There’s high drama in Washington, D.C. We’ve been glued to the news. These are wild times and yet, as Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” How does one move forward with a plan for 2020 when it appears that everything around us is unpredictable? Especially during an election year?
Our suggestion … go back to the numbers. Today, Dennis and Heidi will cover the stats of 2019 with strategic ways to approach the New Year. Tune in, call in and weigh in with your plans.
How did you fare under the Trump tax plan? If you’re not sure, now would be the time to look instead of waiting until April 15, 2020, which is why we have special guest, Jon Sluis, CPA President of Intrust CPAs on the air with us today. He will share why there is a certain level of urgency for the self-employed and small business to consider your tax position before year-end.
If you’re retired, you’ll need to look at RMDs and qualified charitable distributions, and how those affect your tax bracket. For those of you still working, you’ll want to know how contributing to your retirement account, HSAs, and other tax saving strategies can help your tax game.
Can you believe that 2020 is less than a month away? It seems like yesterday that we were worried about Y2K! Time flies when you’re having a good time, so what happens when you’re not? Maybe you’ve put in the time, paid your dues and now it’s time to retire. You’ve even endured a “few extra years” to build up the nest egg, and now it’s time to fly solo … this is the YEAR!
We want to help you take the leap into the highly anticipated and great unknown.
Today, we’re going to give you a checklist of “to-do’s” before you mark your career “to-done.” There’s never been more retirement responsibility on YOU than today. Relax, it’s what we like “to-do.”
Retired lawyer Doug Godbe has a few things to share after his nearly 42-year career as a probate and estate planning attorney. In fact, he might surprise you with some of his thoughts about estate planning. Doug never practiced law in Michigan, his legal career was in California only. Accordingly, his statements today are merely observations of general probate and estate law. You should always consult with a licensed lawyer in your state for legal advice. For the last 31 years of his practice, Doug was a sole practitioner in Orange County, California. He has also authored five books on estate planning, probate and financial powers of attorneys.
Tune in, and you might be pleasantly surprised by some of his ideas like: “Don’t leave NOTHING to your least favorite relative. Leave them SOMETHING with a ‘no contest’ clause. It will be more painful for them to lose the money they’ve inherited contesting it than it will be for them to lose nothing contesting what they didn’t receive.”
Do you want to retire but you’re not sure if you can afford health care once you do? You’re not alone! A 65-year-old couple retiring in 2019 will spend approximately $390,000 out-of-pocket on medical expenses during their retirement years. And this does not include dental care, which Medicare does not cover. If you’re concerned about retiring for these reasons, your fear is not unfounded. Local health insurance expert, Laverna Witkop, is joining us this week to give us updates on Medicare and open enrollment for individual health plans. She’ll also explain how COBRA and HSA plans work.
This is a show you can’t afford to miss. Plus, we will explain why including your health insurance professional in your retirement planning is as imperative as including your CPA and attorney.
If you’re a regular listener, you know that we regularly remind you to check your beneficiary forms. And then we remind you to check them again. And just in case if you forget, we tell you to check them once more. But what happens when your name is on the list? When YOU are listed as a beneficiary on an IRA? There are rules for spousal and non-spousal beneficiaries, and we are going to cover them today.
If you’re planning on a pension, you might want to plan again. As of this year, The American Legislative Exchange Council released this information: State pensions across the country are funded at an average of 35% of what they should be. This translates into an average of $18,300 in unfunded pension liabilities for every man, woman and child across the United States. The new report measures nearly 300 state-administered pension plans and, in total, they have unfunded liabilities of nearly $6 trillion.
In other words, it’s time to take an assessment of your current financial situation in case your pension disappears, or you’re given a buyout option. We have created a five-point checklist to help you navigate this unfortunate and all too familiar scenario. Tune in to find out more!
Of the 618,000 millionaire Millennials in the U.S., the highest concentration of them are living here in the 49686 ZIP code, according to a recent report by Coldwell Banker Global Luxury and WealthEngine. If that’s hard to believe, try to understand this recent calculation by Professor Olivia S. Mitchell: Millennials will need to save almost HALF of their paycheck to retire at 65. In contrast, their parents (or grandparents) are considered the wealthiest generation in American history. They will be transferring close to $68 trillion in assets when they pass. How can they help the younger generation of non-millionaires retire? Do they need to?
Tune in to find out exactly how much Dennis disagrees with this 50% rule and why. We think you’ll be encouraged to hear an advisor’s perspective.
We always know when it’s time to talk about qualified charitable distributions (QCDs). It’s usually when two things happen: The snowbirds start to head south, and the snow hits the ground here. Both have happened ahead of schedule … and so can your QCD! We are going to answer six of the most asked questions regarding QCDs, along with how to meet the QCD requirements (there are 12).
If you’re making a giving list and checking it twice, now might be a good time to tune in. We’ll be ready for your questions!
In the gray area between IRAs and qualified plans (employer-sponsored retirement plans that qualify for special tax treatment) are SIMPLE plans (retirement plans that are commonly offered by companies with no more than 100 employees). Sometimes SIMPLE plans follow the IRA rules and sometimes they follow the qualified plan rules. This confusion about which rules a SIMPLE plan adheres to might be what makes moving forward with it a scary prospect for employers.
Today, we are going to do our best to simplify the SIMPLE plans
There may come a time when you need to access your retirement accounts earlier than you intended. Be forewarned, it’s expensive – meaning, you’ll pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty plus income tax, which can erode half of the distribution. So, while the income tax cannot be avoided on early distributions, the 10% early withdrawal penalty can sometimes be avoided. Meaning, there are exceptions to the rules!
1. Exceptions that apply to distributions from both company plans and IRAs
2. Exceptions that apply only to distributions from IRAs
3. Exceptions that apply only to distributions from company plans
It’s important to know which exceptions apply to which plan, otherwise you could be in trouble!
Tune in to find out more.
Maybe it’s your child, your grandchild or even your sibling who needs extra help. Have you considered an ABLE Account? ABLE Accounts are meant to be used in addition to government benefits and are specifically designed not to jeopardize those benefits.
The ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act of 2014 was enacted with the purpose of encouraging and assisting individuals and families in saving private funds for supporting individuals. These accounts are wonderful, but also wonderfully complicated. You must be careful when planning.
“It’s my retirement money, and I should be able to do with it as I please!” is the argument of a novice. Age comes with both wisdom and the knowledge that we will have to acquiesce to the government regulations on how retirement accounts are dispersed. For example, at age 70½, you’ll be required to start taking money from most accounts, and there will be more rules than exceptions. Dennis and Heidi attended the Ed Slott conference last week and will be sharing the four common RMD (required minimum distribution) mistakes.
1.Rolling over the entire plan balance to an IRA with the intent to “take the RMD later” from the IRA
2.Rolling over only part of the plan now to an IRA with the intent to “take the RMD later” from the plan
4. QCD (qualified charitable distribution) mistakes
If you’re nearing this magical age, this is a show you won’t want to miss!
If there were a 12-step program suitable for every human being, it would be for recovering control freaks. Yes, I’m talking about you – and me – and the guy across the street. The human condition is such that we feel like we have control even when we don’t. In fact, Psychology Today tells us that we will happily deceive ourselves just to achieve that feeling. How does that pair with retirement, a time in life when work routines, family time and income all change? What do we control? J.P. Morgan created the 2019 Guide to Retirement and it’s very insightful. They break the retirement equation into three parts: Total Control, Some Control and Out of Your Control.
For those of us who are self-proclaimed “planners,” we might need a little reality check as we face the future. Or as Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”
Blood may be thicker than water, but it clots. Which is why hiring an estate planning attorney for your family is the second kindest thing you can do. What’s the first? The years of hard work and dedication you’ve already invested. The goal of estate planning is to preserve the decades of investments along with the relationships you’ll leave behind. Not only will your spouse need someone to turn to, your children’s relationships will more than likely require a mediator.
Join me (Shea) today as I interview estate planning attorney Cortney Danbrook about the intricacies of planning, whether you’re planning alone, for your family of origin or blended family.
When I think of going back to school, the only image that comes to mind is the scene from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, when Ben Stein plays the economics teacher. During his monotone lesson, he tries to elicit a response from his class by pausing every few sentences asking if “Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?” has the answer. It pains me to make this correlation to retirement planning, but alas, I must. Why? Because today we are talking about 401(k)s again. Anyone? Anyone? Anyone? Know why?
Because they are the most common retirement savings vehicle and one that we often put into cruise control during our working years. Tune in today and figure out how to speed up your savings!
According to a survey by GOBankingRates, 73% of adult children haven’t had the money talk with their aging parents. This isn’t completely surprising considering that the “Silent Generation” felt it was too risky to speak out. They grew up in financially insecure times with the collapse of the market and war. They were also considered the “The Lucky Few” because they entered the prosperous times of the 1950s and 1960s, which rebuilt the nation. They also retired relatively early taking both a pension(s) and Social Security.
Then came their children, the “Boomers” who coined the phrase “Midlife Crisis” and kept the prosperity going. When it comes time to pass the baton, will the Silent Generation be willing to share their financial story with their children who are entering their retirement years in droves?
We are going to share excerpts from the book, Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk: How to Have Essential Conversations with Your Parents About Their Finances, by Cameron Huddleston, and the article by Kiplinger, “10 Ways to Talk to Your Aging Parents About Their Finances.” You can plan in a panic or plan ahead – we opt for the latter choice.
This month marks 84 years since the Social Security Act was signed into law, but despite the program’s lengthy lifespan, many are still confused about how their benefits are calculated. It is crucial that you understand how much additional income your Social Security checks will provide once you start taking them because it can impact your tax bill. Depending on how many sources of income you have in retirement, your Social Security benefits could push you into a higher tax bracket. However, some proactive planning can help ensure that you can maximize your benefits while managing your tax liabilities.
To learn how your Social Security benefits are calculated, tune in! For professional assistance with creating a retirement plan that is designed to be tax-efficient and help maximize your Social Security contact our office at to schedule a time to visit.
Last week, I read a Shea Stat that, unfortunately, we’ve become so accustomed to that no one appears to be shocked. I’m referring to the mounting federal debt – which is currently more than $22 trillion. What should be considered a national emergency is being regarded as a mere speed bump. Currently, the cumulative amount saved in retirement accounts is $29.1 trillion, making it the most obvious “low-hanging fruit” (according to some economists) resource for national debt reduction/elimination. But what economic fallout will we Americans face as a result? Will those of us who have saved for decades to ensure our own retirement be punished? All in all, it’s difficult to stay positive about saving and being responsible when the government is struggling.
Tune in today for some financial tips that might help you keep your chin up even when it feels like we’re in over our heads.
Whether it’s by choice or decisions “beyond your control,” the time has come for you to leave your current employer. So what are your options regarding your employer-sponsored retirement/savings plan? Do you just leave it in the hands of your now “former” employer? Can you roll it over into a new plan? Or perhaps it makes sense to take a lump-sum distribution? What about a Roth IRA?
So many options! Tune in today, and we’ll discuss these scenarios and so many more. We’ll also discuss who can benefit from a Roth IRA and at what age. There are tricks to the trade, and we’re going to share as much as we can.
What goes up, must come down. And if it left, it will come back around! We’re referring to the market, of course. We are at the end of the first half of 2019 (already!), and it’s been a wild year so far. The markets continue to recover from the previous year’s losses, but the risk of a recession still remains. What exactly does that mean, and how does it affect you?
Great question! It’s one that we’ve already talked about this season, but it’s a conversation that’s worth revisiting. With the second half of the year ahead of us, it’s good to take inventory, especially with the rising tariff pressures, slow economic growth and talk of cutting interest rates (again). There’s never a dull moment.
Over the past 10 years, the U.S. population age 65 and over has increased 34% to more than 50 million people (Investment News). The Silver Tsunami is here, and you’ve got two options: Ride the wave or get up to higher ground. Today, we are getting the bird’s-eye view of 2020 and the six changes in Social Security that are coming.
If you’re retired or planning to retire soon, this is a show you won’t want to miss! And just in case you do, you can find the Investment News article here. We will be adding some additional information from IRA guru Ed Slott too!
Last year, Dennis and his wife, Jill, bought their first boat. It was a magical summer, with high heat starting in May and lasting through to September. Every free moment (including one staff party) was had on the water. This summer, however, seems to be holding on to spring one white knuckle at a time. We had a good run though, because the last cold summer I (Shea) remember was in 2009. If we were to take the temp on the current economic expansion, it too feels like it might be on its last legs (depending on who you talk to). From low interest rates, to price changes, Fed funds and bank profits, and yield inversions – the signs are all there. Or are they?
What are the opportunities for the current economy? If you plan on retiring in the next five years, how should you position your portfolio? Tune in for some great tips on how to evaluate the market for yourself and who to talk to in order to get your plan shipshape!
Maybe you didn’t notice it at first. After all, you live out of town and only visit your parents in the summer. But during your most recent visit, many things seemed amiss. Unpaid bills were piled up on the kitchen table. Items in the fridge were expired. In fact, your parents aren’t eating like they used to, if at all. And why, oh, why have they become so paranoid?
You make their doctor appointments and join them, but it’s time to find someone to help you long distance, because there’s only so much you can do. Who can act on their behalf? Pay the bills? Act as a trustee? Believe it or not, there is a local dynamic duo that can act as a conservator or guardian.
Today, we are interviewing Brenda Miller and Lisa Lundy from Fiduciary Services North, Inc. They’ve served the five-county area as senior advocates and personal representatives for more than 10 years, and have wisdom to share for those seeking an independent third party to manage financial, medical and legal logistics.
By a landslide, the 401(k) retirement savings account is the most common savings vehicle for most folks. It’s accessible at most companies and has tax advantages that will encourage you to save, including a Roth 401(k) option. The more progressive companies require people to “opt out” instead of “into” the 401(k) plan being offered. Pretty cool, eh? (said with a strong northern Michigan accent). So, how does one take advantage of this option to save? When can you take the money out? Should you roll it over when you retire? Why do some advisors dislike the 401(k) option?
We’re pretty sure this show will be one that you won’t want to miss! You’ve been saving, so learn how to be a bit more clever when you do.