The Prosperity Blog

Bye-bye Stretch IRA: Uncle Sam Wants his Cut!

How the SECURE Act Impacts Inherited IRAs

How the SECURE Act Impacts Inherited IRAs Last week, we published an article summarizing many of the changes the SECURE Act brings to retirement plans. These include new rules regarding retirement plan contributions, distributions, the availability of annuities within plans, maximum contributions for automatic enrollment plans, employer incentives to participate, and more.

This week, we focus on one remaining change—and perhaps biggest challenge—of the SECURE Act: the new rules around inherited IRAs. The stretch IRA strategy is dead and it’s time to seek alternatives. If you believe you may inherit an IRA or leave one to beneficiaries, this is information you need now—before it’s too late to stop Uncle Sam from taking a big chunk of your intended inheritance!

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The SECURE Act Changes the Rules of Retirement Plans

How the SECURE Act Changes the Rules of Retirement PlansAt the end of 2019, Congress passed the biggest bill affecting retirement accounts in more than a decade. (You may have been unaware of it since the news cycle has been filled with the impeachment drama!) Today, we summarize the SECURE Act changes that may impact you in 2020 and beyond. Next week, we’ll have a follow-up article on the impact the SECURE Act will have on inherited IRAs.

The awkward acronym “SECURE” stands for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act. Signed into law by President Trump before Christmas, the legislation is intended to help Americans increase their retirement savings. Let’s look at how it actually may accomplish that goal—as well as the challenges it brings.

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Success Lessons: 10 Ways to Win at Money, Work and Life

I’ve been blessed with parents, mentors, and role models who have invested in my success. And in turn, I have been told by numerous other advisors and individuals that they count ME as one of their success mentors! (Read about Kim Butler if we haven’t “met”.) I consider it a great privilege to have helped others.

In this article, I’m sharing 10 success principles that have been essential guideposts in my life and work. Most have been gleaned from my own mentors, although perhaps re-phrased a bit. They are the timeless principles I’ve discovered along the way that have made a difference for me. And whether you are a financial advisor, a business owner, a student or an employee, you can apply these 10 principles to transform YOUR results!

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Where to Invest—and NOT invest—in 2020

Where to Invest—and NOT invest—in 2020In the last 12 months, our opinion about certain investments has not fundamentally changed. You could call us predictable—but we prefer to say that we are consistent! We also believe in strategies that work in every economy.

A summary of investments and assets we believe can be suitable for some investors:

We like life settlements for asset growth without the roller coaster ride of the stock market. We appreciate the fact that life settlements are completely immune to stock market volatility, interest rate fluctuations, and geopolitical turmoil!

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The No-Buy-Year Movement: Freedom from Overspending

The No-Buy-Year MovementI declared to myself I would buy no clothes and no skin care products in 2019. I had plenty of clothes and there was nothing I needed. And although I do attend professional events and conferences, much of my time is spent home on the farm, where I dress in jeans and the alpacas don’t care. And embarrassingly, I had a whole drawer of skin care products I had received on autoship… barely used. And so, in these two categories, I declared a “no buy year.” And so it was! It felt so good to actually USE what I already had rather than buy what I didn’t really need.

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, there is a growing whole “No-Buy Year” movement! Kate Phillips, my article co-author, helped me research the trend that is helping thousands of consumers free themselves of patterns of overspending.

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7 Keys to Intention-Setting for the New Year

Today’s article on intention-setting is a guest post from Kate Phillips of Total Wealth. Kate is also the co-author (with yours truly, Kim Butler) of Perpetual Wealth and Financial Planning Has Failed.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
— Henry David Thoreau

new year intention-settingAladdin’s lamp, wishing wells, magic wands and fairy godmothers symbolize our desires to turn our dreams into reality. But if you’re short on fairy dust or skeptical about lamp-rubbing, I recommend intention-setting.

Intention-setting is a twist on traditional goal-setting and an upgrade to the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions. It is also a powerful step towards a fulfilled life.

Intention-setting brings your desires into focus, offers clarity and creates momentum. It can also save years of misdirected energy and efforts. As Steve Pavlina writes, “If you don’t take the time to get really clear about exactly what it is you’re trying to accomplish, then you’re forever doomed to spend your life achieving the goals of those who do.”

In this article, I share why intention-setting trumps New Year’s resolutions, and seven keys for doing it effectively.

Creating an intention-setting tradition.

Over the last 15 or so years, intention-setting has become an essential practice in my life. It allows me to step back from my life to evaluate what’s truly important. What’s working—and what’s not. It’s a time to course correct, create what’s next, and become a truer version of myself.

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Year-End Review: Financial Checklist and Prosperity Principles

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
―Benjamin Franklin

prosperity economicsWe practice Prosperity Economics—an alternative to typical financial planning. Prosperity Economics teaches us to keep control of our own dollars and build sustainable wealth that expands our choices and cannot vanish in a stock market crash.

Typical advice brings typical results and typical challenges!

Typical financial advice tells us to load up our portfolios with mutual funds and stocks subject to systemic risk.

Typical financial advice instructs us to max out our qualified accounts, putting dollars out of reach and out of our control—under the government’s (and our employer’s) rules.

Typical financial planning tells us when and how much of our own money we can have back (and the government tells us what their cut is.)

Typical financial advice tells us to pay off our mortgage as quickly as possible—even though it is efficient debt, and even though it’s usually smarter to put additional dollars into investments rather than into home equity.

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