The SECURE Act Passed. What Does That Mean?

I’ve written about the SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) Act a number of times over the past year or so. I’m writing now following it’s passing Congress last week as part of the year-end spending bill. Now that President Trump has signed it into law, it goes into effect on January 1, 2020. The legislation is a relatively large overhaul to retirement savings accounts. The two biggest changes are to contributions and required minimum distributions (RMDs). First off, the new law eliminates the age limit for traditional IRA contributions. This means that if you are still working, Continue reading The SECURE Act Passed. What Does That Mean?

Politics and the Markets

I don’t like to talk about politics in this blog as it really doesn’t have any impact on retirement or building up a nest egg. However, given the impeachment inquiries going on at the moment and the brawling that is just beginning regarding them, it may be wise to at least discuss whether such proceedings can have an effect on markets. While there is very little data on such matters, the what little info there is doesn’t show that the markets are swayed by partisan happenings on Capitol Hill. For example, the stock market continued to skyrocket during the Clinton Continue reading Politics and the Markets

Will You Really Need RMDs at 70 1/2?

I’ve written about the SECURE Act here many times in recent months as it is legislation that could open up a lot of retirement saving opportunities for a wide swath of Americans. Officially titled as “The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019,” this bill could allow for small businesses to band together to offer retirement savings plan benefits, increase the age for required minimum distributions (RMDs), and allow IRA and 401(k) plan holders to purchase annuities with money in the accounts. While all those a good things, this post is really going to focus on the Continue reading Will You Really Need RMDs at 70 1/2?

Retirement Benefits May Become a Requirement in the Future

It may not be evident, but the gaps between the classes in American society have widened over the past decade. The rich have gotten richer, while the middle class and lower classes have struggled to improve their lots. Meanwhile, costs of living have gone up, and along with that, the amount needed to live a comfortable life in retirement. On top of all this, the Baby Boomer generation–one of the largest segments of our country–has aged and started to retire, placing a strain on the resources that once were considered hallmarks of retirement. Things such as Social Security and pensions Continue reading Retirement Benefits May Become a Requirement in the Future

Will Policymakers Hurt or Help Your Retirement Plans in 2019?

Over the next 365 days, policymakers–at both the state and federal levels–have the potential to shape retirement for many for decades to come. Some such policy opportunities may be straightforward in impact while others may be more subtle and long-term. For example, how politicians and regulators go about handling any current economic issues could have affects on how people save currently as well as what future retirement costs may be. Another example might be whether a more liberal-leaning House of Representatives combined with similarly-situated state legislatures may turn their sights on programs such as Social Security and Medicare and look Continue reading Will Policymakers Hurt or Help Your Retirement Plans in 2019?

Could Congress Soon Expand Your Retirement Options?

Regardless of the outcomes of yesterday’s elections, it appears that Congress could be poised to expand retirement options in the near future. The Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA), which appears to have bipartisan support, could expand retirement plan access for many workers as well as allow more employers to offer such plans. The biggest selling point of the legislation is that it will allow small businesses to band together–pooling resources and increasing buying power–and offer multi-employer retirement plans (MEPs) to employees similar to those offered by larger businesses and corporations. This can be an enticing offer for small businesses Continue reading Could Congress Soon Expand Your Retirement Options?

The Purpose of the RMD

If you have an IRA, you are very familiar with the term “required minimum distribution” (RMD) and what it is. RMDs are those payments you have to take from your IRA when you reach age 70½, but do you know what the purpose behind RMDs is? RMDs were created as a part of legislation by Congress designed to help people save for retirement. While creating that legislation, Congress did not want people to use the retirement plans and guidelines it created to compile a chunk of tax-deferred money for the purposes of passing it on to future generations. There needed to Continue reading The Purpose of the RMD

Recharacterization and the Tax Bill

It’s well known that the current tax reform legislation making its way through Congress can, and most likely will, impact your retirement accounts and plans. One target is regarding recharacterizations of Roth IRA and traditional IRAs, which both the House and Senate bills would do away with. Recharacterizations are important because it is one of the few tools available to correct a conversion. Under the current system, you have until October 15 of the year following the year in which you made the conversion to recharacterize it. This current system gives people time to reconsider and think about conversions and Continue reading Recharacterization and the Tax Bill

Keep an Eye on the New Tax Reform Plan

This past week, House Republicans announced a plan to reform the tax system. That proposal features some major changes to the current tax system that could potentially have huge impacts on the middle class as well as wealthy Americans and corporations. There has also been talk about changing retirement plan limits as part of a tax system overhaul, but such changes do not appear to be part of the proposal introduced this week. What does this mean for you? Well, at this point, it’s hard to tell as the proposal is still being digested by members of Congress as well Continue reading Keep an Eye on the New Tax Reform Plan