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Blog Tag: retirement

The IRS has released cost of living adjustments affecting retirement plans. The adjustments and changes affect the limits applicable to all employees who defer salary into retirement plans, plans that are integrated with Social Security, the maximum benefit payable from defined benefit plans and the maximum annual additions for defined contribution retirement plans. For your convenience, SilverStone Group has summarized the changes as follows:

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On a nationally syndicated radio program, a caller asked a financial expert the following question: “My wife and I recently retired. We are trying to decide if there’s any reason for us to keep our term life insurance after retirement. What is your recommendation?" The answer was, “No. Drop the policies. There is never a need for life insurance once you retire."

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Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) were created to help people with high deductible health plans (HDHPs) pay out-of-pocket costs. Contributions to an HSA are pre-tax and can cover any qualifying medical expenses. But if you’re approaching age 65, you may have some questions about your HSA and Medicare. You are likely wondering, “Can I use both?”

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As a Retirement Plan Advisor, I conduct a lot of employee education meetings. I’m asked many questions, but two keep coming up: “What is a Roth 401(k)?” and “Should I use it for my retirement savings?”

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More than 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 each day. This means a new person is eligible for Medicare benefits every eight seconds. But many who reach this milestone need help determining their best Medicare options. Further complicating the matter is that many people continue to work past the age of 65. Understanding Medicare can help employees make the right decision based on their particular needs. Let’s start by covering some of the basics.

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There has been a lot written about when to collect Social Security benefits. Despite this, most retirees remain confused – and rightly so! This area of financial planning is very complicated with general rules and a host of exceptions to those rules. Moreover, searching for advice at your local Social Security office may result in conflicting recommendations on the best strategy.

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Job hopping is on the rise. In fact, a new survey revealed that 64% of professionals feel that changing employment every few years is an effective way to get a higher salary.¹ This trend has led to more and more workers failing to update their contact information with previous employers, which is troublesome for pension plans because these individuals often become “missing participants.”

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For years the retirement plan industry has focused on protecting plan administrators through outside fiduciary support. Discussions have often centered on investment assistance through a 3(21) or 3(38) fiduciary, but it’s also important to consider administrative assistance through a 3(16) fiduciary. Too much emphasis has been placed on investment returns and fees when the vast majority of errors occur in the day-to-day management of the plan. These errors can involve loans, tracking eligibility, processing distributions and approving hardships.

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Companies often use a group annuity to move the benefit payment responsibility out of their pension plan. Known as a “pension buyout,” this transaction keeps the size of the pension plan manageable, minimizing volatility in the balance sheet. Group annuities are also necessary to continue the promised retirement benefits when a pension plan terminates.

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Are you considering surrendering an annuity contract or purchasing a new one? Annuities have been the brunt of considerable criticism lately and consumers are getting mixed signals. There are TV commercials that joke that death is a better option than purchasing an annuity, but the fact is over $200 billion was deposited into annuity contracts in 2017. So who’s right? Is there a middle ground where sometimes annuities make sense while other times they don’t?

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