Greetings!
Puxatony Phil made his prediction of an early spring and we couldn't be happier! Winter has been a brutal, keeping us cooped up inside or having to bundle up to bear the elements. We're dreaming of shaking the snow and icicles off our galoshes and down, and getting back out into the community to do something fun and meaningful in support of the causes so important to us.

We have an action-packed April ahead and we need your help making it all happen. On April 2nd, the CURO team will be "back stage" at WHYY Studios volunteering for the Spring Radio Drive and we need a few more friends to join our squad of talented talkers.

Later in April, on the 18th, CURO is taking a private walking tour around Philadelphia, to learn about the city's most badass, change-making women in its history. We have a few spots available, if you're ready to lace up your sneakers and go exploring with us in the beautiful spring weather.

You can read more about this below and on our website. We're so excited to share these fun and thoughtfully curated events with you and hope you will join us!

Marianna
NEWS THAT AFFECTS YOU
MARKET COMMENTARY: New Year Kicks Off With Stock Market Rebound
Markets around the world had a great start to the year, with almost everything going up. Here in the U.S., the Nasdaq Composite led the pack with a return of 9.79 percent. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) were close behind with returns of 8.01 percent and 7.29 percent, respectively. These gains helped offset the losses in December and led to the best January in years.

One of the drivers of this market rebound was continued earnings growth. According to FactSet, with 22 percent of companies reporting, the blended average earnings growth rate for the S&P 500 for the fourth quarter is 10.9 percent (as of January 25, 2019). This figure would represent the fifth straight quarter of double-digit earnings growth. It would also be well above analyst forecasts. Still, it may be the last quarter of double-digit growth for a while. Analysts are currently forecasting low single-digit growth for the next three quarters.

Understanding Your Spouse's
Social Security Benefits
and how they may benefit you
Marriage is a cultural institution that exists all over the world. Having a partner means sharing many things including a home and other property. Understanding how your future retirement might affect your spouse is important. When you’re planning for your fun and vibrant golden years, here are a few things to remember:

If a spouse accepts reduced retirement benefits before starting spouse’s benefits (his or her spouse is younger), the spouse will not receive 50 percent of the worker’s benefit amount.

Your full spouse’s benefit could be up to 50 percent of your spouse’s full retirement age amount if you are full retirement age when you take it. If you qualify for your own retirement benefit and a spouse’s benefit, we always pay your own benefit first. (For example, you are eligible for $400 from your own retirement and $150 as a spouse for a total of $550.) The reduction rates for retirement and spouses benefits are different. If your spouse is younger, you cannot receive benefits unless he or she is receiving benefits (except for divorced spouses). If you took your reduced retirement first while waiting for your spouse to reach retirement age, when you add spouse’s benefits later, your own retirement portion remains reduced which causes the total retirement and spouses benefit together to total less than 50 percent of the worker’s amount...

Not Your Average 529 Plan
Education Planning - Part One
by Marianna Goldenberg
So, let’s start with a refresher. What is a 529 college savings plan? (S poiler alert: it's no longer just for college! )

A 529 plan is a tax-deferred account with contributions invested in a selection of mutual funds or exchange-traded funds. Later, those assets can be withdrawn tax free if used for  qualified expenses . These contributions are not deductible on your federal tax return, but many states offer a state tax deduction for contributions made to 529 plans. And yes, Pennsylvania is one of those states! 

How Much to Contribute:
  • The IRS allows for an annual gift tax exclusion of up to $15,000 per recipient for individuals ($30,000 for married couples) annually without gift-tax consequences. 
 
  • Under a special election, accelerated gifting is allowed with a one-time gift to a 529 plan of up to $75,000 per recipient for individuals ($150,000 for married couples), to be contributed and prorated over five years — without incurring federal gift tax or using the donor’s lifetime gift tax exclusion.

Defining a Qualifying Deduction...

CURO IN THE COMMUNITY
Join Us in APRIL For These Fun & Unique Events
Tues. April 2nd, 2 - 8pm
Have a few hours to lend a hand and a friendly voice? Join us and our team of volunteers on April 2nd . We'll put your skills to good use at WHYY taking calls from members who want to support the arts and great programing offered by the public media station. This will be a fun way to get to know new people while giving back to our community. Snacks and dinner will be provided as well.
Thurs. April 18th, 5-8pm
From Independence Hall to the world famous Saligman Studios, we'll unearth the history of Philly’s most badass women, “cool colonial women, change makers, sex workers and more" who changed the face of Philadelphia, quite literally with their contributions. Women such as muralist, Meg Saligman whose work adorns Philly's streets, making it the world's largest outdoor art gallery...
We are Collecting for Local Foster Children
Did you know that everyday at least 1200 kids in the United States enter foster care? Currently, there are about 400,000 in America's foster care system.They are typically given trash bags to gather their few worldly possessions and then are sent to a foster home, where items are often lost without having a secure place to hold them.

Once again, later this year, we will be helping these children in need by providing new,  personalized duffel bags called Sweet Cases , filled with teddy bears, blankets, hygiene kits and more, to show them they matter!

We need your help to fill them with new toys, books, night lights, hygiene items and more and will be collecting in our office through the Summer. Please consider sending (via the link) or bringing a contribution on your next visit. Thank you for your help and support of this worthy cause.
Where does your journey begin?
VISION

Young professionals often have a unique financial situation that doesn’t quite fit the “traditional” financial advisor model. Some are just beginning their careers, while others are already climbing the ladder. Everyone is unique, but one thing young professionals have in common is a vision of the future they aspire to achieve
PURPOSE

Working families are the Hercules of the American society, often balancing children, aging parents, work, life, and future goals. The families are often busy, the days are never-ending and the to-do lists pile up, but they find purpose in the hectic times: to create a better life for themselves and those they cherish most.

HARMONY

The Golden Years are hopeful times. Most of the stress of children and growing careers has subsided however, other issues arise: the estate, healthcare, taxes, and income. Since life has taught them to persevere, they are confident that all their hard work will harvest harmony for their future.