Top of Mind


22

Aug 2019

The Roth Conundrum

With Roth utilization at next-to-nil levels in many retirement plans, the Roth marketing machine appears to have hit overdrive, as hardly a day goes by without an article touting the fantastic benefits of Roth contributions, as opposed to traditional 403(b)/401(k)/457(b) pre-tax deferrals. But is R…

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15

Aug 2019

Random Nuggets I’ve Learned From the Internet

One of the benefits of scanning the internet for content is that, even after nearly 28 years in the business, I still learn an amazing amount of new things about retirement. So, I thought it might be prudent to start a new feature in Top of Mind to share this wisdom with you - we’ll call it “Random …

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08

Aug 2019

Is Your Adviser Who They Say They Are? How to Check an Adviser’s Background

The Certified Financial Planners (CFP) Board made news recently when their public background database of CFPs came under criticism in a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article. However, that same WSJ report also highlighted what I believe to be a hidden gem for retirement plan participants and plan sponso…

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01

Aug 2019

Is there a Retirement Crisis?

A recent article by PLANSPONSOR is the next in what appears to be a media blitz of pieces sending a similar message - there is a retirement crisis in this country. It’s not a pleasant picture to think about people retiring without enough money to live on, and this particular article incorporates all…

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25

Jul 2019

Why Every Employee Should Be Auto-Enrolled

Back in April, I blogged about why auto-enrollment is always a good idea - but what I truly believe is that each and every employee in the country receiving a paycheck should be auto-enrolled in a retirement plan. Yes, every last one! New employees, existing employees, employees without retirement p…

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18

Jul 2019

What Happened to the SECURE Act?

On May 23rd, the U.S. House of Representatives, by an overwhelming 417-3 vote, passed the SECURE Act. The retirement plan legislation includes a number of enhancements, among which is an increase in the age at which Minimum Required Distribution (RMDs) commence (from 70½ to 72). Following the House’…

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11

Jul 2019

Participant Communication: Fun = Engagement

Here is a little exercise for the retirement plan sponsors out there: take the latest piece that you’ve sent (or are about to send) to plan participants, and show it to someone in your office who knows little about the topic. Ask them to read the communication, and then ask if it was fun to read. If…

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27

Jun 2019

What is Happening to "Traditional" Retirement?

Know someone who retired at age 65 and lived out their golden years in paradise with no cares in the world? Well, I used to know people like that, but most of them are dead. While the growing FIRE (Financial Independence/Retire Early) movement is throwing the traditional age of retirement out the w…

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20

Jun 2019

Retirement Lessons from the Four Seasons

Sorry to disappoint classical music fans out there, but, rather than Vivaldi, we are discussing the other Four Seasons. You know, the ones that were one of the best-selling musical groups of all time and also one of only two American groups to have hits both before and after the British invasion (th…

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13

Jun 2019

Giving 403(b) a Bad Name

I was speaking recently to a 401(k) practitioner who does not work with 403(b) plans. When I explained that my primary practice was 403(b), he responded: “Why do you work with those terrible high-fee annuity plans?” I had to explain to him that the segment of 403(b) to which he was referring, the pu…

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