Greetings!
Just like that, summer vacation is over and its back to business, school and the hectic schedules we lead most days. But for us at CURO, we've been excitedly waiting for this day to come. Six long months of researching, writing and discussing ideas, figuring out exactly what we wanted, and what you, as our clients and friends, needed from us. Our goal was to provide an informative and inspirational resource that illustrates our vision for CURO and the community we love and serve. And I think we did it!

We created a beautiful new website that we are proud to share with you. Please take a few minutes to visit the new and improved CUROwm.com. Look around at the features of the new site, such as the DREAM WALL , which highlights the achievements of many of our clients' dreams over the years. If you have been to the office in recent months, you'll notice a similarity, as we have mirrored the messaging on our entry wall with our new online presence.

Take a peek at THE BALANCE BLOG , too. We've just begun, but in time it will serve as a place for sharing inspiration and insight on achieving balance and happiness in our schedule-packed lives, while also achieving our dreams.

Over the next few issues of The Monthly Curator, we will spotlight more features of the new site. In the meantime, we want to hear what you think (the good and the bad) so please send us your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you in advance for helping us to improve the ways we connect with you.

Marianna
NEWS THAT AFFECTS YOU
MARKET COMMENTARY:
 Global Markets Mixed in August
Markets were mixed in August. The U.S. had another strong month, with all three major U.S. indices rising. The Nasdaq Composite led the way with a gain of 5.85 percent. The S&P gained 3.26 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.56 percent.
 
These solid results were bolstered by strong fundamentals. According to FactSet, the estimated earnings growth rate for the S&P 500 was 25 percent in the second quarter, which would be the highest quarterly growth rate since the third quarter of 2010. Further, approximately 80 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 beat their earnings per share estimates—the highest percentage recorded since FactSet began tracking earnings surprises in 2008. All three indices were also supported technically, as they stayed above their respective 200-day moving averages.
 
Unfortunately, international markets did not do as well. Developed markets were down, with a loss of 1.93 percent for the MSCI EAFE Index. But it was emerging markets that suffered the most, with a loss of 2.67 percent in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. A strengthening dollar and concerns over the risk of an emerging markets financial crisis, driven by the Turkish lira, caused much of the turmoil. The decline worsened about halfway through the month, although a steady recovery returned the index almost to starting levels before a final bout of volatility at month-end. Both indices remained below their 200-day moving averages for the entire month.

Have you reserved your spot for the MEDICARE MARATHON?
 
Are you eligible for Medicare yet? How about a friend or family member? If so, then you should take advantage of our complimentary Medicare Marathon on
Tuesday, October 23rd.

John Barbati , of  Penn Health Insurance Solutions, will be in our office to conduct 30 minute 1-on-1 sessions with clients, friends, family, even your neighbors! Last year, we helped those with questions about Medicare figure out which healthcare plan would work best for their needs. This year we are excited to offer the same complimentary service so that you can make the right decisions about your healthcare.
Please reach out to Samantha , our Client Services Manager to reserve a spot for you, your family, and friends. 
  
Don't delay, there are limited spots available!
We hope to see you at our office to take advantage of this informative meeting.
Time to Start Your Year-End Tax Planning? Here are a few ideas to consider or talk to your tax-preparer about:
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The IRS has released proposed regulations that would shut down some suggested workarounds for the new $10,000 limit on the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT). The new guidance would close the door on a strategy offered by some states to circumvent the deduction limit by attempting to turn the taxes paid into charitable contributions not subject to the same cap.


Background

Historically, if you itemized deductions on your federal income tax return, you could generally claim a deduction for taxes paid to state and local governments, including income and property taxes (or sales tax in lieu of income tax). For 2018 to 2025, the deduction for state and local taxes is limited to $10,000 ($5,000 for married taxpayers filing separate returns).
Some high-tax states have proposed potential workarounds to the new federal limit on the deduction for state and local taxes, including:

  • Providing a credit to taxpayers for charitable contributions to a state-created charity in lieu of payment of state income tax (or possibly for the amount of state tax in excess of the $10,000/$5,000 limit); the taxpayer would then claim a federal charitable tax deduction for the payment. 
  • Imposing a tax on employers instead of on employees; it's suggested that the employer could deduct the tax as a business expense on its federal tax return and correspondingly reduce the amount paid to an employee, who effectively receives the same amount on an after-tax basis. 

The proposed regulations address only the concept of trying to reposition payment of state taxes as charitable contributions.

 
Want to be our next CLIENT SPOTLIGHT?
Do you have a special connection to CURO; a story of how we have helped you build your business, achieve your dreams or accomplish your goals? We'd love to hear about it and feature you in The Monthly Curator , on our Dream Wall or perhaps both! We promise not to publish anything without your permission.
Women & Money: Take Control of Your Finances
As a woman, you have financial needs that are unique to your situation in life. Perhaps you are just starting out and would like to buy your first home. Maybe you need to start saving for your child's college education. Or you might be concerned about planning for retirement. Whatever your circumstances may be, it's important to have a clear understanding of your overall financial position. 
That means constructing and implementing a plan. With a financial plan in place, you'll be better able to focus on your financial goals and understand what it will take to reach them. The three main steps in creating and implementing an effective financial plan involve:

  • Developing a clear picture of your current financial situation
  • Setting and prioritizing financial goals and time frames
  • Implementing appropriate saving and investment strategies

Developing a Clear Picture of Your Finances

The first step to creating and implementing a financial plan is to develop a clear picture of your current financial situation. If you don't already have one, consider establishing a budget or a spending plan. Creating a budget requires you to: 

  • Identify your current monthly income and expenses
  • Evaluate your spending habits
  • Monitor your overall spending

To develop a budget, you'll need to identify your current monthly income and expenses. Start out by adding up all of your income. In addition to your regular salary and wages, be sure to include other types of income, such as dividends, interest, and child support.
Next, add up all of your expenses...


"Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world." Lucille Ball

Let us help you curate a wealthy life.
RETIREMENT
PLANNING

Retirement planning involves evaluating your current financial standing and creating an accumulation strategy to help ensure your desired retirement lifestyle. A successful plan put into place during the process of wealth building should address ways to maximize growth and tax-efficient distributions.
EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

You’ve worked hard to achieve your success as an executive in your field and there are many benefits you've earned in your position, that you may not be aware of. We help executives make sense of and take advantage of the perks offered in Executive Compensation Packages.

DIVORCE FINANCIAL PLANNING

Divorce can be a stressful and overwhelming time in your life, with so many important decisions to be made and your financial future at stake. Don't go at it alone and risk being unprepared for the future. Let us advocate for you and ensure fair and equitable division of assets.

We love to hear from our clients about how we are doing, what we can do better, what services you need, or how we have or can help you achieve your financial dreams. Please feel free to click the button above and send us your thoughts. We're always listening!