WrapManager's Wealth Management Blog
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Lord Abbett Shares Reminders on October Deadlines for Retirement Planning

Posted by WrapManager's Investment Policy Committee

September 20, 2018

If you miss or ignore any of these important, applicable dates, you could hurt your retirement finances.

As summer comes to an end, don’t forget that October ushers in some critical deadlines—some of which carry penalties. To learn more about these deadlines and the dates to put on your calendar, read on. Also note that while this is not IRA-specific, October 15 is generally the last day to file an individual income tax return that’s on extension.

October 1—Simple IRA Establishment

This is the last date in which an employer can establish a SIMPLE IRA plan, effective for 2018. Those plans established after October 1 would not be effective until January 1, 2019, at the earliest. Notably, an exception applies for a newly established business. If you’re a new employer that started your business after October 1, you can establish a SIMPLE IRA plan for the plan year by the end of the same calendar year as soon as administratively feasible after your business came into existence.

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Retirement Planning Money Manager Commentary

Lord Abbett Dives Into the Roth Recharacterization Repeal in the New Tax Act

August 23, 2018
Recharacterization of Roth IRA conversions from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s has been repealed, but recharacterizing Roth contributions is still permitted. When Congress passed the Tax Reform Act of 1997, what was originally referred to as “IRA Plus” became known as Roth IRA after its primary sponsor, Senator William Roth (Del.). Two decades later, Roth IRAs continue to grow in popularity and assets, especially with younger investors. More than 30% of Roth IRA investors are younger than 40, while cumulative assets have grown to more than $660 billion as of December 31, 2016 (latest available), according to the Investment Company Institute. [+] Read More

How Jobs and Financial Markets Intersect

July 11, 2018
How important are jobs and the unemployment numbers to financial markets? So important that strict rules were put in place over 30 years ago in an effort to prevent the numbers from being prematurely released to the public. Generally speaking, the only people with access to the numbers – before their official release – are the staff of the agency issuing the data, and the President of the United States and his executive team. Since the jobs numbers are considered “market-moving data,” it makes sense that the data should be treated, in a sense, like insider information. Here’s how it works: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases its monthly employment report on the first Friday of the month, at 8:30 AM. But the night before, the president and several senior administration officials — including the Treasury secretary and the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers — are briefed on the numbers. By rule, no one can discuss the numbers at all before the official release at 8:30 AM. In fact, the data is considered so sensitive that staffers are supposed to wait until a full hour after the release to make any public comments about it.  [+] Read More

Lord Abbett Wants to Make Sure You Don't Overlook These Retirement Planning Milestones

July 5, 2018
Planning for Retirement? Don't Overlook These Milestones With millions of Americans owning tax-advantaged retirement accounts, totaling $28 trillion in assets, in many types of accounts—such as a 401(k), 403(b), 457, and an IRA (Roth, traditional, SIMPLE, SEP, SAR SEP, rollover, inherited, etc.), each with their own rules—it’s little surprise that slip-ups and or oversights occur all too frequently. Misunderstanding or outright ignoring a number of key dates, for example, can be costly—in terms of financial penalties and/or lawyers and accountant fees, not to mention considerable time to amend the errors. [+] Read More

The Shaky State of Social Security

July 4, 2018
If there’s a good word to describe the state of Social Security in America, it might be something like “uncertain.” And that’s a far cry from the reliable, dependable safety net that many retirees and future retirees have come to expect of the program. Many readers probably know where this is going – the familiar narrative that Social Security is underfunded, may run out of money soon, and may not be there for future generations. Even still, as the checks continue rolling in, the idea that Social Security is in trouble has a feeling of being far-fetched. For many, it feels like an issue that may indeed be true but doesn’t necessarily apply to you specifically. First signed into effect by President Roosevelt on August 14, 1935, the Social Security Act created a social insurance program designed to pay retired workers over the age of 65 continuing income after retirement. Since then, tens of millions of people have received benefits through the Social Security Act. Yet, the program was wrought with challenges from the start, and experienced financial peril as early as 1977.¹ And, despite attempts to keep it solvent, the Social Security program faces a major long-term shortfall. Surprisingly though, a large number of Americans seem unaware of this looming failure. [+] Read More

Do You Live in One of the Wealthiest Parts of the Country?

June 27, 2018
For nearly 20 years WrapManager has been headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is notoriously (based on hard data) one of the most expensive areas in the world. And while we are a nation-wide investment manager, it comes as little surprise (to us at least) that 21 of the 100 wealthiest cities in the US are in California, with most them in the San Francisco Bay Area. This fun fact may have some readers now wondering what the 100 wealthiest cities/communities are, and whether you might live in one of them! (It left us quite curious.) Well, thanks to a Bloomberg analysis of 2016 US Census data, now you can find out. [+] Read More

What History Tells Us about Tariffs and the Threat of Trade War

June 20, 2018
The Tariff Act of 1930, otherwise known as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, was signed into law by President Herbert Hoover…even as nearly 1,000 economists warned of its dire consequences. The law slapped nearly 900 American duties on imported goods and was done in an effort to boost domestic spending and to protect American companies. Sound familiar? While virtuous in its design, the outcome of the Smoot-Hawley tariffs was far from virtuous. Instead of protecting the US economy, the tariffs arguably helped fuel the Great Depression. Back in 1930, European countries responded to the Smoot-Hawley tariffs by retaliating with tariffs of their own, creating an all-out trade war that produced no clear winners. The Great Depression left no part of the US economy unscathed. Fast forward to 2018, and we find ourselves in a situation somewhat similar to the one we saw in 1930, with the US threatening – or outright imposing – tariffs on some of our biggest trading partners, in an effort to protect American companies. There is little doubt amongst economists that China does, indeed, have unfair advantages and strict requirements for American companies doing business there. Change is arguably needed. The question is, will we have to endure a trade war to get it? [+] Read More

Avoiding Slow Failure in Retirement Planning

May 30, 2018
Editor’s Note: This article was written for the WrapManager Wealth Management blog by guest author Justin Sibears, a Portfolio Manager at Newfound Research. More information about Justin and Newfound can be found at the bottom of the article. Slow failure in investing happens when portfolio returns are insufficient to generate the growth needed to meet your objectives. No one event causes this type of failure. Rather, it slowly builds over time. Think death by a thousand papercuts or your home slowly being destroyed from the inside by termites. Traditionally, this type of slow failure was probably the result of taking too little risk. Oversized allocations to cash, which as an asset class has barely kept up with inflation over the last 90 years, are particularly likely to be a culprit in this respect. [+] Read More

Don’t Confuse 401(k) Withdrawals with 401(k) Rollovers – It Could Cost You

May 9, 2018
One of the reasons investing gets confusing for most people is that there are too many rules, requirements, products/options, and terms. The website “Investopedia” claims to have a “comprehensive financial dictionary with over 13,000 terms and counting.” Insanity! The world of retirement planning – which is just a subset of investing – is not much better. But the definitions do matter. A 401(k) withdrawal, for example, could mean paying penalties and taxes that could cost you dearly if done wrong, or done at the wrong time. A 401(k) rollover, on the other hand, could provide you with several benefits and advantages for moving your retirement plan in the right direction. In this case, a single word makes all the difference – and not knowing it could cost you. [+] Read More

Lord Abbett Weighs in on Appreciating Net Unrealized Appreciation

May 3, 2018
Net unrealized appreciation allows for favorable tax treatment of withdrawals of an employer's stock - but understanding the rules is crucial. Of all the various ways to reduce one’s taxes in retirement, net unrealized appreciation (NUA) is often misunderstood or overlooked altogether. The rules may be complicated, but a plan participant who owns company stock and is separating from service or retiring should be aware of NUA before rolling his/her retirement account into an IRA or a new employer’s plan. Net unrealized appreciation of employer stock held in an employer-sponsored retirement plan permits gains that occurred inside the plan to be taxed outside the plan (e.g., brokerage account) at preferential long-term capital gains rates. [+] Read More