In today's modern economy people are changing jobs more often. Here are 5 steps that will
help make your transition a smooth one.
1. Make sure you understand your new companies benefits. You will want to sign-up for the
short-term and long-term disability options if they are available. If thee is a group life
insurance policy you will want to be sure and fill in the beneficiary information even if you
are not married! If you have a choice with health insurance plans, make sure your doctors
are on the plan you choose.
2. Sign up for the 401k plan and make sure and withhold enough from your paycheck to get
the full company matching contribution (this can be an additional 3-5% of your salary).
Pick an investment allocation that is appropriate for your age and risk level.
3. Evaluate your options for your former retirement plan. Generally speaking, you can leave it
with your former employer, move it to your new employer plan, or roll it over to an IRA.
There are benefits to all three options depending upon the plan expenses and investment
4. Make sure you take all of your personal and professional contacts with you! Update your
LinkedIn profile and make sure you have your personal email address as your primary
5. Meet with your financial advisor to review your new company benefits as well as the
options for your former company retirement plans.
Changing jobs is a very busy and exciting time so you want o make sure you take care of
yourself when signing up for your new benefits. Make sure you take enough time to
familiarize yourself with your new benefits and that you have gotten signed-up for
everything you want.
As you may have already seen in the news, Equifax announced a massive criminal security breach last Thursday that potentially compromised the personal data of 143 million consumers, including names, birth dates, addresses, Social Security numbers and some credit card numbers. You may be wondering if there is anything you need to do in response.
First, to determine if you have been impacted, you can go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on “Potential Impact”. You will be asked to enter your last name and the last 6 digits of your Social Security number. Whether or not you were directly impacted, Equifiax will give you free identity theft protection and credit file monitoring to all U.S. consumers for one year from Trusted ID. If you’re interested, you must enroll through the Equifax website by November 21, 2017.
In addition to identity theft protection and credit monitoring, you can take the following steps:
If you’d like to take any of these steps you can visit the respective websites of each credit bureau or call customer service. Here is a list for your convenience:
As always, if you have any immediate questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email or call us at 713-871-9800
Don’t get taken by surprise when these expenses creep up on you.
Times are rough. We understand. It’s hard enough to find the money to cover your daily living expenses, so the idea that you should put away “extra” money for a rainy day seems preposterous.
But it is necessary, and it’s easier than you might think.
“The common plan is for people to set aside a percentage of their paycheck,” says tax attorney Howard Chernoff. “But in trying times, it’s very difficult to set anything aside. So what I’ve done in the past and what I tell people is sometimes don’t take all your exemptions, everything you’re entitled to, so that at the end of the year there’s a little bit of money left. You know that sometime in February, March, or April you’re going to get a little bump.” And that little “bump” can be extremely handy if you know what to do with it.
If you are a homeowner, you know that unexpected expenses come standard along with termites, roof damage, and plumbing originally installed during the Mesozoic Era. And yet people are consistently ambushed by these mini-emergencies, even when they don’t have to be. “I once had a guy who decided to put $200 extra withholding on his tax form per week — and his wife did the exact same thing –- and at the end of the year they had a $38,000 refund,” says Chernoff. “And they completely redid their kitchen. Because they knew if they just let it come through their paychecks, they wouldn’t have $38,000 — they’d be lucky if they had $3,800.”
“That’s the joke with this new healthcare plan,” explains Chernoff. “Everybody gets a $3,000 credit. What’s that going to cover? That’s not going to do anything.” As the future of coverage in this country gets murkier by the day, it’s all the more important to have a cushion to fall back on in times of need. People who are naturally averse to the word “budget” should also know that it doesn’t have to be a line-by-line breakdown of expenses. “It’s just a kitty,” says Chernoff. “And you put the money in the kitty and you hope that it’s there for when you have something that needs to be done.”
Unless your savings plan is “be a sociopath,” odds are you’re going to be invited to a birthday party or wedding at some point in your life and showing up empty handed just won’t be an option. Same thing with anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, and all the other holidays created by Big Greetings to get you to buy more cards and flowers. Being disciplined with the money is key, though. Putting aside safety money is only effective if, as Chernoff puts it, “you can leave it alone.”
The romantic fantasy of jetting off at a moment’s notice to parts unknown is great if you live in a movie where you’re still allowed to run to the boarding gate at the last minute. But real human beings need to plan and save well in advance. Putting an entire vacation on a credit card without the funds to cover it will only make the return trip home all the more depressing.
When an accident or sickness strikes a loyal and loveable pet, even the most common of ailments can get outrageously expensive. While some people might say “it’s just a dog” or “it’s only a cat,” it’s much different when it’s your cat or dog. Kudos to people who think ahead and shell out between $30-$50 a month for pet insurance, but those who don’t can spend thousands to make sure their furry friend is back on their paws.
A lot of people get some form of Life Insurance through their employer — which is great, but in these volatile times how long can you honestly expect to hold onto that coverage? It’s better to establish an insurance policy independent of your job, and that means extra costs. Again, Chernoff recommends using the federal government as a savings plan by tweaking your exemptions. “Some experts say you shouldn’t leave money with the government. Why not? The government actually pays a higher rate of interest than you can get anywhere,” he says. “You can get 4-5% from the Federal government on your refund — it’s a terrific savings plan.”
This article on finance is provided by Everplans — The web’s leading resource for planning and organizing your life. Create, store and share important documents that your loved ones might need.
1. General Rule
As a general rule, the account balance used for calculating required minimum distributions (RMDs) is the prior year-end account balance, with no adjustments.
For example, if you are calculating an RMD for 2017 you would use the 2016 year-end account balance. If you are calculating a missed RMD for 2014, you would use the 2013 year-end account balance. If you have your first RMD due for 2017 and you take that RMD in March of 2018, you still use the 2016 year-end account balance.
As usual with retirement distribution rules, there are some exceptions to the general rule.
2. Rollovers or Transfers
The first exception is for funds in transit on the last day of the year. This is the most common adjustment. If you take funds out of your IRA or employer plan at the end of the year and roll them over to an IRA or plan (within 60 days) in the following year, then the amount of the funds in transit must be added back in to the 12/31 account balance. You cannot get out of an RMD by withdrawing and redepositing funds. You must also add funds back in if you do a transfer from one retirement account to another and the funds are not included in either account on the last day of the year.
If you have done a Roth IRA conversion in one year and you recharacterize it in the following year, the amount of the recharacterization must be added to the year-end account balance of the receiving IRA. A recharacterization treats the funds as if they never left the IRA and if they never left the IRA then they must be part of the RMD calculation for the year. Makes sense, right?
4. Excess QLAC Contributions
This is a relatively new, and so far rare, adjustment. If a client’s qualifying longevity annuity contract (QLAC) is overfunded, the excess must be returned to the non-QLAC portion of the IRA. It must also be added back in to the prior year-end account balance for calculating the RMD.
5. Prior-Year RMDs
When you miss taking an RMD for one or more years and are now making up the distributions, there is no adjustment to the prior-year end IRA account balance for the missed IRA RMD amount. You can adjust employer plan year-end account balances for the missed RMD amount.
For example, you missed a $10,000 IRA RMD in 2016. You take that RMD in 2017. You cannot reduce your 2016 IRA year-end account balance by $10,000 when you calculate your 2017 IRA RMD. You miss a $15,000 403(b) RMD in 2016. You take out the $15,000 in 2017. You can reduce your 403(b)’s 2016 year-end account balance by $15,000 when calculating your 2017 RMD.
6. Still Working Exception to RMDs
A question we frequently get occurs when an individual is still working and has no RMDs from their employer plan. During the year they move some plan funds to an IRA where they do have an RMD for the year. What balance is used to calculate the RMD? You are going to use the IRA’s prior year-end account value. The plan funds have no RMD for the year. Moving them to an IRA does not change that. They are not part of the prior year-end account balance and is not one of the required adjustments to the IRA year-end account balance.
By Beverly DeVeny