2016 Retirement Plan contribution Limits

2016 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

 Tame yearly inflation means very little change.


Provided by Claytom Shum


Over the past 12 months, consumer prices have increased very little. The latest Consumer Price Index (September) shows 0.0% yearly inflation and only 1.9% core yearly inflation. That means no cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security, and very few IRS adjustments to retirement plan contribution limits.1
Roth IRA & traditional IRA contribution limits stay the same for 2016. Those 49 and younger in 2016 can contribute up to $5,500 of earned income to their IRAs, while those 50 and older will be able to contribute $6,500.2
401(k), 403(b), 457 & TSP annual contribution limits are also unchanged. Savers will be able to defer up to $18,000 into these plans in 2016 with an additional catch-up contribution of up to $6,000 permitted for those 50 or older.3
SIMPLE IRAs? No COLA for those accounts either. The base contribution limit for a SIMPLE IRA stays at $12,500 next year, the catch-up contribution limit at $3,000.2

Will the election affect the markets?

Provided by Clayton Shum

Every four years, Americans take a few minutes out of their day to choose the next President of the United States. Voting is a simple, uncomplicated act—but the months preceding it are anything but. After all, before we vote, we first have to endure the dreaded “campaign season.” From endless televised debates to the plethora of signs on our neighbors’ lawns, “politics” becomes the order of the day.

If you’re like me, you’re probably starting to get tired of all the campaigning. You also know how important the political process is. Being an informed, engaged citizen is crucial to maintaining the stability of our Republic. That means asking some pretty tough questions, like: “Which candidate best represents my opinions and values?” “How will each candidate affect our standing overseas?” “What will each candidate do to ensure both our safety and our personal liberties?” Getting the answers can be both frustrating and time-consuming.

Fortunately, there’s one question you don’t have to ask.

“How will the election affect the markets?”

Reducing the Risk of Outliving Your Money

Reducing the Risk of Outliving Your Money

What steps might help you sustain and grow your retirement savings?

Provided by Clayton Shum

“What is your greatest retirement fear?” If you ask retirees that question, “outliving my money” may likely be one of the top answers.

Will You Avoid These Estate Planning Mistakes?

Will You Avoid These Estate Planning Mistakes?

Too many wealthy households commit these common blunders.


The IRS Changes to 529 Pans

The IRS Changes to 529 Plans

Learn about the two new tax perks for these college savings vehicles.


Provided by Clayton Shum


Do you have a 529 plan account? Then you will want to know about a pair of federal tax law changes which may benefit you and your student, one involving a February 16 deadline.

Why You Should Stay in Stocks in 2016

Why You Should Stay in Stocks in 2016? One bad trading day is not the year.
Provided by Eddy and Clayton Shum 

The stock market has wavered recently. A lackluster year just ended, and this year has started inauspiciously. You may be wondering ... should you really be invested in stocks right now?

Yes, you should be.

In moments like these, investors should not panic and overreact to the headlines. Instead, they should take the long view of stock market investing. Impulsive selling now can lead an investor to try and time the market later, and market timing usually leads investors to make mistakes.

Stock market investing is a long-run proposition. On a bad day, it may seem like the whole market is falling apart - but stock market performance is not measured only in days.

The End of File & Suspend for Married Couples

A great claiming strategy to try & optimize Social Security benefits disappears. 

Provided by Eddy and Clayton Shum

Congress just changed the Social Security benefit rules. On October 30, Capitol Hill lawmakers approved a two-year federal budget deal. As part of that agreement, they authorized the most significant change to Social Security policy seen in this century, disallowing two popular strategies people have used to try and maximize retirement benefits.1

The Annual Financial Check Up

The Annual Financial Check-Up

Don’t ignore it. Here’s why.


Presented by Clayton Shum


Here’s the scenario … you get a card in the mail, one of those little reminders that tells you it’s time for your annual financial checkup. Your reaction: I’ll take care of that later. Here’s why you should look forward to it.


Keeping All This Volatility in Perspective

Keeping All This Volatility in Perspective

These recent ups & downs are reminiscent of past Wall Street swings.


Provided by Eddy and Clayton Shum


Fall might be anything but calm on Wall Street. Volatility is back, in a big way: the CBOE VIX has risen more than 105% since the end of July. Additionally, 11 of the 15 trading days ending September 9 were “all or nothing” days in which more than 80% of the S&P 500 moved either higher or lower. In the last 25 years, the index has not had a 15-day period like this.1,2


Contrast that with the first 159 trading days of 2015, in which just 13 such days occurred according to Bespoke Investment Group research. In fact, during the first half of 2015 the Dow Jones Industrial Average was never more than 3.5% up or down YTD, on pace for the most placid year in its history.2 


Do Our Biases Affect Our Financial Choices?

Even the most seasoned investors are prone to their influence.

Provided by Eddy H. Shum, CFP®, MBA, CLU                                                                                                                             

Investors are routinely warned about allowing their emotions to influence their decisions.  They are less routinely cautioned about letting their preconceptions and biases color their financial choices.

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