Investments can play a key role in your financial independence plan. For individuals, a mix of qualified and non-qualified savings, income and pension plans can help work towards short- and long-term goals. For employee groups, we offer advice on qualified and non-qualified savings and pension plans.
IRA's and Roth's
The IRA is one of the most versatile retirement savings tools available. It provides the opportunity to save for retirement and offers the potential for special tax privileges, depending upon your financial situation and the type of IRA you choose.
Here is a quick run-down of the many types of IRAs to consider:
- Traditional IRA. A traditional IRA may afford taxpayers a reduction in taxable income since contributions are tax-deductible. However, when the person begins to withdraw IRA funds at retirement (or beginning at age 59-1/2), the funds are taxed as income.
- Roth IRA. While contributions do not reduce taxable income, the most distinctive benefit of the Roth IRA is that it offers tax-free withdrawal of funds starting at age 59-1/2 or when the person retires, as long as certain requirements are met. This option is good for those who anticipate being in a higher tax bracket upon retirement. The Roth has no required minimum withdrawals during the lifetime of the account owner; after death, required withdrawals apply to the account’s beneficiary. The beneficiary takes these distributions tax-free while the balance of the plan continues to grow tax-free.
- SIMPLE IRA. The Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (or SIMPLE IRA) is a simplified matching employee pension plan targeted to self-employed workers and small businesses with fewer than 100 employees. The SIMPLE IRA is one of the few IRA types that are employer-sponsored, though it acts more like a 401(k) profit-sharing plan.
- SEP IRA. The Simplified Employee Pension IRA (SEP IRA) is ideal for self-employed individuals and small businesses. The SEP IRA is most similar to a traditional IRA, only it’s highly simplified and easier to administer.
Would it be beneficial to add an IRA to your financial tool kit? If you are facing a greater tax liability this year, opening an IRA or increasing your contribution could reduce what you owe on April 15th! We can help evaluate which IRA option may be the most appropriate savings vehicle for you with a complimentary financial review. Contact us today to find out more.
Investors ask what the best course of action is to be in the market. There are five guiding principles we suggest investors follow:
- In Times of Volatility, Do Nothing. While emotionally difficult to sit and do nothing, recent history shows that opportunities for gains are lost by taking money out during a down market. This is one of THE most common mistakes individual investors can make.
- Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket. Diversify. Not only among many stocks but also many types of investments. Investing in different asset classes helps reduce investment risk.
- Time, Not Timing. The longer you leave money in the stock market the greater the chance for positive returns. Of course, past performance is not an indication of future performance.
- Invest Regularly. Regular monthly or quarterly investments, regardless of market movements, may allow you to take emotions out of decision and can help you keep a long-term perspective. Periodic investment plans do not assure a profit and do not protect against loss in declining markets. Please consider your ability to continue purchases through periods of low price levels.
- Follow a Written Financial Plan. Reaching your destination often requires a map. Reaching your investment goals requires a financial plan.
Each investor’s situation is unique, so we encourage you to contact us today to discuss how we might strengthen your investment portfolio to assure it is helping you to address your top financial priorities.
Can you answer the following questions regarding your company’s retirement plan?
- What are the plan’s investment and administration costs?
- What are the investment returns? (net amount of fees?)
- Are statements and year-end paperwork timely, accurate and helpful to both the employer and employees?
- Are you aware of your fiduciary and 404(c) responsibilities?
- Do the employees understand their plan’s investment options?
- Are deferrals and participation at expected levels?
- Do you pass your plan’s annual discrimination testing?
- Is the plan communicated to attract and retain valuable employees?
- ARE YOU SURE?
If you aren’t sure, let us review your current plan. Over the last three to five years tremendous advances have been made in the qualified plan marketplace. In many cases, we can help you streamline and lower costs, enhance employee understanding and thus, possibly increase participation levels.
As we face today’s challenging economic and business issues, it’s worth another look. Contact us today to learn about how group retirement and savings plans can benefit your business.