Athena Newsletter Publications

January 2023 - Issue 8

The age for Required Minimum Distributions (or RMDs) is going up again. Though the age was recently increased to 72, now anyone born in 1951 through 1959 won’t have to start distributions until age 73. For those born in 1960 or later, RMDs won’t start until age 75. While many retirees need to withdraw the required amount or more to cover their living expenses, for others it will present new flexibility and planning opportunities. 

In addition to the start date changing, the penalty for missing an RMD will drop. Previously, a missed RMD could be subject to a penalty of 50%. This will drop to 10-25% of the missed amount, depending how quickly an error is corrected.

[Read Q1 Issue] 


October 2022 - Issue 7

I grew up in the New York Area where it is a well-known cliché that people retire and they move to Florida. Some of this is to avoid shoveling snow in old age, but nowadays one of the most common concerns of retirees, remote workers, and anyone looking to relocate is taxes. 

Marginal tax rates alone, however, are not the whole story when it comes to addressing the financial issues around an interstate move. While some states – such as California and New York – may have a very high top tax rate, for those who are lower earners, a state with a progressive tax system may prove a better deal than one with one rate that is applied across all income levels.

[Read Q4 Issue] 

July 2022 - Issue 6

The last market cycle was led by growth in equities in part due to advancements in technologies, low interest rates and a lack of profit in low-risk investments. Given historically low interest rates, cash and bonds were just not that attractive when you could potentially earn much more in the market.

However, since the start of 2022, the markets have entered a new cycle. With the pandemic, the government implemented an expansionary monetary policy to avoid a recession, injecting an enormous amount of stimulus into the economy. What we saw was a reduction in interest rates, purchasing of bonds, and a reduction in the reserve ratio.

[Read Q3 Issue] 


April 2022 - Issue 5

Many of my family and friends ask how I am able to save as much as I can via Couponing. For example, the last time I went grocery shopping, I cut a $165 bill almost in half to $75. The secret is that it’s actually super easy once you know how and anyone can do it. While I love to buy things on sale, what I love more is getting a deal on something I was already going to purchase.

Thanks to technology, it takes far less time and effort than you can think and, over time, clipping coupons and shopping smartly can add up to a major impact on your finances.

[Read Q2 Issue] 

January 2022 - Issue 4

Big changes are coming down the pipe for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid! The 2020 FAFSA Simplification Act doesn’t take effect until the 2022 FAFSA (for the 2023-2024 school year), but it mandates the following changes:

  • A much shorter form. The current 108 questions will shrink to 36.
  •  It will be easier for more people to automatically transfer their data from the IRS into the form. This was one of the reasons for a previous change, from using last year’s tax return to the prior-prior year.

[Read Q1 Issue] 


October 2021 - Issue 3

Investments get all the glory and they certainly can help grow wealth and achieve personal objectives. But when the dreaded happens – whether it’s loss of life or loss of function – investments often aren’t enough to stay on track for our goals. That’s when insurance comes in – whether it’s plan protection against unlikely but catastrophic events such as a death or disability at an early age or the additional costs that hit so many of us who outlive our capacity to care for ourselves.

[Read October 2021 Issue] 

July 2021 - Issue 2

We’ve been seeing more and more action from scammers as they try to get us to give away our information, our money, and our security. Over time, they’ve refined their messages to match what is most likely to work. The key to making otherwise rational, smart people fall for scammers is to get us to the zone where we aren’t thinking rationally. Anyone, no matter how well-informed or even-keeled, can get to the point of “fight or flight” where adrenaline and panic prevent us from using our reasoning skills.  

[Read July 2021 Issue]

April 2021 - Issue 1

It’s been a little over a year since the world got quarter's issue: turned upside down, changing lives as well as the business environment. Fortunately, the pandemic did little to impede our ability to be there for our clients when they need us most. Athena Wealth Strategies already had several virtual tools available to us but during the past year we’ve built out our ability to serve clients from afar, adding a deeper level of service that will last beyond the current crisis. 

[Read April 2021 Issue] 


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See Lincoln Financial Advisors (LFA’s) Form CRS Customer Relationship Summary, available here, for succinct information about the relationships and services LFA offers to retail investors, related fees and costs, specified conflicts of interest, standards of conduct, and disciplinary history, among other things. LFA’s Forms ADV, Part 2A, which describe LFA’s investment advisory services, Regulation Best Interest Disclosure Document, which describes LFA’s broker-dealer services, and other client disclosure documents can be found here

Julie VanTilburg, CA Insurance License #0C21028; Maritza Rogers, CA Insurance License #0E50369; Robin Starr, CA Insurance License #0G64012; Jeffrey Better, CA Insurance License #0182274; Kaitlyn Zawada, CA Insurance License #4084200

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