Wednesday, August 12, 2015

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER?

We have a monthly newsletter that can be emailed directly to you. It’s a short read filled with facts. This month the newsletter discusses two important issues. The first is the importance of updating beneficiary designations and the second is the benefits of Health Savings Accounts.

Click here http://www.sutton-mccann.com/monthly-news  to sign up for our newsletter and view our archive of past issues.

Sharon Holcomb, EA

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

PERSONAL FINANCE – KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE

Why do businesses spend so much time and energy keeping track of their assets, liabilities, income and expenditures?  The answer is quite simple.  Businesses need accurate financial information in order to help manage scarce resources. 

Do individuals also need help managing scarce resources?  Absolutely!!  The scarce resource is called money.  Yet, how many American households keep track of their personal assets, liabilities, income and expenditures?  Study after study show that few Americans have a solid understanding of their personal finances.  It should not come as a surprise that almost 50% of U.S. households do not have enough money in savings to cover an unexpected expense of $2,000. 

Keeping track of your personal finances should be as common place as going to the dentist every 6 months.  It is a necessary task to help protect long term financial health.   Using a trusted advisor to review your personal financial statements can serve as a great tool to receive independent recommendations for areas of weakness and highlight areas of strength.   Once you have a solid foundation of accurate personal financial statements then it is much easier to make accurate financial forecasts.  Would you rather live paycheck to paycheck or have a plan to achieve financial independence?

People go to work their entire lives to receive periodic deposits of a scarce resource.  How much of your income goes towards expenditures?  I think it is common sense to implement a system to help manage that scarce resource.   With any type of management system knowing is always half the battle. 

Nick S. Wold, CPA, MA

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

DEALING WITH DEMENTIA

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in three seniors in the United States contracts Alzheimer’s or dementia.   Memory loss is a devastating disease and requires selfless acts of giving from family and friends to help those who are suffering.  Some of the first signs of dementia are a person’s declining financial abilities.  As an advisor to clients, my main objective is to help ensure the disease of memory loss does not lead to a financial crisis.  If you have a loved one suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, then  using a trusted advisor can serve as a wonderful tool to help begin the conversation of protecting assets from the long-term effects of the disease.  We can ask the tough questions to begin the conversation.  The path to long-term financial security in the wake of dementia can begin with a simple conversation.

Nick S. Wold, CPA, MA

Thursday, June 11, 2015

HELP ME HELP YOU

Anyone who has ever owned a small business understands just how hard it is to wear so many different hats.  As your business grows the hats become larger and larger and eventually swallow you up like a disappearing rabbit.

Help me help you with one of those hats.  Our contract controller services allow you to spend less time preparing and analyzing the financial statements and allow you to focus on making smart business decisions and increasing your profitability.  What exactly are contract controller services?  Well, the answer really depends upon the specific needs and challenges related to the financial and operational components of your particular business.

Our contract controller services are flexible to meet the specific needs of your business.  The first step is to have a conversation and learn more about your business and your need for accounting and finance services. 

The bottom line is this.  If the finances of your business are keeping you up at night then consider bringing in a professional to help guide your ship to safe waters.  We are flexible and will tailor our contract controller services to meet your needs.  Please call us to learn more.
Nick S. Wold, CPA, MA

Thursday, May 21, 2015

WHEN SHOULD YOU CLAIM SOCIAL SECURITY?


If anyone ever tells you they know the answer to this question then run away from their advice as fast as you can!  The decision to begin collecting social security is agonizing and everyone seems to have a different opinion.  The decision becomes exponentially more complicated if you are also eligible for spousal benefits in addition to benefits based on your own work history.   

Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration does not provide an easy way to calculate the monetary value on the decision to defer social security until age 70.  The SSA calculators simply project the change in monthly benefits by waiting to age 70, but this does not paint the entire picture.

For example, assume you live to age 90 and begin collecting social security at age 62.  How would this compare to collecting social security at age 70?  Based on these two different options, do you have any idea as to the difference in your total lifetime social security income?  I recently calculated the projected difference in total lifetime social security income for a married couple and they were stunned to learn they are projected to receive an additional $300k in lifetime social security income by waiting until age 70 to claim benefits (based on certain life expectancy assumptions). 

According to the Society of Actuaries, an American couple both aged 80 have a 62% probability that either spouse will live to age 90.  As life expectancy for retiring Americans is at an all-time high, it is safe to assume that more and more Americans would be better off by deferring social security benefits.

The most important point is that nobody knows if any strategy is the best strategy because none of us know how long we will live.  In general terms, the shorter your life the more you benefit by claiming social security early and vice versa.  The best thing you can do is evaluate all of your options and make an informed decision.  This is no easy task, but, at some point, you’ll need to decide.  Feel free to call our office if you would like some help in reviewing your options.

Nick S. Wold, CPA, MA