Is Your Estate Plan Ready?

Is Your Estate Plan Ready?

There are four different ways to bequeath your heirs’ property. As no two families are the same, you should consider the following aspects in your estate plan when deciding which distribution strategy best suits your needs, values, and goals.

While reviewing your estate plan, deciding how to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries might be difficult. When deciding how to divide assets among heirs, it’s important to consider how and when each person can get their share. It is recommended that these terms be explicitly stated in your estate planning agreements.

Regarding estate planning, every scenario is unique, so something that works for one family might not work for another. There is no right or wrong way to divide an estate, but there are some things to consider to help you choose the strategy that best meets your needs, values, and goals.

Leaving assets unattended is the first strategy of an estate plan.

The easiest way to divide an estate is to give the assets to the heirs directly without limiting how they can use their inheritance. Even though this approach is typically the simplest, it could have some drawbacks. For example, estate heirs from wealthy families may be told not to work to support themselves but to rely on their inheritance since there are no rules about getting an inheritance. External risks like a divorced heir should be considered.

Even though some families might feel comfortable using this method, it is usually not recommended when giving a lot of money to younger family members or people who don’t know how to handle a lot of money.

Resource distribution progressively is the second tactic.

By slowly giving them assets, you can help your heirs manage their money without risking their entire inheritance. After placing their wealth in trust, families can decide how to share it. One example is to distribute a percentage of the trust to the beneficiary when they reach a certain age, such as 10% when they are 30, 20% when they are 35, and so on. Giving the recipient money when they complete a task, like reaching a specific academic milestone, is an additional option.

The third strategy is to leave assets in a discretionary lifetime trust.

Transferring property to a discretionary lifetime trust could be a better choice because the assets would stay in the trust as long as the beneficiaries lived. This tactic offers the highest level of protection against external threats such as divorce, legal action, and poor money management.

A family can leave a lasting legacy for future generations by putting assets in a lifetime trust. Beneficiaries must rely on the trustee’s judgment to decide on distributions, but the trustee may also be given specific instructions, such as to give money for a down payment on a house or to support a business venture.

The fourth strategy is combining distribution strategies.

A family may decide that the best thing to do is a combination of the above options, in which the heirs get some of their inheritance early and put the rest in trust for all time. This plan gives the beneficiaries of the trust unrestricted access to a certain amount of money so they can pursue their own goals and live their own lives without being totally dependent on the income from the trust.

If you have questions on this topic or others related to estate planning, please get in touch with the professionals at Quantum Strategies Wealth Advisory.


All content is for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide any tax or legal advice or provide the basis for any financial decisions.

Quantum Strategies, LLC does not offer tax planning or legal services but may provide references to tax services or legal providers. Quantum Strategies, LLC may also work with your attorney or independent tax or legal counsel. Please consult a qualified professional for assistance with these matters.

You should always consult with a qualified professional before making any tax or legal decisions.

Advisory services are offered through Quantum Strategies, LLC dba Quantum Strategies, a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Pennsylvania. Insurance products and services are offered through William Rizzo, Sole Proprietor.

How Could SECURE 2.0 Impact Retirement?

How Could SECURE 2.0 Impact Retirement?

Many business owners are eager to see how SECURE 2.0 will increase retirement security for millions of workers now that it has become official law.

In their studies, “Emerging From the COVID-19 Pandemic: Four Generations Prepare for Retirement” and “Emerging From the Pandemic: The Employer’s Perspective,” Transamerica Institute and TCRS created a list of eight ways the new law advances retirement security.

1. Introducing a government match for retirees who qualify based on their income.

51% of workers believe they don’t make enough money to put money away for retirement. A tax credit known as the “Saver’s Credit” is currently available to low- to moderate-income workers who invest in 401(k) plans or other retirement accounts (IRA). It hasn’t done as well as it could because people don’t understand it and because it can’t be returned. SECURE 2.0 reimagines and replaces the Saver’s Credit with the Saver’s Match, a matching contribution from the government for retirement savers who fulfill income qualifying standards, starting in 2027. The worker’s employer will match 50% of the first $2,000 they put into a retirement plan or IRA, up to a maximum of $1,000. According to the new regulation, the Saver’s Match must also be promoted.

2. Increasing the coverage of occupational retirement plans.

Only 46% of businesses with fewer than 100 employees have a 401(k) or comparable plan, compared to 89% of businesses with 100 to 499 employees (89%) and 92% of businesses with 500 or more employees (92%). Employers’ top excuses for not offering a plan and not likely to do so in the next two years are that their business needs to be bigger (79%) and cost-related concerns (31%). By making it simpler and more economical for small businesses to implement a qualifying retirement plan, whether a stand-alone 401k or comparable plan or by joining a multiple employer plan (MEP) or pooled employer plan, SECURE 2.0 begins addressing these challenges in 2023. (PEP).

3. Allowing part-time workers to participate in retirement plans.

Few firms make part-time workers eligible for retirement benefits, compared to how many do for full-time employees. Compared to 77% of full-time employees, only 51% of part-time employees receive an employer-sponsored 401(k) or comparable plan. SECURE 2.0 introduces stricter criteria for companies to provide long-term part-time employees retirement plan eligibility beginning in 2025.

4. Improving the convenience of saving in relation to automated enrollment and escalation.

Together, these plan elements raise employees’ contributions to their retirement savings and plan participation. 75% of employers use automatic escalation, but only 23% of plan sponsors use automated enrollment. Automatic enrollment and automatic escalation will be required of firms implementing new 401(k)k) plans to start in 2025 under SECURE 2.0.

5. Reducing the effects of monetary emergencies to cover the cost of an unforeseen big financial setback.

Workers have only saved $5,000 (median), while 14% have no emergency savings. Also, 26% of workers have taken money out of a retirement plan early or in a hard way, usually because of an emergency. In order to lessen the need for employees to withdraw funds from their retirement accounts, SECURE 2.0 will add an emergency savings account as a new plan feature for defined contribution retirement plans, such as 401k plans, starting in 2024. The 10% early distribution tax, which typically applies to persons under the age of 59 1/2, will not be applied to emergency withdrawals from retirement accounts under the new law.

6. Matching contributions for the repayment of school loans.

Younger generations are leaving college with student debt, which hinders their capacity to save for retirement at a time when they would be able to take advantage of investment growth and compounding over a long period of saving. Paying off student loans is listed as a current financial priority by more than one in five Generation Z employees (22%) and 17% of Millennial employees, who are between the ages of 18 and 24. Employers will be able to match employee-eligible student loan payments made to 401(k) or comparable plans starting in 2024, thanks to SECURE 2.0. Therefore, even if employees are struggling to pay off student loans and prepare for retirement, their company will still make a matching contribution to their retirement plan account.

7. Increasing Catch-Up Contributions.

Many workers don’t save enough for retirement, and as they age, they will need to significantly increase their savings before retiring. For instance, Baby Boomer employees have saved $162,000 in household retirement accounts, compared to just $87,000 for Generation X employees (estimated medians). SECURE 2.0 permits employees 50 and older to raise catch-up contributions to an IRA or retirement plan account starting in 2024, enabling them to save more as they approach closer to retirement. The new law includes provisions that mandate that higher-income workers make catch-up contributions on a Roth or after-tax basis. Starting in 2025, SECURE 2.0 permits employees ages 60 to 63 to make catch-up payments, allowing them to save even more.

8. Recognizing longevity and establishing necessary minimum distributions (RMDs).

People today anticipate working past the usual retirement age because they believe that people will live longer than they ever have. Nearly 40% of workers (39%) either do not plan to retire or expect to retire at age 70 or beyond. According to 38% of workers, one of the biggest retirement worries is outliving their investments and savings.As of now, the IRS usually requires that people take the RMD from their retirement funds every year at age 72. 50% excise tax on the amount of the RMD.If you don’t follow the rules, you will have to pay a harsh penalty of a 50% excise tax on the amount of the RMD. SECURE 2.0 gives workers extra time to develop their savings by raising the RMD age from 72 to 73 in 2023 and up to 75 in 2033. The new law now cuts the excise tax for failing to take an RMD to 25%, and if the RMD is promptly repaired, the fee is further decreased to 10%.

If you have questions regarding SECURE 2.0, we would be happy to help answer them. Contact us today.

Advisory services are offered through Quantum Strategies, LLC dba Quantum Strategies, a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Pennsylvania. Insurance products and services are offered through William Rizzo, Sole Proprietor.


3 Financial Resolutions For The New Year

3 Financial Resolutions For The New Year

In this article, we will take a closer look at three financial resolutions you should consider making for 2023.

Even when your financial health is something you feel satisfied with, as the new year approaches, it is important to review your finances to ensure that everything remains on track. After retirement, your want to make sure you have enough money to live the life you want, so make it a habit to look at your financial plan at least annually.

1. Financial Resolutions to Prepare for the Unexpected

When it comes to managing your finances effectively, you don’t only need to cover the expected expenses you have throughout the year. Unexpected things happen and can cause a significant setback if you are not fully prepared.

This is why you should consider preparing for the unexpected as one of the financial resolutions you make for 2023. Many professionals suggest opening a savings account and putting money into this account to ensure you have money set aside should you need it. It’s easy to open a savings account, and at this time, you should decide how much money you will put into the account every month.

2. Improve Your Portfolio

Your financial portfolio is something you are proud of, as you have spent years building it to the point it is now. As you are making your New Year Financial Resolutions, consider how you can improve your portfolio.

It’s a good idea to look at your savings and any existing investments that are part of your portfolio. If you have excess funds available, consider strengthening your portfolio by investing the excess funds.

If you notice that some of your investments are not performing as well as you expect them to, consider moving the funds to a different investment opportunity. Our wealth advisory services can help you along the way.

3. Manage Debt You Have

Studies show that Americans 65 years old have an average amount of $66,000 in debt that they still need to pay off. Thus, you likely still have some debt you need to pay off.

As you make your financial resolutions, consider any debt you have in your name. Now is a good time to consider how to manage the debt and pay it off faster. When you pay off your debt faster, you’ll usually have less interest and other fees that continue to accumulate on the account.

Take a look at your budget and consider whether there are any areas where you can save some extra cash. Perhaps you are spending too much on eating out or vacations. Cut back and use the funds to pay your debt.

Financial resolutions are important for everyone, regardless of their finances, age, and position they find themselves in. By making these resolutions, you can set goals for yourself, which can help to keep your motivation levels up. Start with the three financial resolutions discussed above as a foundation for the coming year. If you’d like help accomplishing your financial resolutions for 2023, please get in touch with the professionals at Quantum Strategies Wealth Advisory.

Advisory services are offered through Quantum Strategies, LLC dba Quantum Strategies, a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Pennsylvania. Insurance products and services are offered through William Rizzo, Sole Proprietor.

2023 Inflation Adjustments for Qualified Retirement Plans and Accounts

Inflation adjustments for Qualified Retirement Plans.

No matter where you’re located in the country or your circumstances, the financial landscape continues to shift. Getting the most out of your savings plan is critical for those planning or nearing retirement. To help boost savings for retirement, the IRS recently announced inflation adjustments for qualified retirement plans and accounts.

Inflation Adjustments for Qualified Retirement Plans and Accounts for 2023

On Friday, October 21, 2022, the IRS announced the 2023 dollar-amount thresholds and ceilings as adjusted for inflation. This plan will be applied to a wide array of retirement accounts and plans, including Roth IRAs, individual retirement arrangements, and elective deferral plans under Sec. 401(k) and Sec. 403(b) and most plans under Sec. 457.

Some of the specifics of this announcement are as follows*:

  • $22,500 is the limit set as the amount individuals can contribute to Sec. 401(k) plans in 2023, which is an increase from $20,500 for 2022 – it is applied to most Sec. 457 plans, Sec. 403(b), and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan.
  • The IRA annual contributions were increased to $6,500, up from $6,000. Also, the limit for catch-up contributions for IRAs for those 50 and over will not be subjected to an annual cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment and is still $1,000.
  • The catch-up contribution limit for employees 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans, and the federal Thrift is $7,500, up from $6,500.
  • The SIMPLE retirement accounts threshold increased to $15,500, up from $14,000. In addition, catch-up contribution limits for those 50 and over using SIMPLE plans increased to $3,500 from $3,000.
  • The income limit for saver’s credit for low- and moderate-income workers is $73,000 for married couples filing joint returns, up from $68,000; heads of households is up to $54,750, from $51,000; and singles and married people filing separately is up to $36,500 from $34,000.

Overall, the IRS has implemented these new changes to help those at or near retirement age. If you have questions regarding any of these changes, we would be happy to help answer them. Contact us today.

Advisory services are offered through Quantum Strategies, LLC dba Quantum Strategies, a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Pennsylvania. Insurance products and services are offered through William Rizzo, Sole Proprietor.

*Source: Journal of Accountancy

3 Retirement Mistakes to Avoid

Retirement mistakes concerned couple.

Too often, people make retirement mistakes that may condemn their golden years to financial insecurity and anxiety. However, by being aware of common pitfalls, you can avoid them and set yourself up for a bright future. Here are three retirement mistakes to avoid.

1. Not Having a Plan at All

While it may be tempting just to let retirement happen, this can be a dangerous approach. Without a retirement plan, you’re just winging it and hoping for the best. This is not a sound strategy.

You need to know the adequate amount of retirement money, where that money will come from, and how you’ll make it last. Retirement planning can help you figure all of that out.

2. Relying Too Heavily on Social Security

Social security was never meant to be a retiree’s sole source of income. It was initially designed as a safety net to supplement other sources of retirement income.

However, an estimated 40 percent of Americans rely on social security as their only source of income in retirement. This can be an issue. The amount you receive from social security is relatively modest and may not be enough to cover all of your costs.

3. Life Insurance Retirement Mistakes

Many people make the mistake of cashing in their life insurance policies when they retire. However, this is usually not a good idea.

Life insurance can be an important source of retirement income, so it’s usually best to keep the policy in place and use it as needed. However, there are other ways to get money if you need it, such as taking out a loan against your policy’s cash value.

Avoid Retirement Mistakes to Enjoy Your Golden Years!

Retirement can be a wonderful time of life, but only if you’re prepared for it. If you can avoid common retirement mistakes, you’ll be on your way to a bright future.

Would you like to learn more about retirement planning? Contact us today. We offer a variety of resources to help you plan for retirement and make the most of your golden years.


Advisory services are offered through Quantum Strategies, LLC dba Quantum Strategies, a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Pennsylvania. Insurance products and services are offered through William Rizzo, Sole Proprietor.