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Show Them the Love: Low-Cost, High-Value Employee Benefits

As a small business owner, you are probably aware of the importance of offering a basic employee benefit package that includes health and disability insurance, and a retirement savings plan. However, recruiting and retaining top talent often requires going above and beyond the basics. By offering creative, low-cost benefit programs, you can differentiate your business from other potential employers.

Flexible work environments

In today's hectic world, time is nearly as valuable as money. Consider the following statistics from the Families and Work Institute (Source: National Study of the Changing Workforce, 2008):

What will happen to my digital assets if I die or become incapacitated?

In today's digital age, many individuals live at least a part of their life online. Whether you share your life with others through e-mail, Facebook posts, and tweets, or simply have a number of online, password protected accounts, you'll want to make plans for the disposition of all of your digital assets in the event of your death or incapacity.

Unfortunately, the laws governing digital assets are not well settled. Only a small number of states have estate laws that specifically cover digital assets, and those laws are relatively new and untested. As a result, you should consult an estate planning attorney for information on how digital assets are handled in your particular state.

What can I do to protect my username and password information from computer hackers?

At one time, computer hackers were viewed as a few rogue individuals who mainly worked alone. Today, many hackers are part of highly sophisticated networks that carry out well-organized cyber attacks. Unfortunately, these online security breaches can result in your username and password information being compromised.

Whenever you enter your personal information online, you'll want to make sure that you create a strong password to protect that information. Some tips for creating a strong password include:

Should You Roll Your 401(k) to an IRA?

If you're entitled to a distribution from your 401(k) plan (for example, because you've left your job, or you've reached age 59½), and it's rollover-eligible, you may be faced with a choice. Should you take the distribution and roll the funds over to an IRA, or should you leave your money where it is?

Across the universe

In contrast to a 401(k) plan, where your investment options are limited to those selected by your employer (typically mutual funds or employer stock), the universe of IRA investments is virtually unlimited. For example, in addition to the usual IRA mainstays (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and CDs), an IRA can invest in real estate, options, limited partnership interests, or anything else the law (and your IRA trustee/custodian) allows.*

IRS Reverses Long-Standing Position on One-Rollover-per-Year Rule

The IRS has indicated that it will follow the recent Tax Court decision in Bobrow v. Commissioner, which held that a taxpayer may make only one tax-free, 60-day rollover between IRAs within each 12-month period, regardless of how many IRAs he or she maintains. However, the IRS will not apply this new interpretation to any rollover that involves an IRA distribution occurring before January 1, 2015.

Background

The Internal Revenue Code says that if you receive a distribution from an IRA, you can't make a tax-free (60-day) rollover into another IRA if you've already completed a tax-free rollover within the previous 12 months.

The long-standing position of the IRS, reflected in Publication 590 and proposed regulations, is that this rule applies separately to each IRA you own. Publication 590 provides the following example:

America’s Car Show to Launch ‘After Dark’ Radio Show

America’s Car Show to Launch ‘After Dark’ Radio Show

 

Fasten your seatbelts! Automotive expert, author, and television and radio personality Tom Torbjornsen, founder of America’s Car Show, will launch his latest venture, “America’s Car Show After Dark,” at 8 p.m. Monday, April 14. Co-hosted by Paul Hoefler, the show will run from 8 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday on TuneIn.com.

With over 35 years in the automotive industry and over two decades in talk radio, Torbjornsen attracts listeners with his unique and entertaining style, expert advice, topical guests and enthusiasm for cars.

Americans Continue to Face Saving Challenges, Survey Finds

According to a survey released last month by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council (ASEC), just 35% of Americans feel they are making good or excellent progress in saving money. Nearly two-thirds (63%) say they're making fair or no progress.

However, nearly 7 out of 10 (68%) say they are spending less than they are earning and saving the difference, and 64% report having emergency savings to cover things like unexpected car repairs. More than three-quarters of respondents say they are paying off their consumer debt or living debt-free. Although these numbers are higher than or the same as they were in 2013, they are lower than they were in 2010.

Importantly, the percentage of Americans building their net worth through home equity has declined substantially over the past few years, from 68% in 2010 to 54% this year. And those who expect to live mortgage-free in retirement fell from 78% in 2010 to 68% today.