Knox Grove News

Welcome to my blog. Here you can find all my views on the financial world and keep updated on all the latest news.

How A Financial Advisor Can Help

What are your hopes and dreams for the future? They probably begin with being able to provide for yourself and your family. But you also might aspire to a bigger home, an exotic vacation or another luxury, savings for your children's education, and a nest egg for retirement.

While you may be able to achieve all of those things, you can't just snap your fingers and make them happen. You'll need hard work and financial discipline, and you'll need to make a long-term commitment to work toward your goals. Enlisting the services of a financial advisor could help guide you along the way.

Of course, you still would be the one calling the shots, but an advisor can provide valuable assistance in many respects. An advisor can help you:


  • Assess your current financial status, including your income, investments, assets, liabilities, insurance coverage, tax situation, and estate plan;



  • Set goals that are both ambitious and reasonable;



  • Account for changes in your personal circumstances (births, deaths, marriage, or divorce);



  • Address weaknesses in your current investment and retirement planning;



  • Develop a comprehensive plan to suit your current needs and future desires.


Couldn't you do all of this on your own? If you're sufficiently savvy about financial matters you could, but few people have the time, expertise, and inclination to do all that's required. And even if you're determined to tackle your financial objectives by yourself, you could need a push to get you started. What's more, an objective third party such as a professional financial advisor may add a valuable new perspective to your own outlook. You might benefit from having someone review key decisions about your financial future.

Even if you don't feel you need the help of a financial planner now, something could happen to trigger a call for help. For instance, maybe you've inherited a large sum of money or property and you're not sure how to handle it. Perhaps you, or your spouse, have been laid off from a job and suddenly money is tight and you're forced to make financial trade-offs. Or you may require assistance on other financial fronts ranging from elder-care planning to paying higher-than-expected college costs for your kids or resolving a shortfall in your retirement savings.

If you do decide to use a professional financial advisor, you'll still need to find one who is experienced and has experience helping clients in your situation. We would be glad to show you the high level of services that we provide.

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Social Security: Delay or Not to Delay?


The subject of Social Security is a confusing topic for most people.  It is important to understand your options early and review your retirement plan holistically, so you are able to make the best decision for you and your family. One of the most popular questions that come up frequently is, “Should I take my Social Security Early or should I delay?”

First, let’s discuss how your social security amount is calculated. Social security looks back on your work history to evaluate your highest earning years. They take the indexed monthly earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the greatest amount. Next, they apply a formula to these earnings and come up with your “primary insurance amount” (PIA). The PIA is how much you will receive at full retirement age (FRA), which is 65 or older, depending on when you were born.

One thing to keep in mind is that you always have the option to take your social security benefits as early as 62 at a reduced rate. But, it’s important to note that if you delay taking your funds until you reach your full retirement age (up to age 70), your benefit amount will increase.

So, which is better? Well, sometimes this becomes a personal decision or a decision based on need. Others perform a “break-even” analysis which evaluates the age at which delaying taking benefits is greater than taking it early. Of course there are other factors that should come into play when evaluating the “break-even” age such as your health. If you are in poor health or have a history of family dying at an early age, it may be in your best interest to take your social security benefits early.

The decision as to when to take Social Security retirement benefits is an important one and making the wrong decision can be a costly one. Your Financial Advisor can work with you and your tax advisor to make the most of these strategies and determine what scenario works best for your situation. 

Please feel free to call our team of Advisors at Knox Grove Financial at 609-216-7440 if you are interested in learning more about this topic. For information about Knox Grove Financial, please visit or like us on Facebook at

Representatives of Signator Investors, Inc. do not provide tax and legal advice.  Please consult your tax advisor or attorney for such guidance.

 Knox Grove Financial, LLC is independent of Signator Investors, Inc., Registered Representative/Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Signator Investors Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC., a Registered Investment Adviser 290 West Mount Pleasant Ave., Suite 2300, Livingston, NJ 07039 (973)994-0100 .  374-20160817-312777

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Social Security Update

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced that there will be no increase in retiree benefits in 2016 because of the low inflation rate. Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), which are based on a consumer price index for urban wage-earners, have been standard fare and most retirees expect them. In fact, this is only the third time without a yearly increase in Social Security retirement benefits since COLAs were instituted in 1975. (The other two occurred in 2010 and 2011.)

It may be small consolation, but the Social Security wage base for payroll taxes also won't go up, remaining at $118,500 in 2016. This means the first $118,500 of wages you earn in 2016 is subject to a 6.2% tax (or twice that if you're self-employed). There's also a tax for Medicare of 1.45% on all earnings.

Furthermore, the SSA has announced that the limits under the "earnings test" (the amount you can earn from working without forfeiting Social Security benefits) also are unchanged.

Did this "freeze" for 2016 catch you by surprise? If so, you're not alone. People from all walks of life, including those who already have retired, often don't fully understand the rules for Social Security or are unaware of how complex the rules are. Use this quiz to test your personal knowledge of the subject:

  1. The earliest age you can begin to receive Social Security retiree benefits is:
     a) age 59½.
     b) age 62.
     c) age 65.
     d) age 70.

2. The amount you will receive if you opt for early retirement may be reduced by as much as _____ for someone born in 1960 or later.
     a) 5%
     b) 10%
     c) 20%
     d) 30%

3. To get the maximum amount of Social Security benefits, you need to wait until ______ to begin receiving benefits.
     a) age 59½
     b) age 62
     c) age 65
     d) age 70

4. Spousal benefits are available to an unmarried ex-spouse if he or she was married to the beneficiary for at least:
     a) 3 years.
     b) 5 years.
     c) 10 years.
     d) 25 years.

5. Social Security retiree benefits are partially taxable if your income exceeds ________ if you're a single tax filer and ________ if you're a joint filer.
     a) $10,000/$20,000
     b) $25,000/$32,000
     c) $50,000/$100,000
     d) $200,000/$250,000

6. The age when a Baby Boomer born between 1943 and 1954 is able to receive full retirement benefits is:
     a) age 62.
     b) age 65.
     c) age 66.
     d) age 70.

7. For 2016, the maximum amount you're allowed to earn in the year you reach full retirement age—but before the month of your birthday—without forfeiting any benefits is:
     a) $15,480.
     b) $26,480.
     c) $41,880.
     d) $55,880.

Answers: 1-b; 2-d; 3-d; 4-c; 5-b; 6-c; 7-c

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2 Tree Farm Road, Suite B100
Pennington, NJ 08534
Phone: 609-216-7440
Fax: 609-910-4275

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