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The Retirement Group

Recent Posts

What You Should Know About the Debt Ceiling Debate

Jun 1, 2023 2:45:00 PM
written by The Retirement Group

On Monday, May 22, President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met at the White House to discuss raising the statutory limit on U.S. government debt, generally called the debt ceiling. Although both leaders termed the discussion "productive," there was no resolution, and their respective negotiating teams continued discussions. 1 Here are some answers to questions you may have about the issues behind the current impasse.

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posted in Financial Planning, 2023, Debt, Debt Ceiling

SECURE 2.0 Offers New Options for 529 Plans and Student Loan Payments

Jun 1, 2023 12:30:00 PM
written by The Retirement Group

In December 2022, Congress passed the SECURE 2.0 Act. It introduced two new rules relating to 529 plans and student debt that will take effect in 2024.

The first provision allows for tax- and penalty-free rollovers from a 529 plan to a Roth IRA. The second provision allows student loan payments made by employees to qualify for employer retirement matching contributions. The overall goal is to help young adults start saving for retirement.

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posted in Financial Planning, Student Loans, 2023, SECURE Act, 529 Plans

Market Month: May 2023

Jun 1, 2023 11:23:43 AM
written by The Retirement Group

The Markets (as of market close May 31, 2023)

Before reviewing your company 401(k) plan, check out how the market can affect your retirement. The markets in May were marked by ongoing volatility. Inflation, questions over the direction of monetary policy, and slower liquidity growth impacted equities. The ongoing debt ceiling negotiations cast a cloud over financial markets for much of May. Investors worried about the ramifications of inaction as the June 5 deadline loomed. Even after the president and House speaker reached an agreement toward the end of May, concerns persisted over whether Congress would pass the bill to lift the $31.4 trillion U.S. debt ceiling.

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posted in Financial Planning, Lump Sum, Pension, Market

New Clean Vehicle Tax Credit Guidance Issued

May 22, 2023 2:57:07 PM
written by The Retirement Group

Starting in 2023, a personal or general business tax credit of up to $7,500 is available for the purchase of new clean vehicles meeting certain requirements (including electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles). A credit of $3,750 is available if a critical minerals requirement is met, and a credit of $3,750 is available if a battery components requirement is met. (For vehicles placed in service from January 1, 2023, through April 17, 2023, the credit allowed generally varied from $3,750 to $7,500 depending on the battery capacity of the vehicle, rather than on these two requirements.) Fuel cell vehicles that have final assembly within North America can qualify for the credit without regard to these two requirements.

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posted in Financial Planning, 2023, Energy, Tax Credit

Best States to Retire in 2023

May 19, 2023 10:30:12 AM
written by The Retirement Group

Regardless of age, profession, or current residence, many people share the ultimate goal of retiring comfortably. It's crucial to understand that the value of retirement may vary across different states, influenced by factors such as taxes, cost of living, and climate. Thus, certain states may appear more desirable and fitting for retirement than others. Furthermore, income and purchasing power can differ significantly in various locations of the country. In this article, we will rank the top states that are ideal for retirement.

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posted in Financial Planning, Tax, Retirement, 2023

What You Should Know About the Federal Reserve's New Instant Payments System

May 17, 2023 11:30:00 AM
written by The Retirement Group

The use of mobile payment apps and person-to-person (P2P) payments are more popular than ever, giving businesses and consumers the ability to send and receive money instantly. According to a recent study, the share of P2P payments made with mobile apps nearly doubled in one year, increasing from 15% in 2020 to 29% in 2021. 1 In response to the growing demand for these types of instant payments services, the Federal Reserve will be launching its own real-time, instant payments system called the FedNow Service (FedNow).

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posted in Financial Planning, 2023, Federal Reserve, Payment System, FedNow

Rescuing America's Safety Net

May 16, 2023 11:15:00 AM
written by The Retirement Group

A March 2023 survey found that more than 90% of Americans worry about the Social Security program, and about half of those said they worry a great deal. 1 A separate survey the same month found that more than 80% of Americans worry Medicare will not be able to provide the same level of benefits in the future. 2

These concerns are well-founded, because both of these programs — the cornerstones of "America's Safety Net" — face serious fiscal challenges that require Congressional action. And the longer Congress waits to act, the more extreme the solutions will have to be. Even so, it's important to keep in mind that neither of these programs is in danger of collapsing completely. The question is what type of changes will be required to rescue them.

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posted in Financial Planning, Social Security, 2023, Demographic, Safety

SECURE 2.0 Helps Small Employers Help Their Employees

May 13, 2023 12:00:00 PM
written by The Retirement Group

Approximately 78% of people who work for companies with fewer than 10 employees and about 65% of those who work for companies with 10 to 24 employees do not have access to a retirement plan at work. 1 That's unfortunate, because workers with a retirement plan are far more likely to save for retirement than those without a plan. In 2022, 62% of those without a retirement plan had accumulated less than $1,000 for retirement, compared with 71% of those with a plan who had saved at least $50,000. More than four in 10 workers with access to a work-based plan had amassed a quarter million dollars or more. 2

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posted in Financial Planning, Employer, 2023, SECURE Act

AT&T’s Retiree Pension Payments Taken Over by Athene

May 9, 2023 3:19:52 PM
written by The Retirement Group

Understanding the Shift: AT&T's Retiree Pension Payments Transferred to Athene

AT&T has made changes to its pension plan for retirees. Beginning with the August pension payment, AT&T will transfer the assets and liabilities associated with the pension plan to Athene, a financial institution that manages pension group annuities for several other companies. This change does not affect the amount of the monthly pension payment. Retirees will receive monthly payments from Athene instead of the AT&T Pension Benefit Plan. The change impacts about 96,000 retirees who receive certain monthly pension benefits from AT&T.

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posted in Healthcare, Pension, AT&T, 2023

SECURE 2.0 Adds New Early Withdrawal Exceptions

Apr 13, 2023 12:09:00 PM
written by The Retirement Group

The SECURE 2.0 Act, passed as part of an omnibus spending bill in December 2022, added new exceptions to the 10% federal income tax penalty for early withdrawals from tax-advantaged retirement accounts. The Act also expanded an existing exception that applies specifically to employer plans. These exceptions are often called 72(t) exceptions, because they are listed in Section 72(t) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The 10% penalty tax generally applies to withdrawals prior to age 59½ from IRAs, employer-sponsored plans [such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans], and traditional pension plans, unless an exception applies. The penalty is assessed on top of ordinary income taxes.

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posted in Financial Planning, Withdrawal, 2023, SECURE Act

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Information regarding the lump-sum payout may or may not apply to specific employees based on factors such as mergers, acquisitions, years of service, age, or the date an employee was hired.