Oktoberfest for IRA Planning? Important Deadlines Ahead

    September 30, 2016 12:08 PM by Brian Dobbis

    Mark your calendars to maximize retirement savings opportunities.  

    THE ROAD TO RETIREMENT with BRIAN DOBBIS

    With October almost here, it’s hard not to view it as the true heart of autumn: crisp days, cool nights, brilliant sunshine, fiery foliage, festive football, and haunted Halloween. But there also are a number of important IRA deadlines that occur throughout the month.

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    Unwinding Excess IRA Contributions

    September 23, 2016 11:40 AM by Brian Dobbis

    Reversing overflows can be complex, but in a pinch, mind these steps before the October 15th deadline.

    THE ROAD TO RETIREMENT with BRIAN DOBBIS 

    This week, I received a number of inquiries from advisors whose clients had overfunded their 2015 IRA contributions—a common error, especially with Roth IRAs.  

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    Reassuring Words from the Fed and the Bank of Japan

    September 21, 2016 4:45 PM by Zane Brown

    After the European Central Bank spooked investors earlier in the month, policymakers in the United States and Japan emphasized “lower for longer” rate expectations on September 21. 

    After the European Central Bank (ECB) disappointed investors two weeks ago by deciding not to step up its bond-buying program, subsequently spurring a rise in yields across the globe, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) and the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) offered more market-friendly policy statements on September 21. 

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    SIMPLE IRA Rules of the Road

    September 15, 2016 12:58 PM by Brian Dobbis

    While SIMPLE IRAs have come a long way in 20 years, the rules may sound complex at times. Here’s a refresher on salient guidelines. 

    THE ROAD TO RETIREMENT with BRIAN DOBBIS

    Are you ready for some SIMPLE advice? I’m talking about the acronym for the Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE), which turns 20 this year. And I keep getting questions on the road that make SIMPLE IRA plans sound more complex than they really are.

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    State-Run Retirement Plans: Now in Three Flavors

    September 8, 2016 4:30 PM by Brian Dobbis

    The Department of Labor recently clarified when a state-run plan would not be covered by ERISA. Whether they catch on and can compete with far more popular offerings remains to be seen.

    THE ROAD TO RETIREMENT with BRIAN DOBBIS 

    Over the past few years, a number of state legislatures have moved to create a state-based retirement plan offering to those private-sector workers whose employer does not offer a retirement plan. The states have taken things into their own hands primarily because the number of workers without access to a retirement plan continues to increase and also owing to more than a decade of inaction by Congress to create a federal auto-enrollment IRA program.

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    IRAs and 401(k)s: Rollover Help from the IRS

    September 1, 2016 12:45 PM by Brian Dobbis

    The IRS has announced a new and expedited process that offers relief to taxpayers who have missed the 60-day deadline for rolling over distributions from employer-sponsored plans and IRAs. 

    THE ROAD TO RETIREMENT with BRIAN DOBBIS

    Withdrawals from an employer sponsored plan, such as a 401(k) or an IRA, have typically been subject to income taxes and or penalties if the proceeds are paid directly to the investor. However, the investor traditionally has had 60-days to plow the distributed amount back into an IRA and or workplace retirement plan without being subject to taxes or penalties—until now.  

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    Yellen Tilts Toward Fed Action in December

    August 26, 2016 2:19 PM by Zane Brown

    In her closely watched speech at the U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Fed chair signaled a higher likelihood of a rate hike in December. 

    Media coverage and memories of former U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) chairman Ben Bernanke’s surprise signaling of the second phase of quantitative easing (QE2) at the 2010 event of the Fed’s annual late-summer symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, kept investors’ attention focused on the opening speech from the current Fed chair, Janet Yellen, for the 2016 gathering. 

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    The Fed Deserves Praise, Not Scorn

    August 26, 2016 1:35 PM by Giulio Martini

    It would be the height of irony if the Fed’s critics succeed in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    In a provocative editorial published in The Wall Street Journal, on August 25, Kevin Warsh, who served (2006–11) on the board of governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve, takes the Fed to task for how it has pursued, since 2008, its policy objectives of 2% inflation and maximum employment. He seems to believe that the Fed is oblivious to forces that are bearing down on it from both Congress and the public that ultimately will threaten its independence unless economic growth accelerates.

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    IRAs versus 401(k)s: More Rules You Should Know

    August 25, 2016 3:05 PM by Brian Dobbis

    Back by popular demand: rule differences we didn’t cover last week.  

    THE ROAD TO RETIREMENT with BRIAN DOBBIS 

    Summer sequels may be standard fare in the movie business, but not so much in retirement planning. So without much further ado, I present a continuation of last week’s blog to cover additional rule differences that separate IRAs from 401(k) plans. 

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    IRAs versus 401(k)s: Key Rule Differences

    August 18, 2016 10:30 AM by Brian Dobbis

    IRAs and 401(k)s both have unique tax benefits, and different rules. Understanding them can help you manage your retirement savings.

    THE ROAD TO RETIREMENT with BRIAN DOBBIS 

    $12.2 trillion! That’s the aggregate amount that Americans have saved in IRAs and 401(k) plans (as of March 2016)—and roughly half of the $24 trillion in qualified assets marked for retirement, according to the Investment Company Institute. Careful comparison between those two savings options can help you choose how best to increase your nest egg.

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