Student Loan Interest Rates on The Rise

Interest rates for student loans are reset each year. Starting July 1 interest rates for new borrowers of Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized student loans will rise to 4.45%. That’s up from 3.75% the previous year.

Direct Subsidized Student Loans are those in which the government pays the interest while the student is in school. These loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. Typically this means the Total Cost of Attendance at the school your student attends exceeds your Expected Family Contribution as determined by the FAFSA form. Even families with fairly high incomes and significant assets may have need at many private colleges and universities.

5 Reasons Why You Should Contribute to Your Company’s Roth 401(k)

Since 2006 retirement savers have been able to contribute to Roth accounts via their retirement plans at work. Known better as the Roth 401(k), these unique retirement plans allow you to save after-tax dollars in an account that grows tax-free and allows for tax-free distributions during retirement.

Not every employer offers the Roth 401(k) as a feature available in their retirement plan, but when they do you should take advantage of the opportunity.

Here are 5 reasons why you should contribute to your company’s Roth 401(k).

Before Sending Your Student Off to College, Do This

Imagine the following situation: It’s 10:00 a.m. on a beautiful spring day. The birds are singing. The sun is out – finally! Everything seems right with the world. Standing in line at your favorite coffee shop, you receive a phone call that your daughter was found unresponsive in her dorm room. She has been rushed to the emergency room at a hospital that you have never heard of before.

When you get there the hospital’s medical team refuses to give you any information about her condition or what kind of care she is receiving. They won’t even tell you what is wrong with her. As an adult she has a legal right to privacy that prevents the hospital from disclosing any personal, medical information.

While this may seem unlikely, it can happen. Do you know what you need in order to be involved in her care, now that she’s a legal adult?

One Way to Remember Those Who Served

USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

Coming from a military family, Memorial Day never goes unnoticed in my family. Last year we recognized Memorial Day with a visit to the Fort Snelling National Cemetery where several family members are buried. This year I am considering a trip to the Minnesota History Center where they currently have an exhibit that focuses on WWI.

One of the best ways to recognize those who gave their lives in service to our country as well as to get a better understanding of how war has shaped the lives of the people who lived through them is to read a book of historical nonfiction – especially one set during the war years.

Highlights From Ed Slott’s Spring 2017 Elite IRA Advisor Conference

Mike Branch is a member of Ed Slott's Master Elite IRA Advisor GroupI have been a member of the Ed Slott Elite IRA Group for nearly a decade. One of the benefits of membership is that twice a year I get to geek out on the latest rules and regulations regarding IRAs and retirement plans with over 400 financial advisors from around the country.

This is also one of the best opportunities in the industry to meet with other like-minded advisors to learn how to help our clients make the most of their retirement assets, and take a deep dive into the estate and financial planning strategies that benefit them most.

This spring’s conference in Kansas City, Missouri, did not disappoint. In the future I may do a more detailed blog post on one or more of the topics below. In the meantime, follow along as I share some of the highlights of the spring conference.