Quotes 2020

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fsu.jpgOlder workers are struggling to find jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic

cnbc.com – 10/30/2020

"If you have cash reserves, you’re in pretty good shape,” said certified financial planner Diahann Lassus, co-founder, president and chief investment officer of wealth-management firm Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack Gladstone Bank. “If you don’t, the next question is how are you going to pay your bills while you figure this out?” read more »

njmoney logoAfter my husband died, how can I qualify for the Senior Freeze?

njmoneyhelp.com – 10/28/2020

The PTR-1 application is for first time filers for the Senior Freeze. The PTR-2 is for those who met the eligibility requirements in a previous year, said Patricia Daquila, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack Gladstone Bank, in New Providence. read more »

njmoney logoWill I owe taxes if I sell this bond fund?

njmoneyhelp.com – 10/27/2020

If you sell mutual fund shares, your realized gain equals the difference between the net asset value (NAV) of the shares on the sale date and the cost basis of those shares, said Jodi Cirigano, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack Gladstone Bank, in New Providence. read more »

njmoney logoWill the IRS know if I’m truthful about early 401(k) withdrawals?

njmoneyhelp.com – 10/14/2020

According to the rules, being affected by the pandemic can mean anything from losing your job, being furloughed, having reduced work hours or reduced pay. These are in addition to the other qualifications which can include whether you, your spouse or any of your dependents were diagnosed with the disease, whether you or they experienced financial consequence as a result of being quarantined or were unable to work due to a lack of childcare, Wolf said. read more »

fsu.jpgIf you’re saving for retirement and are in your 50s, it may be time to reassess your plan 

cnbc.com – 9/23/2020

For those in their 50’s, “it is the most important time to really figure out where they are, reassess their goals long term and really focus on planning.”, said certified financial planner Diahann Lassus, co-founder, president and chief investment officer of wealth-management firm Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank.read more »

fsu.jpgWill this strategy help my Roth IRA conversion be tax-free? 

njmoneyhelp.com – 9/18/2020

“It may be a good idea to convert funds to a Roth in certain cases, such as leaving money tax-free to heirs, having the benefit of tax-free withdrawals, and no mandatory distribution rules, to name just a few,” Fusillo said. “You should absolutely consult with your tax advisor to see if it’s a good idea for you."read more »

fsu.jpgWill my mother’s life insurance policy cause a Medicaid penalty?

njmoneyhelp.com – 8/26/2020

You’re talking about the Medicaid ‘look back’ period, a five-year window during which Medicaid would review all your mother’s financial records to see if she qualifies for assistance. One thing they would be looking for is whether she gave away assets, said Betty Thomas, a chartered financial consultant and certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.read more »

fsu.jpgWill my IRA stop me from getting the pension exclusion?

njmoneyhelp.com – 8/21/2020

Let’s start with how Medicare premiums are calculated. They are based on modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), which in most cases is your adjusted gross income plus any tax-exempt interest or dividends, said Laurie Wolfe, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.read more »

fsu.jpgWill my IRA stop me from getting the pension exclusion?

njmoneyhelp.com – 8/12/2020

You, and your spouse if filing a joint return, must be 62 or older and disabled as defined by the Social Security Administration’s guidelines and your total income for the year must be less than $100,000, said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.read more »

fsu.jpgIs stimulus payment income under Obamacare?

njmoneyhelp.com – 8/5/2020

When applying for the insurance, you must provide an estimate of your expected household income and your premium savings, or Advanced Premium Tax Credit, is based on that estimate, said Laurie Wolfe, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence. read more »

fsu.jpgWill my retirement withdrawals be taxed by N.J.?

njmoneyhelp.com – 7/30/2020

Let’s tackle your various sources of income post retirement. First you are correct that Social Security benefits are not taxable on your state return, while your pension plan distributions of $6,256 most likely are, said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence. Of course, your salary pre-retirement is taxable. Fusillo said Thrift Savings Plan contributions are taxed when made. In other words, they are not salary deferrals for New Jersey tax purposes.read more »

fsu.jpgCan I use a 529 plan to pay for K-12 tuition?

njmoneyhelp.com – 7/7/2020

529 plans are state-run plans that allow you to contribute tax-deferred dollars for college and university expenses, said Dawn Brown, a certified planner with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence. She said the plans were created to be used to pay for tuition and other qualified expenses. “The tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017 expanded the use of 529 plans to include paying for tuition at an elementary or secondary school,” Brown said. “It includes public, private and religious schools for K-12 students. A maximum of $10,000 can be withdrawn annually to pay for tuition.read more »

fsu.jpgCan I get unemployment if I’m already getting Social Security?

njmoneyhelp.com – 6/26/2020

There are many individuals who are receiving Social Security benefits but continue to work to supplement their income or to stay active. The Covid-19 crisis resulted in a dramatic increase in unemployment applications, and this has caused many mature workers to question their eligibility to collect both benefits, said Jodi Cirignano, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley. She said you can collect both Social Security and unemployment benefits. read more »

fsu.jpgCan I convert my 401(k) to a Roth IRA to save on taxes?

njmoneyhelp.com – 6/2/2020

It’s a good time for many to convert their retirement funds to a Roth IRA. But converting a traditional 401(k) to a Roth IRA is a two-step process. “First, you roll over the funds to a traditional IRA,” said Laurie Wolfe, a certified planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence. She recommends you consult with your financial advisor who is aware of your total financial picture before making this decision. That’s because the decision has several ramifications, and you don’t want to do the conversion in error.read more »

fsu.jpgShaky State Pensions: How Advisors Can Help

Fa-mag.com – 6/1/2020

Diahann Lassus, president and CIO of Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank in New Providence, N.J., says she also asks clients with public pensions point-blank what they will do if their pensions are reduced by as much as 30%. “That’s the starting point,” Lassus says, “focusing on where you are and figuring out how you can redirect any income and assets you have to building retirement income. So if you can save $200 or $2,000 a month more, then over the long term it will provide a high benefit for you. If you get 10 years down the road and your pension is still intact, great, but if it isn’t, then at least you’re in the position to offset some of that loss.read more »

fsu.jpgWhat happens if you die before collecting Social Security?

njmoneyhelp.com – 5/28/2020

“If you choose to collect Social Security benefits at full retirement age, your payment is your “primary insurance amount,”, said Dawn Brown, a certified planner with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence. She said a surviving spouse can claim benefits based on her husband’s work record. “The benefit received is based on the primary insurance amount, which is determined at full retirement age, even if her husband delayed claiming benefits until age 70,” Brown said. read more »

fsu.jpgHow do taxes work on these retirement plan distributions?

njmoneyhelp.com – 5/25/2020

“Generally, Basis is created when you contribute to your retirement plan and it is not deductible for New Jersey state income taxes. In New Jersey, this applies when you contribute to a retirement plan such as a 403(b) plan, a 457 plan, a SEP, or any other retirement plan contribution other than a 401(k), said Patricia Daquila, a certified planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.”  read more »

fsu.jpgEarly Retirement is Tempting Now. Don’t Do It.

bloomberg.com – 5/20/2020

Why not let the pandemic accelerate a decision that was just over the horizon anyway? Here’s why.

“it’s important not to underestimate how much money will be needed to retire comfortably. Some people mistakenly think that their spending will be greatly reduced in retirement., which isn’t what usually happens, according to Diahann Lassus, a financial planner in New Jersey. Retirees end up filling their time with activities that come with expenses, she said.,”  read more »

fsu.jpgWill we save on taxes if we file separately?

njmoneyhelp.com – 5/12/2020

The New Jersey pension exclusion is available to taxpayers who are 62 or older on December 31 of that year. “Such taxpayers may exclude some or all of their otherwise taxable pensions and IRA withdrawals as long as their gross income does not exceed $100,000,” said Cynthia Fusillo. a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence. read more »

fsu.jpg9 Money Moves to Keep Your Retirement Afloat During the Pandemic Financial Storm

AARP – 5/4/2020

Hold off on significant financial decisions, like buying a new house or retiring. “Press the pause button and reevaluate your situation.,” recommends Dawn Brown. a wealth adviser at with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

fsu.jpgHere are the right steps to taking a 401(k) loan during the coronavirus outbreak

CNBC – 4/2/2020

“You are borrowing from your future,” said certified financial planner Diahann Lassus, president and chief investment officer of Lassus Wherley, Peapack Private Wealth Management. “It increases the risk of not being able to meet your long-term goals. If you exhaust everything else and you don’t have any other way to meet your bills or keep a roof over your head, this would be an option,” said Lassus, a member of the CNBC Financial Advisor Council.” read more »

fsu.jpg8 Ways to Rescue Your Retirement Portfolio

AARP – 4/27/2020

The starting point is to review your overall finances to determine what options you have,” advises Diahann Lassus, president and chief financial officer with Lassus Wherley. ”The financial markets will recover over time so anything you can do to slow down withdrawals will help you recover from the downturn. read more »

fsu.jpgFlorida State University – College of Business – Featured Alumni – Diahann W. Lassus

Fsu.edu - April 2020

What advice would you give to someone about to graduate with a degree in management?

“Don’t limit yourself in terms of options when you are doing a job search There are so many opportunities in so many different professions and industries where you can apply the knowledge and the skills you have acquired. Be open to positions that may be outside of what you were originally thinking would a good fit.” read more »

cnbnc.jpgWill couple owe the ‘exit tax on this home sale?

njmoneyhelp.com – 4/24/2020

However, the FAQ further states that the entire gain must be excluded from gross income, said Laurie Wolfe, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant at Lassus Wherley.
Wolfe said that a married couple can exclude up to $500,000 of gain. She looked at whether you meet the five step eligibility test laid out in Publication 523.read more »

cnbnc.jpgIf I get a stimulus payment for my dead spouse, will I have to give it back?

nj.com – 4/22/2020

Pat Daquila, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence, confirmed there is no information on the IRS website regarding stimulus payments and deceased individuals. “I would assume that in order to cash the check, you would have to have an estate account.” Daquila said. “I would recommend for the executor of the estate to hold on to that money until clear guidance is received by the IRS. This way if they need to refund the money, it would be available.read more »

cnbnc.jpgIf I remarry, what happens to my survivor benefit?

njmoneyhelp.com – 4/22/2020

Social Security allows a widow to collect retirement benefits based on their deceased spouse’s benefits. This can be claimed at full retirement age or as early as age 60, but with a reduced benefit,” said Dawn Brown, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.read more »

cnbnc.jpgTapping Your 401(k): Is now the right time to do it?

cnbnc.com – 4/20/2020

Lassus: ““On the other hand, now may be a really good time to consider a conversion, since investment values are lower and you may pay less in tax to convert to a Roth IRA”, said certified financial planner Diahann Lass of Lassus Wherley and a member of the CNBC Financial Advisors Council.”read more »

fsu.jpgIf the coronavirus is rocking your finances, here’s what you need to do

cnbc.com – 4/13/2020

Review and rebalance the investments in your 401(k) or other portfolios. “Assuming there have been no major changes in your life, your portfolio may still be positioned where you need it to be,” said financial advisor Diahann Lassus of Lassus Wherley in a recent newsletter to clients. ”If your portfolio hasn’t been rebalanced since this volatility started, you are probably underweight equity. This means it may be time to sell off some of the U.S. fixed income and add to the equity side of the portfolio.” read more »

cnbnc.jpgHere’s what advisors are doing to help their clients – and themselves – amid the coronavirus volatility

cnbnc.com – 4/12/2020

Lassus: “We continue to review portfolios and rebalance both to make sure cash remains at the right levels in accounts and to bring asset classes such as US small cap stock back to within the bands. Small Cap stocks have suffered the largest losses and are more likely to be well below the target percentage in a portfolio.”read more »

cnbnc.jpgEight out of 10 financial advisors see markets diving lower, survey finds

cnbnc.com – 4/8/2020

“Lassus said she doesn’t believe that anyone can call the bottom on the market. “We focus on the long term and continue to gradually add dollars to asset classes that are underweight, such as U.S. large cap and U.S. small cap stock,” she added. “We know that gradually buying at these low prices and maintaining our focus on the longer term will work.”read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgWhat happens if I skip Senior Freeze for one year?

njmoneyhelp.com – 3/25/2020

The Senior Freeze program is a property tax relief program that reimburses eligible senior citizens and disabled persons for property tax or mobile home park site fee increase on their principal residence,” said Patricia Daquila, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgHow do we figure out the taxation of this retirement account?

njmoneyhelp.com – 3/20/2020

Because your wife has already been taxed on contributions by New Jersey, you must determine which portion of your distribution is taxable and which is excludable” said Laurie Wolfe, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgFinding the community-based RIAs who make their home in New Jersey

citywireusa.com – 3/16/2020

Funny enough, all of our advisors are women! Not by design, we just hired the most qualified candidates we could find. However, in addition to being qualified, we look for someone who’s energetic and loves their career. We treat our clients as family, and we want employees who feel the same way. read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgWill this home be subject to capital gains taxes?

njmoneyhelp.com – 3/12/2020

Internal Revenue Code Section 121 gives an exclusion of up to $250,000 of capital gain from the sale of your main home or $500,000 if your filing status is married filing jointly,” said Cynthia Fusillo. a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence. “There are two tests to qualify, she said. One is for ownership and the other is for us.” read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgCan I get tax breaks for seniors on this home?

njmoneyhelp.com – 3/5/2020

The programs you’re asking about have eligibility requirements, and that’s going to be a problem for you. The Homestead Rebate is a property relief program for New Jersey residents. In order to qualify, you must be a New Jersey resident, you must have owned and occupied your property on Oct 1 of the year you are applying for and property taxes must have been paid on that home,” said Patricia Daquila, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgDo these retirement distributions count for the pension exclusion?

njmoneyhelp.com – 3/3/2020

“The New Jersey pension exclusion allows those who are age 62 or older or blind/disabled on the last day of the year and who total income of less than $100,00 to exclude that income from your New Jersey return. If your income exceeds this $100,000 threshold by even a dollar, you cannot claim any exclusion at all, said Laurie Wolfe, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.” ​read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgWhat financial advisors are offering clients

cnbc.com – 2/28/2020​

“Diahann Lassus, Lassus Wherley, on where advisors are looking to put their clients right now.” ​read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgYou’re about to lose the cash in this tax-advantaged account

cnbc.com – 2/27/2020​

“Employees lose as much as $400 million annually in unused balances, the health website FSAStore.com found. Those forfeited sums are recaptured by the plan and used to cover expenses. “It’s really about understanding what your ongoing needs are, being focused on that expense and deciding where the dollars could best come from,” said certified financial planner Diahann Lassus, CPA and co-founder of Lassus Wherley in New Providence, New Jersey.” ​read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgFederal and state income aren’t a match on this W-2.  Why?

njmoneyhelp.com – 2/26/2020

“New Jersey taxes several items that are excluded for federal purposes. Consequently, employees will often notice that the state wages box of Form W-2 Box 16, is higher than the wages box used for the federal return, Box 1, said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.” ​read more »

U.S. stocks take a dive as coronavirus cases spread across the globe

nj.com – 2/24/2020

“Financial markets don’t like uncertainty, said Diahann Lassus, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence. She said the uncertainty created by the Coronavirus’ is leaving investors unsettled. “We don’t know what the ultimate impact will be.  This leaves everyone guessing and the fear drives the financial markets down,” Lassus said. “The financial markets, at this point, are focused on the economic impact of the virus.”” ​read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgDon’t bet on that tax-free Trump savings account just yet.  Here’s why

cnbc.com – 2/20/2020​

“Are we encouraging people to save, or are we encouraging people to invest in the stock market?” asked Diahann Lassus, CPA and co-founder of Lassus Wherley in New Providence, New Jersey. Create your cash backstop before embracing the long-term risk and reward of investing in stocks. “The incentive should be on the savings side, and the next level is allocating the dollars and having them work for you in the most effective way,” she said. ​read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgWhat happens to inherited IRAs under the SECURE Act?

njmoneyhelp.com – 1/31/2020

“Prior to Jan. 1 2020, when a beneficiary of an inherited IRA passed away, the successor beneficiary would “step into the shoes” of the current beneficiary and continue the Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) based on the life expectancy of the current beneficiary, said Patricia Daquila, a certified financial planner and certified publica accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank in New Providence."»read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgCan a trust own a 529 plan for a grandchild?

njmoneyhelp.com – 1/28/2020

“A trust can be the owner of a 529 plan”, said Dawn Brown, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence. She said the 529 plan will likely require you to disclose and provide supporting evidence, such as the trust agreement, showing who the trustees and successor trustees are so it can confirm who can make decisions about the account."»read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgIs my mom liable for my dead father’s credit card debt?

NJMoneyHelp.com – 1/15/2020

“As a general rule of thumb. unpaid debts are paid from the deceased person’s estate, said Lisa McKnight, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank in New Providence. She said in New Jersey, family members, including the surviving spouse, are not typically obligated to pay debts from their own assets unless they have co-signed the obligation.”​read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgCan former N.J. residents come back from Florida for retirement?

NJMoneyHelp.com – 1/13/2020

“NJMoneyHelp.com asked Dawn Brown, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence to review the couple’s finances to see how they can accomplish their goals. Brown said the couple’s expenses are far below their income, so they have a positive cash flow of more than $38,000 a year. With their low cost of living, they are not withdrawing any funds from their savings to fund their lifestyle in retirement, Brown Said. Here’s what Brown’s analysis found.”​read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpg10 New Year’s resolutions for your money in 2020

nj.com – 1/1/2020

“Remember that resolutions aren’t supposed to be a one-shot deal, but instead, are something to strive for through the year,” said Diahann Lassus, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank in New Providence. “When you make a resolution, first write it down, and second, think about the timeline for actually accomplishing it,” Lassus said. “Spend some quality time thinking about it and be serious about what is important for your short and long-term financial health.” Here are 10 resolutions for your finances.-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence. She said it is only possible to have one domicile at a time.” read more »

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