Preparing for Medicare: Know when to enroll to avoid extra costs and penalties

By Robert Wasky, Medicare Planning Specialist

Sixty-five traditionally signifies retirement and the beginning of your eligibility to receive Medicare benefits. But the timing and process for enrolling will differ based on each individual’s situation. Sorting through your options may be time consuming and confusing, but worthwhile, as mistakes can be costly and last a lifetime.

Read More

INVESTOR INSIGHTS – FOURTH QUARTER 2019

Last quarter, we wrote about the dramatic rise of both the stock and bond market in the first six months of this year. The Barclay Aggregate Bond Index was up 6.0% and the Standard and Poor’s 500 index was up 18.5%

Read More

INVESTOR INSIGHTS – THIRD QUARTER 2019

The stock market is telling us the economy and our economic future is rosy. The bond market is showing us of slow growth ahead and perhaps a recession. Which one should we believe?

Read More

The Financial Numbers You Should Know 

Many employees feel squeezed to both pay off their debt and save for their future. A recent Private Letter Ruling (PLR) opens the door for employers to help them.

Read More

INVESTOR INSIGHTS – FIRST QUARTER 2019

Let’s start with 2017. To understand 2018, at least the first part, a review of 2017 will help. The S&P 500 was up 21.8% in 2017 and every month experienced positive returns. Volatility was at historic lows as the biggest intramonth decline was less than 3%. There was anticipation of corporate and individual tax cuts as well as the loosening of regulations.

Read More

Recent Market Volatility

October has seen the return of market volatility, with the S&P 500 Index falling for six consecutive sessions through last Thursday, its longest losing streak in nearly two years. A combination of factors has led to this sell-off including fears of an overheating U.S. economy…

Read More

GE Shows What Happens When Dividend Investing Goes Wrong

Although we cannot prevent market or dividend volatility from occurring, we definitely do remain focused on taking a consistent and disciplined approach when managing our strategy. An approach that helps you understand and be more confident that you will be “OK” in all market outcomes…

Read More

EA Comment August 1, 2019

Less is more? The Federal Reserve cuts short-term interest rates by 25 basis points and indicates that there could be more to come, if necessary.

In a much-anticipated move, the Federal Reserve reduced short-term interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis began over a decade ago. The decision by the FOMC was described by Fed Chair Jay Powell as, insuring against downside risk, and uncertainties from a weakening global economy, continuing trade tensions between the US and China, as well as persistently low inflation.

Read More

May, 2019 Newsletter
Retirement Times

Four Ways to Increase Employee Retirement Contributions

By Michael Viljak, Manager, Advisor Development

As a retirement plan sponsor, you want your employees to save the most they can in order to reach their maximum retirement potential. A significant amount of research says that you can improve both employee participation and their saving rates. Here are four ways you can help your employees start building a confident retirement:

Read More

Repay Student Loans or Save in a Retirement Plan? Why Not Both?

Joel Shapiro, JD, LLM, Senior Vice President, ERISA Compliance

Many employees feel squeezed to both pay off their debt and save for their future. A recent Private Letter Ruling (PLR) opens the door for employers to help them.…

Read More

February, 2019 Newsletter

Don’t Let Student Debt Get In Your Way
Of Financial Success by Andy Harper

By Andy Harper

If you find yourself in a position of not being able to pay off your student loan debt and save for your future, you’re not alone. According to the New York Federal Reserve, more than two million student loan borrowers have student loan debt greater than $100,000, with approximately 415,000 of them carrying student loan debt in excess of $200,000.

Read More

Six Easy Steps to Keep Your Plan Assets Safe

Joel Shapiro, JD, LLM, Senior Vice President, ERISA Compliance

Cyber fraud is a growing concern globally. Individuals are typically very careful to keep their bank account and email authentication information safe, but they aren’t always smart with the rest of their personal information. Participants need to be vigilant…

Read More

March, 2019 Newsletter – Retirement Times

By Bill Tugaw, Senior Vice President, Governmental Plan Practice Leader

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued benefit plan guidance and relief for plans and participants affected by the 2018 California Wildfires. The DOL recognizes that plan sponsors and participants may be affected in their ability to achieve compliance with various regulatory requirements. The guidance generally applies to all parties involved in employee benefit plans located in areas identified by FEMA as disaster areas, listed here: www.fema.gov/disasters.

Read More

April, 2019 Newsletter – Retirement Times

Ten Reasons to Roll Over Into Your Plan Versus an IRA

By Michael Viljak, Manager, Advisor Development

Do you have employees in a prior employer’s retirement plan? Should they transfer these assets to a personal IRA or into your employer-sponsored retirement plan? Review the pros and cons of an individual retirement account (IRA) versus consolidating into the current retirement plan with your employees to help them make this decision.

Read More

Collaboration is Key to a Successful Exit

Any proper exit planning process will cover all aspects of an owner’s personal and business life. Even if the goal is to maximize the sale value to a third party or maintain the business as a lifestyle business, this exit planning process covers such a broad array of topics that it is impossible for any single, professional advisor to deliver on all of these topics and provide education and solutions for each. Collaboration must occur.

Read More

The “5 Year Exit Plan” Trap

Business Owners – Do you fall into the “5 Year Exit Plan” Trap? It is vital that owners see that the perpetual 5-year plan is not good for themselves or their businesses and that the natural tendency to delay the planning for an eventual exit may be costly to both you, your company, and the people who depend on your business for their livelihood.

Read More

Considerations for Your Illiquid Asset, Your Business

In today’s economy, many business owners are looking to cash in the value of their business because profitability and valuations are high. If your business is healthy and strong, it likely represents the most valuable asset / holding in your overall personal portfolio today.

Read More

Insuring Your Future Exit as a Business Owner

Business owners are risk-takers by nature. Interestingly, however, is the fact that these same owners are often-times not risk averse. What this means is that owners will assume risks in one area of their lives, but not necessarily work to mitigate risks in other areas.

Read More

Women & Wealth – Gaining Financial Confidence

The challenges facing women are greater today than ever before. Raising a family, balancing a career or caring for an aging parent all can often delay or sidetrack a financial roadmap. The following article speaks about these challenges and how we can take a more active role in shaping our financial lives and future.

Read More

How Does a Woman’s Longer Life Impact her Investment Strategy?

It’s no secret—women live longer than men. So in order to retire with the same level of comfort, women must save more to account for the extra years. But many women face challenges accumulating the funds they need to cover a longer life span.

Read More

Writing the Book of Legacy

By Chris Gibbons

Each of us believes we know ourselves, that we have a sense for the nature of our loved ones, and that we’ve identified a firmly formed picture of right and wrong. Perhaps above all else, each of us believes we are rational people and make decisions based on facts and not emotions.

Read More

Philanthropy & Taxes: Giving is Receiving

It’s fulfilling to give back. And in return, the IRS rewards philanthropists by allowing them a tax break for their humanitarian efforts. Your tax bill can be lowered by donating to certain qualified charities, such as religious organizations, American Red Cross, Goodwill, and any other charity that is…

Read More

Don’t Be A Statistic, Protect Your Identity From The Dark Web

Did you know that there’s a new victim of identity theft every two seconds? In 2017 alone, 1 in 15 people became a victim of hacker/security breaches, totaling to about 16.7 million people. Unfortunately, over 1 million of those who were affected were children…

Read More

A Private Island Could Cost Less Than Your Current Home

Buying a home in San Francisco could be more expensive than purchasing your own private island. Whether you’re looking for a new elite vacation spot or going off the grid, buying an island isn’t only for the uber wealthy. In fact, there are hundreds of islands on the market for sale, and some are even listed well below six figures…

Read More

The Financial Numbers You Should Know

Credit score, debt-to-income ratio, net worth. There are a lot of numbers you should know when it comes to personal finance. There are five major numbers you should know in order to understand your situation, and how to improve it…

Read More

Are You Checking Your Social Security Statement?

Americans have the ability to request their Social Security statement. This is an important piece of the retirement puzzle to be checking because you want to make sure your future benefits are actually reflecting what you have earned over your working life…

Read More

Millennials Are Planning For Retirement Decades Early

Contrary to popular belief, there is hope for the millennial generation – at least when it comes down to retirement savings. Studies have shown that the median millennial retirement fund increased by 400% from 2007 to 2017…

Read More

Tips to Help Stop the Robocalls

Sick of getting unsolicited calls from unknown numbers? I think we all are. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), robocalls are the number one complaint by far…

Read More