The world of retirement planning is changing in 2024, including a nationwide crackdown on "Junk Fees." Here's what you need to know.
The landscape of financial advising is abuzz with new insights and strategies as we approach the upcoming year. Most recently, President Biden has announced that the Department of Labor will propose a new rule -- the Retirement Security Rule -- to extend fiduciary standards and close loopholes to protect people saving for retirement against conflicted advice.
Between shifting retirement account contribution limits and fresh investment opportunities, it's important to understand all the latest developments that can significantly impact your financial future. Here's what you need to know to navigate the upcoming year. Let's begin with the year's contribution changes.
2024 Retirement Account Contribution Limits
One of the key aspects of retirement planning is understanding the contribution limits for retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs. These limits determine how much you can contribute to these accounts each year, helping you build a robust nest egg for retirement. Let's take a look at the expected contribution limits for 2024:
- 401(k) Plans: The contribution limit for 401(k) plans is projected to increase to $23,000 in 2024, up from $22,500 in 2023. For those aged 50 and older, an additional catch-up contribution of $7,500 will remain the same. It's important to note that these new amounts apply to 403(b) and most 457 plans.
- IRA Contribution Limits: Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are another popular retirement savings option. The contribution limits are to remain relatively stable for IRAs. For 2024, individuals under 50 can contribute up to $7,000, up from $6,500 in 2023. Catch-up contributions for adults 50 and older will remain at $1,000.
- Roth IRA Contribution Limits: Beginning in 2024, more Americans will qualify for Roth IRA contributions, with the AGI range rising between $146,000-$161,000 for single filers, up from $138,000-$153,000 in 2023. The Roth IRA contribution phaseout for married couples filing together will rise to between $230,000 and $240,000 in 2024, up from between $218,000 and $228,000.
It's essential to consult with a financial advisor or check the latest IRS guidelines to confirm these limits for 2024 and adjust your retirement savings strategy accordingly.
Income Limits for Roth Eligibility
The IRS has introduced income limits for Roth IRA contributions, making it less accessible for high-income individuals. For the 2024 tax year, the limit for single filers is $146,000; for joint filers, it's $161,000. These limits have seen a significant reduction from the 2023 tax year, which was $153,000 for single filers and $228,000 for married couples who filed jointly.
Now, you might be wondering, "What are my alternatives?" That is where a financial advisor can be valuable. They have the experience to tailor a retirement strategy that aligns with your unique financial situation, helping you make the most of your wealth and plan for a comfortable retirement.
A financial advisor can explore alternative retirement savings options that can help you maintain or even enhance your current standard of living in retirement. By working together, you can strategize around tax-efficient investment choices, explore advanced retirement planning strategies, and ensure that your wealth continues to work for you in your golden years.
The Retirement Security Rule – Strengthening Protections for Americans Saving for Retirement
A new retirement security rule proposed by the Department of Labor is set to expand the definition of fiduciary advice and redefine which advisors fall underneath it.
The proposed rule will now cover things like fixed index annuities, advice to employers and plan fiduciaries, and one-time advice for transactions like 401(k) rollovers, the Whitehouse said in a statement. The proposed rule, which is open for public comment, could have far-reaching consequences for advisors, brokers, plan sponsors, and insurance agents.
The rule will also cut so-called junk fees in retirement products, which the Whitehouse said will potentially provide billions more in savings for those preparing for retirement.
“Today’s proposed Retirement Security rule by the Biden Administration expands protections for retirement savers, ensures sounder financial advice, lowers investment junk fees, and gives every American saving for retirement greater peace of mind about their portfolios,” the Whitehouse said.
The proposed rule aims to address a known fiduciary gap to the Employee Retirement Security Income Security Act, also known as ERISA, the federal law governing retirement plans. Under the current rule, financial advisors must put their client’s interests above their own commissions when recommending the purchase of securities like stocks and mutual funds.
At Agemy Financial Strategies, we strongly support the proposal for transparency and encourage those seeking advice to always look for a fiduciary advisor for your retirement income planning needs. Because financial planners aren’t licensed, look for one who has been certified as a CFP® professional by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board). These financial planners earn their certifications by being experienced financial professionals who have passed a rigorous financial planning examination. They also agree to uphold the highest standards of integrity, accountability, and client service.
Cracking Down on Junk Fees in Retirement Accounts
One area of focus of the proposed plan has been eliminating junk fees. Junk fees are unnecessary charges that can significantly affect your retirement savings over time, potentially reducing your nest egg.
The Department of Labor (DOL) has been working to develop rules and regulations to increase transparency and reduce retirement account fees. These initiatives help to ensure that financial institutions and retirement plan providers act in the best interests of their clients and disclose all associated fees.
The recent regulation aims to support guidance on transferring assets from employer-sponsored plans like 401(k)s, a decision affecting approximately 5 million individuals annually. In 2022, Americans shifted approximately $779 billion from their 401(k)s to IRAs. This rule is set to help protect investors from bad advice and help ensure that information is presented in a manner that prioritizes your best interests.
As an investor, staying informed about these regulatory changes is crucial, and monitoring your retirement account statements for any fees eroding your savings is crucial. Working with a Fiduciary can help you navigate these complex financial waters, as they are legally obligated to act in your best interests and provide advice that minimizes fees.
The Importance of Working with a Fiduciary
A fiduciary is a financial professional legally bound to prioritize your best interests when providing investment advice or managing your retirement accounts. Unlike some financial advisors with conflicts of interest, fiduciaries are legally bound to act in your best interests.
They are committed to helping you achieve your financial goals without being influenced by commissions or fees tied to specific financial products. Choosing to work with a Fiduciary can be a game-changer for your retirement planning for several reasons:
- Reducing Risk: Fiduciaries help you make informed investment decisions that align with your risk tolerance and long-term objectives. They can design a diversified portfolio tailored to your unique circumstances, which can be crucial for managing risk in retirement.
- Staying Informed: The financial landscape continually evolves, with new regulations and investment options emerging regularly. Fiduciaries stay current with these changes, ensuring your retirement strategy aligns with current best practices.
- Peace of Mind: Working with a Fiduciary can provide peace of mind, knowing that your financial future is in capable hands. You can trust that your advisor is always working in your best interests.
Working With Agemy Financial Strategies
If you are worried about your road to retirement in 2024, working with a qualified fiduciary advisor like the team at Agemy can help provide valuable guidance and transparency regarding retirement planning. Our fiduciary advisors, Andrew A. Agemy, MRFC®, and son Daniel J. Agemy, CPM®, RFC®, can help you develop a personalized retirement plan, optimize your investment strategy, and stay on track to achieve your goals.
At Agemy Financial Strategies, we are committed to educating our clients on various financial matters, including retirement planning, wealth management, tax planning, and more. With over 30 years of experience in helping individuals reach retirement stress-free, our unwavering dedication to educating and serving our clients remains at the core of our mission. Our financial guide to retirement planning is one of the many tools we offer to help you take control of your finances and plan for the future. Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve financial security and peace of mind for 2024 and beyond.