Something to Look Forward To…
Tasha Borglum, Advisor
A client once told me that she largely credits one thing to keeping her energized in tough times and even just in the daily grind that can be life: she always has something to look forward to. If she finds herself without something to look forward to, she intentionally creates something. For her, that something is a vacation. She always has a vacation or trip to her beloved second home planned because it is fun to think about and brings her happiness even on her toughest days. I don’t know that she realizes how much her words, shared over cocktails one afternoon, impacted my outlook. I find myself not only inspired to do the same thing in my own life, but encouraging others to do the same thing as well.
My definition of “something to look forward to” may be different than yours. Your definition might be different than your spouse’s or your children’s. But as we hit the one-year anniversary of being in this pandemic, with thinning patience and increasing fatigue, I think it’s more important than ever to find your own definition and chart your path forward. Vaccines are getting distributed. Case numbers, at least as of the time of this writing, have improved dramatically. The stock market, albeit with some recent volatility, has recovered from the March 23, 2020 low and is near a record high. Things are getting better. There is so much to be positive about and when you add planning a vacation, hugging your grandchild for the first time in 12+ months because you are finally vaccinated and comfortable, gathering with friends for a barbecue or your first long weekend getaway without your children in way too long…the good energy has no upper limit.
The sun is shining and the days are getting increasingly brighter. I personally am looking forward to a long weekend trip to Florida in a few weeks, planning my son’s outdoor third birthday party and seeing my teammates in person for the first time in a long time as spring and warmer weather arrive. I look forward not only to these things, but to hearing about your “something to look forward to” the next time we talk or see each other. I cannot wait for the conversation!
Ask a Professional
Mike Vredenburgh, Advisor
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) & Extension of Tax Deadlines
On March 11, 2021 President Biden signed the $1.9T American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law. Another round of stimulus payments was included for eligible recipients in addition to a few significant tax provisions:
Expanded Child Tax Credit / Child and Dependent Care Credit
The child tax credit increases the age limit from 16 to 17. It used to be $2,000, but for 2021 only, the credit increases to $3,000 ($3,600 for a child under age 6) and is fully refundable compared to just $1,400 under current law. The excess credit above the $2,000 “normal credit” begins to phase out at $75,000 of adjusted gross income (AGI) for a single taxpayer, $150,000 for a married couple filing jointly. The “normal credit” continues to phase out at $200,000 for a single taxpayer, $400,000 for a married couple filing jointly.
The child and dependent care tax credit increases from a 2020 high of $2,100 for two eligible children to as much as $8,000 in 2021 and is also fully refundable.
Increase for Dependent Care Assistance Programs
ARPA increases the allowable contribution amounts to Dependent Care FSA Accounts for 2021 only from $5,000 to $10,500 for a married couple filing jointly, $2,500 to $5,250 for married couples filing separately. It will be up to the employer if they want to modify their plan to coincide with this temporary increase, so please reach out to your HR department to urge them to participate.
Extension of Tax Deadlines
On March 17, 2021 the IRS announced that individuals have until May 17 to file their 2020 form 1040 tax returns and make 2020 tax year federal income tax payments. This also postpones to May 17 the contribution deadlines to IRAs, Roth IRAs, and HSAs.
As always, if you have any questions about this or anything else, please reach out to the Breckenridge Team.
© 2021 Moneta Group Investment Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved. These materials were prepared for informational purposes only. You should consult with an appropriately credentialed professional before making any financial, investment, tax or legal decision. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. These materials do not take into consideration your personal circumstances, financial or otherwise.
Team Member Spotlight
Jeff Tank, Client Service Manager
Well, the spotlight has come around to me once again. With mixed feelings, I’m here to say this will be my last writing for the Breckenridge Team newsletter. When I started at Moneta in 2017, I knew this would likely be my last professional job. In late January, my wife and I announced that we would both be retiring this year. My wife, Nancy, is retiring in early April from Delta Dental of Missouri after almost 23 years. As for me, I will be leaving Moneta in early July.
I am grateful for the opportunity that Dave and Tasha gave me four years ago. I will most miss interacting with and helping my clients. I will miss my teammates, too, of course. Working from home does make it a bit easier to say goodbye. Unfortunately for them, I still plan to continue to bother them once I’m retired.
We are looking forward to traveling once things are safer out there, including a trip to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, which is this June. We will likely move out of the St. Louis area eventually, but will enjoy St. Louis as a retired couple for now.
Our daughter, Caroline, graduates in May with her Masters in Industrial Engineering. We are anxious to see where she ends up for her first real job.
I wish you and your families the very best in the years ahead with continued success, health, and happiness.