Ubiquity

Author: Dylan Telerski

Dylan is a marketing specialist at Ubiquity Retirement and Savings. A passionate champion for small business, she can be found demystifying the financial industry, advocating for the underdog, and making playlists you did not ask for.

This week we were excited to announce the launch of CensiblyYours Financial Wellness Tools, our newest innovation to help small business employers and employees make the most of their retirement plan and improve their overall financial health.

As part of our new suite of offerings, we’re providing participating savers access to Edukate, a fintech benefits platform that empowers employees through personalized financial education and guidance. So what exactly is financial wellness and how does it create a more productive, engaged workforce? We sat down with the experts at Edukate to discuss how investing in your employees’ financial well-being can set your business apart in the marketplace.

Define what financial wellness means to Edukate.

The concept of financial wellness can be a bit overwhelming as there are a number of definitions out there.

At Edukate, we believe financial wellness is the relationship between a person and their money.

A financially healthy employee is actively managing their day to day spending, is confident as to how they can protect themselves from future unexpected life events and is saving for their financial freedom.

How can companies adopt and promote financial wellness in 2019?

Open enrollment isn’t the only time you can make a difference in how your employees interact with their benefits.

Platforms like Edukate are breaking the mold of having to roll out benefits during open enrollment. The majority of Edukate’s plans are implemented outside of an open enrollment period.

When you’re looking for a financial wellness benefit, it’s important to find a platform that meets the specific needs of your organization.

For example, if employees aren’t participating in your 401k, find out why. Employees may cite reasons such as not fully understanding the program or that they have other financial concerns they want to address first.

A strong financial wellness platform for your organization can educate users on how to use their 401k program and how they can tackle other debts or financial stressors to be able to start participating.

Typically, employees only hear about voluntary benefits right after launch or when they’re just starting at a company. To keep employees engaged, we recommend quarterly campaigns to ensure employees understand and feel empowered to use their benefits.

What are the key components to a company’s financial wellness program?

Like any benefit, a financial wellness program should be easy to access, administer, and use.

At Edukate, we focus on three key areas for success.

The first is employee engagement. Many employees never engage with their benefits because they’re boring and uninviting. By offering personalized guidance and interactive content, we’ve rethought employee engagement from the ground up.

The next is platform scalability. Edukate makes it easy to customize your employees’ experience, communicate with them, and get in-depth insights into how they are doing.

Lastly, is system integration. We are a one-stop benefits destination for employees by providing guidance for financial challenges and connecting them with the employer benefits that matter to them most— all while cultivating a culture of positive wellness.

Why is financial wellness important for employee retention?

There are plenty of statistics about how financial stress affects employee engagement and productivity.

When an employee is disengaged at work, the organization suffers. Lackluster productivity, absenteeism, and negative attitudes are common side effects.

When you offer benefits that employees need and want, they’re more likely to use them.

And if those benefits can help employees reduce their financial stress, productivity and engagement increases. When employees feel empowered by their benefits offerings, sentiments about their employer increase as well.

For some employees, this favorable perception of their employer drives loyalty to the organization.

The same survey also found that many employees would prefer more robust benefits offerings over an increase in salary.

Happy employees are productive employees.

How does achieving financial wellness work in tandem with saving for retirement?

Edukate’s approach to financial wellness is to help employees navigate every aspect of their financial lives, including managing their spending and saving habits, preparing for the future, and saving for retirement.

By helping employees address their financial stressors and feel more confident with their financial decisions, we believe that employees can better prepare for the future.

As employees learn about their personal finances, Edukate recommends existing employer benefits like retirement accounts to help them achieve their goals.

How does Edukate help promote financial wellness, and what inspired the company to pursue this mission?

Edukate was created with a belief that traditional retirement and financial education are broken and that there were better ways to help employees achieve their financial goals.

At Edukate, we empower employees to practice confident decision making to best utilize the benefits that matter to them most.

We accomplish this by offering an exceptional online platform that connects employees with education, tools, and benefits most relevant to their needs.

What has been the biggest barrier for small business to provide financial wellness benefits?

Even though financial wellness benefits can provide a positive return on investment, securing budget for a new benefits platform can be tough.

When working with small businesses, we work to find ways to rollout financial wellness in phases to different employee groups to give HR managers room to grow the program over time.

Why was a partnership with Ubiquity important to your company?

Partnering with Ubiquity offered Edukate a way to scale a financial wellness resource to smaller employers.

We recognize the need for small business owners to provide robust benefits to their employees. Nearly 90% of employees in the US work for employers with fewer than 20 employees.

Because retirement planning is one of the key focus areas of Edukate’s platform, partnering with Ubiquity helps us connect employees with the resources they need to fully prepare for retirement.

This blog serves as information material from Edukate and does not serve as investment advice or financial recommendations by Edukate or Ubiquity Retirement + Savings (“Ubiquity”). To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with and independent professional advisor.  Both Ubiquity and Edukate are neither law firms nor certified public accounting firms and no portion of the newsletter content should be construed as legal or accounting advice.

Uber’s highly anticipated IPO this spring shined a spotlight on ride-hailing driver benefits as compensation strikes took place around the world.

The majority of these workers are considered independent contractors, which precludes them from traditional employee benefits like a 401k. On the heels of this news, Amazon offered a $10,000 incentive for workers to quit their jobs and start their own business delivering Amazon packages. This initiative, if enacted, would create a new pool of independent contract workers who, like Uber drivers, lack or lose access to company-sponsored retirement savings plans.

How can the growing population of independent contractors ensure they’re keeping their retirement savings on track?

Our Founder and CEO, Chad Parks, has been at the forefront of these discussions with respected members of the media. Most recently, Yahoo! Finance turned to Chad for his reaction to the Uber driver strikes. In this article, Chad articulated just how important personal savings is when it comes to funding retirement, especially with Social Security making up a small portion of retirement income.

However, Chad underscored that all hope is not lost for gig economy workers. He outlined three retirement savings plans worth considering:

  • Traditional IRA: When saving with a traditional IRA, individuals pay income tax at the time those funds are used. Chad explained that this type of account is generally more beneficial for savers over the age of 40.
  • Roth IRA: Conversely, the money invested in a Roth IRA account is taxed at the time of deposit and thus, can be withdrawn tax-free at retirement. According to Chad, individuals under the age of 40 usually benefit more from this savings vehicle by incurring taxes when they fall into a lower-tax bracket. For both traditional and Roth IRAs, the contribution limit for 2019 is $6,000.
  • Single 401k: This savings option is also referred to as the Self-Employed 401k, Individual 401k or Solo 401k. It’s a retirement plan specifically designed for those who are self-employed or considered independent contractors. The beauty of this product is that it’s flexible and entrepreneur-friendly. In good years, you can sock away as much as $19,000, which is the annual contribution limit. In leaner years, you aren’t required to save as much. Want to learn more about saving without the 9-5? Meet Ubiquity’s solo savings vehicle: Single(k).

A deeper dive into Single(k) savings

To further explore the benefits of a Solo 401k and how to determine if this plan is right for you, Chad authored an article for Next Avenue, a PBS affiliate. In this piece, Chad answered some of the most common questions regarding Single 401(k) plans and outlined the key reasons to consider participating in them, such as flexible contributions, tax-deferred growth on investments and reduced taxable income for pre-tax salary contributions. For more information on Single 401(k) plans, check out Chad’s piece, which was also picked up by MarketWatch!

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings is committed to providing simple and affordable retirement savings plans to enable small businesses and those in the gig economy to prepare financially for their retirement. We’ll continue monitoring these events and will be sure to keep you updated on the latest legislative initiatives and retirement plan options.

For more information on small business and gig economy savings options, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Financial management – especially for small businesses – can be a daunting task. That is why at Ubiquity we have made it our purpose to help make your retirement savings work for you. Our organization specializes in selling 401k plans to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

401k plans help small businesses attract and retain the best of the best employees. More importantly, small business owners can make good financial sense with a 401k plan without incurring additional training requirements and risk associated with inexperienced workers.

Since 1999, we have established several diversified 401k plans to help grow small businesses. We pride ourselves on each retirement consultant having knowledge and experience in retirement savings and financial management. Our unparalleled commitment to helping our clients is unmatchable.

That is why during this Financial Literacy Month, we offer these exclusive tips to help you in your business growth.

#1. Simplify your accounting process with streamlined tools.

The most crucial aspect that comes with owning a small business is the accounting process. It involves accurately documenting financial transactions in a comprehensive and systematic manner. The steps involved include:

  • Opening a bank account
  • Tracking your expenses
  • Developing a bookkeeping system
  • Setting up a payroll system
  • Analyzing any import taxes
  • Coming up with ways to be paid by clients
  • Establishing sale tax procedures
  • Calculating your gross margins, and
  • Evaluating your business methods.

Accounting is of paramount importance as it helps put complicated financial transactions in a format that can be easily understood. Not surprisingly, it can definitely also be one of the most boring and annoying parts of running your own business. In fact, almost half of small business owners said bookkeeping was their least favorite task.

And the more time the business owners spent running their businesses, the more they loathed the task — 58 percent of business owners working 60 or more hours a week said that bookkeeping was particularly draining.
-Entrepreneur

Luckily, there are lots of all in one accounting tools out there to help manage your small business financials like Intuit Quickbooks, Freshbooks, and Sage.

#2. Sales Forecasting is Paramount. 

This process entails estimating future sales. Every business must anticipate its viability in the coming years in order to make adjustments accordingly. Since 1999, Ubiquity has helped many small businesses to make informed retirement decisions based on long and short-term performance.

It is easier for any profit-oriented organization to forecast its future by use of its past sales data. This begs the question, “what about new businesses that do not have sufficient past sales information?” Of course, these setups can use advanced methods such as competitive intelligence and market research techniques to make a sales forecast.

#3. Tighten up your cash flow management

Cash flow management, as the name suggests, involves tracking the money coming in and out of a business. This process helps in the prediction of how much money will be in your company in the future. Notably, it helps to know how much money a small business will need to cover its debts. The process entails:

  • Measuring the cash flow
  • Improving receivables
  • Managing payables, and
  • Surviving shortfalls.

Cash flow management is vital because it helps business owners in maintaining running capital. It’s important to know your breakeven point (where your revenues meet youur expenses) and to pay attention to it as you grow your business.

#4. Streamline your human capital management 

Human capital is a fancy term used to skill and experience gained by individuals that is crucial to a small business. It involves a measure of education, capacity, skills, and attributes that affect an employee’s earning potential and productivity capacity. Luckily there are an incredibly wide range of cloud-based solutions to help simplify your all your HR tasks. Make sure to take your time when comparing HR solutions and review all the details to make sure you find a product that gives you exactly what your small business needs.

#5. Keep Up With Paper Work

The Power of Balance Sheets and Profit Loss Statements

Balance sheets are an accounting tool which is a statement of business’s liabilities, assets, and equity at a particular point of time. In simple terms, it explicitly provides a financial position (net worth) of a small business at a moment in time. This data helps keep track of company performance because it covers all the operations of a business.

A Profit Loss Statement (sometimes called a P&L statement) outlines the costs, expenses, and revenues incurred during a certain period. This duration can either be a fiscal or calendar period, quarterly or annual interval. It is synonymous to the income statement and outlines an organization’s financial position. Sometimes people confuse P&L statement with a balance sheet, but as you can see, they are nothing alike.

Overall, the aspects above are very crucial for any business, but especially for the small business owner.

Want to learn more about retirement planning for small business? Get the Definitive Small Business Guide to 401k 

It’s no secret that the life of a small business owner is a lot of work. Especially in situations where you only have a few employees (or none at all), you have to act like the Swiss army knife of your business––ready for anything and prepared for any situation. So, why add the hassle of having to pay for and run a retirement plan along with everything else? You might even wonder, is my business too small to for a 401k plan?

Here’s the scoop: A 401k is no longer a benefit reserved exclusively for large businesses with budgets to match.

There are budget-friendly, easy-to-use 401k solutions designed specifically for small businesses. Small business owners can now take advantage of the business tax benefits of a 401k plan and offer competitive retirement plan benefits for employees.

Not too familiar with 401(k) plans? No problem.

What is a small business 401k?

First things first: A 401k plan is a type of company retirement plan under Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code. That part isn’t so important — here’s what is: A 401k allows you to save for retirement by putting away money on a pre-tax basis, which helps you to lower your taxable income. What’s that mean to you? It means you’ll get less of a tax bite on your annual salary in the short term, while your long-term investments grow tax-free until you’re ready to retire. Some 401k plan providers (including Ubiquity) also offer an after-tax (Roth) option, which means you won’t be taxed at the time you withdraw that money because you’ve already paid taxes on it.

A small business 401k is defined as a 401k plan for a company with anywhere from one to 100 employees. Here at Ubiquity, we specialize in the retirement plan needs of small and growing businesses, including owner-only and start-up businesses.If your business only employs you, your spouse or partner, and employees who would not be eligible to participate in a plan, a Single(k)® plan would your best option.

Small business 401k plans offer unique benefits to both business owners and their employees who participate in the plan.

Busting 401k Myths

Myth #1: 401k plans are too expensive for small businesses.

It’s true that many 401k plans are designed to only suit larger businesses. But the growing trend is to offer efficient, Web-based 401(k) plans that are more affordable to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Plans cost less than a daily latte, and employers have options for splitting costs with their employees.

Myth #2: 401k plans require an employer match.

An employer match or profit-sharing contribution is entirely optional with a 401k. If you choose to offer this feature to your employees, it could help to boost participation. Keep in mind that employer contributions are also tax-deductible for your business.

Myth #3: Our employees won’t participate because they don’t make enough money.

There is no minimum contribution required with a 401k. Offering an employer match can provide additional incentive for your employees to participate in the plan.

Myth #4: It’s too complicated.

Starting a 401k plan doesn’t have to be convoluted. With the right plan, you can get a new plan running in just a few hours of your time. And it’s easy to manage, with tools and reports available right at your fingertips.

March Media Roundup

Dylan Telerski / 18 Mar 2019 / Press, Retirement News

Ubiquity in the News

As a pioneer in small business retirement savings, we’ve been leading the charge for nearly 20 years on making it as simple and convenient as possible to save for your future. With this mission rooted deep in our company, respected members of the media frequently turn to Ubiquity Retirement + Savings for our insights and expertise on the retirement market, savings strategies, and fintech industry trends.

Check out some recent media placements below, featuring insights from our Founder and CEO, Chad Parks. For more tips on optimizing your firm’s retirement savings plan, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

WealthManagement.com

From his early days as a financial advisor to his current role at Ubiquity, Chad has seen a lot of changes and improvements in financial services throughout his career. He drew upon these experiences to craft some ‘predictions’ for the industry, which he recently shared with the readers of WealthManagement.com. In this bylined article, Chad pointed to two key trends that could transform the financial services landscape, including the introduction (and eventual takeover) of artificial intelligence in financial advisory roles and the elimination of the asset-based fee model. Though these changes may seem drastic, Chad underscored that they will ultimately improve the savings experience for businesses and everyday consumers alike.

Zacks Investment Research  

Zacks Investment Research welcomed Chad on its Tech Talk Tuesday podcast to discuss everything from the small business retirement plan marketplace, to financial technology, to potential implications of the looming retirement crisis. Host Ryan McQueeney kicked things off by asking Chad about his early career in financial services, where Chad illustrated what sparked his passion for serving the small business market. From there, Ryan and Chad covered the current small business retirement landscape and how Ubiquity got its start catering to this historically underserved community. Chad then highlighted his involvement in producing the “Broken Eggs Film” documentary, which shines a light on the dangers of an under-funded retirement with powerful stories from real people. Closing out the conversation, Ryan and Chad discussed how the fintech industry will continue to become further integrated to provide a “one-stop-shop” for the best possible user experience. This podcast was even picked up by Yahoo Finance and Nasdaq!

 

PLANSPONSOR

PLANSPONSOR, a leading retirement industry trade publication, turned to Chad for his thoughts on best practices when converting to a new retirement plan recordkeeper. In this piece authored by Editor Lee Barney, Chad discussed how to keep things organized when making the transition to a new recordkeeper, and by extension, how to avoid any mishaps in the process. This means getting your documents, including financial statements, compliance tests and annual reports, organized before you even start the process. Chad also underscored the importance of ensuring everything is fully compliant with the Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prior to the conversion, and double- and triple-checking that participant account balances are correct once the conversion is complete.   

Kiplinger’s Retirement Report  

A successful retirement doesn’t stop at building a nest egg; having a plan to guide your decisions along the way is critical. That’s why Chad spoke with Kiplinger’s Retirement Report Editor Rachel Sheedy to identify key dates those nearing retirement can’t afford to miss out on. Chad reminded savers that all 2018 IRA contributions must be made by the tax-filing deadline of April 15, 2019. For the 2018 calendar year, Chad noted IRA contribution limits are capped at $5,500 for those under age 50 and $6,500 for those over 50. He also provided tips to ensure all your paperwork is in order to properly file crucial tax documents ahead of the deadline.

 

You’re contributing to your workplace retirement account–that’s great! But how are you dealing with the taxes of the money you can contribute. There are two ways you put money into your 401(k) retirement plan– pretax or Roth.

Pretax contributions are the traditional form of 401(k). This means contributions come out of your paycheck before taxes, and are your distributions in retirement are taxed. This is useful if you’re earning more now than you plan to in retirement. Plus, you lower your taxable income in the present!

Think of the Roth 401(k) as the rebellious little sister of the pretax 401(k). Introduced in the early 2000s, it takes the tax treatment of a Roth IRA and applies it to your employer-sponsored plan. That means contributions come out of your paycheck before taxes, and distributions in retirement are tax-free. That means you don’t pay taxes on your investment growth!

Let’s look at the similarities (and differences) between the two retirement contribution types.

The 401(k) contribution limit is $19,000 with an additional $6000 if you are 40 or older. The conribution limit is the same whether your 401k deferrals are made pretax, Roth, or a combination of the two.

Traditional 401(k) plans are pretax savings accounts. This means your contributions are made before they've been taxed. Roth 401(k) plans are post-tax savings accounts. This means your contributions are made after they've been taxed.

If you contribute to a 401(k) plan at work, your employer can choose to match a percentage of your contribution. Any employer match will be taxable in retirement.

All About Withdrawals: In a traditional 401(k) distributions in retirement are taxed, just like ordinary income. In a Roth 401(k) there are no taxes on qualified distributions in retirement.

 

Learn more

Curious about different types of retirement accounts? Learn the difference between an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and a 401(k).

If you’re a small business owner and need a 401k plan for yourself and your company, only Ubiquity offers flat-fee plans plus free expert advice. We’ll fully customize your 401k to meet the specific needs of your small business.

Check out our cost-effective, plan solutions

Picture of wrapped gift with bell

Today we’re sharing a guest post about how to be smart with your finances this holiday season from our friends at America Saves. Read on for some great tips!


The holidays are just around the corner, which means it’s time to enjoy vacations, catch up with family and old friends, and eat great food. While the holidays are about quality time and making memories, it’s easy to get caught up with spending money. Here are 5 holiday mistakes to avoid this year so you can enjoy the season with your finances intact:

1. You’re shopping without a budget or list.

It’s incredibly kind to get each of your relatives, colleagues, and in-laws thoughtful presents and cards to show them your appreciation, but your wallet might be crying for help after your first few purchases. One of the biggest financial mistakes you can make during the holidays is shopping without a spending plan.

When you’re shopping for loved ones, you’re imagining how happy they’ll be when they receive your gift. But remember, financial responsibilities don’t go on vacation during the holidays. Create a budget for your holiday spending. Once you know how much you can afford to spend, create a list that fits your budget.

This way, you’ll be able to purchase the items you plan for and know for sure that you didn’t bust your budget. Here’s a free holiday budget printable to get you started.

2. You’re volunteering your home, food, and car to everyone.

If you’re the person that always offers food, transportation, and lodging to everyone, you might want to try a new approach this year. It’s thoughtful to go the extra mile during the holidays, but don’t stretch yourself or your pockets too thin.

Consider splitting the responsibilities with your friends and family. You might not think you’re overspending by being so accommodating, but the more people there are in your home, the more likely you are to receive a high utility bill at the end of the month. You’ll also be surprised at how many trips you might have to make to the grocery store to restock on food, drinks, and toiletries.

You can suggest hosting a potluck style gathering this year. With a potluck, each guest is responsible for bringing at least one dish, beverage, or party supply. At a minimum, you’ll save money on food and drinks. If you need napkins or disposable utensils and plates, you can make one guest responsible for those items as well.

If you have a ton of relatives who need to be picked up from the airport or train station, see if you can rope in other family members to help with pick-ups and drop-offs. This will help you save on gas, time, and energy.

Splitting responsibilities will help you enjoy the holidays without being completely stressed out.

3. You’re shopping too late.

So you’ve created your list and a tight budget, that’s great! Don’t wait until the last minute to actually make your purchases. By then, sales may be over and supplies will be limited.

Start your shopping early so you can snag deals while they’re still available. When you have ample time to cross items off your list, you’ll have time to compare prices and bargain hunt. Some stores offer price matching, so keep that in mind as you start shopping and placing your online orders.

Time is of the essence. Shopping early will give you time to figure out what you actually need and get those items at the best price. When you wait until the last minute, you’re much more likely to bust your budget because you’ll just be rushing to cross people off your list instead of specific items that fall within your budget. Here are some tips to help you save while you shop.

4. You’re relying on your credit cards.

Do your best NOT to rely on your credit cards during the holidays. If you can’t afford to buy it now, don’t create a bill for yourself later. Once the holidays are over, you’ll be faced with a potential mountain of debt that you’ve built.

The holidays are a great time to enjoy the company of your loved ones, but you shouldn’t feel like the only way to show your love is through expensive presents and festive decor. Enjoy the holidays in a way that doesn’t destroy your finances. This year, make it a goal to spend quality time.

If an unplanned expense does occur during the holidays and you have to use your credit, here are some tips for using your credit card.

5. You’re trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Don’t make the holidays a competition about who can wear the most expensive clothes, buy the flashiest gifts, or serve the swankiest dinner. Make the holidays about creating lasting memories and enjoying time with your loved ones, or simply yourself.

Darlene Aderoju works for America Saves, managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA), which seeks to motivate, encourage, and support Americans to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at AmericaSaves.org.

For as different as Millennials and Baby Boomers are, they have one major thing in common. They both dream of a secure retirement someday.

There has been a lot of talk from retirement experts that millennials won’t be able to retire on time. But when you look at the statistics, the message isn’t as doom and gloom. Millennials are actually saving almost as much for their futures as baby boomers are. Boomers currently save, on average, 9% of their survey, while millennial are saving 8%. Their contributions also increase at a much higher rate than boomers. (Though it’s easy to attribute the discrepancy to the rapid change in salary at the beginning of your career.)

According to The 18th Annual TransAmerica survey, about three in 10 workers have dipped into a retirement account for an early withdrawal or loan from a 401(K) or similar account. Boomers are far more likely to have done so than their younger counterparts. About 36% of Boomers have taken a loan, while the same is true for only 28% of Millennials.

Procrastination is, unsurprisingly, a trend most prevalent among young workers. About 54% of Millennials prefer not to think about retirement investing until they get closer to their retirement date. Among Baby Boomers, significantly closer to their magic retirement age, that number is about 25%.

Want to learn more? See our roundup below!

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings: Stay Up-To-Date.

Download our 2019 contribution guide

The IRS has announced the 2019 contribution limits for retirement and health savings accounts. This includes contribution limits for 401(k) and 403(b) plans, as well as income limits for IRA contribution deductibility. Additionally, the salary threshold to classify “key” and “highly compensated employees” has been announced. Review our quick guide of the updated limits below.

401(k) and 403(b) individual contribution limits (IRS 402(g) Limit)

2018

2019

Age 49 and under

$18,500

$19,000

Age 50 and older

Additional $6,000

Additional $6,000

The IRS has also set limits for the total amount that may be contributed to your retirement savings 401(k) account from all sources combined (IRS section 415 limit). This includes any employer matching or pro t-sharing contributions, and any employee after-tax contributions. For 2019, the maximum is $56,000.

Every plan is different, so it’s important to refer to your Plan Document for any compensation or other applicable limits.

Highly Compensated and Key Employee definitions and limits

2018

2019

Key Employee Officer Compensation

$175,000

$180,000

Highly Compensated Employee

$120,000

$125,000

Annual Compensation Limit

$275,000

$280,000

Roth and Traditional IRA contribution limits

2018

2019

Age 49 and under

Up to $5,500 (must have earned income)

Up to $6,000 (must have earned income)

Age 50 and older

Additional $1,000

Additional $1,000

Traditional IRA modified adjusted gross income limit for partial deductibility

2018

2019

Single

$63,000 – $73,000

$64,000-$74,000

Married – Filing joint returns

$101,000 – $121,000

$103,000 – $123,000

Married – Filing separately

$0 – $10,000

$0 – $10,000

Non-active participant spouse

$189,000 – $199,000

$193,000 – $203,000

Roth IRA modified adjusted gross income phase-out ranges

2018

2019

Single

$120,000 – $135,000

$122,000 – $137,000

Married – Filing joint returns

$189,000 – $199,000

$193,000 – $203,000

Married – Filing separately

$0 – $10,000

$193,000-$203,000

Simple IRA contribution limits

2018

2019

Age 49 and under

$12,500

$13,000

Age 50 and older

Additional $3,000

Additional $3,000

Health Savings Accounts (HSA) contribution limits

2018

2019

Individual (employer + employee)

$3,450

$3,500

Family (employer + employee)

$6,900

$7,000

Age 55 or older**

Additional $1,000

Additional $1,000

If you need more detailed guidance, see IRS Notice 2018-83.

How’s Your Financial Health?

Dylan Telerski / 15 Aug 2018 / Personal Finance

We all get check-ups to make sure our bodies are well and tune-ups to make sure our cars are running smoothly. But when was the last time you checked in on your financial health? If it’s been a while, we’ve got some tips to help you get started.

1. Dust Off Your Budget

If you haven’t been following a budget lately, now is the time to jumpstart the habit. A budget is your best tool for tackling any financial difficulties and achieving goals for future you! Budgeting lets you plan how you want to spend your money, while tracking your spending habits. When you track your spending consistently and stay on budget, you can start making things happen so that you reach your financial goals. Budget apps like Mint make it easy to connect to your bank account and see where your money goes. After you’ve done that, it’s up to you to split your income between bills, necessities, savings, and fun.

If you’ve already set up a budget, this step should be simple. Take a second look at where your money goes. It’s easy to overlook your gym membership getting more expensive or your car insurance going up a couple bucks. Those types of changes can add up quickly and have a big impact on your financial life.

No matter your starting point, once you’ve gone through your budget, it’s easier to search for places where you’re overspending. Are you really using all of your subscription services? Do you need to be celebrating Taco Tuesday that often (and did you need that extra margarita)? Can you stream a little less and get a smaller data plan? Try it! We believe in you.

2. Set it and Forget it!

Have trouble saving as much as you should? You’re not alone! Consider harnessing the power of automatic savings contributions. Having money taken out of your paycheck before you see it, streamlines the savings process and curbs temptation. It’s hard to spend money you don’t gain access to, whether by having money from each paycheck filter directly into a savings account or into your company’s 401(k). If you already have automatic deposits set up for your emergency fund and retirement accounts, nice work! Now consider increasing your contributions.

Once you automate your savings, take it a step further and automate your bill pay. You should always review your bills for accuracy, but paying at least some of them automatically will save you some hassle—and ensure your payments are always on time. To prevent any account-draining surprises, you may find it better to only automate bills that are the same every month (like your cable bill), rather than ones that vary every month (like your credit card bill).

3. Give Your Credit a Checkup

Credit Scores are often used as the barometer of your financial health. The higher your score, the more financially stable you seem. Knowing your credit score is essential—in the words of the old Schoolhouse Rock cartoons, “Knowledge is Power”. Even if the number isn’t as high as you’d like, your financial picture can’t get better until you have a picture of where you’re starting from.

Approximately 36 billion pieces of credit data are reported every year, so reporting mistakes are nearly inevitable. Since errors in your public records, personal information, and credit accounts can cause your credit score to tank, it’s important to keep a close eye on your credit. Any credit accounts listed that don’t belong to you could be a tip-off to identity theft or credit card fraud.

Luckily, you can request a free credit report every year from each of the three major consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Or do it our favorite way, which is to request one free report from a different bureau every four months and monitor your credit throughout the year.

 

So, what’s on your financial to-do list? If it’s learning about retirement options, we can help! Learn how you can get on the path toward a financially secure future with Ubiquity

 

4. Take a Peek at Your Debt

It’s really easy to put your head in the sand and not acknowledge the debt you have. Look at your credit card balances and other loans. Has your level of debt changed since the last time you checked? If it has decreased, way to go! You’re on your way. If it has increased, maybe it’s time to look at your budget again and find where you’re overspending. This is also a good time to check your interest rates,and see if you’re in a position to save by refinancing.

 

5. Review Your Retirement Plan Contributions

There’s no question that saving consistently for retirement is an important step toward a more financial future.  By starting to save as much as you can now, you will have the freedom to choose how you want to live when you retire. And since your 401k contribution comes out of your check pre-tax, you lower your taxable income. In a way, it’s like paying for your 401k with money that you otherwise would have spent on your taxes. In 2018, you can contribute up to $18,500 to your 401(k) if you’re under 50 or $24,500 if you’re 50 or older.

All About 401k Hardship Withdrawals

Dylan Telerski / 12 Jul 2018 / 401k Resources

hardship renovation

hardship renovation

 

Sometimes life sends us devastating curveballs with deep financial consequences. If you’ve fallen into dire circumstances, and have already dipped into your savings, there may be hope in your 401k plan. While ordinarily, you cannot withdraw money from your retirement account until your employment ends (or turn 55), many plans allow something called a hardship withdrawal.

What counts as a hardship?

While lots of overwhelming financial situations can arise in life, only specific circumstances can be classified as a hardship. According to the IRS, a hardship must be an “immediate and heavy financial need” and “the [withdrawal] amount must be necessary to satisfy the financial need.” That second part means that there can’t be any other resources used to cover your emergency.

Most plans allow withdrawals for the following:

  • Unexpected medical expenses not covered by your insurance (For you, your spouse, or your dependents)
  • Purchase of a home (Your principal residence—not a vacation home)
  • Tuition and related educational fees
  • Preventing eviction or foreclosure
  • Funeral or burial expenses
  • Repair of major damage your primary home

Every plan is different; so it’s important to check with your employer see if your plan has any additional requirements or restrictions. Your plan administrator may need some documentation along with your request to illustrate your financial need. This will generally involve information about the hardship, verifying how much you need, and proving you’ve exhausted all other options.

After you take a 401k hardship withdrawal

Most plans require the employee to stop contributing to their plan for six months following a hardship distribution. Hardship distributions are taxable and subject to the 10% early withdrawal penalty unless an exception applies.

Do you qualify for a 401k hardship withdrawal?

To find out if your plan allows for a 401k hardship withdrawal you will need to talk to your plan sponsor, which might be someone in the HR department or even the owner of your business. You can also call the phone number on your 401k account statement.

Should I take a 401k loan instead of a 401k hardship withdrawal?

Employees are required to repay these loans, and unlike the hardship withdrawal, they will not be taxed for the loan. One thing to keep in mind about 401k loans is that they are generally recommended as an absolute last resort in comparison to other types of loans. Want to learn more? Check out our post on Is it a Good Idea to take out a 401k loan?

Anything else I should think about?

Tax Implications

If you are younger than 59 ½, you’ll owe a 10% early distribution tax, in addition to federal, state, and local taxes if you distribute pre-tax savings.

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© 2019 Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
Privacy Policy
44 Montgomery Street, Suite 3060
San Francisco, CA 94104
Support: 855.401.4357

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