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Retirement, investments, financial planning for every stage of life—learn about it all here at Invested,
a blog from your Wealth Management Advisors at Kirtland Financial Services.


Insurance

Do you carry a life insurance policy? What type is it? Do you have enough insurance for your situation? The insurance you choose can have a big impact on your financial planning. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating different life insurance options.

There are two basic types of life insurance: term life and permanent (cash value) life. For a rundown of these two types and their key differences, click here. 

Do you need life insurance?
At some point in your life, you'll probably be faced with the question of whether you need life insurance. Life insurance is a way to protect your loved ones financially after you die and your income stops. The answer to whether you need life insurance depends on your personal and financial circumstances.

You should probably consider buying life insurance if any one of the following is true:
  • You are married and your spouse depends on your income
  • You have children
  • You have an aging parent or disabled relative who depends on you for support
  • Your retirement savings and pension won't be enough for your spouse to live on
  • You have a large estate and expect to owe estate taxes
  • You own a business, especially if you have a partner
  • You have a substantial joint financial obligation such as a personal loan for which another person would be legally responsible after your death
In all of these cases, the proceeds from a life insurance policy can help your loved ones continue to manage financially during the difficult weeks, months, and years after your death. The proceeds can also be used to meet funeral and other final expenses, which can run into thousands of dollars.

If you're still unsure about whether you should buy life insurance, a good question to ask yourself is:

If I died today with no life insurance, would my family need to make substantial financial sacrifices and give up the lifestyle to which they've become accustomed in order to meet their financial obligations (e.g., car payments, mortgage, college tuition)?

If the answer is yes, insurance is something to seriously consider. And once you decide you need life insurance, don't put off buying it. Although no one wants to think about and plan for his or her own death, you don't want to make the mistake of waiting until it's too late.

How much life insurance do you need?
Your life insurance needs will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your family, the nature of your financial obligations, your career stage, and your goals. For example, when you're young, you may not have a great need for life insurance. However, as you take on more responsibilities and your family grows, your need for life insurance increases.

Here are some questions that can help you start thinking about the amount of life insurance you need:
  • What immediate financial expenses (e.g., debt repayment, funeral expenses) would your family face upon your death?
  • How much of your salary is devoted to current expenses and future needs?
  • How long would your dependents need support if you were to die tomorrow?
  • How much money would you want to leave for special situations upon your death, such as funding your children's education, gifts to charities, or an inheritance for your children?
  • What other assets or insurance policies do you have?
Estimating your life insurance need
There are a couple of simple methods that you can use to estimate your life insurance need. These calculations are sometimes referred to as rules of thumb and can be used as a basis for your discussions with your insurance professional.

Income rule
The most basic rule of thumb is the income rule, which states that your insurance need would be equal to six or eight times your gross annual income. For example, a person earning a gross annual income of $60,000 should have between $360,000 (6 x $60,000) and $480,000 (8 x $60,000) in life insurance coverage.

Income plus expenses
This rule considers your insurance need to be equal to five times your gross annual income plus the total of any mortgage, personal debt, final expenses, and special funding needs (e.g., college). For example, assume that you earn a gross annual income of $60,000 and have expenses that total $160,000. Your insurance need would be equal to $460,000 ($60,000 x 5 +$160,000).

Several more comprehensive methods are used to calculate life insurance need. Overall, these methods are more detailed than the rules of thumb and provide a more complete view of your insurance needs.

Family needs approach
The family needs approach requires you to purchase enough life insurance to allow your family to meet its various expenses in the event of your death. Under the family needs approach, you divide your family's needs into three main categories:
  • Immediate needs at death (cash needed for funeral and other expenses)
  • Ongoing needs (income needed to maintain your family's lifestyle)
  • Special funding needs (college funding, bequests to charity and children, etc.)
Once you determine the total amount of your family's needs, you purchase enough life insurance, taking into consideration the interest that the life insurance proceeds will earn over time, to cover that amount.

Income replacement calculation
The income replacement calculation is based on the theory that the family income earners should buy enough life insurance to replace the loss of income due to an untimely death. Under this approach, the amount of life insurance you should purchase is based on the value of the income that you can expect to earn during your lifetime, taking into account such factors as inflation and anticipated salary increases, as well as the interest that the lump-sum life insurance proceeds will generate.

Estate preservation and liquidity needs approach
The estate preservation and liquidity needs approach attempts to calculate the amount of life insurance needed upon your death to settle your estate. This includes estate taxes, and funeral, legal, and accounting expenses. The purpose is to preserve the value of your estate at the level prior to your death and to prevent an unwanted sale of assets to pay estate taxes. This method takes into consideration the amount of life insurance needed to maintain the current value of your estate for your family, while providing the cash needed to cover death expenses and taxes.

Periodically review your coverage
Once you purchase a life insurance policy, make sure to periodically review your coverage—especially when you have a significant life event (e.g., birth of a child, death of a family member)—and make sure that it adequately meets your insurance needs. The most common mistake that people make is to be underinsured. For example, if a portion of your life insurance proceeds are to be earmarked for your child's college education, the more children you have, the more life insurance you'll need. But it's also possible to be overinsured, and that's a mistake, too—the extra money you spend on premiums could be used for other things.

The team at Kirtland Financial Services does not sell insurance but can help you evaluate your options and see where and how a life insurance plan fits into your overall financial planning picture. Talk to a Wealth Management Advisor for free!

MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT NOW
 
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal professional. Material prepared by Broadridge Investor Solutions, Inc. for Kirtland Financial Services.

Insurance

Life insurance can be a critical part of any long-term financial plan. There’s more to life insurance than the standard work-issued policies many people carry. Let’s get to know the basic types of life insurance and how they could fit into your financial plan.

Types of life insurance policies
The two basic types of life insurance are term life and permanent (cash value) life. Term policies provide life insurance protection for a specific period of time. If you die during the coverage period, your beneficiary receives the policy's death benefit. If you live to the end of the term, the policy simply terminates, unless it automatically renews for a new period. Term policies are typically available for periods of 1 to 30 years and may, in some cases, be renewed until you reach age 95. With guaranteed level term insurance, a popular type, both the premium and the amount of coverage remain level for a specific period of time.

Permanent insurance policies offer protection for your entire life, regardless of your health, provided you pay the premium to keep the policy in force. As you pay your premiums, a portion of each payment is placed in the cash-value account. During the early years of the policy, the cash-value contribution is a large portion of each premium payment. As you get older, and the true cost of your insurance increases, the portion of your premium payment devoted to the cash value decreases. The cash value continues to grow—tax deferred—as long as the policy is in force. You can borrow against the cash value, but unpaid policy loans will reduce the death benefit that your beneficiary will receive. If you surrender the policy before you die (i.e., cancel your coverage), you'll be entitled to receive the cash value, minus any loans and surrender charges.

Many different types of cash-value life insurance are available, including:
  • Whole life: You generally make level (equal) premium payments for life. The death benefit and cash value are predetermined and guaranteed (subject to the claims-paying ability and financial strength of the issuing insurance company). Your only action after purchase of the policy is to pay the fixed premium.
  • Universal life: You may pay premiums at any time, in any amount (subject to certain limits), as long as the policy expenses and the cost of insurance coverage are met. The amount of insurance coverage can be changed, and the cash value will grow at a declared interest rate, which may vary over time.
  • Indexed universal life: This is a form of universal life insurance with excess interest credited to cash values. But unlike universal life insurance, the amount of interest credited is tied to the performance of an equity index, such as the S&P 500.
  • Variable life: As with whole life, you pay a level premium for life. However, the death benefit and cash value fluctuate depending on the performance of investments in what are known as subaccounts. A subaccount is a pool of investor funds professionally managed to pursue a stated investment objective. You select the subaccounts in which the cash value should be invested.
  • Variable universal life: A combination of universal and variable life. You may pay premiums at any time, in any amount (subject to limits), as long as policy expenses and the cost of insurance coverage are met. The amount of insurance coverage can be changed, and the cash value and death benefit goes up or down based on the performance of investments in the subaccounts.
With so many types of life insurance available, you're sure to find a policy that meets your needs and your budget.

Choosing and changing your beneficiaries
When you purchase life insurance, you must name a primary beneficiary to receive the proceeds of your insurance policy. Your beneficiary may be a person, corporation, or other legal entity. You may name multiple beneficiaries and specify what percentage of the net death benefit each is to receive. If you name your minor child as a beneficiary, you should also designate an adult as the child's guardian in your will.

What type of insurance is right for you?
Before deciding whether to buy term or permanent life insurance, consider the policy cost and potential savings that may be available. Also keep in mind that your insurance needs will likely change as your family, job, health, and financial picture change, so you'll want to build some flexibility into the decision-making process. In any case, here are some common reasons for buying life insurance and which type of insurance may best fit the need.
  • Mortgage or long-term debt: For most people, the home is one of the most valuable assets and also the source of the largest debt. An untimely death may remove a primary source of income used to pay the mortgage. Term insurance can replace the lost income by providing life insurance for the length of the mortgage. If you die before the mortgage is paid off, the term life insurance pays your beneficiary an amount sufficient to pay the outstanding mortgage balance owed.
  • Family protection: Your income not only pays for day-to-day expenses, but also provides a source for future costs such as college education expenses and retirement income. Term life insurance of 20 years or longer can take care of immediate cash needs as well as provide income for your survivor's future needs. Another alternative is cash value life insurance, such as universal life or variable life insurance. The cash value accumulation of these policies can be used to fund future income needs for college or retirement, even if you don't die.
  • Small business needs: Small business owners need life insurance to protect their business interest. As a business owner, you need to consider what happens to your business should you die unexpectedly. Life insurance can provide cash needed to buy a deceased partner's or shareholder's interest from his or her estate. Life insurance can also be used to compensate for the unexpected death of a key employee.
For more information about how much life insurance you could need, click here. 

Review your coverage
Whether you’re 25, 52, or well into retirement, make sure to periodically review your coverage; over time your needs will change.

The team at Kirtland Financial Services does not sell insurance but can help you evaluate your options and see where and how a life insurance plan fits into your overall financial planning picture. Talk to a Wealth Management Advisor for free!

MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT NOW
 
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal professional. Material prepared by Broadridge Investor Solutions, Inc. for Kirtland Financial Services.

Investments Retirement

Only about 23% of American workers say they are "very confident" they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement.¹ To help reduce such uncertainty in your life, consider these five common investment pitfalls—and how you might avoid them.

Mistake #1: Waiting to Maximize Your Contributions
The sooner you start contributing the maximum amount allowed by your employer-sponsored retirement plan, the better your chances for building a significant savings cushion. By starting early, you allow more time for your contributions -- and potential earnings -- to compound, or build upon themselves, on a tax-deferred basis.

Mistake #2: Ignoring Specific Financial Goals
It is difficult to create an effective investment plan without first targeting a specific dollar amount and recognizing how much time you have to pursue that goal. To enjoy the same quality of life in retirement that you have become accustomed to during your prime earning years, you may need the equivalent of 80% or more of your final working year's salary for each year of retirement.

Mistake #3: Fearing Stock Volatility
It is true that stock investments face a greater risk of short-term price swings than fixed-income investments. However, stocks have historically produced stronger earnings over the long term.² In general, the longer your investment time horizon, the more you might consider adding stock funds to your portfolio.

Mistake #4: Timing the Market
Some investors try to base investment decisions on daily price swings. But unless you have a crystal ball, "timing the market" could be very risky. A better idea might be to buy and hold investments for several years.

Mistake #5: Failing to Diversify
Investing in just one fund or asset class could subject your investment portfolio to unnecessary risk. Spreading your money over a well-chosen mix of investments may help reduce the potential for loss during periods of market volatility. Diversification may offset losses in any one investment or asset category by taking advantage of possible gains elsewhere.³

Now that you are aware of these five common investment errors, consider yourself lucky: You are ready to potentially benefit from other people's experiences—without making the same mistakes.

Adding the guidance of a Wealth Management Advisor can help you navigate your investment decisions as part of a larger financial plan for retirement. Make an appointment online today or call 505-254-4363. We’re here to help!

 
1. Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, "The 2019 Retirement Confidence Survey," 2019.
2. Source: SS&C Technologies, Inc. Stocks are represented by total returns from Standard & Poor's Composite Index of 500 Stocks, an unmanaged index generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. Fixed-income investments are represented by annual total returns of long-term (10+ years) Treasury bonds. Indexes do not take into account the fees and expenses associated with investing, and individuals cannot invest in any index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. With any investment, it is possible to lose money.
3. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in any market.

Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by DST Systems, Inc. or its sources, neither DST Systems, Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall DST Systems, Inc. be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber's or others' use of the content.

© 2020 DST Systems, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited, except by permission. All rights reserved. Not responsible for any errors or omissions.

 

Investments
The markets are offering a wild ride for investors recently. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to duck and cover.
  
Be Willing To Take Advantage of Market Downturns
Anyone can look good during a bull market. Smart investors are prepared to weather the inevitable rough patches, and even the best aren't successful all the time. When the market goes off the tracks, knowing why you originally made a specific investment can help you evaluate whether those reasons still hold, regardless of what the overall market is doing.

If you no longer want to hold an investment, you could take a tax loss, if that's a possibility. Selling locks in any losses on an investment, but it also generates cash that can be used to purchase other investments that may be available at an appealing discount. Sound research might turn up buying opportunities on stocks that have dropped for reasons that have nothing to do with the company's fundamentals. In a down market, most stocks are available at lower prices, but some are better bargains than others.

There also are other ways to reap some benefit from a down market. If the value of your IRA or 401(k) has dropped dramatically, you likely won't be able to harvest a tax benefit from those losses, because taxes generally aren't owed on those accounts until the money is withdrawn. However, if you've considered converting a tax-deferred plan to a Roth IRA, a lower account balance might make a conversion more attractive. Though the conversion would trigger income taxes in the year of the conversion, the tax would be calculated on the reduced value of your account. With some expert help, you can determine whether and when such a conversion might be advantageous.

Continuing To Invest May Help You Stay On Course
In the current market environment, the value of your holdings may be fluctuating widely — and it's natural to feel tentative about further investment. But regularly adding to an account that's designed for a long-term goal may cushion the emotional impact of market swings. If losses are offset even in part by new savings, the bottom-line number on your statement might not be quite so discouraging. And a basic principle of investing is that buying during a down market may help your portfolio grow when the market turns upward again.

If you are investing a specific amount regularly regardless of fluctuating price levels (as in a typical workplace retirement plan), you are practicing dollar-cost averaging. Using this approach, you may be getting a bargain by continuing to buy when prices are down. However, you should consider your financial psychological ability to continue purchases through periods of fluctuating price levels or economic distress; dollar-cost averaging loses much of its benefit if you stop just when prices are reduced. And it can't guarantee a profit or protect against a loss.

If you can't bring yourself to invest during this period of uncertainty, try not to let the volatility derail your savings program completely. If necessary to help address your concerns, you could continue to save, but direct new savings into a cash-alternative investment until your comfort level rises. Though you might not be buying at a discount, you could be accumulating cash reserves that could be invested when you're ready. The key is not to let short-term anxiety make you forget your long-term plan.
 
A volatile market is never easy to endure, but learning from it can better prepare you and your portfolio to weather and take advantage of the market's ups and downs. For more information on these strategies, contact us. We're here to help.

Book your appointment with a Wealth Management Advisor today by calling 505-254-4363 or online at KirtlandFCU.org/Schedule.

 
All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful. Although there is no assurance that working with a financial professional will improve investment results, a professional can evaluate your objectives and available resources and help you consider appropriate long-term financial strategies. To qualify for the tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings (and assets converted to a Roth), Roth IRA distributions must meet a five-year holding requirement, and the distribution must take place after age 59½ (with some exceptions). Under current tax law, if all conditions are met, the account will incur no further income tax liability for the rest of the owner's lifetime or for the lifetime of the owner's heirs, regardless of how much growth the account experiences.

Education COVID-19

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act, the largest economic stimulus bill in the history of the United States, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.1 Included in the legislation are new rules for student loan relief that supersede the rules that were announced only a week earlier by the Department of Education. For more information on both sets of rules, visit the federal student aid website.

What new relief is being offered?
The new legislation provides a six-month automatic payment suspension (administrative forbearance) for any student loan held by the federal government. This six-month period ends on September 30, 2020. Borrowers do not need to contact their loan servicer to request a suspension; they will be automatically placed in administrative forbearance. Under the previous policy, the payment suspension was for two months and it was not automatic; borrowers had to contact their loan servicer to opt in.
  
The new stimulus legislation also provides a temporary incentive for employers to pay down their employees' student debt balances. Specifically, employers are able to contribute up to $5,250 toward an employee's student debt through December 31, 2020 without any tax consequences for the employee.
  
What loans qualify for the suspension?
Only student loans held by the federal government are eligible. This includes Direct Loans (which includes PLUS Loans), as well as Federal Perkins Loans and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans held by the Department of Education. Private student loans are not eligible.
  
Will interest continue to accrue during the suspension period?
No. Interest will not accrue during the six-month suspension period. The interest rate is being set at 0%. Also, due to the Department of Education's earlier student loan relief rules, the interest rate on all eligible
federal student loans is effectively set at 0% from March 13, 2020 through September 30, 2020.
  
What happens with auto-debit payments?
Auto-debit payments are suspended during the administrative forbearance period. Any auto-debit payments processed between March 13, 2020 and September 30, 2020 can be refunded. Borrowers should contact their loan servicer if they wish to request a refund.
  
Can borrowers keep making their student loan payments?
Yes. Borrowers can choose to keep making their monthly student loan payments during the six-month suspension period if they wish. Borrowers should contact their loan servicer to opt out of the administrative forbearance period and continue their auto-debit payments. Borrowers also have the option to make manual (i.e., not auto-debit) payments during the administrative forbearance period.
  
During this period of 0% interest, the full amount of a borrower's payment will be applied to principal (once all interest accrued prior to March 13, 2020, is paid). Borrowers can also choose to make partial payments during the suspension period.

How will the suspension period affect the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program?
Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, borrowers who work in an eligible public service job and make 120 on-time student loan payments are eligible to have the remaining balance on their federal Direct Loans forgiven.2 Under the new legislation, the six-month freeze on student loan payments will not affect the 120-month running period for purposes of the PSLF program. In other words, each month of the suspension period will still count toward a borrower's 120-payment tally, even if the borrower does not make any payments during the six-month period.

How can borrowers contact their loan servicer?
A loan servicer is the company that handles a loan's billing and provides related services. Borrowers who want to contact their loan servicer for any reason should try to do so online or by phone. For borrowers who do not know who their loan servicer is or how to contact them, they can visit studentaid.gov/login or call 1-800-4-FED-AID for assistance.

The team at Kirtland Financial Services here, delivering the support and financial guidance you need.

Book your appointment with a Wealth Management Advisor today by calling 505-254-4364 or online at KirtlandFCU.org/Schedule


 
1) Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) , enacted March 27, 2020
2) U.S. Department of Education, Office of Federal Student Aid, 2020
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.
The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal advisor. LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.

Taxes COVID-19

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the due date for filing federal income tax returns and making tax payments has been postponed by the IRS from Wednesday, April 15, 2020, to Wednesday, July 15, 2020. No interest, penalties, or additions to tax will be incurred by taxpayers during this 90-day relief period for any return or payment postponed under this relief provision. 

The relief applies automatically to all taxpayers, and they do not need to file any additional forms to qualify for the relief. The relief applies to federal income tax payments (for taxable year 2019) and estimated tax payments (for taxable year 2020) due on April 15, 2020, including payments of tax on self-employment income. There is no limit on the amount of tax that can be deferred. 
  
Note: Under this relief provision, no extension is provided for the payment or deposit of any other type of federal tax, or for the filing of any federal information return. 
  
Need more time? 
If you're not able to file your federal income tax return by the July due date, you can file for an extension by the July due date using IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Filing this extension gives you an additional three months (until October 15, 2020) to file your federal income tax return. You can also file for an automatic three-month extension electronically (details on how to do so can be found in the Form 4868 instructions). There may be penalties for failing to file or for filing late. 

Filing for an extension using Form 4868 does not provide any additional time to pay your tax. When you file for an extension, you have to estimate the amount of tax you will owe and pay this amount by the July filing due date. If you don't pay the amount you've estimated, you may owe interest and penalties. In fact, if the IRS believes that your estimate was not reasonable, it may void your extension. 

Tax refunds 
The IRS encourages taxpayers seeking a tax refund to file their tax return as soon as possible. Apparently, most tax refunds are still being issued within 21 days of the IRS receiving a tax return. 

You matter to us! We’re here to help you make sense of these recent changes.

Book your appointment with a Wealth Management Advisor today by calling 505-254-4364 or online at KirtlandFCU.org/Schedule

 

COVID-19

Here is a quick look at the basics of the CARES Act, passed by Congress in March to assist individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19. 
  
INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE
Recovery Rebates
  • Provides all U.S. residents with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less $1,200 for singles and heads of households ($2,400 for married couples filing joint returns and an adjusted gross income of $150,000 or less).
  • The rebate is phased out by $5 for every $100 over $75,000 that an individual receives, and phased-out completely for incomes exceeding $99,000 (single), $146,000 (head of household with one child) or $198,000 (joint with no children).
  • Those with children are eligible to receive an additional $500 per child.
  • Those with no income, or income that comes from non-taxable benefits such as SSI, are still eligible for the rebate.
  • Checks will be sent to the address or bank account used on 2018 or 2019 tax returns. No action will be required for most eligible recipients.
  
Unemployment Compensation
  • Expands eligibility to include self-employed individuals and independent contractors.
  • Expands eligibility to 39 weeks (through the end of 2020).
  • Increases the maximum amount available by $600 per week.
  • Allows for individuals who quit their jobs due to coronavirus related concerns to be eligible for unemployment assistance.
  
RETIREMENT ASSISTANCE
Required Minimum Distributions
  • RMDs for 2020 are waived completely for IRAs and DC plans. They do not need to be made up next year.
  • We are waiting for IRS guidance related to putting distributions already taken back. It was allowed in 2009. 
  
Plan Withdrawals
  • Waives the 10% penalty tax on early withdrawals up to $100,000 for coronavirus related hardship distributions.
  • Exempts coronavirus related distributions from the 402(f) notice requirements and mandatory 20% withholding applicable to eligible rollover distributions.
  • Permits the individual to recontribute the coronavirus related distribution within three years.
  • Coronavirus related distributions are distributions made during 2020 to an individual who is diagnosed with COVID-19, who has a spouse or dependent diagnosed with COVID-19 or who experiences financial consequences as a result of COVID-19.
  
SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
Paycheck Protection Program
  • A new, $349 billion lending program administered by the SBA for small businesses, nonprofits, independent contractors, sole proprietors and self-employed individuals
  • Loans are fully guaranteed and 250% of an average monthly payroll from Feb. 15 – June 30, 2019. There is a $10 million cap on loans.
  • Eligible uses include employee compensation, compensation of an independent contractor or sole proprietor no greater than $100,000 in one year, rent or utility payments or a mortgage interest payment.
  
Employee Retention Credit
  • A refundable payroll tax credit equal to 50% of employee wages paid by certain employers during the coronavirus crisis, up to $10,000 in wages.
  • Employers are eligible for the tax credit if their operations were affected by government order limiting commerce, travel or group meetings due to coronavirus or whose quarterly receipts are less than 50% for the same quarter in the prior year.
  • Wages paid to employees during which they are furloughed or have reduced hours are eligible.
  • Businesses receiving a loan through PPP are not eligible.
  
Delay of Payment of Employment Payroll Taxes
  • Employers and self-employed individuals can defer the payment of their portion of social security tax
  • The taxes must be paid over the following two years, with half due before December 31, 2021 and the other half by December 31, 2022.
  • Businesses receiving a loan through PPP are not eligible for this deferral.
  
Excess Business Losses
  • Pass through corporations and sole proprietors are able to deduct more business losses on their taxes, freeing up cash for immediate expenses.
  • The cap, first imposed in the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, will be effective after December 31, 2020.
  
You matter to us! We’re here to help you make sense of these recent changes.

Book your appointment with a Wealth Management Advisor today by calling 505-254-4364 or online at KirtlandFCU.org/Schedule

 
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor. This material was prepared by LPL Financial.

Investments

The longest bull market in history lasted almost 11 years before coronavirus fears and the realities of a seriously disrupted U.S. economy brought it to an end. 

If you are losing sleep over volatility driven by a cascade of disheartening news, it may help to remember that the stock market is historically cyclical. There have been 10 bear markets (prior to this one) since 1950, and the market has recovered eventually every time. 

Bear markets are typically defined as declines of 20% or more from the most recent high, and bull markets are increases of 20% or more from the bear market low. But there is no official declaration, so in some cases there are different interpretations regarding when these cycles begin and end. 
  
On average, bull markets lasted longer (1,955 days) than bear markets (431 days) over this period, and the average bull market advance (172.0%) was greater than the average bear market decline (-34.2%).
 
Bear Market Since 1950 Calendar Days to Bottom U.S. Stock Market Decline (S&P 500 Index)
August 1956 to October 1957 444 -21.5%
December 1961 to June 1962 196 -28.0%
February 1966 to October 1966 240 -22.2%
November 1968 to May 1970 543 -36.1%
January 1973 to October 1974 630 -48.2%
November 1980 to August 1982 622 -27.1%
August 1987 to December 1987 101 -33.5%
July 1990 to October 1990 87 -19.9%*
March 2000 to October 2002 929 -49.1%
October 2007 to March 2009 517 -56.8%
*The intraday low marked a decline of -20.2%, so this cycle is often considered a bear market.

The bottom line is that neither the ups nor the downs last forever, even if they feel as though they will. During the worst downturns, there were short-term rallies and buying opportunities. And in some cases, people have profited over time by investing carefully just when things seemed bleakest. 

If you're reconsidering your current investment strategy, a volatile market is probably the worst time to turn your portfolio inside out. Dramatic price swings can magnify the impact of a wholesale restructuring if the timing of that move is a little off. A well-thought-out asset allocation and diversification strategy is still the fundamental basis of good investment planning. Changes in your portfolio don't necessarily need to happen all at once. Try not to let fear derail your long-term goals. 
  
No matter where the market goes, the team at Kirtland Financial Services is here for you, delivering the support and financial guidance you need.

Book your appointment with a Wealth Management Advisor today by calling 505-254-4363 or online at KirtlandFCU.org/Schedule

 
The return and principal value of stocks fluctuate with changes in market conditions. Shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Asset allocation and diversification are methods used to help manage investment risk; they do not guarantee a profit or protect against investment loss. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged group of securities that is considered to be representative of the U.S. stock market in general. The performance of an unmanaged index is not indicative of the performance of any specific investment. Individuals cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Actual results will vary. Source: Yahoo! Finance, 2020 (data for the period 6/13/1949 to 3/12/2020) The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal advisor. LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.

COVID-19

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. This $2 trillion emergency relief package is intended to assist individuals and businesses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and accompanying economic crisis. Major relief provisions are summarized here.
  
UNEMPLOYMENT PROVISIONS
The legislation provides for: 
  • An additional $600 weekly benefit to those collecting unemployment benefits, through July 31, 2020
  •  An additional 13 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits, through the end of 2020, for individuals who exhaust their state unemployment benefits
  •  Targeted federal reimbursement of state unemployment compensation designed to eliminate state one-week delays in providing benefits
  •  Unemployment benefits through 2020 for many who would not otherwise qualify, including independent contractors and part-time workers
RECOVERY REBATES
Most individuals will receive a direct payment from the federal government. Technically a 2020 refundable income tax credit, the rebate amount will be calculated based on 2019 tax returns filed (2018 returns in cases where a 2019 return hasn't been filed) and sent automatically via check or direct deposit to qualifying individuals. To qualify for a payment, individuals generally must have a Social Security number and must not qualify as the dependent of another individual.
  
The amount of the recovery rebate is $1,200 ($2,400 if married filing a joint return) plus $500 for each qualifying child under age 17. Recovery rebates are phased out for those with adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeding $75,000 ($150,000 if married filing a joint return, $112,500 for those filing as head of household). For those with AGI exceeding the threshold amount, the allowable rebate is reduced by $5 for every $100 in income over the threshold.

Rebate Amounts and Phaseout Ranges 
 
Filing Status Payment Amount Phaseout Threshold Phaseout Completed
Married Filing Jointly $2,400 $150,000 $198,000
+1 Child $2,900 $150,000 $208,000
+2 Children $3,400 $150,000 $218,000
Head of Household $1,200 $112,500 $136,500
+1 Child $1,700 $112,500 $146,500
+2 Children $2,200 $112,500 $156,500
All Others $1,200 $75,000 $99,000

While details are still being worked out, the IRS will be coordinating with other federal agencies to facilitate payment determination and distribution. For example, eligible individuals collecting Social Security benefits may not need to file a tax return in order to receive a payment. 
  
RETIREMENT PLAN PROVISIONS
  • Required minimum distributions (RMDs) from employer-sponsored retirement plans and IRAs will not apply for the 2020 calendar year; this includes any 2019 RMDs that would otherwise have to be taken in 2020
  • The 10% early-distribution penalty tax that would normally apply to distributions made prior to age 59½ (unless an exception applies) is waived for retirement plan distributions of up to $100,000 relating to the coronavirus; special re-contribution rules and income inclusion rules for tax purposes apply as well
  • Limits on loans from employer-sponsored retirement plans are expanded, with repayment delays provided
STUDENT LOANS
  • The legislation provides a six-month automatic payment suspension for any student loan held by the federal government; this six-month period ends on September 30, 2020
  • Under already existing rules, up to $5,250 in payments made by an employer under an education assistance program could be excluded from an employee's taxable income; this exclusion is expanded to include eligible student loan repayments an employer makes on an employee's behalf before January 1, 2021
BUSINESS RELIEF
  • An employee retention tax credit is now available to employers significantly impacted by the crisis and is applied to offset Social Security payroll taxes; the credit is equal to 50% of qualified wages up to a certain maximum
  • Employers may defer paying the employer portion of Social Security payroll taxes through the end of 2020 and may pay the deferred taxes over a two-year period of time; self-employed individuals are able to do the same
  • Net operating loss rules expanded
  • Deductibility of business interest expanded
  • Provisions relating to specified Small Business Administration (SBA) loans increase the federal government guarantee to 100% and allow small businesses to borrow up to $10 million and defer payments for six months to one year; self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and sole proprietors may qualify for loans
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE RELIEF PROPOSITIONS
  • Signed into law roughly two weeks prior to the CARES Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) also included relief provisions worth noting: 
  • Requirement that health plans cover COVID-19 testing at no cost to the patient
  • Requirement that employers with fewer than 500 employees generally must provide paid sick leave to employees affected by COVID-19 who meet certain criteria, and paid emergency family and medical leave in other circumstances
  • Payroll tax credits allowed for required sick leave as well as family and medical leave paid
There is likely to be a steady stream of guidance forthcoming with details relating to many of these provisions, so stay tuned for more information. 

The team at Kirtland Financial Services is here for you. We’re here to help! 

Book your appointment with a Wealth Management Advisor today by calling 505-254-4364 or online at KirtlandFCU.org/Schedule

 
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal advisor. LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.

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