Retirement Readiness Shows Signs of Waning

While the retirement systems in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia differ in important ways, all are falling short to varying degrees in ensuring that workers in those countries are adequately preparing for retirement, according to an article published by human resources consultancy Findley Davies in its November/December 2017 newsletter. Retirement Readiness The article, “Retirement Readiness—How Do We Compare?” was written by Ken Hohman, an actuary and management consultant. Hohman presented a comparison of the retirement systems in these three countries based on his involvement on behalf of the American Academy of Actuaries with a project in collaboration with the Actuaries Institute in Australia and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in the UK. Hohman observed that Australia, the UK, and the U.S. have similar but significantly different retirement systems. Specifically, he explained, each country has a national social security system that is weighted in favor of lower-income …

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401k Loans: Pros and Cons

You might be considering taking out a loan from your 401k. But before you do, you should know the rules and weigh the risks against the benefits. Because not knowing the rules and understanding the risks might hurt you and your retirement in the long-term. Consider this for a Second Most of us simply do not have enough in our 401k where we can afford to borrow. According to Fidelity Investments, the average 401k balance was approximately $91,000. And while that is a lot of money, it won’t cover the average retiree’s health-care costs. Fidelity projects that a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2014 will incur an average of $220,000 in retirement healthcare costs alone. Before you take out that 401k loan, know this: According to the IRS: the maximum amount that the plan can permit as a loan is (1) the greater of $10,000 or 50% of your vested account …

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What Impact Will the New Tax Policy Have?

While Republicans are touting a victory in the passage and signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it will take some time before most changes go into effect. And with all the sweeping changes in the law, tweaks and fixes are likely in the coming months, experts say. “It’s important to remember that it could be years before the IRS does its interpretation of the tax changes and even longer, if ever, before those interpretations are tested by courts,” says Steven Weil, Ph.D., president and tax manager of RMS Accounting, an accounting and bookkeeping firm. “There are sure to be errors, and corrections that Congress will have to make. How long these will take and how many there will be is anyone’s guess.” In the meantime you may see a few changes sooner, depending on some variables. It Depends on How You File One of the main changes is …

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4 Ways to Best Utilize Your Financial Advisor

What is the value of a financial advisor? The personal touch. Here are four stories of how flesh-and-blood advisors you meet in person (that’s opposed to a robo advisor, where your contact is digital or over a phone line) benefited their clients. These good advisors helped clients to overcome emotionally based decisions, stop them from making mistakes, figure out whether to make a big purchase and decipher arcane retirement plans. We’ll have separate articles throughout the summer describing in greater detail how they helped their clients. Planning is so very vital for your future. According to a study by insurer Northwestern Mutual, a large majority (72%) of U.S. adults believes that the economy will suffer future crises. But two-thirds of them don’t have a financial plan. Plans are not static. Once you have a plan in hand, ongoing contact with your advisor is vital to make the plan work. In …

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Things All Financial Advisors Should Keep In Mind

Money management can seem pretty straightforward — customers set goals, and financial advisors help them meet those goals. But things aren’t always so simple. Emotions, family situations and the client’s financial standing can pose challenges for financial advisors if they’re not prepared. “Every individual is unique, and makes decisions about investing and wealth management influenced by their emotional makeup,” says wealth management adviser Chris White. “Financial advisors need to understand the emotional factors that drive their clients’ behavior, and their attitudes about risk-taking and money management. If they do, they will be better able to fashion wealth management plans that are suited to an individual client’s personality, temperament and risk-tolerance.” Here are some things to keep in mind. Plan for a Solo Life, as Well as Marriage Married couples who start financial planning generally don’t give any consideration to the chance of divorce, even as a remote contingency, says registered …

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