Archive for December, 2009

Weekly Recap & Outlook – 12.11.09

Friday, December 11th, 2009

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Friday, December 11th, 2009

I couldn’t resist sticking this in.


Winners and Losers as the Dollar Falls

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Here’s a great little article from the New York Times that satisfies my craving for information displayed graphically due to my hindered cognitive abilities.  Click on it to go to the original New York Times article, print it out, then use it for a placemat.  A gift to you from Tower Private Advisors.




Year-end HSA Planning

Friday, December 11th, 2009

This is Julie Machado, who is now Google-able.  (You’re welcome, Julie.)julie-machado-12-09





She’s one of our Health Savings Account experts, and she has this timely, year-end reminder for you.

Although most of us are probably focusing on enjoying—or maybe just getting through—the holiday season, like it or not, tax time will be upon us before we know it. Just like that jolly, old Saint Nick, the good old IRS never fails to appear right on schedule.

For anyone with a Health Savings Account, one bit of good news is that you can reduce that tax bite by maximizing your HSA contribution. And you don’t even have to dip into the Christmas account to do it. As long as your HSA was established no later than December 1, 2009, you still have until April 15, 2010 to make a tax-deductible 2009 HSA contribution. For individuals, that’s a maximum of $3,000 and for families, the maximum is $5,950.

If you are 55 or older, you can add an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution to those maximum amounts, and contribute up to $4,000 (individual) or $6,950 (family) for 2009. If your spouse is at least 55 and eligible to contribute to an HSA, he or she can also make the $1,000 catch-up contribution. Just be aware that the IRS does require that each spouse’s catch up contribution be deposited into separate accounts.

Looking toward the new year, you planner-aheaders may be glad to know that the IRS has increased the maximum HSA contribution amounts to $3,050 for individuals and $6,150 for families in 2010. The 55-and-over catch-up contribution will remain at $1,000 per eligible individual, and – procrastinators take note – you will still have until April 15 of the following year to make 2010 HSA contributions and maximize your tax savings.

For more information you can contact our HSA Customer Service at 888-472-8697, or you may click here to send an e-mail to Julie.


Depressing but Fascinating Unemployment Picture

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Okay, so this is depressing while fascinating.  Click on the graphic below to start a blow-by-blow, county-by-county picture of U.S. unemployment since the beginning of 2007.  The darker the county, the worse the unemployment rate.  Not surprisingly, things start to get interesting around September 2008, but you’ll see it’s only starting then.