Why A Roth IRA and 401(K) Are Smart Retirement Vehicles For You

While saving for retirement is a great way to build your financial wealth and pile away money for the future, many individuals are unclear on the best vehicles to use when saving for retirement. Furthermore, we have been reading articles and hearing remarks from individuals, especially those of younger generations, that they do not want to tuck away money now for retirement, funds that they can’t touch for many, many years. So, for those of you who resonate with this feeling, but still want to optimize your retirement savings, let’s explore why a Roth IRA might be the right savings vehicle for you.

So, for starters, let’s explore what a Roth IRA (individual retirement account) is. For those who don’t know, a Roth IRA is a retirement vehicle that allows individuals who fall under a certain AGI limit to contribute after-tax dollars to a retirement account, meaning you pay taxes on the money upon contribution so your future withdrawals are tax free. Some benefits of a Roth IRA are that your earnings can grow tax free, there are no mandatory withdrawals, unlike a Traditional IRA, and that withdrawals can be taken out tax-free and penalty free, given you’re age 59½ or older and you have met the minimum account holding period, which is 5 years.
Another benefit of a Roth IRA that many young savers find attractive and comforting is the fact that they you can always access the money you contributed without penalty, no matter your age, unlike a traditional IRA. Of course, any gains in the account may be subject to taxes and penalties is withdrawn before age 59½, unless you qualify for an exception. So, while we don’t recommend withdrawing from your account, for those worried about totally locking up their money until retirement, a Roth IRA provides piece of mind that you do have access to those funds in case of an emergency. In fact, studies show that many young individuals don’t end up withdrawing from their accounts, but feel comfort knowing that they can. So if you get weary about your retirement savings, a Roth IRA and its flexibility might be right for you.
While there are many benefits of contributing to a Roth IRA, if you or your combined household has too high of a AGI, you may not be able to contribute. However, if you still want to take advantage of the Roth option within part of your retirement picture, see if your workplace 401(K) has a Roth component. Unlike a Roth IRA, the Roth 401(K) has no income limit and follows the same contribution limit as the traditional 401(K). If you are a small business owner or self-employed, but make too much to contribute to a Roth IRA, consider setting up a 401(K) for your business and adding a Roth component. This is a great way to take advantage of the benefits a Roth account offers, and also save for retirement. If you are looking to implement a 401(K) for your small business or the Roth component to your existing retirement plan, email us at info@shermanwealth.com and we are happy to help!
Given all the market volatility and economic uncertainty we’ve seen over the last few years, having a good grasp on your financial picture is important. While saving for retirement is a key piece of your financial plan, its only one piece of many, which is why we encourage working with an advisor on a holistic financial plan to analyze the larger scope. If you have any questions about your particular financial situation or a Roth IRA, email us at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary intro-call here.

Do You Want to Save More For Retirement This Year? Open Enrollment Is Near So Here’s How

Now that we are halfway through the year and approaching fall and open enrollment season, we want to talk about an important topic that is oftentimes overlooked or misunderstood, retirement savings. If you were looking to increase your retirement savings last year, there is an opportunity for you in 2023. As we mentioned in a prior blog, the IRS increased retirement contribution limits for 2023, up $2000 from last year, from $20,500 to $22,500 and to $30,000 for individuals 50 years of age and older. So, another $2,000 you can save this year! We’ve found that many individuals who maxed out their 401(K) last year still have not raised their contribution to max out for this year. If you received a raise in salary from last year and want to save more for retirement, you will need to adjust your contribution as well! 

Whether you are taking advantage of the entire contribution limit or just want to increase your contribution by a percent or two, this is a great opportunity to save more before the end of the year. If you have yet to increase your retirement contribution, work with a financial advisor or financial professional to calculate the amount you will need to increase in order to reach your retirement goal for the year.

So, let’s take a look at how individuals saved last year for their retirement. According to 2022 estimates from Vanguard, “in 2021, roughly 14% of investors maxed out employee deferrals”, based on 1,700 plans and nearly 5 million participants. We find that many individuals actually intended to max out their retirement contributions or save more than they did, but either forgot to adjust their contributions or were clouded with other goals. So, if you plan on saving more this year, log on to your 401(k) platform and make your appropriate adjustments.

Contributing to your workplace retirement plan and taking advantage of the company match is a great way to build your wealth and save for your future. When deciding how much you want to contribute to your retirement plan each payroll period, it’s important to think about your entire financial picture and your goals. Make sure you are being intentional about your saving, and accounting for all the goals you want to achieve and save for. Find a balance that works for you so you can save for both your short and long-term goals. No matter where you start with your retirement contribution, you can always change it throughout the year on your retirement platform if you feel necessary. If you have extra room in the budget from the first half of the year, now might be a great time to adjust your contributions! 

While retirement is only one piece of your financial puzzle, we want to make sure you are taking advantages of the benefits it provides to you for your future. There is no clear or right answer when it comes to your retirement and goals, which is why we suggest working with a financial professional to prioritize your goals. If you have any questions about adjusting your retirement contributions or about your 401(K) in general, please email us at info@shermanwealth.com and we are happy to help answer all and any questions. You can also schedule a 30-minute complimentary consultation here

It’s Time To Repay Covid-19 Retirement Withdrawals to Reap Tax Benefits

If you or anyone you know withdrew funds from retirement accounts during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to be aware of a time-sensitive deadline to pay back those amounts and unlock significant tax advantages. In March 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act, which allowed individuals to withdraw up to $100,000 from their retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k) plans. These withdrawals, known as coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs), were intended to act as loans and provide financial support during the economic hardship caused by the pandemic. However, to fully benefit from the tax advantages, individuals must act quickly to repay the withdrawn funds within a specific timeframe, which is ending soon.

Under the CARES Act, individuals who took CRDs were granted several tax advantages. Firstly, the usual 10% penalty for early retirement withdrawals was waived. While income tax was still owed on CRDs, those who repaid some or all of the distribution had the opportunity to recover the paid taxes and convert the withdrawals into tax-free loans. These tax benefits were only available in 2020, making it crucial for individuals to take prompt action to maximize their savings. Those who withdrew funds had three year to repay the CRDs, starting from the day after they received the funds. So, for many people, the deadline is quickly approaching if they want to be eligible for the tax refund.

Recent data from Vanguard Group reveals that a significant number of individuals took CRDs in 2020. In fact, “approximately 6% of investors in workplace retirement plans, totaling around 268,000 people out of 4.7 million”, withdrew these funds. However, according to Vanguard’s latest data, “less than 1% of those who withdrew funds had repaid them by the end of 2021.” For those who want to capture tax benefits or re-invest those funds back into their retirement accounts, now is the time to pay it back. Those who repay part or all of their CRDs within the three-year deadline must file an amended tax return to claim a tax refund.

Given the approaching deadline and the potential for significant tax advantages, it is crucial for individuals who have taken CRDs to take prompt action. Assess your financial situation and determine if you can repay the withdrawn funds partially or in full. Seek guidance from a financial advisor or tax professional who can assist you in the repayment process and help you make informed decisions based on your specific circumstances. If you have any questions, email info@shermanwealth.com.

What To Do With Your Old 401(k)

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Have you been laid off before, recently left a job, or just starting a new one? If so, keep reading. We’ve been getting tons of questions about what to do with old retirement accounts. This is a great question that is oftentimes not discussed, causing many people to “forget” or lose track track of their old accounts. Many people often make rushed decisions and think they need to pack up their savings when they leave a job.  And conversely, some people pay no attention when they move from job to job and leave a trail of 401(k) plans behind them.  With any employment change, it’s important to know which mistakes to avoid when it comes to your 401(k).

Here are some tips regarding your 401(k). First and foremost, pause before simply cashing out on your 401(k) when leaving a job. Cashing out and not reinvesting your funds in a qualified retirement plan is a mistake.  People don’t realize the cost to their financial security by cashing out on their 401(k) and that cost includes an immediate tax hit – income taxes plus another 10% early withdrawal penalty if you are younger than 59 ½.

One thing to be weary of is not to roll over your accounts too many times. Employees who decide to move their money to another 401(k) plan or an IRA typically have two options—transfer the funds directly to another account, or do a rollover. Although “rollover” is when you move money from one retirement account to another. That money is best moved by direct transfer, but some employers will send a check. You have 60 days to roll that money over to an IRA or other qualified plan. If you miss that window, there is a grace period (with a penalty fee), but this is offered only once every 12 months, so direct transfers are often best to avoid penalties and issues. 

There are plenty of good reasons to move your money into an IRA (individual retirement account).  These accounts aren’t linked to any one employer and consolidate your money into a single retirement account. You also are not confined to that employers or old 401(k)s fund lineup, so may have more flexibility moving over to an IRA.  However, your employer’s plan may offer you access to investment options, tools and institutional pricing that you might not get with an IRA so it’s important to analyze that beforehand. 

Next, make sure not to overlook other tax strategies. There may be other strategies to consider when weighing a job move, although most people associate 401(k) plans with pretax contribution. One option may be to convert the savings to a Roth IRA; you’ll owe income taxes on what you convert, but future growth and withdrawals will be tax free. If your income is lower that year, the tax impact will be less.  For those who’ve accumulated their employer’s stock in their 401(k) plans, leaving a job may open the door for an often overlooked tax break. 

As we get ready to kick off summer plans, use this opportunity to evaluate and understand what old accounts you have if any and your options to consolidate them. Keeping regular tabs on what is going on with your investments is critical to ensuring they line up with your goals for the future.  For more specific advice on what to do with your old retirement accounts, email, info@shermanwealth.com

Are You HSA Eligible? If So, Check This Out

Are You HSA eligible? If so, here’s how to take advantage of it during this time of year. Open enrollment just passed, but if you did not consider contributing to your HSA, now is a great time to do so given that we’re in the beginning of the year. Many individuals have questions about what benefits they are eligible for, and what those benefits truly mean. Retirement savings and medical coverage are typically a large part of your workplace benefits, which is why it’s so important to take advantage of what’s available to you, such as an HSA.

So, what are HSA’s? An HSA is a tax-advantaged health savings account that allows you to save money to use to pay medical and health care expenses. If you get your insurance coverage through high-deductible health plans, you can qualify for an HSA. Your contributions within the account will grow on a tax-free basis, and any untouched dollars can be rolled over year to year. By using untaxed dollars in a Health Savings Account to pay for deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and some other expenses, you may be able to lower your overall health care costs.

Due to inflation, the IRS increased the contribution limits for HSAs in 2023. So, employees and employers can now contribute a total of up to $3,850 for individual coverage, up from $3650 in 2022, and up to $7750 for family coverage, up from $7,300 in 2022. The HSA catch-up contribution if you are 55 years or older remains at $1000, the same as 2022. These adjustments are quite large, so be sure to take advantage if you are eligible to do so!

Be sure to contribute by the end-of-the-year December 31st deadline, so that you can make the most of your yearly contribution. Keep in mind that HSAs are just one of the many benefits that you can take advantage of. Check out our open-enrollment blog to see what else you may have been eligible for and our retirement contribution limits blog to see the increases in retirement contribution limits ! For other end of the year tips, check out our financial checklist blog here. If you have any questions about funding your various accounts, email us at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation here


How The Secure 2.0 Act Might Impact You!

Happy New Year everyone, we hope you had a wonderful holiday season and wish you a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year. Before the start of 2023, on December 29th, Congress passed the Secure 2.0 Act that was promised to provide changes to help many Americans’ retirement plans, including over 90 updated retirement plan provisions.

The provisions are set to encourage more employers to create retirement plans and automatically enroll employees to stimulate retirement savings growth, change the age individuals must take RMDs, make it easier to take cash out of retirement and more. We wanted to share a few of the updates that may have an impact on your financial plan and will report back with additional information and changes: 

“Mandatory Retirement Auto-Enrollment 

Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) 

Effective on January 1, 2023, the RMD age has been raised for some individuals based on the following criteria:

  • Born in 1950 or earlier: RMD begins at age 72
  • Born between 1951-1959: RMD begins at age 73
  • Born in 1960 or later: RMD begins at age 75 

Roth 401(k) RMD

Beginning in 2024, RMDs are no longer required from Roth 401(k) accounts. RMDs are still required from Roth 401(k) accounts in 2023. 

Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) Indexed for Inflation

Beginning in 2024, the maximum annual QCD of $100,000 will be adjusted for inflation. 

401(k) / SIMPLE IRA Catch-Up Contributions

Starting in 2025, some individuals can increase their employer-sponsored retirement plan catch-up contributions.

  • 401(k): Individuals whose age is 60-63 in 2025 and later will see their catch-up contribution limit increased to a greater of $10,000 or 150% of the regular catch-up contribution amount. RightCapital will default to $10,000 at this time.
  • SIMPLE IRA: Individuals whose age is 60-63 in 2025 and later will see their catch-up contribution limit increased to a greater of $5,000 or 150% of the regular catch-up contribution amount. RightCapital will default to $5,000 at this time.”

While these are only just a few of the many changes made in the Secure 2.0 Act, we know that these updates and information may be overwhelming, which is why it is important to defer to a trusted source such as your financial advisor to ensure you are understanding all and any changes. As we embark on 2023, it is a great time to get organized and review your budget and overall financial plan for the year to come. If you have any questions for us on the Secure Act 2.0 or your personal financial situation, email info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary intro call here. 

Are You Taking Advantage Of Your 401(k) Employer Match?

Does your job offer workplace benefits? If so, are you aware of the benefits available to you and are you taking advantage of them all? We’ve been working with many individuals who are not only unaware of the extent of their benefits but are also not utilizing some great opportunities for them, especially their 401(k) employer match. Let’s take a look at why individuals are not taking advantage of this benefit and why it’s prudent to.

We’ve found that many employees are not educated on their benefits and therefore do not know how some of these added comps can benefit them. If your employer offers a 401(k) match, they are basically offering you free money. So, why wouldn’t you take it? Even if you are not able to/or want to max out your 401(k), contributing at least the employer match will help you make the most out of your retirement savings and take advantage of a really great company perk. Let’s break down how it works. Say your employer match is 4%. So, if you contribute 4% (or more) of your salary towards your retirement account, each pay period your employer will also contribute 4% on your behalf. 

Keep in mind, if you are starting a new job,  it’s important to speak with your employer or HR to determine when you are eligible to contribute to your company retirement plan and if the employer match is immediate or there is a waiting period. Additionally, many people are unaware that in 2022 they can contribute up to $20,500 of pretax income to a 401(k), so there’s a real opportunity to save throughout the year and getting closer to the limit quicker. 

Another issue we have seen as it relates to workplace benefits and retirement accounts is misplacing or forgetting about old 401(k)s. We know starting a new job can be a stressful time with many moving parts; however, it’s important that you don’t forget about your old 401(K) account. When switching jobs, you have a few options. First, you can roll the old retirement plan into your new 401(k). Other options are to leave the retirement plan where it is, roll it into an individual retirement account (IRA), or cash it out (however, depending on your age early withdrawal fees may apply). Oftentimes, it’s very helpful to analyze your old 401(K) and new workplace benefits to see which option is best for you. If you have questions about an old 401(K) or retirement account and would like our help analyzing your options, please let us know. Additionally, If you are an employer and are looking for a workplace benefit education course, email us at info@shermanwealth.com as we are happy to work with your employees to educate them on all the options available to them. Click here to schedule a complimentary intro call. 


Here Are The 401(k) Contribution Limits for 2023

The IRS released annual inflation adjustments to income tax brackets and many other adjustments for 2023 on Tuesday which are followed by today’s announcement of the 401(k) contribution limits for 2023.

The contribution limit for retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, most 457 plans and TSP accounts has increased to $22,500, up from $20,500, the largest increase for retirement savings contributions in history. The contribution limit to an individual retirement account (IRA) increased to $6,500 for 2023, up from $6,000. The 401(k) catch-up contribution if you are 50 or older will rise $1,000 to $7,500 for 2023. The catch-up contribution limit for individual retirement accounts remains at $1,000.

For self-employed individuals who have individual 401(k)s or SEP retirement plans, the contribution limit for 2023 is $66,000, up $5,000 from this year, including employee and employer contributions. Those allowed catch-up contributions can contribute up to $73,500 in 2023. 
If you have any questions about the tax brackets or retirement contribution limits for 2023 and how that may impact you and your financial picture, head to the IRS website for more information or email us at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule some time to connect here.

What’s The Secure Act 2.0?

On Tuesday March 29th, The House Of Representatives passed the Secure Act 2.0, a bill that is aimed to improve the retirement savings system for U.S workers. The legislation will now head to senate for its decision.

According to the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., “H.R. 2954 will help all Americans successfully save for a secure retirement by expanding coverage and increasing retirement savings, simplifying the current retirement system, and protecting Americans and their retirement accounts,” he ahead of the Tuesday vote. “Too many workers reach retirement age without having the savings they need.”

According to a Wall Street Journal article, the bill proposes that “legislation would gradually increase the age at which savers must start taking withdrawals from 401(k)-type accounts and traditional individual retirement accounts to 73 next year, rising to 74 in 2030 and 75 in 2033.”  As of right now, people who have a retirement savings account must start withdrawals at age 72, so this will help those who wish to grow their money longer or may not need it quite yet.

In addition to the increased age to take RMDs, the new bill will allow older workers to make larger contributions to their 401(k)s. According to WSJ,  “people 50 and older can contribute an extra $6,500 a year to 401(k)-style retirement accounts, for a total of $27,000. The legislation would raise that to $10,000 a year starting in 2024 for people ages 62, 63 and 64. The bill would require catch-up contributions to be made after taxes. Under the legislation, starting in 2024, the extra $1,000 people 50 and older can contribute annually to an IRA would rise to account for inflation.” Again, this added benefit is a huge opportunity for individuals who maybe missed out on the early years of retirement savings.

This bill and the ultimate Senate decision could be huge for individuals, especially older ones, who want to boost and make the most out of their retirement savings by allowing them to maximize them in their later years. We will continue to follow updates from Senate on the progression and eventual implementation of this bill. If you have any questions for us, email us at info@shermanwealth.com.

Last Call To Fund Your Traditional & Roth IRA For 2021

Spring has arrived which means it’s time to get out your spring cleaning checklist. That doesn’t just mean yard work and old clothes, but your finances too! A great place to start is to fund your Traditional and Roth IRA accounts for 2021. The deadline for these contributions is April 18, so make sure to act fast if you plan to fund these accounts. Below you will find further details from the IRS website on this deadline.

“The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers they may be able to claim a deduction on their 2021 tax return for contributions to their Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) made through April 18, 2022.

An IRA is a personal savings plan that lets employees and the self-employed set money aside for retirement and can have tax advantages. Contributions for 2021 can be made to a traditional or Roth IRA until the filing due date, April 18, but must be designated for 2021 to the financial institution.

Generally, eligible taxpayers can contribute up to $6,000 to an IRA for 2021. For those 50 years of age or older at the end of 2021, the limit is increased to $7,000. Qualified contributions to one or more traditional IRAs may be deductible up to the contribution limit or 100% of the taxpayer’s compensation, whichever is less. There is no longer a maximum age for making IRA contributions.

Those who make contributions to certain employer retirement plans, such as a 401k or 403(b), an IRA, or an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account, may be able to claim the Saver’s Credit. Also known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, the amount of the credit is generally based on the amount of contributions, the adjusted gross income and the taxpayer’s filing status. The lower the taxpayer’s income (or joint income, if applicable), the higher the amount of the tax credit. Dependents and full-time students are not eligible for the credit. For more information on annual contributions to an ABLE account, see Publication 907, Tax Highlights for Persons With Disabilities. PDF

While contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax deductible, qualified distributions are tax-free. Roth IRA contributions may be limited based on filing status and income. Contributions can also be made to a traditional and/or Roth IRA even if participating in an employer-sponsored retirement plan (including a SEP or SIMPLE IRA-based plan).

Taxpayers can find answers to questions, forms and instructions and easy-to-use tools at IRS.gov. This news release is part of a series called the Tax Time Guide, a resource to help taxpayers file an accurate tax return. Additional help is available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax (For Individuals)”

For further information about the April 18 contribution deadline, check out the IRS website here. As mentioned prior, spring time is here which constitutes a great time to get your finances in order and make a financial plan. Whether that begins with getting those 2021 contributions in or not, let us know if you have any questions as we are happy to help. Email info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary intro call here.