Retirement Plans

Is a Cash Balance Plan Right for You? Part 1

Key questions to consider before pulling the trigger

By Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA


You’ve worked incredibly hard to build your business, medical practice or law practice. But, despite enjoying a robust income and the material trappings of success, many business owners and professional are surprised to learn that their retirement savings are way behind where they need to be if they want to continue living the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed.

In response, many self-employed high earners are increasingly turning to Cash Balance Plans (CBPs) in the latter stages of their careers to dramatically supplement their 401(k)s—and their staffs’ 401(k)s as well. Think of a CBP as a supercharged (and tax advantaged) retirement catchup program. For a 55-year-old, the CBP contribution limit is around $265,000, while for a 65-year-old, the CBP limit is $333,000—more than five times the ($62,000) limit they could contribute to a 401(k) this year.

Boomers who are sole proprietors or partners in medical, legal and other professional groups account for much of the growth in CBPs. For many older business owners, the tax advantages that come with plowing six-figure annual contributions into the CBPs far outweigh the costs.


As I wrote in my earlier article: CBPs: Offering a Break to Successful Doctors, Dentists and Small Business Owners, CBPs can offer tremendous benefits for business owners and professionals who own their own practices….especially if they’re in the latter stages of their careers. There are just some important caveats to consider before taking this aggressive retirement catchup plunge.


CBPs benefit your employees as well
Business owners should expect to make profit sharing contributions for rank-and-file employees amounting to roughly 5 percent to 8 percent of pay in a CBP. Compare that to the 3 percent contribution that's typical in a 401(k) plan. Participant accounts also receive an annual "interest credit," which may be a fixed rate, such as 3-5 percent, or a variable rate, such as the 30-year Treasury rate. At retirement, participants can take an annuity based on their account balance. Many plans also offer a lump sum that can be rolled into an IRA or another employer's plan.

Common retirement planning mistakes among successful doctors


Three things are pretty common:

1) They’re not saving enough for retirement.

2) They’re overconfident. Because of their wealth and intellect, doctors get invited to participate in many “special investment opportunities.” They tend to investment in private placements, real estate and other complex, high-risk opportunities without doing their homework.
3) They feel pressure to live the successful doctor’s lifestyle. After years of schooling and residency, they often feel pressure to spend lavishly on high-end cars, homes, private schools, country clubs and vacations to keep up with other doctors. There’s also pressure to keep a spouse happy who has patiently waited and sometimes supported them, for years and years of medical school, residency and further training before the high income years began.

Common retirement planning mistakes among successful dentists


Dentists are similar to doctors when it comes to their money (see above), although dentists tend to be a bit more conservative in their investments. They’re not as likely to invest in private placements and real estate ventures for instance. Like doctors, dentists are often unaware of how nicely CBPs can set them up in their post-practicing years. They’re often not aware that they have retirement savings options beyond their 401(k)…$19,000 ($25,000 if age 50 and over). For instance, many dentists don’t realize that with a CBP they could potentially contribute $200,000 or more. It’s very important for high earning business owners and medical professionals to coordinate with their CPA who really understands how CBPs work and can sign off on them.

Common objections to setting up a CBP

First, the high earning professional or business owner must commit to saving a large chunk of their earnings for three to five years—that means having the discipline not to spend all of their disposable income on other things such as expensive toys, memberships, vacations and other luxuries.

Another barrier they face is a reluctance to switch from the old way of doing things to the new way. Just like many struggle to adapt to a new billing system or new technology for their businesses or practices, the same goes for their retirement savings. Because they’re essentially playing retirement catchup, they’re committing to stashing away a significant portion of their salary for their golden years. It can “pinch” a little at first. By contrast, a 401(k) or Simple IRA  contribution is a paycheck “deduction” that they barely notice.

A CBP certainly has huge benefits, but it requires a different mindset about savings and it requires more administration and discipline, etc. However, if you have a good, trustworthy office administrator or if you have a 401(k) plan that’s integrated with your payroll, then that can make things much easier. It’s very important to have a system that integrates payroll, 401(k) and CBP. That can simplify things tremendously. For example, 401(k) contributions can be taken directly out of payroll and CBP contributions can be taken directly out of the owner/employer’s bank account.

Before jumping headfirst into the world of CBPs, I recommend that high earning business owners and professional rolling it out in stages over time.

1. Start with a SIMPLE IRA.
2. Then move to 401(k) plan that you can max out--and make employee contributions.

3. Add a profit sharing component for employees which typically is in the 2% range and this will usually allow you to max out at $56,000 (under 50) or $62,000 (age 50 and over)
4.  Once comfortable with the mechanics of a 401(k) and profit sharing, then introduce a CBP.


Conclusion

If you’re behind in your retirement savings, CBPs are an excellent tool for supercharging the value of your nest egg and can possibly allow you to retire even sooner than you thought. CBPs take a little more set-up and discipline to execute, but once those supercharged retirement account statements start rolling in, I rarely find a successful owner or professional who doesn’t think the extra effort was worth it.

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

 


Am I eligible for a Qualified Business Income (QBI) Deduction?

Due to recent tax law changes effective 2018, many are left in a state of confusion about what tax credits or deductions their business may qualify for.  For business owners, the Qualified Business Income deduction is one of the most advantageous new deductions available to them.  It allows for qualified businesses to deduct up to 20% of their income, reducing their tax bill by a considerable margin.  What makes a business a “Qualified Business?”

There are a several requirements to qualify for the QBI deduction.  Could your business be qualified for these tax deductions?  Read on to find out:

Staying Organized and Financial Planning Are Keys to Success

11 tactics to make this your best year ever

Key Takeaways:

·         The beginning of a new year is a particularly good time for you and your family to review finances and to update financial plans.

·         Staying organized and planning finances are lifelong processes, and the keys to reaching and maintaining financial success.

·         Sensible financial management is more than budgeting and saving for retirement. It’s about being ready to handle a lifetime of financial challenges, needs and changes.

Happy New Year to you and your family!

The beginning of a new year is a good time to review your finances and update financial strategies and plans. This year is especially important as financially challenging times continue for many individuals and businesses, rich and poor, big and small.

Even if the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) had not been passed, most would say that managing their personal finances is more complicated and more important than ever before. We’re living longer, but saving proportionately less. Many of us feel less secure in our jobs and homes than we did in the past. We see our money being drained by the high cost of housing, taxes, education and health care. We worry about the future, or unfortunately, in too many cases, we simply try not to think about it.

More than simply budgeting and saving

Sensible financial management means much more than budgeting and putting money away for retirement. It means being equipped to handle a lifetime of financial challenges, needs and changes; figuring out how to build assets and staying ahead of inflation; taking advantage of deflation; and choosing wisely from a constantly widening field of savings, investment and insurance options. When it comes to finances, you are faced with more pressures and more possibilities than ever before.

The good news is that as complex as today’s financial world is, there’s no real mystery to sound personal money management. What you need is a solid foundation of organization and decision-making, plus the willingness to put those two things into action. I’ll talk about those core principles in just a minute.

Effective financial management involves certain procedures that you don’t usually learn from your parents or friends—and unfortunately they aren’t currently taught in our schools. It’s more than just a matter of gathering enough information and then making a logical decision. In fact, for many people, the constant barrage of economic news, fragmented financial information and investment product advertisements is part of the problem. Information overload can be a major obstacle to sorting out choices and making wise decisions.

The Financial Awareness Foundation, a California-based not-for-profit organization developed a simple personal financial management system that’s designed to help you save time and money, while providing a systematic approach to help you better manage finances. The key is to stay organized, remain aware of money issues, and make deliberate choices about ways to spend, save, insure and invest your assets. That’s so much smarter than simply following your emotions or “going with the flow.”

Getting organized

1. Paperwork. Everyone has primary financial documents—birth certificates, marriage certificates, current year net-worth statement, retirement plan beneficiary statements, deeds of trust, certificates of vehicle title, last three tax returns, gift tax returns, insurance policies, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, passwords, digital paperwork, etc. Organize this information and keep it in a safe central location that ties into your paper and digital filing systems.

2. Net Worth. Know where you stand by inventorying what you own and what you owe. The beginning of a new year is an excellent time to do this, but you can do it any time. Just be sure to do this personal inventory at least once a year.

3. Cash Flow. Gain control of cash flow by spending according to a plan, not spending impulsively.

4. Employment Benefits. Make sure you fully understand employee benefits (the “hidden paycheck”) at your company. Maximize any dollar amounts that your employer contributes toward health insurance, life insurance, retirement plans and other benefits.

Financial planning

5. Goal Setting. Before you begin the financial planning process, ask yourself what’s really important to you financially and personally. These are key elements of planning for your future; they affect your options, strategies and implementation decisions.

6. Financial Independence and Retirement Planning. A comfortable retirement, perhaps at an early age, is one of the most common reasons people become interested in financial planning. Determine how much money is a reasonable nest egg to reach and maintain your financial independence. Then work with your advisors to determine the right strategy to make that goal a reality.

7. Major Expenditures Planning. A home, a car, and a child’s or grandchild’s college education—these are all big-ticket items that are best planned for in advance. Develop sound financial strategies early on for effectively achieving the funding you need for those big bills down the road.

8. Investments Planning. For most of us, wise investing is the key to achieving and maintaining our financial independence as well as our other financial goals. Establish and refresh investment goals, risk tolerance and asset allocation models that best fit your situation.

9. Tax Planning. Your financial planning should include tax considerations, regardless of your level of wealth. Proactively take advantage of opportunities for minimizing tax obligations.

10. Insurance Planning. Decide what to self-insure and which risks to pass off to insurance companies—and at what price you’re willing to do so.

11. Estate Planning. Develop or update your estate plan. If you get sick or die without an up-to-date estate plan, the management and distribution of assets can become a time-consuming and costly financial challenge for loved ones and survivors.

It is estimated that over 120 million Americans do not have up-to-date estate plans to protect themselves and their families. This makes estate planning one of the most overlooked areas of personal financial management. Estate and financial planning is not just for the wealthy; it is an important process for everyone. With advance planning, issues such as guardianship of children, management of bill-paying and assets—including businesses and practices—care of a child with special needs or a parent, long-term care needs, wealth preservation, and distribution of retirement assets can all be handled with sensitivity and care and at a reasonable cost.

Conclusion

Staying organized and planning wisely are the keys to financial success. Short of winning the lottery or inheriting millions, few people can attain and maintain financial security without some forethought, strategy and ongoing management. The beginning of a new year is an excellent time for you and your family to review finances and update financial plans.


Let’s have a great 2019!

 Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

 

Optimizing Your Capital Gain Treatment Part 2

It’s a new world. When it comes to carried interest, real estate and collectibles, carefully document your purpose for holding these assets

Key Takeaways:

  • Long-term capital gains associated with assets held over one year are generally taxed at a maximum federal rate of 20 percent — not the top ordinary rate of 37 percent.

  • Just be careful if you are planning to sell collectibles, gold futures or foreign currency. The tax rate is generally higher.

  • The more you can document your purpose for holding your assets (at the time of purchase and disposition), the better your chances of a favorable tax result.

  • The deductibility of net capital losses in excess of $3,000 is generally deferred to future years.

There’s no shortage of confusion about the current tax landscape—both short-term and long term—but here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from paying a higher tax rate than necessary as we march into a new normal world.

 

Carried Interest

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lengthens the long-term holding period with respect to partnership interests received in connection with the performance of services. Profit interests held for three years or less at the time of disposition will generate short-term capital gain, taxed at ordinary income rates, regardless of whether or not a section 83(b) election was made. Prior law required a holding period greater than one-year to secure the beneficial maximum (20%) federal long-term capital gain tax rate.

Real estate

Real estate case law is too technical for the purposes of this article. Let’s just say the courts look at the following factors when trying to determine a personal real-estate owner’s intent:

  • Number and frequency of sales.

  • Extent of improvements.

  • Sales efforts, including through an agent.

  • Purpose for acquiring, holding and selling.

  • Manner in which property is acquired.

  • Length of holding period.

  • Investment of taxpayer’s time and effort, compared to time and effort devoted to other activities.

Unfortunately, the cases do not lay out a consistent weighting of these general factors. Always check with your legal and tax advisors before engaging in any type of real-estate transaction.


Collectibles

Works of art, rare vehicles, antiques, gems, stamps, coins, etc., may be purchased for personal enjoyment, but gains or losses from their sale are generally taxed as capital gains and losses. But, here’s the rub: Collectibles are a special class of capital asset to which a capital gain rate of 28 percent (not 20%) applies if the collectible items are sold after being held for more than one year (i.e. long-term).

Note that recently popular investments in gold and silver, whether in the form of coins, bullion or held through an exchange-traded fund, are generally treated as “collectibles” subject to the higher 28 percent rate. However, gold mining stocks are subject to the general capital gains rate applicable to other securities. Gold futures, foreign currency and other commodities are generally subject to a blended rate of capital gains tax (60 percent long-term, 40 percent short-term).

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are treated as “property” rather than currency and will trigger long-term or short-term capital gains when the funds are sold, traded or spent. Cryptocurrencies are NOT classified as collectibles.

The difficulties arise if you get to the point that you are considered a dealer rather than a collector, or if you are a legitimate dealer but start selling items from your personal collection. In most cases, the following factors in determining whether sales of collectibles result in capital gain or ordinary income:

  • Extent of time and effort devoted to enhancing the collectible items

  • Extent of advertising, versus unsolicited offers

  • Holding period and frequency of sales from personal collection

  • Sales of collectibles as sole or primary source of taxpayer’s income

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, will end any further discussion about whether gain on the sale of collectibles can be deferred through the use of a like-kind exchange. The tax bill limits the application of section 1031 to real property disposed of after December 31, 2017.

Recommended steps to preserve capital gain treatment:

  • Clearly identify assets held for investment in books and records, segregating them from assets held for sale or development.

  • In the case of collectibles, physically segregate and document the personal collection from inventory held for sale.

  • Memorialize the reason(s) for a change in intent for holding: e.g., death or divorce of principals, legal entanglements, economic changes or new alternate opportunities presented.

  • If a property acquired with the intent to rent is sold prematurely, then retain documentation that supports the decision to sell: e.g., unsuccessful marketing and advertising, failed leases, news clippings of an adverse event or sluggish rental market.

  • If a property is rented out after making substantial improvements, then document all efforts to rent, and list or advertise it for sale only after a reasonable period of rental.

  • Consider selling appreciated/unimproved property to a separate entity before undertaking development. This would necessitate early gain recognition, but may preserve the capital gain treatment on the appreciation that’s realized during the predevelopment period.

  • Consider the application of Section 1237, a limited safe harbor, permitting certain non-C Corporation investors to divide unimproved land into parcels or lots before sale, without resulting in a conversion to dealer status.

Conclusion

Characterizing an asset as ordinary or capital can result in a significant tax rate differential. It can also affect your ability to net gains and losses against other taxable activities. So you must spend the time and effort needed to document the intent of the acquisition of an asset, as well as any facts that might change the character of the asset, during the holding period.

Sure, we’re all busy. But, in today’s new regulatory and tax landscape, don’t you think it’s worth taking the time to do so in order to potentially cut your future tax rate in half?

 

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

 

Withdrawal Strategies: Tax-Efficient Withdrawal Sequence

Key Takeaways:

  • Retirees’ portfolios may last longer if they incur the least amount of income tax possible over their retirement period.

  • Retirees should focus on minimizing the government’s share of their tax-deferred accounts.

  • Make sure your advisor is helping you select the appropriate dollar amount and the appropriate assets to liquidate in order to fund your retirement lifestyle.

Asset Placement Decision

A winning investment strategy is about much more than choosing the asset allocation that will provide the greatest chance of achieving one’s financial goals. It also involves what is called the asset location decision. Academic literature on asset location commonly suggests that investors should place their highly taxed assets, such as bonds and REITs, in tax-deferred accounts and place their tax-preferred assets, such as stocks, in taxable accounts.

In general, your most tax-efficient equities should be held in taxable accounts whenever possible. Holding them in tax-deferred accounts can result in the following disadvantages:

  • The potential for favorable capital gains treatment is lost.

  • The possibility of a step-up in basis at death for income tax purposes is lost.

  • For foreign equities, foreign tax credit is lost.

  • The potential to perform tax-loss harvesting is lost.

  • The potential to donate appreciated shares to charities and avoid taxation is lost.

Asset location decisions can benefit both your asset accumulation phase and retirement withdrawal phase. During the withdrawal phase, the decision about where to remove assets in order to fund your lifestyle should be combined with a plan to avoid income-tax-bracket creeping. This will ensure that your financial portfolio can last as long as possible.

Tax-Efficient Withdrawal Sequence

Baylor University Professor, William Reichenstein, PhD, CFA wrote a landmark paper in 2008 that’s still highly relevant today. It’s called: Tax-Efficient Sequencing of Accounts to Tap in Retirement. It’s fairly technical, but it provides some answers about the most income-tax-efficient withdrawal sequence to fund retirement that are still valid today. According to Reichenstein, “Returns on funds held in Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs grow effectively tax exempt, while funds held in taxable accounts are usually taxed at a positive effective tax rate.”

Reichenstein also noted that only part of a traditional IRA’s principal belongs to the investor. The IRS “owns” the remaining portion, so the goal is to minimize the government’s share, he argued.

Tax-Efficient Withdrawal Sequence Checklist

In our experience, retirees should combine the goal of preventing income-tax-bracket creeping over their retirement years with the goal of minimizing the government’s share of tax-deferred accounts.

To achieve this goal, the dollar amount of non-portfolio sources of income that are required to be reported in the retiree’s income tax return must be understood. These income sources can include defined-benefit plan proceeds, employee deferred income, rental income, business income and required minimum distribution from tax-deferred accounts. Reporting this income, less income tax deductions, is the starting point of the retiree’s income tax bracket before withdrawal-strategy planning.

The balance of the retiree’s lifestyle should be funded from his or her portfolio assets by managing tax-bracket creeping and by lowering the government ownership of the tax-deferred accounts. The following checklist can assist the retiree in achieving this goal:

  1. Avoid future bracket creeping by filling up the lower (10% and 12%) income tax brackets by adding income from the retiree’s tax-deferred accounts.

  2. If the retiree has sufficient cash flow to fund lifestyle expenses but needs additional income, convert traditional IRAs into Roth IRAs to avoid tax-bracket creeping in the future. This will also allow heirs to avoid income taxes on the inherited account balance.

  3. Locate bonds in traditional IRAs rather than in taxable accounts. This will reduce the annual reporting of taxable interest income on the tax return.

  4. Manage the income taxation of Social Security benefits by understanding the amount of reportable income based on the retiree’s adjusted gross income level.

  5. Liquidate high-basis securities rather than low-basis securities to fund the lifestyle for a retiree who needs cash but is sensitive to additional taxable income.

  6. Aggressively create capital losses when the opportunity occurs to carry forward to future years to offset future capital gains.

  7. Allow the compounding of tax-free growth in Roth IRAs by deferring distributions from these accounts.

  8. Consider a distribution from a Roth for a year in which cash is needed but the retiree is in a high income tax bracket.

  9. Consider funding charitable gifts by transferring assets from a traditional IRA directly to the charity. This avoids the ordinary income on the IRA growth.

  10. Consider funding charitable gifts by selecting low-basis securities out of the taxable accounts in lieu of cash. This avoids capital gains on the growth.

  11. Manage capital gains in taxable accounts by avoiding short-term gains.

Conclusion

You and your advisor should work together closely to make prudent, tax-efficient withdrawal decisions to ensure your money lasts throughout your retirement years. Contact us any time if you have questions about your retirement funding plans or important changes in your life circumstances.

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

 

New Retirement Plan Contribution Limits for 2019

By Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA


Key Takeaways

·         Good news for workers: The 401(k) contribution ceiling has been raised $19,000 in 2019 ($25,000 if over age 50).

·         IRA and Roth holders can now contribute up to $6,000 per year ($7,000 if over age 50).

·         The contribution caps have been raised even higher for the self-employed.

·         See handy charts below for paycheck-by-paycheck breakdown.

 

While talk of Social Security’s demise may be exaggerated, there’s a very real possibility that many Americans won’t receive the full amount of benefits they’re expecting in retirement. Further, you don’t know how long you will live or what your true living costs will be in retirement—especially when unpredictable medical/eldercare costs are factored in.

Bottom line: It makes sense to save as much as you possibly can in tax-deferred retirement plans regardless of whether you are a salaried employee or a business owner. The rules are on your side.


Good news on the 401(k) front

The contribution limit for 401(k)s increases to $19,000 in 2019, up from $18,500 in 2018. Workers over age 50 in 2019 can make an additional $6,000 per year in catchup contributions, meaning you can now contribute up to $25,000 per year in tax-deferred retirement accounts. To put that sum into more realistic terms, many find it helpful to see what they can contribute on a paycheck by paycheck basis. Here’s a handy chart, based on monthly, semi-monthly or every- two-week paycheck cycles:

Capture 1.JPG

If you are over age 50, here’s how the additional $6,000 catchup contribution looks broken down by paycheck frequency:

Capture2.JPG

IRA contribution ceiling also raised

There’s good news on the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) front as well. The IRA and Roth IRA limits have both increased by $500 in 2019. If you have an IRA, you can now contribute up to $6,000 per year, or $7,000 per year if you are over age 50. The same contribution limits of $6,000/$7,000 apply for a Roth IRA. Remember if you are over age 70-1/2, you can still contribute to a Roth IRA if you have generated earned income and if your adjusted gross income is below the eligibility threshold. You have until April 15th, 2019 to contribute for 2018 and until April 15th, 2020 to contribute for 2019. If you contribute early in the year, you will have your money working for you for a longer period of time.

Business owners can contribute more as well

If you are self-employed, the SEP IRA and solo 401(k) limits have been raised to $56,000 for 2019. In addition, if you are over 50 and have a solo 401(k), you can make an additional $6,000 in catch-up contributions for a total of $61,000. Just remember: if you want to set up an individual 401(k), you must do so by December 31st, 2018.

Conclusion

In today’s instant gratification world, it can be hard to set aside funds for the future. But, whether you are young or old, salaried employee or solopreneur, the tax advantages and compounding power of 401(k), IRAs and SEPs are just too attractive to ignore. You may not get same day shipping or bonus miles with tax-deferred retirement savings plans, but having peace of mind throughout your golden years is something you just can’t put a price tag on.

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.


Solve the Self-Employed Retirement Dilemma

 

Solve the Self-Employed Retirement Dilemma

Here’s how to figure out the best retirement plan for your situation

The challenges of self-employment seem endless. You are your own chief marketing officer, chief financial officer, chief executive and junior assistant. With all of the roles you play, it’s no wonder that you haven’t spent much time planning for retirement.

The good news is that the right retirement plan can address more than just your retirement—it can help lower your taxes and reduce the need to rely on a welfare system in your retirement years. And you don’t have to search alone for that plan: Your financial advisor can help you weigh your plan options and build an appropriate investment strategy once you choose a plan. And your accountant can calculate the potential tax savings this new retirement plan will generate.

So which plan is right for you? The first option you should consider is an IRA or a Roth IRA. Both offer tax advantaged growth, but in different ways: The IRA grows tax deferred, meaning your contributions are tax deductible but you won’t owe taxes on your savings until you start making withdrawals. Contributions to a Roth IRA are made after taxes, but you won’t owe any taxes when you take withdrawals.

Anyone can contribute to an IRA, but not everyone is allowed to make tax deductible contributions. For instance, if you already have a retirement plan in place, your contributions likely won’t be deductible. But if you have a retirement plan, you may still be able to contribute to a Roth IRA, which bases eligibility on income levels. (In 2018, the Roth IRA income eligibility limits phase out between $120,000 and $135,000 for single filers and eligibility limits phase out between $189,000 and $199,000 for married couples filing jointly.) For 2018, individuals can make annual contributions of up to $5,500 to both IRAs and Roth IRAs. If you’re over 50, your limit rises to $6,500 a year thanks to an extra $1,000 in catch-up contributions allowed for older individuals.

If you want to save more than an IRA or Roth IRA allows, consider a formal retirement plan such as a Simple IRA, SEP IRA or an Individual 401(k).

  • The Simple IRA is easy to establish. You can contribute a maximum of $12,500 annually if you are under 50 and $15,500 if you are over 50. In addition, you can contribute 3% of any W-2 wages. One note: The deadline to establish a Simple IRA is October 31, so don’t wait until the end of the year to open an account.
  • The next option is a SEP IRA. The annual limit for a SEP IRA is $55,000 or 25% of self-employment income if you are paying yourself a salary. The deadline to establish the SEP IRA is your tax filing deadline plus extensions. Therefore, you can put off starting a SEP IRA until well into 2019. For that reason we call it “the procrastinator’s retirement plan.”
  • The third option is the Individual 401(k). The annual contribution limit for this 401(k) is $55,000 if you are under 50 and $61,000 if you are over 50. The 401(k) can either be a traditional 401(k) (contributions are pre-tax, but withdrawals are taxed) or a Roth 401(k) (contributions are after tax money, but withdrawals are tax free).
  • There are no income limits for the Roth 401(k). The deferral is made up of two parts. The first part is the employee portion, which has a limit of $18,500 if you are under 50 and $24,500 if you are over 50. This deferral can either go into the 401(k), the Roth 401(k) or a combination of both. The remainder is the employer contribution, which has a limit of 25% of compensation.
  • The deadline to establish this plan is December 31 of this year. The employer contributions can be contributed later but employee deferrals need to be in as soon as they are withheld from your paycheck. Therefore, you can’t wait like the SEP.

How do these plans stack up? Let’s look at an example. Say you are self-employed and you pay yourself $50,000 in W-2 salary. Here are the limits for each plan.

Retirement Plan summary.PNG

What’s the verdict? The 401(k) is the big winner. The Simple IRA is a good option for those with lower incomes, while the SEP is good for those who tend to procrastinate.

If these contribution limits are not enough, then you might want to consider a Defined Benefit Plan, which can be paired with a 401(k). Contribution limits to Defined Benefit plans are based on actuarial calculations, but you could be able to contribute $200,000 or more each year.

As always, it is important to coordinate with your financial professional to see what plan is best for you. Please contact me if you’d like to explore your retirement savings options.

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice

What to Do After Inheriting an IRA

Here is a nice article provided by Kimberly Lankford of Kiplinger:

 

By Kimberly Lankford, Contributing Editor   

 

September 1, 2017

 

Heirs must begin taking withdrawals once they inherit an IRA, but how they choose to make those distributions can have a big impact on their account balance over time. 

 

Q. My mother just passed away at the age of 60. She has $110,000 in a traditional IRA, and my sister and I are the beneficiaries. The bank said it will have to open an IRA account for each of us and then distribute the $110,000 equally between us. Do we need to keep the money with that bank or can we transfer it to another brokerage firm? Also, when do we need to withdraw the money? I'm 39 years old.

 

A. Because you and your sister are non-spouse beneficiaries, the bank will open inherited IRAs for each of you and transfer the money directly into the two accounts (the options are different for spouses who are beneficiaries and can roll the money into their own IRAs). You can keep the IRA at that bank or transfer it to a different IRA custodian, such as a brokerage firm or mutual fund company. Money from an inherited IRA must be directly transferred from the old account to the new one, so check with the new administrator to find out what steps you need to take to do this. "The new IRA custodian must be willing to accept inherited IRAs," says Christine Russell, senior manager of retirement at TD Ameritrade. You may also have to complete special paperwork for the transfer.

 

As a non-spouse beneficiary, you have two options for taking the money: You can withdraw all the funds from the inherited IRA within five years, or you can start taking periodic payments by December 31 of the year following the year of your mother's death.

 

Given that you are only 39, you're probably better off taking periodic payments. That's because your required withdrawals will be smaller under this method, so you'll have more money left in the account to grow tax-deferred for years. 

 

The periodic payments for inherited IRAs are similar to required minimum distributions for IRA holders over age 70½, but they use a different life-expectancy table to calculate the annual withdrawals (Table 1 single life-expectancy table, in Appendix B of IRS Publication 590-B, Individual Retirement Arrangements).

 

Make sure the IRA custodian knows you want the periodic payment option. Otherwise, its IRA documents may require you to withdraw the money within five years, says Russell.

 

Whatever option you choose for withdrawals, the distributions will be taxable, except for any from nondeductible contributions. With an inherited IRA, though, you won't have a 10% penalty for early withdrawals before age 59½.

 

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles. Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

Marriage and Roth IRA Contributions

Here is a nice article by Kimberly Lankford of Kiplinger:

 

By Kimberly Lankford, Contributing Editor   

 

August 25, 2017

 

Newlyweds can suddenly become ineligible for Roth IRAs once their incomes are combined, although couples may still invest in them indirectly. 

 

Q. I'm getting married next month, and when we add up my income and my wife's, we'll earn more than the limit to contribute to a Roth IRA. But I'm below the income limit now, so can I contribute to a Roth before the wedding?

 

A. No. If you're married as of December 31, you're considered to be married for the full year for tax purposes -- no matter what the wedding date. That means you'll file your taxes as married – either jointly or separately -- for 2017. You'll also be subject to the joint income limits for Roth contributions for the full year. If you’re married filing jointly and your combined adjusted gross income is less than $186,000, then you both can contribute the full $5,500 to a Roth for the year (or $6,500 if you're age 50 or older). Once your joint income reaches $186,000 to $196,000, then you both can make reduced contributions. You can't contribute to a Roth at all if your joint income is more than $196,000. See IRS Publication 590-A, Individual Retirement Arrangements, for a worksheet to calculate your modified adjusted gross income for the Roth limits.

 

And you can't get around the Roth limits by filing taxes separately. The income limit is just $10,000 for married people filing separately if you lived with your spouse at any time during the year.

 

If you earn too much to contribute to a Roth, you can both put money instead in nondeductible traditional IRAs for 2017 and then convert them to Roths.. But you could be taxed on a portion of the rollover if you have any other money in traditional IRAs (the tax-free portion of the conversion is based on the ratio of your nondeductible contributions to the total balance in all of your traditional IRAs). See Converting Nondeductible IRA Contributions to a Roth for more information. 

 

If you had already contributed to the Roth for the year and now your income disqualifies you, you would still have time to undo the contribution. Otherwise, you would have to pay a 6% penalty on excess contributions. You could take the contributions (and any earnings on them) out of the Roth before the tax-filing deadline, or you could have your IRA administrator switch your 2017 Roth contributions (plus all earnings on that money) into a traditional IRA. If you made contributions to the Roth in earlier years, the administrator should calculate how much of the earnings in the account should be attributed to the 2017 contribution. You can keep the money from previous years' contributions in the account.

 

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles. Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

10 Worst Jobs for the Future

Here is a nice article provided by Stacy Rapacon of Kiplinger:

 

By Stacy Rapacon, Online Editor | July 2017

 

The labor market is steadily improving, with unemployment at its lowest level in a decade, but some fields continue to experience a downward slide. For example, about 1.7 million manufacturing jobs were lost between January 2007 and January 2017 as some positions have been displaced by advancing technologies and others have moved overseas. And while it's true that manufacturing employment has rebounded a bit since the Great Recession ended, Josh Wright of labor market research firm Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) says many of those added positions call for technical expertise that low-skilled manufacturing workers lack.

To help today's job seekers better grasp the realities of the labor market and avoid some dying professions, we analyzed 785 popular occupations, considering their pay rates, growth potential over the next decade and educational requirements. The bottom of our rankings are littered with jobs that pay little at present and are expected to shed positions in the future. Take a look at 10 of the worst jobs for the future, along with our suggestions for alternate career paths that offer better growth and pay prospects. 

Unless otherwise noted, all employment data was provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International, a labor market research firm owned by CareerBuilder. EMSI collects data from more than 90 federal, state and private sources, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The total number of jobs listed for each occupation is for 2016. Projected ten-year job growth figures represent the percentage change in the total number of jobs in an occupation between 2016 and 2026. Annual earnings were calculated by multiplying median hourly earnings by 2,080, the standard number of hours worked in a year by a full-time employee.

 

Textile Machine Worker

 

•Total number of jobs: 22,173

•Projected job growth, 2016-2026: -21.2% (All jobs: 8.6%)

•Median annual salary: $27,227 (All jobs: $43,233)

•Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

 

The manufacturing industry is a tale of two job markets. Yes, there's a decline in many production jobs in the U.S., including among setters, operators and tenders of textile knitting and weaving machines (the specific occupation for which the above tabular data applies). But while such low-skill roles are dwindling, demand for certain skilled manufacturing jobs has been on the upswing in recent years. "The positions that have remained are a little more technical, they pay a little better, and we continue to hear employers saying they have a hard time finding manufacturing talent," says EMSI's Joshua Wright.

 

Alternate Career

Machinists have a particularly promising future, with their ranks growing by 11.9% by 2026. These workers use machine tools such as lathes, milling machines and grinders to make items ranging from simple bolts to titanium bone screws for orthopedic implants. While you can still get this gig with just a high school diploma, you also need specialized training, which you can receive on the job or through an apprenticeship program, vocational school or community or technical college. Machinists earn a median salary of $40,502 a year.

 

Photo Processor

 

•Total number of jobs: 23,853

•Projected job growth, 2016-2026: -19.7%

•Median annual salary: $27,324

•Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

 

The rapid proliferation of digital photos and photo sharing through cyberspace are cutting demand for print pictures and the people who operate the big machines that process them. Plus, when the whim arises, advancing technology has allowed people to print their own photos at home.

 

Alternate Career

Photographers are seeing a better career outlook than photo processors. Over the next decade, the profession is expected to grow 12.0% to 155,286 jobs by 2026. Median earnings is currently about $30,690 a year. Portrait and commercial photographers (who may work for corporations to create advertisements) are likely to experience the greatest demand.

 

Furniture Finisher

 

•Total number of jobs: 20,113

•Projected job growth, 2016-2026: -0.7%

•Median annual salary: $28,698

•Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

 

These woodworkers shape, finish and refinish damaged and worn furniture—a service less called for when online marketplaces and discount retailers are bringing down prices for new pieces. Furniture finishers also contribute to the production of new wooden products, handling the staining, sealing and topcoating at the end of the process. But as with many other manufacturing jobs, automation has reduced the number of workers needed to perform these tasks and limited the growth prospects for this occupation.

 

Alternate Career

If you can apply your handiwork more broadly, becoming a carpenter may offer a sturdier future. While this position suffered high employment losses over the past decade, which included the housing bust, it's expected to add more than 25,830 jobs, or 2.5%, by 2026. This job also pays more, with a median salary of $37,717 a year. 

 

Radio or TV Announcer

 

•Total number of jobs: 33,202

•Projected job growth, 2016-2026: -10.0%

•Median annual salary: $32,383

•Typical education: Bachelor's degree

 

More radio disc jockeys, talk show hosts and podcasters are under threat of being silenced. Consolidation of radio and television stations, as well as the increased use of syndicated programming, limit the need for these kinds of workers. Plus, streaming music services offer fierce competition to radio stations and their workers. On the upside, online radio stations may provide new opportunities for announcers.

 

Alternate Career

If you're committed to this career track, consider addressing even smaller audiences and becoming a party DJ or emcee. These other types of announcers make up a small field of just 17,326 workers currently, but are expected to grow their ranks 6.0% by 2026. They typically earn slightly less with a median $32,177 a year, but only require a high school diploma to get started.

 

Floral Designer

 

•Total number of jobs: 53,463

•Projected job growth, 2016-2026: -5.0%

•Median annual salary: $23,938

•Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

 

For floral designers, the bloom has fallen off the rose. After a surge of new flower-shop openings in the 1980s and '90s, their numbers have fallen dramatically. Blame budget-conscious consumers, who are opting to buy loose, fresh-cut flowers from grocery stores instead of elaborate bouquets and arrangements from florists. Plus, the rise of the Internet has allowed some florists to operate more efficiently and reduce the number of brick-and-mortar shops.

 

Alternate Career

If your heart is set on a floral-focused future, apply for a position at a grocery store, where employment of floral designers is expected to grow 5%. Otherwise, consider casting your eye for arrangement from flowers to furniture. Positions for interior designers are expected to grow 6.0% by 2026. To take this path, you'll need additional education—usually a bachelor's degree—and possibly a license or certification, depending on your state and specialty. But you may also expect to earn more; interior designers have a median pay of more than $44,885 a year. If further education isn't in the cards for you, consider being a merchandise displayer. These positions are projected to increase by 12.1% this decade, typically pay about $26,557 a year and require just a high school education.

 

Gaming Cashier

 

•Total number of jobs: 23,111

•Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 2.0%

•Median annual salary: $22,970

•Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

 

Casinos are becoming more popular and widespread as more states are allowing and building new gaming establishments. Unfortunately, many of those casinos are increasingly finding ways to use less cash in their operations. For example, many slot machines now generate tickets instead of spitting out coins. This change will contribute to the declining need for gaming cashiers in the future.

 

Alternate Career

Other gaming occupations have much better odds for success. Dealers and cage workers are expected to grow 8.7% and 12.0%, respectively, over the next decade. Unfortunately, and ironically, dealers don't rake in much cash; their median salary is just $19,552 a year. Cage workers do better with $25,854 annually. Another option is to apply your cashier skills outside the casinos. Opportunities are much more plentiful: Currently 3.6 million cashiers are working across the nation, and 6.2% more are expected to be added to the workforce by 2026. The pay isn't great with a median $19,337 a year, but no formal education is required either.

 

Legislator

 

•Total number of jobs: 56,514

•Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 1.5%

•Median annual salary: $20,500

•Typical education: Bachelor's degree

 

It's an ugly time to be in politics. The number of positions for local, state and federal legislators rarely changes, so competition can be fierce as we've all seen on the national stage. And despite what you might think about fat-cat politicos, government paychecks for the majority of elected officials are actually pretty light. On the bright side, opportunities to enter the field arise with every election, and pay for the top 10% in the field goes up to above $95,000 a year.

 

Alternate Career

You can still affect change by pursuing a career as a social and community service manager. (And you can always get back into politics from this career path; it worked for Barack Obama.) Like many of our best jobs for the future, this occupation benefits from the aging population. As boomers increasingly lean on social services, such as adult day care and meal-delivery programs, managers of such businesses will be in greater demand. In fact, the number of these managers is expected to grow 15.7% by 2026 from 149,920 currently. Plus, the median salary is much more generous at $62,349 a year. You need at least a bachelor's degree in social work, urban studies, public administration or a related field to get started. But reaching these managerial heights typically also requires relevant work experience of five years or more. And some employers prefer applicants with master's degrees.

 

Metal and Plastic Machine Operator

 

•Total number of jobs: 34,413

•Projected job growth, 2016-2026: -10.3%

•Median annual salary: $30,620

•Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

 

Although metal and plastic are durable materials, the U.S. labor market for people who work with them is not quite as stable. Many of the old metal- and plastic-production jobs are now being done more efficiently by machines or more affordably abroad. Lower-skill positions that involve manually setting and operating machines—including plating and coating machines, to which the above tabular data applies—are becoming increasingly scarce.

 

Alternate Career

While less-skilled manufacturing jobs are declining, more high-tech positions within the industry are on the rise. Indeed, the number of operators of computer-controlled metal and plastic machines and programmers of computer numerically controlled metal and plastic machines are expected to grow by more than 17.5% each. The median salary is also better: The operators have a median salary of about $37,024 a year, and the programmers earn a median of more than $48,984 a year.

 

Door-to-Door Salesperson

 

•Total number of jobs: 77,462

•Projected job growth, 2016-2026: -20.3%

•Median annual salary: $21,486

•Typical education: No formal education

 

Better dramatized by sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick than playwright Arthur Miller, the death of the traveling salesman can be chalked up to advancing technology. When businesses are able to contact millions of customers online with the press of a button, going door-to-door has become a very inefficient way to push products. And the people once charged with doing so are being replaced by solicitations broadcast via websites, e-mail and social media outlets.

 

Alternate Career

Your sales skills are better applied in less-nomadic positions. For example, the number of insurance sales agents is expected to increase 10.6% to 651,215 by 2026. The median pay is about $47,872 a year, and the entry-level education requirement is just a high school diploma, though you will also need to get a license to sell insurance in the state where you work.

 

Print Binding and Finishing Worker

 

•Total number of jobs: 52,323

•Projected job growth, 2016-2026: -10.2%

•Median annual salary: $30,264

•Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

 

Print may not be dead, but it seems to require much less upkeep these days. Far fewer workers are needed to bind and finish books and other publications than were employed a decade ago. The relatively good news is that the rate of loss seems to be tapering off now that the number of workers is so low. 

 

Alternate Career

Putting your finishing touch on another career path may be a safer move. Certain assemblers and fabricators—who put together finished products, such as engines, computers and toys, and the parts that go into them—have better prospects. Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging and systems assemblers are projected to boost their ranks by 1.2% over the next decade. You need just a high school diploma to get started, and median earnings are $48,984 a year.

 

2016 Worst Job Rankings

•Thinkstock

•Door-to-Door Sales Worker

•Textile Machine Worker

•Floral Designer

•Sewing Machine Operator

•Print Binding and Finishing Worker

•Tailor

•Upholsterer

•Craft Artist

•Photo Processor

•Metal and Plastic Plating and Coating Machine Operator

 

Kiplinger updates many of its rankings annually. Above is last year's list of 10 of the worst jobs for the future. Keep in mind that ranking methodologies can change from year to year based on data available at the time of publishing, differences in how the data was gathered, changes in data providers and tweaks to the formulas used to narrow the pool of candidates.

 

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles. Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

10 Small Towns With Big Millionaire Populations

Here is a nice article provided by Dan Burrows of Kiplinger:

 

By Dan Burrows, Contributing Writer | June 2017

 

Just 5.5% of the households in the U.S. qualify as bona fide millionaires. That means they have investable assets of $1 million or more, excluding the value of real estate, employer-sponsored retirement plans and business partnerships. Not surprisingly, the majority of these 6.8 million wealthy households can be found in big cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

 

But it turns out some millionaires prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle of major metropolises. Phoenix Marketing International, a firm that tracks the affluent market, ranked 915 urban areas, both large and small, based on the percentage of millionaire households in each. Here are the 10 smallest cities and towns boasting the highest concentration of millionaires in the U.S.

 

Estimates of millionaire households provided by Phoenix Marketing International. This list is limited to so-called micropolitan statistical areas, which are defined as having at least one urban cluster with more than 10,000 residents but less than 50,000. Investable assets include education/custodial accounts, individually owned retirement accounts, stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds, managed accounts, hedge funds, structured products, ETFs, cash accounts, annuities, and cash value life insurance policies. Data on household incomes and home values are from the U.S. Census Bureau.

 

10. Gardnerville Ranchos, Nev.

 

Millionaire Households: 1,445

Total Households: 20,566

Concentration of Millionaires: 7.0%

Median Income for All Households: $58,535 (U.S.: $53,889)

Median Home Value: $272,000 (U.S.: $178,600)

 

Gardnerville Ranchos is a favorite hiding place for millionaires because of its proximity to Lake Tahoe, which has long been a getaway for the rich and famous. With everything from ski resorts to beaches, the Lake Tahoe area offers year-round activities for well-heeled tourists and full-time residents alike. Adding to the appeal for residents, Nevada is one of the most tax-friendly states in the U.S. thanks to no state income tax and modest property taxes. Carson City, capital of the Silver State, is just 20 miles to the north of Gardnerville Ranchos, and high-rollers can reach Reno’s casinos in an hour.

 

9. Truckee-Grass Valley, Calif.

 

Millionaire Households: 3,007

Total Households: 42,612

Concentration of Millionaires: 7.1%

Median Income for All Households: $54,177 

Median Home Value: $383,400

 

You’ll find the Truckee-Grass Valley area on the California side of Lake Tahoe, with Truckee proper situated near the shore of the famed lake itself and Grass Valley sitting farther to the west. Multiple bodies of water including Donner Lake, where the Donner Party met its gruesome demise, make the entire area a recreational haven for water sports. And the long, snowy winters are perfect for the numerous ski resorts in the vicinity of Truckee and Grass Valley. Another appealing aspect of the area for millionaires: It’s a straight shot down Interstate 80 to reach Sacramento, the state capital, and San Francisco. Less appealing: California ranks as the single worst state in the U.S. for taxes.

 

8. Concord, N.H.

 

Millionaire Households: 4,136

Total Households: 57,844

Concentration of Millionaires: 7.2%

Median Income for All Households: $68,566 

Median Home Value: $220,400

 

The New Hampshire state capital is home to a horde of state, county, local and federal agencies -- and the law firms and professional agencies that support them. Concord is also a major distribution, industrial and transportation hub. Tourism is a key contributor to the local economy, thanks to the nearby New Hampshire International Speedway, as is the state's increasing emergence as a center of high-tech manufacturing. Concord also benefits from being within easy reach of Manchester, the state's largest city, which is only about 15 miles to the south. And well-off residents seeking a break from quaint New England living can drive to Boston in less than 90 minutes. 

 

7. Vineyard Haven, Mass.

 

Millionaire Households: 589

Total Households: 7,995

Concentration of Millionaires: 7.4%

Median Income for All Households: $64,222 

Median Home Value: $660,800 

 

No surprise here. Vineyard Haven is a town on Martha's Vineyard. This island off the coast of Cape Cod is one of the most desirable summer vacations spots in the Northeast and has long been a favorite of the rich, the famous and the powerful. Indeed, former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have summered there. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis long maintained a home on the island. Naturally, this tony locale is not easy on the wallet, as evidenced by the exorbitant real estate prices. It also can get a bit crowded. Martha's Vineyard has 15,000 or so year-round residents, but the population swells to more than 115,000 during peak summer months.

 

6. Easton, Md.

 

Millionaire Households: 1,190

Total Households: 16,006

Concentration of Millionaires: 7.4%

Median Income for All Households: $58,228

Median Home Value: $319,500

 

Tiny Easton, on the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay, prides itself on its out-of-the-way feel, with country farms mixing with lavish waterfront estates. It has long been a retreat for the well-to-do of the Mid-Atlantic seeking antiques shops and solitude. Easton's proximity to the beach, abundance of parks and good schools make for an idyllic small-town experience for residents. At the same time, the town offers easy access to several major cities. It's only 30 minutes from Annapolis, the state capital, and Washington, D.C., and Baltimore can be reached by car in about 90 minutes (traffic willing). Maryland has the most millionaires per capita of any state in the U.S., according to Phoenix Marketing International.

 

5. Fredericksburg, Texas

 

Millionaire Households: 837

Total Households: 11,244

Concentration of Millionaires: 7.4%

Median Income for All Households: $54,859

Median Home Value: $238,300

 

It's not hard to understand the allure of Fredericksburg, since it's smack-dab in the middle of Texas Hill Country. This beautiful region of the Lone Star State has plenty to offer for both outdoorsy types and aesthetes alike. Residents can explore a landscape of rolling hills, spring-fed rivers and lakes, and vast fields of wildflowers. But they can also partake in fine dining, wine tasting, concerts and art shows. A good example that combines the two, while giving a nod to the area's rich history, is the LBJ Ranch Tour and Wine Tasting. (To be clear, LBJ stands for Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th president of the U.S., not LeBron James.) Fredericksburg also benefits from its proximity to Austin, capital of Texas and a hub for high-paying tech companies, about 90 minutes away.

 

4. Edwards, Colo.

 

Millionaire Households: 1,520

Total Households: 19,685

Concentration of Millionaires: 7.7%

Median Income for All Households: $72,214

Median Home Value: $419,400

 

You can sum up the appeal of Edwards in one word: skiing. The nearby world-class resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek draw big-spending skiers hoping to see and be seen all winter long. But the area offers much more than pricey lift tickets and celebrity spotting. Fly fishing, hiking and whitewater rafting draw folks to town in the summer months. Either way, high-end restaurants, plush lodges and spas are just some of the ways millionaires can pamper themselves. But it's Colorado's status as a tax-friendly state for both retirees and working residents that helps make Edwards a good deal for year-round living. It’s a good thing, too, considering the high price of homes in the area.

 

3. Williston, N.D.

 

Millionaire Households: 1,166

Total Households: 14,913

Concentration of Millionaires: 7.8%

Median Income for All Households: $88,013

Median Home Value: $201,400

 

The city of Williston expanded rapidly in the first half of this decade, according to the Census Bureau, driven by the explosion in shale oil drilling that once gave North Dakota the fastest-growing economy in the nation. Located in the center of the oil-rich Bakken Formation, Williston soon found itself the home of millionaires minted by the fracking revolution. But it doesn't look like it will be making more soon. North Dakota has seen oil booms and busts before, but the prolonged downturn in prices has turned cities like Williston upside-down. Wages are down and jobs have dried up. Some folks reportedly are just pulling up stakes, taking a bite out of the local tax base. If there's a silver lining for Williston's remaining millionaires, at least North Dakota is one of the nation's more tax-friendly states.

 

2. Torrington, Conn.

 

Millionaire Households: 5,995

Total Households: 74,673

Concentration of Millionaires: 8.0%

Median Income for All Households: $70,667

Median Home Value: $248,300

 

Torrington is the largest town in Litchfield County, which has long been a popular retreat for Manhattan's wealthy and chic looking for a remote, mountainous retreat. (It’s an in-state draw for all the millionaires from Stamford, too.) As Vogue magazine says of the area: "There’s something for everyone: art galleries, outdoor activities, shopping, great food. With its covered bridges, forests, and rivers, the scenery is gorgeous. In fact, every season challenges the next for which is more beautiful." Although Torrington might be hidden in the northwest corner of the state, millionaires can't escape Connecticut's onerous tax bite. Real estate taxes are among the highest in the country, and the state has not only a gift tax but also a luxury.

 

1. Juneau, Alaska

 

Millionaire Households: 1,109

Total Households: 12,986  

Concentration of Millionaires: 8.5% 

Median Income for All Households: $85,746

Median Home Value: $323,500

 

Like Anchorage, another Alaskan city with a high concentration of millionaires, everything is more expensive in Juneau. Chalk it up to the remote location of Alaska’s capital, which is tucked away in the southeast corner of the state hard against the Canadian border. Groceries alone cost one-third more than the U.S. national average, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research's Cost of Living Index. And while it helps to be a millionaire to live in Juneau, it's increasingly hard to become one. Much of Alaska's wealth is tied to the energy business, and a prolonged slump in oil prices is taking a toll. Indeed, Alaska is in the midst of its worst recession in three decades. On the plus side, Alaska is one of the most tax-friendly states in the union. Not only is there no state income tax, but the government actually pays residents an annual dividend.

 

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles. Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

11 Satellite Cities Poised to Thrive in 2017

Here is a nice article provided by David Payne of Kiplinger:

 

By David Payne, Staff Economist | March 2017, Nick Mourtoupalas also contributed to this report. 

 

It’s been a slow climb back from the Great Recession for the nation’s major metropolitan areas. Yet job seekers often overlook the small and medium cities located near or relatively near the big hubs. As the big metro areas recover, these smaller “satellite” cities benefit from spreading regional business growth, while offering lower housing and commuter costs, putting less of a squeeze on employee salaries than more expensive, congested places a few hours away.

 

That can mean both abundant job opportunities and budget-friendly home prices for folks looking to relocate. Check out these 11 up-and-coming satellite cities where the job markets are hot but the cost of living won’t eat all of your paycheck. All of these cities’ job markets have been growing faster than the national average, most have lower jobless rates than the national average, and all are expected to continue to outperform economically this year.

 

St. George, Utah

 

Close by: Las Vegas (100 miles SW), Salt Lake City (300 miles NE)

Employment growth in 2016: 6.1% (national growth: 1.8%)

Latest unemployment rate (Dec. 2016): 3.2% (national rate: 4.7%)

Median home price: $345,000 in the city, up 10% from last year ($235K to $300K in the suburbs)

 

St. George has seen five consecutive years of 5%-plus job growth. Much of that has come in professional and business services, health care, retail, manufacturing and hospitality services. Three of its biggest employers are SkyWest Airlines, Dixie Regional Medical Center and Sunroc, a regional building supplies company. Retirees wary of Vegas find the warm winters in the Utah desert to their liking here. One of the most scenic natural wonders in the country, Zion National Park, is just a 45-minute drive to the east.

 

Bend/Redmond, Oregon

 

Close by: Portland (170 miles NW)

Metro population: 114,000

Employment growth in 2016: 5.3%

Unemployment rate: 4.4%

Median home price: $360,000, up 9% from last year

 

On the east-facing slopes of the Cascade mountains, these twin cities have enjoyed robust job growth four years running. The trend is expected to continue. Tourism and the hospitality industry are integral to this region’s economy. Retirees like the outdoor activities (the east side of the Cascades gets more sunny days than the west side). Major employers include St. Charles Medical Center; Keith Manufacturing, makers of storage and conveying systems; and Sunriver Resort, an upscale vacation destination. The area is also seeing strong job growth in professional and business services, health care, retail, construction and manufacturing.

 

Cleveland, Tennessee

 

Close by: Chattanooga (40 miles SW), Atlanta (120 miles SE)

Metro population: 56,000

Employment growth in 2016: 4.9%

Unemployment rate: 4.4%

Median home price: $165,000, up 10% from last year

 

Home of Lee University, this less-famous Cleveland is quietly benefiting from strong growth in jobs in professional and business services, health care, retail and hospitality. Major employers include Whirlpool (it has a premium kitchen-appliances division and distribution outlet here), Tennova Healthcare and Amazon.com. Its 800 acres of industrial parks include manufacturing facilities and outlets for Volkswagen, Duracell, Mars and Bayer. It helps that Cleveland, with its views of the Great Smoky Mountains, is also in a state with no income tax.

 

Prescott/Prescott Valley, Arizona

 

Close by: Phoenix (100 miles S)

Metro population: 82,000

Employment growth in 2016: 4.6%

Unemployment rate: 4.2%

Median home price: $321,000, up 9% from last year

 

Prescott is a popular retirement and tourist alternative to the state capital. The area is cooler than Phoenix because its elevation is 4,000 feet higher, and the air is cleaner outside of the Phoenix basin. It is experiencing rapid job growth, driven by population growth. The biggest gains are in professional and business services, hospitality, health care and retail. Major employers include Yavapai Regional Medical Center; a Lockheed Martin training center; Superior Industries, which manufactures equipment for crushing, washing and conveying bulk materials; and Sturm, Ruger & Co., a firearms manufacturer which makes pistols here. Prescott is also home to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

 

Savannah, Georgia

 

Close by: Charleston, S.C. (120 miles NE), Jacksonville, Fla. (170 miles S)

Metro population: 179,000

Employment growth in 2016: 4.0%

Unemployment rate: 4.9%

Median home price: $195,000, up 6% from last year

 

Gateway to the Atlantic Ocean just south of the South Carolina border, Savannah is not only a historic city with antebellum charm, but the fourth-busiest port in the United States. It saw a big jump in professional and business services jobs in 2016, along with strong growth in health care, retail and hospitality. The port authority is currently dredging the harbor to accommodate the biggest cargo ships, a project that will be completed in 2020. That means even more freight entering and leaving this already humming city. Major employers include Gulfstream Aerospace, Memorial Health, St. Joseph’s/Candler hospitals, Marine Terminals Corp. and SSA Cooper, a marine cargo handling outfit. Ft. Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield also anchors the local economy.

 

Reno/Sparks, Nevada

 

Close by: Sacramento, Calif. (130 miles SW), San Francisco (220 miles SW)

Metro population: 334,000

Employment growth in 2016: 4.0%

Unemployment rate: 4.2%

Median home price: $305,000, up 9% from last year

 

Near the California border and 20 miles from Lake Tahoe, Reno and Sparks benefit from tourism, hospitality and gambling. Business services, health care, construction and transportation are also major employers. The University of Nevada at Reno is the second-largest university in the state.

 

The area was jump-started economically when Tesla opened its gigafactory in January 2017, just a half-hour’s drive east of Reno. This is the largest facility in the world for making battery cells to power electric autos. It already employs more than 1,000 people. Tesla says it plans to add 1,000 more employees in early 2017, with a goal of a 6,500-person workforce sometime in 2018. The venture has attracted ancillary businesses such as Panasonic, which has plans to add 2,000 workers at its Reno operations in 2017. Other major employers include Renown Regional Medical Center, Peppermill Resort Spa Casino and International Game Technologies, a manufacturer of slot machines.

 

Athens, Georgia

 

Close by: Atlanta (75 miles W)

Metro population: 123,000

Employment growth in 2016: 4.0%

Unemployment rate: 4.8%

Median home price: $270,000; higher closer to the University of Georgia campus

 

The Athens area (Clarke County and Oconee County) is heating up as an alternative to big-city Atlanta, with the University of Georgia serving as both an incubator and hub of business development. Professional and business services and the hospitality industry are major drivers of job growth. Lots of construction jobs, too: Three new hotels have been added to the downtown area along with large student housing developments. Retirees, especially, are attracted to the educational pursuits and sports attractions that come with a college town, as well as major health care facilities. Other big employers include Athens Regional Medical Center, Caterpillar and Pilgrim’s Pride, which operates a local food processing plant.

 

College Station/Bryan, Texas

 

Close by: Houston (100 miles SE), Austin (110 miles W), Dallas (180 miles N)

Metro population: 187,000

Employment growth in 2016: 3.9%

Unemployment rate: 3.4%

Median home price: $230,000, up 6% from last year

 

Located virtually equidistant from Houston and Austin, College Station is home to Texas A&M University. It and neighboring Bryan are following the path of Austin (the Lone Star State’s capital, with its University of Texas campus) as the next up-and-coming regional center. Texas A&M has expanded enrollment from 40,000 to 60,000 in the past five years. Having a thriving university results in strong growth in jobs in professional and business services, health care, retail, hospitality and other services. The A&M Health Science Center and the veterinary school sponsor a facility for manufacturing vaccines, including 1 million inoculation doses for the avian flu. A bio corridor is developing around this and a GlaxoSmithKline facility. Sanderson Farms, one of the largest chicken suppliers in the United States, has a major processing facility just outside Bryan.

 

Salem, Oregon

 

Close by: Portland (50 miles N)

Metro population: 234,000

Employment growth in 2016: 3.5%

Unemployment rate: 4.3%

Median home price: $240,000, up 6% from last year

 

Salem is the capital of the Beaver State and a thriving satellite city in the fast-growing Willamette Valley. The area has become an affordable alternative to Portland, 90 minutes away during rush hour. Construction is also going strong, and 2016 saw a big jump in professional and business services jobs. Commercial real estate is booked solid. The Career Technical Education Center, a public-private partnership, has significantly improved graduation rates for its high school seniors.

 

Marion County is the largest food producer in the state, and a center for agricultural science and research. County voters approved a bond issue in 2014 to fund an agricultural extension service sponsored by Oregon State University. Other large employers include Salem Hospital; Willamette University; Norpac, a food processing company; Spirit Mountain Casino; and T-Mobile.

 

Boise, Idaho

 

Close by: Nothing really, but a satellite city nonetheless

Metro population: 324,000

Employment growth in 2016: 3.4%

Unemployment rate: 3.4%

Median home price: $245,000, up 10% from last year

 

Located in the southwest corner of the Gem State, Boise benefits as a regional alternative to Seattle, Portland, or Salt Lake City, all a six- to eight-hour drive away (but hey, this is the West, where folks are used to driving long distances).

 

Boise is the state capital, largest city in the state, and home of Boise State University, with its iconic blue-turfed football stadium. It’s also one of the least expensive large metros in the wide-open spaces of the West. Local industries that are hiring briskly include health care, construction, manufacturing and finance. Boise is big on both agribusiness and semiconductors, and has many tech start-ups. Clearwater Analytics, a local start-up, now has a 10-story building downtown. The great outdoors is always close by with the Rocky Mountains and ski resorts. Big employers include St. Luke’s health systems, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Micron Technology, HP and the state government.

 

Spokane, Washington

 

Close by: Seattle (280 miles W)

Metro population: 304,000

Employment growth in 2016: 3.0%

Unemployment rate: 6.4%

Median home price: $195,000, up 11% from last year

 

Western Washington has Seattle; eastern Washington has Spokane, the number-two metro area in size but a more affordable alternative for newcomers to the Evergreen State. It is the home of Gonzaga University and is seeing robust job gains in professional and business services, health care, construction and transportation. Major employers include Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital, Deaconess Medical Center and the 92nd Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base.

 

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles. Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

Your Plan's Vesting Schedule: Tailor It to Meet Your Needs

A retirement plan's vesting schedule, which establishes when employer contributions to the plan will be owned outright by the employee, plays a role in how effective the plan is in helping to attract and retain employees. Employers will want to carefully consider their goals and the available options when selecting a vesting schedule for their plan.

Common Vesting Schedules

The simplest schedule -- from an administrative perspective -- is to allow immediate vesting in 100% of the employer contributions allocated to the employee. However, immediate vesting offers little incentive for employees to stay with the company and therefore may become more counterproductive as the rates of employee turnover increase.

For this reason, sponsors concerned about employee retention often turn to a delayed vesting schedule. Instead of allowing 100% vesting up front, they seek to maximize employee retention by tying the vesting percentage to the participant's years of service.

Generally, for defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) plans, delayed vesting is available in two forms: "cliff" vesting and "graded" vesting. With cliff vesting, a participant becomes 100% vested after a specific period of service. With graded vesting, a participant becomes vested at a percentage amount that gradually increases until he or she accrues enough years of service to be 100% vested. (It should be noted that an employee's own contributions to the plan are always 100% vested, or owned, by the employee.)

vesting.png

Employers may choose a schedule that provides for vesting at a more rapid rate than those shown above, but they may not adopt a schedule that provides for less rapid vesting.

How do employers calculate years of service? A year of service is any vesting computation period in which the employee completes the number of hours of service (not exceeding 1,000) required by the plan. Typically, the vesting computation period is the plan year, but it may be any other 12-consecutive-month period.

Are all employer contributions subject to a vesting schedule? Several types of employer contributions must always be 100% vested. These include both non-elective and matching contributions in a SIMPLE 401(k) plan or a "safe harbor" 401(k) plan.

Can vesting schedules be changed? Generally, a vesting schedule may be changed, but the vested percentage of the existing participants may not be reduced by the amended schedule. Moreover, an employee with three or more years of service by the end of the applicable election period can choose to select the previous vesting schedule. The election period begins no later than the date of adoption of the amended schedule and ends on the latest of the following dates:

•  Sixty days after the modified vesting schedule is adopted;

•  Sixty days after the modified vesting schedule is made effective; or

•  Sixty days after the participant is provided a written notice of the change in vesting schedule.

What situations would cause vesting of an employee's entire balance? In certain circumstances, the participant's interest in a 401(k) plan is required by law to be 100% vested. These circumstances include attainment of normal retirement age (as defined in the plan), termination or partial termination of the plan, and complete discontinuance of contributions to the plan. Additionally, though not required by law, nearly all 401(k) plans provide for 100% vesting upon the participant's death or disability.


Required Attribution


Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by Wealth Management Systems Inc. or its sources, neither Wealth Management Systems Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall Wealth Management Systems Inc. be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber's or others' use of the content. 

© 2016 DST Systems, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited, except by permission. All rights reserved. Not responsible for any errors or omissions.


Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.
 


The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.
 

When Employees Leave, but Plan Accounts Stay

Work force reductions may leave some employers with low-balance plan accounts owned by former employees. These accounts can be expensive to maintain and burdensome to administer. Below, you will find answers to commonly asked questions about handling these small accounts.

Can we just distribute small accounts to the former employees? Check your plan's provisions. Under federal law, plans can provide that, if a former employee has not made an affirmative election to receive a distribution of his or her account assets or to roll those assets over to an IRA or another employer's plan, the plan can distribute the account - as long as its balance does not exceed $5,000. For accounts valued at $1,000 or less, the plan can simply send the former employee a check for his or her balance. Distributions of more than $1,000 must be directly transferred to an IRA set up for the former employee. Accounts valued at $1,000 or less may also be rolled over for administrative convenience.

Should non-vested assets be included when determining whether a mandatory distribution can be made? You only have to include the value of the former employee's non-forfeitable accrued benefit. If the employee was not fully vested in any portion of the account when he or she left your employ, you do not have to count the non-vested portion.

What about rollovers? A plan may provide that any amounts that a former employee rolled over from another employer's plan (and any earnings on those rolled over assets) are to be disregarded in determining the employee's non-forfeitable accrued benefit. Thus, you may be able to cash out and roll over accounts greater than $5,000. Note that rolled over amounts are included in determining whether a former employee's accrued benefit is greater than $1,000 for purposes of the automatic rollover requirement.

What requirements do we have to meet when rolling over a small account? To fulfill your fiduciary duties as a plan sponsor, the following requirements must be met:

•  The rollover must be a direct transfer to an IRA set up in the former employee's name.

•  The IRA provider must be a state or federally regulated financial institution, such as an FDIC-insured bank or savings association or an FCUA-insured credit union; an insurance company whose products are protected by a state guaranty association; or a mutual fund company.

•  You must have a written agreement with the IRA provider that addresses appropriate account investments and fees.

•  The IRA provider cannot charge higher fees than would be charged for a comparable rollover IRA.
(Other fiduciary responsibilities apply.)

Are there rules for investing the rollover IRA? The investments chosen for the IRA must be designed to preserve principal and provide a reasonable rate of return and liquidity. Examples include money market mutual funds, interest-bearing savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and stable value products.

Do we have to provide disclosures? Yes. Before you cash out an account, you must notify the former employee in writing, either separately or as part of a rollover notice, that, unless the employee makes an affirmative election to receive a distribution of his or her account assets or rolls them over to another account, the distribution will be paid to an IRA. As long as you send the notice to the former employee's last known mailing address, the notice requirement generally will be considered satisfied. In addition, you must include a description of the plan's automatic rollover provisions for mandatory distributions in the plan's summary plan description (SPD) or summary of material modifications (SMM).

"For accounts valued at $1,000 or less, the plan can simply send the former employee a check for his or her balance."


Required Attribution


Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by Wealth Management Systems Inc. or its sources, neither Wealth Management Systems Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall Wealth Management Systems Inc. be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber's or others' use of the content. 

© 2016 DST Systems, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited, except by permission. All rights reserved. Not responsible for any errors or omissions.


Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.
 


The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

Defined Benefit Plans

The defined benefit plan is a powerful tax strategy for high income individuals with self-employment income. It's great for small business owners who want to catch-up on their retirement saving and save a tremendous amount on taxes. 

Click here to view our latest webinar on Defined Benefit Plans.

Click here to read a case study.
 
Why is a defined benefit plan a powerful tax strategy for high income individuals with self-employment income and small business owners?

The small business defined benefit (DB) plan is an IRS-approved qualified retirement plan that allows independent professionals and consultants, individuals with self-employment income and small business owners to make large contributions and accumulate as much as $1-2 Million in just 5-10 years. The contributions are deductible and can potentially reduce income tax liability by $40,000 or more annually. To read more about examples where a defined benefit plan would be beneficial click here The Defined Benefit Plan.pdf
 
New Flexibility in Defined Benefit Plans
 
Independent professionals and consultants, small business owners, and individuals with self-employment income often are so busy with their day-to-day responsibilities that they don't take the time to think about preparing for the day they finally retire. Since they aren't thinking about the future - at least not one that includes life beyond their daily work - they may not accumulate retirement savings sufficient to maintain their pre-retirement lifestyle. Business owners are also more likely to put the needs of their business ahead of their well-being... to read more click here New Flexibility in Defined Benefit Plans.pdf


Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.



The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

Own a Retirement Account? Keep Your Beneficiary Designations Up to Date

Many investors have taken advantage of pretax contributions to their company's employer-sponsored retirement plan and/or make annual contributions to an IRA. If you participate in a qualified plan program you may be overlooking an important housekeeping issue: beneficiary designations.

An improper designation could make life difficult for your family in the event of your untimely death by putting assets out of reach of those you had hoped to provide for and possibly increasing their tax burdens. Further, if you have switched jobs, become a new parent, been divorced, or survived a spouse or even a child, your current beneficiary designations may need to be updated.

Consider the "What Ifs"

In the heat of divorce proceedings, for example, the task of revising one's beneficiary designations has been known to fall through the cracks. While (depending on the state of residence and other factors) a court decree that ends a marriage may potentially terminate the provisions of a will that would otherwise leave estate proceeds to a now-former spouse, it may not automatically revise that former spouse's beneficiary status on separate documents such as employer-sponsored retirement accounts and IRAs.

Many qualified retirement plan owners may not be aware that after their death, the primary beneficiary -- usually the surviving spouse -- may have the right to transfer part or all of the account assets into another tax-deferred account. Take the case of the retirement plan owner who has children from a previous marriage. If, after the owner's death, the surviving spouse moved those assets into his or her own IRA and named his or her biological children as beneficiaries, the original IRA owner's children could legally be shut out of any benefits.

Also keep in mind that the law requires that a spouse be the primary beneficiary of a 401(k) or a profit-sharing account unless he/she waives that right in writing. A waiver may make sense in a second marriage -- if a new spouse is already financially set or if children from a first marriage are more likely to need the money. Single people can name whomever they choose. And nonspouse beneficiaries are now eligible for a tax-free transfer to an IRA.

The IRS has also issued regulations that dramatically simplify the way certain distributions affect IRA owners and their beneficiaries. Consult your tax advisor on how these rule changes may affect your situation.

To Simplify, Consolidate

Elsewhere, in today's workplace, it is not uncommon to switch employers every few years. If you have changed jobs and left your assets in your former employers' plans, you may want to consider moving these assets into a rollover IRA or your current employer's plan, if allowed. Consolidating multiple retirement plans into a single tax-advantaged account can make it easier to track your investment performance and streamline your records, including beneficiary designations.

Review Your Current Situation

If you are currently contributing to an employer-sponsored retirement plan and/or an IRA contact your benefits administrator -- or, in the case of the IRA, the financial institution -- and request to review your current beneficiary designations. You may want to do this with the help of your tax advisor or estate planning professional to ensure that these documents are in synch with other aspects of your estate plan. Ask your estate planner/attorney about the proper use of such terms as "per stirpes" and "per capita" as well as about the proper use of trusts to achieve certain estate planning goals. Your planning professional can help you focus on many important issues, including percentage breakdowns, especially when minor children and those with special needs are involved.

Finally, be sure to keep copies of all your designation forms in a safe place and let family members know where they can be found.

This communication is not intended to be tax or legal advice and should not be treated as such. Each individual's situation is different. You should contact your tax or legal professional to discuss your personal situation.


Required Attribution

Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by Wealth Management Systems Inc. or its sources, neither Wealth Management Systems Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall Wealth Management Systems Inc. be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber's or others' use of the content. 

© 2016 DST Systems, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited, except by permission. All rights reserved. Not responsible for any errors or omissions.


Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.



The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

Consider the "Autopilot" Option for Your Plan

These days, it is vitally important for individuals to set money aside for retirement during their working years. Unfortunately, not every employee thinks so. Which explains why some employer-sponsored retirement plans have low participation rates. If your company's retirement plan participation rate disappoints you, there may be an easy fix. Why not put your plan on autopilot?

The Nuts and Bolts

Putting a retirement plan on autopilot simply means introducing an automatic enrollment feature. In other words, employees are automatically enrolled in the retirement plan unless they elect otherwise. A specific percentage of the employee's wages will be automatically deducted from each paycheck for contribution to the plan unless the employee opts out.

Once enrolled in the plan, employees can change their contribution rate and choose how to invest their contributions from the plan's investment menu. If they don't make their own investment selections, their contributions are automatically directed to a qualified default investment alternative (QDIA), which is typically a target date fund, a balanced fund, or an account managed by an ERISA-qualified investment manager. Employees whose contributions are invested in the default option can later switch into another plan investment, if desired.

Does It Work?

According to recent research, approximately 75% of employees participate in their employer's retirement plan.1 The same study found that 62% of plan sponsors offer an auto-enrollment feature, 97% of those offering auto enrollment are satisfied with their program, and that 88% of sponsors believe auto enrollment has had a positive impact on their plan participation rates.2

A Win-Win

Many employees are confused about retirement planning. Many want guidance. Automatic enrollment makes the tough decisions for them and starts them on the path to a more secure financial future. Having a robust retirement plan usually helps businesses attract and keep talented employees. Automatic enrollment may be just the enhancement you need to get more employees to participate in -- and appreciate -- the benefits of working for you.
 

Source:

1. & 2.  Deloitte Consulting, LLP, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, "Annual Defined Contribution Benchmarking Survey, 2015 Edition."


Required Attribution

Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by Wealth Management Systems Inc. or its sources, neither Wealth Management Systems Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall Wealth Management Systems Inc. be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber's or others' use of the content. 

© 2016 DST Systems, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited, except by permission. All rights reserved. Not responsible for any errors or omissions.


Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.



The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

Cash Balance Plans: Offering a Break to Successful Doctors, Dentists and Small Business Owners in Boulder CO

For successful small business owners, cash balance plans can offer larger contributions than 401(k) limits allow.

Are you a small, highly profitable business owner looking for ways to (a) reduce your current taxes and/or (b) dramatically step up your tax-sheltered retirement savings?  If so, a cash balance plan may be worth looking into for your company.

What Is a Cash Balance Plan?

A cash balance plan is a retirement savings vehicle, crafted with the small business owner in mind. When combined with a safe harbor 401(k) or profit sharing plan, it can allow you to make significant, tax-deductible contributions to your own and select partners’ retirement savings, while controlling the costs of your contributions to employee retirement accounts.

What Are the Potential Benefits?

Here are a few of the possibilities a cash balance plan can offer:

·         It can position you to contribute considerably more toward your tax-sheltered retirement savings than 401(k) limits allow – up to $200,000 or more annually (depending on your age, income, years in business and other IRS limits).

·         Your annual contributions are tax-deductible.

·         You can make varying levels of contributions for you and partners in your firm.

·         You must contribute to your employees’ 401(k) accounts, but the contributions can be modest, typically in the range of 5.0–7.5% employee’s salary.

 

What Does It Take to Set Up a Cash Balance Plan?

In addition to accompanying it with a 401(k) or profit-sharing plan as required, your cash balance plan usually works best when all of these conditions are met:

·         You are a small business owner, age 40 or older, with 1–10 employees.

·         Your expected income is relatively predictable for at least the next five years.

·         You can contribute up to $200,000 or more annually for the next five years.

 

How Does It Work?

To establish your cash balance plan, you open one trust investment account for the plan, where investments are pooled for participants. Participants typically include you, and any partners or key employees. As the business owner and plan sponsor, you are the plan’s fiduciary trustee, charged with prudently managing its investments (or selecting and monitoring an investment manager to do so for you).

Each cash balance plan participant has a hypothetical “account” that earns a set interest credit annually, regardless of the plan’s actual investment performance. Contributions are then adjusted annually as needed, to fill any underperformance gap that may occur.

Investment Strategy Counts

If you’re reading between the lines, the structure of your plan means that it is both your fiduciary duty as well as in your best financial interests to be careful about how you invest your cash balance plan’s pooled assets.

You probably have taken or are continuing to take plenty of rewarding risks in your thriving business. Your cash balance plan serves as venue for offsetting those risks with a stable approach to preserving the wealth you’ve worked so hard to accumulate. Typically, we’d suggest something in the range of a three percent performance target, generated by a conservatively managed, low-cost portfolio.

Cash Balance Plans in Action

Case # 1 – A Medical Practice with 1-10 Employees*

Dr. Curtis, age 53, is a successful internal medicine practitioner with four employees. During the next decade, she wants to maximize her own retirement savings while contributing to her staff’s retirement accounts. Here’s how that might look:

CB chart1.JPG

Dr. Curtis’ estimated annual tax savings is approximately $78,500, with 93 percent of her contributions funding her own retirement.

Case #2 – Four Business Partners with No Employees*

Four partners in a successful law firm have varying preferences for funding their retirement accounts during the next five years. A cash balance plan can help the senior partners save at accelerated levels, while junior partners can contribute more modestly. Here’s what that might look like:

CB chart2.JPG

The partners’ combined annual estimated tax savings is approximately $145,000.

Careful Planning: The Usual Key to Success

As you might expect, even if a cash balance plan sounds right for you, there are plenty of caveats to consider, including ensuring that you and your plan remain compliant with IRS tax regulations as well as the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rules. We recommend consulting with professional tax and financial specialists to determine how the details apply to you.

* Case illustrations are reprinted with permission from Dedicated Defined Benefit Services. They assume combined federal and state tax rate of 38%. Cases are based on specific assumptions and used for illustration only.

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

Turning the Page: Five Things Baby Boomers Need to Know About RMDs

The times they are a changin' for baby boomers. The generation that lived through and influenced the revolution in the retirement industry is now poised to begin withdrawing money from their retirement-saving vehicles -- namely IRAs and/or employer-sponsored retirement plans.

If you were born in the first half of 1946 -- you are among the first baby boomers who will turn 70½ this year. That's the magic age at which the Internal Revenue Service requires individuals to begin tapping their qualified retirement savings accounts. While first-timers officially have until April 1 of the following year to take their first annual required minimum distribution (RMD), doing so means you'll have to take two distributions in 2017. And that could potentially push you into a higher tax bracket.

This is just one of the tricky details you'll have to navigate as you enter the "distribution" phase of your investing life. Here are five more RMD consi derations that you may want to discuss with a qualified tax and/or financial advisor.

1.  RMD rules differ depending on the type of account. For all non-Roth IRAs, including traditional IRAs, SEP IRAs, and SIMPLE IRAs, RMDs must be taken by December 31 each year whether you have retired or not. (The exception is the first year, described above.) For defined contribution plans, including 401(k)s and 403(b)s, you can defer taking RMDs if you are still working when you reach age 70½ provided your employer's plan allows you to do so AND you do not own more than 5% of the company that sponsors the plan.

2.  You can craft your own withdrawal strategy. If you have more than one of the same type of retirement account -- such as multiple traditional IRAs -- you can either take individual RMDs from each account or aggregate your total account values and withdraw this amount from one account. As long as your total RMD value is withdrawn, you will have satisfied the IRS requirement. Note that the same rule does not apply to defined contribution plans. If you have more than one account, you must calculate separate RMDs for each then withdraw the appropriate amount from each.

3.  Taxes are still due upon withdrawal. You will probably face a full or partial tax bite for your IRA distributions, depending on whether your IRA was funded with nondeductible contributions. Note that it is up to you -- not the IRS or the IRA custodian -- to keep a record of which contributions may have been nondeductible. For defined contribution plans, which are generally funded with pretax money, you'll likely be taxed on the entire distribution at your income tax rate. Also note that the amount you are required to withdraw may bump you up into a higher tax bracket.

4.  Penalties for noncompliance can be severe. If you fail to take your full RMD by the December 31 deadline on a given year or if you miscalculate the amount of the RMD and withdraw too little, the IRS may assess an excise tax of up to 50% on the amount you should have withdrawn -- and you'll still have to take the distribution. Note that there are certain situations in which the IRS may waive this penalty. For instance, if you were involved in a natural disaster, became seriously ill at the time the RMD was due, or if you received faulty advice from a financial professional or your IRA custodian regarding your RMD, the IRS might be willing to cut you a break.

5.  Roth accounts are exempt. If you own a Roth IRA, you don't need to take an RMD. If, however, you own a Roth 401(k) the same RMD rules apply as for non-Roth 401(k)s, the difference being that distributions from the Roth account will be tax free. One way to avoid having to take RMDs from a Roth 401(k) is to roll the balance over into a Roth IRA.

For More Information

Everything you need to know about retirement account RMDs can be found in IRS Publication 590-B, including the life expectancy tables you'll need to figure out your RMD amount. Your financial and tax professionals can also help you determine your RMD.

The information in this communication is not intended to be tax advice. Each individual's tax situation is different. You should consult with your tax professional to discuss your personal situation.
 
Required Attribution

Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by Wealth Management Systems Inc. or its sources, neither Wealth Management Systems Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall Wealth Management Systems Inc. be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber's or ot hers' use of the content.

© 2016 DST Systems, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited, except by permission. All rights reserved. Not responsible for any errors or omissions.

 

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely thos e of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.