Craig Colley, Author at Coliday | Courses & Coaching
Craig Colley
Author Archives: Craig Colley

100 Ways To Boost Your Virtual Business

Coliday Course & Coaching:
Learn More about Eazy VB An Online Course to Help you Scale Your Virtual Business
‘HOT 100 WAYS’ CHECK LIST From the Eazy VB Online Course

The ‘HOT 100’ ways, items, tasks listed below are also available as a part of the Coliday Online Course:  Eazy VB. Your knowledge and application of every item will help you scale your business. If any of this is unfamiliar, there is a good chance you are missing valuable opportunities to advance your business practice, increase productivity and boost your bottom line.

With Eazy VB you’ll learn how to:

WEBSITE:
1.Create/update a responsive https (secure site) WordPress website with clear messaging and multiple ‘call to action’ buttons
2.Create framework, color, fonts, graphics, videos and personal brand
3.Create a headline or opening statement that clearly defines your business, what problem it solves for your customer and identifies you as the ‘go to’ authority
4.Brands you as an expert without boasting about yourself and your services
5.Create SEO descriptions (the text Google search displays about your website), targeted content, analytics, pixels, keywords, phrases and hashtags used by Google to index and rank your site
6.Pop-up messaging to collect lead generation emails, i.e. free download, link to video, newsletter and automate to email drip list campaign
7.Chat box for instant communication/problem solving, relationship building and lead generation

EMAIL:
1.Deliver emails that stand out in a sea of mediocre messaging
2.The best way to use a thesaurus and targeted copy for better content creation
3.Clean an email list before uploading to your email service (verify email)
4.Warm up IP addresses and avoid getting blacklisted for spam
5.Automated email campaigns with auto responders, tracking and re-send capabilities
6.Automatically send 5-way email subject line testing & deliver the winning email automatically
7.Add emails from your inbox to your drip list that usually go un-used
8.Create sophisticated email auto-flows; 5, 10, 15 in succession and drip list
9.Use Zapier for communication between different email, web, CRM services
10.How to use multiple email services at the same time and why
11.What to do with email opt outs
12.Use private proxies and why

CALENDAR:
1.Automate appointment setting
2.Automate reminder and follow up emails/text messaging
3.Add time frame to appointment
4.Blackout dates
5.Link to your Google, iPhone, etc. calendar automatically
6.Get reminders on your computer / devices

TELEPHONE COMMUNICATION:
1.Add a 2nd, 3rd or even 4th line to your cell phone using your existing account. Separate calls/text messaging (business / personal). Also useful for market research.
2.Add contacts using the ‘Eazy VB Proprietary Digital Filing System’

SMS: (Text Messaging)
1.Track results: receive SMS notice when your email has been opened and clicked in real time
2.Once notified, do instant follow up with engaged prospects - call, text, email, send personalized follow up video
3.Use SMS group blasts messaging with tracking & opt out option
4.Share a link from your email blast, video, newsletter, website page or blog

NEWSLETTERS, SURVEYS AND QUIZZES:
1.Create meaningful and concise content
2.Create simple templates that are eazy to re-use, update, maintain and track
3.Create graphic headers that help your messaging
4.Get eyeballs on your messaging via a headline, survey, quiz, video, image, GIF or quote
5.Auto re-send follow ups to opens, clicks and video plays & non-opens in groups or one on one
6.Automate welcome message for new prospects / clients
7.Create call to action links that get clicked and tracked
8.Ask questions that get answered via emails, SMS, html inserts and hyperlinks on your website and social media pages on surveys and quizzes
9.Track and use results for precise follow up conversations and future marketing

SOCIAL MEDIA
1.Create site headers (banners at top of page) and simple templates for ads with multiple versions for all social media platforms
2.Automate posting to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest
3.Add and automate 1st comment to Instagram
4.Send to all platforms simultaneously
5.Hashtag resources and applications

VIDEO EMAILS:
1.When, where and how to use video messaging in text, emails and posts
2.Create videos that help your open & click engagement
3.How to look and sound better in your one-off videos
4.Record video emails on my phone, tablet or computer, send and have the capability to receive, track and instantly follow up in real time via text, phone call and email
5.Record video on your computer/phone for immediate delivery/ follow up with the capability to receive, track and instantly follow up in real time via text, phone call and email
6. Upload and save videos for future use
7.Make videos in formal and informal settings to humanize the experience

SCREEN SHARES & ZOOM:
1.Automate the invite and follow up process and customize settings
2.Video screen shares and zoom type meetings and record for playback/sharing
3.Make yourself look and sound better on your screen shares and zoom meetings
4.Use green screen, simulated background replacement and change backgrounds in real time
5.Prepare custom branded backgrounds
6.What lighting, microphone, camera to use
7.Set up video, audio and your environment for the best streaming and recording results
8.Record and upload meeting for replay and on demand viewing
9.Link to your appointment calendar

WEBINARS:
1.Create, market, automate schedule and reminders, host, record and deliver on-demand
2.Camera, microphone, lighting, setting, posture, body language, facial expressions and gestures
3.Green screen, background, backdrop, controlled environment, turn off cell phone/ringers
4.Use wired connections when possible (internet, microphone, headset, camera etc.)
5.||: Practice, record, watch, repeat :|| until confident in the delivery of your presentation

VIDEO: (Advanced)
1.Import, create and deliver great video content
2.High-end video animations you can make and use in 5 minutes - not 5 hours
3.Re-size images, Gifs and video for optimal playback on the web and portable devices
4.Use Final Cut Pro (Mac only), Premier or free online editors (Mac & PC)
5.Insert yourself as an overlay on a screen share to pre-recorded webinar/info video (logi capture)

COMPUTERS & DEVICES:
1.Update OS (Operating System) and backup computer & devices
2.Protect computer from viruses
3.Install Software Updates
4.How to use your iPad as a second or third monitor
5.Use a wireless trackball for better efficiency
6.Working virtual, what to take to a face to face appointments
7.What to take with you when traveling to work remotely
8.How to use voice command to dictate content instead of typing on PC, Mac and devices
9.Use ‘read aloud’ in Word / Google Docs to read text for proofing copy

MARKETING:
1.Make yourself more human in a digital / virtual environment
2.Creating a well-crafted compelling story and how to prepare and practice your delivery
3.Become a valued guide - not the "Know It All" or "Look How Smart I Am" so called "Expert"
4.Blanket your communication on different platforms and automate delivery and follow ups
5.Identify, target and deliver your message to a specific demographic (One size fits all doesn’t work)
6.Add additional communication software, audio and video tools to increase your success when reaching out to current and new prospects

UTILIZE FREE RESOURCES:
1.Add a chat box to your website/sales or landing page with instant notification and response capability on your computer and devices. Also available on mobile devices.
2.Screen capture images and record simple "how to" or "tech problems" video screen shares quickly, mockup with text, arrows, blurs, save to remote server and share a link for free - use for clients/IT support
3.Create 3D PDF, guides and report book and device covers in pings and jpegs
4.Presentation calculators to use to illustrate with webinars/screen shares
5.Create or optimize images/video and gifs for faster open rates on websites and messaging
6.Appointment calendar
7.Faxing PDFs from your computer
8.Source for royalty free images, audio, sound effects and video clips
9.Hashtag help, creation and compilation lists
10.Email blast services
11.Coupon checker for discounts on software, hardware etc.
12.Google docs
13.Free templates for PowerPoint/Google Docs

And that is 100 Ways to Boost your VIRTUAL bUSINESS

Coliday Course & Coaching:
Click here to Learn More about Eazy VB An Online Course to Help you Scale Your Virtual Business

Buy Some Guaranteed Income

Thinking about diversifying a portion of your portfolio into something safe and guaranteed? Here's what Susie Orman has to say about it.

Excerpt from recent AARP Article with Financial Guru Susie Orman.1

There is no better sleep-at-night, enjoy-your-retirement move than to know you can cover your basic monthly living expenses from income that is guaranteed to land in your bank account every month. 


Your Social Security benefit is guaranteed income. So is a pension, if you have one. If those guaranteed sources don't cover all your living expenses, I think it can make great sense to use some of your retirement savings to purchase an income annuity.

If you just cringed at the mere mention of an annuity, I am actually thrilled. There are indeed plenty of lousy annuities that make insurance agents a lot of money and are a bad deal for you. I am recommending only one specific type of annuity: a plain vanilla annuity by which, in exchange for paying a premium to an insurer, you can lock in guaranteed monthly income for the rest of your life. You can buy an immediate income annuity with a single lump-sum payment you make right when you are ready to start living off your retirement income. The payout you receive is based on your age, whether benefits will continue for a spouse, and interest rates. To get an estimate of what size premium you would need to generate the guaranteed income you want to contact: Coliday

While covering your ongoing costs with guaranteed income is a great stress reducer, so is having cash ready to handle whatever comes your way, such as a spike in out-of-pocket medical bills.

 As you reach retirement, I recommend increasing your emergency fund from eight months to two years of coverage. If you don't have all your living expenses covered by guaranteed income, I would bump this up to a three-year cushion.

What you do with the rest of your savings is a personal choice. The prospect of living into your 90s should be motivation to keep some of your money working (invested) for a future older you. But I also want you to give yourself the freedom to spend extra savings on you, your loved ones or causes you care about.


Interested in learning more about retirement income through annuities? Please contact me and I will clearly explain what options are available. Please share with your family and friends. Contact me with any questions or concerns.

As always, plan wisely my friends,

Finding a reputable and trusted partner to assist you with your social security, Medicare, financial & insurance needs is of vital importance.  I will work hard to find the best programs, coverage and rates that fits your budget and your needs. Contact me at 949-216-8459 or ccolley@coliday.com

Click here for other articles about Annuities 

Information and materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice. The above information is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, accounting or investment advice.
Coliday / Craig Colley is not giving any financial , tax or legal advice, is not a financial advisor and is not affiliated, employed or endorsed by the SSA, Medicare.gov. or any other government agency.

Is the Coronavirus infecting your money?

This might be the time to look at finally diversifying a portion of your portfolio into something safe. My clients this week did not lose a dime in their safe money accounts because of the way we have it set up.

Transcription from Video: (easier to watch the video)

Hello there Craig Colley  here again. Today we are talking about the Coronavirus. Is it infecting your money? now once again I'm here to not alarm you but to arm you. I'm gonna make three quick points.

Number one: the stock market. this is a stock tracker on my phone that I track every day and every day this week has been all red across the board. So if you have money in the market the majority of what you have made from the beginning year has been wiped out at this point and continues to decline. something to consider. not a good place to be a lot of people will say buy and hold but do you want to buy and hold and lose ever?  my clients don't 

Number  two:  this virus they say is affecting three major industries; travel, investments and life insurance. there are many things to consider when it comes to that along with the tariff wars and this is a presidential election year. so lots of all the things going on.

Number three: this might be the time to look at finally diversifying a portion of your portfolio into something safe. my clients this week did not lose a dime in their safe money accounts because of the way we have it set up.

You're going to have some things  throughout your lifetime with bills and expenses like taxes, utilities, health care costs, insurance premiums they're never going to go away. we can construct a plan so the essentials are taken care of and that's what I've done with many of my clients. I'm offering that to you today to finally take a look at it. It will only take a few minutes by just clicking the link below. This way you can actually be more aggressive in your other investments because you'll have safe money management for the essentials that you're going to need going forward. 

It's the time to check it out. click the link below. don't put it off again and I look forward to speaking with you soon. Let's not let that coronavirus infect  your money. let's quarantine it. who knows when a solution  is going to come.  We hope and pray it comes soon but in the meantime there are many things you can do to prepare and I encourage you to do so.Until that time I hope to speak with you soon. take care,  God bless and have a great day.


Interested in learning more about retirement income through annuities? Please contact me and I will clearly explain what options are available. FYI: remember you do not need to have a 401k to have a tax deferred annuity. Please share with your family and friends. Contact me with any questions or concerns.

As always, plan wisely my friends,

Finding a reputable and trusted partner to assist you with your social security, Medicare, financial & insurance needs is of vital importance.  I will work hard to find the best programs, coverage and rates that fits your budget and your needs. Contact me at 949-216-8459 or ccolley@coliday.com

Click here for other articles about Annuities 

Information and materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice. The above information is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, accounting or investment advice.
Coliday / Craig Colley is not giving any financial , tax or legal advice, is not a financial advisor and is not affiliated, employed or endorsed by the SSA, Medicare.gov. or any other government agency.

1 Various reference sources: Investment News, USA today, Yahoo Financial

Annuities are coming to 401(k)s

The SECURE ACT will make it possible for employer-sponsored plans to add insurance products to their retirement plans.

The SECURE ACT provided a gateway to get annuities into 401(k)s, and many plans could begin to incorporate those insurance products as soon as this year. The new, wide-ranging legislation will lead to substantial changes in the private sector retirement savings system, including several provisions that could affect how workers view retirement income and annuities.

FYI: You do not need to have a 401k to have a tax deferred annuity. They are available to anyone who qualifies.

Currently, annuities are seldom included as options within 401(k)s. Most people do not realize the same tax advantages of 401k's also applies to dollars rolled into an annuity. With RMD's (required minimum distribution) being moved back to 72 from 70½ (applicable to those individuals who turn 70½ after December 31, 2019) is also an advantage for retirement planning with the new Secure Act.

The new law will lead over time to an enormous amount of annuities included as common practice instead of being the anomaly and make it easier for plan sponsors to add annuities to their plan menus. Under the SECURE Act, in-plan annuities are portable, as 401(k), 457 and 403(b) plans can make distributions between trustees after a participant leaves an employer for a new job. The new rules also help shield plan sponsors from lawsuits by providing a so-called “safe harbor” for their selection of annuity providers. Litigation is a major concern for employer-sponsored retirement plans, and a lack of clarity on the factors sponsors must consider in choosing insurers and their products has kept annuities from being widely used in DC (defined-contribution) plans for years, the insurance industry has contended.

One requirement in the new law could encourage savers to give more consideration to annuities

Annual 401(k) statements will be required to show an estimate of a participant’s monthly income in retirement if their projected balances were used to buy an annuity.

That aspect of the law will not become effective until the Department of Labor passes a regulation outlining how the retirement income disclosures must be presented.

With an increased focus on people spending down their assets, one of the issues a participant may face is how are they going to figure out the right allocation to make to a guaranteed-income product.

One option could automatically shift a participant’s assets from target-date funds to managed accounts over time. The managed accounts allow allocations to annuities. Participants will certainly need guidance on how to start withdrawing their account balances and may have a hard time making the mental shift to start spending down their plan [assets].

Once plan participants retire, they can take a distribution from their accounts or roll their assets into an IRA but after that, many people leave the money untouched until they hit the age at which they’re required to start taking distributions.

There’s a lot more opportunity to help participants through the experience and many people say...

they really love the idea of guaranteed income, but they don’t love the idea of annuities.

This usually comes from a complete lack of understanding of how annuities work and how beneficial they can be in the right situation.

Once participants begin seeing retirement income estimates on their statements, that could change their savings habits and make them more open to the idea of insurance products. In addition to lifetime income annuities, plans will likely also consider fixed indexed annuities and structured annuities.

For employers, adding retirement income options to plans makes sense, both from a practical and freedom to choose standpoint. The first companies to begin adding annuities to their plans will likely be large firms that have long-tenured and highly compensated employees. One of the problems that employers might face is when their employees get to retirement age, if they don’t feel ready to retire, they won’t. By addressing retirement income, a business will be able to manage their workforce more effectively.

An annuity option will be extremely beneficial to both the employer and employee.


Interested in learning more about retirement income through annuities? Please contact me and I will clearly explain what options are available. FYI: remember you do not need to have a 401k to have a tax deferred annuity. Please share with your family and friends. Contact me with any questions or concerns.

As always, plan wisely my friends,

Finding a reputable and trusted partner to assist you with your social security, Medicare, financial & insurance needs is of vital importance.  I will work hard to find the best programs, coverage and rates that fits your budget and your needs. Contact me at 949-216-8459 or ccolley@coliday.com

Click here for other articles about Annuities 

Information and materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice. The above information is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, accounting or investment advice.
Coliday / Craig Colley is not giving any financial , tax or legal advice, is not a financial advisor and is not affiliated, employed or endorsed by the SSA, Medicare.gov. or any other government agency.

1 Various reference sources: Investment News, USA today, Yahoo Financial

Protect Yourself from Social Security Scams

As a certified Social Security Advisor I was notified by the Social Security Administration regarding this Scam Alert and now I am sharing the information with you.

Scammers are pretending to be government employees. Scammers will try to scare and trick you into giving them your personal information and money. They may threaten you or your family and may demand immediate payment to avoid arrest or other legal action.1

DON'T BE FOOLED!
IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS CALL:

1. Hang up!
2. DO NOT give them money or personal information!
3. Report the scam at OIG.SSA.GOV!

Social Security may call you in
some situations but will never

  • Threaten you
  • Suspend your Social Security Number
  • Demand immediate payment from you
  • Require payment by cash, gift card, pre-paid debit card, or wire transfer
  • Ask for gift card numbers over the phone or to wire or mail cash
  • What to look out for

    The call or email says there is a problem with your Social Security Number or account.

    Someone asking you to pay a fine or debt with retail gift cards, wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, internet currency, or by mailing cash.

    Scammers pretend they’re from Social Security or another government agency. Caller ID or documents sent by email may look official but they are not.

    Callers threaten you with arrest or other legal action.

    Protect yourself, friends, and family!

    • If you receive a questionable call, hang up and report it at oig.ssa.gov
    • Don’t be embarrassed to report if you shared personal information or suffered a financial loss
    • Learn more at oig.ssa.gov/scam
    • Share this information with others

    I hope this information on the Social Security Scam Alert was helpful. Please share with your family and friends. Contact me with any questions or concerns.

    As always, plan wisely my friends,

    Finding a reputable and trusted partner to assist you with your social security, Medicare, financial & insurance needs is of vital importance.  I will work hard to find the best programs, coverage and rates that fits your budget and your needs. Contact me at 949-216-8459 or ccolley@coliday.com

    Click here for other articles about Social Security

    Information and materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice. The above information is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, accounting or investment advice.
    Coliday / Craig Colley is not giving any financial , tax or legal advice, is not a financial advisor and is not affiliated, employed or endorsed by the SSA, Medicare.gov. or any other government agency.

    3 Drawbacks to Early Retirement

    Being early can be considered a virtue. Just think of some of the proverbs that we’ve all heard hundreds of times over the years: 

    “The early bird gets the worm.”

    “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

    There are many situations where being early can be a good thing. But when it comes to retirement, going too early can actually have drawbacks. That’s certainly not the case for everyone, but you’ll want to carefully evaluate your situation before you make any decisions.

    Early retirement can be an intriguing prospect for many people. No more 40-hour work weeks. No more setting the alarm clock every morning. You might even finally have time to chase those “someday” plans and dreams. But the challenges are addressed in a recent article from The Motley Fool, “3 Downsides to Early Retirement¹.”

    The first downside in the article deals with your retirement savings. Retirement itself can be expensive. If you want to retire early, it becomes even more so. You’ll need to save more because you’ll have more retirement years to cover financially. And you’ll have less time to save that money. How will you determine how much you should be saving?

    You may want to start by creating a retirement budget. This would entail weighing your current and potential expenses. Working with your financial services professional can help you determine an estimate of your monthly expenses and what you’d need to save now to be prepared for your early retirement date.

    For many retirees, healthcare is likely to be a major expense. When you combine Medicare premiums, Medicare gap coverage, long-term-care insurance, prescriptions and more, healthcare can become a large part of your budget. To reach an estimate of your monthly costs, you can add up the costs you already know, like fixed monthly costs of premiums and other anticipated amounts. Depending on your individual situation, you may consider increasing your monthly contributions to a Health Savings Account if you have years left before you retire.

    But that leads us to the second early retirement drawback: You won’t have access to Medicare until age 65. This means that any healthcare costs that you incur before you turn 65 will need to be accounted for as well.

    The third and final drawback is that part of your income in retirement is likely going to come from Social Security. But you can’t get that portion until you’re 62, at the very earliest. So, if you plan on retiring before 62, you’re going to need to rely on your personal savings for your monthly income. Also, if you decide to claim at age 62, you’ll lose out on a potentially higher benefit. Filing for your Social Security benefits at your full retirement age is the only way to ensure you get your full Social Security benefit.

    Retiring early may be your dream. But to make that dream a reality you’re going to have to address these challenges and more. You will need to save more money in less time. Find a way to cover your healthcare costs before Medicare is an option. And you’ll have to determine your monthly income before Social Security can be used as a supplement to your savings.

    Early retirement is not impossible. But it takes a thorough strategy.

    Ask how we can help you begin to address these challenges.

    Partial Article Source: ¹ https://www.fool.com/retirement/2019/10/03/3-downsides-to-early-retirement.aspx

    Misconceptions That Could Derail Your Retirement

    It’s hard enough to prepare for retirement when you’re working with correct information. Factor in the misconceptions that are out there, and it can feel downright impossible. 

    That seems like a good reason to try to cut through some of the misconceptions. The Motley Fool investigated three examples in its October 2019 article, “3 Money Myths That Could Ruin Your Retirement.”¹

    The author, personal finance and retirement writer Katie Brockman, breaks down each of these things that she considers myths and how they can impact  your retirement. “Myth” is a strong word, and “misconception” might be a little more accurate since each comes from some factual basis, but the end assumption is flawed in some way.

    Take, for instance, the first misconception: The idea that you will spend less in retirement. According to the article, it’s likely that spending will change during retirement for most people. But it just might not be different in the way you’re expecting. The article cites a report from J.P. Morgan that showed nearly 80% of retirees experienced a significant change in their spending, but more than a third of them found themselves spending more than they had before retirement during at least some retirement years. For many of the survey respondents, the years they spent the most often came early in retirement.

    You can imagine the challenge that would come with suddenly spending more than expected! So, this misconception could be expensive. You may average less spending per year over the course of your retirement, but that average may include years of more spending.

    Another misconception from the article is that if you wait until you have a higher income, it will be easier to save for retirement. At first blush, it’s easy to rationalize this idea. Making more money would mean there’s more money to save. However, building a retirement nest egg can take years. If you put off saving for retirement you may find yourself needing to save an even larger percentage of your income. Missing out on years of potential annual rate of return can result in challenges later in life. Saving early, even if it’s a small amount, can have strong financial results.


    The final misconception in the article deals with Social Security. In the article, they caution against assuming Social Security benefits can be your primary source of retirement income. According another Motley Fool article, “The Average Social Security Benefit Is Probably Smaller Than You Think²,” in 2019 the average Social Security check was just over $1,400. For many people, that’s likely not enough to cover all your monthly expenses. When you look at the potential growth of medical expenses in the future, you may feel even less enthusiastic about covering your costs with Social Security benefits alone.

    What will be important is for you to maximize your Social Security income when the time comes. Working with a financial services professional can help you determine the right time and strategy for your personal financial situation.

    Social Security, monthly expenses and delaying savings can all have a large impact on your financial future. Misconceptions, myths and incorrect assumptions about these issues can further cloud your vision of the future. By ruling out the information that isn’t helpful, you give yourself an easier path to retirement and make decisions that can help you realize your retirement goals.


    Partial Article Source: ¹1 https://www.fool.com/retirement/2019/10/24/3-money-myths-that-could-ruin-your-retirement.aspx 2 https://www.fool.com/retirement/2019/10/13/the-average-social-security-benefit-is-probably-sm.aspx  

    The Secure Act of 2020

    What Is the SECURE ACT?

    The Secure Act was signed into law December 20, 2019, and became effective January 1, 2020. The new law changed required minimum distributions (RMDs), contribution rules, college planning opportunities and many more. The most devastating issue for savers is the elimination of the stretch concept for your beneficiaries.

    SECURE ACT HIGHLIGHTS

    • Makes it easier for small businesses to offer their employees 401(k)s by providing tax credits and protections on collective multiple employer plans

    • Allowing retirement benefits for long-term, part-time employees

    • Removing maximum age limits (formerly 70 ½ ) on retirement contributions

    • Raising the required minimum distribution (RMD) age to 72 from 70 ½

    • Allowing penalty-free withdrawals of up to $10,000 from 529 education-savings for the repayment of certain student loans

    • Revising components of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that raised taxes on benefits received by family members of deceased veterans, students and some Native Americans

    Read on for a look at how the SECURE Act could affect your retirement planning.

    More Opportunities for Long-Term Savings
    The legislation allows for multi-employer 401(k) plans, meaning it would be less costly for small employers to start and maintain retirement plans for workers. It also permits part-time workers to participate in 401(k) plans.

    Currently, employees can contribute to a traditional individual retirement account up to age 70 1/2. There are also limits regarding how much can be placed into the fund each year. For 2019, workers under age 50 can contribute up to $6,000. Individuals who are 50 or older can contribute up to $7,000. Under the SECURE Act, The age limit IS removed entirely, although income limitations for contributions would remain.

    Under current laws, retirement account owners must begin to withdraw funds when they turn age 70 1/2. Now the required minimum distribution age for retirement accounts is increased from 70 1/2 to 72. This gives workers an additional 18 months to take advantage of the tax benefits provided with retirement accounts before beginning withdrawals.

    New Parents to Withdraw
    Under current law, you must be 59 1/2 years old to withdraw from a traditional IRA or 401(k) plan. If you take out funds earlier than that, you will usually have to pay a penalty of 10% on the amount withdrawn. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. Penalty-free withdrawals can be made for certain circumstances, such as large medical bills, a disability, a first home purchase and higher education expenses.

    Under the SECURE Act, new parents can withdraw funds without facing penalties. The legislation permits withdrawals for qualified birth and adoption expenses. This is a positive for younger people who have a high-deductible medical plan and are shocked at the high out-of-pocket medical expenses related to childbirth. The limit on the distribution would be $5,000 and would need to be claimed within one year of the birth or adoption.

    This provision might help individuals who don’t have funds in a health savings account or other savings account to cover the cost of a new addition to the family. At the same time, withdrawing funds early from a retirement account also means taking away the chance for money to grow tax-deferred during the next decades.

    Inherited Accounts Will Need to be Distributed
    Individuals who have an IRA or a defined contribution plan may be planning to pass the account on to a child or heir. Under current law, the after-death required minimum distribution rules permit a designated beneficiary to draw down the remaining plan benefits over the beneficiary’s life expectancy. This allows the child to stretch the value of the IRA and take advantage of potential tax breaks.

    The new legislation allows heirs to continue to withdraw funds throughout their lifetime. Under the SECURE Act, on the death of an IRA owner or defined contribution plan participant, the individual beneficiary would be required to draw down his or her entire inherited interest within 10 years.

    For example, if you are age 50 and inherit your father’s IRA when he passes away, you would need to distribute 100% of the assets during a 10-year period. That’s a change from the current law, which would let you distribute the assets during your life expectancy. If your life expectancy is age 84, you are currently able to stretch the distributions over a 34-year period. If you are working during that 10-year period, you will likely pay substantially more taxes on the IRA assets than if you had the ability to stretch those taxable distributions over a 34-year period.

    There are certain times when the 10-year period would not apply, such as in the case of a spouse, as well as disabled or chronically ill beneficiaries. There are also exceptions in place for minors and beneficiaries who are not more than 10 years younger than the account owner.

    Contact me today to get started on a strategy that can help take you to retirement and beyond.


    Partial Article Source: USA News

    More People Are Saving For Retirement, But Many Still Aren’t


    More People Are Saving For Retirement, But Many Still Aren’t

    More people are saving more money for retirement than they have in the past few decades, according to a recent report from the U.S. Government Office.1 That’s great news!

    Now for the not so great news. The report, titled “Retirement Security: Income and Wealth Disparities Continue through Old Age,” found that there’s still a lot of ground to cover to get retirement savings where they may need to be.

    The report found that 30 years ago, in 1989, about 4% of low-income households and up to 65% of high-income households had set aside money in a retirement account. Those percentages increased to 11% and 86% of households, respectively, in 2016.

    The report largely credits that increase in the number of people who are saving to more employers offering defined contribution plans. These include the tax-code-numbered plans that you are likely familiar with, like 401(k)s and 403(b)s. Another process that gets credit for the increase, according to the report, is that more employers are automatically enrolling their employees in their employer-sponsored defined contribution plan.

    In 2018, Vanguard reported that 48% of their plans had an automatic enrollment option​2. In many cases, automatic enrollment applied to new hires only at first, but many plans have been expanded to include existing employees. This helps frame the decision to enroll for the employee as an opt-out rather than an opt-in.

    And it’s not just that more people are saving. More people are saving more. That’s thanks in part to the fact that enrollment is not the only automatic feature of many employer-sponsored defined contribution plans. Most of these plans — 66% — also have automatic annual deferral rate increases2.

    These increases in contributions can help employees automatically adjust for potential inflation and save just a bit more each year.

    While these are encouraging statistics, the number of low-income households that are saving for retirement have not returned to levels seen before the 2007-to-2009 recession. In 2007, 16% of households in the low-income category had some kind of retirement account.1

    Among those retirement accounts, the defined contribution plan reigns supreme in terms of usage. According to The Vanguard Group’s “How America Saves 2019: The Retirement Savings Behavior of 5 Million Participants,”​
    2 more than 100 million Americans are covered by defined contribution plan accounts.

    Even with that many individuals participating, the report cites that a significant amount of those who are eligible for these types of plans fail to participate. Those who decline to participate are missing out on another potentially valuable opportunity: employer matching contributions. A third of all plans provided both matching and nonmatching employer contributions​2. These contributions can help increase the balance of a retirement account.

    So, the good news is that more Americans are opening retirement savings accounts. If you’re one of them, you are doing the right thing to help prepare to have income in retirement.

    If you’re not, there’s still time. If you have access to a defined contribution plan that you aren’t utilizing, it’s better to put something away than nothing. And that’s only one option of many that can help you prepare for retirement.

    Contact me today to get started on a strategy that can help take you to retirement and beyond.


    Source: 1 https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/700836.pdf 2https://institutional.vanguard.com/iam/pdf/HAS2019.pdf Exclusive rights to this material provided by GPS. Unauthorized use of the material is prohibited.

    1 2 3 7
    >