Category: Ubiquity Insights

Get the latest information and insights on retirement planning and 401(k) investing from the experts at Ubiquity Retirement & Savings. Get important news that can affect your retirement, along with tips and advice from our team of experts. Call Ubiquity today for a Free Consultation at 855.466.5825.

Our Beginning and Our Vision

As we at Ubiquity Retirement + Savings celebrate our 24th anniversary this year, it’s a time for reflection and appreciation for our journey. A journey that started in 1999 with a vision to level the playing field for small businesses in the retirement savings landscape.

Simplifying 401(k) for Small Businesses

From day one, we saw an opportunity to address an underserved area of the market. Small businesses often faced challenges in offering 401(k) plans due to complex processes and high costs. Recognizing these barriers, we made it our mission to democratize access to 401(k) plans, providing solutions that were simple, affordable, and personalized.

Simplicity has been a cornerstone of our approach. We transformed the intricate process of setting up and managing a 401(k) plan, creating a user-friendly online platform that any small business could navigate with ease. This ease of use was not just about convenience; it was about empowerment, about enabling small businesses to offer benefits usually reserved for larger corporations.

Our Commitment to Affordability and Transparency

Our commitment to affordability goes hand-in-hand with our dedication to transparency. We believe that every business, regardless of its size, deserves to be able to offer competitive retirement benefits. By maintaining transparent, flat fee structures and affordable solutions, we’ve enabled small businesses to attract and retain top talent in a highly competitive market. Ultimately, it’s what makes our 401(k) products better.

Answer a few simple questions to find the optimal plan for you and your small business.

How many employees do you have?
I am a sole proprietor
(just me/or my business partner/spouse)

Or schedule a free consultation with a retirement specialist.

Personalization at the Heart of Our Service

We didn’t get our #1 ranking for service by accident. Personalization has always been at the heart of our philosophy. We know that each business has unique needs and goals. That’s why we offer custom-tailored plans, ensuring every business has a 401(k) plan that perfectly aligns with their objectives.

This focus on personalization has allowed us to become trusted partners for countless small businesses throughout their retirement planning journey. It’s why we have so many customers still with us after 20+ years!

Driving Innovation in the 401(k) Space

Over the past 24 years, we have seen the small business 401(k) space evolve, and we’re proud to have led many of these changes. Whether it’s leveraging new technologies or educating businesses on the benefits of 401(k) plans, our innovative spirit has kept us ahead of the curve.

Empowering Financial Well-Being

More than just a provider of retirement savings solutions, we consider ourselves a partner in small business financial well-being. Our dedicated customer support and educational resources empower businesses and their employees to make informed financial decisions, fostering a culture of financial literacy and independence.

Looking Back, Moving Forward

As we celebrate our 24th anniversary, we look back with pride at our past, and look forward with excitement to our future. We remain steadfast in our mission to make retirement planning accessible and affordable for all small businesses. After all, we are not just a service provider; we are a catalyst for change, transforming the way small businesses approach retirement savings.

Here’s to 24 years of innovation, dedication, and service, and to many more years of empowering small businesses and their employees. We are Ubiquity Retirement + Savings, and we are proud of our pioneering journey in the small business 401(k) space.


Please refer to Important Information for details.

Taking a loan from your 401(k) can be a tempting option when you find yourself in need of funds. However, it’s important to understand the implications and potential drawbacks before making such a decision. In this article, we’ll explore the key aspects of 401(k) loans and provide insights to help you make an informed choice. 

What is a 401(k) Loan?  

A 401(k) loan allows you to borrow money from your retirement savings, specifically from the funds you have accumulated in your 401(k) account. The loan is typically limited to a percentage of your account balance or a specific dollar amount. You can borrow from any type of 401(k) plan, including from a solo 401(k).

Key Points to Consider:  

Before proceeding with a 401(k) loan, it’s crucial to understand the following aspects: 

  1. Eligibility and Loan Limits: Not all 401(k) plans offer loan options, so it’s essential to check if your plan allows loans. If it does, you will need to review the plan’s specific loan limits, which can vary depending on the plan and your account balance. Typically, you can borrow up to 50% of your vested account balance or a maximum of $50,000, whichever is less. 
  2. Repayment Terms: 401(k) loans generally have a repayment term of five years, although longer terms may be available for loans used for the purchase of a primary residence. It’s important to understand the repayment terms set by your plan, including the frequency of payments and the interest rate applied. 
  3. Impact on Retirement Savings: When you take a loan from your 401(k), the borrowed amount is temporarily removed from your retirement savings. This means the funds are no longer growing and potentially earning investment returns. It’s crucial to consider the long-term impact on your retirement savings and assess whether the benefits of the loan outweigh the potential reduction in your future nest egg. 
  4. Tax Implications: 401(k) loans are generally not subject to income taxes or early withdrawal penalties, as long as you repay the loan according to the plan’s terms. However, if you fail to repay the loan, it may be considered a distribution, subjecting you to income taxes and potentially early withdrawal penalties. 
  5. Risks and Potential Drawbacks: Taking a loan from your 401(k) carries certain risks and drawbacks. If you leave your job or are terminated, the loan may become due in full, requiring immediate repayment. If you cannot repay the loan, it will be treated as a distribution, subject to taxes and penalties. Additionally, borrowing from your retirement savings may disrupt your long-term financial goals and retirement planning. 

Answer a few simple questions to find the optimal plan for you and your small business.

How many employees do you have?
I am a sole proprietor
(just me/or my business partner/spouse)

Or schedule a free consultation with a retirement specialist.

Exploring Alternatives 

Before resorting to a 401(k) loan, it’s worth exploring alternative options. These may include creating an emergency fund, seeking a low-interest personal loan, or considering other sources of funds that may not impact your retirement savings. 

Consulting with a Financial Professional

Considering the potential complexities and long-term consequences of a 401(k) loan, it’s advisable to consult with a financial professional. They can provide personalized advice based on your financial situation, goals, and the specific details of your 401(k) plan. 

Taking a loan from your 401(k) should be carefully considered and approached with caution. While it may provide a short-term solution to your financial needs, it can have long-term implications on your retirement savings. Understanding the eligibility requirements, repayment terms, tax implications, risks, and alternatives will empower you to make an informed decision that aligns with your overall financial well-being. 


Retirement planning has been evolving over the years. In the past, retirement planning was primarily about saving money in a 401(k) or IRA. However, with the emergence of technology and the changing demographics of the workforce, retirement planning is taking on a new form. In this article, we will explore the trends and innovations that are shaping the future of retirement planning.

Importance of Retirement Planning

Regardless of whether you’re a small business owner, a freelancer, or an employee, planning for retirement is crucial. It ensures that you have enough money to cover your living expenses and healthcare costs in the future. Retirement planning allows you to live the lifestyle you desire and pursue your passions without worrying about financial constraints.

Answer a few simple questions to find the optimal plan for you and your small business.

How many employees do you have?
I am a sole proprietor
(just me/or my business partner/spouse)

Or schedule a free consultation with a retirement specialist.

The Future of Retirement Planning

As we look ahead, we can expect to see more innovation and personalization in retirement planning. Here are some trends that are shaping the future:

  1. Personalized Retirement Plans: Traditional retirement plans often take a one-size-fits-all approach. However, the future of retirement planning lies in personalized plans. These plans will consider individual circumstances such as age, health status, and financial goals to help individuals save and invest according to their unique needs. For small business owners, choosing the right 401(k) plan for your employees can also provide a level of personalization and support.
  2. Increased Use of Technology: Technology will play a significant role in making retirement planning more accessible, efficient, and cost-effective. With the advancements in financial technology, individuals will have access to tools and platforms that enable them to monitor their retirement savings, track their expenses, and make informed investment decisions. For small business owners, working with a low-cost, flat-fee1 provider that utilizes proprietary technology can ensure that your small business 401(k) plan is optimized for success.
  3. Robo-Advisors: Robo-advisors are automated investment platforms that use algorithms to provide personalized investment advice and manage portfolios. These platforms will become more prevalent in retirement planning, offering individuals a convenient and cost-effective way to manage their investments. Robo-advisors can help individuals make informed investment decisions based on their risk tolerance, goals, and time horizon.
  4. Impact Investing: As people become more conscious of the impact their investments have on society and the environment, impact investing will gain popularity. Impact investing allows individuals to align their investments with their values by investing in companies and organizations that make a positive impact on society. This trend will give retirement savers an opportunity to make a difference while growing their wealth.
  5. Longevity Planning: With increasing life expectancies, longevity planning will become more important. Longevity planning involves creating a financial plan that accounts for the possibility of living a longer life. Individuals will need to consider factors such as healthcare costs, long-term care, and estate planning. Small business owners should also factor in longevity planning when designing retirement benefits for their employees, as women tend to live longer than men on average.

The future of retirement planning is marked by innovation and personalization. Technology will play a crucial role in making retirement planning more accessible and efficient.

Personalized plans, robo-advisors, impact investing, and longevity planning are some of the trends to watch. As a small business owner, staying informed about these trends will help you design effective retirement plans for yourself and your employees, ensuring a secure and prosperous future.


1 Decimal, Inc. charges flat fees for recordkeeping and administrative services. Third-party service providers may assess asset-based fees to customers. We advise Plan Sponsors to review all service agreements with providers, such as investment advisors, custodians, and broker-dealers, to evaluate the total cost of the plan. 

Ubiquity is not a registered investment advisor, and the information provided herein should not be considered legal or tax advice. We recommend consulting with your financial planner, attorney, and/or tax advisor for personalized advice. 

The Looming Retirement Crisis–Explained

Siân Killingsworth / 25 Aug 2021 / Ubiquity Insights

Broken Eggs Film The Looming Retirement Crisis

Although cracks have been forming in the foundation of American retirement security for decades, the COVID-19 pandemic has only made them worse.

Even before the worldwide health crisis, many workers were recovering financially from previous economic downturns–along with facing the crumbling three-legged stool of retirement.

Now, according to a June 2021 survey, 15% of Americans say they’re postponing retirement because of the pandemic.

Let’s unpack how the “three-legged stool” of retirement—Social Security, employer pensions, and personal savings—has been slowly coming apart for decades–and what we can do to stop it.

Deconstructing the three-legged stool of retirement savings

The three-legged stool is a metaphor for how many retirement experts traditionally looked at planning for retirement. It was expected that the trio of Social Security, pensions, and savings together would provide a financial foundation for Americans’ golden years. None of these three were supposed to support retirees on its own–you need each one to build a strong retirement foundation.

As times have changed, so must retirement planning strategies. For many workers today, a nest egg built on the three-legged stool is no longer possible.

 Social Security

You may have heard that Social Security, the program created by FDR to prevent aging Americans from falling into poverty, is projected to be depleted by 2033.

How did this happen? Quite simply, there are fewer workers funding the program compared to the number of retirees benefiting from it. In 1950, there were 16.5 workers for every Social Security beneficiary. Today, there are less than 3 workers paying in for each recipient.

This ration shift is due to several factors including:

  • Increasing lifespans in the population
  • Decreases in fertility rates.
  • No change in average retirement age

This doesn’t mean Social Security will disappear completely in 20 years. As of 2019, projections indicate that taxes still being paid by younger workers will be enough to fund about 79% of scheduled benefits.


If you’re a Gen X or Millenial worker, chances are you’ve never been offered a retirement benefit that doesn’t involve you contributing a portion of your paycheck.

Defined benefit plans–such as company-sponsored pensions–once guaranteed workers a steady stream of income after their working years. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, pensions began rapidly disappearing and being replaced by workplace savings vehicles like 401(k) plans. Today less than 1 in 5 workers have access to a pension, shifting the primary responsibility for retirement security toward the individual.

Personal Savings

As the Social Security well dries up and pensions disappear, the third leg of the retirement stool–personal savings––is more important than ever before. According to 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, while 71% of the American workforce has access to a 401(k), only about 55% participate. When you look at small business retirement statistics, the number of access and participation shrinks even smaller.

To help ensure you have a large enough nest egg, it’s wise to create a plan early in life—or right now if you haven’t already done so. It’s also extremely important to take advantage of workplace savings plans like 401(k) (if you have one available) along with personal tax-advantaged retirement accounts such as an IRA.

Using tools like a retirement calculator can help you figure out if you’re saving enough for the future–or if you’ll need to increase your contributions to achieve financial security in your golden years.

What is being done to address the looming retirement crisis?

We know that no single program can address the challenges facing our current retirement system—it will take several programs and solutions to make progress.


In 2019, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act was passed as the first major step toward enhancing American’s retirement security. Key changes from the bipartisan legislation included:

  • Increased tax credits – when small business owners set up and run retirement plans.
  • New incentives – for new plans with auto-enrollment.
  • Greater scope – long-term, part-time workers can now participate in 401(k) plans.
  • Expanded options – multiple, unrelated businesses can now partner under a SINGLE PLAN.

This congressional offering is an encouraging sign that politicians are realizing the gravity of the looming retirement crisis and are hopeful it will have a positive impact on the overall financial security of working Americans.

 State Mandates

While the Federal government has enacted some measures toward addressing the retirement crisis, many states have taken the lack of workplace access to savings into their own hands. As of August 2021, over 30 states have introduced some form of retirement legislation–and twelve states are implementing them.

These plans tend to target small to midsize businesses in the private sector, along with low-to-moderate income households. While the rules of these programs vary greatly from state to state, all attempt to bridge the retirement gap for American workers who otherwise would not have access to an employer-sponsored plan.

Want to learn more?

The 2013 documentary Broken Eggs: The Looming Retirement Crisis In America, looks at the financial insecurity today’s retirees and pre-retirees are finding. The film focuses on why Americans are failing to adequately save for the future and the deteriorating “3-legged stool” model of retirement.

Watch below as the film profiles a diverse group of everyday Americans confronting significant retirement planning challenges alongside interviews with economists, policymakers, and financial experts.

The SECURE Act, which stands for the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, is the biggest piece of retirement legislation in over a decade. Provisions from the bill, which originally passed through the House in May 2019, were wrapped into a larger government spending package and signed into law on December 20, 2019.

This piece of important retirement legislation includes policy changes to retirement plans, annuities, pension plans, and 529 college savings accounts.

Key changes from The SECURE Act include:

  • Increasing tax credits for small business owners to set up and run retirement plans
  • Introducing incentives for new plans with auto-enrollment
  • Raising the required minimum distribution (RMD) age for retirement accounts to 72 (up from 70½)
  • Allowing long-term, part-time workers to participate in 401(k) plans
  • Expanding options for multiple, unrelated businesses to partner under a single retirement plan (MEPs)
  • Permitting parents to withdraw up to $5,000 from retirement accounts penalty-free within a year of birth or adoption
  • Allowing withdrawals from 529 plans to repay student loans

Most SECURE Act provisions went into effect on January 1, 2020. Let’s dive deeper into some of the biggest changes ahead for retirement savers and small business owners:

Small business owners can receive a tax credit for starting a retirement plan, up to $16,500

  • Small business owners who haven’t established a retirement plan are in luck! The new law provides a start-up retirement plan credit for smaller employers of $250 per non-highly compensated employee eligible to participate in a workplace retirement plan at work. The minimum credit is $500 and the maximum credit is $5,000.
  • This credit would apply to small businesses with up to 100 employees over a 3-year period beginning after December 31, 2019 and applies to 401(k), SIMPLE, SEP, and profit-sharing plans.
  • If your retirement plan includes automatic enrollment to encourage participation, you may also receive an additional credit of up to $500 for the first three years of the plan. This new credit is also available to employers that convert an existing 401(k) plan to an automatic enrollment design.

Answer a few simple questions to find the optimal plan for you and your small business.

How many employees do you have?
I am a sole proprietor
(just me/or my business partner/spouse)

Or schedule a free consultation with a retirement specialist.

Required minimum distributions (RMDs) now begin at age 72

  • Americans are living and working longer than ever before, and this change reflects that shift. Savers will no longer be required to withdraw assets from IRAs and 401(k)s at age 70½.
  • RMDs now begin at age 72 for individuals who turn 70½ in 2020.
  • If you turned age 70½ in 2019 and have already begun taking your RMDs, we recommend speaking to your financial advisor regarding any 2020 distributions.

You can make IRA contributions beyond age 70½

  • As with the new RMD rule, the SECURE Act addresses the increasing number of Americans working past traditional retirement age.
  • As of the 2020 tax year, you can continue to contribute to your traditional IRA past age 70½, as long as you are still working.
  • Savers can make their 2020 tax year contributions until April 15, 2021.

Small business owners will find it easier to pool together to offer retirement plans

  • According to a 2018 study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 40 million private-sector employees do not have access to a retirement plan through their workplace.
  • In an attempt to increase retirement access, the new law allows unrelated businesses to join together under an open multiple employer program called a MEP.
  • The new law, which goes into effect in 2021, eliminates the IRS’s “one bad apple” rule. This removes the risk of being penalized if one employer in your group fails to satisfy the tax qualification rules for the MEP.

Inherited IRA distributions must be taken within 10 years

  • Previously, if you inherited an IRA or 401(k), you could “stretch” your distributions and tax payments out over your life expectancy. This allowed beneficiaries to use stretch IRAs as reliable income sources as they benefited from the tax-advantaged gains.
  • Rules have changed for IRAs inherited from original owners who have passed away on or after January 1, 2020. Beneficiaries, generally, must withdraw all plan assets from an inherited retirement plan within 10 years following the death of the account holder.
  • The 10-year rule does not apply to: a surviving spouse or a minor child; a disabled or chronically ill beneficiary; and beneficiaries who are less than 10 years younger than the original IRA owner or 401(k) participant.
  • If you have an IRA that you planned to leave to beneficiaries, we recommend working with your estate planning attorney or financial advisor to address how might this change your strategy.
  • If you’re a beneficiary who has inherited an IRA or 401(k) and the original owner passed away prior to January 1, 2020, you don’t need to make any changes.

You can withdraw money from your retirement account penalty-free upon the birth or adoption of a child

  • Bringing a new member into the family can be expensive. The SECURE Act allows savers to take a “birth or adoption distribution” of up to $5,000 from a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or an IRA, without incurring an early withdrawal penalty.
  • This distribution must be taken within one year of the date of birth or adoption finalization.
  • If the parents have separate retirement accounts, they can each withdraw $5,000 to help defray the cost of a new child.

529 funds can now be used to pay down student loan debt

  • Sometimes families have funds remaining in their college savings plans after their student graduates. Under the new law, you can now use a 529 savings account to pay up to $10,000 in student debt over the course of the student’s lifetime.
  • To expand the benefit of tax-advantaged college plans to those who take vocational training, a 529 savings plan may now also be used to pay for qualified apprenticeship programs.

Increased penalty for failure to file federal returns

  • Failed to file your tax returns? You may now face a steeper punishment. The Secure Act increases the penalty for failure to file affected federal tax returns to the lesser of: (1) $400 or (2) 100% of the amount of tax due.
  • There are also increased penalties for failure to file retirement plan returns, including a higher IRS Form 5500 non-filer penalty.

How else could The SECURE Act impact your retirement?

  • Raising the cap on auto enrollment contributions from 10% to 15% in employer-sponsored retirement plans

If you were automatically enrolled in your retirement plan at work, your plan also may have an automatic escalation feature that increases your retirement contributions each year. Under the new law, the amount withheld for your retirement account could go up every year until you are contributing 15% of your income to your retirement savings plan.

The bottom line on the SECURE Act

Changes in life, the tax code, and your own financial circumstances are common–and are a good reminder to update your retirement and estate planning strategies every few years. As the SECURE Act brings changes to retirement, take some time (and work with your financial advisor, if you have one) to help set personal and financial goals.

And if you’re a small business owner not opening a retirement plan, there’s never been a better time to take advantage of the tax benefits of a 401(k). Connect to one of our retirement experts today to learn more.

Medical advancements have greatly improved our quality of health and have allowed us to live longer, extending our retirement years and related costs. Diligent savings combined with the many tools and resources available – such as individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and company-sponsored 401(k)’s, make it possible to protect today’s otherwise taxable earnings and save for our future. However, one very real and often overlooked threat to our hard-earned savings is the unexpected cost of long-term care and home health care. Are your IRA and 401(k) protected?

Many of us depend on the following for the security of our retirement savings:

  • Health Insurance
  • Social Security
  • Medicare
  • Personal savings

It’s important to realize that all of these do not ensure the protection of your hard-earned IRA and 401(k) savings from the potential costs of long-term care.  Hidden out-of-pocket costs for which can drastically impact these savings.

Our lifespan is now projected to extend up to 30+ years after retirement – 65 by traditional standards.

70% of us can anticipate needing some form of long-term care, according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.  As older models of retirement planning are based on a shorter life expectancy, we now must consider how long-term care costs–and the tax burden of IRA and 401(k) withdrawals–can deplete your savings quickly and ruthlessly.

Ready to benefit from the tax benefits of an IRA or 401(k)?

Learn More

According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, the projected annual cost for a senior living nursing home facility can easily reach $100,000/year, or over $8,000/month.

While this number should give most Americans a bit of anxiety, some still believe that they have nothing to fear if they have planned carefully with IRA and 401(k) savings. The catch is in the hidden details: taxes and penalties from taking funds out of your IRA and 401(k) sooner than your withdrawal schedule.  Paying for long-term care costs can quickly make your money disappear into thin air.

5 tips to avoid drawing funds from your IRA or 401(k) for long-term care costs.

1. Have a Plan

Avoid being overly confident about your control over the future of your health. In order to save money, many people skip planning for future long-term care costs, thinking: “I won’t need long-term care because my family will take care of me”, or, “IF something happens…my IRA and 401(k) is my insurance policy.”  This is a setup for potential disaster.

Certainly, we have control over making good lifestyle choices to maintain optimal health, but none of us truly has total control over the course of our health and aging. Furthermore, don’t be misled into thinking that losing your independent living is limited to the elderly–health issues may arise anytime and could require a period of long-term care even before retirement.

Did you know that sizable withdrawals from your IRA or 401(k) within a single year can double or triple your tax rate? In some cases, this also means penalty fees if you need this money before age 65. Poor planning can have shattering consequences. Read more information on the downsides of using your IRA or 401(k) to cover out-of-pocket health care costs.

2. Take Preventative Measures

Take advantage of preventive medical tests available to you through your health and life insurance policies.  Early detection of illness can make a life changing difference in treatment outcomes and maintaining independent living – both of which could have a direct impact on your IRA and 401(k) resources.

As you prepare to enroll in Medicare Part B (around age 65), make yourself aware of and plan to use preventative doctor visits that are covered with no copay for the first 12 months of enrollment. Read more information on what Medicare covers for preventative services.

3. Educate Yourself

Use resources online and in your community to educate yourself on the details of long-term care costs – it’s expensive! Learn everything you can about your entitlement to free and affordable Medicare and Medicaid health plans. Some are optional and require a premium with some copay, but these supplemental plans are far less expensive and could serve you well in saving money down the road.

While these plans do not cover long-term care costs, they will help protect your IRA and 401(k) by covering many other medical and prescription costs, including preventative and medical treatments:

  • Medicare (required)
  • Medicare Supplemental Insurance (optional/supplements Medicare enrollment)
  • Medicaid (for qualifying low-income only)
  • Medigap (optional/supplements Medicare)
  • Medicare Advantage plans (optional/supplements Medicare)

Make it a priority to be in close touch with these plans’ enrollment deadlines since they all differ, and missing their deadlines can have significant consequences on your access and coverage.  These plans can help protect you from having to draw funds from your IRA or 401(k) savings. Make a calendar to help you remember deadlines for when the time comes. Click to learn more about enrollment deadlines.

4. Consider Supplemental Insurance

In order to be truly well prepared for unexpected long-term care costs, look into a supplemental “back-up plan” that’s right for you. A private long-term care insurance policy covers much of what traditional health insurance does not, including: care coordination, home modification, adult day-care, assisted living facilities, and even nursing home care.

However, it is fairly expensive and there is no guarantee that your application will be accepted due to preexisting conditions. You’ll want to consult with an independent insurance broker while you’re still fairly healthy (ages 50-60) to determine if this option is right for you and your budget.

Fortunately, there is now a growing marketplace for more affordable supplemental alternatives that are well worth looking into as well:

  • Friends and Family Care
  • Short-term Care (Convalescent) insurance
  • Critical Care and Critical Illness insurance
  • Life Insurance with a LTC Rider
  • Annuities with Long-Term Care Riders
  • Deferred Annuities for after Retirement
  • Medical Savings Account

For more information on insurance alternatives, visit

5. Take Accountability

When you consider the reality of what needing long-term care means, think about the possibility that you may become quite disabled and unable to be accountable for making sound decisions. The responsibility often falls upon your family.

This could be in a variety of ways: tending to your daily care, taking on your financial burdens, and making difficult decisions related to everything from your medical care to the management of your personal finances. Having plans laid out in advance can offer peace of mind for everyone.

A living will (which can assign things like advance directives and power of attorney) is one of the ways to help the family protect you, and your IRA or 401(k), when you aren’t able to yourself. Click here to learn more information on drawing up legally binding online wills that circumvent expensive attorney fees.

4 Obstacles to Retirement

Chad Parks / 29 Oct 2017 / Ubiquity Insights

Tire climbing wall.

The looming retirement crisis is a term that sounds ominous – and it is. Millions of Americans dream of a retirement that includes their hobbies and loved ones. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that many of those dreamers will never actually get to retire because of a seriously inadequate nest egg that is supposed to sustain them through their twilight years.

America needs to wake up and realize we have a serious problem on our hands. It’s not an abstract one, but rather an issue that has specific origins. We have no chance of reversing the problem without figuring out how we got to this point and what we need to do to prevent the looming retirement crisis.

Here are the main obstacles we face:

1. Coverage

Study after study has shown the easiest and most effective way for people to save for retirement is through an employer-sponsored retirement plan, whether it’s a 401(k), IRA or another vehicle.

Over 40 million employees – especially those working at small businesses, don’t have access to a work-sponsored retirement savings plan.

Our solution? Mandated retirement savings plans. State governments are getting involved in this solution, but more needs to be done so that all workers have the opportunity to save at work.

2. Participation rates

Even among employees with the opportunity to save at work, there is an alarmingly low participation rate of only 52 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The retirement industry and government need to find a way to get people to utilize their plans and save money for their future. When employees have to opt for a plan, many wrongfully assume they need the money more now than they will later.

Our solution? Auto-enrollment. Research indicates that when people are auto-enrolled in a retirement plan, they stick with it after seeing how easy it is to use and its benefits.



3. Saving enough

In an earlier post, we discussed the new reality of retirement savings sources: Pensions are basically extinct, and Social Security is unstable. That means you alone are responsible for saving enough to last you through retirement.

The problem is that most people’s nest eggs are underfunded. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 57 percent of workers report that the total value of their family’s savings and investments is less than $25,000 (this figure does not include the equity in their home or a defined benefit plan). Of that group, 28 percent of people have less than $1,000 saved.

Our solution? Auto-increasing savings amounts. For workers enrolled in a defined contribution plan, it is difficult to remember to keep increasing their deferral rate; plus, many people second-guess the decision as they believe they need the money more now than they will later. By auto-escalating deferral rates, we can help people save more without putting the burden on them to elect to save more.

4. Investing appropriately

Investment selection and portfolio allocation both seem to trip up savers very frequently – and with good reason. After all, most people don’t have expertise in the markets, and yet their future ultimately depends on these very complicated concepts and products.

It’s no surprise we are concerned that people are not investing appropriately for their age, risk tolerance or current market conditions. How can you know what is considered appropriate for you when you’re tasked with doing this on your own?

Our solution? Cost-effective professional advice. When there is a plumbing issue in your house, you call a professional plumber. It’s that same logic that should encourage the retirement industry and employers to offer professional resources to assist savers with their investment selection and ensure its suitability for their unique situation and goals.

Download Ubiquity’s Definitive Guide to Small Business 401(k)

Book Club: Saving a Stranger Self

Siân Killingsworth / 23 Jul 2017 / Ubiquity Insights

Our book club is currently reading Daniel H. Pink’s To Sell Is Human, and this week’s reading surfaced an interesting tidbit of information: we find it hard to relate to future versions of ourselves.

“To those estranged from their future selves, saving is like a choice between spending money today or giving it to a stranger years from now.” – HERSHFIELD et al.

Is this why so many of us live for today, unknowingly aligning ourselves with the philosophy of Epicurus, which states that pleasure is the greatest good?

We can’t escape the rules of cause-and-effect; what we do today has downstream consequences.

The donuts, the late night ice cream sneaks, the stubborn adherence to a strict policy of no exercise. These choices that I made years ago are affecting me today.

I have proof. I’m sure others can relate.

What, then, can be done to save our future self? Are we doomed to forgo sacrifice instead of pleasure, planning instead of impulse?


“Light Strokes, Fell great Oaks.” – Benjamin Franklin

Just as my impulsive behavior years ago is the bane of my waist-line today, the Krispy Cremes, baby back ribs and el grande pork burritos I eat or do not eat today could harangue my figure a year from now.

If I make small modifications and compromises, like eating light meals two or three times a week, forgoing a $4.50 mocha, maybe not eating out as much, and possibly using the extra money I save to invest in my 401(k) plan, and maybe, just maybe running around the block a few times a week and doing push-ups before going to sleep, I might be in better shape a decade from now had I not made these small adjustments.

What do you think? If you can take a small series of actions that lead to a great payoff, would you do it?

Will you?

What can you do if you need cash, don’t have adequate savings, and taking out a loan from a bank or friend isn’t an option? What if you are trying to buy your first home and are coming up short for the down payment? Many people turn to a 401(k) loan, that allows you to borrow the money you’ve already invested.

While it is your money, it is important to note it takes people about three weeks to receive their loan. Plus, before you can get a loan it has to be approved by both your 401(k) provider and your employer. So if you need money right away, this might not the best option for you.

Additionally, since this is a workplace benefit offered through your current employer, it’s not wise to take out a loan if you plan on leaving your job in the next few years. Here are some things to think about:

1. Personal vs. residential loans

A residential loan can be used for purchasing your first home or primary residence. Your employer and even the IRS may be more lenient with this type of loan and give you up to 15 years to pay it back.

A personal loan can be used for almost anything, including student debt, a new car, healthcare expenses, etc. You may only have five years to pay off a personal loan.

No matter what type of loan you take, the minimum you can withdraw from your 401(k) is $1,000, and the maximum is half of your current balance or $50,000.

2. Interest

You may be thinking, why do I have to pay interest on a loan I took from myself? The IRS wants you to pay interest to mimic the gains your 401(k) could have made if the money had stayed invested. Your interest rate is calculated by taking the prime rate – the interest rate that banks charge to their most credit-worthy customers – and adding 1 to 2 percent, depending on your provider.

3. Fees

In addition to paying your interest, you will pay some hefty fees. If you are taking a five-year loan, you could pay upward of $500 in fees on top of what you initially borrowed. Why?

First, there is likely an administration fee (sometimes called an “origination fee”) that goes toward drawing up your paperwork, writing the check and transferring your money. After that, there is an annual administration fee to cover the maintenance of your loan.

Answer a few simple questions to find the optimal plan for you and your small business.

How many employees do you have?
I am a sole proprietor
(just me/or my business partner/spouse)

Or schedule a free consultation with a retirement specialist.

4. Repayment schedule

Loans are repaid the same way you contribute to your 401(k) – automatically and through your paycheck. Since this is a workplace benefit and not built to be easily accessible, most providers will only let you have one active loan at a time. This means you need to completely pay off one loan before taking out another from your 401(k).

5. Defaulting

Defaulting is when you can’t make your loan payment when it’s due. Like any default, this can have serious financial implications. How can you default if your repayments come directly from your paycheck? One way is if your employment is terminated and you are no longer receiving a paycheck. If that happens, you are required to pay back the full amount of your loan within 60 days, and on top of that, your balance will be taxed and you could even face an early withdrawal penalty if you are under the age of 59 ½.

6. Loan modeling tools

Our paycheck calculator allows you to see how a 401(k) loan will impact your paycheck and retirement plan. Most importantly, make sure you are prepared for a lower monthly income so you can stay on track to meet any long-term financial goals.

Download Ubiquity’s Small Business 401(k) Plan Guide

What Millennials Need to Know About Money

Siân Killingsworth / 22 Jan 2017 / Ubiquity Insights

Businesswoman sipping coffee while checking emails first thing in the morning.

Good news – ­it seems the world is finally getting to know us. There is now a plethora of Millennial-focused studies, articles, and apps that cater to our vast, diverse generation and rightfully so, as there are more than 80 million of us in the U.S. alone! Here’s what Millennials need to know about money, whether it’s becoming more familiar with investing, saving or more educated about money, there are resources to help us achieve our goals.

1. Millennials should make these 3 moves now to retire with $1 million

This Money article goes beyond the typical “start saving early” tip that we have all heard. Instead, the piece gives actionable steps we can be taken to retire with a healthy nest egg, such as allocating our portfolios heavily toward stocks. The real gem in this article is the warning to avoid investments laden with fees we may not have even known existed. It’s time to stop wasting our money and start putting it to work for our Future Selves!

 2. Capital one survey uncovers Millennials’ attitudes on spending, saving, and sharing

Ever wonder how your friends viewed money, but couldn’t figure out how to ask? You’re in luck because this recent Capital One survey, entitled Millennial Mindset on Money, asks for us. The study looks at some important questions about finance and privacy, security, personal relationships, and technology—basically everything we care about. For example, did you know more than 14 percent of those surveyed said being a money moocher is a deal breaker when it comes to romantic relationships? How many respondents do you think said they would use Facebook to access their money? Check it out for more eye-opening responses.


3. Acorns

Finally, there is a financial management app designed specifically with our needs in mind! In a world where we are faced with mountains of student debt and a high cost of living, it’s easy to feel like we just don’t have extra money to be investing. Acorns allow us to take our spare change from everyday purchases and invest it into one of five diversified portfolios. As an added bonus, we can make unlimited deposits and withdrawals at no cost so our money can be flexible with our unpredictable needs. Acorns is a free app to download, and it costs as little as $1 per month to maintain. Good news students – it’s free for you!

Read Ubiquity's Guide to Small Business 401(k) Plans
Download Your 401(k) Guide Now

Talk to Sales
Schedule a Free Consultation

Contact Support
Visit our Help Center
6am–5pm PT / 9am–8pm ET

© 2024 Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
44 Montgomery Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94104

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube

Talk to Sales
Schedule a Free Consultation

Contact Support
Visit our Help Center
6am–5pm PT / 9am–8pm ET

© 2024 Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
44 Montgomery Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94104