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What are the new rules for 401(k) hardship withdrawals?

The Bipartisan Budget Act passed in early 2018 relaxed some of the rules governing hardship withdrawals from 401(k)s and similar plans. Not all plans offer hardship withdrawals, but the ones that do will be required to comply for plan years beginning in 2019. In order to take a hardship withdrawal from a 401(k) or similar plan, a plan participant must demonstrate an “immediate and heavy financial need,” as defined by the IRS. (For details, visit the IRS website and search for

Have You Made Any of These Financial Mistakes?

As people move through different stages of life, there are new financial opportunities — and potential pitfalls — around every corner. Have you made any of these mistakes? Your 50s and 60s 1. Raiding your home equity or retirement funds. It goes without saying that doing so will prolong your debt and/or reduce your nest egg. 2. Not quantifying your expected retirement income. As you near retirement, you should know how much money you (and your spouse, if applicable) can expect from three

Celebrating Personal History. Leaving Your Local Legacy.

Marathon Financial Advisors cordially invites our clients to a special presentation demonstrating how to write your personal history and leave a local legacy. This free, 2 hour seminar, presented in collaboration with the Central New York Community Foundation, will take place on Tuesday, September 24 at 10 am at the Community Foundation office, 204 Walton Street, Syracuse.   Led by Tom Griffith and Jennifer Owens of the Community Foundation, “Leaving A Legacy That Matters” focuses on the benefits of personal history writing.

Best practices for stock market declines

Best practices for stock market declines   With recent stock market declines, it’s easy to feel a sense of fear surrounding long-term investment strategies. American Funds has provided this helpful Keys for Market Declines PDF Document with 5 tips to help avoid common missteps and stay on track: Declines have been common and temporary: Declines are going to happen, but they will likely be temporary. Proper perspective can help you remain calm: Look at the larger picture, not the small details.

How does working affect Social Security retirement benefits?

How does working affect Social Security retirement benefits?   If you’re thinking about working as long as possible to increase your retirement savings, you may be wondering whether you can receive Social Security retirement benefits while you’re still employed. The answer is yes. But depending on your age, earnings from work may affect the amount of your Social Security benefit. If you’re younger than full retirement age and make more than the annual earnings limit ($17,040 in 2018), part of your benefits will

Marathon Financial Advisors 2018 Events

Marathon Financial Advisors 2018 Events Tackling Topics to Gain Financial Understanding Like many of you, Marathon Financial Advisors is taking a look back to reflect on some of the ways we served our clients in 2017. One of the more successful endeavors last year was offering the educational seminar “2Young2Retire” with Leslie Rose McDonald, an event designed to shed light on a subject of interest to our clients and others as they make financial plans for their future.

How much money should a family borrow for college?

There is no magic formula to determine how much you or your child should borrow to pay for college. But there is such a thing as borrowing too much. How much is too much? Well, one guideline for students is to borrow no more than their expected first-year starting salary after college, which, in turn, depends on a student’s particular major and job prospects. But this guideline is simply that — a guideline. Just as many homeowners got burned by taking

What are some tips for reviewing my Medicare coverage during Medicare Open Enrollment?

During the Medicare Open Enrollment Period that runs from October 15 through December 7, you can make changes to your Medicare coverage that will be effective on January 1, 2018. If you’re satisfied with your current coverage, you don’t need to make changes, but it’s a good idea to review your options. During Open Enrollment, you can: Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, or vice versa Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan Join a Medicare prescription

Managing Debt While Saving for Retirement

It’s a catch-22: You feel that you should focus on paying down debt, but you also want to save for retirement. It may be comforting to know you’re not alone. According to an Employee Benefit Research Institute survey, 18% of today’s workers describe their debt level as a major problem, while 41% say it’s a minor problem. And workers who say that debt is a problem are also more likely to feel stressed about their retirement savings prospects.1 Perhaps it’s no

I Should Have Known!

I met with a wonderful group last week, to talk about Investment Basics.  This group was a mix of people of all ages, from different backgrounds and varying professions.  Every single person in this group appeared to be confident and competent. We had a lively discussion, and there were many relevant questions asked that were interesting to the group members. However, at one point one of the women remarked “I feel so stupid about finances and investing.  I just feel as though