Year: 2014

How Do You Ensure You Are Saving Enough for College?

Most families want to help their offspring pay for college to some extent, so saving for college is an important part of a family's financial plan.  As financial advisors, we are often asked by clients to guide them on their education planning for their young children.   Read More

529-ABLE Passed into Law – A New Benefit to be Available for Children with Disabilities

 Last week, the President signed into law the ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act.  Prior to the ABLE Act, those with disabilities weren't able to accumulate more than $2,000 without losing government assistance.  The new law increases the amount parents can save from $2,000 to $100,000.  Like an educational 529, the new ABLE 529 will be administered by each state allowing an account to be set up for those with a documented disability that… Read More

Cheap Oil — Good News for the Economy Right?

  The significant drop in oil prices of greater than 45% over the past 6 months can be viewed as good news and bad news. The good news is that lower energy prices (oil and gas) is a positive for both consumers and businesses, as it leaves more money in consumer's pockets to spend on other things, and it creates cost savings for businesses enabling them to invest more.  Read More

Market and Political Outlook

During our annual trip to the Schwab IMPACT conference in November, we had the benefit of hearing a number of excellent speakers including Ben Bernacke, former Fed Chairman; Liz Ann Sonders, Charles Schwab's Chief Investment Strategies; and Greg Valliere, Charles Schwab's Chief Political Strategist share their thoughts on the current market environment and expectations for global economies as we head into 2015. Liz and Greg also recently reiterated their thoughts going into 2015 on a… Read More

Estate Planning for Digital Assets

We believe that establishing an estate plan and executing updated estate documents (including wills, beneficiary designations powers of attorney, and healthcare directives) is of utmost importance. At AEPG Wealth Strategies, our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioners work with clients, heirs, and estate attorneys to discuss important estate planning issues and develop and implement estate plans. We were one of the first firms to address digital assets as part of our estate planning. Read More

10 Changes to 401(k) Plans Employers Should Consider

Industry trends within 401k plans continue to heavily focus on implementing plan improvements and providing guidance to help ensure participants are meeting their retirement savings goals.  Studies show many employees face significant financial burdens throughout their working lifetimes, from buying a home, saving for college, paying for healthcare, and preparing for retirement. Helping employees put their financial situation in order not only helps them save for retirement, but can also decrease stress and promote a… Read More

Are You Paying Too Much in Fees in Your 401(k) Plan? Most Likely!

This is an excellent article in the New York Times describing how the fee structure of  401k plans remains somewhat opaque at the expense of plan participants. Employees need to understand the fee structure in their plan and employers need to ensure that they have met their fiduciary responsibilities to the plan participants. Plan Sponsors should obtain an independent benchmarking analysis of their plan's total all in cost. This is best approach to avoid potential… Read More