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Retire On Purpose, With Purpose

 
When it comes to managing your retirement, a small mistake can cause a major loss of capital. That is why it's important to speak with a financial advisor who is familiar with your Company's benefits. Schedule a call today..  
 
 
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Is the Russia-Ukraine War a Threat to the Global Economy?

Apr 11, 2022 10:57:34 AM
written by The Retirement Group

Before Russia stunned the world by invading Ukraine, it was widely believed that the economic ties formed through globalization would help promote peace. But the war is testing that assumption and drawing attention to the vulnerabilities in far-flung supply chains, which were already under pressure because of the pandemic and recovery.

In response to the brutal invasion of Ukraine, the United States, European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK), and their allies are using financial sanctions to inflict severe damage on Russia's economy and pressure its leaders to end the war. But that effort likely comes at a significant cost to the global economy.


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posted in Global, Economy

Managing Bond Risks When Interest Rates Rise

Apr 6, 2022 2:23:01 PM
written by The Retirement Group

After dropping the benchmark federal funds rate to a rock-bottom range of 0%–0.25% early in the pandemic, the Federal Open Market Committee has begun raising the rate toward more typical historical levels in response to high inflation. At its March 2022 meeting, the Committee raised the funds rate to 0.25%–0.50% and projected the equivalent of six more quarter-percentage-point increases in 2022 and three or four more in 2023.1


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posted in Interest rates, Bond

Federal income Tax Returns Due for Most Individuals

Apr 4, 2022 2:35:03 PM
written by The Retirement Group

The federal income tax filing deadline for individuals is generally Monday, April 18, 2022 (Tuesday, April 19, 2022, if you live in Maine or Massachusetts).

Need more time?
If you're not able to file your federal income tax return by the April due date, you can file for an extension by the April due date using IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Filing this extension gives you an additional six months (until October 17, 2022) to file your federal income tax return. You can also file for an automatic six-month extension electronically (details on how to do so can be found in the Form 4868 instructions). There may be penalties for failing to file or for filing late.


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posted in Federal, Returns, Income Tax

Up-To-Date Market Week

Apr 4, 2022 1:57:15 PM
written by The Retirement Group

The Markets (as of market close May 20, 2022)

Before reviewing your company 401(k) plan, check out how the market can affect your retirement.In another volatile week of trading, stocks fell for the seventh consecutive week. A late-day surge last Friday kept the S&P 500 out of bear territory, but not enough to keep it out of the red for the week. Disappointing earnings and declining profits from some major retailers apparently caused concern that retailers will pass on higher input costs to customers. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell added to the angst when he said that "some pain" may be involved in the fight to tame inflation. This was enough to prompt investors to pull away from stocks. By the end of last week, the Nasdaq, the Dow, and the S&P 500 all fell by 2.9% or more. Crude oil prices climbed higher, while the dollar slid lower. Ten-year Treasury yields fell 15 basis points as bond prices increased. Gold prices rose by nearly $37.00.
 

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posted in Financial Planning, Lump Sum, Pension

Interest Rates at KP Rise Significantly, Lowering Lump-Sums

Mar 28, 2022 1:23:33 PM
written by The Retirement Group

Lump-sums are decreasing for KP employees who wait to commence their pensions lump-sum.  With both short, medium, and long-term rates rising over the last month, the higher average rate will result in lower lump-sums for those retiring in March of 2022. When KP employees elect the month they would like to begin their pension, KP looks back to two months to calculate the rates used for the pension disbursement. When interest rates move up or down, your pension lump sum amount will move in an inverse relationship. Through the pandemic, interest rates dropped dramatically which has greatly increased many lump sum payments. However, rates have increased significantly over 2021 and 2022, causing a reduction in pension lump-sums.


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posted in Pension, Interest rates, KP

Interest Rates Jump, Indicating ExxonMobil's Pension Lump Sum Payments May Have Peaked

Mar 25, 2022 11:15:13 AM
written by The Retirement Group

Interest rates are tending upward, if this trend continues it will decrease the value of ExxonMobil employees' pension lump-sums. The IRS has recently released the Segment rates for the month of February, recorded at: 1.88% / 3.35% / 3.70%. Over the course of 2021 and now into 2022, interest rates at ExxonMobil increased significantly, which greatly reduced many lump sum payments. With record low rates culminating in the first quarter of 2021, ExxonMobil employees have since seen a significant increase in interest rates. We saw rates rise consistently in 2021 and with the announcement of February segment rates those waiting until the third quarter will likely see an even further reduction in lump sums. This recent trend upward looks be an early indicator of bad news for ExxonMobil employees opting for a lump-sum in the future.


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posted in Financial Planning, Lump Sum, Pension, Retirement Planning, ExxonMobil

Lump Sum Payments May Have Peaked With ConocoPhillips Due to Rising Interest Rates

Mar 24, 2022 1:57:11 PM
written by The Retirement Group

ConocoPhillips employees considering the lump sum option on their pension payment, may have an opportunity to take advantage of lower interest rates in Q1 2022 before higher rates go into effect for Q2 2022. Over the course of 2020, interest rates dropped dramatically, which greatly increased many lump sum payments. However, interest rates spiked modestly through 2021. While the overall trajectory of interest rates has been higher, the slight drop in ConocoPhillips rates for Q4 2021 and Q1 2022 should have the effect of increasing lump sum amounts, momentarily, or at the very least delaying decreases.

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posted in Pension, Interest rates, ConocoPhillips

What Do Rising Interest Rates Mean for Your Money?

Mar 24, 2022 10:26:07 AM
written by The Retirement Group

On March 16, 2022, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve raised the benchmark federal funds rate by 0.25% to a target range of 0.25% to 0.50%. This is the beginning of a series of increases that the FOMC expects to carry out over the next two years to combat high inflation.1

Along with announcing the current increase, the FOMC released economic projections that suggest the equivalent of six additional 0.25% increases in 2022, followed by three or four more increases in 2023.2 Keep in mind that these are only projections, based on current conditions, and may not come to pass. However, they provide a helpful picture of the potential direction of U.S. interest rates.

What is the federal funds rate?
The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which banks lend funds to each other overnight to maintain legally required reserves within the Federal Reserve System. The FOMC sets a target range, usually a 0.25% spread, and then sets two specific rates that act as a floor and a ceiling to push the funds rate into that target range. The rate may vary slightly from day to day, but it generally stays within the target range.

Although the federal funds rate is an internal rate within the Federal Reserve System, it serves as a benchmark for many short-term rates set by banks and can influence longer-term rates as well.

Why does the Fed adjust the federal funds rate?
The Federal Reserve and the FOMC operate under a dual mandate to conduct monetary policies that foster maximum employment and price stability. Adjusting the federal funds rate is the Fed's primary tool to influence economic growth and inflation.

The FOMC lowers the federal funds rate to stimulate the economy by making it easier for businesses and consumers to borrow, and raises the rate to combat inflation by making borrowing more expensive. In March 2020, when the U.S. economy was devastated by the pandemic, the Committee quickly dropped the rate to its rock-bottom level of 0.00%–0.25% and has kept it there for two years as the economy recovered.

The FOMC has set a 2% annual inflation goal as consistent with healthy economic growth. The Committee considered it appropriate for inflation to run above 2% for some time in order to balance the extended period when it ran below 2% and give the economy more time to grow in a low-rate environment. However, the steadily increasing inflation levels over the last year — with no sign of easing — have forced the Fed to change course and tighten monetary policy.

How will consumer interest rates be affected?
The prime rate, which commercial banks charge their best customers, is tied directly to the federal funds rate and generally runs about 3% above it. Though actual rates can vary widely, small-business loans, adjustable-rate mortgages, home-equity lines of credit, auto loans, credit cards, and other forms of consumer credit are often linked to the prime rate, so the rates on these types of loans typically increase with the federal funds rate. Fed rate hikes might also put upward pressure on interest rates for new fixed-rate home mortgages, but these rates are not tied directly to the federal funds rate or the prime rate.

Although rising interest rates make it more expensive for consumers and businesses to borrow, retirees and others who seek income could eventually benefit from higher yields on savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs). Banks typically raise rates charged on loans more quickly than they raise rates paid on deposits, but an extended series of rate increases should filter down to savers over time.

What about bond investments?
Interest-rate changes can have a broad effect on investments, but the impact tends to be more pronounced in the short term as markets adjust to the new level.

When interest rates rise, the value of existing bonds typically falls. Put simply, investors would prefer a newer bond paying a higher interest rate than an existing bond paying a lower rate. Longer-term bonds tend to fluctuate more than those with shorter maturities because investors may be reluctant to tie up their money for an extended period if they anticipate higher yields in the future.

Bonds redeemed prior to maturity may be worth more or less than their original value, but when a bond is held to maturity, the bond owner would receive the face value and interest, unless the issuer defaults. Thus, rising interest rates should not affect the return on a bond you hold to maturity, but may affect the price of a bond you want to sell on the secondary market before it reaches maturity.

Although the rising-rate environment may have a negative impact on bonds you currently hold and want to sell, it might also offer more appealing rates for future bond purchases.

Bond funds are subject to the same inflation, interest rate, and credit risks associated with their underlying bonds. Thus, falling bond values due to rising rates can adversely affect a bond fund's performance. However, as underlying bonds mature and are replaced by higher-yielding bonds within a rising interest-rate environment, the fund's yield and/or share value could potentially increase over the long term.

How will the stock market react?
Equities may also be affected by rising rates, though not as directly as bonds. Stock prices are closely tied to earnings growth, so many corporations stand to benefit from a more robust economy, even with higher interest rates. On the other hand, companies that rely on heavy borrowing will likely face higher costs going forward, which could affect their bottom lines.

The stock market reacted positively to the initial rate hike and the projected path forward, but investors will be watching closely to see how the economy performs as interest rates adjust — and whether the increases are working to tame inflation.3

The market may continue to react, positively or negatively, to the government's inflation reports or the Fed's interest-rate decisions, but any reaction is typically temporary. As always, it's important to maintain a long-term perspective and make sound investment decisions based on your own financial goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance.

The FDIC insures CDs and bank savings accounts, which generally provide a fixed rate of return, up to $250,000 per depositor, per insured institution. The return and principal value of stocks and investment funds fluctuate with market conditions. Shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Investments offering the potential for higher rates of return also involve higher risk.

Investment funds are sold by prospectus. Please consider the fund's objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus, which contains this and other information about the investment company, can be obtained from your financial professional. Be sure to read the prospectus carefully before deciding whether to invest.

1–2) Federal Reserve, March 16, 2022
3) The Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2022


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posted in Interest rates, Money

Watch Out for These Common Tax Scams

Mar 23, 2022 10:01:31 AM
written by The Retirement Group

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), tax scams tend to increase during tax season and/or times of crisis.1 Now that tax season is in full swing, the IRS is reminding taxpayers to use caution and avoid becoming the victim of a fraudulent tax scheme. Here are some of the most common tax scams to watch out for.


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posted in Tax, Scams

Chevron Interest Rates Jump, Lump Sum Payments Continue to Decrease

Mar 22, 2022 4:02:35 PM
written by The Retirement Group

Lump-sums are decreasing for Chevron employees who wait to commence their pension lump-sums.  With both short, medium, and long-term rates rising over the last month, the higher average rates will result in lower lump-sums for those retiring in May of 2022. When Chevron employees elect the month they would like to begin their pension, Chevron looks back to the third, fourth, and fifth month's rates to calculate the rates used for the pension disbursement. When interest rates move up or down, your pension lump sum amount will move in an inverse relationship. Through the pandemic, interest rates dropped dramatically which has greatly increased many lump sum payments. This trend culminated in record lows for individuals who commenced their benefits in December of 2020. However, since December 2020, rates have increased, causing a reduction in pension lump-sums.


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posted in Pension, Interest rates, Chevron

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