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Retirement Readiness

How to Avoid an Early Retirement Penalty

Every now and again, SYM Financial advisors and planners run into clients who retire early. There are many good reasons why someone might “retire early” in the eyes of the IRS, which is any time before reaching the age of 59½. Some are ready to separate from their jobs sooner than they had anticipated. Others may be impacted by layoffs, workforce reduction, or health problems that make it difficult to continue working. No matter how

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What Does Inflation Mean for Your Retirement

Imagine that you’re retired, living on a fixed income, and your energy bill has just gone up by 11 percent. On top of that, your gas tank now costs 50 percent more to fill up, and groceries cost 5 percent more than usual. That might sound crazy, but this is exactly what’s happened over the past year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the consumer price index (CPI) for all items has risen

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Do Not Fear the Bubble

Does the massive run-up in stocks have you concerned? It’s OK to nod your head. The fact is that many people are worried as we head into the 2021 holiday season. The MSCI ACWI index, which measures the global equity market, has almost doubled since March 2020 (Exhibit 1). This has some investors (and TV pundits) exclaiming that the stocks are officially in a bubble. Fear-mongers often look at trailing returns in isolation — then

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Retirement Tax Strategies for Women

Saving for retirement is challenging no matter who you talk to. So why have a separate set of retirement tax strategies for women? It is true that both men and women are subject to the same IRS rules. They have similar resources and savings tools at their disposal. However, different life circumstances can make saving for retirement different for women. Our SYM Financial Women’s Initiative leader, Michelle Hipskind, puts it best. “Women have a tough

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The Role of Pensions in Planning for a Retirement

Financial security in retirement is an important target for most working-age adults. There are many ways to reach that goal. An employer-sponsored retirement plan often comes in the form of a defined contribution plan, where employees contribute pre-tax or Roth dollars from their paycheck to a retirement account and select the investment optionsto help grow the balance. Many employers offer to match a certain level of contributions to encourage participation in the plan (and to

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Retirement Plan Fees: I’m paying how much to who for what?

In 2007 and 2011, AARP conducted surveys in an effort to understand just how much 401(k) participants knew about the fees associated with their retirement plans. The results were alarming and showed a wide discrepancy between savers’ expectations and the reality of their 401(k) plan costs. Do 401(k) retirement plans charge fees? The first survey found that 71% of participants believed they didn’t pay any 401(k) fees at all.  Another 6% said they didn’t know

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