Print
PDF

Don't Touch Your 401(k)

Written by Tim Decker, AIF. Posted in The Patriot News

Q: I'm not retired yet – I'm still working – and need cash to take care of some things, so I'm thinking of taking some money out of my 401(k) plan. Is this is a good idea?

A: Unless you need the money for a dire emergency, absolutely, unequivocally not – for a host of reasons. Making withdrawals from your 401(k) defeats the purpose of these plans – to enable you to build resources for a secure retirement during your working years. Whatever your reason is for considering making a withdrawal now, think about how desperate you'll be when you're 80 and potentially could run out of money.

The money you contribute to your plan from your paycheck is generally tax-deferred, meaning that you don't pay taxes on it until you make withdrawals. One exception to this is if your 401(k) has a Roth option. In that case, contributions are made with after-tax dollars, and withdrawals at retirement, on both contributions and earnings, are tax-free. However, with traditional 401(k) accounts, withdrawals are taxed as ordinary income – at the same rate you pay on your salary. If you're under 59 ½, you may also have to pay a hurtful 10 percent penalty. Though this IRS hit from withdrawals can be fairly benign during retirement, it can be significantly more during your working years, when your tax bracket is probably much higher--especially if you're not old enough to avoid the 10 percent penalty.

Read More

Print
PDF

MoneyTalks: The Importance of Financial Discussions at Every Stage of Life

Written by Tim Decker.

father and son communicationFrom the time we begin to conceptualize how money and finances impact every facet of our lives, we are also faced with the uncomfortable realization that no one likes to talk about money. Issues surrounding finances and money are among the primary catalysts for family arguments, marital problems and divorce, failed business partnerships (no surprise there), and even dissolved friendships. So, why, if we know how important these issues must be to most of us that they result in so many ended relationships, would we not begin to address the root cause of these problems? Poor communication.

Print
PDF

Don't be tempted to burn your portfolio with exchange-traded funds

Written by Tim Decker, AIF®. Posted in Central Penn Business Journal

One of the more striking developments in investment products in the past decade has been an explosion in the use of ETFs—exchange-traded funds.

According to Morningstar, assets in ETFs have grown to more than $2.1 trillion. About 1,400 different ETFs now exist.

Some ETFs are similar to generic index mutual funds, as they are passively managed. They track an index, like the S&P 500, to capture the returns of that index, minus expenses and trading costs. Like some no-load index funds, these ETFs can have expenses that are quite low.

Read More

Print
PDF

Don't let the Government Short-Change You

Written by Tim Decker, AIF. Posted in The Patriot News

Q: I've heard that some people end up mysteriously getting lower monthly Social Security checks than they clearly have coming. Is this true?

A: Yes, according to authors Larry Kotlikoff, Philip Moeller and Paul Solman. In their powerful book published this summer, "Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security," the three expose what can only be described as a bureaucratic rip-off.

Ironically, the authors explain, this rip-off punishes those who, in exercising personal financial responsibility, don't jump to claim benefits sooner than they should but instead wait well beyond the minimum claiming age of 62.

Read More

On the Air

newsradio-WHP-webTim Decker hosts the weekly radio show “Financial Freedom” on WHP 580 AM Harrisburg every Saturday at 10:00 am Eastern.

He brings his extensive knowledge and over 28 years of experience to the discussion of current financial and wealth management topics. Each show also includes a Q&A session when Tim provides straightforward, unbiased answers to questions from callers. This is the program that represents your best interests, not Wall Street's.

Listen Here

The Sleep-Well-at-Night Investor

The-Sleep-Well-At-Night-Investor

ISI Financial Group helps clients take all necessary steps to properly develop and implement a holistic financial plan using evidence-based, time-tested strategies centered around financial science. In his book, “The Sleep-Well-At-Night Investor,” Tim Decker shows readers how misinformation from the mutual fund industry has created widespread harm amongst investors. The book also discusses the temptation to think of investing like gambling, and the tragedy of gambling away savings and security under the guise of investing.

Buy the Book!