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Michael Steven Greenberg, CFP®

Greenberg Financial Group

Delray Beach

FL

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Employer Years Dates
Benefits Concepts Inc., D/B/A Greenberg Financial Group 2 years, 5 months Jun 2015 - Present
Midamerica Financial Services, Inc 3 years, 6 months Apr 2012 - Oct 2015
Workman Securities Corporation 1 year, 9 months Jan 2010 - Oct 2011
Mutual Service Corporation 2 years, 7 months Feb 2007 - Sep 2009
Benefit Concepts, Inc., D/B/A Greenberg Financial Group 17 years, 3 months Aug 2000 - Present

Designations & Memberships

  • Certified Financial Planner
    Designation
    Certified Financial Planner
    A standard certification for advisors, designees are exposed to nearly 100 topics on integrated financial planning. Major topics include, but not limited to: insurance, employee benefits, securities, state and federal tax, estate tax and planning, asset protection, etc.

Articles and Answers

Insights by Michael Greenberg

Should I Convert to a Roth IRA
Published 2013-02-25 13:28:08
What is a Cash Balance Plan
Published 2013-02-08 13:33:02
    *Articles are published by advisors without compensation.

    Answers

    Ask a financial questionAsk a question
    I like to know the difference between a DEFINED-BENEFIT PLAN and a CASH BALANCE PLAN?. Also, what are thw advantages and disadvantages?
    Edwin, a Cash Balance plan is a form of Defined Benefit plan. They are both employer funded. However a traditional Defined Benefit Plan will state your benefit as a monthly payment at retirement. A Cash Balance plan will define your benefit as a ‘stated balance’ which you can elect monthly payme...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    Re: my 401: in te mid 90's before Roth IRA's were around I contributed the max into aftertax savings - I am not sure how much I put in over those years but it's now worth about $160K and is mixed in with the regular funds -- can this be turned into a Roth with no tax's or how would I handle it. I wo
    Ray’s answer was very concise. He answered that you need to check your form 8606 for contributions to your IRA. If your after contributions were to a 401(k) it would have been form 5330. The precise name of the form is not relevant to your question.The amount of the rollover that would be tax-fr...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    Who is administering my Rohr Inc. Pension? Contact information required.?
    Every 401(k) has a Plan Administrator that takes care of this. Contact HR to find your Third Party Administrator. In your specific instance, it is quite possible that the transition had some hiccups, and the problem has by now been resolved for your issue....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    Major differences between Growth Vs. Value Investing?
    Melissa, mutual fund managers, and almost all money managers have an investment objective. Simply put, if a manager of a fund is seeking to invest in 'value' stocks, then he or she would be looking for stocks that are trading for less than what that manager believes it is currently worth; ie; a st...  (more)
    Answered Dec 2013
    I am an employee at a small business in Maryland. We have a 401K plan with a 3% company match. However, we only have about 15-18 investment options through American funds and all the expense ratios are 1.35-1.90. How can I find lower expense ratio options?
    Adam, it is a difficult situation when a small business owner wants to provide an employee benefit of a retirement plan. Every 401(k) has to undergo non-discrimination testing, that is, testing to be certain that highly compensated employees and owners are not being treated more favorably than the ...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    If I return deferrals based on an ADP failure, does the match contribution have to be recalculated based on the corrected deferral amount?
    Yes. You should re-test. And be sure to distribute the corrective distributions before April 15 to avoid double taxation. If distributed after April 15, the excess is still taxable in the year the deferral was made and it is also taxed in the year of distribution. In order to avoid double taxati...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    AS A MEMBER OF TOWN AND COUNTRY GROCERS STOCK OWNERSHIP PROGRAM, IF I TERMINATE EMPLOYMENT WITH COMPANY, AM I ENTITLED TO MY MONEY?
    Typically on an ESOP, you are entitled to redeem your shares when you leave the company, though the company may make you wait until they come up with an ‘appraised’ value. Get a Summary Plan Description from HR; it will spell out all the detailsThat is also a ‘vesting’ schedule, either a grade ves...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    My Dad would like to give "gift" my Husband and I $25K to help pay for medical expenses. Since he has already paid for the taxes on his end for the funds we wanted to see what the implications would be for my Husband and I when we file our taxes for 2013?
    Amy, what may go against common thinking, the person receiving a gift does not pay tax; it is not earned income. The person giving the gift, or the donor, is responsible for the gift tax, and as mentioned, they can gift up to $14,000 to everyone they know in 2013 with any tax implicationsYour dad ...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    How can I locate information about a letter received from Potential Private Benefit I have the plan number and information .
    Darleen, you probably applied for Social Security benefits. Social Security was notified by the IRS that you may have some vested retirement benefits. It actually may or may not be accurate, as you may have already withdrawn that money. You would need to contact the plan administrator of the for...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    I was laid off from Domtar how long do i have to wait before i can withdraw all my money from my 401k?
    Most plans are participant directed, meaning that, you, as employee, get to select your investment choices. As long as the plan is participant directed, you can request a distribution right away. If it is not participant directed, you will need to wait until plan does their next valuation, possibl...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    Is there any situation in which an annuity does NOT gain interest?
    Deborah, Is this annuity a part of a retirement plan. When you are talking about loans, it is sounding like a 401(k) hardship loan. It kind of sounds to me like your ex may have a 401(k) that is a group annuity product. That is very different than an individual annuity.It sounds to me from the s...  (more)
    Answered Nov 2013
    I have a universal life policy for $150,000. I am 55, female, married. I want to purchase long term care insurance. How could I use my policy to purchase long term care insurance and is that a good idea? My husband does not need the life insurance money.
    C, there are a lot of moving parts to your UL policy, and they are important because, other than need, it will determine if you have value that you are giving up. How long have you been paying premiums, what are the premiums going forward, how much cash is built up, have you paid all the admin ex...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Is putting your money in a universal life insurance with cash value the most efficient way to save for retirement ?
    Raul, it sounds like you have an indexed life insurance policy. . It can build cash value over time, and you can, under certain circumstances, take withdrawals for retirement with tax-free growth. But first, it is a very expensive way to pay for retirement because the fees for the life insurance...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2014
    Can I move my balance from my employer's 401k to a traditional IRA?
    Margaret, as you already know, those fees are high. If your employer has a reasonably small plan, sometimes the administrative fees need to be high until the plan can grow in both assets and average account balance. Without knowing everything, it really seems like it could be more competitive. It...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    What is Index Universal Life. Why is it being sold as a 7702 plan, Can I withdraw any amount of money without a tax penalty?
    Index universal life is a policy that credits based on a financial index. Though you cash value will not go down in a bad year, in good years there are typically caps on how much growth you will be credited. 7702 is the section of the IRS Code that defines cash value life insurance. Period. There ...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    How much are my various investment funds costing me?
    It varies. Not such an easy answer with Schwab. Assuming it is not in a 401(k).... Every fund has an internal operating expense. In addition to that, there could be a 12(b)1 fee or a management fee. On the Schwab brokerage platform, I believe they have 'preferred' funds. Funds that are not 'pref...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    How will my divorce impact my pension?
    Frederick, what is settled in your divorce decree is what will go into a "Qualified Domestic Relations Order' or QDRO. It is actually a court order. Whatever it says in the QDRO is what your ex-spouse will get. Your pension cannot be touched, unless there is a court order. Nothing trumps a cou...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    If I were to leave my job today; would the company keep 20% of my 401k for taxes?
    Darlene, any money you withdraw (not rollover to an IRA) from a qualified plan would be subject to ordinary income tax (earned income) for the year you take it, plus, if it is before the year you turn 59 1/2, there is a 10% penalty.If, however, you leave employment in a company, you can avoid the...  (more)
    Answered Nov 2014
    How do i find my 401k balance?
    Contact Human Resources and get the phone number of the plan administrator. They will be able to help you with your balance, and give you instructions to register on the online portal, so you can view your account anytime....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    What do you think about a company that does not match 401 k. And only has ESOP? Is it worth to move to a new company? When mine matches 100% and I'm fully vested? Thank you.
    Lori, if you can find a job that, overall, is more fulfilling and has a total compensation package that is better, then you should consider it. Don’t switch plans just because they only offer an ESOP.I think you want to hear that your company stinks because it does not offer a 401(k), and maybe th...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    My 401k plan is invested in stock from non public company. I am no longer with the company andI need to make a hardship partial withdrawl. Ihave told by the plan administrator that company policy is that former associate have transfer the account to another firm. I still want the remainder of the of
    Jamil, I think you are trying to say you have participated in your employers retirement plan and have invested in the company’s stock, that you no longer work there, and need to take a partial withdrawal. Yet you still want to keep what is left in company stock.Typically other than non-public shar...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    How do I recieve my funds from a decedent?
    Tammy, Pam hit all the salient points. You’ll need to contact the plan provider, but it is a good idea to contact HR as well, as there may be other benefits coming to you. You will need to fill out a form and provide copy of death certificate.If you have a financial advisor, I’d recommend you jus...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    Can my mother-in-law (not currently employed) transfer a defined benefit plans (from a past employer) in to an IRA/Roth? As she's not working, but my father-in-law is, can they open this jointly so that they he can contribute to it?
    David, the short answer is that defined benefit plans have rules distinctive to the plan that dictate when and if, you can make a lump sum distribution. The really, really, good news is that the plan is advising your mother-in-law that she needs to take action. So long as one of those actions is ...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    How should I plan for my retirement if my employer doesn't offer retirement benefits?
    Erik, I don’t know how old you are, or what your earnings are. The first thing you should do is maximize an IRA or Roth IRA. The reason for that is Uncle Sam offers a tax incentive if you save for retirement, similar to the tax advantage you would get in a 401(k). Basically, in a traditional IRA,...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    If I have an existing loan I am paying on in my 401k can I borrow some more money to catch up on something's.
    Edward, ditto what Michael and Andy have already stated.The answer to your problem does not lie in borrowing from your 401(k). If you are broke now, you will be broke again in a few months, only then you won't have much in your 401(k) either. It would be a very short term fix. I don't know how t...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    Is it worth combining my 401k's when they both seem to be doing about the same? Additional investments on top of 401k?
    Brett, you have options, and there is justification for whichever option you choose.If you keep your T. Rowe account, you will have those investment choices available. True, as being separated from service, you can take withdrawals at age 55. But, as you appear to be a good saver and fiscally res...  (more)
    Answered May 2014
    Northcoast Assest Management ETF investment?
    Ali, Northcoast Asset Management is a money manager with a decent reputation, in my opinion. I looked at the returns on their CANSLIM program, but did not see anything remarkable. It does not appear to follow a pattern of minimal volatility, nor does it show any sort of outperformance. I would g...  (more)
    Answered May 2014
    Hello. I will like to find out of my 401k. I will like to know when was the last time my employer contribute to my 401k and how much is my total accumulated up to present? Thank you?
    Call Human Resources and get the phone number of the Plan Administrator. The Plan Administrator can answer your questions and also give you directions to access the online portal, where you can review your account anytime. Many plans do not do employer contributions until the end of the year. ...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    I have a 401k from my previous company which is still being managed by them. I am not sure if I should rollover my 401k to my new company and get someone else to manage it. Can you please provide me with some options I can explore.?
    If you rollover your 401(k) to a ‘rollover’ IRA, you will likely have more freedom in selecting investment choices that may be better suited to your personal investment style. You could also have more control over fees.Consult a local qualified investment advisor. Find one that you feel comfortab...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    After death can bill collectors come after 401 investments?
    401(k)’s are subject to ERISA laws and pass to the beneficiary and are always exempt from the creditor's reach, both in bankruptcy, from a court judgment, and upon death.. Since ERISA is federal law, Non-ERISA accounts, such as IRA’s, are a different; the rules vary by state. Most, but not all state...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    Other than mutual funds expenses, what other charges (for thing like"records+admin") do the best public employee 401k's?
    Jim, for perspective, you might expect recordkeeping and administrative costs could be in the neighborhood of 50 bps. On large plans, they could be less. On very small plans, they could be considerably more. Some plans pass on all of its administrative expense to its employees, where some may ...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2014
    Why do some companies' 401k plans offer to invest in employer stock through unitized stock funds? Thanks.
    Simply put, unitized stock funds, are, as the name implies, company stocks that are unitized along with a cash component. It allows the company to execute transactions in an orderly way. The article that Rod posted is accurate and more specific....  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    I need to find my 401k plan from year 2007?
    Call HR at your former employer, and get the phone number of the plan administrator. The plan administrator will be able to provide you information and send you a statement. If you open a rollover IRA, you will need the statement...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    Should I continue contributing to my 401k plan that receives no match from my employer?
    Andrew. I do not know all of the details, but, in general, I would think you would want to try to take advantage of tax advantages offered through investing in a 401(k)or an IRA. You could invest in a tax efficient manner in an after tax account, but I think, depending on your risk tolerance and in...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2014
    I last worked at scolaris in 2009 and now they are out of business.. My current job does not have a 401k how can i withdrawal my money?
    If you really want to close out your account and withdraw the money, you would contact the plan provider and request a distribution form. So long as you are separated from the company and over age 55, you can withdraw your entire account balance without penalty. Your distribution will still be tax...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    How do I invest short-term and protect my principal without resorting to using my bank's low yield certificates?
    Marty, the simple answer is that we are in a historically low interest rate environment, and without taking any risk, you will get a low interest rate return. In an efficient market, anything else will have returns that are representative of the amount of risk that you take. Even time is considere...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2014
    My name is Walter Hill, I used to work for Moog Aircraft Group Torrance Operations. I am afraid that they do not have my current contact information, how can I update this as I am close to retiring.
    Walter, you need to contact either Human Resources or the plan administrator. Call Human Resources and update your information. Also see if they have a retirement package. If they do not have a retirement package, get the phone number of the plan administrator, who will be able to both update you...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    First group inc 401k matching contribution i have a 401k account with a company named First Transit In., parent company First Group America Inc., how do i find out the answer to how much they are matching my account? their front office didnt know?
    Scott, it is in what is called a Summary Plan Description. Employees at HR wear many different hats, and the person you spoke to was likely not aware. Call HR back. Ask for a Summary Plan Description of your 401(k). If they still don’t know what you are asking for, ask for the phone number of t...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    For small businesses, what is (typically) the minimum number of participants to start a 401K plan?
    Lets try again.Mike, in a 401(k), you are not allowed to discriminate in favor of owners or highly comped employees, unless you do it based on an approved formula. I won't go into the endless details, but either way you need to have a third party administrator to run the non discrimination tests an...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    How can I buy stocks?
    Anthony, buying stocks is easy. In answer to your question, you can open a brokerage account with any number of brokerage firms. Some of the larger companies have direct stock purchase programs.The challenge, in my opinion, is not just buying the right stocks at the right time, but also selling t...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    Hello, how can I search 401k plans in my area (Austin, Texas) that have Self-Directed Brokerage Account option?
    Kenny, other than just for curiosity, I’m not sure why you would expend energy to find ’other’ plans with a Self-Directed Brokerage option. And, of course, for whatever reason, it's fine for you to look for this info, but for your actual use, it is pretty much academic. Because I’m missing your o...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    How do i locate my old 401k plan?
    Rowena, if the company is still around, call HR and get a phone number for the plan administrator. Update your address, and get directions to access your online portal. I would also recommend that you check on your beneficiaries. It’s been a while since you selected them; things sometimes change...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    Is there a death benefit with the Scholle Corp. Employee Retirement Plan?
    Anna, typically, it is not a part of the actual retirement plan, but it may have been offered as part of an employee or retirement package. Check with HR....  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    I am 70 years old, have $500,000 in savings, receive $1352 net SS. I will soon need a new smaller house that I would like to buy with down payment and financing. How much can I withdraw annually for the rest of my life with this scenario.
    Gloria, the specific question you are asking is how much can you withdraw annually. As Prateek aptly pointed out, 4% of $500,000 is a safe amount to calculate so that you do not spend into the $500,000 of principal. It is reasonable to expect that you can earn enough on your investment to keep up ...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    Employee has passed away and i am the beneficiary, how do i go about checking on any money he or beneficiaries are due?
    William, lots of good advice.If you are beneficiary of a retirement plan or insurance policy, there would be actual beneficiaries listed; it does not go through an executor or courts or probate. You can go to directly to company and claim the proceeds. However, you will need to know the company t...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    Can I leave my 401(k) while still employed and under 60?
    Hi Jonathan. Jonathan's answer was very succinct. I don't need to repeat what he has stated. The only thing I would add is to try calling the plan administrator to get info on loan availability and the process. You can get their number either from your statement, or just get it from HR. Also, ...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    I was previously employed at Bob Evans and I want to know how to claim my 401k benefits?
    Linda, you need to contact the plan administrator and get a distribution form. This form will likely need to be signed off by Human Resources. Contact HR to get the form if they provide it, but you will probably need to get the contact number for the plan administrator, who will provide you the f...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    My father passed away in October. He had a 401k, we are unable to find paperwork that state's beneficiaries. It is through Wells Fargo. They are not helpful over the phone, we also had a lawyer send a letter asking the same info. Help...
    Linda, you need to contact the plan administrator and get a distribution form. This form will likely need to be signed off by Human Resources. Contact HR to get the form if they provide it, but you will probably need to get the contact number for the plan administrator, who will provide you the f...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    I know that im trying to find out how long it takes for a company to send a response to your 401k so they can distribute my money?
    Rafael, call the plan administrator, You will probably need a distribution form. It may need to be signed off by your former employer. If you call Human Resources, be nice to them. I have had several experiences where clients have gotten angry with the speed of HR to get the form back. Signing ...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    Would it be a good financial strategy for us to roll over all our 401k IRAs to an annuity? Please see details below.
    Larry the answer to your question, is no, it would not be a good financial strategy.By putting all your stated assets into an annuity, you are making it basically illiquid. I cannot think of a circumstance, other than creditor protection, where I feel it would be suitable to do so. In case of a...  (more)
    Answered Nov 2013
    I have a 401k from 1997 or maybe earlier that I totally forgot about; how do I go about getting that money? I was Diagnosised with Breasted Cancer/ Lymphoma. Had a Bone Marrow Transplant aswell. So I could really use this Money tor Bills Etc...
    April, sorry to hear of your illness.You need to find the plan administrator. If you have an old statement, the phone number should be on there. If not call Human Resources and get the phone number for the plan administrator. They will find your account and provide you information to get a distr...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    Illiquid stocks, credit card debt, founder's low salary, and a couple of IRAs?
    Adam, it sounds like you are involved in this business venture, and you are ambitiously looking for it to move forward. You have basically $87,000 in IRA’s. If you withdraw money to pay a credit card, you have to pay income tax plus 10% penalty, and you are only paying 10% on the credit card. It ...  (more)
    Answered Nov 2013
    My 401k account has 23 or more places to invest and I don't know to much about investing.could use some help.
    Thomas, though you would be reasonably safe selecting an age-based portfolio, my preference would be for you to take the Risk Tolerance questionnaire that your 401(k0 plan offers to you. This will take into account your risk tolerances and time horizon in what I feel is a more specific basis.So, i...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    I received a letter from Social Security stating that I have money owed me in a 401K from Aegis mortgage when I worked for them. They instructed me to send a copy of this letter to Aegis at the address on the letter in Texas. I did this and it came back to me undeliverable and out of business. Wh
    Sandra, to find your money, you need to do some research. You can search for unclaimed pensions at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) website http://search.pbgc.gov/mp/mp.aspx I would also check with your states 'Unclaimed Property' fund. ...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    What is the best way to use my 401k to help my parents with medical expenses?
    Nicole, sorry to hear of your parent’s situation; it’s great that you want to step up to try to help.There would be income tax due on your withdrawals, and unless you are 55 years old, there would be a 10% additional penalty. Though you find the situation pressing, it could be a very expensive sol...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2014
    Can I borrow money from my 401k?
    When an employer sets up a 401(k), they have an option to provide loans in the plan document. If the plan document says you can have loans, then basically, you can borrow up to 50% of your vested balance, up to $50,000.With that said, unless it is an absolute dire emergency, it is a really, really...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    How do I pull out my 401K. I am no longer with company that offers retirement & it Has just been setting out there for a couple years & I would like to withdraw it?
    You would need to get a withdrawal form from the plan administrator. If you contact the Human Resources Department at your former employer then they should be able to provide you with contact information for the plan administrator. This information may also be located on your quarterly statement o...  (more)
    Answered Dec 2012
    Can the money be rolled over to an IRA that I can start contributing to?
    You should absolutely consider rolling the balance of your money into an IRA. If you rollover your 401(k) to a ‘rollover’ IRA, you will likely have more freedom in selecting investment choices that may be better suited to your personal investment style. You could also have more control over fees.I...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    Where do i go to get a 1099r form?
    Form 1099 is used to report different types of income. The letters behind the 1099 indicate which type of form you are dealing with. 1099-R reports distributions from a retirement plan such as an IRA, 401(k) annuity or pension. It is for reporting purposes only, and is not included in your taxab...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    Anyone have a simple explanation or at least place where I can go to get more information on what 'RPSS TR SINGLE K' represents?
    ‘RPSS TR’ is the company’s name. The ‘TR’ typically stands for ‘Trust’. A ‘Single K’ is a 401(k) plan that is designed for owners and their immediate family only. It goes by a variety of descriptive names such as ‘Solo 401(k)” or ‘Individual 401(k)’ ...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    I worked for cosmetics plus i believe i contributed to a 401k can i access this info even though they are no longer in business?
    Anita, if you have funds in a 401(k), and the company closes, it is still your money, But you need to find it. Every plan has a plan administrator, that, as the name implies, administers the plan. If a plan is terminated, the undistributed assets go to a Qualified Termination Administrator, or QT...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Hello, I am planning to lease a Benz GLK 350.
    Quinn, we are all pretty much saying the same thing. If you don't qualify for a standard lease, it is probably best not to go to great lengths to get one. If you overextend yourself by getting a really nice car, it will hurt your credit score badly.If you try hard enough, someone out there will p...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    What is an accredited investor and how does one know if I am one? Is there a certain checklist of things that one needs to make sure one has?
    John, investments sold to the public typically need to be registered with the SEC. they allow for specific exemptions from registration if the investment is being sold to 'accredited investors'. My experience with accredited investors has been with "Reg D' offerings; typically from smaller compani...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    What is your opinion of the Over-The_counter (OTC) market? Is it a viable invesment option? Do you know any honest books that describe this type of investing?
    Mathew, it is not the type of thing I recommend, as I feel it is quite risky. And I try to manage risk. These markets often move based on people promoting the stock with wonderful stories. Often, they are just stories. My opinion, is, in general, the really, really, smart people are right 60% o...  (more)
    Answered Apr 2013
    I have worked for Chubb Group from 1975 to 1982. I believe I was fully vested when I left the company. When I have recently contacted Chubb about collecting my pension they have told me I am not legible to collect as I would have to have been working there for 1o years. I feel this is not true a
    Jarmila, your pension is regulated by, among other laws, The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). You were employed from 1975-1982. It is quite possible that after 1982, the vesting requirements changed. They may or may not have been able to amend the vesting requirements prio...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    My father recently passed and the attorney that drew up the trust recommended a financial planner to my mother. Couple of the recommendations he made during the initial appt was for her to move 10K out of her CD's into her checking acct and if it was still there after a year then she was doing prett
    Michael, though there may have been reasons, I would tend to agree with you that I am concerned about the type of advice being given. Frankly, without having been there, it sounds a little wacky.There are a lot of well qualified financial advisors; you just need to find one that you can relate to....  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    Ihad almost 90,000.00 in my 403 right before the market disaster in 2008. I am finally up there again. how do I keep from loosing it in the event of another crash?
    Joseph, with any investment, there is risk. You need to determine what level of risk you are comfortable with. Understanding how you got hurt in 2008, look at how your money was invested then. It would probably be safe to say that you want to have less risk than you did back in 2008. There are r...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    Contributing to two 401k plans?
    Kyle, take the match. Though anything is possible, I would not expect a 3% or more variation between like investments in the different plans. I don't see any practical downside to taking the match. Additionally, look at both plans to see which is the better plan. If your second job offers a bett...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2014
    I am recently retired, have a 403b but have money in a bank account also. WHat is the safest and best way to keep this money available to use as I need.
    Jean, if your 403(b) is invested in mutual funds, it is possibly liquid, but there may be surrender charges on contributions in the last 7 years. If it is in an annuity, there is probably a surrender charge over whatever the surrender schedule indicates, typically the last 7 years. So everything b...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    I am 55 years old and will likely need to tap into an IRA account this year to help pay expenses. I want to minimize my tax liability as much as possible. I have no other assets right now. Any strategy thoughts to minimize my tax hit?
    David, you can take 72T distributions, so that you would not be assessed the 10% penalty; you will still be obligated to pay income tax. Keep in mind that you are committed to take ‘periodic equal distributions’ for at least 5 years. My concern this that you do not want to substantially diminish w...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    Savings account (stuffed mattress) vs. Index Fund? Mutual Fund? ETF? Where do I begin investing?
    Susan, there are 3 points I'd like to make.First, money you have saved for an emergency fund should be in a safe place. When the market goes down, as it has last week, your emergency fund at the savings bank should have been unscathed. Other than Cd’s and savings accounts, there are relatively sa...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    My husband and I are about to make the leap from being students to having salaries for the first time. Would a financial adviser be able to help us transition from living paycheck-to-paycheck to starting to think about the future?
    I think you need a master plan, and because you are both just out of school, with promising, but perhaps currently limited income potential, and in general, a very promising, but as yet undetermined future, you need a master plan that can change. I don’t think anyone will have all the answers. But...  (more)
    Answered Apr 2013
    What do fee-only financial planners charge?
    Rachel, by now you have read the lively debate over different models of fee-only and hourly planning. I do not think I can contribute anything further to that discussion.As this applies to you, you should ask what exactly are your needs. Most advisors will offer a no-charge consultation to deter...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    I worked at two different company's which had brightscope for their 401k plan. I know later work for them. How can I find out where the money is today?
    Perry, Brightscope provides a service, where they create a directory of existing 401(k) plans, and rate them based on a number of factors. They do not actually offer or administer 401(k) plans. To get information on your assets in the plan, you will need to contact each companies plan administra...  (more)
    Answered Apr 2013
    Can the money be taken out of an account once the participant no longer makes contributions.
    Shannon, I'll assume you have contributed to a 401(k). When you contribute money to a 401(k), or an IRA, for that matter, your money goes in before income tax. It is essentially a government incentive for employees to save for their retirement. But I'll argue that your money is no longer liquid;...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    Hi, I work for a small, privately owned company that is not in your directory. (Design Automation Associates, Inc.) The 401K plan is adminstered by AXA Equitable. How can I compare our plan to your database? Thank you, Peter?
    Peter, you really cannot compare the metrics of your plan to the plans in the Brightscope database. The plans in the Brightscope database are typically 100 plus employees.Administration and plan expenses, in general, are scaled to the size of the plan, both participating employees, average accoun...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    Can my mother-in-law (not currently employed) transfer a defined benefit plans (from a past employer) in to an IRA/Roth? As she's not working, but my father-in-law is, can they open this jointly so that they he can contribute to it?
    David, the short answer is that defined benefit plans have rules distinctive to the plan that dictate when and if, you can make a lump sum distribution. The really, really, good news is that the plan is advising your mother-in-law that she needs to take action. In the overall scheme of retirement...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Does a 401K loan make sense if we have more money than is anticipated to be needed in it?
    Joseph, first I agree with others that, at $140,000, you don't have nearly enough saved for retirement as you might think you have.If you borrow from your 401(k), you have to repay in 5 years. Though you currently have a stable income situation, and you certainly know your position better than I,...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    170K annuity for MIL, 77. Take 1650/10 yr, or 1150/10 yr + lifetime? Can lock @ 3%. Take 10/yrs, or 10 plus lifetime?
    Eric, to be fair, I am not such a big fan of annuities. An annuity would make sense to me with only a portion of her assets, if she were really nervous with investing and she needs the assurity of a guaranteed income stream for life. And guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the i...  (more)
    Answered May 2014
    I have been employed by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth for almost 12 years, I've forgotten who I have listed as my beneficiary. Can you help me?
    ConnieCall Human Resources and get the phone number of the Plan Administrator. They can advise you who is listed as beneficiary. To make a change, you need to complete a beneficiary change form, or if your plan has an online portal, you can probably change it online. Either way, you need to cont...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    My mother got into a car accident and can not make decisions on her on. i am currently her power of attoney. how can i cash out her 401K to pay for her expenses?
    Hi Crystal. I am sorry to hear of your mother’s condition.First, you need to find out if your mother’s 401(k) allows hardship distributions. Though common, not all 401(k) plans do. You need to contact HR at your mother’s employer to get the phone number of the Plan Administrator. The Plan Admini...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    I want to know the status of my pesion plan. Plan number 16-0999333-001. I would like to know any information you can provide. David Gelabert?
    Call Human Resources and get the phone number of the Plan Administrator. The Plan Administrator can answer your questions and also give you directions to access the online portal, where you can review your account anytime. ...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    Can I take a distribution from a Cash Balance plan without a penalty?
    Rebecca, a Cash Balance Plan is a Defined Benefit Plan that has distribution characteristics similar to those of a Defined Contribution Plan. Typically on a Defined Benefit Plan, you cannot withdraw your money. But with a Cash Balance Plan, you can withdraw your vested amount in full only, you ca...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    Does beneficary of 529 get left over at age 21?
    Linda, the short answer is no. There is an account owner and there is a beneficiary. The owner has control and can change the beneficiary to anyone is is an immediate relative of the original beneficiary. If the beneficiary turns 65, there is a provision that they can withdraw the money without p...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2014
    How can i purchase economy mud stock?
    DeJuan… Economy Mud does not appear to be a publicly traded company. However, if you are an employee, they may have an ‘Employee Stock Ownership Plan’ or ESOP, where you can purchase stock as part of a retirement plan, or there may be company stock options offered to employees.As a non-public sto...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    What is the time limit to pay out 401k on a plant closure?
    You don’t want to wait 4 months and have Nationwide potentially send a check directly to you. That would be a taxable event, and if you are under 55, an additional 10% penalty. I would recommend you open an IRA account and transfer the money out of the 401(k) now. You can open an IRA at any fina...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    How is money drawn due to hardship?
    Qualifying for a hardship withdrawal requires meeting certain criteria, and is often a subjective decision by the plan administrator. Age has nothing to do with it. Even if you succeed in obtaining a hardship withdrawal, income taxes are still due.You may have loan provisions, but beware that th...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    I have 3 IRAs with 3 different firms, invested in 30+ stock funds. Would consolidation be a good move or will fees hurt?
    Reed, you should consolidate your accounts. Though there may be some termination fees, there are also probably an annual maintenance fees on all the accounts. So, in direct answer to your question, consolidating accounts, over a few years, will actually help fees.The only move you need to make ...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2014
    What are the benefits of having life insurance tied to a 403B? Are the costs worth the insurance?
    I would argue that if you are trying to save for your retirement, you should try to do so, all things considered, with the most reasonable cost structure, and mutual funds would be a far less expensive cost structure than annuities or life insurance. Here is another argument for not having life i...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2014
    Whats the difference between 7702 v 401K?
    Alex, in my opinion, they really do not have anything in common, except some potential favorable tax treatment. 7702 is the section of the IRS Code that defines cash value life insurance. Period. There is no scheme for Congress to create a 7702 Plan. To be fair, cash value life insurance has som...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    If I retire in '14 at age 55 and roll the lump sum pension into my 401k will I need to pay 10% penalty on withdrawals?
    Bob, if you do it as you say, roll pension into 401(k) then retire – be sure employment is terminated, you would not have a 10% penalty; there would be 20% withholding, but you will either owe it partially or in full anyway.But here’s another thought. Keep only what you think you will need for the...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    My question regards being designated a highly compensated employee. For 2013 I have been designated as such which limits my 401k contributions regardless of source; i.e. pre-tax/post tax/Roth etc. My dilemma is this..for 2013, the limits of being HCE will not let me contribute the $17.5k maximum t
    Joe, in this case, you likely do not have any options. Your earned income at your employer is what it is. ERISA rules dictate that a plan cannot discriminate in favor of owners and highly compensated employees. The ADP/ACP -Average Deferral Percentage/ Average Contribution Percentage test is pe...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    I'm trying to find the details of my 401K online... is there an easy way to find it?
    The easiest way is to call Human Resources and ask for instructions to the online portal. If they cannot quickly provide this to you, get the phone number of the plan administrator who will provide it to you. You can access the details of your account there. You can also ask for a ‘Summary Plan D...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    How can i cash in my retirement?
    I am assuming you are of retirement age and you have money in a 401(k). If you stopped working for the company at age 55 or older, or the you reach age 59 1/2, you can take distributions that are taxable, but you won't pay any penalty. If you are younger, there is a 10% penalty. The way to acces...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    I put into my 401k but if my wife dies before me, do I loose money in my monthly retirement amount?
    Larry, your question suggests you have a 401(K) because you are calling it that, and also because you put money into it. Typically, in a 401(k) there is a cash value, regardless of the survivorship of your wife, or for that matter, your survivorship.Then you mention a ‘monthly retirement amount’ s...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    How much is in my retirement?
    Randy, contact your plan administrator. Every plan has a plan administrator, which, as the name implies, administers the plan. Get the number for the plan administrator from HR. Assuming you are not getting statements, update your address, and be sure the beneficiary is who you want it to be....  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    Where do you find an enrolled actuarial who will prepare Form 5500 for a single person self directed 401k over $250K?
    Elizabeth, first, what other forms do you need to file? You said you can file the 5500 yourself. Even there, I would suggest you contact the custodian of the plan. They should probably even have a signature ready 5500 for you. Unless there is something I do not see, I don’t understand why you w...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    I'm a Grad Student soon to graduate and recently came into a good deal of money, where do I start?!
    Kate, you mentioned you already have a nest egg, and you will be earning a decent wage. Life has a way of throwing us curves, and so I would steer you more towards being pragmatic; not relying at this second on future anticipated earnings. I would not want to see you pay $50,000 of student loans,...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    What kind of documentation will the DOL accept in determining fee reasonableness in retirement plans?
    Michael, my understanding from ERISA attorneys is that if you have the honor of being audited, you need to document that you have made comparisons from different providers. The cheapest plan is not the only criteria for fee reasonableness; additional services offered, such as bilingual support, edu...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    What are the Top 25 most used 401K funds?
    William, companies use different metrics to compile lists of the top anything. Here’s a link to the Wall Street Journal that will list them by asset class. If you go to Kiplingers or Morningstar, they will have lists that will be vary slightly...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    Education -529 - good or bad?
    If you have a need to save to provide for your child’s education, and you have the ability and discipline to do so, I feel it is a good idea. I have opened quite a few accounts where my client made an initial contribution, then lost interest. If you open a 529 account, I hope you stay committed to...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    India - CD - investments?
    Dushyant covered all the salient points. My biggest concern would be investing all of your money in one place. I don’t think the high yield is all that attractive considering exchange rates. Though it may or may not be more attractive than a CD in the US, that 9% also has more risk. ...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    Any idea where I can find a sample written notice of intent to obtain a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to send to the pension plan administrator to let them know a QDRO is being drafted and not to allow the plan participant to withdraw funds?
    Brenda, typically, state and local government retirement systems are specifically exempt under ERISA, and many states have chosen not to apply the principles of ERISA to its retirement systems. This means that in some states, and I do not know if Ohio is one of them, the retirement benefits of state...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    Where to put my retirement money, at the age of retirement.
    Rita, I probably cannot tell you specifically what to invest in, based on a few short paragraphs about you.I recommend you seek out a good financial advisor in your area. Find someone who is not trying to sell you the moon and the stars; someone you feel comfortable with, that is looking out for y...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Should I partially cash out of my 403(b) retirement account? If yes, then what is the max I should cash out this year?
    Jake, if you cash out your 403(b), even after low taxes and the 10% penalty, you won’t have enough to pay off but a portion of your unsecured debt.Plus, it won’t help you any in your new career, because anyone doing a credit check will see all your charge-offs and late payments for the next 7 years...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    We are a growing Broker Dealer and recently we have had many a phone call from our clients requesting us to review their Health Insurance policies with either their group or personal coverage. Is it worth my while to get my agents licensed with a carrier?
    Andrew, I do group health insurance as well as financial planning. Because I know it, it is easy. In your case, if you are insurance licensed, I might just consider finding the best outside health insurance guy, give him either leads or your book of business, and have him split the business. So ...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    How soon after I retire can I expect to paid my profit sharing?
    Marian, some companies do not post their profit sharing until year end. Others have what are called ‘pooled’ accounts, where calculations are not done for a period of time, typically after year end. These accounts are not so common anymore. Your answer lies with the plan administrator, who, as th...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    I have been divorced for 10 years, It has come to my attention that she failed to disclose 4 separate 401k plans.
    David, it is a legal question. You are entitled to whatever is in the QDRO. If it wasn’t disclosed, you may have to go back to your attorney. But before you do that, if possible try working it out with her. I know I could be in dreamland, but if the amounts are not all that great, it might not m...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    I have a small amount of money in a 401k with Vaden Holding, Inc. How do I access it? . I no longer work for them.
    Craig, this question comes up all the time. Every plan has a plan administrator, who, as the name implies, administers the plan. Call HR at your former employer, and get the number to the plan administrator. They will update your address so you will get statements and give you instructions to the...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    I received a letter from social security that i have a certain amount of money due to me by Unicare savings plan from 2001. i am trying to find out how can i go about receiving this benefit.
    Tomasa, you probably got a 'Potential Private Retirement Benefit Information Notice'. It is typically triggered when you apply for a Social Security benefit. Please let me know if this is correct. here is a link to Social Security FAQ http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/SSAPotentialPrivateRetirement/SSAPot...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    What fund(s) would you suggest if I want moderate allocation with approx 60% in stocks and 40% in bonds?
    Tom, I would recommend that you do some of your own research, not even exactly so much to select investment choices, but more to find out where you are more comfortable in the active vs. passive debate and to develop a personal financial strategy in general. For many of my clients, I utilize insti...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    I have two jobs and I am 56 yrs old. Is it possible I can max out my 401K for each job, i.e. $ 23,000/- each total $ 46,000/- or only maximum of $ 23,000/- combined from each job. Pls clarify. Thanks Thomas?
    Yes. Thomas the limits are $17,500 with the $5500 catch-up provision. It is your responsibility to not go over that. The limit on total contributions (415c) of employee and employer combined is $51,000....  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    How do I go about finding out if I have any 401 k money that I can get from when I worked at circle k?
    Janet, if you had an account balance, it is still there; you just have to find it. Call HR at Circle K, and get the number of the plan administrator. The plan administrator, as the name implies, administers the plan. They can distribute money to you, but income taxes are due, and if you are not ...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    I am no longer employed at pml how do I get money out of account?
    Patricia, you can contact the plan administrator for a withdrawal, but you will have to pay income taxes and if you are not 59 1/2 pay an additional 10% in penalties. If you do that, it is very expensive money.The 401(k) is designed to encourage people to save for retirement. When you put money i...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    No longer with company, how do I withdraw funds?
    John, you are likely either going to retire some day, or die trying. Retirement plans are intended for retirement, and except for dire emergencies, should only be used for retirement. I know you think you will never get old, but just wait; it will happen. If you withdraw funds from your 401(k) an...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    If I want to withdraw money from my 401K from the account where I no longer work, must I rollover the 401K into an IRA?
    Peter, if you have a balance greater than $5000, you should be able to keep it where it is and take distributions. If that is what you want to do, just contact the plan administrator. Don't bother trying to talk to HR; the plan administrator is the one who administers the plan. However, so long a...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    I have the option of buying shares of stock ( Investment stock options). The company is privately held and in my opinion is very close to going BK. If I were to purchase shares and subsequently the company does close, can I use the loss to offset a gain?
    Steve, one thing about privately held stock is it is really hard to sell, because by definition, there is no market for it. If you want to lose money by buying company stock in a company that you think is about to be worthless, you might be able to buy it from some employees or former employees tha...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    I'm on a committee to recommend a 401k policy for my firm. We've been discussing whether to automatically enroll all employees (they could opt-out), and also to auto-increase contributions with raises. What are the costs and benefits to these policies for our firm and employees? And are there rules
    This can work really well, but you will not be able to auto-increase contributions based on individual raises. You must auto increase uniformly, not through individual raises. It should raise participation rates tremendouslyThere really should be no additional costs, other than a small per employ...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    How do we retrieve money in a pension plan from a company that closed it's doors and was bought by another co.?
    Henderson, if the acquiring company took on some of the employees of the previous employer, they may very well have rolled the former employer's retirement plan into their current retirement plan. I would start by calling Human Resources at the acquiring company. Keep in mind that the person you ...  (more)
    Answered Apr 2013
    I am 57 years old and have just been laid off permanently from my job of 24 years to a buyout. I have 163,000 in a 401K?
    Steve, you can take money out of the 401(k) plan now without a penalty because you are separated from the company, but you’d still have to pay income tax.They can encourage you to roll your money out of the plan, but unless the plan is terminating, I don’t see how they can force you out if your bal...  (more)
    Answered Dec 2013
    What exactly is the purpose of the 401k HCE limit?
    Jennifer, John’s answer explained the rules. Rich’s answer explained there are other options, and and Courtenay’s answer correctly explained what your company can do to make the plan better, specifically adopt a ‘safe harbor’ design and better education to encourage better participation of non-HCE’...  (more)
    Answered Dec 2013
    I've heard it is illegal for retirement plan sponsor to pay vendors’ fees from a retirement plan's plan assets. True?
    By vendors, I assume you mean vendors relating to administration of retirement plan. Yes, they can defer recordkeeping, advisory fees, and administrative costs to the participant. They must disclose all participant fees on Disclosure Notice 404a(5) given to employees annually....  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    How much do I have in my 401k and how can I pull it out?
    Daniel, every plan has a plan administrator. Contact HR and get the number of the plan administrator. They will provide the forms to pull out your money.With that said, a retirement plan is not just a savings account. It is designed to encourage you to save for retirement, and in return you are ...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    I have a ROTH IRA and now my employer offers a 401k. I can't afford to put money in both. Which should I choose?
    Cece, I would contribute into the company 401(k). Take the 3% match; it will be lost if you do not. I am not getting your mention of putting twice as much into your Roth as you would into the 401(k). Are you referring to contributing to a traditional pre-tax 401(k)? If so it would be the other w...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2014
    Can I trade money in my Roth Ira through a brokerage account I have with another firm? Do any fees apply if I do?
    Brent, your Roth IRA is being held somewhere. If it is being held at a brokerage account, you can trade there. If it is being held, perhaps at a mutual fund company, you can only trade with the options there. So if you wanted to trade at any brokerage firm, and the account is not being held ther...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2014
    I have an annuity that I bought 8 years ago. It has been sold to another Ins. company, Transamerica Advisors. I had no control over the continued participation in the annuity. Yet my IRA is in this annuity and I wonder about its solvency.
    Howard, I would not be so concerned with the solvency of Transamerica. Though I cannot predict the future, they appear to be very stable. Eight years ago was pretty close to the heyday of great living benefits for annuities. Though you may be out of your surrender period, you should look in to wh...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Is purchasing I-Bonds for retirement the right choice for me?
    Eric, conservative is good, but at age 52 investing all in I bonds is very, very conservative. I bonds are intended to supplement your retirement income, not be your retirement income. Be very cautious, and I know you are, but slowly seek retirement advice. At 52, I would like to see you have at ...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Which of these reports is my employer or 401k plan provider required to provide by law? 2011 Audit Report 2011 Form 5500 Summary Plan Description (SPD) Investment Fee Matrix 2011 Summary Annual Report I see samples of reports on the Brightscope site that I'd love to see for my plan. I nee
    Margaret, your employer is required to provide a Summary Plan Description. Here is a link to the IRS’s website on this. http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Plan-Participant,-Employee/401(k)-Resource-Guide---Plan-Participants---Summary-Plan-Description I don’t believe your employer is required ...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    Need to withdraw five thousand dollars?
    Nestor, contact HR to see if they allow loans. If not, you will have to take an early withdrawal. That means you have to pay income tax plus a 10% penalty. Either go to Hr; they will give you the number for the plan administrator who will get you processed.You should only do this if it is a real...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    I am looking to open a Roth IRA but not sure if I should go with a discount brokerage or a mutual fund company. Can you suggest what may be the best option?
    Discount brokerage will give you vastly more options to invest in. The only advantage you might find with a single mutual fund company is that the website layout may be more user friendly as far as simplicity and tools to allocate into a specific fund. But you have a very finite group of funds th...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    My company's 401k plan wasn't listed. I am a local government employee. I have contacted our plan and haven't gotten an answer on how to look our plan up. I want to know all the fees I am paying. I am now on my third request to get this information from our plan's administrato. What is up with this
    Deborah, every plan has a plan administrator, which, as the name implies, administers the plan. Get the number either from your statement or HR. The plan administrator is required to provide every employee with a 404(a)5 Annual Fee Disclosure, which will disclose all fees to employee. It should b...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    I resigned, as a line employee, from the Auto Club of Southern California in 2007. In mid 2010 ACSC sent me a retirement form form option to take lump sum from their retirement plan. I submitted that form in May 2012. Now ACSC retirement manager tell me that I cannot get lump sum amount and must app
    Perwez, it is possible that there was a window in 2010 where you could have taken a lump sum distribution and that window has passed. Perhaps they were changing plans or some sort of liquidation. Perhaps it was on the form, but somewhere in the fine print, you were ineligible, or some other reason...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    Can you explain the difference between a Roth 401k and a Roth IRA and what someone should consider when deciding between the two as a primary retirement tool?
    Jenna, the most you can put in an individual Roth is $5500 per year. On an individual Roth, there is an income limit of $112,000 for individuals and $178,000 for couples filing jointly. You could have greater investment options with lower, or at least more controllable fees. Direct contributions...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    What invest mix would you recommend for a soon to be 52 year old investing for retirement? Currently I have a mix of 70% stocks and 30% bonds (mostly high yield).....
    Dave, I would start by going to the online portal of your plan provider. Typically there are a myriad of retirement planning tools. To answer your specific question, I would recommend you start with a 'Risk Assessment Questionaire'. There are a series of questions that are designed to determine w...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    How do I see my statements on line?
    Mario, your plan has what is called an 'online portal' where you can view and make changes to your account at any time.Depending on the size of your company, HR may be able to provide you directions to the online portal. If you have trouble speaking to someone there, just ask for the phone number ...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    How much is the penalty for taking money from 401k plan ?
    Barbara, there are 2 basic ways to take money out of a 401(k). one is by distribution. If you take a distribution, you have to pay income tax. If you are not age 59 1/2, or 55 if you left company, you pay an additional 10% penalty. If your plan allows, you may be able to take a loan. The pratfa...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    I just watched Frontline's most recent documentary on the follies of actively managed accounts. Should I put most/all of my retirement savings into passively managed funds? What about all the hidden fees that are not reported in actively managed funds?
    Robert, there are proponents of both active and passive funds. I believe that overall, 85-90% of your returns are based on well balanced asset allocation. I don’t say it very often because it’s a tough number to get your arms around. On the other hand, funds that are able to react to current mac...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    How do I withdraw my money?
    Connie, if you have a 401(k), you want to take out your money, and you are not 59 1/2, you will have to pay income tax plus a 10% penalty. If you still want to do this, call HR. Some HR departments can handle this. If you can't get some one to help, just get the number of the plan administrator. ...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    I am a business owner and would like to open a 401(k). Is there a date or deadline during the year that I cannot open a new 401(k)?
    The October 1 deadline is typically for Safe Harbor Match. We allow later than that for Nonelective SH Plans. This is because the Non Highly Compensated employees or 'NHCEs' are still receiving a benefit from the plan regardless of if they defer or not.For a non-Safe Harbor plan, the deadline is ...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    May a non-working spouse of a retiree (drawing a pension) contribute to a Roth IRA?
    Jen, I am interpreting your question as one of how to best handle the RMD's, and that current income is not a factor, but future retirement funding of the spouse is. RMD, as you know, by definition is required. Other than re-investing it in a taxable account, there are two possible options I might...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    My dad just retired at age 70 and wants to know if he should leave his 401k with his company or move it. Where would be the best place to move it?
    If you rollover your 401(k) to a ‘rollover’ IRA, you will likely have more freedom in selecting investment choices that may be better suited to your personal investment style. You could also have more control over fees.As for the best place to move it, it depends on your investment goals, toleranc...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    How do i find my 401k. Do not have nore receive 401k statements and the company close down?
    All you need is an old statement. Call the custodian, or the company that sent you the statement. They can provide you with a current balance and send you a new statement. It is possible that you have changed your address, and they need to update it. Consider rolling the balance of your money in...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    I will be 65 in April of this year, I need to apply for my pension compensation please help me get started. my plan number is 04-3477276-001 and the plan name is CIRCOR INTERNATIONAL, INC. RETIREMENT PLAN.
    Simply contact HR. Depending on your company, they may have a representative that will provide guidance. If not, they will provide you with the phone number for the administrator who will handle it. ...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    To Whom it Concerns From 1973-1983 I worked for Chemetron in Ashland, Oregon. I thought we had a retirement plan but when Chemeton filed for bankruptcy and I lost my job I never received anything for the retirement years I had put in. I moved out of state soon after and probably didn’t send a m
    Marc, the law that created 401(k) plans was adopted in 1978, so it is possible, but unlikely you had a 401(k). You probably had a pension plan, aka defined benefit plan. Typically they utilize a formula based on age, income, and years of service.If you had a pension plan, and it is vested to you ...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    I have a Employee Stock Ownership Plan and Trust. Not sure what is my net step, as far as my investment is concerned. This is my daughters email address berlindabaca@msn.com phone #505-363-9844 She is my beneficiary.
    Berlinda, first, be very careful when you post your private information on the internet… anyone can see what you post. You only put up an email address and phone number, but in the future, keep in mind that anyone can see what you post.Call Human Resources at your company. They should be able to ...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Fixed rate annuities for those in retirement. Good idea?
    Tom, I have 2 concerns. You mentioned that 'we'd like to put 1/3 into an annuity'. does 'we' mean that you and your wife, or does it mean that someone is trying to sell it to you? Let me point out just because someone is trying to sell it to you, doesn't mean it is or is not a suitable choice. ...  (more)
    Answered Nov 2013
    How does wells fargo advice track 401k plan compare to other plans?
    Carol, are you asking how the investment advice from your advisor compares with others, or are you asking how the plan itself compares to other plans? Unfortunately, both of my answers are going to be kind of vague. If you can re-define the question, maybe I could be more specific.Most actual 401...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    I have $30K in a 403b at an old employer. Insurance salesman is suggesting rolling that into a variable annuity. Thanks?
    J, there are basically 2 types of annuities; variable annuities that charge a fee, typically a high fee, or fixed, or index annuities that have caps on gains. Both are generally not very liquid. The question you need to ask without any pitch from a salesman of any sort is why would you want an ann...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    How i can review my balance???
    Eleazer, just call HR and get the number for the plan administrator. If your company is large enough, your HR department may help, the plan administrator always will. You should be getting a quarterly statement, as well as have access to the online portal. If you are not getting a quarterly stat...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    Hello I currently have an 403 (b) plan from a previous employer. I want to know how can I access these funds ?
    Catherine, it depends on where your account is. If your account is an annuity, which is common in 403(b) plans, you will likely have a ‘cumulative deferred sales charge’ or CDSC, which will be a deferred sales charge typically going back 7 years. So you could still access your funds, but there cou...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    I retired from Automotive Taining Center Exton Pa October 31 2012. What month in 2913 can I expect a release of funds from a pension fund ATC has set up.
    Kenneth, every plan has a plan administrator, which as the name implies, administers the plan. Call HR and get the number for the plan administrator. Contact the plan administrator, and they will provide you with your complete benefit set and all your options...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    My wife and I have about $240,000 in 401k, $40,000 equity in our second house (which we rent out for close to mortgage costs), and I am 46 and she is 44. What else can we do to maximize our ability to retire at 60 at close to 100k per year in today's $?
    Rick, you are well on your way to planning for a comfortable retirement, but as others have mentioned, there are many moving parts. Seek advice from a local financial planner, preferably a CFP®, to come up with a roadmap that you can follow in future years. With a financial plan in hand, you wil...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    I am retiring in February. I will receive a lump sump payment from my 414(h) of $105,000.00 before taxes. I want to pay off my car loan, put a large down payment on house and have some to survive on until Social Security Disability kicks in. is there a way to do all of this and not loose $29,000.00
    Patrick, this money is tax-deferred,; as you take out of the account and spend it, it becomes taxable. You can keep it in a tax-deferred account by rolling it into an individual IRA, then paying taxes on just the money you withdraw because you must spend.. You want to get professional advice beca...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    How long should I wait after a short sale before purchasing a new vehicle?
    Ann, car dealers, especially new car dealers, have different financial parameters depending on what promotions their finance companies are offering. Also, short sales have been so common in recent years; though it will affect your credit score, I am not so sure it will have the same negative impact ...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    Im needing to pull out my 401k. Where do I begin?
    Clayton, to take money out of your 401(k), you need to contact the plan administrator. The plan administrator, as the name implies, administers the plan. Call HR and get the number for the plan administrator. You will have to pay income tax plus a 10% penalty. It is not a good way to use your 4...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    Which Mututal Funds or ETFs do you think are a viable investment option?
    You are currently in American Funds, presumably in ‘A’ shares. Among other fund families, I do like them. Historically I feel they have performed very well over longer periods of time, though they did not recover so well after 2008 recession. And last year, I felt their performance overall was ...  (more)
    Answered Apr 2013
    How can i find my 401k for key?
    Jorge, to find your 401(k), if you have an old statement, there should be a phone number for the plan administrator. Every plan has a plan administrator, and as the name implies, they administer the plan. If you cannot find an old statement, just call HR and get their number. Call them, and at l...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    We are changing 401k providers. Do I have to "accept" the Financial Advisor that ADP is providing or can I interview several and select the one I like?
    If you are the plan sponsor, that is, acting on behalf of the company and responsible for selecting the company 401(k), then you can select another financial advisor. My guess is that you are an employee and your company has already selected a new provider, you have had contact with the financial a...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    How do I close out my account?
    Darrell, if you really want to close out your account, you would contact your HR department and get the phone number for the plan administrator. So long as you are separated from the company and over age 55, you can withdraw your entire account balance without penalty. Your distribution will still...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    Is it a good idea to put my earnings from sold stock into my IRA then take that money out as a loan from the IRA?
    In addition to the comments above, if you take a loan from your 401k, and repay over 5 years, you are repaying with after-tax dollars. When you withdraw at retirement, you will be paying tax again, effectively double taxation. And if something happens to you or your job, and you do not repay on sc...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2014
    Should I convert my traditional 401k to a Roth 401k because of the new fiscal cliff deal?
    Yes, I think you should consider converting to a Roth 401(k). No, I don’t think you should let any ‘fiscal cliff’ deal factor into your decision.At 27, you are thinking and asking the right questions. I think any legislation passed this last year will have little impact relative to all the other ...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    Received a distribution from Mark IV Industries, Inc. (Copolymer)... Did not receive the Form 1099-R due to moving, I guess... need the federal ID# of Mark IV to finish tax return... Thanks...
    Stan, not a big deal. Just call the plan administrator, explain you did not receive your 1099 because you moved, and they should update your address and send a copy. Your plan administrator should be on your statement. If you need to, call HR and ask for the plan administrator’s number. They wi...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    WHERE IS MY TOTAL DISTRIBUTION AMOUNT OF $1914.28?
    You need to contact the plan administrator. Call Human Resources, even if you no longer work there, and get the phone number for the plan administrator. If you had money in a 401(k) and have already requested a distribution, or if you still have money in the 401(k) and want to make a distribution,...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    How do I find out all the hidden fees & expenses I am paying in my employer sponsored 401K plan?
    Nick, I agree with Jonathan in that most 401(k) fees are not out of line, although some in the past were not fully transparent. Of course there is always the opportunity for abuse, so there is now 408(b)2, the new financial disclosure document that you can get from HR or your plan administrator. I...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    How do I get my retirement money?
    Christopher, every plan has a plan administrator. Even if the plan was terminated, it has a Qualified Termination Administrator, or QTA.The challenge is finding your plan administrator. Veco was taken over by CH2M Hill. They may or may not have absorbed your plan. I would call HR at CH2M Hill a...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    I'm 54. I have $156K in a traditional IRA in 18-month bank CD earning .55% This amount represents my retirement fund "cash out" from previous employer. With current employer, I have $58k in a 403b that is managed by Diversified. Currently, I have 90% in interm./Long-term Bonds and 10% in stocks. I w
    Larry, there is a lot of information not presented here. At 54 years old, you have over 97% of your retirement assets in fixed income. That, in my opinion, is a ‘Cash Preservation’ portfolio. I would recommend this to someone who just wants to be sure the principal amount is not at any risk. If ...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    Save for now, or save for later?
    Jean, the answer to your question is very subjective. First the unknowns that should factor into your decision; • How old are you• How much have you already saved• Do you have a family or are you planning on starting a family• What is your current and expected future income, and what is...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    When is the best time to start saving for kid's college fund ? What are the typical instruments available for this purpose ?
    The best time to start saving for college is today! The best vehicle to save for college is, in most cases, a 529 plan. Keep in mind this will be money earmearked for your childs education; there is a 10% penalty plus income tax on any gains if you use it otherwise. But you can put in as much, or...  (more)
    Answered Apr 2013
    Ok I have 4 IRA's, is it best to combine them all into 1 IRA or an Annuity?
    Paul, if you have 4 IRA’s with reasonably small amounts, it makes sense to put them all together; one statement and one administrative fee. True, if you have estate planning issues, you could have a need for separate IRA's Even then, in some cases, you can assign percentages to multiple beneficiar...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    I purchased Class A mutual funds. I paid $6250 for each fund and received shares totalling $6250 for each fund. In cashing in these funds there is no indication that a front end charge was applied. Can a mutual fund juggle share price to cover the front end cost?
    Clarence, it is possible to purchase “A” shares that are load waived. Also on 401(k) plans, some plans are structured as a ‘CIT’ or Collective Investment Trust, where they trade on parity with any variety of share classes, and loads are waived. Other plans can just invest in ‘A’ shares on an insti...  (more)
    Answered Apr 2013
    I participated in a 401(k) through my employer, a law firm. The law firm dissolved 5/31/10, but I neglected to move my 401(k) funds. I recently contacted the group from whom I had received statements about my account to recover and transfer my funds. They have no record of my old law firm's plan.
    I think you should focus on who was, or is, the plan administrator. Call back whatever information you have on your old statement. You probably spoke to someone who was unclear as to your situation, or simply not equipped to help you. So call back; you should have information on your statement f...  (more)
    Answered Apr 2013
    How do I determine how much I should be donating to charity?
    Sam, you did not make any mention of leaving money to heirs, if any. And there isn’t really any mention of your tax situation With that said, the decision on how much to give to comes purely from your heart and your own thought processes. Read some of the books mentioned above for quidance. Also...  (more)
    Answered Apr 2013
    How do I find a 401k at a job I have 15 years ago?
    Anthony, I wrote an article on my blog on this subject. Go to http://www.greenbergfinancialgroup.com/blog/how-do-i-find-my-old-401k-or-pension-plan-0 It covers all scenarios....  (more)
    Answered Aug 2014
    How to i find out my pay off on 401k loan?
    You need to contact the plan administrator. Call HR and get their phone number. You can also get directions from the plan administrator, and possibly HR, to register and log in to their online portal, where you can view it any time....  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    Rolling over my 401k into a rollover IRA then withdrawing funds?
    Dan, you sure will. First, you took out a loan of pre-tax dollars, and are re-paying the loan with after-tax dollars. This ship has already sailed, but unless it is a dire emergency, you should not be taking loans from your qualified plan. Assuming you are not 59 1/2, if you default on the loan ...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Hi, I am a union member in a multi-employer pension fund that is failing, is the 401k the best alternative?
    Ken, there is a federal agency that insures pensions called the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. or PBGC. Their website is http://www.pbgc.gov/ You may find helpful information there.Though not an expert on this particular area, I do have some experience. If your pension is underfunded due to poo...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    A RMD question - age 70 1/2. My birthday is Sept 18 1944. In 2015 do I have to take 2 distributions? 1 in April, another in December?
    Mag, you will turn 70 1/2 on March 18, 2015. So you have to take your first RMD for 2015. You can defer that until April 2016, but then you will be required to take the RMD for 2016 as well....  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    What is the balance in my 401(k)?
    You need to contact Human Resources at your employer. They will provide you with a phone number for the plan administrator. Not all plans have loan provisions, and the plan administrator can advise you. If there are loan provisions you can borrow not more than 50% of your contributions. Keep in...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    I worked for a company called Energetic Solutions several years ago. They were located in Brooksville, Fl. I believe they are now called EBV Enviromental. I think I had a 401k with them and would like to know how to find out if I did have a 401k and who I can contact to find out about it.?
    MichaelYou need to do the research to find the plan administrator. If you can find an old statement, it would be on that. Call HR of EBV, ask for the plan administrator, but explain that it was several years ago. Be as specific as possible; ask if Energetic Solutions has the same 401(k) plan as ...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    What are the requirements to open a personal 401K? I have 401Ks with a couple of past employers but would like to create a personal 401K and roll those dollars into them (as opposed to an IRA) primarily so I can direct the investments myself.?
    JohnI think maybe you have heard of or are referring to an individual 401(k) or Solo 401(k). I am not familiar with the term personal 401(k). An Individual 401(k) is effectively the same as a regular 401(k), except that there are only owners and immediate family members participating, so discrimi...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    I have a 401k with a big companies but iam not seeing the matching parts why not?
    RogerYou may or may not get a matching contribution. It may not show up on your statement until the annual statement, though it is probably available if you go online. There should be a line that says ‘Employee Contribution’ and another line that says ‘Employer Contribution. It is possible that ...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    As I see it, I would benefit from having my retirement accounts in Roth type accounts, which is easily done with my IRA. My question is, can I (by my own actions) convert my current 401K into a Roth 401K, while still working for the same company. My inquiries through my HR dept tell me the Co. has n
    Jack, there are 2 points to consider. the first is if your employer offers a Roth, and the second is if they will allow a conversion.I have trouble believing that your employer does not offer a Roth option. To this point, you should be able to easily direct future contributions to a separate Roth...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    My 401K was transferred from Newbury Corp to this company. Why don't I get statements any more and how can I see how much money mu 401k has in it?
    You might only get annual statements, but you should have gotten an initial statement. You should also be able to register to the online portal and view your account at any time.Contact Human Resources and get the phone number of the plan administrator. They will be able to confirm your address, ...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    How do I know if I need a financial advisor?
    Alex, A financial advisor's job is to solve tax or investment problems, coach you toward long-term goals, and help you deal with your estate. A good financial advisor will help you set realistic expectations, though they cannot guarantee results. They’ll keep you on a financially ethical path, an...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2015
    The company that I work for provides me with a 401K plan. There is no "matching" of contributions. Is it to my advantage to contribute to this rather than a Roth IRA of my own, where I have control over the funds?
    DonnaIt is certainly possible that your investment choices are terrible. There is also a possibility that the investment choices are limited and bland. 401(k) investment choices are often selected to allow an unsophisticated investor to be able to invest in all major investment classes while min...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    Is ROTH IRA different from IRA?
    Liz, it sure is different. Take a look at her statements. I know they are sometimes difficult to read, but look for the different lines that say IRA or Roth IRA. There should be different account numbers. If they exist, simply point it out to the financial advisor. Both IRA’s and Roth IRA’s ha...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    I have a 401k to roll over and would like to do a check/owner controlled plan. what are my best options?
    Consider that if you are not age 59 ½, you would incur a 10% penalty every time you withdraw money, in addition to withholding tax being held. You may have trouble finding a company to offer check-writing privileges if this is the case.If you are age 59 ½ , many brokerage accounts will offer chec...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    Divorcing after 24yrs how can i take her half outand give to her?
    You will need a ‘Qualified Domestic Relations Order’ generally referred to by its acronym ‘QDRO’. It is issued by state courts and is typically part of a divorce decree. Attached is a link to the Department of Labor’s ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for QDRO’shttp://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_qdro.htm...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    When do I take the 10K out of my IRA for a 1st time home purchase? I know the process of finding a home in my area could take a significant amount of time.?
    You should not have to provide any proof to the IRA plan, but I would advise you contact them to be sure. Your burden will be on your tax return. You will need to file IRS form 5329. If you withdraw the money an then don’t have a qualified 1st time home purchase, there will be a 10% penalty, so be...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    How can I find my 401k?
    Michelle, just contact HR at your former employer and ask for the phone number of the plan administrator. As the name implies, the plan administrator actually administers the accounts....  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    How can I borrow from my 401 K plan?
    Romika, just contact HR for requirements, if they allow it. But as others have pointed out, you should not be borrowing from a 401(k) unless it is a true dire emergency. A 401(k) is intended to save for your retirement. If you contribute to a 401(k) you should consider that money as not a liquid ...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    When does doing an in-service?
    There is really a lot more to investing than fees. Expense ratios of .70% to 1.34% are typical for actively traded funds, and expense ratios of .20% are common for some index funds. The debate over which type of investment is best will go on, perhaps forever.Make an educated and knowledgeable com...  (more)
    Answered Jan 2013
    How can I find my 401 k provider. If I haven't worked ther in 7 years.
    Joshua, just contact HR at your former employer and ask for the phone number of the plan administrator. As the name implies, the plan administrator actually administers the accounts...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    I am interested in Stable value funds. When compared to bonds they seem to over competitive rates (2-3 %) and avoid the rising interest problem. I see that some companies have liguidated their funds recently (schwab). What can you tell me?
    John, stable value funds fluctuate much less than bond funds, but they still participate in interest rate risk. In a rising interest rate and rising inflation environment, you could see your returns decrease, even to the point of being below the rate of inflationIf you are concerned about safety ...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Can funds be drawn from 401k after age 55 for hadship?
    Qualifying for a hardship withdrawal requires meeting certain criteria, and is often a subjective decision by the plan administrator. Age has nothing to do with it. Even if you succeed in obtaining a hardship withdrawal, income taxes are still due.You may have loan provisions, but beware that the...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    From a tax perspective, what is the difference between a 401K and an IRA account?
    William, they both offer tax deferred savings that can be accessed penalty-free at age 59 ½, or in the case of a Roth account for either, tax free growth. In a 401(k), if you separate service from your employer, you can access money penalty-free at age 55. You can get certain hardship withdrawals...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2014
    I have a Roth IRA which is in a CD at a Credit Union. It has just matured. Can I transfer that money into an investment product without being taxed for the transfer.
    Simply put, unitized stock funds, are, as the name implies, company stocks that are unitized along with a cash component. It allows the company to execute transactions in an orderly way. The article that Rod posted is more specific....  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    How can i find old 401k?
    Westly, if your former employer is still in business, contact HR and get the number for the plan administrator. The plasn administrator, as the name implies, administers the plan.Because you have lost track of your plan, I am assuming you are no longer receiving statements. Call the plan administ...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    I will be retiring in 6 to 9 months. How should I distribute my 401k contributions, in order maintain current balance?
    Joseph, you have gotten a lot of good answers. I'm still not really sure how to interpret the question. If you are asking how to keep your account balance at it's current level after you reach retirement and begin to draw from it, then 4-6% withdrawals are where you should feel safe that, over ti...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    Are individual bonds of great companies, i.e. Toyota, Chevron, AT&T a safer place to keep your investment versus, Dreyfus Bond Index, Vanguard total Bd ETF, I shares core total US Bond Market. My bond account lost over 5% May 21 - June 30.
    Larry, first you mention three ‘great’ companies. In my vocabulary, there is no such thing as ‘great’. All three companies you mentioned have had dark days in the past. With that said, I agree they are all good companies.The bond funds you mentioned, other than a little variance in duration, th...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    Are owners always included in the top paid group when determining HCEs? I have a plan with 3 owners plus one other employer making over $115,000. If there are only 11 total employees, my top paid group would only include two people. Do I just take the three owners even if the other employee has th
    Sharon, yes, if you own more than 5% or are an officer, regardless of income, you are a HCE. Assuming that, you would have 4 HCE’s...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    I have am trying to rollover my 401K. The employer won't sign the form, what is the legal deadline?
    Holly, I think you are between a rock and the proverbial hard place. I have come across this situation a few times; to my knowledge there is no statutory requirement for them to respond. Hopefully someone else will give us both info on a requirement. In my instances, it was a Human Resources fun...  (more)
    Answered May 2014
    Family member was fired, is now looking into going on disability, what should we be thinking about, concerned about and/or aware of?
    Marcus, I would seek out a Certified Financial Planner™ in your area. Seek referrals, from trusted friends, relatives, and co-workers. You should be able to consult with them to find one that relates to your situation best. Depending on the individual advisor and the amount of assets involved, t...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    I am an ex employee of Federal Express and I participated in the 401k plan from 1984 to 1989 and wish to know if I still have retirement as I was told when I cashed in part of it when I resigned. I was told I could not withdraw the balance until I retired?
    Bonnie, if you have a 401(k), and it has a cash value. It will appreciate or depreciate depending on the investment choices selected. So whatever you were told in 1989 has presumably grown a bit over the last 24 years. Again, if you have a 401(k), you can roll that into an IRA and have more contro...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    How do I find out my account balance?
    Marvin, depending on the size of your employer, you will need to contact either Human Resources or the plan administrator. You can have them update your address so you can get current statements, and they can give you instructions on how to log on to your account through the online portalEvery pl...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    How do I go about retriving my "deferred vested benefits" from a company that will not reply to my inquiry?
    Edward, contact HR and get the phone number for the plan administrator. Every plan has a plan administrator, and as the name implies, they administer the plan.Presumably, you are not getting statements because you have moved since your employment there. Call the plan administrator, update your ad...  (more)
    Answered Jun 2013
    Professionals with which financial services designations (e.g., CFP) are the best to seek out at the time of retirement?
    CFP® and ChFC are the most common. The CFP® testing requirements and their standards are extremely rigorous, and CFP® designation is considered to be the highest designation in the financial industry.With that said, having a designation does not mean that you are a great financial planner. And no...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    I received a letter from social security that i have a certain amount of money due to me by unicare savings plan from 2001. i am trying to find out how can i go about receiving this benefit.
    Tomasa, you probably got a 'Potential Private Retirement Benefit Information Notice'. It is typically triggered when you apply for a Social Security benefit. Please let me know if this is correct. here is a link to Social Security FAQ http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/SSAPotentialPrivateRetirement/SSAPot...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    What are some common mistakes that people make around the time of retirement?
    Shannon, the biggest mistake is people do not plan. You do not want to outlast your money. Because you are asking the question, I think so long as you follow through, you will have that covered. I have seen people often get pressured into buying annuities, then regretting it. Annuities have a nu...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    I had 30k which Primerica doubled to 60k over the past 10 years. Now not sure where to move the money.
    Lisa, you account averaged 7.2% over 10 years. If you use the Dow Jones Industrial Average as a benchmark, it performed at 7.7%. If you use that as a benchmark, it appears you did OK; not great, but not terrible.But that is not the whole story. I would want to know your tolerance for risk, your ...  (more)
    Answered Nov 2013
    I have a 401K plan with a company that is no longer in business. Where do I go to find out where I can find the monies.
    Go to http://askebsa.dol.gov/AbandonedPlanSearch/Every 401(k) plan has a Plan Administrator. The Plan Administrator, as the name implies, administers the plan. If your company went out of business, the remaining assets in the plan should be turned over to a QTA, or Qualified Termination Adminis...  (more)
    Answered Nov 2013
    I am in the Albemarle 401K Savings Plan. My questions is concerning the 70 1/2 RMD. I am still an active employee and turned 71 November, 2012. I have not gotten a notification from Merrill Lynch regarding RMD.
    Ivory, so long as you are an active employee, you do not have to take RMD’s...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    I've just discovered your website and my employer (Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinic) sponsord 401A/401B plans have a 60 rating. I am offered one Index fund - Vanguard INST INDEX - and would like to allocate 75% of my future investing to this fund. I understand that there are no fees associated w/ index
    I’ll agree with all previous answers. There is an internal expense; however it is very low. 75% is a lot to put in just one fund. Try to be more diversified. See if there is a plan advisor, but also seek advice from trusted friends, family and associates....  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    I want to see if i have a 41k with HomeGoods? I worked for the company last year and never recieved a letter or a check when I left.Plz help me?
    Call HR and get the number for the plan administrator. The plan administrator can check to see if you have fund ...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Are the Franklin Templeton family of funds a good investment even with the 5% front end loads they charge.
    Rich’s answer is right on point. I am primarily fee-based, but I do find occasion to recommend a front end loaded fund, and for the right reasons, I’ll recommend FT. Franklin Templeton is known for their quality value funds, but they also have a large family of very specific funds; ie; if you want ...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    How can I access my ESOP account online? I use to work for Save A Lot until the store was damaged in the April 27, 2011 tornado that came through Alberta City near Tuscaloosa, AL.
    Angela, if the company is still in business, call HR and get the number of the plan administrator. If not, you can search for unclaimed pensions at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) website http://search.pbgc.gov/mp/mp.aspx I would also check with your states 'Unclaimed Property' f...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    How do i find out how much i have invested in my 401k. i am no longer employed by the company i was working for.
    Summer, call HR at your former employer. You have to ask them for the number to the Plan Administrator. The plan administrator, as the name implies, administers the plan. The plan administrator can update your address and answer all questions you have. They can also direct you to the online port...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    What tax implications are there if I take out money from my pension plan and direct it to a Roth?
    William,. If you are going to roll qualified pre-tax retirement plan assets into a Roth, it is all considered taxable income. You can, however do a partial rollover, and have 2 separate accounts....  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Should a plan participant take a 401K loan and use the proceeds to make an IRA contribution?
    No. It will accomplish very little or nothing at all. The risks are great. The possibility of default on the loan far outweighs the possibility that you might feel investment choices are greater or possible lower fees. If you want to contribute to an IRA for whatever reason, simply limit your 4...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    I am currently looking for a job. I found out from a recruiter that many companies no longer pay relocation. I have $20K vested in 401k at my recent employer. If I need to use this money or part of it, do I cash it out?
    Cashing out a 401(k) should be an absolute last resort. You have to pay tax on the money you withdraw plus a 10% penalty. If you have to do it, then you have to do it, but I would not encourage you.If your money is in a 401(k) the employer will withhold at least 20% for income tax. If you have t...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    I worked for signature gallery group and do not have a human resources number who do I call???
    Angela, you should be getting at least quarterly statements; there should be a number there. If not, you are going to have to call the company and ask for who does Human Resources. You have to ask them for the number to the Plan Administrator. The plan administrator, as the name implies, administ...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    I am a young Federal employee that puts 5% of salary into TSP. I am also in graduate school and am paying out of pocket. Would it make more sense to allocate more $ to the TSP and take out a student loan for the grad school?
    Laura, at 26, I think 5% into the TSP is fine. I’m not sure what interest you are paying on student loans, but I think you might want to balance your excess cash. I think you would feel better with student loans behind you, and would work toward that goal. Definitely build an emergency fund, but...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Where on the internet can I find the ratings of 401k / 403b providers?
    As an employer, or HR manager tasked with finding a quality 401(k), you might want to research it on Brightscope, but depending on variables such as number of employees, size of plan, size of contributions, and company specific objectives, you should probably seek advice from one or more local finan...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    I am 63 and have retired and transferred my retirement plan to a broker, a regular rollover IRA. I assume, I can withdraw some of my money as I need without penalty and of course pay the necessary taxes. However,?
    All excellent answers. You can get an exception to the one time 60 day rollover, but how much money are we talking about? Is it a few hundred dollars, or tens of thousands. If it is a relatively low amount, you might want to just call it a lesson learned.I think you might need some investment adv...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    I have a roll over IRA from my employer.
    Stephen, if you have the ability to make a deductible contribution, you can do it into your rollover IRA. I see no real need to open a new account. However, if these are after-tax contributions, I would recommend you keep the pre-tax and after-tax monies segregated, and if you are not phased out of...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2014
    Is it advisable to borrow, in the form of a fixed loan, for the purchase of securities?
    Peter, in terms of investment advice, it is never a good idea to create debt in order to raise capital for a financial investment. ...  (more)
    Answered Oct 2013
    My husband plans on retiring next year at age 60. Is it wise to use half of his 401k as down payment for a home and 25% - 30% of monthly pension for the mortgage? His projected income is estimated at $4400 per month.
    If I am reading the question correctly, you are saying that he has a 401(k) where you can take half of it, use as a down payment, and pay the taxes, and then still have a separate pension plan with a guaranteed pension of $4400/month. If that is your only income, and I’m not an accountant, but at 1...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Hello. Several years ago I was employeed by Whole Foods Market (Milwaukee, WI branch) I left the company. I was enrolled in their 401k program. How do I access this information from them and move it into my current retirement plan (through Vanguard?)?
    Ben, if the number Rich posted is not correct, just call HR at Whole Foods and get the number for the Plan Administrator. The plan Administrator is the one that will give you information and forms you will need. The easiest thing might be to roll it into your current Vanguard account. Fees are pr...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Would I leave my 401k with the company plan?
    Susan, simply put, you have more options and more control in an individual IRA than inside a 401(k). Remember this is money intended for your golden years, so if you are going to invest in an IRA, you may want to seek financial advice, or be sure you educate yourself. You want to minimize risks so...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    How do I find out what's in my account I haven't worked for this company since 2002?
    Anthony, you need to contact the plan administrator. Either go to the Brightscope page, as Jason suggested, or just call HR at the company and ask for the phone number of the plan administrator....  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    I am interested into talking to someone in reguards to a 401k plan that when my husband and I divorced I was suppose to get. I have a case # 11-34879-dm, through DTE and the lawyer said it was sent out on January 11. I have tried to find out some info over and over and through my lawyer but still no
    LeAnn, Rich spelled out pretty clearly what your options are.In order to execute one of these options, you need to, with your “QDRO’ in hand, contact the plan administrator of the 401(k). If your attorney has not provided this to you, just call Human Resources at the company and ask for the phone ...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    After I leave my organization I want to look for an investment company to transfer my funds. Any suggestions for a LOW FEE company to transfer funds into a Roth IRA?
    Ryan, I can only echo the thoughts of others. There are many low cost brokerages; all will be able to convert your plan to a Roth. I’ll also echo the sentiment that cost is not everything. Typically what you will get for low cost is a passive investment with no advice.I see the capitalized “LOW ...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    How do I receive my money from my old 401k?
    Tammy, you need to contact the plan administrator. If you can’t find the phone number on the statement, just call HR and ask for it....  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    I Am In The Union Local 553 Raleigh NC. Trying To Access Retirement Fund Balance How Do I Get Where I Can Enter Login Name And Password. Please Help?
    Allen, just so you can better understand what you have, if the union is providing benefits such as ‘xx’ dollars per month when you retire, based on years of service and income, then you probably have a pension plan. If you contributed from your paycheck and you have a dollar balance based on the pe...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    How do I find out how much money I have in my 401k on line?
    If you cant find a statement with the website, just call HR and get the phone number of the plan administrator. The plan administrator will walk you through the very simple process of registering to the online portal. Also, if you can't find a statement, take this opportunity to be sure your addre...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    What are the 401k loans withdrawal rules? http://www.401kgps.com/401k-loan.aspx?
    Smith, rules are defined in your actual plan document. I would recommend you call HR and get the phone for the plan administrator, who will give you parameters if any, for obtaining a loan.The most generous loan provision even possible will be $50,000, up to half of your balance. You must pay it ...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    How do I shutter my sold company 401K Plan?
    Typically, the process of terminating a 401(k) plan includes amending the plan document, distributing all assets, and filing a final Form 5500. If you have any employees, they need to be notified of plan termination. Your plan administrator should be doing this as a matter of course.Although you a...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    I have a 401k plan with AON , I would like to keep my account there and have an outside advisor manage it without moving it from the company , is this permissible ?
    John, advisors that can offer advice and charge a fee are called RIA's, so any RIA , or IAR can give advice for a small fee. The only reason your current broker cannot advise you is because he can't charge a fee. And frankly, for compliance reasons, he should not be giving you free advice. In th...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Can i max out my 401k and a roth ira and a tradtitional ira?
    Curt gave you great parameters. here are some pratfalls to avoid.Keep in mind that there are income limits on what is tax deductible into a traditional IRA and income limits on when you can even contribute to a Roth IRA. If you reach your income limits on tax-deductibility on a traditional IRA,...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    I took a new posting with my employer outside the US.. Since my payroll is no longer in the US how can I continue in my 401k. Are there other options for me. I do not want to be locked out for three years(my contract). This would also impact my taxes?
    Roop, 401(k) plans are sponsored by your employer.. Even if you may have the same employer, you may not be able to contribute because you are being paid from a non-US payroll. Because you are not paying Social Security to the US, that maybe a clear indication that you just cannot contribute to ...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    My employer offers target date funds in our 401k. How do these funds work?
    Mike, a Target Date Fund sets your retirement ‘target date’ as the date you plan to retire. As you get closer to the ‘target date’ the fund assumes you need these assets to be safer, and shifts the allocation to lees stocks and more bonds and cash. It is not unsuitable for anyone, and so it is use...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    I need advise to productively invest 20,000!
    Lazarro, when you invest any amount of money with a financial advisor, they are going to want to know a complete understanding of who you are, your family situation is, what your goals are, what your earning potential is, what your timeframe is, what your tolerance for risk is, etc. They all contr...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    Is my 401k subject to division in a divorce settlement in the state of Louisiana?
    If you did not have a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO signed by the court, your wife cannot touch your 401(k). you can double check with your attorney. You can also contact the plan administrator and ask for past statements.You may or may not want her to be the beneficiary of your 401...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Who prepares form 5500 and when must it be completed? Brightscope needs more info. to compare to others.
    Tom, the form 5500 is prepared by the plan administrator. Typically, if your plan has less than 100 employees, they will file the 5500 short form with no plan audit. In that case, as Tom pointed out, you will need a Summary Plan Description along with the investment choices with total account bala...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    Can I retrieve my 401 K from Samuel Merritt?
    Michael, if your plan has low fees and good investment options, you might want to leave it there. I understand that from your perspective, you may not be sure if your plan has either low fees or good investment options. Ask trusted former co-workers, if possible for their opinions.. If not, seek ...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    How do I find out if Cypress Health Group matches 401K deposits from my paycheck?
    Elissa, just call Human Resources and ask what the 401(k) match is. ...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    How long does it take me to receive my pension after leaving my job?
    Brian, I’m not sure of your age or exactly what type of plan you have.If you have an actual pension, or defined benefit plan, if you are of the stated retirement age in the plan and are entitled to a pension benefit, it typically starts within 90 days of retirement. It is intended to typically pay...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    How do I look at my own personal 401K plan with Cornerstone healthCare?
    Melodie, I am assuming that, for whatever reason you are not getting statements. Call HR and get the number for the plan administrator. Every plan has a separate plan administrator, who as the name implies, administers the plan. Call the plan administrator. They will give you any information you...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Do you feel there is any need for a retirement fund that's managed by an investment group?
    Tom, In answer to your question about the fees…it is only expensive in the absence of value. If you don’t feel this person is earning his/her fee, you need to find someone who is.Conventional thinking has been that fixed income is the safe place to put your money. I, and many of my colleagues bel...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    Starting financial planning at a late stage of career life - 401(k) & IRA?
    Saleh, there are two important points here. But first I will relate to you with an anecdotal story. During my third mid-life crisis, I bought my first boat. I ended up with a small cabin cruiser with an inboard-outboard motor. Knowing nothing about boats, I moored it in the water at a slip at my...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    Why do companies issue shares?
    Companies often start out as a business venture that is privately held by an individual or relatively small group of investors. As a private company, they can issue shares, but there is no arena to buy or sell. Often they will do that as part of an employee purchase or retirement incentive. Becau...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    Elective Deferral or Employer Contribution from a Solo 401(k) first?
    Rebecca, your employee deferral should be from compensation from this calendar year, so if you pay yourself by paycheck, I would argue that your contribution should be deducted from your paycheck for the 2013 calendar year – assuming you are on a calendar year. But your accountant needs to deal w...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    How do I find my 401k from ATA?
    Melinda, please be very cautious about posting any personal info on public websites.If you had a balance, it is out there somewhere. You need to find the plan administrator. Brian thinks it was taken over by Global Aero Logistics, so I would call HR there and ask for the plan administrator. Its ...  (more)
    Answered Sep 2013
    How is a Non-Traded Real Estate Investment Trust (NTREIT) different from a Limited Real Estate Partnership...or are they different at all? An advusir said I'd receuve about 6% but principal would be safe. I'm not so sure.
    NTREITS and Limited Real Estate Partnerships have some structural differences, but basically offer similar investment characteristics. NTREITS can be good, but they are always risky investments. There is no guarantee of principal, fees can often be misleading, and very importantly, there is typica...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    How do I find out if Exelon's 401(k) permits partial in service transfers?
    James, it would be in your SPD, but the easiest way to understand your options, if any, would be to call the plan administrator. Typically, if in-service transfers are allowed at all, it is only as you approach retirement age, and only for a percentage of your assets....  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    I have my 403b with Fidelity, and am 60 years old. I am starting a 70% work week soon, probably for the next 2-4 yrs. Fidelity is after me to put the bulk of my funds (close to $500K) into their fidelity portfolio advisory services, and have a personal?
    Katherine, you feel you have had decent results, but are you comparing it to any benchmark? Are you actually measuring your performance, or are you just feeling good because, in general, your account value has risen? I am not suggesting that you have not done well on your own, I am just suggestin...  (more)
    Answered May 2013
    I would like to compare our firm's 401(k) plan (ABA REtirment Funds Program) performance against other plans, but I don't see that plan on your list. How would I otherwise go about getting a comparison? Can you give me a relative rating of our plan?
    Kathleen, Brightscope has tools to evaluate various plans against a benchmark. Not all plans are evaluated. I am not sure if you want to evaluate the plan, or the funds that you invest in.If you are concerned about the overall performance of the plan, without trying to be crass at all, as an empl...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    I have $10k on one credit card at the moment and I am paying the monthly minimum. I have the option to transfer this balance to another credit card that has zero interest for one year. Will it be worth it to transfer the card?
    John, it is possible there is no transfer fee, but typically there is a transfer fee or 3%-5% on balance transfers, so read the fine print to be sure that is not there. Don’t presume the interest rate will be 14.9%; it will tell you what it is on the offer.The big question is do you plan to pay th...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    When a mutual fund achieves profits, it distributes these profits to shareholders as dividends. Yet the distribution is done by increasing the number of shares and reducing the share price. Thus, leaving the share owner with no loss or gain. So why (how) is a dividend considered a profit?
    It is not necessarily considered a profit. It is just one part of total return. Go back to the share price. Disregarding the fluxuation on ex-date, over time, is that share price performing up to your expectations? If it is remaining stable, is your dividend performing up to your expectations? ...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    I have a loan with my plan ,how do I find out how much I owe?
    Call Human Resources and get the phone number of the Plan Administrator. The Plan Administrator can answer your questions and also give you directions to access the online portal, where you can review your account anytime. Also you should have a recent statement that will show your loan balance...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    I am a former employee of Barnabas Health. I don't know if I have any funds in pension. Plan, 401k or 403b. I continue to get fidelity literature and I would like to know.
    Call Human Resources at Barnabas Health and get the phone number of the Plan Administrator for any type of pension plan. The Plan Administrator can answer your questions and also give you directions to access the online portal, where you can review your account anytime.With the 403(b) you will lik...  (more)
    Answered Mar 2013
    I have a car loan at 14% cosigned by my mother it was a 6 yr loan payment is $376. Payoff aamount is $11,115 payoff date sept 2015. I have been offered to refinance in just my name at 9.45% for 42 months with payment $373. Will score go up if in my name.
    Tonya, first, the math does not make any sense. If you are paying the same amount of debt at a lower interest rate, you should not have to pay an additional year of payments. I would be looking for an additional fee the your friendly loan officer is adding to the loan amount. Something is not ri...  (more)
    Answered Feb 2013
    My wife has a 401(k) account with her employer. It has about $900,000.00 in it. I see her employer has a Roth 401(k) available. Would it be prudent to convert her current account to the Roth 401(k) or just open a Roth 401(k) for her last few years?
    Bonnie, as already stated, any conversion would be subject to income tax, and it is recommended you use after tax dollars. So it may be prudent if you have disposable after-tax dollars. The number of years of tax free growth before retirement could be a factor, as well as other financial assets. ...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    Under the WellPoint 401K Plan, can I direct my funds to other investment options other than those shown available in the plan? I see I can invest in WellPoint stock for instance. I would prefer other stock options and different mutual funds.
    You appear to have a brokerage window in your plan. If you wish to open that option, I would call HR and get the number for the plan administrator. The plan administrator can set that up.Typically, I do not recommend my clients utilize a brokerage account inside a 401(k), the reason being that it...  (more)
    Answered Jul 2013
    I will have two children in college this fall and need to find a way to pay for their tuition. I have a 401(k) through my employer that I am considering taking a withdrawal from. Should I use my 401(k) to pay for their college education?
    A 401(k) should be intended as a retirement plan, and except for dire emergency, I do not recommend withdrawals. The taxation and penalties are there to remind you of this.Fortunately, there are a myriad of student funding options available; grants, scholarships, student loans, etc. Though stude...  (more)
    Answered Apr 2013
    Where can I find information about 'average' advisory and/or administration costs on 401(K) plans?
    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...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2014
    23 years old, 40+ year term investment, which funds or at least which categories and what percent should I invest in?
    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 your client’ in order to make suitable recomm...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2014
    How do you find out how to get your 401k plan from a company that is not in business anymore?
    Todd, I wrote an article on my blog on this subject. Go to http://www.greenbergfinancialgroup.com/blog/how-do-i-find-my-old-401k-or-pension-plan-0 It covers all scenarios....  (more)
    Answered Aug 2014
    Can my employer "single out" individual employees and not reward them with a bonus contribution to our 401k?
    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 a sense, you are not allowed to discriminate, un...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2014
    I have been contributing to ING for 35 years and have become concerned about their fees and the impact on my returns,?
    J, I don’t have all the facts, but typically in a 403(b) plan, there are a limited number of vendors that you can select from. They typically offer annuities and mutual funds, though the vendors are most aggressive selling the annuities. And ING is a major provider of annuities, particularly insid...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2014
    I have been informed by Social Security Administration I am invested with your company and told the value of my account is approximately $6,247.00. If so, I would like to transfer to my IRA account with another firm. How do I go about doing this?
    Linda, you probably got a 'Potential Private Retirement Benefit Information Notice'. It is typically triggered when you apply for a Social Security benefit. Please let me know if this is correct. here is a link to Social Security FAQ http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/SSAPotentialPrivateRetirement/SSAPote...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    Employer plan offers both trad & roth 401k options, but won't allow me to convert?
    Denise, every plan has a Third Party Administrator, or TPA, which, as the name implies, administers the plan. The TPA needs to ‘amend’ the plan to allow it to make the conversions. So my recommendation is to call HR and find out who the TPA is, cut out the parties that don’t really know, and call t...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2014
    401k plans, what is the maximum you can contribute in 2013, I am 59 years old.
    The maximum for 2013 is $17,500 plus $5,500 on the catch-up provision because you are over 50....  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    I would like to borrow some money from my life insurance policy how do I go about doing this?
    Paul, call the company directly. Different policies, even within the same company, handle loans differently. Though they may or may not charge interest, there could be a crediting rate that would make it a ‘net 0 interest loan’, or close to 0. More importantly your loan proceeds are typically ‘t...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    I need number to call regarding benefits of deceased husband.
    Janice, you probably applied for Social Security Benefits. The IRS was provided with information regarding a plan that your husband contributed to. That plan, and it could be more than one, has a third party administrator, which, as the name implies, administers the plan. It is incumbent on you t...  (more)
    Answered May 2014
    Should my 401K contributions be 2 weeks behind being deposited into my 401K plan?
    Andrew's response is what I would say.... regulations state the earliest possible date. Your employer is at risk if they hold your money for an unreasonable time; two weeks is reasonable....  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    How do I get the forms to make a loan from my plan. Thanks, Dave?
    Dave, You should contact your plan administrator. Call HR and get their number. If your company is large enough, HR may be able to handle it. First, you need to be sure your plan allows loans.If your plan allows, you may be able to take a loan. The pratfalls of taking a loan are that it must be...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
    How do I get the forms to take out a loan from my plan? Thanks, Dave?
    Dave, You should contact your plan administrator. Call HR and get their number. If your company is large enough, HR may be able to handle it. First, you need to be sure your plan allows loans.If your plan allows, you may be able to take a loan. The pratfalls of taking a loan are that it must be...  (more)
    Answered Aug 2013
      *Answers are submitted by advisors without compensation.

      Licenses & Conducts

      SEC
      U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
      • license status
        Registered
      • disclosures
        2
      • as of date
        Feb 2, 2017
      FINRA
      FINRA
      • license status
        Not registered
      • disclosures
        2
      • as of date
        Feb 9, 2017
      Review the status and details of the disclosures noted above using the SEC's Investment Advisor Public Disclosure website:

      Assets

      Greenberg Financial Group

      Last updated on Feb. 2, 2017
        • $3.5M
          Total Assets Under Management
        • N/A
          Total Assets Under Advisement
        • 25
          Accounts
        • $140.0K
          Estimated Average Account Balance

      Fees

      Types of Compensation Arrangements

      • Percentage Of Assets
      • Hourly Charges
      • Fixed Fees