information, see our previous blog from February    Save On Your Electric Bill (February 2015)
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Go Banking Rates

Check out Shaun's quote in Go Banking Rate's article, 5 Investing Fees Beginners Forget About.http://www.gobankingrates.com/personal-finance/5-investing-fees-beginners-forget/
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Earned Sick Time Safe Harbor for Employers

July 1 is fast approaching for businesses impacted by the new Earned Sick Time Law. However, the Attorney General is issuing a safe harbor to afford some businesses until January 1, 2016 to come into full compliance. If you already provide employees with paid time off, this may be of use to you. If you have specific questions, we recommend speaking directly to legal counsel or professional human resource consultants.   See today's press release here:    http://www.mass.gov/ago/docs/workplace/earned-sick-time/est-safe-harbor.pdf   For more details on the law, click on the link below:   http://www.mass.gov/ago/doing-business-in-massachusetts/labor-laws-and-public-construction/earned-sick-time/
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Save On Your Electric Bill

It's Sunday, which means another snow storm in Eastern Massachusetts. As I listen to our apartment's forced hot air fan turn on again, I can't help but think about my electric bill. Last month, we were victims of, "yes I know rates are going up, but really, how much could it impact us?" Well, it did. Combine the winter weather we have had in Boston with increases in electricity costs and you can get shockingly high electric bills.   Since the major electric distributor in our area is Nstar (now Eversource) and much of our experience is in dealing with Nstar, we will focus on working with them.    In November, NStar released new rates, up almost 30%. (see the Boston Globe article below)   http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/11/07/nstar-raise-electric-rates-percent/pAFfYV5SjYJQHr1ISJPQkN/story.html   Besides cutting back on your use or putting solar panels on your roof, you have another option to change your supplier. By default, your distributor...
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Medicare & HSAs

A quick note about the impact of filing for Medicare on HSA plans.  If you are still working past 65, and are enrolled in an HSA plan through your health insurance plan, you want to be careful about your selections for Medicare.Enrolling in any part of Medicare, including enrolling only in Part A, makes you ineligible to contribute to an HSA plan going forward.  If the HSA is a big part of your health insurance strategy during these years, you want to be careful about the impact of applying for Medicare.  Remember, when you apply for Social Security Retirement benefits you are automatically enrolled in Part A of Medicare.  So, if you are still working past 65, and have an HSA plan, it is another reason to consider delaying your application for social security retirement benefits.
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Retirement Plan and HSA Limit Increases for 2015

The numbers were released back in October, but the first week of January is the time where many folks increase their automatic deferrals into 401k plans and other tax favorable accounts. With that said,we thought it would be timely to remind everyone of the increase in limits for 2015. Below is a brief summary of the most common accounts we see. You can visit the IRS for more details (links at the bottom of this post).401KAnnual deferral limit increases from $17,500 to $18,000. The catch-up increases from $5,500 to $6,000IRAThe limits went unchanged at $5,500 and $1,000 for catch-up contributionsSIMPLE IRAThe maximum contributions increased from $12,000 t0 $12,500 and the catch-up contribution increased from $2,500 to $3,000SEP IRAThe maximum contribution increased from $52,000 to $53,000HSA (Health Savings Account)For self only coverage, the contribution limit is $3,350 and for families it  is $6,650. This is up from $3,300 and $6,550 respectively. For...
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Massachusetts Employers: New Paid Sick Time Law

In November 2014, the voters of Massachusetts approved the ballot question requiring employers to provide earned paid sick time to employees. This new law comes into effect on July 1, 2015 and impacts employers of 11 or employees. Note, this is different than other regulations on healthcare that apply to "full time equivalent employees". In other words, this law accounts for full-time and part-time employees the same, as 1 and 1. We are encouraging our business owner clients to start reviewing their employee handbooks to plan on how they will comply with the new law.http://www.shrm.org/legalissues/stateandlocalresources/pages/mass.-sick-leave-challenging.aspxhttp://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/ele14/pip144.htm
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SPP Client Login

We have put together a presentation that will explain the various resources you can use to access account information. There are multiple options for viewing your accounts online, we want to make sure you find the one that works best for you. Click HERE to learn more about the Client Login page.
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Social Security: Cost of Living Adjustment 2015

Recently, the Social Security Administration announced its  COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) for 2015. This adjustment of 1.7% will be applied to payments beginning in January 2015.Also connected to this adjustment is the increase of wages subject to the Security Security Tax, going from $117,000 to $118,500.If you would like to learn more about how this adjustment is calculated, please visit the Social Security Administrations official site.For more information on how your wages are taxed based on these adjustments, please visit this fact sheet from the Social Security Administation.
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