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Friday Financial Five – August 12, 2016

Friday, August 12, 2016


403(b) owners need help too

401(k) plan fees are getting plenty of attention but there’s no uproar for the 403(b) market, which may face even bigger problems. Larger corporations using 403(b) accounts often have more financially savvy people choosing their plan, but the public sector seems overrun by insurance company options. For example, a school system will have plenty of “diversity” by offering multiple plans, but they’ll all be insurance company offerings with no opportunity to work a fiduciary. It’s unclear why this segment of the working population continues to go unnoticed when it comes to focusing on unnecessary fees, surrender penalties, and lack of true investment options for those simply trying to save wisely for retirement.

Treasury and Trump on the death tax

While the Treasury Department is looking to make estate taxes harder to avoid, Donald Trump is appealing to wealthy voters by vowing to get rid of the tax completely. The federal tax applies to estates worth more than $5.45 million individually and $10.86 million as a couple, with anything exceeding those levels getting taxed up to 40 percent. The Treasury’s new proposed regulations would hamper the effectiveness of using LLC’s or partnerships in reducing the tax. Trump recently revised his plan to eliminate the estate taxes, while Hillary Clinton has called for an increase. With no changes, estate taxes are expected to generate roughly $250 billion in revenue over the next decade.

Avoiding the IRA rollover penalty

IRA holders need to be mindful of the IRS rule that only allows one IRA-to-IRA rollover can be done per year from all IRAs. That “year” means 365 days, not a calendar year. This rule doesn’t apply to direct transfers or rollovers from retirement plans to IRAs. Those not in compliance will be taxed on the extra rollover disbursements and pay a 10% premature withdrawal penalty if under the age of 59 ½.

Billionaire wealth takes healthy step forward

For those concerned that billionaires may be suffering economically, a census by WealthX is there to assuage any fears. The world has 2,473 billionaires and that group holds a total of almost $8 trillion in wealth, a roughly 6% increase from the prior year in each category. While Europe has the most billionaires, the most aggregated money from billionaires is in North America, and over half of the group is self-made,

Another reason to dislike the Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles have a fan base that attacked Santa and cheered a severe player injury. Add financial malfeasance by a former Eagle player to the team’s storied history. Merrill Robertson Jr. was charged by the SEC in defrauding elderly investors, as well as his high school and college coaches and alumni. His group allegedly used $6 million of investor money for personal expenses and to pay back prior investors.


Dan Forbes, a CFP Board Ambassador, is a regular contributor on financial issues. He leads the firm Forbes Financial Planning, Inc in East Greenwich, RI and can be reached at [email protected]


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