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New Rules Affect Retirement Savings Advice

On April 6, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued new "conflict of interest" rules regarding financial advice as it relates to retirement plans and IRAs. The new DOL rules generally hold financial professionals to a fiduciary standard if they receive compensation for providing investment advice to retirement plan participants or IRA owners, which means they must act impartially and in their clients' best interests. Here are answers to some basic questions about the new rules. What is a "fiduciary" and why does it matter? "Fiduciary" is a term for an individual who has a legal or ethical duty to act for another's benefit. When a financial professional provides investment advice or recommendations to an IRA owner or an employer-sponsored retirement plan participant, and in doing so receives compensation, the new rules generally hold the financial professional to a fiduciary standard. In other words, the financial professional must put the...
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2016 Year-End Tax Planning Basics

The window of opportunity for many tax-saving moves closes on December 31, so it's important to evaluate your tax situation now, while there's still time to affect your bottom line for the 2016 tax year. Timing is everything Consider any opportunities you have to defer income to 2017. For example, you may be able to defer a year-end bonus, or delay the collection of business debts, rents, and payments for services. Doing so may allow you to postpone paying tax on the income until next year. If there's a chance that you'll be in a lower income tax bracket next year, deferring income could mean paying less tax on the income as well. Similarly, consider ways to accelerate deductions into 2016. If you itemize deductions, you might accelerate some deductible expenses like medical expenses, qualifying interest, or state and local taxes by making payments before year-end. Or you might consider...
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Four Things Women Need to Know about Social Security

Ever since a legal secretary named Ida May Fuller received the first retirement benefit check in 1940, women have been counting on Social Security to provide much-needed retirement income. Social Security provides other important benefits too, including disability and survivor's benefits, that can help women of all ages and their family members. 1. How does Social Security protect you and your family? When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you're paying for three types of benefits: retirement, disability, and survivor's benefits. Retirement benefits Retirement benefits are the cornerstone of the Social Security program. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), because women are less often covered by retirement plans and live longer on average than men, they are typically more dependent on Social Security retirement benefits. Even if other sources of retirement income are exhausted, Social Security retirement benefits can't be outlived. Many women qualify for benefits based on...
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Handling Market Volatility

Conventional wisdom says that what goes up must come down. But even if you view market volatility as a normal occurrence, it can be tough to handle when your money is at stake. Though there's no foolproof way to handle the ups and downs of the stock market, the following common-sense tips can help. Don't put your eggs all in one basket Diversifying your investment portfolio is one of the key tools for trying to manage market volatility. Because asset classes often perform differently under different market conditions, spreading your assets across a variety of investments such as stocks, bonds, and cash alternatives has the potential to help reduce your overall risk. Ideally, a decline in one type of asset will be balanced out by a gain in another, though diversification can't eliminate the possibility of market loss. One way to diversify your portfolio is through asset allocation. Asset allocation...
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Deciding When to Retire: When Timing Becomes Critical

Deciding when to retire may not be one decision but a series of decisions and calculations. For example, you'll need to estimate not only your anticipated expenses, but also what sources of retirement income you'll have and how long you'll need your retirement savings to last. You'll need to take into account your life expectancy and health as well as when you want to start receiving Social Security or pension benefits, and when you'll start to tap your retirement savings. Each of these factors may affect the others as part of an overall retirement income plan. Thinking about early retirement? Retiring early means fewer earning years and less accumulated savings. Also, the earlier you retire, the more years you'll need your retirement savings to produce income. And your retirement could last quite a while. According to a National Vital Statistics Report, people today can expect to live more than 30...
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Vantage Advisors, LLC
50 East 100 South #101
St. George, UT 84770
Phone: 435-628-6336
Email: info@vantageadvisorsllc.com

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