3 Things 5-30
05/30/2022 Although MAS is a financial services company, not everything published herein will be about numbers or investing. But no matter the topic, we hope for three things: 1) That you find the time you spend engaged worthwhile. 2) That you’ll reach out to us for help in any of our areas of expertise if something we discuss creates an urging in you to do so. 3) That you’ll share this with somebody new each time you read it. Thing One Some Gave All, All Gave Some Happy Memorial Day! And if you’re really knowledgeable about the origins of today’s holiday, Happy Decoration Day! Admittedly, I wasn’t among the most knowledgeable on the topic but I got curious (and felt grateful) enough to do a little searching. I thought I’d share with you some of what I found in the form of an excerpt from an article on study.com. I hope you enjoy and share either this newsletter or your knowledge on this subject with somebody, whether it’s new to you or not. “…Memorial Day dates back to pre-Civil War times, but it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when because historical records are scarce for pre-Civil War grave decoration. On June 3rd, 1861, the first Civil War grave of a soldier was decorated with flowers in Warrenton, Virginia. But Memorial Day was first known by a different name - Decoration Day - when the practice of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers started in graveyards at certain times of year. On Decoration Day, people got together to decorate the graves of dead soldiers with flowers or wreaths. In both the North and South of the United States, Decoration Day was observed on different days in different states. In some places in the South, local graveyards still celebrate this older day in addition to the modern Memorial Day. During the Civil War, nearly 850,000 lives were lost. Decoration Day served the purpose of uniting both sides and healing the bitter wounds. Both the North and the South began to put into practice more formal, broadly accepted Memorial Day to honor soldiers who had fallen in battle. In the North, May 30, 1868, the first official Decoration Day was celebrated. The term Memorial Day was first used in May 1882. However, the name change to Memorial Day was not widespread until after World War II. In 1968, Congress decided to pass a law, The Uniform Monday Holiday Act moving four federal holidays to a particular Monday in May, in order to have three-day weekends that were more convenient. This meant Memorial Day became the last Monday in every May instead of the traditional date of May 30th. Memorial Day continues to be a holiday of special importance to those who have served in the American military, and family members (Gold Star Families) who grieve for their lost loved ones. Once a year, this holiday allows them to honor not only all those who have died fighting wars in the name of their country, but also those who served and survived war. This is why the quote ''All Gave Some, Some Gave All'' is frequently used in relation to the holiday…”
Thing Two To Rollover Or Not To Rollover, That Is The Question I’ve often been asked by people contemplating retirement what is the best thing to do with their 401(k) plan after they retire. Should they keep it with their old employer or should they roll it into an IRA? I am typically biased toward the rollover option in my advice but I recently came across an article in the Wall Street Journal called, “Five Reasons Retirees Should Stay In Their 401(k ) Plans” that I thought was worth sharing. The five reasons are listed below: “1. Unique investments: There are a number of investments that are simply not available in an IRA and that might cost considerably less inside 401(k) plans. Stable-value funds, for instance, are available in most large 401(k) plans, but aren’t available at all in an IRA. These funds have historically had short duration bond-like returns with cash-like risks. Additionally, given the large size of 401(k) plans (many exceed $1 billion in total plan assets) they often have access to more alternative-investment strategies, at lower costs, than might be available in an IRA (such as private real estate). 2. Low costs: Larger 401(k) plans are usually competitively priced, with all-in fees that average 0.5%, or less. The expenses for an IRA, meanwhile, can vary significantly—from virtually free to annual asset-based of over 2% a year, depending on the investments and services being offered. While smaller plans tend to have higher expenses, it’s important to have a decent understanding of the fees associated with your plan before making a decision, because they may be lower (or higher) than you think. 3. Access to advice: 401(k) plans are increasingly offering different ways for participants to receive guidance or advice, both at low and no cost to participants. This could include access to a personal one-on-one meeting as well as various online (robo) tools. These services also are available with IRAs, but can cost more because 401(k) plans are able to offer them at a much greater scale. 4. Fiduciary presence: 401(k)s in particular require a fiduciary be present to manage the plan. Fiduciaries are individuals or organizations that have to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own. While many financial advisers who manage IRAs act as fiduciaries, many don’t. 5. Guaranteed-income solutions: Relatively few 401(k) plans offer guaranteed-income solutions (i.e., annuities). But I expect this to change in the near future given product innovation in the space as well as increased regulatory focus on making these solutions more attractive to employers. Guaranteed income solutions available in 401(k) plans are likely to be competitively priced and attractive compared to many of the products that exist in the retail space ( IRAs).” Of the five listed, numbers 2, 3, and 4 warrant the most extra consideration. On post-retirement costs, there are certainly “virtually free” IRA options so you should definitely avoid those charging significant fees. As it relates to access to advice, if your current 401(k) comes with a free, live advisor (which most don’t) you should definitely consider staying put. And as far as a fiduciary presence is concerned, in a 401(k) plan that presence is mostly related to the generic “suitableness” of the investment options available and the “safeguarding of the assets” with a compliant custodian rather than with individualized fiduciary advice (since most don’t offer that for free). The bottom line is the money is yours either way. You can stay put if there are enough good reasons to do so or you can take your money and move on. But if you do choose to do a rollover and are unsure of how to navigate all of that, you should seek out the advice of a fiduciary like us.
Thing Three Just A Thought “We don't know them all, but we owe them all." - Unknown