Baron Financial Group Attends CFA Institute Conference

Anthony Benante, CFA and Nicholas Scheibner, CFP® of Baron Financial Group recently attended the 70th CFA Institute Annual (four-day) Conference in Philadelphia, to keep updated on financial industry topics and trends. The CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute’s mission is to lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society.

According to the CFA Institute, it’s imperative that investment professionals remain current in this changing and complex climate to best serve their clients’ interests.

Read more about the CFA Institute at cfainstitue.org.

To learn more about Baron Financial’s investment management service, visit our services pages on our website.

What is the best way to plan for your assets to remain within your bloodlines?

A 60-second read by Nicholas Scheibner:  When planning your estate, it is important to divide all of your accounts into two groups:  accounts with designated beneficiaries and accounts with no designated beneficiaries.  Examples of accounts with designated beneficiaries are 401(k)s, IRAs, transfer of death (TOD) accounts, and other retirement accounts. The designated beneficiary on an account bypasses your will.  For example, if your will states that all of your money is to pass on to your child, but your 401(k) primary beneficiary is an ex-spouse, your ex-spouse will inherit the money from your 401(k).  It is crucial that you review your beneficiaries on your accounts to make sure they agree with your desires.

Continue reading What is the best way to plan for your assets to remain within your bloodlines?

Baron Financial Group says “Thank You” to Our Clients & Friends

To thank our many clients and friends for their continued support, we hosted two client appreciation events this year: one in Sarasota, Florida and one in Hawthorne, New Jersey.

We were pleased to host, for the second year, a client appreciation event at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida, the spring-training home of the Baltimore Orioles.  At the Feb. 27, 2017 game, the Yankees won 4-1, a happy outcome for the many Yankee fans in attendance.  A special appearance by the Baltimore Orioles’ mascot, the Oriole Bird, added to the enjoyment of the day.

It is our custom to make a donation to a local charity whenever we host a client appreciation event.  Continuing with our tradition, a donation was made in honor of our clients and friends to the “All Faiths Food Bank” in Sarasota.

Tony Benante, Victor Cannillo and Nick Scheibner of Baron Financial Group with the Oriole Bird

Baron hosted their third annual Casino Night event on May 4, 2017, at Macaluso’s in Hawthorne, New Jersey. Attendees were given “play” money to participate in the casino games, ensuring no one could lose real money. Chips were cashed in for raffle tickets for the chance to win some great prizes, including gift baskets, and gift cards to various local restaurants and businesses. The ultimate and most coveted prize was two tickets to see Wicked on Broadway.

Although guests had an opportunity to win raffled prizes, the big winner was the “Fair Lawn Food Pantry”, who received a monetary donation from Baron to honor our clients and friends.

Baron Financial Group recognizes that there are members of the community who are not as fortunate as others, who need help to meet the most basic of needs. Baron’s purpose is to help our clients reach their financial goals and to secure a better future for them and their families. In keeping with our philosophy, the firm is committed to making the community a better place. It is our hope that together, we can look forward to a future of promise for all.

Class of 2017: It Isn’t Too Early to Start Thinking about Your Retirement

A 60-second read by the Baron Team:  Congratulations 2017 college graduates! Throw that mortarboard as high in the air as you can and before it circles back down to earth, start thinking about saving for your retirement. You are most likely going to be responsible for setting yourself up for a successful retirement, so your best bet is to invest early and often.

Invest in yourself first. Most people think investing is the key to wealth, but while certainly important, you have to have some money first to invest. So as soon as you begin your first job out of school, start saving as much as you can for retirement.

Continue reading Class of 2017: It Isn’t Too Early to Start Thinking about Your Retirement

Baron Financial Supports SCARC Foundation

In support of the SCARC  Foundation, members of Baron Financial Group attended the 2017 SCARC Foundation Honors and Leadership Awards Celebration on March 9, 2017.

SCARC Inc., an organization serving people with developmental disabilities, is dedicated to the empowerment and support of persons with developmental disabilities and their families. The organization will facilitate partnerships with community resources, assist in maximum community participation, promote individual planning based on choices, preferences and needs, and foster the development of socially valued roles for each person served. For more information, visit the SCARC website at scarc.org.

At Baron, we recognize that the financial planning challenges faced by families with special needs members are significant.  We take great pride in helping families address today’s needs and plan for those that are likely to follow.  For more information about our services for families with special needs, visit our special needs page.

Do Not Call Registry: tips to help avoid phone scams, part II

A 30-second read by the Baron Team: In a previous post, we provided some tips to help avoid phone scams from the FTC. If receiving excessive sales calls is a concern for you, there is an option to help reduce the amount of telemarketing calls you receive by joining the National Do Not Call Registry.

The Do Not Call Registry is a free service where you can register your phone number in order to reduce telemarketing/ sales calls.  According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), if a company is legitimate and sees that you are on the list, they should not call you. If a company sees you on the list, but calls you regardless, it is most likely a scam call.

While being on the Do Not Call Registry may not prevent robo-calls, the FTC has several initiatives to try to solve this issue.

If you are interested in putting your number on the registry, go to donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222. They will accept both cell phone and landline numbers.

For more information from the FTC, click here to read more.

For more specific information regarding “Cell Phones and the Do Not Call Registry,” click here.

Feel free to reach out to us for any other questions.

How to File an Extension on Your 2016 Tax Return

A 60-second read by the Baron Team: Need more time to compile information for your tax return? Haven’t received all of the documents you need? It will be in your best interest to file a tax extension. This will extend the due date up until October 16, 2017.

How to file a Paper Tax Extension:

To file an extension, you are going to need to fill out Form 4868 [Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return]. You can download the form and instructions from the IRS website.

With the form, you also need to send in at least 90% of your estimated tax liability due for the year.
To pay by check, mail the form with the check together. Make the check out to United States Treasury. On the memo line, write your Social Security Number, Form 4868, and the tax year (2016). This way, they know that you are sending the check as part of your extension.

When mailing in the tax extension, it is highly recommended that you send it via certified mail or another method that provides you with a tracking number. The envelope needs to be postmarked by April 18th. Check the instructions portion of Form 4868 for the correct mailing address (it varies according to what state you reside in).

 To Prevent any Penalties:

  • Carefully read all instructions and follow all directions on Form 4868.
  • Correctly estimate your tax liability for the year and send in 90% of the amount due.

Miscellaneous tips:

  • It is possible to file your extension online. See the IRS website for more details.
  • If you ever feel unsure or concerned about the process, consult a Tax Professional to assist you.

Any other questions, contact the Baron Financial Group Team.

The Pros and Cons of VA Loans

A 30-second read by Nicholas Scheibner: The federal government has provided qualified veteran home buyers with a few mortgage-buying options to help purchase a home.  Below are some of the Pros and Cons for Veterans Affairs (VA) loans.

An important note VA loans are for primary residences only.

To determine if you are eligible for a VA loan, visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/HOMELOANS/purchaseco_eligibility.asp

The first step in getting a VA loan is to obtain a certificate of eligibility from the VA: http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/purchaseco_certificate.asp

Pros:

  • 0% down payment, if desired
  • No Monthly Mortgage Insurance
  • Can generally qualify for a larger mortgage than a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan

Cons:

  • The only person that can co-sign is a spouse
  • An additional fee is rolled into the loan. Depending on the situation, first time use of a VA loan could be anywhere from 1.5% – 2.4%.  The next home mortgage could be anywhere from 1.25% – 3.3%.

Baron Financial Group consults with independent mortgage professionals in order to explore options available to clients.  If you are thinking of purchasing a new home, refinancing a mortgage, or consolidating a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit), lean on us to help you through the process. Please contact your Baron Team if you have any questions.

What documents are safe to shred? What must I keep?

A 30-second read by Victor Cannillo: Whether you are tired of piles of papers cluttering up your home or are trying to go “paperless,” it is important to know what documents you should keep and which you could shred.

Below we list some of the important documents the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggests that you should always keep:

  • Birth certificates/ adoption documents
  • Social Security cards
  • Marriage licenses or divorce decrees
  • Tax returns
  • Passports or citizenship materials
  • Familial death certificates
  • For items like your home and car, you want to hold on to any automobile titles and home deeds for as long as they are in your ownership.
  • To see more, click here.

Shredding Timeline-The FTC recommends that you wait:

  • 7 years before shredding any tax-related receipts and cancelled checks.
  • 1 year before shredding bank statements, medical bills, etc.

Items such as credit card statements can be shredded right away once paid. To help reduce capital gains tax, retain home improvement receipts until your home is sold.

To view the FTC’s safe shredding timeline infographic, click here.

In addition to decluttering your home, shredding documents with personal information can help prevent identity theft.  Just remember to keep the listed documents above for the suggested amount of time.

Feel free to reach out to us for any other questions.

High Stability Wealth Management