Quotes 2019

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When a Parent Plus co-signer dies

NJMoneyHelp - 1/10/2019

This is a tough one because it will depend on the specifics of the loan agreement. As an endorser or co-signer, you are not entitled to all of the same benefits as a Direct PLUS loan borrower and not all of the terms and conditions apply, said Patricia Daquila, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

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What happens to a Parent Plus loan if a co-signer dies?

NJ.com - 1/10/2019

In the case of a Parent PLUS loan, the loan would be discharged upon the death or permanent disability of the parent who took out the loan, or the death of the student on whose behalf the loan was taken out, Patricia Daquila, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence said. Proof of death or disability would need to be given to the servicer in order to discharge the loan. However, in this case, your dad is the co-signer."Therefore, I would recommend reviewing the loan agreement and looking for a specific clause that mentions the co-signer or even the death of a co-signer," Daquila said. "Many private lenders have clauses that would make the entire balance payable in full if the co-signer dies or is disabled." read more »

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Are other state 529 plans better than N.J.'s?

NJMoneyHelp - 1/10/2019

Virtually every state offers a 529 plan, said Betty Thomas, a financial planner with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence. She said each plan may be unique to each state, with some offering incentives if students are residents and attend college in the state. Thomas said the NJBEST 529 plan offers a tax-free scholarship up to $1,500 if students attend a college or university in New Jersey. read more »

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Are other states 529 Plans better than N.J.'s?

NJ.com - 1/10/2019

Some state plans offer tax deductions for residents who contribute to their state's plan, but neither New Jersey nor Alaska do. So how can you decide which plan is best for you? Betty Thomas, a financial planner with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence said a good starting point would be to review the investment options for the 529 plan to make sure they align with your risk tolerance. "Generally, 529 plans offer age-based portfolios, meaning the allocation will adjust based on the age of the child over time," she said. read more »

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Empty nester? Here's what to do to get your finances back on track

USAToday - 1/7/2019

When it comes to money, the focus for empty nesters must quickly shift from making ends meet to setting up for a better future, says Diahann Lassus, president of Lassus Wherley, a wealth management firm with offices in New Providence, New Jersey, and Bonita Springs, Florida. “Empty nesters have to manage their money more closely and identify the best use of every dollar they have,” Lassus says. “Allocate those saved dollars to buckets of things that are important,” such as your 401(k) or emergency fund. It’s important to prepare your children to be on their own without needing a financial lifeline from you later, adds Lassus. That means going over the basics of personal finance with them, hammering home fundamentals like not living above their means, sticking to a budget, saving some money each month and not running up credit card debt. “It’s all about educating them to make sure they get off to the right start,” Lassus says. read more »

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Can my wife be charged more for Medicare?

NJMoneyHelp - 1/3/2019

First, higher-income Medicare enrollees pay an “Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount” (IRMAA) surcharge in addition to the standard Medicare Part B and D premiums, said Jodi Cirignano, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.Cirignano said the IRMAA surcharge is based on a household’s modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), which includes income from wages, investment income, business income, IRA distributions, pensions, Social Security and several other items. read more »

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My wife is being charged more for Medicare. Is it fair?

NJ.com - 1/3/2019

"The IRMAA surcharge is based on a household's prior-prior year MAGI," she said. "So for 2019, Social Security would use information from your 2017 tax return to determine if you have to pay an IRMAA surcharge in addition to your standard Medicare Part B and D premiums."Your spouse won her Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) appeal and received a lump sum for past-due benefits. This lump sum was reportable as taxable income and substantially increased your 2017 MAGI, Cirignano said. "Had the benefits been paid out over a multi-year period instead of a single year, you believe that the IRMAA surcharge would not have applied to your household in 2019," she said. read more »

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