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Resources / Education

Tax Scams to Watch Out For

While tax scams are especially prevalent during tax season, they can take place any time during the year. As a result, it’s in your best interest to always be vigilant so you don’t end up becoming the victim of a fraudulent tax scheme. Here are some of the more common scams to watch out for. Phishing Phishing scams usually involve unsolicited emails or fake websites that pose as legitimate IRS sites to convince you to provide personal or financial…

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Hidden Gem: HSAs in Retirement

When saving for retirement, you’re probably aware of the benefits of using tax-preferred accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs. But you may not be aware of another type of tax-preferred account that may prove very useful, not only during your working years but also in retirement: the health savings account (HSA). HSA in a nutshell An HSA is a tax-advantaged account that’s paired with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). You can’t establish or contribute to an HSA unless you…

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January 2019 Retirement Report

Six Easy Steps to Keep Your Plan Assets Safe Joel Shapiro, JD, LLM, Senior Vice President, ERISA Compliance Cyber fraud is a growing concern globally. Individuals are typically very careful to keep their bank account and email authentication information safe, but they aren’t always smart with the rest of their personal information. Participants need to be vigilant with their retirement savings accounts as well. In the past year we’ve seen a slew of cases of attempted fraud – some…

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Can a flexible work schedule help you stay in the workforce after having children?

Yes, it just might be the key. Your job is the foundation for general financial security, including retirement. In addition to providing you with a steady salary and valuable employee benefits, it typically brings with it the ability to save in a tax-advantaged employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k), and if you’re lucky, a pension. It also allows you to start qualifying for Social Security retirement benefits. Women and men may start out on relatively equal financial footing in…

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Women: Are you planning for retirement with one hand tied behind your back?

Women can face unique challenges when planning for retirement. Let’s take a look at three of them. First, women frequently step out of the workforce in their 20s, 30s, or 40s to care for children — a time when their job might just be kicking into high (or higher) gear. It’s a noble cause, of course. But consider this: A long break from the workforce can result in several financial losses beyond the immediate loss of a salary. In…

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Four Tips for Planning a Career Change

Changing careers can be rewarding for many reasons, but career transitions don’t always go smoothly. Your career shift may take longer than expected, or you may find yourself temporarily out of work if you need to go back to school or can’t immediately find a job. Consider these four tips to help make the financial impact of the transition easier. 1. Do your homework Before you quit your current job, make sure that you clearly understand the steps involved…

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Key Retirement and Tax Numbers for 2019

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service announces cost-of-living adjustments that affect contribution limits for retirement plans and various tax deduction, exclusion, exemption, and threshold amounts. Here are a few of the key adjustments for 2019. Employer retirement plans Employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans can defer up to $19,000 in compensation in 2019 (up from $18,500 in 2018); employees age 50 and older can defer up to an additional $6,000 in 2019 (the same as…

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Famous People Who Failed to Plan Properly

It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of taking the time to plan your estate. Nevertheless, it’s surprising how many American adults haven’t done so. You might think that those who are rich and famous would be way ahead of the curve when it comes to planning their estates properly, considering the resources and lawyers presumably available to them. Yet there are plenty of celebrities and people of note who died with inadequate (or nonexistent) estate plans. Most recently…

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Hey Joel! Answers From a Former Practicing ERISA Attorney

Hey Joel, When does the five-year clock start for Roth withdrawals? -Tick Tock in Tennessee Dear Tick Tock, For most investors, it’s important to know that there is a five-year waiting period for tax-free withdrawals of earnings, and it is applied differently, depending on if you made Roth IRA contributions, converted a traditional IRA to a Roth, rolled over Roth 401(k) assets or inherited the Roth account. The five-year clock starts with your first contribution to any Roth IRA…

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Tips for Preventing Uncashed Retirement Checks

Managing uncashed retirement checks may be considered a nuisance by plan administrators. Nevertheless, the employer still has fiduciary responsibility when a former employee fails to cash their distribution. Search efforts to locate a missing plan participant consume time and money and may fail to locate the participant. Likewise, going through the process of turning over dormant accounts to the state can also consume time and resources. Decrease the burden of uncashed checks by: Discussing with terminating employees during the…

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