Ever wonder what is meant by certain words in your insurance policies? Here is a list of words and phrases common in the insurance industry, that may have a meaning other than you might expect.
In this issue:
SECURE Act of small business
Retirement and the SECURE Act
SECURE Act and you
Obstacles to investing success
Cost of life insurance
Ways to lower your auto insurance bill
How to repair poor credit rating
Ways to lower car rental costs
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Timely articles on:
- Tax refund fraud and how to keep it from happening to you.
- Helping your child choose the right college.
- Keeping your holiday spending in check.
- Why automatic payroll deductions are a must for your retirement plan.
- Coordinating retirement accounts when both spouses have one.
- When was the last time you rebalanced your investments.
- Is life insurance needed after you retire?
- Business owners….what’s your exit strategy?
- FAQ’s for: investing; life insurance; retirement; small business owners
If you’re planning on buying and/or selling a home this summer, you want your move to be as smooth as possible. Since a house may be your largest financial investment, you’ll want to make the best decisions possible for you and your family.
A summer job for your teen may offer more benefits than just earning money. A working teen may learn responsibility, build self-confidence and gain real world experience.
Here’s a snapshot of the housing market during the second quarter of 2016 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
These suggestions may help you enjoy your vacation without busting your budget this summer.
Even a relatively low rate of inflation could affect your future buying power. Your financial professional can help you factor inflation into your financial strategy and retirement budget.
You can help ensure that your life insurance benefits go to the people you want to receive them by updating contact information, keeping beneficiaries informed and providing detailed information to the insurance company.
• What are the differences between term life and whole life insurance?
You can convert a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) to a Roth IRA regardless of income or tax-filing status. While you may have to pay income taxes on the amount you convert, this can be a good strategy. Your financial professional can help you determine if a Roth conversion is right for your situation.
• Which accounts should I tap first for retirement income after I stop working?
If your small business doesn’t have a retirement plan in place, consider establishing one. A retirement plan can be a key part of your business’s ability to attract and retain talent. And offering tax-favored retirement benefits can provide greater retirement security for you and your employees.
• Can I fund a supplemental retirement plan with cash value life insurance? • What are some inexpensive but meaningful fringe benefits I can offer employees?
Setting aside money for goals that are far in the future often takes a back seat to spending on current needs. However, investing for retirement should be one of your financial priorities. Talk to your financial professional about strategies that can help you pursue your long-term goals.
• What are target date funds and how do they work?
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Helpful information on all these subjects:
Let’s Talk Estate Strategy Q&A
• What tax-efficient strategies can individuals use to pass assets to adult children?
• How can individuals let family members know where to access important documents in case of disability or death?
Protecting your child:
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day give us the opportunity to show Mom and Dad how much we appreciate them. But could moms and dads be doing more to protect their children? If you’re the parent of a minor child, you can help ensure your child’s future by naming a legal guardian and having sufficient life insurance.
A moving experience
• Moving to a new home can be both physically and financially draining. We offer some tips to help make the move less stressful.
Lost and found
• If a loved one dies and no life insurance policy is found, how can you determine if one exists? We list some strategies legal representatives can use to find the answer.
By the numbers: total annual college charges
How much does it cost to go to college? Here’s a look at some 2014 statistics from the College Board.
• The smart way to pay for college
Borrowing to pay for college is sometimes unavoidable. But a smarter and less expensive way to pay for your child`s education is to build a college fund through investing.
• Thoroughly modern money
Technology has made managing finances a lot easier. There are now many options that can help you budget, deposit checks and pay bills more efficiently.
Good health = lower premiums
Looking for a way to lower your life insurance premiums? By making a few healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, exercising and quitting smoking, you may be able to qualify for lower insurance rates.
Let’s Talk Insurance Q&A
• Should first-time homeowners buy life insurance?
• Why are life insurance premiums generally higher for men than for women?
Get your retirement account in shape
Is your retirement account as healthy as you’d like it to be? To help you get your investments in shape, we list some common mistakes to avoid.
Let’s Talk Retirement Q&A
• How much do retirement plan contributions reduce an individual’s income taxes?
Let’s Talk Retirement Q&A
• What is the difference between an assisted living facility and a nursing home?
• Why is the term” activities of daily living” important to understand when searching for a long-term care facility?
When what you leave behind matters
May is Older Americans Month. It’s the time we celebrate the accomplishments of individuals ages 65 and older. As a member of that generation, what’s important to you? Is it leaving your loved ones a financial legacy? You may not be able to if you haven’t factored medical and long-term care expenses into your retirement strategy.
Let’s Talk Business Q&A
• Are individual retirement accounts still protected by federal bankruptcy laws?
• How can employers increase participation in their retirement plans?
Spring into May with a healthy outlook
If it’s been a while since you reviewed your finances, now would be a good time for a checkup. We discuss some items that can get both your business and personal finances on the right track.
Is your investing strategy fiscally fit?
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. You know exercise and a healthy lifestyle can help keep you physically fit. But what can you do to ensure you’re fiscally fit? A review of your investments can help you determine if your current investing strategy is still in line with your goals.
Let’s Talk Investments Q&A
• What is a target date retirement fund’s glide path?
Pamper yourself with a secure retirement
• Mother’s Day is the day your children recognize you for all you do. But sometimes the things you do, such as taking time out of the work force to care for children or an elderly parent, can affect your ability to invest for retirement. By starting early, maxing out your contributions and opening a spousal IRA, you can help build a financially secure retirement.
Provided by Nationwide Insurance
The November issue of our newsletter is now available for viewing here:
When you first developed your estate strategy, your primary goal may have been to mitigate taxes. But there’s more to an effective estate strategy than taxes alone. An updated strategy can help provide financial protection for you and your loved ones and management for your assets when you can’t or don’t want to manage them yourself.
Shopping during the holidays doesn’t have to be stressful. Sticking to a budget, looking for bargains and watching out for scams can help you save money and reduce stress.
To be financially successful, you need to invest money on a regular basis. We offer some tips to help you invest more.
Even though the year is quickly coming to a close, you still have time to reduce your income-tax liability for 2013. We list some ways you may be able to lower your tax bill.
You finally cleaned out your filing cabinet and have a pile of old tax documents ready for the shredder. Not so fast. If the documents support items shown on your return and the period of limitations for that return hasn’t run out, the IRS requires that you keep them.
In which month do you think Americans spend the most on average? Here’s a look at the highest and lowest months for spending according to a Gallup poll.
With various options to choose from, buying the right type of life insurance can seem like a daunting task. If you want an affordable option that provides coverage for a set period of time, term life insurance may be what you’re looking for.
With the holiday season upon us, you may be thinking about sharing your good fortune with others by giving to charity. We offer some tips to help you maximize the tax benefits from your donations.
Like most Americans, you probably hope you’ll have enough money to live on in retirement. But your hopes for your future may be very different than reality. There are several steps you can take to help make your retirement more secure.
Investing for retirement can be hard for a stay-at-home spouse. But even when one spouse does not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, there is another investing option worth considering: a spousal individual retirement account.
Are you one of those people who thinks only the elderly need long-term care protection? Think again. Anyone can suffer a disability that could require long-term care services. Taking the time now to assess your possible long-term care needs, along with your disability income and life insurance needs, can help ensure your family’s financial security is protected.
An annual financial review can help keep your business healthy and growing. As part of your review, make sure your business has the insurance coverage it needs.
Setting money aside for retirement is important. Unfortunately, not all your employees may think so. To raise your company retirement plan’s participation rate, you might want to consider introducing an automatic enrollment feature.
Have your investing goals changed over the past year? If they have, then now is a good time to review your investment strategy to determine whether it’s still appropriate for your other goals and time frame.
Women have a harder time accumulating money for retirement than men. Why? They tend to live longer, typically earn less and may take time out from the work force for caregiving. But don’t let those factors fool you into thinking you can’t have a financially secure future. We list some steps women can take to improve their finances in retirement.
Transamerica, one of our retirement plan providers issued this narrative we’d like to pass on:
SUPREME COURT DECISION ON DOMA:
What does it mean for Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans?
Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) enacted in 1996 was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Under that section of DOMA, the term “marriage” is defined as the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.
The federal definitions of “spouse” and “marriage” under DOMA affect the availability of numerous retirement benefits and rights to same sex spouses under the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”). In the retirement plan area, same sex spouses have not been legally recognized as married because of DOMA. A few examples of these retirement plan provisions include:
• Survivor benefits in the form of a Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity;
• Qualified Domestic Relations Orders;
• Application of benefit limitations under IRC Section 415;
• Spousal consent;
• Qualified Optional Survivor Annuity;
• Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity;
• Timing of death benefit payments and required distribution rules;
• Rollover rules as applicable to eligible rollover distributions;
• Beneficiary status; and
• Hardship withdrawal provisions.
While some plans may have chosen to extend certain retirement benefits to non-spouse beneficiaries (e.g., survivor annuities), under DOMA plans were not required to do so.
Transamerica Retirement Solutions will be reviewing the DOMA decision in the coming days to determine the implications for our employer-sponsored retirement plans now that federal law recognizes same sex marriages that are entered into pursuant to state law. Currently 12 states (Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington) plus the District of Columbia recognize same sex marriages. In light of the Supreme Court decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry, this list will soon likely include California.
As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA, some immediate questions that employers will have include the following:
• Is the DOMA decision retroactive?
o Will employers be required to provide survivor benefits to same sex spouses for prior periods?
o Will plans be disqualified for not providing survivor benefits to same sex spouses in the past?
• How will plans be administered differently?
o How is a person’s marital status determined?
o Will plan administrators need to track the participant’s residence?
• What benefits would now be required to be provided to same sex spouses?
• What additional notices will be required to be given to same sex spouses?
• What are the implications for nonqualified plans?
• Will any forms such as beneficiary designation forms need to be revised?
• How will this decision impact non-ERISA plans?
• What changes, if any, will be needed to plan documents and Summary Plan Descriptions?
View our latest newsletter. Articles on: insurance, retirement planning, small business insurance, long-term-care and estate planning.