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Saving Grace

By Barbara Trombley, MBA, CPA

 

The Internal Revenue Service has announced one of the biggest jumps in decades to the cap on 401(k) contributions. Americans will be able to save 10% more in their plans by making pre-tax contributions if they take full advantage of the new cap. The new limit is $22,500, up from $20,500 in 2022, and is applicable to all 401(k), 403(b), and other tax-advantaged savings plans.

Remember, a pre-tax contribution to a plan lowers your taxable income by the same amount in the tax year the contribution is made. The new caps also apply to Roth 401(k) or post-tax contributions (if your plan allows). The tax benefits to Roth 401(k) plans do not occur in the year the contribution is made, but later, when distributions are taken tax-free after the age of 59½.

Barbara Trombley

Barbara Trombley

“Many contributors wonder about the future of Social Security; this future will have to be addressed someday by our government. Currently, according to the Social Security website, the trust fund will run out in 2037.”

If an employee is age 50, they can also make a catch-up contribution. This limit has increased to $7,500 from $6,500 in 2022. This means an employee over the age of 50 can put up to $30,000 in their retirement plan this year with federally approved tax benefits. The IRS seems to be responding to the wave of inflation that has impacted the world and is encouraging Americans to save more for retirement.

Contribution limits to traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs will increase $500 to $6,500. Catch-up contributions to those over age 50 are not subject to annual cost-of-living increases and will remain at $1,000. If the taxpayer is not covered by a retirement plan at their place of employment, traditional IRA contributions are fully deductible. If the employee is eligible for a retirement plan at their place of employment, then the deductibility of a traditional IRA contribution is subject to earnings limits that can be found on the IRS website. The contribution may be fully, partially, or not deductible. Income limits also apply to the eligibility of Roth IRA contributions if the employee is covered by a retirement plan at work.

Building a robust retirement plan takes time but is imperative to supplement Social Security or pensions in retirement. Taking risks at a younger age by investing mostly in equities has historically been the best way to beat inflation and take advantage of compounding.

Compounding occurs when investments in assets generate earnings, and those earnings are reinvested, and they generate earnings. For example, a $10,000 initial investment that generates 10% annually for 25 years would grow to almost $110,000.

Strive to save at least 10% of your paycheck in a workplace retirement plan to build a nest egg to supplement other streams of income in retirement. Diligently saving and investing over a long period of time by making regular, monthly contributions into a retirement plan that includes the appropriate allocation of equities for your age is a great way to save for the future.

Speaking of Social Security, most people have heard of the large cost-of-living increase coming in 2023. The Social Security Administration has announced an 8.7% cost-of-living increase for 2023. All recipients, including future recipients, will benefit from this raise.

It is imperative to understand that Social Security was never intended to be the main source of retirement income for retirees. It was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was designed as a social insurance program to provide a minimum amount of security to workers that have contributed. It has evolved over the years to provide disability, widow’s and children’s benefits for a deceased earner, and other benefits.

Many contributors wonder about the future of Social Security; this future will have to be addressed someday by our government. Currently, according to the Social Security website, the trust fund will run out in 2037. At that time, current payroll tax collections will cover 76% of the benefits that will be paid out. Either benefits will have to be cut, payroll taxes increased, or the age at which a worker becomes eligible increased — perhaps a combination of all three.

Take responsibility for saving for your own retirement and utilize the generous tax benefits that qualified retirement plans provide.

 

Barbara Trombley, MBA, CPA is an owner and financial consultant with Trombley Associates. Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Trombley Associates, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial. This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA tax, legal, or investment advice.

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