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HSA “Chicken” or 401(k) “Nest Egg” – Which Comes First?

By Jack Towarnicky

On January 4, 2018, Morningstar’s W. Scott Simon, posted an article titled “When an HSA-First Strategy Makes Sense:  Why the standard advice about the sequence of contributions to a 401(k) plan and health savings account is flawed--and must-know advantages of HSAs. Read More >>

Leveraging the Roth IRA for a (Grand)Child Born Today

By Jack Towarnicky

Your Newborn Child As A Middle Class Millionaire … Someday.  Part 2 of 2.

Chris Carosa (DC Insights, Fall 2017) generously shared his thoughts on his book – From Cradle to Retirement – The Child IRA – How to start a newborn on the road to comfortable retirement while still in a cozy cradle. Read More >>

Another Nobel Laureate in Economics Who Was Focused on 401(k) Plans - Part 2 of 3

By Jack Towarnicky

In October, our blog focused on Richard Thaler, the 2017 Nobel prize winner in Economics and recounted how his insights into the world of behavioral economics impacted 401(k) plans and the retirement savings industry ( ). But, did you know there were two other Nobel prize winners in Economics whose work has also focused on 401(k) plans and saving for retirement? First up, Franco Modigliani, the 1985 winner of the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering analyses of saving, and specifically his life-cycle hypothesis of household saving. Read More >>

From Cradle to Retirement, Diapers to Depends - Re-defining “Long Term” Investing. Part 1 of 2

By Jack Towarnicky

Chris Carosa (DC Insights, Fall 2017) generously shared his thoughts on his book – From Cradle to Retirement – The Child IRA – How to start a newborn on the road to comfortable retirement while still in a cozy cradle.   

There are a myriad of definitions of what constitutes a long term investment that can be anything from 1 year to more than 10 years:

  • Investopedia: “A long-term investment is an account on the asset side of a company's balance sheet that represents the company's investments, including stocks, bonds, real estate and cash, that it intends to hold for more than a year. Read More >>

Looking For A Few “Good” Plan Sponsors

By Jack Towarnicky

You’ve probably heard or seen the Marine Corps ad – “Looking for a Few Good Men.”  Well, I am starting a search for a few “good” plan sponsors.  

Many plan sponsors have themselves been searching for a payout or “decumulation” solution. Read More >>

Financial Wellness Via Your 401(k) 

By Jack Towarnicky

Coming to you from Boston, at the Society of Actuaries Annual Meeting.

In a prior post, “DC Plans, Can Everyone Win?” I shared my thoughts on whether American workers could adequately prepare for retirement, and generally speaking, I think most can. Read More >>

“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

By Jack Towarnicky

I love this Emerson quote.  Ever have one of those experiences? 

I did at the Society of Actuaries meeting last week.  The keynote speaker was Scott Page who spoke on the topic of “Cognitive Diversity.”  Professor Page is the author of the book The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies. Read More >>

Tax Reform Proposal Expected Soon

By Jack Towarnicky

The House Ways and Means Committee is projected to launch their Tax Reform proposal November 1, 2017 or shortly thereafter.  No one knows all the details.  One potential detail is a proposal to raise revenue, to increase federal income taxes over the next ten year budget window by limiting 401(k) pre-tax contributions to no more than $2,400 a year. Read More >>

House, Senate Action Needed On Social Security

By Jack Towarnicky

We are already making substantial progress in the employer-sponsored retirement savings marketplace. 

The Government Accountability Office recently issued a report which cites Plan Sponsor Council of America survey results - GAO-18-111SP, “The Nation’s Retirement System:  A Comprehensive Re-evaluation Is Needed to Better Promote Future Retirement Security” ( Read More >>

DC Plans: Can Everyone Win?

By Jack Towarnicky

This week I was part of a panel on the topic “DC Plans – Can Everyone Win?” at the Society of Actuaries Annual Meeting in Boston.

Many point to the increased use of DC plans triggering a “Retirement Crisis.”  We can confirm that:

  • If America has a crisis, it is less than the one we faced just two generations ago – where fewer had employer-sponsored plans, savings were modest and “invested” in passbook savings accounts at local banks or S&Ls, work was much more physical/blue collar, and only a few workers could afford to retire before they were physically unable to continue working, 
  • Millions of Americans are successfully saving and preparing for retirement, 
  • As a nation, after the Pension Protection Act of 2006, we are making great strides for those workers whose employer offers a plan, however, 
  • The retirement paradigm keeps changing.

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