Happy Holidays from Your Friends at AIFS

Happy holidays from all of us here at AIFS!

Here is a fun link to view from PNC Bank. For more than 30 years, PNC Bank has calculated the prices of the 12 gifts from the classic carol "The Twelve Day of Christmas." The cost of this year's items rose ever so slightly to $34,363 or up 0.7%, driven mainly by the price increase for the Turtle Doves (+29.3%). The cumulative cost of all the gifts, when you count each repetition in the song (364 gifts), is $156,507.

Business Owners, Are You Looking for a New Year's Resolution?

Business owners, or self-employed, read on. And for the employed, consider forwarding these three tips to your boss; perhaps she can save you some money in your 401(k) plan! We'll conduct an independent fiduciary audit, free of charge.

Your 401(k) and other retirement plan may cost you more than you know. Business owners often hire company benefit professionals to provide bundled services, but then the owners are bogged down by the (ever-increasing) healthcare costs and complexity. When they get to the 401(k), they just accept what is offered as the easy choice. Here are three steps business owners should take today to reign in their retirement plan spending and risks.

1) Read the fee disclosures. Recent regulations force plans to disclose costs, but that doesn't mean the language is clear. If you are not clear about your costs, you are likely spending more than you need to. And if you think the fee is zero, you're fooling yourself.

2) Contact your current provider for a free, written, competitive plan comparison. New regulations are forcing many investment consultants to leave the 401(k) business and simply asking him/her, may reveal whether or not you and your guy/gal are a long-term fit for each other.

3) Ask for a second opinion from a professional. Find a fiduciary who swears an oath to put your interests ahead of their own, fully disclose all fees, and share liability; two good examples to search for are Certified Financial Planner, CFP®, and Accredited Investment Fiduciary, AIF.

Small business owners are required to provide competitive (not necessarily the cheapest) retirement plans and always act in their participants' best interest. Take a few steps, record your actions, and you'll likely both save money and reduce your stress!

Ringing In the New Year With Optimism
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