What’s Keeping You From Saving?

October 17th, 2019

Many people say they don’t invest for retirement because they don’t have the money. Turns out the issue may be more related to indecisiveness than lack of available funds. It’s not that people are indecisive about saving and investing, but more that they don’t know it’s okay to be decisive.

Very few decisions in life that are made incorrectly can’t be fixed. One useful technique is to write down your financial goals. Often you can gain the clarity you need to make your next money decision.

Am I going to make it to retirement?

October 15th, 2019

When there are three months left in the year, it could be a great time to revisit the progress you’ve made toward your financial goals.

These may include creating an emergency fund, debt management, planning a first car or home purchase (or refinancing), considering long-term care needs for yourself or other loved ones, or setting up a college savings plan, among others.

American Retirement Expectations Vary by Ethnicity and Culture

October 10th, 2019

It seems that expectations about retirement are not the same for Americans of every background. In fact, they can vary widely depending upon ethnicity and culture.

When asked whether or not they had calculated how much they would need to retire, about half of the respondents to a recent survey said yes. But breaking the responses down by culture and ethnicity, differences emerged. On the high end, 61% of Asian Indians had performed the calculation, compared to 39% of Korean respondents, the fewest among the surveyed groups.

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Can You Use A Roth IRA To Save For College?

October 7th, 2019

Yes, with some caveats. Owners of a Roth IRA need to have income before they can contribute to a Roth IRA, so your kids won’t be able to own their accounts. But if you as a parent or grandparent have income below $122,000 and are single ($193,000 married filing jointly), you can name anyone as a beneficiary.

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October Checklist

September 27th, 2019

  • Audit third quarter payroll and plan deposit dates to ensure compliance with the Department of Labor’s rules regarding timely deposit of participant contributions and loan
  • Verify that employees who became eligible for the plan between July 1 and September 30 received and returned an enrollment Follow up for forms that were not returned.
  • For calendar year safe harbor plans, issue the required notice to employees during October or November (within 30–90 days of the beginning of the plan year to which the safe harbor is to apply). Also, within the same period, distribute the appropriate notice if the plan features an EACA (Eligible Automatic Contribution Arrangement), QACA (Qualified Automatic Contribution Arrangement), and/or QDIA (Qualified Default Investment Alternative).

Fiduciary Issues & Lawsuits for Small 401(k) Plans

September 24th, 2019

If your plan does not hold much money in assets, the ERISA enforcement agencies have bigger fish to fry.

However, that does not mean you won’t find yourself in the frying pan. All it may take is one participant complaint — or even none in the event of random chance — and you could find yourself subject to a plan review by the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). That’s when the fun begins.

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Trapped In The Middle

September 19th, 2019

Have you ever been in a situation where you are trying to balance your own finances while having to shell out money to everyone else?

The reality is that more and more people are facing difficult family challenges, and that becomes far more emotional if you are being impacted financially. Those hit the hardest are the ‘Sandwich Generation’—the generation trapped between financially providing for their own children, as well as themselves and also taking responsibility for providing financial assistance to their elderly parents.

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Sustainable investing with low-cost ETFs

September 17th, 2019

Low cost, indexed exchange traded funds (ETFs) are improving access to what many investors are asking for — sustainable investing strategies that integrate the analysis of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into the investment process and portfolio. Historically, ESG funds have had higher expenses due to the extra research that managers need to conduct on companies. However, as more money flows into ESG strategies, the companies that create ESG indexes are able to lower fees. A growing awareness of the benefits of ESG investment factors is also adding to investor demand.

How Employers Can Help Employees Offset Emotional Decisions About Retirement

September 13th, 2019

We know that emotion plays a role in money, and therefore retirement. Here are a few ways employers can help employees offset less-than-rational emotion and thus make better decisions about their retirements.

Behavioral economics have been the subject of much discussion in recent years, as you know. Money is a deeply personal subject for most people, and we often view it as a big factor in our Read the rest of this entry »

When Planning for Income, a Mix of Sources Can Help

September 10th, 2019

To enjoy a comfortable retirement, you may need to balance multiple types of income streams in your portfolio. This could help you achieve the most advantageous mix of investment growth, income and tax control that’s appropriate to your risk tolerance, income horizon, and goals. These streams can come from the following sources: Read the rest of this entry »