Each New Year signifies new beginnings—a chance to start over and set yourself up for 365 days of success. We often use New Year’s as an opportunity to introduce better behaviors within our daily lives, setting resolutions to go to the gym more, build better interpersonal relationships, eat healthier, see our family more, and the like. But in 2019, there’s a new trend emerging among the most common New Year’s resolutions. Almost 9 in 10 Americans are planning on making some sort of financial resolution in the upcoming New Year.
It’s no secret that working as a financial advisor is highly rewarding. You make a clear, concise difference in the lives of workers who are trying to get ahead financially, and your impact is lasting. You help ease the financial stress your clients feel on a day-to-day basis, and you help them feel confident that they’ll reach financial freedom in due time.
The rewards are plentiful, but being an advisor isn’t always a walk in the park—especially if you want to be a successful one. You have to be good with all types of financial education and investment advice, but to be truly successful, you have to be good with people.
It’s hard to believe, but the fourth quarter of 2018 has already arrived. And as year-end approaches, many business owners begin scrambling to find ways to maximize potential tax benefits for the year. Perhaps your financial advisor suggested saving any big company purchases for the end of the year in a last-ditch effort to lower your profit margins and drop your business into a lower tax bracket. Or maybe you instead decided to ramp up your employees’ Christmas bonuses right at year-end to lower your tax rate. But if you’re looking for the best way to maximize your business’s tax benefits for the year, while also making a tangible difference in your employees’ financial future, starting a 401(k) or similar retirement plan should be front and center in your mind.
We’ve been saying it for years—in order to advance American workers’ retirement security in a major, tangible manner, the government probably needs to intervene in one way or another. The conversation began years ago with state-mandated auto IRAs and recently turned to Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs) and Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) regulations when President Donald Trump signed a new executive order aimed at enhancing retirement security in America.
Artificial intelligence may be all the rage in this day and age, with multiple reports coming out on a seemingly daily basis highlighting the benefits of AI on both professional and personal levels. But before we had artificial intelligence, we had automation. Automation has improved (and has continued to improve) our world in multiple ways. Think about it—automation crept into our lives in a subliminal manner but has since come to play a pretty big role in our lives, whether we realize it or not. Automatic doors open for us when we’re ready to enter or exit a building, regardless of how full our hands are. Automatic walkways ease some of the stress we feel when trying to make our gate on time in a crowded airport. And automatic reminders for things like oil changes and doctor appointments simplify our chaotic schedules and keep us on track with our day-to-day responsibilities.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a tool that could do the same thing when it comes to safeguarding our financial future? Simplify the savings process to better keep us on track to reach our long-term goals? Well, implementing automatic enrollment for your company’s 401(k) or similar retirement plan can do just that for you and your employees.
Small business owners often enjoy perks that their corporate counterparts may not always have the chance to experience; a strong sense of community, a family-like atmosphere, and the ability to make each employee feel as though their voice is truly heard are all experiences that can be unique to the small business culture. But many small businesses fall behind when it comes to the benefits that are offered, especially when looking at retirement savings. And that alone can be a serious issue.
When looking for a new service provider, consumers don’t typically end their search with the first provider they find. Think about it; when you chose your cable and internet provider, did you make your decision based on which provider you saw first or did you take things like plan fees, connection speed, channel options, and customer service into account? We’re willing to bet you did some research and comparisons before moving forward with a selected provider. And it’s no different when someone begins their search for a financial advisor.
It’s a million dollar question; one we could only wish came with a clear, cut-and-dry answer. How much do you need to have saved to enjoy the retirement you’ve always dreamed of? Experts suggest having anywhere from $1 million to $1.5 million saved for the golden years of your life, but when it comes to retirement planning, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution—as nice as that might be.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a retirement-industry equivalent of Smokey the Bear? Someone always ready to tell pre-retirees, “Only YOU can protect your financial future!” and encourage workers to begin saving for retirement—and whatever else the future might hold? Unfortunately, there is no retirement-industry equivalent of Smokey. But financial advisors can have the same effect on pre-retirees that the fire-preventing bear has on America’s youth, and it starts with encouraging better behaviors.
The news was alarming; at year-end 2017, U.S. household debt rose to $13.15 trillion – an all-time high. The recent study showed that rising debt comes with a price – less money in your wallet, as well as a burden on your emotional and physical well-being. What’s even more alarming, perhaps, is that nearly four in five full-time American workers report living paycheck-to-paycheck. With rising health care and secondary education costs, it can be tough to find extra money in the budget to allocate towards saving for retirement. But most Americans don’t want to work forever, so saving for a financially-secure retirement should become a top priority.
If you’re anything like us, you have a love-hate relationship with your alarm clock. While we appreciate that it helps us get the day started so we can earn a paycheck, our appreciation only slightly outweighs our desire to smash it with a hammer each and every morning. But as owners of these bittersweet little machines, we do yield a great power over them…the snooze button. With nothing more than a push of a button, we’re able to forget about our morning tasks in favor of 10 more minutes of rest, which will surely make today that much better.
Unfortunately, saving money for retirement is also seemingly suffering from a snooze button, especially among younger generations
In today’s retirement landscape, financial education is a hot topic—and for good reason. Financial education is necessary to foster responsible fiscal decisions, healthy savings habits, and overall retirement readiness among today’s consumers. And as a financial advisor, you understand this more than anyone. Yet, despite its crucial importance, American workers seem reluctant to approach the intimidating topic of financial literacy.
Here it comes—another informational resource that’s going to needlessly recite all of the negative savings statistics of Americans, bemoan the selection of certain types of funds, and ultimately, use a bunch of industry jargon in an effort to sound more qualified to industry insiders. Creating that type of resource wouldn’t be worth your time. Or ours.
It’s time to change the conversation from the standard industry noise – evolving fiduciary standards, state-mandated retirement plans, and a stock market that’s constantly changing – to discussing fundamental changes that plan providers and those saving money need to make in order to actually have a shot at getting the retirement they want.
Social Security is arguably one of the most important programs to retired workers in the country – and for good reason. Social Security payouts account for more than half of all income earned by roughly 6 out of 10 retirees – despite the fact that the program was never designed to replace the majority of pre-retirement income. Balancing personal savings with Social Security benefits is paramount to realizing a financially secure, stress-free retirement. And what’s one of the biggest variables when it comes to making your retirement nest egg last? Life expectancy.
If you thought that the Americans who are most concerned about retirement planning are the workers who are closest to reaching retirement age, you’re in for a surprise. Roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers reached full retirement age today (congrats, Baby Boomers – you made it!), and roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers will continue to turn 65 every day for the next 11-ish years. But they aren’t the generation that has the most anxiety about reaching retirement. Not by a long shot.
Enter Generation X.
Today’s upcoming retirees face many demands on their personal finances, and they’re often torn in numerous directions. They may be gearing up to help their kids fund college or perhaps trying to get that mortgage paid off before reaching the years of retirement bliss. Whatever the case may be, it’s important for financial advisors to keep clients on track when it comes to saving for their future.
A recent study by the Betterment for Business uncovered confusion, fiduciary responsibility, fees, and education as ongoing issues surrounding retirement savings and retirement savings accounts. And while this may be an accurate assessment, it’s certainly not a new revelation for anyone close to the market or industry. The article goes on to discuss how digital resources could be a potential fix to all of these concerns, yet they don’t reference any human interaction. But why would a plan sponsor want to run something as human-centric as a retirement plan using non-human “robo advisors?”
With over 2,500 rules enforced by the Social Security Administration and as many as 81 different potential strategies for collecting Social Security benefits, it’s no wonder pre-retirees and retirees alike often feel overwhelmed and confused when it comes time to claim benefits. What it comes down to, however, is that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions for collecting Social Security, and those of us without a basic understanding of how Social Security works are more likely to make uninformed decisions—which can lead to poor claiming strategies and overall reduced benefits.
If you’re a full-time American employee who feels the burden of financial stress or lives paycheck to paycheck, you’re not alone. Roughly 78 percent of full-time American workers say they live paycheck to paycheck, and that number has only gone up in recent years. Worrying you won’t have enough money to pay for unexpected expenses is stressful enough as it is, but how do you manage to save money for retirement while still providing for yourself in the now?