The Path to Debt-Free Graduates

According to its most recent survey of college pricing, the College Board estimates that an “average” four-year private university degree now costs $197,280, with that amount expected to double by 2030. As a result, more than two-thirds (68%) of today’s graduates are entering the workforce with college loan debt, and the average outstanding debt amount per student exceeds $30,000.1

 

 

 

Possible Changes are Coming….

We wanted to make you aware of possible changes that may be coming to BLB&B due to a variety of governmental regulations that were approved in 2016 and are supposed to take effect in 2017. As you may already know, last year the Department of Labor (“DOL”) passed over a thousand pages of new regulations related to the investment industry. These regulations have the potential to fundamentally change how our industry and the firms within it operate. Probably the most visible change on the horizon relates to retirement accounts (401Ks, 403Bs, IRAs, etc.).

 

Don’t Lose Your Old 401K’s

Given the number of times the average Amer­ican changes jobs over the course of their working life, it probably is not surprising to learn that along the way 401k’s tend to get “lost”. The mobility of the American workforce exacerbates this situation. As Americans move around the country in order to advance their careers or take advantage of new opportunities, they do not always remember to update their address with the custodians of all their 401k’s. It is easy to remember to update your address for the retire­ment plan account you have with your current employer but not so easy to remember to do so on accounts held with prior employers — espe­cially given that you may only be sporadically receiving account statements if the accounts are small and relatively inactive.

 

How to Be Generous…

...With Your Family and Yourself

We frequently work with clients who are inter­ested in financially assisting the younger gen­erations in their family. This may mean offering to help children or grandchildren with specific expenses like buying a house, paying college or graduate school expenses, or assisting with new business start-up costs. It may also mean making annual financial gifts to family members or taking your extended family on an annual vacation. Sometimes, a client will find them­selves financially assisting an adult child through a period of unemployment, a divorce, or a medical crisis.

Health Savings Accounts

... Another Valuable Retirement Savings Plan Tool

Are you eligible to open a health savings account (“HSA”)? If yes, and you have not already opened one, you should consider doing so as this type of account is another tax-advan­taged way to save for any medical expenses you will likely have in retirement.

An HSA is a tax exempt account that can be used to pay for medical expenses you or your family may incur. There are three key tax benefits to having an HSA. First, the money going into an HSA is pre-tax (if coming directly from your em­ployer) or tax-deductible (if coming directly from you). Second, any interest, dividends, or other earnings inside your HSA are tax free.

 

Indirect IRA Rollovers

Only One Per 12-month Period

Beginning in 2015, the IRS implemented a new rule regarding IRA rollovers. This rule changes how IRA rollovers are treated for tax purposes in certain instances. According to this new rule, “you can make only one rollover from an IRA to another (or the same) IRA in any 12-month period, regardless of the number of IRAs you own (Announcement 2014-15 and Announce­ment 2014-32). The limit will apply by aggregat­ing all of an individual’s IRAs, including SEP and SIMPLE IRAs as well as traditional and Roth IRAs, effectively treating them as one IRA for purposes of the limit.” (www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/ira-one-rollover-per-year-rule). For example, if you have 3 separate IRA accounts and decide to take some money out of each of these accounts and then “roll” this money into a new 4th IRA ac­count within 60 days, you will have accomplished 3 different rollovers within a 12-month period and thus run afoul of the new rule.

 

College Tuition Anxiety

Get schooled on financial aid – whatever your income level

Did you know that during the 2013-2014 aca­demic year more than $238.3 billion in financial aid (grants, federal loans, federal work-study, and federal tax credits and deductions) was awarded to undergraduate and graduate students? Did you realize that the recipients of all this financial aid came from households spanning a wide range of household incomes? During that same academic year, the average amount of aid for a full-time college student was $14,180, including $8,080 in grants (money that does not have to be repaid) and $4,840 in federal loans.

 

 

Aging Parents: It’s Time to Talk

Does the thought of asking your aging parents about the way they handle their household finances — or how they would feel about moving to a retirement community or assisted living facility — fill you with anxiety? You are not alone.