Arielle Minicozzi, CFP®, CSLP® Modern Money Advisor

About Arielle Minicozzi, CFP®, CSLP®

Arielle Minicozzi Figueroa, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional Certified Student Loan Professional℠ is a financial planner and coach at www.modernmoneyadvisor.com. She specializes in working with women attorneys, clients with massive student loan debt, and clients who are looking to purchase a primary residence.

Arielle studied art in college. Because she came from a non-financial background, her mission is to empower women to understand personal finance in a relaxed, judgement-free environment. She enjoys working with creative, boss women who are highly-educated in their fields but feel overwhelmed by their money. Her ideal client is passionate about the environment and social justice, is constantly striving for personal growth and success, and wants a teacher to help them build a strong financial foundation.

In addition to her work at Modern Money, Arielle owns and operates www.sphynxautomation.com (named after her Sphynx cat, Nigel) with her husband, Mark. Sphynx is a consulting firm that helps other financial advisors implement technology and automation. Arielle is passionate about systems and automation and she brings this unique view to the financial planning and coaching process, helping clients systematize and automate their financial lives.

Arielle and her business partner, Angela Moore, also co-own and operate www.modernmoney.education where they focus on providing financial literacy courses and group coaching.

Let’s make a plan – sign up for a free consultation here.

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Recently Published

Key Ways The $1.9 Trillion COVID-Relief Bill Will Affect You

March 16, 2021

Simply put—COVID-19 changed everything. From economics to healthcare to interpersonal relationships, the virus has shaped the way we’ve all experienced the world over the past year.

Since March 2020, there have been two significant stimulus packages—the $2.2 trillion CARES Act and the $900 billion Consolidated Appropriations Act. Now, there is another package, the American Rescue Plan.

The long-awaited relief bill has finally passed by a 220-211 vote. The historic $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Friday, March 12. 

What support does this bill provide? Here are the major components.

Top Provisions of the American Rescue Plan

This package was designed to support individuals, families, businesses, and the economy at large, which has sustained negative impacts due to COVID-19. Let’s take a look at the main benefits coming your way.

Direct payments

Eligible households will receive the biggest stimulus check yet, $1,400 per person plus an extra $1,400 for qualified dependents. 

Phaseouts are much stricter this time around, beginning at $75,000 if filing single and $150,000 if married filing jointly. Those making over $80,000 and $160,000 respectively are ineligible for direct payments. The government will use your latest tax return to determine household income. 

Boost for unemployment benefits

Until September 6, 2021, unemployment benefits can see an increase of $300 per week. The first $10,200 in benefits will also be tax-free (for families making less than $150,000).

Unemployment programs that protect self-employed people and independent contractors (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) have also been extended to September 6.

The plan also offers a 100% subsidy for COBRA health insurance premiums, allowing unemployed people to remain on their plans through September. 

Substantial child tax credit

Americans will see a 12-month extension on a larger child tax credit—$3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for kids 6 to 17. 

There are several ways this credit could impact families. It allows 17-year-old children to qualify, removes the earnings stipulation, and is fully refundable. The best part? Half the credit can be paid to families in advance. There are, of course, income thresholds to be cognizant of—$200,000 for single filers and $400,000 married filing jointly are ineligible.

Paycheck Protection Program

This bill attempts to shore up the PPP by providing $7.25 billion in available funds. 

A break for education (but not student loans)

School closures have put a significant strain on students, parents, teachers, and administrators. The plan allocates about $130 billion to K-12 schools. The funds will help schools reopen safely by reducing class sizes, purchase proper personal protective equipment, improve ventilation, among other improvements. 

Deeply connected to K-12 closures is the lack of accessible and affordable childcare. The plan infuses $40 billion to childcare providers. 

$40 billion is reserved for higher education to provide emergency financial aid to students.

Biden’s much-discussed student loan forgiveness plan was not included in this package. However, should any forgiveness law be passed before January 1, 2026, the forgiven balance will be tax-free. Under normal circumstances, loan forgiveness is considered taxable income—a law afflicting many borrowers. 

Additional funds for vaccine manufacturing and distribution

Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing gets about a $20 billion windfall and about $50 billion will be funneled into testing and contact tracing.

How will the bill impact you?

The American Rescue Plan will impact families in different ways. 

Direct payments present many opportunities for individuals and families across the country. If you don’t have to use the funds to supplement daily living expenses, consider the following:

  • Shore up your emergency fund (3-6 months of living expenses)

  • Put more towards your retirement (401k, IRA, etc.)

  • Pay off debt (concentrate on high-interest first)

  • Add to your brokerage account

  • Fund short-term goals

It’s important to take advantage of every financial opportunity available to you, especially in light of the trials and tribulations over the past year. 

As your trusted financial advisors, we are here to support you through all of life’s transitions. Let’s make the most of this aid package together. Schedule a call to learn more about how to take advantage of tax credits, grants, and loan opportunities available to you.

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Student Loan Series: How To Pay Off Student Debt Faster

July 10, 2020

Student loans are a massive undertaking. With tens of thousands of dollars in debt, student loans can follow you for decades. You might be thinking, is there a way to pay off student loans faster?

We are here to tell you that there is. With the right planning and debt management before, during, and after school you can get rid of your student loans and start moving forward with your financial goals.

Plan early

The key to minimizing student debt is to create a strong plan. Before you can implement any repayment strategies, you’ll need to know exactly how much debt you have. Ask yourself the following questions. 

  • How much do you owe? This includes both principal and interest.

  • What type of loans do you have and should you consider refinancing?

  • What is your income?

  • Do you qualify for income-based repayment plans?

Knowing where you are will give you a better sense of your options moving forward.

Two debt repayment strategies

While there are many ways to go about repaying your student debt, below are two methods you will likely encounter:

  1. Debt avalanche

  2. Debt snowball

Let’s take a closer look at what these strategies are and how they work. With a debt avalanche strategy, you’ll target the loan with the highest interest rate first. The idea is that by eliminating your highest-interest debt, you’ll be able to save more money in the long-term. But this strategy takes more time and means allocating more resources to one loan while maintaining minimum payments required on your other loans.

A debt snowball takes the opposite approach. This strategy encourages you to tackle your smallest debt first. Eliminating a loan, even a small one, can boost motivation and show tangible progress on your debt repayment plan. 

Which strategy is right for you? It all depends on the type of loan you have, your interest rate, income, and other financial goals. A financial advisor will be able to help you look at your unique situation to figure out which method makes the most sense. 

Craft a repayment plan

Once you have a strategy that will work for you, here are a few additional ways to pay off your debt faster. 

Allocate extra income to debt repayment. Did you get a bonus check at work or earn extra commissions this quarter? Consider putting that money toward your student loans. Be sure that your added payments go toward the principal. That way it will lower the amount you have to pay over the life of the loan. 

Use any remaining 529 funds. The SECURE Act made it possible to use up to $10,000 from a 529 plan for student loan repayment. This is penalty-free money which could make a significant dent in your debt. 

Take advantage of tax planning. Did you know that you can write off student loan interest? You can currently deduct up to $2,550 of interest on qualifying loans. This deduction does come with income limits. To take advantage of the full deduction, the adjusted gross income (AGI) for single filers is $65,000 and $135,000 for couples filing jointly. If your AGI exceeds these limits, you could be eligible for a partial deduction or not be eligible at all. You can find more income information here.  

Lower your taxable income. If you are in an income-based repayment plan, lowering your taxable income is directly correlated to your monthly student loan payments. There are a number of ways to do this like increasing your pre-tax retirement contributions (401k, traditional IRA), opening a health savings account, structuring your itemized deductions, planning your self-employment income and corresponding deductions, and making use of relevant tax credits. 

Student loans are a complex topic, one that requires a professional who knows you, your goals, and your financial situation. Our team would love to help you make a plan for paying off your student debt. Book a call today to learn more or sign up for a one-on-one Student Loan Analysis.

The information on this site is provided “AS IS” and without warranties of any kind either express or implied. To the fullest extent permissible pursuant to applicable laws, Modern Money Advisor LLC (referred to as “MMA”) disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability, non-infringement and suitability for a particular purpose. MMA does not warrant that the information will be free from error. None of the information provided on this website is intended as investment, tax, accounting or legal advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as an endorsement of any company, security, fund, or other securities or non-securities offering. The information should not be relied upon for purposes of transacting securities or other investments. Your use of the information is at your sole risk. Under no circumstances shall MMA be liable for any direct, indirect, special or consequential damages that result from the use of, or the inability to use, the materials in this site, even if MMA or a MMA authorized representative has been advised of the possibility of such damages. In no event shall MMA have any liability to you for damages, losses and causes of action for accessing this site. Information on this website should not be considered a solicitation to buy, an offer to sell, or a recommendation of any security in any jurisdiction where such offer, solicitation, or recommendation would be unlawful or unauthorized.

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Student Loan Series: Student Loan Forgiveness Options

July 3, 2020

Student loan forgiveness may sound like a fairy godmother swooping in and saving the day, but her magic wand comes with layers of government red tape and rules to wade through before your loan balance hits $0. 

Today, we want to walk you through the basics of a few loan forgiveness programs that provide student debt relief. Let’s get started.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

PSLF was designed to help employees in public service repay their loans. Here’s how you can qualify for this program:

  • Full-time employment for U.S federal, state, local, or tribal government or non-profit.

  • Have Federal Direct loans

  • Payments made through a qualified income-driven repayment plan (remember those?). 

  • Make 120 qualifying payments

After 10 years (assuming you make the qualifying payments consecutively), your loan balance will be forgiven. This system can be complex and depending on your provider, the information could get lost in the shuffle. We recommend keeping all records and paperwork documenting the employee certification form, your repayment plan, and each of your qualified payments. Unlike other forgiveness programs, your remaining loan balance is not considered ordinary income, therefore it is not subject to taxation (sigh of relief). 

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Financial planning for teachers is especially important, and student loans are a big part of that equation. The Teacher Loan Forgiveness program is best for those who don’t have as much student debt because the program is less extensive than PSLF. In order to qualify you need to, 

  • Teach full-time at a qualified low-income elementary or secondary school

  • Maintain full-time status for 5 consecutive years

  • Have federal direct or Stafford loans

After 5 years up to $17,500 can be forgiven. That amount depends on the subjects and grade level you teach for example secondary math, science, and special education teachers are eligible for the full $17,500, whereas teaching any other subject only allows up to $5,000 to be forgiven. 

Income-Driven Repayment Forgiveness

For those enrolled in one of the 4 income-driven repayment programs we wrote about in the prior email, after the repayment period has ended the remainder of your loan balance is forgiven. Keep in mind that leftover balance can be taxed as ordinary income. So if you have $30,000 forgiven, you could be responsible for thousands of dollars of ordinary income tax, depending on your tax bracket.

Other options

Depending on your profession and where you live, there could be numerous other student debt relief efforts. For example, some states have state-sponsored repayment assistance programs. 

Most military personnel are also eligible for loan forgiveness depending on the program. Check with your branch to see if you qualify. 

Another option to look for is student loan assistance in your employee benefits package. Many new employers offer limited assistance in repaying student loans for new employees, so check into this at your company. 

Having a strong plan to repay student loans will enhance your financial health. Finding the right assistance for you will take time but with the help of a professional, you will know you are working toward the right plan. Ready to learn more about which forgiveness programs you qualify for? Our team would love to help you evaluate your options. Book a call today to learn more or sign up for a one-on-one Student Loan Analysis.

The information on this site is provided “AS IS” and without warranties of any kind either express or implied. To the fullest extent permissible pursuant to applicable laws, Modern Money Advisor LLC (referred to as “MMA”) disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability, non-infringement and suitability for a particular purpose. MMA does not warrant that the information will be free from error. None of the information provided on this website is intended as investment, tax, accounting or legal advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as an endorsement of any company, security, fund, or other securities or non-securities offering. The information should not be relied upon for purposes of transacting securities or other investments. Your use of the information is at your sole risk. Under no circumstances shall MMA be liable for any direct, indirect, special or consequential damages that result from the use of, or the inability to use, the materials in this site, even if MMA or a MMA authorized representative has been advised of the possibility of such damages. In no event shall MMA have any liability to you for damages, losses and causes of action for accessing this site. Information on this website should not be considered a solicitation to buy, an offer to sell, or a recommendation of any security in any jurisdiction where such offer, solicitation, or recommendation would be unlawful or unauthorized.

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  • Flat Fee: $750+/engagement
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