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Obsidian Planning

Obsidian Market Update 09/16/2023

Economic Update

Federal Student Loan Repayment Resumes

As of March of 2020, the U.S. Department of Education put a moratorium on federal student loan payments (“administrative forbearance”) and set the interest rate at 0%. The pause on interest accrual ended on September 1, 2023, and approximately 43 million borrowers must resume payments as early as October 1, as determined by their loan servicers.

If borrowers’ contact information is up to date, they should have already received notice from their loan servicers about the date their payments resume. Borrowers can check the information in their profiles here.

Several Loan Servicers Are Out of the Student Loan Business.

During the moratorium, several federal student loan servicers (e.g., Navient, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) & Granite State Management and Resources) terminated their contracts with the Department of Education. Loans serviced by these institutions have transferred to new lenders. Repayment information related to loans serviced by these institutions is available in the My Loan Services section of a borrower’s Federal Student Aid account dashboard.

New Programs for Borrowers

Please note that the Department of Education:

  1. Has created a “12-month on ramp” from October 1, 2023 to September 30, 2024 during which “borrowers who miss monthly payments during this period are not considered delinquent, reported to credit bureaus, placed in default, or referred to debt collection agencies;”
  2. Has initiated a program to help borrowers who have defaulted on their loans return to good standing (the Fresh Start Initiative); and
  3. Adjusted the SAVE (Saving on a Valuable Education) Plan that decreases the amount some borrowers owe by increasing the income exemption from 150% to 225% of the federal poverty line. Some borrowers will be automatically enrolled in the SAVE Plan while others must apply. Please check with your loan servicer or the Office of Federal Student Aid.


Party or Soiree?

Have you ever received an invitation to a soirée and wondered what makes a soirée different from a party? Other than the title and time of day (soirées take place in the evening), a soirée typically includes fewer guests than a party, is held in a home, and is somewhat fancier in terms of food and attire. Historically, the focus of a soirée is on conversation rather than on celebrating an event.

In the By the Book section of every Sunday issue of The New York Times, authors are asked to name three writers, dead or alive, that they would invite to a literary dinner party. (Sounds like a soirée to us!) The guest lists often include more than three writers and a few guests who are not writers. Still, the answers make us think about our own dream soirée guests list. Now, we just have to plan the menu!

How We Help

When Pensions Are Part of Your Plan

According to the Social Security Administration, “The percentage of workers covered by a traditional defined benefit (DB) pension plan that pays a lifetime annuity . . . has been steadily declining over the past 25 years (from 1980 through 2008) . . .  from 38 percent to 20 percent (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2008; Department of Labor 2002).” Among these workers are government and union employees and retired members of the military.

We routinely help individuals integrate pensions into their comprehensive financial plans and assess their payout options. You may have several options to choose from, and we are able to coordinate which best fit your long-term needs, goals and preferences and potentially those of your spouse. These can be critical decisions that should be discussed well in advance of making a final selection. Give us a call, and we’ll help you use your pension to reach your short- and long-term goals.

Advisory Services offered through Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC. Securities are offered through Triad Advisors, member ​FINRA/SIPC.​ Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC, and Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, Inc, are not affiliated with Triad Advisors.


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