The Future of Retirement in America

Most retirement savers assume they will be able to access Social Security and Medicare in retirement, but what if those options become unavailable?

Join our webinar on July 29th at 10 am PST for an important discussion on the future of retirement in America and how you can prepare for potential changes to the retirement landscape. BFSG Wealth Manager Andrew Donahue, CFP®, MHA will be hosting the event, and Andrew will be joined by Ted McCann, Vice President of the American Idea Foundation and a former Senior Advisor to former House Speaker Paul Ryan.


NAPA released the list of its Top DC Advisor Teams with Benefit Financial Services Group and many other individual office teams among the nation’s leading retirement plan advisor firms. Congrats BFSG for making the list for the 2nd year in a row!

Click here to read the press release and here for NAPA’s list.

Disclaimer: Awards and recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, companies, and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if the Firm is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services; nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement of the Firm or its representatives by any of its clients. Rankings published by magazines and others are generally based exclusively on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized adviser. The Firm did not pay a fee for inclusion on this list.

2020 Year-End Planning Checklist

We are now a few weeks from officially being in fall. This is the time of year to begin tax planning for your 2020 taxes. The mistake most people make is they do not plan for taxes until after the new year and by then there is little to no planning that can be done. Below is a helpful checklist with important deadlines to be aware of to help you with year-end tax planning:

October 1st

Establish a SIMPLE IRA for 2020 – Although not as common anymore if you are a business owner establishing a new SIMPLE IRA it must be done by October 1st.

October 15th

Establish and fund a SEP-IRA for 2019 – If you are a business owner who filed an extension for your business the deadline to establish or fund a SEP-IRA for 2019 is October 15th.

Withdraw or Recharacterize 2019 IRA Contributions Without Penalty – Any excessive contributions to an IRA or Roth IRA can be reversed by October 15th. After this deadline excess contributions have a 6% penalty charged against them. Keep in mind this deadline does not apply to Roth Conversions since they are no longer eligible for recharacterization.

Make 2019 Employer Contributions to a SIMPLE IRA – If you are a business owner who filed an extension for your business the deadline to fund the SIMPLE IRA for 2019 is October 15th.

October 31st

Provide Trust Beneficiary Documentation to Custodian or Administrator – If an IRA, Roth IRA, or employer-sponsored plan owner died in 2019 and has a trust named as the beneficiary then the deadline to get this paperwork to the custodian or administrator is October 31st.

December 30th

Utilize Coronavirus Related Distributions – The CARES Act allows for distributions up to $100,000 from IRAs or employer-sponsored plans (i.e. 401(k) or 403(b)). These distributions waive the 10% early distribution penalty and the tax implications can be spread over three years and the deadline for them is December 30th.

December 31st

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are waived for 2020 – Another part of the CARES Act was that RMDs were waived for 2020. So this deadline nothing needs to be done but it does create some interesting planning opportunities so talk with us today.

Make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) – The deadline to make up to $100,000 charitable contribution from your tax-deferred account is December 31st. If you are charitably inclined you will want to speak with us or and initiate these by December 15th to ensure they are completed by year-end.

Roth Conversions for 2020 – With RMDs not being required for 2020, Roth conversions are an attractive option for many this year. Consult with us and your tax adviser before completing a conversion and they must be done by December 31st.

Complete Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA) Transactions – NUA is when you convert employer stock in your 401k or retirement plan with your employer into a taxable account. There are potentially huge tax savings for individuals using this strategy. The transaction must be done by December 31st but should be started by November 1st to ensure plenty of time to complete the transaction by year-end. Please talk with us or your tax advisor to learn more.

Max out HSA Contributions – For 2020 the maximum amount you can contribute for self-only is $3,550 or $7,100 for families. There is an additional $1,000 catch up contribution allowed for individuals that are 55 or older.

Max Out Employer-Sponsored Plan – For 2020 if you want to maximize contributions to your employer retirement plans the maximum contribution is $19,500 for those under the age of 50. For individuals that are 50 or older can contribute up to $26,000 for 2020

Personal Gifts of $15,000 – You can gift up to $15,000 per individual annually to loved ones without tax implications.

Best Careers and Jobs for Seniors

The old view that retirement was just sitting on your porch or watching t.v. has passed. The reality is retirement allows you to do what you want to do. For many, this comes in the form of a second career pursuing a passion like one of our clients that started to sell quilts and knitted goods and makes a tidy profit. For others, it means still working, but in a field or job that brings them personal fulfillment like working for a non-profit or government agency to help others. Let’s take a look at some of the best companies and second careers to consider:

Great Resources:

1. AARP Job Search Resources For Those 50+

2. Steady – Great resource for finding gig and part-time work

Good Part-Time Jobs:

1. Consultant – Do you have specific knowledge in a niche that others can benefit from? You may be able to leverage your experience, contacts, and knowledge into a fulfilling side business.

2. Tutor – Now more than ever tutors are in high demand as education has shifted to a virtual model and some believe this shift will become permanent. If you have knowledge in a topic, like to teach and are a little tech-savvy this can be a great option.

3. Tax Preparer or Bookkeeper – These are positions that are still in high demand and can be done virtually. If you have a background in these areas they are great options to consider (i.e., we have seen a former project manager become a bookkeeper since they have a similar skillset).

4. Independent Contractor – This is more difficult in some states like CA due to legislation but can still be very rewarding. If you have a skillset form your previous occupation or side skills (i.e. handyman) sell your services to others.

5. In a post COVID world – Alternatives that require contact with others include child or pet sitting, become a host (i.e., Airbnb), virtual assistant, or personal shopper.

Keep in Mind:

1. Be careful with some Gig jobs since the pay could be at or slightly above minimum wage.

2. It takes time to build a business if you start one. It is not a bad idea to start building the business before retirement if you can, so it is profitable when you retire

3. Traditionally government agencies, hospitals, tax preparers, and education have been favorite places for older individuals to work.

Important Tax Deadlines Fast Approaching

With everything that happened earlier this year the IRS delayed normal deadlines for filing and paying taxes from April 15th to July 15th.  This delay was part of Notice 2020-18 and below are items that need be done by next Wednesday, July 15th. 

1. File taxes for 2019 – You can file an extension if needed.

2. Pay taxes for 2019 – If you file an extension be aware your payment is still due if you owe.

3. Make HSA contributions for 2019 (limit of $3,500 for individuals and $7,000 for families).

4. Make Traditional and Roth IRA contributions for 2019 ($6,000 + $1,000 catch up if over 50 and subject to income limitations).

If you have any questions please talk with your tax advisor or contact us at financialplanning@bfsg.com.