Protecting Your Savings and Investments

In the wake of turbulence in the financial markets, it’s worth reviewing the legal protections available for assets held by banks, credit unions, and securities dealers.

Bank/savings and loan deposit accounts

Generally, deposit accounts at banks and savings and loans insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are insured up to $250,000 per depositor per bank. FDIC insurance covers both demand deposits (those that provide immediate access to cash, such as checking, NOW, and savings accounts as well as money market deposit accounts) and time deposits, such as certificates of deposit (CDs). It covers both principal and any interest accrued as of the date that an insured bank closes.

FDIC insurance does not cover mutual funds, stocks, bonds, life insurance policies, annuities, or other securities, even if they were bought through an FDIC-insured bank. It also does not cover U.S. Treasury securities (because they are backed separately by the full faith and credit of the federal government) or safe deposit boxes.

You can’t increase your protection simply by opening more than one account in your name at the same bank. For example, splitting the money between a checking and a savings account or opening accounts at different branches of the same bank do not increase your coverage.

However, deposits that represent different categories of ownership may be independently insured. For example, a joint account qualifies for up to $250,000 of coverage for each person named as a joint owner. That coverage is in addition to the $250,000 maximum coverage for each person’s aggregated single-owner accounts at that bank. For example, a married couple with three accounts at one bank–they each have $250,000 in an individual account, and they also have $200,000 in a joint account–would qualify for FDIC insurance on the entire $700,000. The limit on the amount protected in one or more retirement accounts at one bank also is $250,000; this is separate from the $250,000 coverage of individual accounts. (Remember, however, that FDIC insurance applies only to deposit accounts, not to any securities held in an IRA or other retirement account.)

There also may be additional safety nets. In some states, a state-chartered savings bank is required to have additional insurance to cover any losses beyond the FDIC limits. Some banks also may participate in the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service (CDARS), which enables a bank to spread large CD deposits among multiple banks while keeping the amount at each individual bank, including the original bank, within FDIC insurance limits.

You do not have to be a U.S. citizen or resident for your account to receive FDIC protection. According to the FDIC, no depositor has ever lost a penny of funds that were covered by FDIC insurance. An online calculator at the FDIC’s website, http://www.fdic.gov, can help you estimate the total FDIC coverage on your deposit accounts.

Credit unions

Member share accounts at most credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). It is administered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which like the FDIC is an independent agency of the federal government and is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury. (Some credit unions are not federally insured but are overseen by state regulators; they typically have private credit insurance.)

NCUSIF insurance is similar to FDIC insurance; it covers share accounts, share certificates, and share draft accounts but not investment products sold through a credit union. It covers single-owner accounts up to $250,000 per customer per institution. Retirement accounts such as IRAs and Keoghs have separate coverage up to $250,000. As with bank deposit accounts, independent coverage may be available for different categories of ownership. You can estimate your existing coverage by using the calculator at the NCUA’s website www.ncua.gov.

Brokerage accounts and SIPC

Most brokerage accounts are covered by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Unlike the FDIC, the SIPC is not a government agency but a nonprofit corporation funded by broker-dealers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. (A non-SIPC member must disclose that fact.)

SIPC was created by Congress in 1970 to help return customer property if a broker-dealer or clearing firm experiences insolvency, unauthorized trading, or securities that are lost or missing from a customer’s account. Many brokerages also extend protection beyond the SIPC limits with additional private insurance. If a member firm became insolvent, SIPC would typically either act as trustee or ask a court to appoint a trustee to supervise transfer of customer securities and cash. The SEC requires brokerages and clearing firms to segregate customer accounts from their proprietary assets and funds.

 

What’s Covered Where
  What’s covered? Limit for single-owner accounts Limit for retirement accounts Limit for joint accounts
FDIC (banks) Checking/NOW/savings accounts; money market deposit accounts; time deposits (e.g., CDs) $250,000 (includes all such accounts owned by the same person) $250,000 (includes all retirement accounts owned by the same person) $250,000 per joint owner (includes all joint accounts owned by the same person)
SIPC (brokers) Investments registered with the SEC, and cash $500,000, including up to $250,000 in cash $500,000 per customer, including up to $250,000 cash $500,000 per customer
NCUSIF (credit unions) Regular share accounts, share draft accounts, share certificates $250,000 (includes all such accounts owned by the same person) $250,000 (includes all traditional and Roth IRAs; Keoghs covered separately up to $250,000) $250,000 per joint owner (includes all joint accounts owned by the same person)
These are some of the most common accounts; additional categories of ownership, such as trusts, may offer additional protection and use category-specific ways of determining protection limits. All limits apply to accounts at a single institution; if you have accounts at more than one protected institution, you qualify for protection up to the full amount at each one.

 

SIPC covers a maximum of $500,000 per customer (including up to $250,000 in cash) at a given firm. SIPC doesn’t protect against market risk or price fluctuations. If shares lose value before a trustee is appointed, that loss of value is not protected by SIPC. In general, SIPC covers notes, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other shares in investment companies. It does not cover investments that are not registered with the SEC, such as certain investment contracts, limited partnerships, fixed annuity contracts, currency, gold, silver, commodity futures contracts, or commodities options. Additional information about SIPC protection and an explanatory brochure are available at www.sipc.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This material was prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of Matthew Curry, and The Retirement Group or FSC Financial Corp. This information should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Representatives nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information or call 800-900-5867.

The Retirement Group is not affiliated with nor endorsed by fidelity.com, netbenefits.fidelity.com, hewitt.com, resources.hewitt.com, access.att.com, ING Retirement, AT&T, Qwest, Hughes, Northrop Grumman, Verizon, Raytheon, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Glaxosmithkline, Merck, Pfizer, Bank of America, Alcatel-Lucent or by your employer. We are an independent financial advisory group that specializes in transition planning and lump sum distribution. Please call our office at 800-900-5867 if you have additional questions or need help in the retirement planning process.

Matthew Curry is a Representative with FSC Securities and may be reached at www.theretirementgroup.com.

Posted in Economic Update, Financial Advisor, Financial Planning, Matthew Curry, The Retirement Group | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Balancing Your Investment Choices with Asset Allocation

A chocolate cake. Pasta. A pancake. They’re all very different, but they generally involve flour, eggs, and perhaps a liquid. Depending on how much of each ingredient you use, you can get very different outcomes. The same is true of your investments. Balancing a portfolio means combining various types of investments using a recipe that’s appropriate for you.

Getting an appropriate mix

The combination of investments you choose can be as important as your specific investments. The mix of various asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and cash alternatives, accounts for most of the ups and downs of a portfolio’s returns.

There’s another reason to think about the mix of investments in your portfolio. Each type of investment has specific strengths and weaknesses that enable it to play a specific role in your overall investing strategy. Some investments may be chosen for their growth potential. Others may provide regular income. Still others may offer safety or simply serve as a temporary place to park your money. And some investments even try to fill more than one role. Because you probably have multiple needs and desires, you need some combination of investment types.

Balancing how much of each you should include is one of your most important tasks as an investor. That balance between growth, income, and safety is called your asset allocation, and it can help you manage the level and type of risks you face.

Balancing risk and return

Ideally, you should strive for an overall combination of investments that minimizes the risk you take in trying to achieve a targeted rate of return. This often means balancing more conservative investments against others that are designed to provide a higher return but that also involve more risk. For example, let’s say you want to get a 7.5% return on your money. Your financial professional tells you that in the past, stock market returns have averaged about 10% annually, and bonds roughly 5%. One way to try to achieve your 7.5% return would be by choosing a 50-50 mix of stocks and bonds. It might not work out that way, of course. This is only a hypothetical illustration, not a real portfolio, and there’s no guarantee that either stocks or bonds will perform as they have in the past. But asset allocation gives you a place to start.

Someone living on a fixed income, whose priority is having a regular stream of money coming in, will probably need a very different asset allocation than a young, well-to-do working professional whose priority is saving for a retirement that’s 30 years away. Many publications feature model investment portfolios that recommend generic asset allocations based on an investor’s age. These can help jump-start your thinking about how to divide up your investments. However, because they’re based on averages and hypothetical situations, they shouldn’t be seen as definitive. Your asset allocation is–or should be—as unique as you are. Even if two people are the same age and have similar incomes, they may have very different needs and goals. You should make sure your asset allocation is tailored to your individual circumstances.

Many ways to diversify

When financial professionals refer to asset allocation, they’re usually talking about overall classes: stocks, bonds, and cash or cash alternatives. However, there are others that also can be used to complement the major asset classes once you’ve got those basics covered. They include real estate and alternative investments such as hedge funds, private equity, metals, or collectibles. Because their returns don’t necessarily correlate closely with returns from major asset classes, they can provide additional diversification and balance in a portfolio.

Even within an asset class, consider how your assets are allocated. For example, if you’re investing in stocks, you could allocate a certain amount to large-cap stocks and a different percentage to stocks of smaller companies. Or you might allocate based on geography, putting some money in U.S. stocks and some in foreign companies. Bond investments might be allocated by various maturities, with some money in bonds that mature quickly and some in longer-term bonds. Or you might favor tax-free bonds over taxable ones, depending on your tax status and the type of account in which the bonds are held.

Asset allocation strategies

There are various approaches to calculating an asset allocation that makes sense for you.

The most popular approach is to look at what you’re investing for and how long you have to reach each goal. Those goals get balanced against your need for money to live on. The more secure your immediate income and the longer you have to pursue your investing goals, the more aggressively you might be able to invest for them. Your asset allocation might have a greater percentage of stocks than either bonds or cash, for example. Or you might be in the opposite situation. If you’re stretched financially and would have to tap your investments in an emergency, you’ll need to balance that fact against your longer-term goals. In addition to establishing an emergency fund, you may need to invest more conservatively than you might otherwise want to.

Some investors believe in shifting their assets among asset classes based on which types of investments they expect will do well or poorly in the near term. However, this approach, called “market timing,” is extremely difficult even for experienced investors. If you’re determined to try this, you should probably get some expert advice–and recognize that no one really knows where markets are headed.

Some people try to match market returns with an overall “core” strategy for most of their portfolio. They then put a smaller portion in very targeted investments that may behave very differently from those in the core and provide greater overall diversification. These often are asset classes that an investor thinks could benefit from more active management.

Just as you allocate your assets in an overall portfolio, you can also allocate assets for a specific goal. For example, you might have one asset allocation for retirement savings and another for college tuition bills. A retired professional with a conservative overall portfolio might still be comfortable investing more aggressively with money intended to be a grandchild’s inheritance. Someone who has taken the risk of starting a business might decide to be more conservative with his or her personal portfolio.

Things to think about

  • Don’t forget about the impact of inflation on your savings. As time goes by, your money will probably buy less and less unless your portfolio at least keeps pace with the inflation rate. Even if you think of yourself as a conservative investor, your asset allocation should take long-term inflation into account.
  • Your asset allocation should balance your financial goals with your emotional needs. If the way your money is invested keeps you awake worrying at night, you may need to rethink your investing goals and whether the strategy you’re pursuing is worth the lost sleep.
  • Your tax status might affect your asset allocation, though your decisions shouldn’t be based solely on tax concerns.

Even if your asset allocation was right for you when you chose it, it may not be appropriate for you now. It should change as your circumstances do and as new ways to invest are introduced. A piece of clothing you wore 10 years ago may not fit now; you just might need to update your asset allocation, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This material was prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of Matthew Curry, and The Retirement Group or FSC Financial Corp. This information should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Representatives nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information or call 800-900-5867.

The Retirement Group is not affiliated with nor endorsed by Pfizer, fidelity.com, netbenefits.fidelity.com, hewitt.com, ExxonMobil, resources.hewitt.com, Raytheon, access.att.com, ING Retirement, AT&T, Qwest, Chevron, Hughes, Northrop Grumman, Glaxosmithkline, Merck, Verizon, Bank of America, Alcatel-Lucent or by your employer. We are an independent financial advisory group that specializes in transition planning and lump sum distribution. Please call our office at 800-900-5867 if you have additional questions or need help in the retirement planning process.

Michael Greer is a Representative with FSC Securities and may be reached at www.theretirementgroup.com.

Posted in Economic Update, Financial Advisor, Financial Planning, Matthew Curry, The Retirement Group | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Balancing Your Investment Choices with Asset Allocation

A chocolate cake. Pasta. A pancake. They’re all very different, but they generally involve flour, eggs, and perhaps a liquid. Depending on how much of each ingredient you use, you can get very different outcomes. The same is true of your investments. Balancing a portfolio means combining various types of investments using a recipe that’s appropriate for you.

Getting an appropriate mix

The combination of investments you choose can be as important as your specific investments. The mix of various asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and cash alternatives, accounts for most of the ups and downs of a portfolio’s returns.

There’s another reason to think about the mix of investments in your portfolio. Each type of investment has specific strengths and weaknesses that enable it to play a specific role in your overall investing strategy. Some investments may be chosen for their growth potential. Others may provide regular income. Still others may offer safety or simply serve as a temporary place to park your money. And some investments even try to fill more than one role. Because you probably have multiple needs and desires, you need some combination of investment types.

Balancing how much of each you should include is one of your most important tasks as an investor. That balance between growth, income, and safety is called your asset allocation, and it can help you manage the level and type of risks you face.

Balancing risk and return

Ideally, you should strive for an overall combination of investments that minimizes the risk you take in trying to achieve a targeted rate of return. This often means balancing more conservative investments against others that are designed to provide a higher return but that also involve more risk. For example, let’s say you want to get a 7.5% return on your money. Your financial professional tells you that in the past, stock market returns have averaged about 10% annually, and bonds roughly 5%. One way to try to achieve your 7.5% return would be by choosing a 50-50 mix of stocks and bonds. It might not work out that way, of course. This is only a hypothetical illustration, not a real portfolio, and there’s no guarantee that either stocks or bonds will perform as they have in the past. But asset allocation gives you a place to start.

Someone living on a fixed income, whose priority is having a regular stream of money coming in, will probably need a very different asset allocation than a young, well-to-do working professional whose priority is saving for a retirement that’s 30 years away. Many publications feature model investment portfolios that recommend generic asset allocations based on an investor’s age. These can help jump-start your thinking about how to divide up your investments. However, because they’re based on averages and hypothetical situations, they shouldn’t be seen as definitive. Your asset allocation is–or should be—as unique as you are. Even if two people are the same age and have similar incomes, they may have very different needs and goals. You should make sure your asset allocation is tailored to your individual circumstances.

Many ways to diversify

When financial professionals refer to asset allocation, they’re usually talking about overall classes: stocks, bonds, and cash or cash alternatives. However, there are others that also can be used to complement the major asset classes once you’ve got those basics covered. They include real estate and alternative investments such as hedge funds, private equity, metals, or collectibles. Because their returns don’t necessarily correlate closely with returns from major asset classes, they can provide additional diversification and balance in a portfolio.

Even within an asset class, consider how your assets are allocated. For example, if you’re investing in stocks, you could allocate a certain amount to large-cap stocks and a different percentage to stocks of smaller companies. Or you might allocate based on geography, putting some money in U.S. stocks and some in foreign companies. Bond investments might be allocated by various maturities, with some money in bonds that mature quickly and some in longer-term bonds. Or you might favor tax-free bonds over taxable ones, depending on your tax status and the type of account in which the bonds are held.

Asset allocation strategies

There are various approaches to calculating an asset allocation that makes sense for you.

The most popular approach is to look at what you’re investing for and how long you have to reach each goal. Those goals get balanced against your need for money to live on. The more secure your immediate income and the longer you have to pursue your investing goals, the more aggressively you might be able to invest for them. Your asset allocation might have a greater percentage of stocks than either bonds or cash, for example. Or you might be in the opposite situation. If you’re stretched financially and would have to tap your investments in an emergency, you’ll need to balance that fact against your longer-term goals. In addition to establishing an emergency fund, you may need to invest more conservatively than you might otherwise want to.

Some investors believe in shifting their assets among asset classes based on which types of investments they expect will do well or poorly in the near term. However, this approach, called “market timing,” is extremely difficult even for experienced investors. If you’re determined to try this, you should probably get some expert advice–and recognize that no one really knows where markets are headed.

Some people try to match market returns with an overall “core” strategy for most of their portfolio. They then put a smaller portion in very targeted investments that may behave very differently from those in the core and provide greater overall diversification. These often are asset classes that an investor thinks could benefit from more active management.

Just as you allocate your assets in an overall portfolio, you can also allocate assets for a specific goal. For example, you might have one asset allocation for retirement savings and another for college tuition bills. A retired professional with a conservative overall portfolio might still be comfortable investing more aggressively with money intended to be a grandchild’s inheritance. Someone who has taken the risk of starting a business might decide to be more conservative with his or her personal portfolio.

Things to think about

  • Don’t forget about the impact of inflation on your savings. As time goes by, your money will probably buy less and less unless your portfolio at least keeps pace with the inflation rate. Even if you think of yourself as a conservative investor, your asset allocation should take long-term inflation into account.
  • Your asset allocation should balance your financial goals with your emotional needs. If the way your money is invested keeps you awake worrying at night, you may need to rethink your investing goals and whether the strategy you’re pursuing is worth the lost sleep.
  • Your tax status might affect your asset allocation, though your decisions shouldn’t be based solely on tax concerns.

Even if your asset allocation was right for you when you chose it, it may not be appropriate for you now. It should change as your circumstances do and as new ways to invest are introduced. A piece of clothing you wore 10 years ago may not fit now; you just might need to update your asset allocation, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This material was prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of Matthew Curry, and The Retirement Group or FSC Financial Corp. This information should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Representatives nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information or call 800-900-5867.

The Retirement Group is not affiliated with nor endorsed by AT&T, fidelity.com, netbenefits.fidelity.com, hewitt.com, resources.hewitt.com, Raytheon, ExxonMobil, access.att.com, ING Retirement, Qwest, Chevron, Hughes, Northrop Grumman, Merck, Pfizer, Glaxosmithkline, Verizon, Bank of America, Alcatel-Lucent or by your employer. We are an independent financial advisory group that specializes in transition planning and lump sum distribution. Please call our office at 800-900-5867 if you have additional questions or need help in the retirement planning process.

Matthew Curry is a Representative with FSC Securities and may be reached at www.theretirementgroup.com.

Posted in Economic Update, Financial Advisor, Financial Planning, Matthew Curry, The Retirement Group | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

In-Service Withdrawals from 401(k) Plans

You may be familiar with the rules for putting money into a 401(k) plan. But are you familiar with the rules for taking your money out? Federal law limits the withdrawal options that a 401(k) plan can offer. But a 401(k) plan may offer fewer withdrawal options than the law allows, and may even provide that you can’t take any money out at all until you leave employment. However, many 401(k) plans are more flexible.

 

First, consider a plan loan

 

Many 401(k) plans allow you to borrow money from your own account. A loan may be attractive if you don’t qualify for a withdrawal, or you don’t want to incur the taxes and penalties that may apply to a withdrawal, or you don’t want to permanently deplete your retirement assets. (Also, you must take any available loans from all plans maintained by your employer before you’re even eligible to withdraw your own pretax or Roth contributions from a 401(k) plan because of hardship.)

 

In general, you can borrow up to one half of your vested account balance (including your contributions, your employer’s contributions, and earnings), but not more than $50,000.

 

You can borrow the funds for up to five years (longer if the loan is to purchase your principal residence). In most cases you repay the loan through payroll deduction, with principal and interest flowing back into your account. But keep in mind that when you borrow, the unpaid principal of your loan is no longer in your 401(k) account working for you.

 

Withdrawing your own contributions

 

If you’ve made after-tax (non-Roth) contributions, your 401(k) plan can let you withdraw those dollars (and any investment earnings on them) for any reason, at any time. You can withdraw your pretax and Roth contributions (that is, your “elective deferrals”), however, only for one of the following reasons—and again, only if your plan specifically allows the withdrawal:

 

  • You attain age 59½

 

  • You become disabled

 

  • The distribution is a “qualified reservist distribution”

 

  • You incur a hardship (i.e., a “hardship withdrawal”)

 

Hardship withdrawals are allowed only if you have an immediate and heavy financial need, and only up to the amount necessary to meet that need. In most plans, you must require the money to:

 

  • Purchase your principal residence, or repair your principal residence damaged by an unexpected event (e.g., a hurricane)

 

  • Prevent eviction or foreclosure

 

  • Pay medical bills for yourself, your spouse, children, dependents, or plan beneficiary

 

  • Pay certain funeral expenses for your parents, spouse, children, dependents, or plan beneficiary

 

  • Pay certain education expenses for yourself, your spouse, children, dependents, or plan beneficiary

 

  • Pay income tax and/or penalties due on the hardship withdrawal itself

 

Investment earnings aren’t available for hardship withdrawal, except for certain pre-1989 grandfathered amounts.

 

But there are some disadvantages to hardship withdrawals, in addition to the tax consequences described below. You can’t take a hardship withdrawal at all until you’ve first withdrawn all other funds, and taken all nontaxable plan loans, available to you under all retirement plans maintained by your employer. And, in most 401(k) plans, your employer must suspend your participation in the plan for at least six months after the withdrawal, meaning you could lose valuable employer matching contributions. And hardship withdrawals can’t be rolled over. So think carefully before making a hardship withdrawal.

 

Withdrawing employer contributions

 

Getting employer dollars out of a 401(k) plan can be even more challenging. While some plans won’t let you withdraw employer contributions at all before youerminate employment, other plans are more flexible, and let you withdraw at least some vested employer contributions before then. “Vested” means that you own the contributions and they can’t be forfeited for any reason. In general, a 401(k) plan can allow you to withdraw vested company matching and profit-sharing contributions if:

 

  • You become disabled

 

  • You incur a hardship (your employer has some discretion in how hardship is defined for this purpose)

 

  • You attain a specified age (for example, 59½)

 

  • You participate in the plan for at least five years, or

 

  • The employer contribution has been in the account for a specified period of time (generally at least two years)

 

Taxation

 

Your own pretax contributions, company contributions, and investment earnings are subject to income tax when you withdraw them from the plan. If you’ve made any after-tax contributions, they’ll be nontaxable when withdrawn. Each withdrawal you make is deemed to carry out a pro-rata portion of taxable and any nontaxable dollars.

 

Your Roth contributions, and investment earnings on them, are taxed separately: if your distribution is “qualified,” then your withdrawal will be entirely free from federal income taxes. If your withdrawal is “nonqualified,” then each withdrawal will be deemed to carry out a pro-rata amount of your nontaxable Roth contributions and taxable investment earnings. A distribution is qualified if you satisfy a five-year holding period, and your distribution is made either after you’ve reached age 59½, or after you’ve become disabled. The five-year period begins on the first day of the first calendar year you make your first Roth 401(k) contribution to the plan.

 

The taxable portion of your distribution may be subject to a 10% premature distribution tax, in addition to any income tax due, unless an exception applies. Exceptions to the penalty include distributions after age 59½, distributions on account of disability, qualified reservist distributions, and distributions to pay medical expenses.

 

Rollovers and conversions Rollover of non-Roth funds

 

If your in-service withdrawal qualifies as an “eligible rollover distribution,” you can roll over all or part of the withdrawal tax free to a traditional IRA or to another employer’s plan that accepts rollovers. In general, most in-service withdrawals qualify as eligible rollover distributions except for hardship withdrawals and required minimum distributions after age 70½. If your withdrawal qualifies as an eligible rollover distribution, your plan administrator will give you a notice (a “402(f) notice”) explaining the rollover rules, the withholding rules, and other related tax issues. (Your plan administrator will withhold 20% of the taxable portion of your eligible rollover distribution for federal income tax purposes if you don’t directly roll the funds over to another plan or IRA.)

 

You can also roll over (“convert”) an eligible rollover distribution of non-Roth funds to a Roth IRA. And some 401(k) plans even allow you to make an “in-plan conversion”–that is, you can request an in-service withdrawal of non-Roth funds, and have those dollars transferred into a Roth account within the same 401(k) plan. In either case, you’ll pay income tax on the amount you convert (less any nontaxable after-tax contributions you’ve made).

 

Rollover of Roth funds

 

If you withdraw funds from your Roth 401(k) account, those dollars can only be rolled over to a Roth IRA, or to another Roth 401(k)/403(b)/457(b) plan that accepts rollovers. (Again, hardship withdrawals can’t be rolled over.) But be sure to understand how a rollover will affect the taxation of future distributions from the IRA or plan. For example, if you roll over a nonqualified distribution from a Roth 401(k) account to a Roth IRA, the Roth IRA five-year holding period will apply when determining if any future distributions from the IRA are tax-free qualified distributions. That is, you won’t get credit for the time those dollars resided in the 401(k) plan.

 

Be informed

 

You should become familiar with the terms of your employer’s 401(k) plan to understand your particular withdrawal rights. A good place to start is the plan’s summary plan description (SPD). Your employer will give you a copy of the SPD within 90 days after you join the plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This material was prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of Matthew Curry, and The Retirement Group or FSC Financial Corp. This information should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Representatives nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information or call 800-900-5867.

The Retirement Group is not affiliated with nor endorsed by fidelity.com, hewitt.com, resources.hewitt.com, access.att.com, ING Retirement, AT&T, Qwest, Hughes, Northrop Grumman, netbenefits.fidelity.com, Raytheon, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Glaxosmithkline, Merck, Pfizer, Verizon, Bank of America, Alcatel-Lucent or by your employer. We are an independent financial advisory group that specializes in transition planning and lump sum distribution. Please call our office at 800-900-5867 if you have additional questions or need help in the retirement planning process.

Matthew Curry is a Representative with FSC Securities and may be reached at www.theretirementgroup.com.

Posted in Economic Update, Financial Advisor, Financial Planning, Matthew Curry, The Retirement Group | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Immediate Annuities Can Provide Lifetime Income

Running out of income is a primary concern for most retirees. Immediate annuities offer a financial alternative to help meet retirement income needs by providing a steady stream of income designed to last through retirement.

 

What is an immediate annuity?

 

An immediate annuity is a contract between you and an annuity issuer (an insurance company) to which you pay a single lump sum of money in exchange for the issuer’s promise to make payments to you for a fixed period of time or for the rest of your life. Immediate annuities may appeal to you if you are looking for an income you cannot outlive.

 

Characteristics of immediate Annuities

 

  • A steady stream of payments for either a fixed period of time (such as 10 years) or for the rest of your life.

 

  • The issuer assumes all investment risk.

 

  • Generally, you pay ordinary income taxes on the part of each payment that represents earnings or interest credited to your account. The remaining portion is considered a return of your investment and is not subject to taxation.

 

  • You relinquish control over the money you invest in the immediate annuity. While there are some exceptions, usually you receive fixed payments with little or no variation in the amount or timing of each payment.

 

  • If you chose a life only payment option, you may not live long enough to receive the return of all of your investment, since payments cease at your death with this option.

 

How does an immediate annuity work?

 

As the name implies, an immediate annuity begins to pay you a stream of income immediately. The amount of income you receive is based on a number of factors, including your age at the time of purchase, your gender, whether payments will be made to only you or to you and another person, and whether payments will be made for a fixed period of time or for the rest of your life.

 

What are your payment options?

 

Most immediate annuities include a number of payment options that can affect the amount of the payment you receive. The more common payment choices are:

 

  • Life only. Payments are based on your age. Payments continue until you die, at which time they cease.

 

  • Installment refund/cash refund. If you die prior to receiving at least the return of your investment in the immediate annuity, the beneficiary you name in the policy will receive an amount equal to the difference between what you invested and what you received. The beneficiary will receive this amount in either a lump sum (cash refund) or payments (installment refund).

 

  • Life with a period certain. With this option, the issuer does not guarantee the return of your investment; rather, it guarantees a minimum period of time during which payments will be made. Payments are made for the rest of your life, but if you die prior to the end of a minimum payment period (usually between 5 and 25 years), the payments will continue to be made to your beneficiary for the remainder of the period, but no longer.

 

  • Joint and survivor. This option provides payments for the lives of two people, typically you and your spouse. When either of you dies, payments continue to be made for the life of the survivor. You can elect to have these “survivor” payments remain the same, or be reduced to a percentage of the original payment, such as two-thirds. The joint and survivor option can also be added to the life with period certain option. In this case, the issuer will make payments until both of you have died orfor the period of time you selected, whichever is longer.

 

  • Period certain. This option provides a guaranteed payment for the fixed period of time you specify (e.g., 5, 10, 15, 20 years). If you die prior to the end of the chosen period, your beneficiary will continue to receive payments for the remainder of the fixed period.

 

The payment option selected affects the amount of each payment. For example, life only payments will be larger than payments for life with a period certain. But life with a period certain payments will be less than payments for a fixed period certain.

 

Example: A 60-year-old man who invests $100,000 in an immediate annuity may receive annual payments of $7,260 for the rest of his life, or $6,696 per year for life with a minimum of 20 years, or $7,920 per year if he chooses payments for a fixed period of 20 years. (This example is for illustration purposes only and does not reflect actual insurance products or performance, nor is it intended to promote a specific company or product.)

 

Other factors to consider

 

An immediate annuity can offer a measure of relief from retirement income concerns by providing a dependable payment for the rest of your life. However, as with most investments, there are other factors to consider before deciding if investing in an immediate annuity is the right choice for you.

 

First, be sure that the payment option you select will address your income needs. For instance, if you are in poor health and have others who depend on you for financial support, selecting a life only payment option may not be appropriate because payments stop at your death, removing a valuable source of income from your survivors. Second, if you are considering a life only payment option, be aware that it may take many years before you receive at least the return of your investment from the immediate annuity. A 70-year-old man who invests $100,000 and selects a life only option (generating annual payments of $7,260) will have to live about 14 years to receive the return of his $100,000.

 

Third, consider whether there are better alternatives for providing income. For example, it’s possible that the interest or dividend from investments such as bonds and dividend-producing stock could produce more income than you could get from an immediate annuity over the same period of time based on the same investment amount. In addition, these types of investments usually are more liquid than immediate annuities, giving you the opportunity to increase your withdrawals if you need more money. On the other hand, an immediate annuity provides a guaranteed stream of income regardless of changing interest rates or investment returns. Of course, guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the annuity issuer.

 

Should you consider an immediate annuity?

 

An immediate annuity can be a useful financial tool. You may want to consider the purchase of an immediate annuity if:

 

  • You want a stream of income you cannot outlive.

 

  • You have a sum of money that you would like to turn into a regular source of income and you aren’t interested in leaving the money to your heirs. If you want to leave a portion of the money as a legacy, an immediate annuity may not be a good choice.

 

  • You are uncomfortable with investments that have a significant risk of loss. If subjecting your money to the risk of loss associated with investing in securities does not appeal to you, an immediate annuity may provide a way to transfer that risk to an insurance company. While the income guaranteed by the immediate annuity is subject to the claims-paying ability of the annuity issuer, the immediate annuity payments are not subject to stock market risk.

 

  • You expect to live for a long time. If you’re healthy and have longevity in your family, an immediate annuity may be an investment to consider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This material was prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of Matthew Curry, and The Retirement Group or FSC Financial Corp. This information should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Representatives nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information or call 800-900-5867.

The Retirement Group is not affiliated with nor endorsed by fidelity.com, netbenefits.fidelity.com, hewitt.com, resources.hewitt.com, Hughes, access.att.com, ING Retirement, AT&T, Qwest, Northrop Grumman, Chevron, Raytheon, ExxonMobil, Glaxosmithkline, Merck, Pfizer, Verizon, Bank of America, Alcatel-Lucent or by your employer. We are an independent financial advisory group that specializes in transition planning and lump sum distribution. Please call our office at 800-900-5867 if you have additional questions or need help in the retirement planning process.

Matthew Curry is a Representative with FSC Securities and may be reached at www.theretirementgroup.com.

Posted in Economic Update, Financial Advisor, Financial Planning, Matthew Curry, The Retirement Group | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Retirement Programs for Federal and State Employees

What is it?

If you are a federal employee, you are covered under one of two retirement systems: the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). You can’t be covered under both systems; you are either a member of one or the other. However, you may have worked under CSRS at some point during your career, then opted to transfer to the FERS system later. Although CSRS was the only retirement system covering federal employees prior to 1987, most federal employees today are covered under FERS. If you are a state employee, you are probably covered under the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). PERS retirement plans may vary from state to state, but they are largely defined benefit plans.

 

Similarities and differences between CSRS and FERS

 

Key similarities

CSRS and FERS pay retirement, survivors, and disability benefits under generally similar terms and conditions. As a federal employee under either system, you are also automatically covered under a group life insurance plan through the Office of Personnel Management. Employees of both programs also pay Medicare payroll taxes and are covered by Medicare at age 65.

Key differences

The main difference between CSRS and FERS is that FERS employees are covered under Social Security and pay Social Security taxes, while CSRS employees generally are not covered under Social Security and are exempt from paying Social Security taxes. Another key difference is that FERS employees participate fully in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), while CSRS employees can only participate on a limited basis. FERS benefits and CSRS benefits are also calculated differently, and FERS benefits are integrated with Social Security benefits.

 

The Civil Service Retirement System

 

Who is covered under CSRS?

If you were hired before January 1, 1984, you are covered under CSRS unless you elected to transfer to FERS during a transfer period in 1987. If you previously worked for the government under CSRS, then left government service, you may also be covered by FERS or may transfer to FERS in certain cases.

Eligibility for retirement benefits under CSRS

If you have worked for the government as a civilian for at least five full years (not necessarily consecutively) and you have been employed under the CSRS for at least one year out of the last two years prior to retirement or separation (unless your retirement was due to disability), then you may be eligible to receive a retirement annuity under CSRS. Depending on your age, you will be eligible to receive either an immediate annuity or a deferred annuity.

Example(s): Mamie worked for the government as an administrative assistant for three years, then left when she had her first child. Four years later, she went back to work for the government in a similar position and continued working for the government for three years before quitting to start her own catering business. Although Mamie wasn’t eligible for an immediate annuity, she was eligible for a deferred annuity because she had worked for the government for a total of six years and was employed under CSRS during the last two years prior to separation.

 

CSRS retirement annuity

You can receive an immediate retirement annuity if you have reached a certain age and have worked for the government for a certain number of years or a deferred annuity if you don’t meet the minimum age requirements and length of employment requirements. Your annuity is computed based on your high-3 average pay and length of creditable service. In most cases, your annuity will be reduced if you retire before age 55. You can elect to receive payment of your annuity in one of several ways: for life, for life with a survivor annuity payable for the life of your surviving spouse, or for life with benefits paid to a named person having an insurable interest.

Caution: If you have a life-threatening illness or critical medical condition, you may qualify for an alternative form of annuity. If you elect this option, you may receive a reduced monthly benefit plus a lump-sum payment equal to all your unrefunded contributions to the retirement fund. However, you can’t choose this option if you are retiring under disability rules or if your former spouse is entitled to court-ordered benefits.

 

Other benefits under CSRS

You may also receive an annuity if you retire due to disability. To receive it, you must have worked for the government as a civilian for at least five years, be totally disabled, and unable to do your own job or a similar job. In addition, your spouse and dependent children may receive an annuity if you die, or a lump-sum death benefit will be payable to your estate if you die without a survivor.

 

The Federal Employees Retirement System

 

Who is covered under FERS?

If you are a federal employee hired on or after January 1, 1984, then you are covered under the FERS. You may also be covered under the FERS if you were formerly a CSRS employee but elected to transfer to the FERS during 1987. A few people, however, are specifically excluded from FERS coverage.

Eligibility for retirement benefits under FERS

To be eligible to receive a retirement benefit under FERS, you must have at least five years of creditable service and be covered under FERS at the time you separate from government employment.

Retirement benefits under FERS

Like CSRS, FERS provides either an immediate annuity or a deferred annuity to federal employees who are separating from government service. Immediate annuities are payable to employees who meet certain age and length of employment criteria. The annuity you receive is called a basic benefit annuity. It guarantees a certain monthly retirement payment based on your age, length of service, and high-3 years’ average salary. Like a CSRS annuity, a FERS annuity can be paid in one of several ways: as an annuity with no survivor benefit, as a reduced annuity with a survivor benefit payable for the life of your surviving spouse, or as a reduced annuity with a survivor benefit to a person with an insurable interest. Like CSRS employees, FERS employees who have a serious health condition may also be eligible for an alternative form of annuity. If you opt to receive benefits before age 62, your annuity will be reduced by 5/12ths of 1 percent for each month you are under age 62.

Example(s): Denny retired from government service at age 58 with 17 years of government service. Although his earned annuity was $1,000 per month, he was four years away from age 62, so he received a reduced annuity of $800 per month, 20 percent less than his earned annuity.

 

Other benefits under FERS

If you begin receiving a basic benefit annuity but are under age 62 and not yet eligible to receive Social Security, you may also receive an annuity supplement. If you die, your spouse, former spouse, and dependent children may also be entitled to a survivor annuity. A lump-sum survivor benefit will be paid to your designated beneficiary if you have less than 18 months of creditable service at the time of your death and you leave no widow(er), former spouse, or children who are eligible for a survivor annuity. If you become disabled, you may also be entitled to receive a disability benefit.

 

The Thrift Savings Plan

FERS employees are automatically enrolled in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a retirement investment plan that functions like a 401(k). The government contributes 1 percent of your basic pay to an investment fund each pay period, whether you contribute or not. If you do contribute to the plan (you can contribute up to 100 percent of your basic pay each pay period up to an annual maximum of $18,000 in 2016, $24,000 if you’re age 50 or older), the government matches a portion of your contribution. You will receive matching contributions on up to 5 percent of the basic pay that you contribute each pay period, dollar for dollar on the first 3 percent of basic pay you contribute and 50 cents on the dollar for the remaining 2 percent. Contributions (and earnings on contributions) to the plan grow tax deferred until distributed to the employee or employee’s survivors. Your contributions can be either pretax (contributions reduce your current pay, resulting in an immediate federal income tax savings) or Roth (there is no up-front tax savings, but qualified distributions are tax free).

Example(s): Naoko was employed under FERS and was eligible for a TSP. Her basic pay each pay period was $2,000. Each pay period, the government contributed $20 (1 percent of her basic pay) to her investment account. Naoko contributed $60 (3 percent of her basic pay) each pay period. The government matched her contribution dollar for dollar, so at the end of the year (26 pay periods), Naoko had $3,640 in her TSP account.

CSRS employees can also contribute to a thrift plan but the government does not match their contributions.

 

 

Public Employees Retirement System

If you are a state employee covered by a Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) plan, you are probably covered by a defined benefit plan. Defined benefit plans promise employees specific retirement, disability, survivors, and death benefits based on their age, years of service, and salary. The plans are funded by contributions from both the state employer and the employee. In general, PERS plans require employees to contribute a percentage of their salary towards the plan. In addition, many state workers also participate in supplemental deferred compensation plans.

 

Tax considerations

Annuities paid under CSRS, FERS, or a PERS plan are generally taxed as pensions for federal income tax purposes. Your pension may also be subject to state income tax. However, federal legislation enacted in 1996 prohibits states from taxing the pensions of former employees who are no longer state residents. Contributions to the TSP and state-sponsored deferred compensation plans generally reduce your gross income for income tax purposes but are generally taxable when withdrawn at retirement. For more information on this, contact the Office of Personnel Management, the IRS, or your tax advisor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This material was prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of Matthew Curry, and The Retirement Group or FSC Financial Corp. This information should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Representatives nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information or call 800-900-5867.

The Retirement Group is not affiliated with nor endorsed by Hughes, fidelity.com, netbenefits.fidelity.com, hewitt.com, resources.hewitt.com, access.att.com, ING Retirement, AT&T, Qwest, Chevron,Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, ExxonMobil, Merck, Glaxosmithkline, Pfizer, Verizon, Bank of America, Alcatel-Lucent or by your employer. We are an independent financial advisory group that specializes in transition planning and lump sum distribution. Please call our office at 800-900-5867 if you have additional questions or need help in the retirement planning process.

Matthew Curry is a Representative with FSC Securities and may be reached at www.theretirementgroup.com.

Posted in Economic Update, Financial Advisor, Financial Planning, Matthew Curry, The Retirement Group | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The Power of Dividends in a Portfolio

It wasn’t so long ago that many investors regarded dividends as roughly the financial equivalent of a record turntable at a gathering of MP3 users–a throwback to an earlier era, irrelevant to the real action.

But fast-forward a few years, and things look a little different. Since 2003, when the top federal income tax rate on qualified dividends was reduced from a maximum of 38.6%, dividends have acquired renewed respect. Favorable tax treatment isn’t the only reason, either; the ability of dividends to provide income and potentially help mitigate market volatility is also attractive to investors. As baby boomers approach retirement and begin to focus on income-producing investments, the long-term demand for high-quality, reliable dividends is likely to increase.

Why consider dividends?

Dividend income has represented roughly one-third of the total return on the Standard and Poor’s 500 since 1926. According to S&P, the portion of total return attributable to dividends has ranged from a high of 53% during the 1940s–in other words, more than half that decade’s return resulted from dividends–to a low of 14% during the 1990s, when investors tended to focus on growth.*

If dividends are reinvested, their impact over time becomes even more dramatic. S&P calculates that $1 invested in the Standard and Poor’s 500 on January 1,1929 would have grown to $66.48 by 2012. However, when coupled with reinvested dividends, that same $1 investment would have resulted in $1,832.45.* (Bear in mind that past performance is no guarantee of future results, and taxes were not factored into the calculations.)

If a stock’s price rises 8% a year, even a 2.5% dividend yield can push its total return into double digits. Dividends can be especially attractive during times of relatively low or mediocre returns; in some cases, dividends could help turn a negative return positive, and also can mitigate the impact of a volatile market by helping to even out a portfolio’s return. Another argument has been made for paying attention to dividends as a reliable indicator of a company’s financial health. Investors have become more conscious in recent years of the value of dependable data as a basis for investment decisions, and dividend payments aren’t easily restated or massaged.

Finally, many dividend-paying stocks represent large, established companies that may have significant resources to weather an economic downturn–which could be helpful if you’re relying on those dividends to help pay living expenses.

The corporate incentive

Financial and utility companies have been traditional mainstays for investors interested in dividends, but other sectors of the market also have begun to offer them. For example, investors have been stepping up pressure on cash-rich technology companies to distribute at least some of their profits as dividends rather than reinvesting all of that money to fuel growth. Some investors believe that pressure to maintain or increase dividends imposes a certain fiscal discipline on companies that might otherwise be tempted to use the cash to make ill-considered acquisitions (though there are certainly no guarantees that a company won’t do so anyway).

However, according to S&P, corporations are beginning to favor stock buybacks rather than dividend increases as a way to reward shareholders. If it continues, that trend could make ever-increasing dividends more elusive.

Differences among dividends

Dividends paid on common stock are by no means guaranteed; a company’s board of directors can decide to reduce or eliminate them. The amount of a company’s dividend can fluctuate with earnings, which are influenced by economic, market, and political events. However, a steadily growing dividend is generally regarded as a sign of a company’s health and stability. For that reason, most corporate boards are reluctant to send negative signals by cutting dividends.

That isn’t an issue for holders of preferred stocks, which offer a fixed rate of return paid out as dividends. However, there’s a tradeoff for that greater certainty; preferred shareholders do not participate in any company growth as fully as common shareholders do. If the company does well and increases its dividend, preferred stockholders still receive the same payments.

The term “preferred” refers to several ways in which preferred stocks have favored status. First, dividends on preferred stock are paid before the common stockholders can be paid a dividend. Most preferred stockholders do not have voting rights in the company, but their claims on the company’s assets will be satisfied before those of common stockholders if the company experiences financial difficulties. Also, preferred shares usually pay a higher rate of income than common shares.

Because of their fixed dividends, preferred stocks behave somewhat similarly to bonds; for example, their market value can be affected by changing interest rates. And almost all preferred stocks have a provision that allows the company to call in its preferred shares at a set time or at a predetermined future date, much as it might a callable bond.

Look before you leap

Investing in dividend-paying stocks isn’t as simple as just picking the highest yield. If you’re investing for income, consider whether the company’s cash flow can sustain its dividend.

Also, some companies choose to use corporate profits to buy back company shares. That may increase the value of existing shares, but it sometimes takes the place of instituting or raising dividends.

If you’re interested in a dividend-focused investing style, look for terms such as “equity income,” “dividend income,” or “growth and income.” Also, some exchange-traded funds (ETFs) track an index comprised of dividend-paying stocks, or that is based on dividend yield.

Note: Be sure to check the prospectus for information about expenses, fees and potential risks, and consider them carefully before you invest.

Taxes and dividends

The American Tax Relief Act of 2012 increased the maximum tax rate for qualified dividends to 20% for individuals in the 39.6% federal income tax bracket. For individuals in the 25%, 28%, 33%, or 35% marginal tax bracket, a 15% maximum rate will generally apply, while those in the 10% or 15% tax bracket will still owe 0% on qualified dividends. Depending on your income, dividends you receive may also be subject to a 3.8% net investment income tax (also referred to as the unearned income Medicare contribution tax).

Qualified dividends are those that come from a U.S. or qualified foreign corporation, one that you have held for more than 60 days during a 121-day period (60 days before and 61 days after the stock’s ex-dividend date). Form 1099-DIV, which reports your annual dividend and interest income for tax accounting purposes, will indicate whether a dividend is qualified or not.

Some dividends aren’t taxed at the same rate as qualified dividends, and a portion may be taxed as ordinary income. Also, some so-called dividends, such as those from deposits or share accounts at cooperative banks, credit unions, U.S. savings and loan associations, and mutual savings banks actually are considered interest for tax purposes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This material was prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of Matthew Curry, and The Retirement Group or FSC Financial Corp. This information should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Representatives nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information or call 800-900-5867.

The Retirement Group is not affiliated with nor endorsed by fidelity.com, netbenefits.fidelity.com, hewitt.com, Raytheon, resources.hewitt.com, access.att.com, ING Retirement, AT&T, Qwest, Chevron, Hughes, Northrop Grumman, ExxonMobil, Glaxosmithkline, Merck, Verizon, Pfizer, Bank of America, Alcatel-Lucent or by your employer. We are an independent financial advisory group that specializes in transition planning and lump sum distribution. Please call our office at 800-900-5867 if you have additional questions or need help in the retirement planning process.

Matthew Curry is a Representative with FSC Securities and may be reached at www.theretirementgroup.com.

Posted in Economic Update, Financial Advisor, Financial Planning, Matthew Curry, The Retirement Group | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,