401k Investors Want Help With Asset Allocation Strategies.

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This article will focus on 401k plan participants expressed desire for help with asset allocation strategies; but, with a twist.

The author just finished reading a white paper prepared by ING Retirement Research Institute released on 3/31/2011. The title of the report is “Shedding Light on Retirement.” 2,600 401k plan participants were surveyed by the Boston Consulting Group on behalf of ING. One commentator took the report and proclaimed that the report indicated plan participants wanted help from their employers with asset allocation strategies. In fact 89% of the respondents said this was the help they wanted.

This is why I always prefer to read source material. Yes, the plan participants did say they wanted this help. However, in looking at the report, there were notable paradoxes in the responses. Specifically, 79% said they want control over how they invest; yet, over half stated they want more guidance, a roadmap, from their employer. In addition, 76% stated they want more investment choices; however, over half said they do not know how to achieve their retirement goals.

ING’s response to this survey was to create a website to help participants with education and offer personal contact, if they wish.

I suppose that is one solution. Perhaps another solution would be for employers to include professional 401k advisors for face-to-face, employee consultations. Survey participants seemed to suggest this is what they wanted; but, will such an offering by employers expose them to the Fiduciary Liability that they were so anxious to avoid when they terminated defined benefit plans?

Perhaps the responsibility is on the employee to realize they are truly on their own to find finance professional for themselves. Asset allocation strategies are not the only thing that 401k plan participants desire.  Many said they need help determining how much money they will need to take them through their retirement years and they also wanted help with an annual checkup to see if they are on track. Perhaps 401k advisors are the answer. The real question is how to deliver the service.

Strategies for Settling Tax Debt

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Every taxpayer has several options for resolving his federal tax debts. There are many tax professionals who are willing to help individuals to evaluate their options for dealing with tax debts. They will prepare financial statement for their clients based on their financial situation to determine which tax settlement strategies are most applicable for them.

Below are the five strategies to settle your tax debts.

1. Installment agreement –  This is a monthly payment plan for paying off your Internal Revenue Service. With this IRS tax debt settlement strategy, either you or your tax professional can set up an instalment agreement by filling out some paper works, over the phone or by using online payment agreement.

2. Not currently collectible –  It means that the taxpayer has no ability to pay his tax debts. After the Internal Revenue Service received the evidence that you have no ability to pay, it will declare that you are “currently not collectible”. After declaration, the IRS shall stop all collection activities including levies and garnishment.

3. Partial payment installment agreement –  This is an IRS tax debt settlement strategy that contains a fairly new debt management program. Through this, you will have a long term payment plan to pay off the Internal Revenue Service at a reduced dollar amount.

4. Filing a bankruptcy – As a tax payer, you can be eligible for discharge under Chapter 7 (which provides full discharge of your allowable debts and which is most likely applicable when you have no real state or when you have modest income) or under Chapter 13 (where you will be provided with a payment plan to repay some of your debts, with the remainder of debts discharged) of the Bankruptcy Code. However, not all tax debts are capable of being discharged in bankruptcy.

5. Filing an offer-in-compromise –  It is one of the best ways to settle your tax debts for even less than the amount you owe. There are 3 options for this IRS tax debt settlement strategy: lump sum payment, monthly payment for over 24months or less, or monthly payments over the remaining statute of limitations. If you choose the lump sum payment plan, you must submit at least 20% down payment or must start making monthly payments if you choose any of the two monthly payment options.

There are several tax settlement strategies you can choose from. However, there are certain requirements for each option that you have to comply first before you become eligible.