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Retirement Services & Financial Advisors​ - Serving Columbus & Beyond

Don't Settle for Big Bank Cookie-Cutter Retirement Plans

Submitted by Life, Inc. Retirement Services on August 3rd, 2018

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Sometimes sage old advice--to include the claim that small businesses can't afford to offer retirement plans--is just old advice.

In an economy where GDP growth is on pace for a 13-year high, unemployment is at an 18-year low, and consumer confidence is at a 15-year high, you don't need to be a publicly traded corporation to offer retirement plans to your workers. Better yet, you don't need to hire a publicly traded corporation to administer a retirement plan for your workers. And in fact, to grow out of small business status, a retirement plan is exactly what's needed.

Life, Inc. Retirement Services is here to help.

 

Times Change - Change With Them

When times are good, employers in all industries compete for workers. And they compete by luring them in with higher wages and better benefits. Higher wages can lead to wage inflation, which increases the costs of products or services because the added costs of production are passed on to consumers. This benefits employers about as much as it benefits workers: none. Unless wage inflation increases in tandem with productivity, the employer takes a hit to profits and the workers pay more for goods and services elsewhere in the marketplace.

Why does this matter to a small business owner? Because in a world that is always changing--a world where conventional wisdom is only wise for as long as it takes the daily news cycle to make it unoriginal--there's another option.

 

Boost Retirement, Not Wages

Instead of contributing to wage inflation, employers can instead choose to invest in their workers. For small businesses that are starting to feel the tax burden of being successful, there's a built-in perk of offering retirement plans to workers: employer contributions are tax deductible. On top of that, the IRS offers tax incentives for small businesses just starting out with a retirement plan for their workforce. And best of all, the money employers contribute stays with the plan if the employees leave. Called "vesting," this conditional contribution stays with long-term employees only, which incentivizes longevity and thus slows turnover and saves companies on hiring and training costs.

 

Don't Settle for Cookie-Cutter Plans

Dunkin' Donuts doesn't have the same mission, workforce, or even product as Carl's Kitchen Cabinets, and yet most big banks or payroll services will offer 401(k) plans that are indistinguishable from company to company. It's important to recognize that in today's economy, retirement planning is not an exclusive, one-vendor industry. Don't think that you have to settle for a one-size-fits-all plan just because you're small, new, or inexperienced in dealing with retirement plan options.  

 

Our goal to "keep it simple" doesn't mean that you have to accept a retirement plan that's generic. On the contrary. At Life, Inc. we achieve exemplary customer satisfaction not by offering the same cookie-cutter retirement plans that the big banks hoist on unknowing customers, but by customizing a plan to meet your specific needs. This includes tweaking participation parameters to curb costs, adjusting vesting schedules, weighing the pros and cons of safe harbor plans, and even forecasting future workforce demographics and the effects of projected company growth. The point of offering a retirement plan isn't just to use it as a recruiting tool, though that is definitely part of ti. It's about offering a benefit that actually works, that achieves maximum saving for employees, that takes advantage of all available tax advantages, and that also boosts employee longevity.

If you're considering a retirement plan for your small business, don't settle for a quote-unquote "no frills" one-size-fits-all plan that's created to maximize their profit instead of your needs.

 

Choose a plan that is custom designed specifically to your industry, size, and growth model.

Choose a team of real people with real phones on their desks, not 800 numbers with automated self-help menus.

Choose Life, Inc. Retirement Services.

Contact us today to learn more.

 

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Myths About Small Business Retirement Plans, and Why You Need One

Submitted by Life, Inc. Retirement Services on June 28th, 2018

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If you are a small business owner, there are a lot of myths people may have told you about small business retirement plans. Don't listen to them. Here are a number of the myths you may have heard and some of the reasons you need a retirement plan, including tax benefits. 

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Small Business Retirement Plans: How To Get Started

Submitted by Life, Inc. Retirement Services on May 22nd, 2018

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Everyone wants to retire at some point or another. Some want to retire sooner rather than later. As such, it's important to consider 401k for business owners. If you're a small business, you want to think about how you can retire when you're ready. Additionally, you want to be able to attract top talent – and that means offering them the best 401k providers, too.

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Attracting Millennials with Attractive Retirement

Submitted by Life, Inc. Retirement Services on May 3rd, 2018

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Considering the Millennial generation's detachment from politics, religion, and marriage compared to previous generations, it should come as no surprise that they also self-report a lack of engagement at work.

Companies looking to hire from the pool of 75 million young workers face increased pessimism about business's role in society as well as the one-two punch of low engagement and low commitment.  

 

Adapt, Overcome

If there is a solution, it's to adjust to the times. That starts with understanding the root of the change.

Millennials, defined as those born between 1981 and 1996, are higher educated than any previous generation, and yet they enter a world that no longer offers the pensions that incentivized previous generations to stay at the same company for a lifetime. This factor contributes significantly to the "job-hopper" stereotype of younger workers today. Whereas Baby Boomers were rewarded for their life-long loyalty with a guaranteed monthly income in retirement, today's workers, particularly in private industries but increasingly in the government sector as well, are largely responsible for their own retirement. Add an average student loan debt of $50,000 and it's not surprising that young people are willing to jump ship if a new job offers even 25 cents more an hour.

Millennials also report low engagement at work, a costly revelation that's due in part to 60% believing that companies care more about themselves than society as a whole. Engagement, in practical terms, means caring. Overcoming this pessimism will take more than an offer of employment.

 

Lead by Example

To boost engagement, engage. A strong benefits package goes a long way toward building a strong team. And if retirement benefits are explained well, managed well, and regularly communicated to employees, they can become more than just a stack of paperwork filled out at the start of a new job; they can serve as a reflection of the company's commitment to its workers.

Communication is key. With consumer confidence soaring, there's no excuse for mediocre optimism among your staff. The stock market in 2017 experience a 20% gain in 401(k) accounts, the largest in four years and "the second-longest in history." There's money to be made in well-managed 401(k) plans. One problem is that employers aren't communicating this as a perk akin to salary.

A Pew study in 2016 found that "Younger workers are generally confused about many aspects of their plans, and more than a third of those under 30 could not name the type of retirement plan their employer offers."

The survey also found that young workers want to be able to take their retirement with them if they do leave, because 60% of those under age 30 don't anticipate working for the same company into retirement.

"Less than half of workers under 40 said they understood their retirement plans well enough to be able to estimate how much they would get at retirement. Those in their 20s were less likely to be able to estimate their benefit than those 30 to 39 (28 percent vs. 57 percent, respectively)."

In a low-unemployment economy, it's more important than ever to stay competitive. You can't keep Millennials from shopping the market for a different job, but with a genuine investment and competitive benefits, you can show them that different isn't necessary better. You do that with high quality, well-managed plans.

 

Take Action

Life Inc., Retirement Services can serve as both advisor and third-party administrator, offering the perks of high-end, well-managed 401(k) plans, as well as the tax benefits normally reserved for large companies. Contact us today to find out how your retirement plan can attract and retain new talent with a local 401(k) plan.

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Most Small Businesses Miss Out on Important Important Tax Benefits By Not Offering a 401K Plan

Submitted by Life, Inc. Retirement Services on April 13th, 2018

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With the average Social Security check just $1,404 per month in 2018, starting a small business 401(k) retirement plan is a great way to help your employees secure their financial future.  It also increases employee loyalty by demonstrating that you care about your worker's financial well being. Another big benefit is that a small company 401(k) offers tax advantages for both you and your employees.

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Here Are Seven Reasons All Small Businesses Need 401(k) Plans

Submitted by Life, Inc. Retirement Services on April 5th, 2018

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If you own a small business, you want it to be successful. Naturally, you need good employees to work for you to make that happen. To attract the best talent for your company, you need to provide more than just good salaries and bonuses. It is critical that you also offer a 401(k)-retirement plan, if you want the best potential employees to consider your company, rather than  a competitor. 

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Are Small Business Retirement Plans Practical?

Submitted by Life, Inc. Retirement Services on January 17th, 2018

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Critics of the new tax law believed that the reduction of corporate rates wouldn't actually benefit those of the working classes. The early returns on the new bill indicate they were wrong. Corporations are lining up to share the benefits of the new bill with their employees, according to this article in the Washington Examiner. The list of companies offering increased participation in retirement programs, wage increases, and bonuses is long and staggering. They include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, American Bank, Aquesta Financial, Delaware Supermarkets, JetBlue, Jordan Winery, Nationwide Insurance, Flood Insurance, Turning Point Brands, and many, many more. Some of these companies have announced increased charitable giving as well. Also mentioned is that participation in 401(k) programs is on the rise.

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Why You Should Consider a 401k Retirement Plan for Your Small Business

Submitted by Life, Inc. Retirement Services on January 4th, 2018

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Employees like 401k retirement plans, so much so that they represent the kind of benefit which can help small business owners attract new workers.  That said, more than 70% of small businesses don't offer these plans.  Why are these plans so popular, and why are so many small companies reticent to offer them?

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401k Plans for Small Businesses: Why You Should Start a Small Business Retirement Plan

Submitted by Life, Inc. Retirement Services on January 3rd, 2018

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With people living longer than they used to, it is more important than ever that people start saving for retirement as early as possible. However, many people who work at small businesses do not have access to a 401k plan, as only 15% of businesses with 100 employees or less offer their employees retirement plans, and only 50% of Americans overall have access to a workplace retirement plan. Generally, small business owners do not want to offer a 401k plan due to the time and money they would have to invest to offer these benefits. While this is a valid concern, the fact is that the pros outweigh the cons of offering your employees a 401k plan. Here are just a few of the benefits you could gain by offering a 401k plan to your employees.

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