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SECURE 2.0 Act Enhancements Across the Retirement Continuum
It’s not the most imaginatively named legislation, but the SECURE 2.0 Act expands the 2019 SECURE Act to make it easier to have a successful retirement. The legislation tackled retirement savings at several points on the financial journey, with a provision to enhance or facilitate saving and investing for almost everyone.
Whether you have student loans, need to catch up in the final years before retirement, are facing taking required minimum distributions in retirement, or want to enact a charitable giving strategy, new rules create a smoother path.
Combining all the different facets into one piece of comprehensive retirement legislation is an efficient way to enact changes, but it’s also a good reminder that retirement is never a “one-and-done.”
It is a continuum in which you spend the decades of your working years accumulating retirement savings, and then you flip to decumulation as soon as you retire. The two mindsets – of saving and spending – are very different. But the planning you do at each stage of the journey impacts the stages to come.
Just like taxes, retirement requires a multi-year financial planning strategy to keep you on track. Our quick read breaks down the major changes and will hopefully get you thinking about both your current stage and what you can do to maximize your retirement assets for the stages to come.
The Early Stages: Automatic Enrollment, Emergency Savings, and Student Loan Matching
Automatic enrollment in a retirement plan can mean building up invested savings from the earliest years of a career, which provides the longest amount of time to benefit from the power of compounding. Beginning in 2025, new employer-sponsored plans will be required to automatically enroll eligible employees, with a contribution rate of at least 3%. This is coupled with new rules around portability. These often lower-balance accounts will also be allowed to be automatically transferred to a new plan in the event of a job change.
The 10% penalty on withdrawals from tax-deferred retirement plans often puts saving for retirement in opposition to building up an emergency fund. Not anymore. Starting in 2024, plans are allowed to add designated Roth accounts for emergency savings for non-highly compensated employees. Contributions are limited to a maximum of $2,500. The first four withdrawals in a year from the account will be penalty-free.
Student loan payments can be one of the bigger bites out of the paycheck in earlier career stages. Trying to pay off debt and contribute to retirement accounts is often out of reach. The new law mitigates this by allowing an employer to match student loan debt payoff amounts, so retirement savings can still accrue.
Late Career Catch-Up Contributions Are Increasing
The catch-up contribution for those 50 and above is one of the best ways to increase your retirement savings in the later years of your career. For 2023, the catch-up amount is increasing to $7,500. Beginning in 2025, the catch-up for workers aged 60, 61, 62, or 63 will be even larger. These employees are allowed to contribute the greater of $10,000 or 150% percent of that year’s inflation-indexed catch-up amount.
However, the tax treatment of catch-up contributions is changing. if prior-year earnings are more than $145,000, the age 50+ catch-up contributions must be made with after-tax dollars to a Roth account.
The Decumulation Phase Gets More Flexible
Tax-deferred contributions to retirement accounts lower taxable income in the years when you make them, but the IRS eventually comes looking for their cut. The age to begin required minimum distributions (RMDs) is moving from 72 to 73 in 2023, providing an extra year for retirees that want to take advantage of lower asset values by converting some other of their savings in tax-deferred accounts to a Roth IRA. The amounts converted will lower the value of the account, which will reduce the amount of the RMD.
Beginning in 2033, the age for RMDs will move to 75. This expanded window can provide for significant tax-planning strategies, including the timing of asset sales and more time to convert additional funds to a Roth for income and tax planning.
The Bottom Line
Starting early and taking advantage of the tax benefits – and the power of compounding – are the key features of the years in which you are saving for retirement. The goal is to retire successfully and have enough to live the life you want. But saving is just one piece of the puzzle. Thinking strategically about retirement at every stage can keep your plans on track.
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The information contained herein is intended to be used for educational purposes only and is not exhaustive. Diversification and/or any strategy that may be discussed does not guarantee against investment losses but are intended to help manage risk and return. If applicable, historical discussions and/or opinions are not predictive of future events. The content is presented in good faith and has been drawn from sources believed to be reliable. The content is not intended to be legal, tax or financial advice. Please consult a legal, tax or financial professional for information specific to your individual situation.
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The information in this document is provided “AS IS” and without warranties of any kind either express or implied. To the fullest extent permissible pursuant to applicable laws, University Financial Strategies, LLC.(referred to as “University Financial Strategies”) disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability, non-infringement and suitability for a particular purpose. University Financial Strategies, LLC.does not warrant that the information will be free from error. None of the information provided in this document is intended as investment, tax, accounting or legal advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as an endorsement of any company, security, fund, or other securities or non-securities offering. The information should not be relied upon for purposes of transacting securities or other investments. Your use of the information is at your sole risk. Under no circumstances shall University Financial Strategies, LLC.be liable for any direct, indirect, special or consequential damages that result from the use of, or the inability to use, the materials in this document, even if University Financial Strategies, LLC.or a University Financial Strategies, LLC.authorized representative has been advised of the possibility of such damages. In no event shall University Financial Strategies, LLC.have any liability to you for damages, losses and causes of action for accessing this document. Information in this document should not be considered a solicitation to buy, an offer to sell, or a recommendation of any security in any jurisdiction where such offer, solicitation, or recommendation would be unlawful or unauthorized Opinions and estimates offered constitute our judgment and are subject to change without notice, as are statements of financial market trends, which are based on current market conditions. We believe the information provided here is reliable, but do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. The views and strategies described may not be suitable for all investors. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, accounting, legal or tax advice. References to future returns are not promises or even estimates of actual returns a client portfolio may achieve. Any forecasts contained herein are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be relied upon as advice or interpreted as a recommendation. University Financial Strategies, LLC (“UFS”) is a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the State of North Carolina and in other jurisdictions where exempted. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. The presence of this website on the Internet shall not be directly or indirectly interpreted as a solicitation of investment advisory services to persons of another jurisdiction unless otherwise permitted by statute. Follow-up or individualized responses to consumers in a particular state by UFS in the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation shall not be made without our first complying with jurisdiction requirements or pursuant an applicable state exemption.All written content on this site is for information purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of UFS, unless otherwise specifically cited.Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and no representations are made by our firm as to another parties’ informational accuracy or completeness.All information or ideas provided should be discussed in detail with an advisor, accountantor legal counsel prior to implementation.
Planning for the Five Big Tax Challenges in Retirement
Creating a retirement paycheck that generates the income you need while keeping you in the lowest possible tax bracket isn’t as easy as it seems. All the planning you did while working – like saving retirement funds in tax-deferred accounts and diversifying by purchasing a second home, can turn into tax bombs as you move through retirement.
The consequences of higher income aren’t limited to a bigger tax bill – they can also include expensive Medicare surcharges.
What’s the solution?
Do You Need a Budget in Retirement?
You saved diligently, invested carefully, and now you have a sizeable nest egg that can most likely replace 80% of your pre-retirement income. Why should you go through the tiresome process of creating a budget?
The College Payment Puzzle for High-Earning Families
Those four years when your child is in college can be a rollercoaster ride, but the scariest part for high-earning parents can be figuring out how to pay for it. It can be tempting to put your own goals on hold while you shoulder the big-but-temporary new burden. In this blog we discuss strategies for paying for college and having a plan to pay for 4 years of college down to the penny.
At University Financial Strategies our mission is to help families think beyond just saving for college, but helping leverage strategies that leverage your unique situation to help you save on college costs. We take into consideration topics like specialized college-planning strategies for business owners, planning for financial aid, school-specific scholarships, coordinating college planning with grandparents, cash-flow strategies and options for covering shortfalls, to name just a few.
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The information on this site is provided “AS IS” and without warranties of any kind either express or implied. To the fullest extent permissible pursuant to applicable laws, University Financial Strategies, LLC.(referred to as "University Financial Strategies") disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability, non-infringement and suitability for a particular purpose. University Financial Strategies, LLC.does not warrant that the information will be free from error. None of the information provided on this website is intended as investment, tax, accounting or legal advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as an endorsement of any company, security, fund, or other securities or non-securities offering. The information should not be relied upon for purposes of transacting securities or other investments.
Your use of the information is at your sole risk. Under no circumstances shall University Financial Strategies, LLC.be liable for any direct, indirect, special or consequential damages that result from the use of, or the inability to use, the materials in this site, even if University Financial Strategies, LLC.or a University Financial Strategies, LLC.authorized representative has been advised of the possibility of such damages. In no event shall University Financial Strategies, LLC.have any liability to you for damages, losses and causes of action for accessing this site. Information on this website should not be considered a solicitation to buy, an offer to sell, or a recommendation of any security in any jurisdiction where such offer, solicitation, or recommendation would be unlawful or unauthorized.