Retirement

Single women and money

Study: Single women and money Single women – those who have never married, those who have experienced divorce, and those who have outlived a spouse – need to take a more proactive approach to growing and protecting their finances, according to a new study. The Single Women and Money Study found that while the overwhelming majority of single women (97%) believe it is important to be engaged in … [Read more...]

Keep Your Eye Out for Scams

Scams to Watch Out For While scams are especially prevalent during tax season, they can take place any time during the year. A client recently had a call from someone at Social Security, or so they told her. They coaxed this very intelligent woman into revealing quite a bit about her financial life, using profoundly professional-sounding authority and a sense of urgency about her Social Security … [Read more...]

Why Name a “Trusted Contact”

Why name a “Trusted Contact” Do you need a Trusted Contact? Not everyone needs one, as cozy and protective as it sounds. We suggest that you take this step with intention and careful thought, not just because the custodian sends you a form to name someone. In an effort to prevent senior financial fraud, FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) created a rule to allow custodians to … [Read more...]

Hidden Gem: HSAs

Hidden Gem: HSA in Retirement The health savings account or “HSA” is a little-understood vehicle for tax-deferred savings for medical expenses. This tax-preferred account can prove useful not only during your working years but also in retirement. Many people think it is just to defer current-year taxes for medical out-of-pocket costs, but it can be used much more strategically, even in … [Read more...]

Medicare Costs in 2019

What Will You Pay for Medicare in 2019? Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts change annually. Here’s a look at some of the costs for 2019 for those enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Medicare Part B premiums Most with Medicare who receive Social Security benefits will pay the standard monthly Part B premium of $135.50 in 2019. However, for some whose premiums … [Read more...]

2019: Key Retirement and Tax Numbers

Every year, the IRS makes cost-of-living adjustments that affect contribution limits for retirement plans and set thresholds for tax deductions, exclusions, and exemptions. Here are the key adjustments for 2019: Employer retirement plans Employees in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans can defer up to $19,000 of their compensation in 2019 (up from $18,500 in 2018). Those age 50 and older can … [Read more...]

Medicare Coverage Gap

The Medicare Coverage Gap One of the most confusing Medicare provisions is the coverage gap, often called the “donut hole.” It may be clearer if you look at it as the uncovered portion of the annual Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage. Here's a way to understand it better. This also applies to drug coverage that is integrated into a Part C Medicare Advantage Plan. Annual … [Read more...]

Sustainable Investing, Part 1

Sustainable Investing If there’s a trait most of us share, it’s a desire to make the world a better place. That is why there is increasing interest in sustainable investing. Many of us want to try to earn solid or even stellar returns while contributing – or at least causing less harm – to the greater good. But what is the greater good? What is a decent return on your investment? How do we … [Read more...]

Charitable Giving in 2018

Charitable Giving The landscape for charitable giving changed with the new tax law, but we are seeing that clients - with or without a tax write-off - still want to give to their favorite organizations and charities. After all, we give to support causes we cherish and to show gratitude for good fortune we have enjoyed. Financial incentives are nice, but not usually your main motivation for … [Read more...]

Tax Tips for the Self-Employed

Realities of Taxes for the Self-Employed If you are self-employed, as many of our clients are, you know there are many advantages beyond just being your own boss. There are also unique challenges involved, especially how to handle taxes. Whether you’re running your own business or thinking about starting one, there are specific tax rules and opportunities that apply to you. Here is a look at the … [Read more...]

IRS Limits SALT Tax Workarounds

IRS Shuts Door on SALT Creative Workarounds The IRS said no to some of the creative workarounds for the new $10,000 limit on the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT). Its new guidance appears to close the door on a strategy offered by the state of New York and some other states to circumvent the deduction limit by attempting to turn the taxes paid into charitable contributions not … [Read more...]

Why We Watch Your RMDs

What Are Required Minimum Distributions? Some clients are surprised when they learn that the IRS forces them to take “required minimum distributions” – known as RMDs – after they turn age 70½. When they don’t need the money to spend, they question why the government makes them take money out of their IRAs. The answer is that the government wants to finally get some tax revenue, after allowing … [Read more...]

Planning for Remarriage

If you are thinking of marrying again... For those courageous enough to remarry, there are many financial questions to answer together. How will you combine finances? This issue gets thornier the older you are. You’ll want to create a financial strategy that considers the assets, liabilities, and financial responsibilities that each partner brings to the marriage. Financial planning for … [Read more...]

Wise Words for Volatile Times

Wise words to soothe volatile times in the stock markets, from some of the best investors: "Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies. And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful." — Warren Buffett "Most of the time common stocks are subject to … [Read more...]

Sophisticated Fraudsters

Fraud Is Becoming Increasingly Sophisticated Ever wonder why we want to hear your voice when you are requesting money? We have had this "double authentication" practice since Blue Spark Financial began, for the safety of our clients, and we understand that sometimes it’s a pain to take the extra step to pick up the phone after an email. But it’s in place to protect against hackers – and they are … [Read more...]

Blue Spark Capital Advisors

We're a fee-only Registered Investment Advisory and financial planning firm based in New York City and the Berkshires.

We specialize in working with women after divorce, death of a spouse, or other life transitions such as retirement or job change. We provide financial planning and investment management services.

We believe in a holistic approach. Movement in each piece of your financial plan impacts the others, so we consider your entire picture.

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Contact Us

130 West 19th Street (8th Floor)
New York, N.Y. 10011
(212) 537-3899

93 Church Street
Lenox, Mass. 01240
(413) 551-7000

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"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful."
– Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
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