I moved to Nocatee in the winter of 2017. People move here for a variety of reasons, and clearly people continue to be attracted to the area, since it is now the second-fastest growing community in the United States1. What continues to draw so many people to the area? An article released by Realtor.com2 states a few main reasons that this financial advisor wanted to share with you:
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- Families move here for the outstanding public school system. My experience in talking to my neighbors, as well as feedback from realtors, indicates that this is likely the most popular reason for a move to Nocatee; if not the primary reason, it certainly plays an important part. The average national price for private school tuition is $10,413 per year.3 If you’re able to take advantage of the St. Johns County public school system from K-12 rather than having to pay for private school, that adds up to a total savings of $124,956 per child (and that doesn’t even take inflation into account). How do you take advantage of these savings:
First, take a good hard look at your risk management plan. Living in a family-friendly community like Nocatee is wonderful as long as life goes along as planned, but what if it doesn’t? Would you or your family be able to stay and enjoy the advantages if you or your spouse were to die prematurely or become disabled? Many young families are under-insured, considering how much it takes these days to raise a child and educate them, let alone allow your family to remain in the same home. Many people assume that the coverage provided by their employers (or available for purchase at work) is adequate and cost-effective. In reality, however, if you are young and healthy it may be less expensive to purchase your own coverage than to purchase supplemental coverage through your employer (especially as this coverage goes away if you change jobs). Most people don’t even consider the need for disability coverage, when this can be an even bigger risk than dying prematurely. Many employers don’t offer such coverage, or it may be limited to an amount lower than what you would need. With open enrollment soon to start for many employees, now would be an excellent time for a review to make sure that you and your family are protected.
Next, I’m constantly surprised at the number of young parents who don’t have wills. If you do have wills, have they been updated recently to include the new Florida Digital Asset protections? Again, now is an excellent time for a review.
Finally, once the basics are covered, consider the advantages of putting part of the cost of college tuition into a tax-advantaged college savings plan for your children. The sooner you start planning, the less it will cost. The new tax law has also made changes to 529 plans; are you aware of the details?
- Grandparents move in to be near their grandkids. There are a number of important planning items that grandparents should have in place, but the ones that are particularly important are their estate plans and insurance, especially if they wind up moving in with you. Many people know their estate plans should be reviewed if they move to a different state. However, due to recent changes regarding inherited IRAs (when going to another generation rather than a surviving spouse) as well as Digital Assets, anyone who hasn’t revisited their estate plans in the last couple of years could benefit from a review. Secondly, it’s important to make sure plans are in place for end of life care and for other health issues, such as long term care, to make sure that the cost of care doesn’t erode all of the savings which have been set aside for retirement expenses. Creating a family sense of awareness helps to avoid any major issues. Finally, if all else is in order, grandparents can also contribute financially to college savings plans for their grandchildren.
- New tax reform bill impacts tax-planning strategies for home offices. The new tax reform bill that went into effect in 2018 took away some of the itemized deductions that we are used to using. That includes the home office deduction, which could affect those working from home to avoid a long commute from Nocatee. Some of the changes in itemized deductions are expected to be absorbed or mitigated by the doubling of the standard deduction and the increase in the child care tax credit. With the increase in the standard deduction it might make sense to look at making extra payments to eliminate your mortgage sooner, or using other tax strategies like bunching deductions, including charitable donations into alternate years. With the median home value being around $443,300, normally the mortgage interest deduction alone won’t allow everyone to take advantage of itemizing every year. Knowing how all the tax changes will affect you still allows time to plan before year-end; otherwise, you may be surprised when it comes time to file your tax return next spring.
There may be other issues facing Nocatee residents that can impact financial and tax planning strategies, but these seem to be common threads that affect a large percentage of residents. If you have any questions around these issues or wish to schedule a free consultation with a Financial Advisor, contact 904-730-7433 or you can contact me directly at [email protected]
Disclaimer: This content was developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended to provide legal or tax advice. You should consult your legal or tax advisor for information concerning your individual situation. Nothing contained herein should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. As with all investments, past performance is no guarantee of future results. No person or system can predict the market. All investments are subject to risk, including the risk of principal loss. A plan of regular investing does not assure a profit or protect against loss in a declining market. You should consider your financial ability to continue your purchases over an extended period of time.
Inflation is the rise in the prices of goods and services, as happens when spending increases relative to the supply of goods on the market. Moderate inflation is a common result of economic growth. Hyperinflation, with prices rising at 100% a year or more, causes people to lose confidence in the currency and put their assets in hard assets like real estate or gold, which usually retain their value in inflationary times.
Participation in a 529 College Savings Plan (529 Plan) does not guarantee that contributions and investment return on contributions, if any, will be adequate to cover future tuition and other education expenses or that a beneficiary will be admitted to or permitted to continue to attend an educational institution. Contributors to the program assume all investment risk, including potential loss of principal and liability for penalties such as those levied for non-educational withdrawals.
An investor should consider, before investing, whether the investor's or designated beneficiary’s home state offers any favorable state tax treatment or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program. Consult with your financial, tax or other adviser to learn more about how state-based benefits (including any limitations) would apply to your specific circumstances. You may also wish to contact your home state or any other 529 college savings plan to learn more about the features, benefits and limitations of that state’s 529 college savings plan. Furthermore, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was signed into law on December 22, 2017 allows for up to $10,000 a year per beneficiary in tax free distributions from a 529 Plan if used for tuition incurred for enrollment or attendance at a public, private, or religious elementary or secondary school. Check with your state’s guidelines prior to withdrawing the funds.
For more complete information, including a description of fees, expenses and risks, see the offering statement or program description.