Investment inaction is played out in many ways, often silently, invisibly, and with potential consequence to an individual’s future financial security.
Let’s review some of the forms this takes.
Your workplace retirement plan.
The worst non-decision is the failure to enroll. Not only do non-participants sacrifice one of the best ways to save for their eventual retirement, but they also forfeit the money from any matching contributions their employer may offer. Not participating may be one of the most costly non-decisions one can make.
The other way individuals let indecision get the best of them is by not selecting the investments for the contributions they make to the workplace retirement plan. When a participant fails to make an investment selection, the plan may have provisions for automatically investing that money. And that investment selection may not be consistent with the individual’s time horizon, risk tolerance, and goals.
Distributions from workplace retirement plans and most other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions. The 10% early withdrawal penalty may be avoided in the event of death or disability.
Non-retirement plan investments.
For homeowners, “stuff” just seems to accumulate over time. The same may be true for investors. Some buy investments based on articles they have read or on a recommendation from a family member. Others may have investments held in a previous employer’s workplace retirement plan.
Over time, they can end up with a collection of investments that may have no connection to their investment objectives. Because the markets are dynamic, an investment that may have made good sense yesterday might no longer make sense today.
By periodically reviewing what they own, investors can determine whether their portfolio reflects their current investment objectives. If they find discrepancies, they are able to make changes that could positively affect their financial future.
Information vs. instinct. When it comes to investment choices, many people believe they have a “knack” for choosing good investments. But what exactly is that “knack” based on? The fact is, the choices we make with our assets can be strongly influenced by factors, many of them emotional, that we may not even be aware … Continue reading “Making Investment Choices”
In corporate America, pension plans are fading away. Only 16% of Fortune 500 companies offered them to full-time employees in 2018, according to Willis Towers Watson research. In contrast, legal, medical, accounting, and engineering firms are keeping the spirit of the traditional pension plan alive by adopting cash balance plans.1
I’d like for you to meet my friend, Hugh. He’s a retired film stuntman who, after a long career, is enjoying his retirement. Some of what he’s enjoying about his retirement is sharing part of his accumulated wealth with his family, specifically his wife and two sons. Like many Americans, Hugh likes to make sure … Continue reading “The Gift Tax”
“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald The economic struggles in our country are among the worst we’ve ever seen. In April, a record 20 million people lost their jobs, and 36 million people have filed for unemployment since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in mid-March. Record drops in consumer … Continue reading “Better Times Are Coming”
You can sum up the appeal of a Roth IRA in three words: federal tax benefit. Potential earnings in a backdoor Roth IRA grow tax free as long as the owner abides by the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) rules, and withdrawals are federally tax free once you reach age 59½ and have held the Roth … Continue reading “Backdoor Roth IRA”
Epic Capital provides the following comprehensive financial planning and investment management services: Learn More >