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Posts Tagged ‘401(k)’

As the amount of money stashed in 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts has grown, more and more families are finding themselves locked in battles over who has rights to the assets.

Even with the many concerns over retirement accounts in America, it’s undeniable – IRAs and 401(k)s represent a lot of personal wealth for everyday Americans. That means retirement accounts are assets uniquely worthy of particular attention, to include when it comes to their role in your estate planning. Indeed, amongst households with at least $100,000 to invest, 60% of the household’s assets are in an IRA or 401(k). So, how ought retirement accounts factor into your estate planning. Who will inherit them? The answer is not a simple as you may think. Truth be told, the problem with retirement accounts…

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With regulators on the fence over 401(k) rollovers for small-business financing, a growing number of baby boomers are tapping their retirement savings for start-up capital.

 If you’re over age 50, have substantial assets in your qualified retirement plan, and always dreamed of being your own boss, you are not alone. In fact, you may decide to join the growing number of baby boomers who are tapping their retirement savings for start-up capital on a new business. The Wall Street Journal, along with SmartMoney, recently discussed the trend, the possibilities, and the potentially dangerous risks involved. Here is the strategy, which the IRS called a Roll Over as Business Startup (ROBS). First, you create a legal corporation with its own 401(k) plan into which you can…

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The First Stage of Retirement Planning

The first stage of the retirment planning is the period when you first enter the workforce and begin setting aside funds for later in your life and ends when you actually retire. A consideration in choosing an employer should be the amount they will contribute to your retirement savings and if they have a pension plan. Sign up for the 401(k), 403(b), or 457(b) plan if offered and contribute the maximum allowed as soon as you start working. In 2007, less than 32 percent of workers under age 35 participated in plans when they were offered at work, according to…

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There are quite a few different retirement options out there and many specifically designed for small businesses

If you are a small business owner, you may be seeing a slight uptick in your business – and your confidence. In fact, many small business owners are starting to think about hiring a few more people, and perhaps even offering a few employee benefits again … such as a retirement savings plan. Stuart Robertson of Forbes recently wrote a brief, concise overview of the top three retirement plans available for small businesses (those with 25 or fewer employees). Before you start researching options, Forbes suggests you ask yourself these five questions: Can I afford a match for my employees?…

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A traditional IRA is tax-deferred until withdrawal

If you’ve been a diligent saver and keeping an eye on your 401(k) for all these years, it’s important to remember that the tax-man also has been looking on with interest and waiting for his cut. It’s simply too easy to forget, but a traditional IRA is tax-deferred until withdrawal, so that balance is deceiving. What is more, it means that the tax you will owe has yet to be decided. A recent MarketWatch article points out the strong possibility of higher tax rates for 401(k) savers once they reach retirement. The value of delaying a tax hit into retirement,…

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What is re-enrollment regarding your 401k?

If you participate in a 401(k), you may be surprised to learn that your employer could actually over-ride your investment choices if they think you’re not making appropriate decisions yourself. It’s called a “re-enrollment,” and employers say they are doing it for your own good. You might want to pay attention, though, because your employer’s choices may not be right for you – especially if you are older, female or have other unique circumstances. Re-enrollment is different than “auto-enrollment.” Auto-enrollment is a fairly common practice, in which employers automatically enroll workers in a 401(k) plan and defer a certain percentage…

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What should the best 401(k) plans do for you? And is yours the best it could be?

According to a recent study conducted by MetLife – the Qualified Retirement Plan Barometer – your 401(k) plan is probably falling short, because most plans simply don’t do all that a 401(k) plan ought to do. According to The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, many plan sponsors aren’t offering important plan features that could greatly enhance your retirement savings plan. What features are lacking? Primarily “help tools” and services. Studies show that plan participants who use the “help” tools and services provided by their employers tend to outperform participants who did not use these tools. In other words, if your employer…

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Christmas music has already begun in some stores, which also means that it’s time to begin end-of-year planning. For many, this means looking at your 401(k), and so I thought I’d share some news and tips from a recent article.                 Brightscope Inc., a retirement plan rating company, recently compiled a list of the 10 most commonly held mutual funds in 401(k)s. Generally, it hasn’t been a bad year for 401(k)s and investors. Nevertheless, many of the top ten underperformed the Standard and Poor’s 500 stock index. This may simply be a sign that size is not always conducive to…

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