Money talks, but all mine ever says is goodbye– Anonymous

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Welcome to the April Edition of Ryan’s Retirement Ramblings – The monthly newsletter that will bring you the latest developments from the qualified plan space & provide updates for the retirement team at Wheeler Retirement Plans.

On A Personal Note…

Nora (my youngest daughter) and I headed down to Winter Haven Florida over her Spring Break for a little R&R. She has been the one daughter that hasn’t accompanied me on any of my work trips; so it was fun to have a little 1-1 time. We decided to surprise my parents by showing up at their door step in Winter Haven. I could tell my mom and day recognized who we were but it didn’t make any sense why we were there. Classic. Of course it wouldn’t be a trip without a hockey game. Go Lightning!

Help Participants Avoid These TDF Missteps

Target date funds are in high demand these days. According to a recent Sway Research study, total TDF assets reached $3.5 trillion in 2023 — a record level. Moreover, mutual fund target dates began 2024 slightly ahead of collective investment trusts, holding $1.76 trillion in assets compared to $1.71 trillion in CITs, TDF assets in CITs are expected to overtake assets in mutual funds this year as fiduciaries continue to look for ways to reduce fees and access innovative solutions.

TDFs offer participants many advantages: …..

Beyond Compliance: Make Every Comm Count

Effective retirement plan communications do more than just meet DOL requirements; the best ones engage, educate, motivate, and empower participants. Optimize your communications to connect with employees on a personal level, encourage informed decisions, and foster more active engagement with their retirement plan and their financial future. Effective, empathic communications help build a foundation of trust and confidence in the plan benefits — and the employer.

Break it down. Offer content in bite-size chunks to increase engagement. Provide useful …..

The Resurgence of the Automatic IRA Act

The Automatic IRA Act of 2024 has been reintroduced by Representative Richard Neal, D-Mass., the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee. This measure requires companies with more than ten workers to automatically enroll their workers in IRAs or other comparable automatic contribution plans, such as 401(k)s, if they do not currently offer a retirement plan. After adopting a plan, small firms may be eligible for the current startup tax credit or a recently proposed $500 tax credit for three years that is only applicable to automatic IRAs.

Exemptions for employers: …..

Participant Corner

Tax Tips to Maximize Retirement Savings

Retirement represents a major turning point in one’s life. One factor that remains, regardless of this new chapter in your life, is the presence of taxes. If you’ve followed the advice of retirement plan advisors, you should already be saving in tax-advantaged retirement accounts. Taxes are deferred in these accounts until you take money out in retirement. Taxes on income from other sources, such as Social Security, pensions, and earnings from part-time employment, can potentially be an issue for you. Considering these variables, it makes sense to develop a customized retirement income plan.

When should you start taking Social Security benefits? The benefits are increased by delaying withdrawals, ideally until age 70. However, keep in mind that if your annual income is more than $34,000, you may be required to pay taxes on a significant portion of your Social Security income, up to 85%……

Mr. C’s Movie Review

Fallout immerses viewers into a world devastated by nuclear war, where survival is a daily struggle and humanity’s darker instincts take over. This series, based on the popular video game franchise of the same name, delivers an intense gore filled ride through an apocalyptic United States. The show follows its “3” deeply flawed lead characters, Lucy (Ella Purnell from Yellowjackets), Maximus (Aaron Clifton Moten) and Cooper Howard aka the Ghoul ( an excellent Walton Goggins) each battling the radioactive Wasteland just to survive. Lucy, a vault dweller, is on a mission to find her captured father in the “above world”. Her naivety leads her straight into the arms of The Ghoul, who’s golden rule interpretation is a far cry from Lucy’s sheltered existence. Maximus is the robotic Bounty Hunter searching for Lucy’s father but for wholly different reasons. One of the show’s greatest strengths lies in its world-building. From the desolate landscapes to the makeshift settlements and underground bunkers, every aspect of the post-nuclear world feels utterly believable. The series explores the consequences of survival at any cost; and boy does it ever in a blood curdling narrative. Each character faces right and wrong choices throughout the “8” episodes; where they start may not be where they end. The decisions faced by Lucy, Maximus and teh Ghoul makes the viewers ponder the depths of human nature. Those familiar with the video game will love the heart-stopping encounters with mutated creatures while chuckling at the over the top end of the world dialogue.

On a Scale of “Like It”, “Love It”, or “Gotta Have It”…..I give this show a “Love It”. You all know I love the gory series and this falls right in line. Walton Goggins is the era’s chameleon actor as he can portray any character necessary to fill the plot line. The 60 minute episodes do no disappoint however the jumping back and forth in time add a complexity to those trying to figure out the end game. I’m a sucker for the absurd.