Good news. Once again the IRS has increased the employee contribution limit for 401(k) and other retirement plans in 2020. The contribution limit has been increased from $19,000 in 2019 to $19,500 in 2020 for employees participating in the following types of employer-sponsored retirement plans:
Chances are, you have more than one financial professional in your life. If you’re a client of Modera, in addition to your financial advisers, you may also have a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who does your tax planning. Since your CPA has a different role in your financial life than your Modera advisers, we find it most advantageous for you if we all work together.
Changing your lifestyle or improving your health – in this case, your financial health – takes significant time and effort. Instead of trying to overhaul your entire life all at one time, it might be prudent to take it one step at a time. Alone, improving and maintaining your financial health is not as difficult as you may think. Yes, it will take some dedicated time in the beginning, but once you are set up it becomes mostly a matter of “checking-in.”
The new Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump in December 2019. The law will take effect on January 1, 2020.
As financial advisers, we get asked a lot of challenging questions: “How do I make sure I’ll have enough money for retirement?” “What’s a good strategy for lowering my tax burden?” “What’s the best way to pass my business on to my children?” “How aggressively should I invest?” “What if the markets have a downturn?”
We recommend that one should strive to build a diversified portfolio of various assets whose returns don’t all tend to move in the same direction. If one asset class “zigs” while others “zag,” you can potentially offset some of the impact of the declining asset. This often conjures up the old saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
“What’s the big deal about having a trust anyway?” This is a question I’m often asked in client meetings, though not always in such a brash fashion. Usually the topic of trusts comes up after a client hears that a friend has set one up, which piques my client’s interest.
The price of a college education has risen dramatically over the last few decades – in many cases far beyond the rate of inflation. For example, a $3,000-per-year tuition in the early ‘70s translates to just over $18,000 in today’s dollars. But when I researched a well-known college that cost $3,000 a year back then, I found it now charges between $31,864 and $35,086 a year. And that’s far from the most expensive one.
Short-term market returns are notoriously unpredictable (consistently inconsistent, you could say). When our team at Modera is monitoring our clients’ portfolios, it’s with an eye towards maintaining a strategic mix of stocks, real estate, bonds, and bond diversifiers over the long run. However, short-term market movements can create tax opportunities, and I want to highlight some of the work we do in tax loss harvesting that you may not be aware of.
Like many parents with adolescent or grown children, you may want to give them a financial jumpstart on their lives. You might help them to get their first car. Pay for their college or grad school tuition. Get them a foot in the door of their first home by contributing toward the down payment. Give them seed money to start a business. If you can easily afford to help your child without affecting your own future wellbeing, you may want to make a financial gift with no strings attached. Keep in mind however, there are limitations regarding how much can be gifted to someone without incurring a gift tax, which is the obligation of the giver.