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 If you take out funds earlier than that, you will usually have to pay a penalty of 10% on the amount withdrawn.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.
Partial Article Source: USA News
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.
Article from Tim Parker, Financial journalist clearly explains what the majority of Americans might not know about how much they should have available for emergencies.
Written by Tim Parker| Tuesday, October 10, 2018
Everybody has an opinion on how much money you should tuck away in your bank account. The truth is, it depends on your financial situation. What you need to keep in the bank is the money for your regular bills, your discretionary spending and the portion of your savings that constitutes your emergency fund.
Everything starts with your budget. If you don’t budget correctly, you may not have anything to keep in your bank account. Don't have a budget? Now’s the time to build one. Here are some thoughts on how to do it.
The 50/30/20 Rule
First, let’s look at the ever-popular 50/30/20 rule. Instead of trying to follow a complicated, crazy-number-of-lines budget, you can think of your money as sitting in three buckets.
Costs that Don’t Change (Fixed): 50%
It would be nice if you didn’t have monthly bills, but the electricity bill cometh, just like the water, Internet, car, and mortgage (or rent) bills. Assuming you’ve evaluated how these costs fit into your budget and decided they are musts, there’s not much you can do other than pay them.
Fixed costs should eat up around 50% of your monthly budget.
Discretionary Money: 30%
This is the bucket where anything (within reason) goes. It’s your money to use on wants instead of needs.
Interestingly, most planners include food in this bucket because there’s so much choice in how you handle this expense: You could eat at a restaurant or eat at home; you could buy generic or name brand, or you could purchase a cheap can of soup or a bunch of organic ingredients and make your own.
This bucket also includes a movie, buying a new tablet or contributing to charity. You decide. The general rule is 30% of your income, but many financial gurus will argue that 30% is much too high.
Financial Goals: 20%
If you’re not aggressively saving for the future – maybe funding an IRA, a 529 plan if you have kids, and, of course, contributing to a 401(k)or another retirement plan, if possible – you’re setting yourself up for hard times ahead. This is where the final 20% of your monthly income should go. If you don't have an emergency fund (see below), most of this 20% should go first to creating one.
Another Budget Strategy
Financial guru Dave Ramsey has a different take on how you should carve up your cash. His recommended allocations look something like this (expressed as a percentage of your take-home pay):
Charitable Giving: 10%-15%
About That Emergency Fund
Beyond your monthly living expenses and discretionary money, the major portion of the cash reserves in your bank account should consist of your emergency fund. The money for that fund should come from the portion of your budget devoted to savings – whether it's from the 20% of 50/30/20 or from Ramsey's 10% to 15%.
How much do you need?
Everybody has a different opinion. Most financial experts end up suggesting you need a cash stash equal to six months of expenses: If you need $5,000 to survive every month, save $30,000.
Personal finance guru Suze Orman advises an eight-month emergency fund because that’s about how long it takes the average person to find a job. Other experts say three months, while some say none at all if you have little debt, already have a lot of money saved in liquid investments, and have quality insurance.
Should that fund really be in the bank? Some of those same experts will advise you to keep your five-figure emergency fund in an investment account with relatively safe allocations to earn more than the paltry interest you will receive in a savings account.
The main issue is that the money is instantly accessible if you need it. (On the other side, remember that money in a bank account is FDIC insured.) For more advice, read more about building an emergency fund.
If you don’t have an emergency fund, you should probably create one before putting your financial goals/savings money toward retirement or other goals. Aim for building the fund to three months of expenses, then splitting your savings between a savings account and investments until you have six to eight months worth tucked away.
After that, your savings should go into retirement and other goals – invested in something that earns more than a bank account.
The Bottom Line
The most recent Federal Reserve data from the “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2015” surveyed Americans and mentioned that “Forty-six percent of adults say they either could not cover an emergency expense costing $400, or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money.”
That doesn’t leave much room for saving.
Most financial gurus would probably agree that if you start saving something, that’s a great first step. Plan to raise that amount over time. 1
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I am in a business that seems to have fallen into the same undesirable, necessary evil, distasteful category as the TSA, lawyers, dentists and the DMV... that is until you need them.
It must be true because so many people in my industry are coming up with names and descriptions to disguise and re-label it from what it actually is. For example, concepts and strategies for growth and preservation of wealth, huh? What is that supposed to mean? Or strategies to address life planning challenges, what?
In this case, I'm going to call the kettle black. As a licensed insurance agent I offer financial services and sell insurance. According to various industry reports and experts, you can't lead with it because it turns people off. Well, I never thought finance and insurance was attractive enough to turn someone on. Most people know they need it just as much as other services I've previously mentioned. Without it, you and others you care about will definitely know what life planning challenges are when a crisis, accident, critical illness or death occurs.
Most of us know someone who's gone through a loss or tragic experience and usually our first question is, did they have insurance? Second question; why didn't they have insurance? Third question; what were they thinking? Fourth question; if I was in that same situation do I have adequate coverage? And a final comment, if they had only spent a little money on an insurance policy, they could have saved themselves from a lot of additional pain, trouble and financial hardship.
So, go ahead and call the kettle black.
When you're ready to say I need help with insurance and a financial plan for retirement please give me a call.
CA Lic. #0I48609
It wasn’t so long ago that retirement meant a pension and a gold watch, but today’s world looks much different than it has for generations past. From increased market volatility and historically low interest rates to the loss of pensions and the rising cost of health care, the burden of retirement falls more heavily on the shoulders of individual Americans than it ever has before. But you don’t have to carry it alone.
5-STEP RETIREMENT PLANNING PROCESS
1. Selecting a Financial Services Professional
2. Fact and Feeling Finding
4. Solutions and Executing
5. Ongoing Relationship
New Generation Retirement Planning is a holistic approach to retirement planning. It consists of a five-step retirement planning process that incorporates three hallmarks of our company – stewardship, transparency and technology.
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Together, we will traverse five important steps in the New Generation Retirement Planning process, where you will explore key areas that are fundamental to successful retirement planning. You will be confident knowing that you have given careful consideration to risk exposure, income planning, legacy planning and tax strategies.
Let us craft a plan uniquely suited to help you thrive in this new generation of retirement.
With a focus on a new generation of retirees, our company uses the New Generation Retirement Planning process, which is based on three hallmarks of successful retirement planning: stewardship, transparency and technology.
Finding a trusted financial services professional is one of the most important elements of planning your retirement. Providing you with a stewardship level of service means we have the responsibility to present solutions that are suitable for your situation. Our commitment to you is that we will always keep our focus on your goals and objectives and will act with transparency throughout our relationship.
Our commitment to transparency ensures that each step of our work together is recorded and that every document and report are easily accessible to you. This allows us to track the evolution of your plan and make any necessary adjustments to it along the way. Our commitment to transparency is visible through a strong foundation of technology.
We think the challenges you face in retirement today are more complex than those faced by any other generation, but the right technology can make managing and organizing your retirement an easier process.
Our office utilizes Generational Vault, which is a proprietary online portal accessible through our website. It contains the necessary tools to help make decisions appropriate for you and your retirement. It also serves as the vehicle to document and record our commitment to act as a stewardship and act with transparency throughout our relationship.
The Color of Money Risk Analysis assesses your financial picture and provides a roadmap to your overall risk preferences. The output will be a proprietary Color of Money score. This short, interactive analysis is the first step on the road to retirement.
Did my question make you wonder what colors have to do with money? The amount of money we earn, save and spend is driven by our personality and beliefs.
This can also drive the choices we make about what we do with that money. In short, the investments we choose determines the color of our money. It reflects our overall personality, lifestyle and values, as well as our spending and saving methodologies.
Red- These assets have a higher degree of risk. There is good growth opportunity, but preparing for volatility is important with these assets. Red does not mean the assets are dangerous. It simply means you should stop, look both directions and proceed with caution in making your investment decisions.
Yellow- These assets are safer but still call for cautious examination. There are unique growth opportunities and Yellow assets do not carry as much risk as Red assets. You may not have as much growth opportunity as Red money, but you do not need to come to a complete retirement stop before proceeding.
Green- Green money should be labeled on assets that have safety and guarantees. Your growth potential is less than Red and Yellow money, but you may move comfortably through retirement knowing your assets are safe and available to provide the income stream you are looking for in retirement.
Striking a healthy balance with the colors of your money can help you reach your pre and post retirement goals.
Each color of money has unique benefits and features.
Retirement planning course corrections to consider4
It’s no secret that millions of Americans are approaching their retirement years with meager savings and high anxiety about their financial security. And a recent study from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave reveals steps that Americans are willing to take to get their retirement back on track.
The overwhelming majority (88 percent) of people surveyed said their primary objective is peace of mind, while just 12 percent say they want to accumulate as much wealth as possible. But peace of mind means different things to different people:
Only 8 percent of survey respondents feel personal finances can be discussed openly, while the remainder consider the topic a private matter or one that can be discussed with a spouse or partner or only very close family and friends. It would certainly help if older workers and retirees would share their ideas and insights with their family and friends.
What changes are people willing to make to enhance their financial security in retirement? Here are steps the survey found Americans are willing to take:
In addition to taking these steps, older workers would be wise to develop a strategy for generating lifetime retirement income, explore their options for continuing to work and make sure they have adequate medical insurance that supplements Medicare.
As you can see, your financial security in retirement has many moving parts. It is well worth spending hours and days planning for peace of mind in your retirement years, so you can go enjoy the rest of your life.5
1. http://travel.aarp.org/articles-tips/articles/info-09-2014/fall-foliage-trips-photo.html#slide3 2. Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright, 2017 3. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/13801/apple-butter-spice-cake/ 4. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/retirement-planning-course-corrections-to-consider/5. https: //www.forbes.com/sites/robertlaura/2017/05/26/7-of-the-best-retirement-quotes-to-get-you-to-and-through-it/#5baea2db6c2b 6. gradientfinancialgroup.com Newsletter Insurance products and services are offered through Craig Colley | Coliday and is not affiliated with Gradient Securities, LLC. Some of these 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, financial, insurance, tax, legal, or accounting advice.
We all know men and women are different in some fundamental ways. But is this true when it comes to financial planning? In a word, yes. In the financial world, women often find themselves in very different circumstances than their male counterparts.
Everyone wants financial security. Yet women often face financial headwinds that can affect their ability to achieve it. The good news is that many women today find themselves in a better position to achieve financial security for themselves and their families.
More women than ever are successful professionals, business owners, entrepreneurs, and knowledgeable investors. Their economic clout is growing, and women's impact on the traditional workplace is still unfolding positively as women earn college and graduate degrees in record numbers and seek to successfully integrate their work and home lives to provide for their families. So what financial course will you chart?
Some key differences
On the path to financial security, it's important for women to understand what they might be up against, financially speaking:
Women have longer life expectancies.
Women live an average of 4.8 years longer than men.1 A longer life expectancy presents several financial challenges for women:
This could mean that they will need to stretch their retirement dollars further
They may be more likely to need some type of long-term care, and may have to face some of their health-care needs alone
If they are married, they are more likely to outlive their husbands, which means they could have ultimate responsibility for disposition of the marital estate.
Women generally earn less and have fewer savings.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, within most occupational categories, women who work full-time, year-round, earn only 83% (on average) of what men earn.2 This wage gap can significantly impact women's overall savings, Social Security retirement benefits, and pensions.
The dilemma is that while women generally earn less than men, they need those dollars to last longer due to a longer life expectancy. With smaller financial cushions, women are more vulnerable to unexpected economic obstacles, such as a job loss, divorce, or single parenthood. And according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, women are more likely than men to be living in poverty throughout their lives.3
Women are more likely to take career breaks for caregiving.
Women are much more likely than men to take time out of their careers to raise children and/or care for aging parents.4 Sometimes this is by choice. But by moving in and out of the workforce, women face several potential financial implications:
Lost income, employer-provided health insurance, retirement benefits, and other employee benefits
Often a lower Social Security retirement benefit
Possibly a tougher time finding a job, or a comparable job (in terms of pay and benefits), when reentering the workforce
Increased vulnerability in the event of divorce or death of a spouse
In addition to stepping out of the workforce more frequently to care for others, women are more likely to try to balance work and family by working part-time, which results in less income, and by requesting flexible work schedules, which can impact their career advancement (and thus the bottom line) if an employer unfairly assumes that women's caregiving responsibilities will come at the expense of dedication to their jobs.
Women are more likely to be living on their own.
Whether through choice, divorce, or death of a spouse, more women are living on their own. This means they'll need to take sole responsibility for protecting their income and making financial decisions.
Women sometimes are more conservative investors.
Whether they're saving for a home, college, retirement, or a trip around the world, women need their money to work hard for them. Sometimes, though, women tend to be more conservative investors than men,5 which means their savings might not be on track to meet their financial goals.
Women need to protect their assets.
As women continue to earn money, become the main breadwinners for their families, and run their own businesses, it's vital that they take steps to protect their assets, both personal and business. Without an asset protection plan, a woman's wealth is vulnerable to taxes, lawsuits, accidents, and other financial risks that are part of everyday life. But women may be too busy handling their day-to-day responsibilities to take the time to implement an appropriate plan.
A financial professional can help
Women are the key to their own financial futures--it's critical that women educate themselves about finances and be able to make financial decisions. Yet the world of financial planning isn't always easy or convenient. In many cases, women can benefit greatly from working with a financial professional who can help them understand their options and implement plans designed to help provide women and their families with financially secure lives.6
If you have questions about how we can help please me, Craig Colley at 949-216-8459.
1 NCHS Data Brief, Number 229, December 2015 2, 4 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Women in the Labor Force: A Databook, December 20153 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, P60-252, 20155 U.S. Department of Labor, Women and Retirement Savings Online Publication, dol.gov; accessed January 2016 6 gradientfinancialgroup.com Newsletter Insurance products and services are offered through Craig Colley | Coliday and is not affiliated with Gradient Securities, LLC. Some of these 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.
Nearing Retirement? Time to Get Focused 1
If you're within 10 years of retirement, you've probably spent some time thinking about this major life change. The transition to retirement can seem a bit daunting, even overwhelming. If you find yourself wondering where to begin, the following points may help you focus.
Reassess your living expenses
A step you will probably take several times between now and retirement--and maybe several more times thereafter--is thinking about how your living expenses could or should change. For example, while commuting and dry cleaning costs may decrease, other budget items such as travel and health care may rise. Try to estimate what your monthly expense budget will look like in the first few years after you stop working. And then continue to reassess this budget as your vision of retirement becomes reality.
Consider all your income sources
Next, review all your possible sources of income. Chances are you have an employer-sponsored retirement plan and maybe an IRA or two. Try to estimate how much they could provide on a monthly basis. If you are married, be sure to include your spouse's retirement accounts as well. If your employer provides a traditional pension plan, contact the plan administrator for an estimate of your monthly benefit amount. >>>
Do you have rental income? Be sure to include that in your calculations. Is there a chance you may continue working in some capacity? Often retirees find they are able to consult, turn a hobby into an income source, or work part-time. Such income can provide a valuable cushion that helps retirees postpone tapping their investment accounts, giving them more time to potentially grow.
Finally, don't forget Social Security. You can get an estimate of your retirement benefit at the Social Security Administration's website, ssa.gov. You can also sign up for a my Social Security account to view your online Social Security Statement, which contains a detailed record of your earnings and estimates of retirement, survivor, and disability benefits.
As you think about your income strategy, also consider ways to help minimize taxes in retirement. Would it be better to tap taxable or tax-deferred accounts first? Would part-time work result in taxable Social Security benefits? What about state and local taxes? A qualified tax professional can help you develop an appropriate strategy.
Pay off debt, power up your savings
Once you have an idea of what your possible expenses and income look like, it's time to bring your attention back to the here and now. Draw up a plan to pay off debt and power up your retirement savings before you retire.
Why pay off debt? Entering retirement debt-free--including paying off your mortgage--will put you in a position to modify your monthly expenses in retirement if the need arises. On the other hand, entering retirement with mortgage, loan, and credit card balances will put you at the mercy of those monthly payments. You'll have less of an opportunity to scale back your spending if necessary.
Why power up your savings? In these final few years before retirement, you're likely to be earning the highest salary of your career. Why not save and invest as much as you can in your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan and/or your IRAs? Aim for the maximum allowable contributions.
And remember, if you're 50 or older, you can take advantage of catch-up contributions, which allow you to contribute an additional $6,000 to your employer-sponsored plan and an extra $1,000 to your IRA in 2016.
Account for health care
Finally, health care should get special attention as you plan the transition to retirement. As you age, the portion of your budget consumed by health-related costs will likely increase. Although Medicare will cover a portion of your medical costs, you'll still have deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Unless you're prepared to pay for these costs out of pocket, you may want to purchase a supplemental insurance policy.
In 2015, the Employee Benefit Research Institute reported that the average 65-year-old married couple would need $213,000 in savings to have at least a 75% chance of meeting their insurance premiums and out-of-pocket health care costs in retirement. And that doesn't include the cost of long-term care, which Medicare does not cover and can vary substantially depending on where you live. For this reason, you might consider a long-term care insurance policy.
4 Ways to Get Rid of Debt 3
It’s no secret that America runs on debt. The amount of outstanding consumer debt as of August last year stood at $3.25 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. And according to a 2012 Experian report, Baby Boomers’ average total debt was $101,951, and those over 66 had a total debt of $38,043.
Even if your debt load is less than the average, it can still feel overwhelming, especially if you’re on fixed income. But help is here. The strategies below can get you on the road to being debt-free fast.
A great way to increase your monthly payments is by transferring your balance to a card with a lower interest rate (so more of your money goes toward your actual balance rather than the interest charges).
Unlike other kinds of debt like from credit cards or a car loan, mortgage debt is not necessarily bad to have since you get a tax deduction on the interest you pay and hopefully will one day be able to sell your house at a profit. Of course, refinancing into a lower rate can be a good way to pay off your mortgage faster, but pay attention to the loan term—the shorter it is, the more you save.
Before you even try to pay your bill, check to make sure the fees are correct and reasonable. Always ask for an itemized bill, and challenge anything that doesn’t look right.
If you’re among the growing number of seniors with federal student loans—student loan debt for seniors rose from $2.8 billion in 2005 to $18.2 billion in 2013, according to the Government Accountability Office—asking for a repayment plan that is income-based could make things more manageable (though you may pay more in total than you would with a standard 10-year repayment plan).5
1Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2015. 2http://food52.com/blog/16084-7-types-of-fruit-trees-you-can-grow-in-your-living-room 3 http://www.grandparents.com/money-and-work/family-finance/get-out-of-debt4 http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/berry-lemonade-recipe.html If company does not provide tax planning services, add the following disclosure: CompanyName does not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult a qualified professional for assistance with any tax or legal issues. Coliday / Craig Colley is not affiliated or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency. 5 gradientfinancialgroup.com Newsletter Insurance products and services are offered through Craig Colley | Coliday and is not affiliated with Gradient Securities, LLC. Some of these 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.