5 Things Your Adult Kids Must Do To Kick-start Their Financial Lives

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Getting an early start to one’s financial life is hard but super important. Nearly everyone I know who describes themselves as “financially successful” got that way by starting early and making a commitment to improving their financial security.

Now that your adult kids have graduated from college and summer is over, it’s time for them to get focused on building a strong financial foundation for their future.

Below are 5 things your adult kids must do to kick-start their financial lives:

7 Reasons To Fill Out the FAFSA

September is College Savings Month!

When most people read those words they naturally think about “saving up” for college.

When I talk about college savings, I am specifically referring to all the money you will save by becoming a smart consumer of a college education and actually paying less for your student’s college education.

After all, if a penny saved is a penny earned, then reducing your student’s college expenses, finding ways to increase your financial aid award, and paying less for their education is as good as any savings program out there, if not better.

Parents of high school seniors better act fast. The FAFSA goes live for the 2020/2021 school year on October 1st.

In the meantime, learn why the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is so important in this guest post from my friend, Jeannie Burlowski, author of the book, Launch: How To Get Your Kids Through College Debt Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterwards.

A 3-Step Strategy For Retirees Worried About Losing Money In Stocks

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For most of 2019 the stock market did nothing but go straight up. Then August happened.

During the first two weeks of the month major market indexes like the S&P and DOW fell by up to 8% from market highs set the previous month, followed by an up and down pattern that put many retirees on edge.

Investors worried about a slowing worldwide economy, trade wars with China, and concerns about an inverted yield curve. On the other hand, the U.S. economy chugs along at a better than 2% GDP rate, inflation remains super low, and other economic indicators point in the right direction.

Instead of fretting about the next big meltdown, I recommend this easy 3-step strategy for retirees worried about losing money in stocks.

Consider Your Options Before You Hit The Road With Your 401(k)

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One of the common threads of a mobile workforce is that many individuals who leave their job are faced with a decision about what to do with their 401(k) account.¹

Individuals have three basic choices with the 401(k) account they accrued at a previous employer.

Choice 1: Leave It with Your Previous Employer

You may choose to do nothing and leave your account in your previous employer’s 401(k) plan. However, if your account balance is under a certain amount, be aware that your ex-employer may elect to distribute the funds to you.

While inertia is one of the primary reasons for not moving a 401(k), there may be reasons to keep it there—such as investments that are low cost or have limited availability outside of the plan. Other reasons are to maintain certain creditor protections that are unique to qualified retirement plans, or to retain the ability to borrow from it, if the plan allows for such loans to ex-employees.²

The primary downside is that individuals can become disconnected from the old account and pay less attention to the ongoing management of its investments.

Choice 2: Transfer to Your New Employer’s 401(k) Plan

Provided your current employer’s 401(k) accepts the transfer of assets from a pre-existing 401(k), you may want to consider moving these assets to your new plan.

The primary benefits to transferring are the convenience of consolidating your assets, retaining their strong creditor protections, and keeping them accessible via the plan’s loan feature.

Provided their new plan has a competitive investment menu, many individuals prefer to transfer their account and make a full break with their former employer.

Choice 3: Roll Over Assets to a Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

The last choice is to roll assets over into a new or existing traditional IRA.³ A traditional IRA may provide a wider range of investment choices than what may exist in your new 401(k) plan.

The drawback to this approach may be less creditor protection and the loss of access to these funds via a 401(k) loan feature.

Remember, don’t feel rushed into making a decision. You have time to consider your choices and may want to seek professional guidance to answer any questions you may have.

  1. Distributions from 401(k) 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.
  2. A 401(k) loan not paid is deemed a distribution, subject to income taxes and a 10% tax penalty if the account owner is under 59½. If the account owner switches jobs or gets laid off, any outstanding 401(k) loan balance becomes due by the time the person files his or her federal tax return. Prior to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, employees typically had to repay loans within 60 days of departure or face potential tax consequences.
  3. Withdrawals from traditional IRAs 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 content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2019 FMG Suite.

Equifax Settlement Update

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As you’re probably aware, Equifax had a massive security breach back in September of 2017, which compromised personal data of 147 million consumers. As a result, Equifax must now offer compensation in the form of free credit monitoring or cash payouts to anyone whose information was affected.

Here are the details of the proposed settlement:

  • Free credit monitoring or up to $125 cash payment; if credit monitoring services are already in place from the initial breach, that will continue for at least six more months
  • Up to $20,000in other cash payments for time and money spent preventing or recovering from identity theft because of the data breach
  • Free identity restoration services provided by Experian to help fix the impact of the breach 

How to decide:

  • There’s a cap to the settlement funds so payment sizes will ultimately be determined by how many people apply for compensation. Given the high number of claims you could receive significantly less than $125.
  • There’s no limit to how many people can receive credit reporting, so this may be the more valuable option.

Take Action by these deadlines:

  • November 19, 2019 is the last day to opt out of the settlement (by postal mail only) to pursue other legal claims regarding this breach.
  • January 22, 2020 is the last day to opt into this settlement offer (by phone or website) to receive one of the options above, but you’ll waive all other rights to pursue additional legal claims regarding this breach.

As you evaluate your next steps, be aware that scammers are always looking for more ways to take advantage of a data breach, avoid giving any information if anyone contacts you. The best way to safely check your eligibility is by calling (833) 759-2982 or visiting the official Equifax website.

* PLEASE NOTE: When you link to any of the websites displayed within this website, you are leaving this website and assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the website you are linking to. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of any information provided at these websites.