We believe that making a plan for your investments is very important. When deciding how to invest your money you should be asking yourself “what is this money for?” “What do I want to accomplish with it?” By determining what your goals and time horizons are we can recommend what the appropriate asset allocation for your portfolio should be. Once you have a plan in place we help you to monitor your progress.
Lifetime Income Need
There actually is a lifetime after retirement and the need to be able to provide for a steady stream of income that cannot be outlived is more important than ever. With the prospect of paying for retirement needs for as many as 20 years, retirees need to be concerned with maintaining their cost-of-living.
Health Care Needs
Longer life spans can also translate into more health issues that arise in the process of aging. The federal government provides a safety net in the form of Medicare, however, it may not provide the coverage needed especially in chronic illness cases. Planning for long-term care, in the event of a serious disability or chronic illness, is becoming a key element of retirement plans today.
Planning for the transfer of assets at death is a critical element of retirement planning especially if there are survivors who are dependent upon the assets for their financial security. Planning for estate transfer can be as simple as drafting a will, which is essential to ensure that assets are transferred according to the wishes of the decedent. Larger estates may be confronted with settlement costs and sizable death taxes which could force liquidation if the proper planning is not done.
Paying for Retirement
Retirees who have prepared for their retirement usually rely upon three main sources of income: Social Security, individual or employer-sponsored qualified retirement plans, and their own savings or investments. A sound retirement plan will emphasize qualified plans and personal savings as the primary sources with Social Security as a safety net for steady income.
Social Security was established in the 1930’s as a safety net for people who, after paying into the system from their earnings, could rely upon a steady stream of income for the rest of their lives. The age of retirement, when the income benefit starts was, originally, age 65 which was referred to as the “normal retirement age”. Now, for a person born after 1937, the normal retirement age is being increased gradually until it reaches age 67 for all people born in 1960 and beyond. The amount paid in benefits is based upon the earnings of an individual while working. If a person wanted to continue to work and delay receiving benefits, they could do so build up a larger benefit. Conversely, early retirement benefits are available, at a reduced level, as early as age 62.
We use a software program that can help determine which of the many social security claiming strategies available may be the best choice for you. In many cases people don’t realize that your social security can be taxable depending on how much income you have. We can help take that into consideration as well.
Employer-Sponsored Qualified Plans
Most employer-sponsored plans today are established as “defined contribution” plans whereby an employee contributes a percentage of his earnings into an account that will accumulate until retirement. As a qualified plan, the contributions are deductible from the employee’s current income. The amount of income received at retirement is based on the total amount of contributions, the returns earned, and the employee’s retirement time horizon. As in all qualified plans, withdrawals made prior to age 59 ½ may be subject to a penalty of 10% on top of ordinary taxes that are due.
Depending on the size and type of the organization, they may offer a 401(k) Plan, a Simplified Employee Pension Plan or, in the case of a non-profit organization, a 403(b) plan.
Traditional and Roth IRAs
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) are tax qualified retirement plans that were established as way for individuals to save for retirement with the benefit of tax favored treatment. The traditional IRA allows for contributions to be made on a tax deductible basis and to accumulate without current taxation of earnings inside the account. Distributions from a traditional IRA are taxable. A Roth IRA is different in that the contributions are not tax deductible, however, the earnings growth is not currently taxable. To qualify for tax-free and penalty-free withdrawals of earnings, a Roth IRA must be in place for at least five tax years, and the distribution must take plance after age 59 ½ or due to death, disability, or a first-time home purchase (up to a $10,000 lifetime maximum). Depending on state law, Roth IRA distributions may be subject to state taxes..
Distributions from traditional IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken prior to reaching 59 ½ , may be subject to an additional 10% federal tax penalty.
For more information on retirement income needs and income sources, please contact us today.
Human Resources Management
Human Resources. As your business grows, so will the number of employees you have to keep track of. In most cases, your people are your biggest asset and at the heart of what your company does. But it is also a lot of administrative work. Work that is not in your area of expertise, and time spent on tasks that are not revenue-producing for your company. Frankly, it can be a headache at best, and a nightmare at worst.
Heritage Companies has years of experience in managing the administrative and compliance issues related to the employee benefits side of human resources. So it only makes sense that we would grow into and develop expertise and relationships to assist you in that aspect of your business. It is a natural progression.
We offer a full menu of HR management services to all our clients for no additional charge. The Gen4 Employee Portal we use to help your employees input and access all the information needed to enroll and administer their health benefits, also manages an even broader array of HR administration documents and data. Our HR management services include:
- Onboarding for new hires
- Vacation and time-off tracking and approval
- Company calendars and holiday schedules
- Document repositories for important documents such as company policy manuals, summary plan descriptions for benefit programs, state and federal workplace compliance notices
- Automated HR notification and messaging system
- Full online access to HR360, a dedicated human resources company with resources to address every possible HR conundrum and question, including thousands of articles, documents, forms, letters and templates.
- Direct access to a live HR consultant for any questions you may encounter.
Company Compliance Services
When it comes to new hires, terminations, insurance regulations, retirement plan restrictions and other human resource issues, it’s what you don’t know that can hurt your business. Most business owners wade through and do what they have to to stay in compliance, but it can be drudgery. Because it’s not your passion or your specialty, you run the risk of missing important requirements that can cost you. Heritage Companies takes pride in saving businesses time and money by bearing the burden of helping your business stay in compliance.
- Affordable Care Act Compliance — We know every detail of the ACA. In fact, attorneys and legislators routinely call our ACA experts when they are dealing complex questions about the operation of the ACA. We ensure you have the latest and best information on how the law affects you.
- COBRA Compliance — When an employee terminates, you have certain responsibilities to them under COBRA, including notice provisions. We provide seamless and headache-free service including employee notification and necessary forms.
- Eligibility Tracking — New employee benefit eligibility … wage reporting deadlines … last-chance sign ups … we keep track of important dates and pass them along so your paperwork is completed on time.
- HR Portal — Our Gen4 employee portal is an online repository of forms and tools. It keeps your administrative records together and organized for easy reference. It also provides your employees with automated self-service access to the information they want and need in real time.
- Seminars — For more complex subjects, such as COBRA eligibility or federal healthcare subsidies, our webinars provide convenient access to in-depth information.