John M. Bonk Joins Garden State Trust Company

John joined the Lebanon, New Jersey Office of Garden State Trust Company as a Senior Vice President and Trust Officer in January 2017 where his knowledge and expertise, drawn from a career of over 40 years in the Trust and Investment Management Business, focused on Estate and Trust Planning and Administration, Retirement Planning as well as Philanthropic Planned Giving strategies and administration.  John will help Garden State Trust Company to expand our Investment and Fiduciary Service business in the New Jersey Marketplace. 

Prior to joining Garden State, John was with Peapack-Gladstone Bank for 18 years asSenior Managing Director of Wealth Management supervising the Wealth Advisory Trust and Business Development Group.  Under his direction, the Trust Division saw the assets under administration swell from $600 million to over $3 billion.  He was also instrumental in the establishment of the PGB Trust & Investments – Delaware trust subsidiary.

He started his career in Plainfield, New Jersey at United National Bank, later known as United Trust in Bridgewater, NJ.  A Senior Vice President and Trust Division Head, John had managerial responsibility over the investment, administration, tax and new business aspects of the $1.7 billion Trust Department including Chairman of the Officer’s Trust Committee and a member of the Plainfield Foundation.  John graduated with BS in Business Administration from Concord College and received the Professional Designation of Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) from the American Bankers Association.

John serves as Trustee of the Lowell F. Johnson Foundation, Trustee of Hillside Cemetery Association and previously on the Boards of The DuCret School of Art, American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) and on the Planned Giving Advisor Boards of Muhlenberg Hospital  Foundation, The Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation and Hunterdon Museum of Art.

John’s experience and approach to providing fiduciary, administrative, trust, investment and tax services in a coordinated manner will enhance the delivery of optimum results for existing and new trust relationships going forward.

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Sean Rice Promoted To Vice President and Trust Officer

Sean Rice, having achieved the status of Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) has been promoted to Vice President and Trust Officer of Garden State Trust Company.

CTFA is a distinguished professional credential offered by the American Bankers Association. It is the recognized standard of excellence for trust and wealth management professionals. Mr. Rice attended the Cannon Financial Institute and successfully completed the comprehensive three-year program.

Including Sean, the company currently has 5 CTFAs on staff. The other individuals include: Kurt Talke and John M. Bonk, Lebanon Office and Siobhan Connolly and Adam Brower, Toms River Office.

Garden State Trust Company is a premier New Jersey independent trust company providing investment management, trust and estate services, and elder care solutions for retired and soon-to-be retired individuals.

Adam Brower Promoted To Vice President and Trust Officer

Adam Brower, having achieved the status of Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) has been promoted to Vice President and Trust Officer of Garden State Trust Company.

CTFA is a distinguished professional credential offered by the American Bankers Association. It is the recognized standard of excellence for trust and wealth management professionals. Mr. Brower attended the Cannon Financial Institute and successfully completed the comprehensive three-year program.

Including Adam, the company currently has 5 CTFAs on staff. The other individuals include: Kurt Talke and John M. Bonk, Lebanon Office; Siobhan Connolly, Toms River Office and Sean Rice, Cherry Hill Office.

Garden State Trust Company is a premier New Jersey independent trust company providing investment management, trust and estate services, and elder care solutions for retired and soon-to-be retired individuals.

Siobhan Connolly Earns CTFA Certification

Siobhan M. Connolly trust officerSiobhan Connolly, Vice President/Senior Trust Officer of Garden State Trust Company, has achieved the status of Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA).

CTFA is a distinguished professional credential offered by the American Bankers Association for financial professionals. It is the recognized standard of excellence for trust and wealth advisors.  Connolly attended the Cannon Financial Institute and successfully completed the comprehensive three-year program.

Garden State Trust Company is a premier New Jersey independent trust company providing investment management, trust and estate services, and elder care solutions for retired and soon-to-be retired individuals.

Siobhan Connolly represents GSTC at 1st Annual Brain Health Fair

Siobhan M. Connolly trust officer

Vice President and Trust Officer, Siobhan Connolly represented Garden State Trust Company as a sponsor of the 1st Annual Brain Health Fair. Social Community Activities Network (SCAN) and Meals on Wheels hosted the event to promote brain health through fun interactive activities.

Siobhan M. Connolly Presents Estate Planning Check Up to Avoid Pitfalls

Siobhan M. Connolly trust officerAt a recent seminar held in the community room of Boscov’s, Siobhan Connolly conducted a class outlining how to avoid the pitfalls while creating an effective estate plan.

According to Ms. Connolly, “A good estate plan not only is effective after death but also provides for the possibility of incapacitation, the inability to manage your financial and medical affairs. Many people do not plan effectively for the “what ifs” in life. In this course, we tried to bring those possibilities to light and how to better prepare for them.”

Representing GSTC as a member and sponsor of the Social Communities Activities Network (SCAN), Siobhan facilitated the workshop as part of SCAN’s free schedule of classes serving the mature population in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

During her presentation, Siobhan explained how to identify and name an executor. Additionally, she addressed critical probate and tax planning issues.

As Vice President and Trust Officer, Siobhan concentrates her focus on day-to-day client management and nurturing strong relationships with investment management, trust, and charitable foundation clients.

Among her professional activities, Siobhan is a board member of the Social Communities Activities Network (SCAN) that provides quality social education and resources to the active adult population in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Siobhan graduated from Cannon Trust School and is currently pursuing her Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA) designation. She also holds a Master’s degree in Education from Long Island University and a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Albany.

Little Known Social Security Benefits Change Coming Soon

By now the reality of the Social Security Administration’s decision to not increase   monthly benefits for 2016 is being felt by those seniors receiving benefits.  Accompanying this “freeze” of the monthly benefit came an increase of 2.3% in Medicare Part B coverage resulting effectively in a net decrease of one’s Social Security benefit.  Unfortunately for those receiving retirement benefits there was little opportunity to plan ahead.

However, there are more changes coming as of May 1, 2016, which allows seniors to plan appropriately. As part of the budget negotiations, Congress enacted (without hearings and not introducing legislation) significant reforms to the “Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act” of 2000 which allowed for retirees to suspend benefits after they began while earning delayed retirement credits.

The file and suspend strategy allowed a spouse to file for his or her Social Security and then immediately suspend receiving the benefit. Why would one do this?  A working spouse could apply for Social Security so that the other spouse can receive the maximum spousal benefit.  Then the applying spouse suspends his or her benefit locking in the other spouses benefit.  All the while the suspended benefit is growing at 8% per year up to a maximum of 32% until age 70, when benefits must be taken. Ira J. Brower, President and CEO of Garden State Trust Company said, “that file and suspend has not been eliminated, but during the suspension period the spousal benefit will no longer be available.” He continued, “a new rule goes into effect May 1, 2016.  Only those who are age 66 or older before that date may file and suspend their benefits under the old rules.”