Journalists who would like to interview one or more of these professionals are invited to contact ImpactMediaManager@ImpactCommunications.org. An annual conference is planned for Atlanta this fall so that these financial professionals can gather in-person and share ideas. Journalists interested in a press pass, please inquire.
Consumers who are looking for professional tax strategy, financial planning and investment management services, as well as financial advisors interested in learning more about joining the organization, are invited to visit www.ACPlanners.org.
TIP #1: PLAN FOR AND SPEND ON VACATION EXPERIENCES, NOT STUFF
“Many individuals receive pay raises, bonuses, or other cash inflows during the summer months. Remember to always set aside enough for taxes and savings first, but try to spend the remaining amount in a way that will bring you the most enjoyment,” said Josh Cutler, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ professional, EA, a partner and senior advisor at Bluestem Financial Advisors, LLC in Champaign, IL. “Oftentimes, that is achieved by spending on experiences, rather than the next gadget or consumer good to hit the market.”
“Pay for your vacations in advance. This will help to reduce the financial anxiety that many of us often experience during vacation and allow for the opportunity to focus more on enjoying the experience and less about how much that dinner or extra excursion might cost,” said Cutler. “Additionally, consider travel insurance to protect your investment for more expensive vacations. Having to miss a vacation due to an emergency is bad enough; losing any money that you have put as a pre-payment for that vacation will only make the situation worse,” added Cutler.
“Plan ahead for next year. The most popular vacation spots, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, tend to fill up quickly. Planning ahead for next year’s vacation is a great way to end this year’s trip. It will motivate you to start saving up for next year and even give you the opportunity to reserve your ideal spot well in advance (sometimes for even lower rates),” said Cutler.
TIP #2: BE PREPARED FOR CHANGES IN THE EXTENDED CHILD TAX CREDIT
“For couples with adjusted gross income of less than $150,000 (single filers with less than $75,000), an extended child tax credit of $3,600 for children less than age six and $3,000 for children between six and 17 is available for 2021 (credit is normally $2,000 per child),” said Steve Cruice, a CPA and CFP® with Simply Steward in Denver, Colorado. “What is unique this year, however, is that starting July 15, 50% of the credit will be paid monthly through the end of the year. So, if a couple has a five year old and an eight year old, they will begin receiving monthly payments through the end of the year of $550 per month ($300 per month for the five year old and $250 per month for the eight year old). It is always good to do a tax projection, however, to see how the extended child tax credit will impact your overall 2021 tax picture. If you are projected to owe taxes, you may want to consider saving these monthly payments towards your tax bill,” said Cruice.
Individuals can check their eligibility through the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/advance-child-tax-credit-eligibility-assistant. It is important to know your eligibility as the credit is not available for all and it is possible, based upon 2021 income, that a portion of it may need to be repaid to the IRS at tax time.
“For those that know they will not be eligible due to the income limitations, the IRS has rolled out instructions on how to unenroll from the Child Tax Credit advance payments,” said Rorik Larson, CFP®, EA, Founder and Principal of Essential Financial Strategies in Palos Heights, IL. There are dates through the summer to unenroll. Unenrolling is a one-time effort and cannot be undone. Here are the unenrollment deadlines.