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Estate Planning for Your Digital Assets

Today, most of us rely on our smartphones and digital records to keep track of important contact information. We depend so greatly on online profiles and accounts for completing transactions and storing information that paper checks, address books, photo albums, and handwritten letters may soon become things of the past.

Changing Jobs? Know Your 401(k) Options

If you've lost your job, or are changing jobs, you may be wondering what to do with your 401(k) plan account. It's important to understand your options.

What will I be entitled to?

It's Here: What you Need to Know About SECURE 2.0

It’s Here: What You Need to Know About SECURE 2.0 

On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, an omnibus spending bill that includes the SECURE 2.0 measure (a.k.a. the Securing a Strong Retirement Act 2.0). Broadly, SECURE 2.0 is intended to make retirement saving more straightforward and accessible to a wider range of people. As such, it encompasses many aspects of financial planning and retirement saving.

With time, as the new law is interpreted and applied, nuances will become clearer. Until then, individuals will have to interpret the law’s effects based on its language and any guidance the IRS issues. 

Understanding Your 401(k) Plan: Roth 401(k) Contributions The following questions and answers will help you decide if Roth 401(k) contributions are right for you.

What is the difference between regular 401(k) contributions and Roth 401(k) contributions?

When you make a regular 401(k) contribution, the amount is taken out of your pay on a pretax basis. You don’t pay taxes on your savings until you take a distribution, at which time both your contributions and investment earnings are subject to income tax. A Roth 401(k) contribution is made on an after‑tax basis, meaning that you’ve already paid current income tax on it. Since it was taxed at the time of deferral, you won’t have to pay taxes on it again when you withdraw it from the account. And if you meet several qualifications, the investment earnings on your deferrals will not be taxed when you receive them. So, the earnings can be tax free, not just tax deferred.

Taking Advantage of Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans

Employer-sponsored qualified retirement plans such as 401(k)s are some of the most powerful retirement savings tools available. If your employer offers such a plan and you're not participating in it, you should be. Once you're participating in a plan, try to take full advantage of it.

Will You Outlive Your Money?

Will you outlive your money?

Before you retire, take the time to figure out just how much money you'll need for retirement. One of the biggest concerns for retirees is whether their retirement savings will last the rest of their lives — will they run out of money? Social Security is not the guaranteed source of retirement income it once was, and people generally don't want to depend on public assistance or their children during their retirement years. Whether you might run out of money hinges upon several factors; how much money you've saved, how long you need your savings to last, and how quickly you spend your money, to name a few. You'll be better off if you can tackle these issues before retirement by maximizing your retirement nest egg. But, if you are entering retirement and you still have concerns about making your savings last, there are several steps you can take even at this late date. The following are tips and ideas to help make sure you don't outlive your money.

Work-Life Balance

Balancing the demands of career and family is one of the major issues people face during their working years. Women are often most affected, in part because fewer women than men have stay-at-home spouses or partners.

Beneficiary Planning: What You Need to Know

Designating a beneficiary on retirement accounts is one of the most important—yet one of the most frequently neglected—retirement planning tasks. A beneficiary is any person or entity that an account owner chooses to receive the benefits of a retirement account in the event the account owner dies. Here are some important factors to consider when selecting beneficiaries for your retirement accounts:

Finding Extra Dollars for Retirement

“Spend less and save more.” That’s always sound financial advice, but it may seem easier said than done. Saving more is probably not as hard as you think, however—all it takes is a little creativity. A few dollars here or there may not seem like much, but if you make a deliberate effort to save, those extra funds can really add up. Here are some tips to help you find extra cash to put toward a more comfortable retirement.

Per Capita Vs. Per Stirpes

When an account beneficiary predeceases the owner with a Per Capita designation, the deceased beneficiary’s portion of assets is automatically allocated to the remaining primary beneficiaries (or contingent beneficiaries, if there are no more living primary beneficiaries). But the account owner may elect to have assets be distributed Per Stirpes to one or more beneficiaries instead. In this case, if a beneficiary were to predecease the account owner, the descendants of that beneficiary would be entitled to the assets that the deceased would have received if he or she were alive when the account owner passes away.