How Many Accounts Do I Need?

February 27th, 2020

A frequently asked question in the retirement industry is, how many accounts should I have at retirement? Should I have a savings account, an investment account and a pension account, or should I have multiple accounts for multiple purposes in multiple places?

I think the question often arises from being told over and over to be diversified in our investments and not to have all our eggs in one basket, meaning that we should spread our money and assets with many companies as opposed to just a single firm. The reasoning behind this is that if something does happen, it will not cause financial ruin. It will only cause mental irritation.

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Is It Really A Hardship Withdrawal?

February 25th, 2020

When an employee has requested a hardship withdrawal from the 401(k) plan and you hear that they are not in true financial need, what do you do? Do you take the word of the person requesting the withdrawal, or demand documentation?

The pertinent point is whether or not the Plan Administrator has “actual knowledge” of the participant’s financial status. In the Final Regulations covering hardship withdrawals, released on September 19, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) addresses that point.

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Cashing Out on Bad Spending Habits

February 19th, 2020

Four tips to help keep you from overspending

Do you find yourself looking out at your porch more often, wondering when your next Amazon package will arrive? Do you leave the grocery store with a couple more bags than you planned for? Do you feel like sometimes you just want to buy stuff? For almost 16% of Americans, “buying stuff” is an addiction, or what the American Journal of Psychiatry calls a “compulsive habit of buying with significant adverse consequences.”

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Retirement Savings and Plans Don’t Always Align

February 13th, 2020

Nearly half (48%) of retirement plan participants are either “confident” or “very confident” about achieving a secure retirement by the date they plan to leave the workforce. Yet, 55% of them have saved less than $100,000 toward retirement. The lack of saving doesn’t seem to have dampened their enthusiasm about retiring early, though: 36% expect to retire before age 65. It’s true, those could be among the small number of total workers who have saved at least $250,000 for retirement; perhaps the 22% who expect to work until age 70 (or more) are among those whose savings and confidence about retirement security are relatively low.

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Your Retirement Super Bowl

February 11th, 2020

A Strategic Saving Plan is the Key to Victory

Super Bowl LIV, the 54th Super Bowl, will decide the National Football League champion for this current season. The game is scheduled to be played on February 2, 2020, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will be performing at halftime. In the meantime, you’re still trying to figure out how much you should be saving for retirement.

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Transitioning to Retirement: How the Plan May Help

February 4th, 2020

For decades now the typical career has consisted of approximately 40 years spent working, an “on time” retirement at age 65, and perhaps a decade spent enjoying the so-called golden years. But with better health leading to longer life spans, retirement now may last much longer — and require much more money. Today, employers and employees alike recognize that four decades of saving for a retirement that may last four more decades is, to say the least, challenging.

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February Checklist For Plan Sponsors

January 31st, 2020

 

  • Update the plan’s ERISA fidelity bond coverage to reflect the plan’s assets as of December 31 (calendar-year plans). Remember that if the plan holds employer stock, bond coverage is higher than for nonstock
  • Issue a reminder memo or e-mail to all employees to encourage them to review and update, if necessary, their beneficiary designations for all benefit plans by which they are
  • Review and revise the roster of all plan fiduciaries and confirm each individual’s responsibilities and duties to the plan in writing. Ensure than each fiduciary understands his or her obligations to the plan.Consult your plan’s financial, legal, or tax advisor regarding these and other items that may apply to your plan.

Planning For Long-Term Care

January 22nd, 2020

Most people are not willing to accept the brutal truth that despite how much we may think of ourselves as superman or wonder woman, most of us will reach old age and will need help. You seldom hear of a healthy elderly person simply dropping dead; most elderly people will need some form of care as they navigate the final stages of their life.

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What Is A Bond?

January 16th, 2020

A bond is a security, generally issued for a period of more than 1 year, that is used to raise capital by borrowing from a lender. The U.S. and foreign governments, states, cities, corporations, and many other entities sell bonds.

Bonds generally pay a stated rate of interest over a specific period of time, and issuers promise to pay that interest along with a return of the investors’ principal when the bond matures.

Auto-Features Accomplished; What’s Up Next?

January 14th, 2020

Retirement income options may be coming soon.

You can almost hear the retirement plan consultants ticking the boxes on their to-do lists: auto-enrollments? Check. Auto-increases? Check. With widespread implementation of these features firmly entrenched, the next focus may be retirement income options in 401(k) plans. That’s one of the findings from recent queries of 238 consulting and advisory firms. Roughly two-thirds of the consultants who were asked about the future of plan design said they believe their plan Read the rest of this entry »