A 401(k) is a retirement savings plan sponsored by an employer that lets workers save and invest a portion of their paycheck before taxes are taken out. 401(k) plans emerged in the 1980’s as a supplement to pensions. Pensions known as defined benefit plans became more and more expensive for large corporations as the aging demographics required more workers and fund performance to guarantee pension income for retired workers. But as the cost of running pensions escalated, employers started replacing them with 401(k) plans, a type of defined contribution plan.
I find it fascinating that our most successful and fulfilled clients are those that are the most charitably involved in all kinds of organizations helping others. As we all know, we’ll leave it all behind, why not benefit others in need while we’re living and beyond the grave. As Christ instructed in the New Testament, “To whom much has been given, much is required”. Whether its youth programs like the Boys & Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, Kids on the Run, Rotary clubs, Teen Mentoring programs, YMCA, Habitat for Humanity, Good Samaritan Clinic, Historical Societies, Arts Organizations, Missions and Job Creation organizations, the list is endless.
Our grandson Calvin spent some fun days with us recently while our daughter and son-in-law took a needed break on a cruise for their anniversary. It's hard to explain the pride, joy and sense of wonder in seeing the legacy of your family continue through the next generations. We all hope and pray they live lives of honor, integrity and make significant contributions to make a difference in the really short lives we have here on earth.
There are always lurking worries and concerns, reasons to prevent investors from having confidence in the long-term prospects of growth in the capital markets. Most end up waiting until “it feels good” or the perfect time to invest and we know that never really happens. Then, when stock prices are at all-time lows, few have the courage to step up and buy low at precisely the prime time of best opportunity. The saying goes, “stocks are the only thing people don’t want to buy when they’re on sale”. There is always something new, different and scary that we’ve never experienced before. But looking back over history from the great depression and market crash of the 20’s and 30s’ WWII, Korean war, Vietnam, the Oil embargo, assassinations, a severe recession in the 70s, sky rocketing interest rates in the 80’s, terrorist attacks, impeachment proceedings, government shutdowns, the list goes on……
Tax season can bring new possibilities – especially when it comes to what to do with your refund or, on the flip side, how to settle your bill. We’ve gathered some ideas that may fit into your financial landscape.
TENDING TO YOUR WINDFALL
So you worked diligently with your tax preparer to complete your return, only to discover some of the fruits of last year’s labor will be coming back in the form of a refund. So, what can you do with your bounty? Here are some possibilities:
These celebrities' tales are a strong reminder to review your estate plan before it’s too late.
There’s a calm comfort that comes with estate planning: a sense that your family will be taken care of after you pass away (hopefully at a ripe old age). Sadly, it doesn’t always happen that way. Skipping regular estate plan reviews can lead to forgotten details, and these can create confusion and havoc for your family – or suck them into a time-consuming court case to iron everything out. Unfortunately, that was the case for these high-profile individuals and their loved ones.
A Recent report from JP Morgan outlines once again for the patient investor, that diversification The current bull market has not been kind to asset allocation, and following the post-election run in equity markets, some investors are wondering: is diversification still worth it? Frankly, this is a fair question to ask – as of February, the S&P 500 had outperformed an asset allocation portfolio by 54.7% on a cumulative five-year basis, a statistic that is sure to sting investors who might already feel that they have missed out on the full potential of this bull market.
After a lengthy search, we are excited to announce the addition of Blake Seibert to our Client Service team. As Associate Planner, Blake will work closely with Tom assisting with investment research, portfolio management and financial planning analysis.
At its March 15 meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee did what many expected: raised the target federal funds rate to between 0.75% and 1%. The 25-basis-point increase was in line with market expectations and reflected “the economy’s continued progress toward the employment and price stability objectives,” according to Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Janet Yellen. The central bankers last raised rates three months ago at their mid-December meeting.
A recent study on Safeguarding our Seniors conducted by Allianz indicated that elder financial abuse is becoming more commonplace and appears to be greater than we thought in both scope and impact. This latest study also exposed the damaging effects of abuse extend well beyond the seniors themselves to their caregivers.
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