30Aug
Retirement Accounts Made Easy! – Part 3
Economy

Retirement Eggs

Welcome to the final in the three part series on “Retirement Accounts Made Easy!”

If you missed Parts One and/or Two, you may read the blogs posted on August 18th with Part 2 posted on August 24th.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions.

 


*** PART THREE ***

Inherited Accounts

Contributions: Generally, you can’t contribute to an account you inherit.  The exception is an account owned by the spouse of the deceased, if that spouse retitles the account in her or his own name.

RMDs: The rules can get complicated, depending on whether you were the spouse of the deceased and whether the deceased was in the process of taking required minimum distributions before he or she died.  But generally, beneficiaries of inherited retirement accounts have three options:

  1. Transfer the assets to their own IRA: This option is only available to the spouse of the deceased.  Once the assets are in the spouse’s account, RMDs and early withdrawal penalties (if any) will be determined by the spouse’s age.
  2. Empty the account within five years: No withdrawals are required in any given year as long as all the assets are distributed within five years of the benefactor’s death.  The distributions will be exempt from the 10% early withdrawal penalty normally applied to distributions made before age 59 1/2.
  3. Stretch the account over the beneficiary’s lifetime: Take RMDs each and every year, starting the year after the benefactor’s death.  While this option would require the beneficiary to begin taking money sooner than the five-year option, the rest of the account can be left to grow for decades.  But it does mean that any beneficiary, of any age, must take an annual RMD.  Even a 1-year-old baby who inherited an IRA from her grandmother would need to take a required distribution each year the account has money in it.  This would be the case even if it’s a Roth IRA.  Fortunately, these RMDs are also exempt from the 10% early withdrawal penalty.

Note that the third option is available only to named beneficiaries of an account.  If the account didn’t have named beneficiaries, or they had already passed away, the account then goes into the overall estate.  Anyone who then inherits the account must liquidate it within five years, which could result in a large tax bill and the loss of future tax-advantaged growth; the option to “stretch” the account over a beneficiary’s life has been lost.  This is why it’s important to name specific people as the primary and backup beneficiaries of your retirement accounts, and to keep that information updated.

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24Aug
Retirement Accounts Made Easy! – Part 2
uncategorized

Retirement EggsDue to a number of increased requests regarding various types of retirement plans, I have created a three part Blog on “RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS MADE EASY!”      This is Part Two of the series.

PART ONE covered traditional and Roth IRA’s. If you missed Part One you can resource it in a previous blog posted on August 18th, 2016.

I’ll conclude the series with Inherited IRA’s.

 

***  PART TWO  ***

401(k)s and 403(b)s

Contributions: As long as you’re working, you can contribute to your employer’s plan, even if you’re over 70 1/2.  If your employer offers a Roth option, you can contribute regardless of your income.

RMDs: Accounts with former employers are governed by most of the same RMD rules as traditional IRAs.  This includes Roth 401(k)s and Roth 403(b)s, which are subject to RMDS — but you can get around them by rolling the money over to a Roth IRA.  (Note: Rolling over accounts with former employers into IRAs has all kinds of other benefits, including potentially lower costs and more investment choices.)

However, there are no required distributions from your current employer’s plan if you’re still working — even if you’re older than 70 1/2 — as long as you don’t own 5% or more of the company.  But once you do retire, if you’re 70 1/2 or older you should take your first RMD from that account by April 1 of the next year; you will then have to take another RMD by Dec. 31 of that year.

If you have multiple 401(k)s with former employers, each RMD must be taken from each individual account.  The total value of RMDs from multiple 403(b)s, however, can be taken from just one account; also, money contributed to a 403(b) before 1987 doesn’t have to be distributed until age 75 if those amounts have been accounted for with separate records.

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18Aug
Retirement Accounts Made Easy! – Part 1
Retirement

Retirement EggsRecently we have received multiple inquiries regarding both contributions limits and withdrawal options from retirement accounts.

Therefore, I thought I’d create a handy reference guide for our clients and friends.  Because of the length of the information, please watch for all three parts of this blog.

PART ONE covers traditional and Roth IRA’s.  PART TWO includes 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s, SEPS (simplified Employee Pensions) and Simple IRA’s.  I’ll conclude the series with Inherited IRA’s.

I hope that you find this to be of value and, as always, welcome any questions or comments.

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11Aug
When Life Shifts
Issues of Aging

Resonate

The Resonate team understands that change happens to us all and that the key to managing change well is all about one’s mindset.

For example, when “life shifts” for you, how do you feel and what do you say to yourself?

Compare “I have no idea how I’ll survive this,” to “I’ll find a way through this.”

“This is just too much; I am totally overwhelmed,” to “I am strong enough to make it through this day.”

One of the key actions people take who handle change well is that they choose to stay in control rather than give in to the powerful emotions caused by the change.  This is not to say those people shut down and stop feeling, rather they choose to feel and also to monitor the messages they give themselves in the midst of the transition, (Examples of this are above.)

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04Aug
Student Loan Debt
Blogs / Articles

Student loan debt is something that many of us struggle with after graduation. According to Studentloanhero.com: “Americans owe nearly $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 43 million borrowers. In fact, the average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, up six percent from last year.”

These numbers really hit home every month when you get the online (or paper) reminder that your dreaded student loan payment is due. The psychological impact can feel even worse than the financial one when the anxious questions start to flood our minds: Will I spend the next 40 years paying minimum payments? Will I ever make enough in my job to not live paycheck to paycheck? What if I can’t pay it back? What will happen to my credit score?

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02Aug
While There’s Still Time: Questions for Your Elders
Intergenerational Planning

One moment my mother could speak and the next she suffered a devastating stroke that stole her voice for the remainder of her life.

Here are some of the questions I wish I had asked “while there was still time”…

  1. What is your most important life lesson?
  2. What advice do you have for me to help me avoid regrets in life?
  3. What are your top three values?
  4. Tell me about a difficult or painful time in your life and how you got through it.
  5. What did you learn from this experience?
  6. What beliefs do you hold that are timeless?
  7. What is an important question I did not ask?

These conversations are labeled with one word – “Priceless.”

May you make the time to give your loved ones – and yourself – this priceless gift.

If you are interested in more questions of this type, contact us and we’ll provide them for you.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

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25Jul
Why Housing Affordability Matters and Where We Are Now
Economy

I recently read some research on the housing market written by Stephen Leeb in the July issue of The Complete Investor.

In it, he notes that homes are the largest U.S. household asset.  Homes are far more widely distributed than stocks, on which we tend to focus much of our attention.

The January 2000-March 2016 S&P/Case-Shiller Composite Home Price Index brings us some good news.

Housing affordability is higher than at any time before 2009.  The reason this is so important is that a decline in home affordability can reduce consumer spending which negatively impacts certain corporate profits.

Worse case there can be mass foreclosures as we have also seen.

So the current housing indicators are very positive for the U.S. economy.

If you would like investment ideas based on this, let’s have a conversation to be sure that any recommendations are suitable for you.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500
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19Jul
How Can LTC Insurance Help You Protect Your Assets?
Issues of Aging

Plan to create a pool of healthcare dollars that you can use when the time comes.

How will you pay for long-term care?  At the moment, you may not be able to answer that question – but long-term care insurance can provide an answer for you.

Why are baby boomers opting to make long-term care (LTC) coverage an important part of their retirement strategies?  The reasons to get an LTC policy at or after age 50 are very compelling.

Click link below for complete article.

How Can LTC Insurance Help You Protect Your Assets?

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15Jul
Stepping into Your Model of the World
Blogs / Articles

Many financial professionals believe that it is the responsibility of the client to adapt to the personality and processes of the advisor.  They tend to rigid and believe that “their way is the right way to do things.”

The Resonate team is completely the opposite.  We believe that it is our responsibility to “step into the clients’ model of the world,” gain your trust and to be flexible as we learn how to work successfully with you.

How do we do this?

First, by creating safe space which invites the open conversation about the world of the client.

(Safe space is space without judgment.)

Since our lives are a microcosm of the world at large, we expect to hear about client stress, tension, regrets and uncertainty.  In addition we also are privileged to hear about what is going well and celebrate that together.

The client model of the world also reflects the larger world because it contains many aspects ranging from business to personal and from finance to family.  Just as the world continues to evolve so do our clients lives.

If you are seeking the experience of working with a team of professionals dedicated to understanding you and your changing world and then partnering with you to get from where you are to where you want to be, Resonate is the place for you.

We welcome you to our family.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500
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13Jul
Common Retirement Misconceptions Can Derail Retirement Dreams
Issues of Aging

As I hold conversations with client about their retirement dreams, certain misconceptions seem more prevalent than others.  Today, I have chosen to list the misconception along with the facts.

  1. “My spending patterns won’t change much when I retire.”

The reality is that, assuming you live long enough, everything will cost more in retirement. Retirees spend disproportionately more on items such as health care.  Housing can also cost more if the current house is paid for and the new retirees decide to add a second home, to relocate or need the services of a retirement community.

(Source: Consumer Price Index; January 1981 through December 2015 through JP Morgan.)
  1. This misconception is a combination of “I’ll continue to work during retirement,” and “I don’t have to retire until I am ready.”

While 67% of employed Americans plan to work beyond age 65, only 27% actually achieve that goal.

Here are the top three reasons that cause people to retire earlier than planned.

  • 60% of the people who intended to work beyond 65 cannot due to health reasons.
  • 27% cannot keep working because the current employer either downsized or closes.
  • 22% of the time, the person intending to work has to quit to provide care of a spouse or family member.
(Source for this section #2 is Employer Benefit Research Institute, Matthew Greenwald and Associates. March 2015 through JP Morgan.)

One of the key benefits of working with a professional is, in addition to knowing the truth, “plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

On behalf of Resonate, I invite you to review existing plans to see if they are still on track or to create your plan for the first time.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500
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