401(k) plans get a boost, but beware of August: Retirement Scan

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401(k) plans get a July boost, but beware of August
Investors saw a boost in their retirement portfolio in July, as the Dow finished at a record high after posting an increase of close to 550 points, or 2.6%, according to this article on USA Today. However, clients should be wary about their prospects in August, which is a tough month for domestic stocks based on historical data. "[U]nfortunately for investors we are about to enter the worst two-month period of the year for stocks," says an expert with Bespoke Investment Group.
5 Roth IRA rules you probably don't know
Investors who contribute to a Roth IRA will face penalty taxes for contributions that exceed the annual limit of $5,500 (or $6,500 if they are 50 or older), according to this article on Motley Fool. High-income investors who don't qualify to contribute directly to a Roth IRA may opt for the backdoor option, which is to contribute to a traditional IRA and convert the assets into a Roth. A Roth conversion will trigger a tax bill, and the tax liability may be bigger if they own other traditional IRAs. Getting help a financial advisor is recommended before making a Roth conversion to minimize the tax bite.

States to pick up slack on retirement savings as feds back out
As the federal government decided to close the MyRA program, more states are offering a state-run retirement plan for workers who have no access to an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan, according to this article on CNBC. Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, only 14% of U.S. companies offer a 401(k) plan to their employees, making workplace retirement plan inaccessible to a majority of American workers. "That's the group we're trying to help," says an expert with the Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Board.

34% of entrepreneurs have no retirement savings plan
A survey by small business site Manta has found that 34% of small business owners have not set up a retirement savings plan, according to this article on Forbes. Thirty-seven percent of entrepreneurs who have no retirement plans are not even earning enough to have extra money stashed away for the golden years, the survey found. “I find that small business owners, especially successful ones, are typically very driven and optimistic people,” says a financial advisor. “Oftentimes, they put blinders on to focus on their vision and may not have savings, succession or insurance plans in place along the way.”

What the fate of Obamacare means for people who hope to retire early
Clients who want an early retirement can plan for their healthcare needs ahead as the Affordable Care Act remains intact, according to this article on MarketWatch. The ACA is beneficial to early retirees who live on a small income, as the law imposes reasonable out-of-pocket limits. One strategy to keep health insurance premiums low is to reduce taxable income while keeping the needed cash flow to cover living expenses. Tax-loss harvesting may not be a good strategy, as it could add to taxable income and eventually health insurance premium.

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Retirement planning Obamacare IRAs 401(k)