First-time Home Buyers Rely More on Family for Mortgage Help

June 10th, 2019

The way that people are financing their first home purchase is changing. More than 26% of mortgage borrowers who used FHA-insured loans received help from a relative to make the down payment, according to 2018 FHA data reported by the Wall Street Journal. That number is up from 22% in 2011.

Rising home prices and interest rates made it difficult for buyers to save enough for down payments — not to mention generally higher debt loads from college loans.7 Further adding to borrower stress is the fact that the gap between owning and renting continues to widen, according to Freddie Mac.8

Traditional Accounts Continue Sharing the Stage with Roth Accounts

June 5th, 2019

Tax diversity among the benefits

As employers continue looking for ways to help employees retire securely, the Roth account has become a regular plan feature. In the five years starting in 2014, in fact, inclusion of a Roth account feature had increased 18.1%, so that by 2018, 72.7% of 401(k) and 403(b) plans included one. In the largest plans, those with more than $200 million in assets, nearly 8 in 10 plans now include a Roth feature.4

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Depending on Social Security?

June 3rd, 2019

If you’ve ever read the fine print on your annual Social Security statement, you’ll see it written in black and white: “Social Security benefits are not intended to be your only source of income when you retire.” But here’s the real clincher: “The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2034, the payroll taxes collected will only be enough to pay about 79% of scheduled benefits.”

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June Checklist For Plan Sponsors

June 3rd, 2019

  • Begin planning an internal audit of participant loans granted during the first six months of the Check for delinquent payments and verify that repayment terms and amounts borrowed do not violate legal limits.
  • Confirm that Form 5500, and plan audit if required, will be completed prior to the filing deadline or that an extension of time to file will be necessary (calendar-year plans).
  • Review plan operations to determine if any qualification failures or operational violations occurred during the first half of the calendar year. If a failure or violation is found, consider using an Internal Revenue Service or Department of Labor self-correction program to resolve itConsult your plan’s financial, legal or tax advisor regarding these and other items that may apply to your plan.

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Helping Employees Choose Funds

May 27th, 2019

Employees sometimes get so stressed trying to understand the funds that they give up and “just pick one.” Here are suggestions on how you can simplify the offerings and help your employees understand those that are available.

The first suggestion is to work with your plan’s advisor to develop an IPS, or Investment Policy Statement. It will Read the rest of this entry »

Creating 5 Yr Action Plan For Retirement

May 21st, 2019

Start with your current financial situation, specifically pay attention to how you can start to maximize your income and begin to reduce your expenses. For a lot of people, planning for retirement normally starts about five years ahead of schedule.

Below is a helpful guide on areas that you should focus on. [It is important to note that this is to give you an idea only and should not be the only checklist used].

Five Years to Retirement Date Read the rest of this entry »

How to include funds that consider ESG in your portfolio?

May 16th, 2019

The companies you choose to invest in can matter to you just as much as the financial results. Many 401(k) plans offer funds that incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria as well as financial fundamentals in their investment process. Studies show that a growing number of investment managers consider ESG factors when selecting companies for investment.

To learn how to incorporate more ESG exposure into your portfolio, talk to your plan administrator or HR department.

Providing Financial Education To Employees

May 14th, 2019

A 2019 goal for some Plan Sponsors is to provide financial education to their employees. There are many companies and individuals providing financial education to their employees. How do they know the right one to pick for their company?

When employees have a better grasp on budgeting and other financial basics, they may be better equipped to save for retirement and the other big financial demands we all face.

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Good Window of Opportunity for Roth IRA Conversions

May 9th, 2019

The Roth IRA is a powerful tax-favored retirement option since it can offer a hedge against future tax-rate increases. But beyond tax planning considerations, Roth IRAs have several important advantages over traditional IRAs:

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Getting the Holdouts into the Plan on 2019 Agendas

May 6th, 2019

Wondering where plan sponsors will be focusing their interest and efforts in 2019? We turned over a few stones on the Web and found some ideas. Here are two of them: Read the rest of this entry »