Answers in Retirement Plans

Your personal retirement plans will have to be your primary method of funding your retirement and you should consider all the tools at your disposal to plan for and achieve your retirement goals.
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Kevin, the short answer is, it depends. There are strict rules that restrict the employer from discriminating in favor of owners and highly compensated employees. But there are also formulas that can be used to pass the discrimination testing. In ...(more)
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Joseph, the problem is that you want advice on how to diversify your account. The way to allocate your account is based on primarily your risk tolerance, but also has a variety of other factors. A very important rule for a financial advisor is to ‘know ...(more)
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Stephanie, these costs, both advisory and administrative, can vary widely based on the special circumstances of the group; average account balance, total assets, number of locations, plan design, special service issues, etc
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David J Haas Level 7
Hi Leslie, Besides what Jeremy said, I want to add that any 401k withdrawals will be taxable (unless you had post-tax contributions or roth 401k contributions). The age 55 rule only waives the extra 10% penalty on early withdrawals. I don't know your ...(more)
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Urban C Fleming Level 7
Flora, You would need to contact the plan administrator via your HR rep. Before you cash out your 401k, evaluate the tax implications and penalties associated with that transaction. Depending on your age and the amount, the consequences/results will vary.
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Hi Dean, This is a great question. Too many people don’t pay that much attention to the details of their 401(k) investments, especially when it comes to fees. That ends up costing them money in the end. To get a sense of how your own 401(k) plan stacks ...(more)
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Leslie, You are wise to consider the tax implications before withdrawing 401(k) assets! Far too many people try to fix it after the fact. I'd like to clarify a few facts: (1) your husband is separating/separated from service with the provider of the ...(more)
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David J Haas Level 7
Hi Judy. I am not a lawyer, but the company should answer the simple question of whether you are or are not listed as the beneficiary. If you are not listed as current beneficiary, then they certainly do not have to give you any additional information. ...(more)
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Diana, the simplest way of getting an answer to your question is to ask the HR department if the company pays a dividend. ESOP plans vary widely and the company itself is the best source of information. If the stock pays a dividend some ESOPs allow ...(more)
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Joseph, you are experiencing the challenge that lots of people face when they get a job and are asked to decide how to invest their 401(k) contributions. You are looking for free advice, and I appreciate that. But giving investment advice to people ...(more)
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Matthew, a simple will should not be an expensive proposition. There are a number of other issues that you and your mother should be aware of. After a quarter-century experience helping people cope with the death of a relative I wrote a set of books: ...(more)
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David J Haas Level 7
Hi Matthew, An estate planning book may be a good idea, but one of the problems is that estate tax law has changed considerably within the past 4 years. So you really need a fairly recent book. All of the books I have seen are relatively long. Estate ...(more)
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Joseph, You've got a decent list of options there. While I do see Vanguard, DFA, and the words index in your list, that's really a non-issue. Both active and passive investing are viable strategies depending on what research you read. Generally speaking, ...(more)
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I'm guessing these are mutual funds available to you in your 401(k) . If I was 23 years old and had a 4 decade outlook then I would be in 100% stocks. BUT YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE RISK. If you don't talk to a fee-only financial planner ...(more)
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Pam Horack Level 20
Hi Matthew! As laws vary between the states, I really recommend that your mother take the time to speak with an attorney to get her affairs in order. In addition to having a will, she may want a general power of attorney and health care proxy paperwork. The ...(more)
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