Weekly Update – March 31 2022 In Memory of a Woman of Valor

In leu of my regular weekly update about tax season, tax law the covid pandemic I feel fortunate to share sad news about my family.  My mother-in-law, friend and member of my support team of 40 plus years, passed away in her sleep this Tuesday morning, she is now at peace after a long and happy life.

My brother-in-law Marty who has been an amazing caring son during Charlotte’s last 10 years of declining health alerted me to her increasing decline.  My husband David and I moved our intended flight to Jupiter Florida where she lived from today to Tuesday morning.  She passed just as we touched down, but I am grateful that Marty was with her that morning and that most of her immediate family, including me were able to visit with her in the last few weeks.

Rob Katz my other brother-in-law, flew in Tuesday afternoon and my daughter Jessie met us at the airport a few minutes after we landed; it was good for all of us to be together to pay our last respects.

Her funeral will be held this Friday, graveside at 1PM.  We will meet at the cemetery office at  New Montefiore Cemetery  1180 Wellwood Ave, West Babylon, NY 11704 at 12:30 PM, and then come back to my house at 171 Beach 131 Street Belle Harbor, NY 11694 and we will be happy for our friends to share memories with us through the weekend.

My brother-in-law Rob wrote a beautiful obituary that I share here:

Charlotte Katz passed away on March 29 2022, in Jupiter, FL. at the age of 91. Charlotte was born in Brooklyn, NY on November 26, 1930, to Mano and Eleanor Feldman. She attended Erasmus Hall High School. Not long after graduation she was introduced by her father to her future husband, a young business owner, Nathan Katz. Nat and Charlotte wed in September of 1950 and were married for 66 years. Together they raised three sons in the beach community of Belle Harbor, Queens, where she was a homemaker and active in community organizations, particularly the Rockaway Park Chapter of Hadassah including serving as Chapter President.

Charlotte loved her friends and family. Her close relationship with her mother grew even closer after her father passed away in 1968. The two often worked together at the family home, in what the boys referred to fondly as “Eleanor’s sweatshop,” where Eleanor took on work finishing fur coats. After their youngest son graduated high school, Charlotte began a new life of work outside the home. Learning to drive at the age of nearly 50, her natural gift for retail led her to a series of positions where she helped the businesses and her co-workers succeed. She had a keen sense of style and marketing and a caring heart for those around her. While Charlotte’s earnings provided some extra money for her, Nat often wondered if she broke even after her own retail indulgences. After Nat retired in 1985, they moved, joined by Eleanor, to Boynton Beach, FL. While there they were proud of the work they undertook helping to found a new synagogue, Temple Torah of Boynton Beach. When Charlotte spotted a new visitor, with a welcoming smile and maternal touch she would enthusiastically encourage newcomers to join the congregation and more often than not she succeeded. Once again she played an active role in the life of the community overseeing the Temple gift shop among other duties.

As a mother of boys, Charlotte provided a humor-filled model of a strong and independent woman and partner. After the exhausting task of raising three boys, Charlotte was especially joyful to welcome her treasured granddaughters and grandson of whose accomplishments she was unceasingly proud. She is survived by her sons David (Andrea Parness), Marty, and Rob (Ann Blakely); grandchildren Jessie Katz, Emily Katz (Jeff Globerson), Erica Heinrichs (Justin), Matthew Paymer, Hannah May (Jeff), Sophie Katz (Mason Rodericks); brother, Arnold Feldman; sister-in-law, Myra Feldman, and many beloved nieces and nephews. She will long be remembered for her willingness to share her opinion, her teasing and gentle good nature, her knowing look, and her kind, forgiving smile.

For me, being home and taking a walk on the beach this morning helped me feel a sense of relief …

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For David, it is knowing that we can comfortably host our family and his friends Howard and Steven will take him for a 7 mile walk this afternoon …


Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments

If you have questions about the advance Child Tax Credits for 2021, the two best sources are the instructions for Schedule 8812, which is used to calculate and report the credit on your 2021 tax return, and the IRS FAQs. Before filing your tax return, check your IRS Online Account to be sure you report the correct amount of any advance Child Tax Credit payments received during 2021. This will help ensure that refunds are paid promptly within 21 days. As a reminder, couples who filed Married Filing Joint will each receive a letter reporting half of the payments received. When filing 2021 tax returns, married couples will need to combine both amounts when they file their joint return.


The IRS has $1.5 billion in tax refunds for people who have not filed a 2018 tax return. If those returns are not filed by April 18, 2022, the refunds will disappear with the closing of the three-year window for filing tax returns. About half of the refunds are estimated to be more than $813. Refund checks for 2018 may be delayed if taxpayers have not filed 2019 or 2020 returns. In addition, refunds may be retained by the IRS for any amounts owed to the federal or state governments or to offset unpaid child support or student loans.

So far, the IRS has delivered more than 45 million tax refunds with average payments of $3,352. However, the IRS is still digging out from a backlog of millions of unprocessed individual returns from 2020. Most refunds are issued within 21 days, but delays can be caused by paper-filed returns, payments by mail, errors, or identity theft problems. Last year, the IRS sent out about 7.4 million notices about math errors or discrepancies with IRS records. Many of those are still waiting for resolution. After you file your return, check the online Where’s My Refund? tool, which may be updated as soon as 24 hours after the IRS receives an electronically filed return.


The pandemic widened the gap between men and women for retirement readiness: only 19% of women said they were on track to retire compared to 35% of men, according to a recent survey by TIAA. In 2013, that gap was only 9%, but it has now grown to 16%. In addition, only 31% of women said they were able to save for retirement, compared to 44% of men.

Delinquencies on federal student loans may increase in May when forbearance ends. Payments on federal student loans were paused when the pandemic began in 2020. An estimated $195 million worth of payments has been waived. Even before the pandemic, many borrowers were making payments that were too small to cover interest, so fewer than half were making progress in paying off their loans. Recent signals from the White House indicate that another delay to the restart of payments may be coming.

Many older workers nearing retirement are taking a phased approach, where they continue to work part-time. A phased approach is not for everyone: many cannot afford to give up pay or benefits in exchange for more free time. Discussing this option with your employer is a good way to start. Options to supplement your income include tapping your retirement savings or taking Social Security benefits. However, both of those options may reduce your income after you completely retire.


While unemployment continues to drop, nearly half of workers are looking for a new job, a signal that the “Great Resignation” may continue into 2022 or beyond, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson. Forty-four percent of respondents were classified as “job seekers,” with 33% actively looking for new work and 11% planning to look soon. A strong job market and the promise of higher pay as employers compete for scarce talent is enticing workers to keep their options open. Nearly half (41%) said they’d leave for an increase as small as 5%, while 20% said they’d leave for the same pay but better benefits or working conditions.


As remote work becomes more of the norm, this article in PC Magazine offers a few simple and inexpensive options to make your home office more pleasant. A better set of headphones with a built-in microphone can make it easier to focus and can improve sound quality on video calls. An inexpensive back pillow will make a standard chair more comfortable. Raising the height of your monitor or laptop reduces neck strain.


Gas prices have been at record highs for the last few weeks, after shooting up at the fastest rate in history. Adjusting for inflation, drivers are paying the highest prices since 2014, and nearly the same prices as in the early 1980s. Depending on where you live, per gallon price increases range from a low of 28 cents in Maryland and $1.15 in Nevada. The price of crude oil is one of the biggest components of the price of gasoline, so as crude oil prices rise above $100 per barrel, gas prices follow suit.

Jobless claims fell to the lowest level since 1969, with just 187,000 initial claims. Continuing claims also fell to a similar historic low, to just 1.35 million, a level not seen since 1970. However, about half a million fewer people are in the workforce now than before the pandemic, which has left employers struggling to find workers.


We sincerely hope that you and your family are well and remain well. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are all in this together!

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