Astoria Strategic Wealth

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Q3 2020 Market Commentary

1968 - A highly divisive, potentially indeterminate election coupled with heightened social unrest, and a pandemic. Sound familiar?
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Q2 2020 - Market Commentary

With multiple single-digit daily percentage moves in the financial markets, the volatility of this past quarter would have been considered extraordinary during any other period.  After historic volatility during the month of March, however, most investors would likely agree that this quarter has felt relatively benign.  The U.S. and international stock markets have resiliently increased over 15%, recovering an appreciable amount of their Q1 losses. In fact, most portfolios have shown a
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Market Volatility, Crises and Rebounds

Welcome to summer 2020! We hope this writing finds you and yours healthy and whole as we begin to edge into a new normal.It has been almost three months since the U.S. largely became locked-down in an attempt to manage the surge of the pandemic and our health care system’s capacity to respond. Three months seems like a lifetime in Covid years. We have witnessed unparalleled races for testing and vaccines, war-time level production of ventilators and PPE equipment, superhuman efforts of our
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Financial Markets - A Recap of the First Quarter of 2020

Executive Summary  The Coronavirus outbreak has devastated economic activity globally and left most of the world at a stand-still.  As of April 5, 2020, cases have surpassed 1.2 million and the death toll has exceeded 68,000 globally. The U.S. has the most confirmed cases amounting to over 331,000 with the number of deaths beyond 10,000 as of this writing. Despite U.S. efforts to mitigate the spread of the pandemic, models released by the White House on March 31, 2020 estimate that Ame
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C.A.R.E.S. - Part V - Other Provisions

While the bulk of the C.A.R.E.S. Act addresses the recovery rebates, retirement account distributions, unemployment insurance and small business assistance, there are other changes and allowances made that will have an impact on many individuals. Some of those changes and items are explained below.Charitable ContributionsIn an effort to encourage charitable giving during this time of need, the C.A.R.E.S. Act has created new incentives in the hopes of leading to more giving.The act has installed
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C.A.R.E.S. - Part IV - Small Business Provisions

Small businesses have been one of the most affected entities in the wake of the Coronavirus, and business owners have faced many difficult choices in the past few weeks. One of the most impactful components of C.A.R.E.S. is its small business component. A summary of the enactments follow – we fully expect further details to come forward particularly on these provisions. As always, please work directly with your tax preparer to discuss your specific situation. We are also happy to discuss t
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C.A.R.E.S. - Part II - Unemployment Compensation Benefits

One aim of the C.A.R.E.S act is to broaden the scope of unemployment assistance and it did exactly that. Below are the major unemployment provisions.Pandemic Unemployment InsuranceThis covers those who traditionally would not qualify for unemployment insurance such as the self-employed and independent contractors. It is a temporary program that runs through December 31,2020.Unemployment Check IncreaseThe CARES Act provides an additional $600 per week on top of state unemployment benefits to thos
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C.A.R.E.S. - Part I - Recovery Rebates - aka "The Checks"

By way of introduction, on Friday, March 27, the United States government made further efforts to help those suffering from the economic impacts associated with the Coronavirus when it passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (The C.A.R.E.S. Act). It's worth noting that this is actually Phase III of the laws passed this month in response to the pandemic. Phase 1 was the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (March 6th). This was $7 Billion
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Emergency Sick Leave and Emergency Family Leave Bill Signed into Law

Good morning. As promised yesterday, we will continue to send out topic-oriented information pieces so that you may process or pass along information as applicable to you and yours. As an aside, while not currently signed into law, President Trump has announced that the tax filing deadline itself will now be extended 90 days to July 15th. This is in addition to the payment extensions we emailed about yesterday. You can find all these references on our blog also. During the a
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Federal Tax Payment Extension(s)

Good morning. First and foremost, our wishes that this email finds you and yours healthy and strong. Please let us know if that is not the case; health-wise or cash-flow wise. We recognize that different industries/sectors have a very wide spread between a state of distress or prosper during this rapidly evolving time.We are changing our communication method slightly to be more topic oriented vs. comprehensive throughout this period so that you may more quickly process information that
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Risk Mitigation - Insurance Planning and Protecting Your Nest Egg

You’re working hard to reach your goals. Let's assess your insurance need (if any) and suggest tools to mitigate loss. Please understand we do NOT sell insurance.
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Buy or Lease?

Ever Find Yourself Here? • It’s going to cost more to fix your old clunker than the book value is worth. • Your teenagers can’t quite seem to share the single car you thought would work out just great between them. • You need a new vehicle for work – some professions just require the right vehicle (maybe a truck for construction work or a sedan for sales). • Your family is growing in number and/or size. The three boys just simply can’t fit in the car anymore now that they are all teenagers,
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Estate Planning - Following the Death of a Loved One

Losing a loved one can be a difficult experience. Yet, during this time, you must complete a variety of tasks and make important financial decisions. You may need to make final arrangements, notify various businesses and government agencies, settle the individual's estate, and provide for your own financial security. The following checklist may help guide you through the matters that must be attended to upon the death of a family member.
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Estate Planning - Sample Ethical Will

This is a personal document to be passed on to your loved ones. Stories, dreams, hopes, values...this is your document to communicate a lasting legacy as you wish.
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Estate Planning - Letter of Instruction Template

A letter of instruction (also called a testamentary letter or side letter) is an informal, non-legal document that generally accompanies your will and is used to express your personal thoughts and directions regarding what is in the will (or about other things, such as your burial wishes or where to locate other documents). This can be the most helpful document you leave for your family members and your executor/executrix.
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Estate Planning - Getting Your Ducks in a Row

“Even though I have a big presentation to give at work today, it’s my mother’s birthday, and I promised to coach my daughter’s soccer practice tonight, I think I’d really like to take a top-down look at my overall estate plan today,” said no one ever.
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The Math of Charitable Giving Using Appreciated Securities

There are probably nearly as many ways and reasons to give as there are organizations and individuals seeking support. Our time, skills and resources are always in demand! The recent hurricanes and other natural disasters have prompted us to remind our clients and our community of one of the most tax efficient ways to give to charitable causes. We understand this method is not as feasible when trying to move funds immediately, however, with a little planning, this is approach is worthy of consid
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Tax Loss Harvesting - "Making Lemonade Out of Lemons"

The Strategy: Markets go up and markets go down over the course of an economic cycle, but the long-term trend is “Up and to the Right", making all downturns thus far temporary. Why not take advantage of the dips as well as the gains? We believe you can benefit from either conditon. Here's how.
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And Baby Makes Three

What to Financially Expect When You are Expecting So you're going to have or adopt a baby. Congratulations! Every member of our Astoria Strategic Wealth team has children, and, without exception, we agree it’s the most challenging yet best experience in our lives. While there are few moments that we may not echo that sentiment quite as enthusiastically (“You left your shoes where? Again?!”), we personally understand there is nothing like children to bring into laser-focus, and action, our stated
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Top Tips for Newlyweds

As you join together in marriage, we respectfully submit the following to help you start off on the right financial foundation. How you manage money for your lives will be an integral part of your success as a couple.
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Top 10 Tips for Grads - And Not Bad for the Rest of Us!

At Astoria Strategic Wealth, our Principals are 20+ (in some cases 30+) years removed from graduation from college, but as we think about some of the more valuable lessons learned, understanding the time value of money stands out as one of the most useful. We have often said that this concept and other sound financial principles should be required to be taught at the high school level. Unfortunately, in most instances, they are not. 
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The "New Retirementality" Part II - Are YOU "Old?"

Are You “Old” , and What Does Work Look Like if you Are? The New “Retirementality” Continued…  
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The New "Retirementality" - Ending the Social Experiment

One of the first questions many people ask us is, “When can I retire?” While we are grateful that people are asking us this question before they have already retired (versus after and then subsequently wondering if they’ll run out of money), it is important to note that the concepts around retirement are fortunately shifting. Many people instead are asking, “How can I live a longer and more satisfying life?”
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