Leveraging IRAs and 401(k)s in Retirement Planning

 

Retirement Planning pic

Retirement Planning
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Edward “Ed” Marsi is a longtime New Hampshire financial professional who holds an executive position at TD Ameritrade. One of the core areas of focus for many of the clients Edward Marsi serves centers on a sustainable retirement.

For the many Millennials reaching an age where purchasing homes and starting families is becoming a reality, there are a number of ways of ensuring sufficient savings amid the myriad financial outlays life presents.

The two most common retirement accounts are IRAs and 401(k)s. The latter of these is employer sponsored and provides tax-deferred compensation; with annual contributions capped at $18,000, it is the employer who is responsible for selecting where the invested funds go. By contrast, IRAs offer tax-deferred advantages that are not provided through the employer and have a much smaller cap, of $5,500 a year.

One key retirement planning consideration is that these accounts should not simply be cashed out when changing employers. Doing so can bring about a 10-percent penalty, on top of the taxes assessed, for those who are not 59½ or older. Conversely, for those who have entered the retirement age, it is important to realize that at 70½, a withdrawal mandate for an annual required minimum distribution becomes a factor as well.

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The Emergence of the Muscle Car on the American Scene

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Muscle Car
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Edward “Ed” Marsi is a respected Manchester, New Hampshire, financial professional who holds a senior position with TD Ameritrade. A martial arts enthusiast, Edward Marsi enjoys activities such as sports and working on muscle cars in his free time.

The muscle car evolved after World War II, as demand increased among the public for vehicles that maximized power and speed. The first car on the market built specifically to meet these criteria was the Oldsmobile Rocket 88, which contained a pioneering 303-cubic-inch V8 under the hood and achieved eight out of 10 victories in NASCAR competition that year.

The next major evolution occurred in 1955, with the introduction of the NASCAR-dominating Chrysler C-300. This led to a full-out horsepower “arms race” between Plymouth, Dodge, and Chrysler, with the 1962 Dodge Dart able to complete a quarter mile in 13 seconds, behind a 413-cubic-inch engine. With the introduction of the Pontiac GTO, Dodge Polara 500, and Chevrolet SS in 1964, the era of ubiquitous muscle cars had truly begun.

What Topics Does the Series 63 Exam Cover?

 

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Series 63
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Edward Marsi, a senior financial consultant in New Hampshire, helps clients understand their retirement picture and investment strategies and create new financial plans when needed. To assist him with this, Edward “Ed” Marsi relies on more than five years of financial experience and a FINRA Series 63 license.

Also known as the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, the Series 63 exam consists of 65 multiple-choice questions, 60 of which are used to calculate a final score. To pass, test takers need to get at least 43 questions correct in the 75 minutes they are given for the exam.

One-quarter of the exam contains questions about ethical practices and obligations. This amounts to about 15 questions that revolve around such topics as compensation, conflicts of interest, and customer funds and securities. To ensure they are prepared for these questions, professionals should have a strong understanding of such topics as commissions, excessive trading, and trading authorization.

After that, the largest section of the test relates to communication with prospects and customers. This includes such topics as customer agreements and disclosures. Regulation of agents of broker-dealers and regulation of broker-dealers are the next largest sections, accounting for 15 percent of the exam each. Within these sections, professionals can expect questions about the definition of a broker-dealer and of an agent of a broker-dealer, as well as about registration.

The remaining parts of the exam focus on remedies and administrative provisions, regulation of investment advisors and representatives, and regulation of issuers. These sections also include questions relating to the definition of investment advisers and representatives, along with others about topics like exemptions and state anti-fraud authorities.

About the Series 63 Exam

Series 63 pic

Series 63
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Since 2014, Edward “Ed” Marsi has served as a senior financial consultant with TD Ameritrade in Manchester, New Hampshire. In addition to actively pursuing his chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) certification, Edward Marsi holds Series 7 and Series 63 licenses.

Administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Series 63 license is required for individuals who wish to sell securities in most states. The licensing test covers important topics, such as state and federal securities regulations and industry-standard principles of ethics.

The exam consists of 60 questions, which the test taker has 75 minutes to complete. To pass the exam, examinees must correctly answer 43 of the 60 questions. Though test takers are not allowed to bring in reference material or outside assistance of any form, test proctors do provide a calculator, whiteboard, and dry-erase markers for individuals to use while taking the test. As of 2018, the fee for the Series 63 exam was $135.

Examinees who pass the test receive the Series 63 license. However, most states require registered securities dealers to also hold a Series 7 license. To learn more about the exam and its requirements, please visit www.finra.org/industry/series63.

New Hampshire State Bill Would Cut Real Estate Tax

 

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Real Estate Tax
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As a senior financial consultant with TD Ameritrade in Manchester, New Hampshire, Edward “Ed” Marsi advises clients about retirement planning options. Outside of his interests in financial and retirement planning, Edward Marsi follows the real estate industry in New Hampshire and elsewhere.

Faced with an aging demographic and declining population growth rates, the New Hampshire state government has sought ways to draw younger professionals and families to the state. One possibility that has been discussed is to cut the real estate transfer tax for first-time homebuyers. Currently, the tax stands at 75 cents for every $100 of property value, a rate that some critics argue discourages people from settling in New Hampshire.

To remedy this, lawmakers drew up Senate Bill 301, which proposes to cut the real estate transfer tax by a third for homebuyers purchasing their first homes for a price of less than $300,000. Proponents argue that the new rate of 50 cents per $100 would draw more young families.

Though the bill passed the State Senate easily, in April of 2018 the House Ways and Means Committee determined the proposed law needed additional consideration. Some members raised concerns that the bill wasn’t clear enough in its definition of “first-time homebuyer,” while others argued that many first-time homeowners are unaware that the real estate transfer tax exists at all. As a result, analysts suggest that the odds of the bill passing in its current form are not high.

Retirement Planning Traps – Purchasing an Overly Expensive Home

 

Retirement Planning
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Edward (Ed) Marsi is a respected Manchester, New Hampshire-based financial consultant. As a senior financial consultant at TD Ameritrade, Edward Marsi works with clients to envision pathways to comfortable retirements that maintain a steady income flow.

One essential aspect of retirement planning centers on making real estate choices that don’t wind up owning you and your family. Unfortunately, many people who move upward into the residences of their dreams end up “house poor,” with meager savings and little spending money after accounting for the mortgage and upkeep of the home.

In addition to the monthly payments and taxes associated with home ownership, expensive houses come with a host of other embedded expenses, from landscaping to furniture, as well as utilities that are typically on the high side. They also provide loan leverage that can be tempting to utilize, but which may lead to higher levels of overall debt.

The bottom line is that entering retirement with a modest house and a mortgage that is winding down may make more sense than taking on an impressive residence that costs more than you can reasonably afford.

Four Cooking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

 

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Cooking
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Accomplished financial professional Edward Marsi serves as a senior consultant in New Hampshire. When he’s not busy helping individuals and families understand their retirement prospects and meet their financial targets, Edward “Ed” Marsi enjoys cooking.

Below are four common cooking mistakes to avoid:

1. Overcrowding the pan. When pans are overcrowded, they produce steam and prevent browning. This dramatically alters the taste of meat and other items. Always leave enough room in the pan that pieces of food are not touching. If necessary, use two pans or cook in batches.

2. Using the wrong oil. Extra virgin olive oil is great for cooking a huge range of foods. But it doesn’t work with everything. Since it starts burning at a low temperature, it is not suitable for cooking at high heat.

3. Not reading the recipe. Many people read the recipe as they go along, when they should really be reading the entire recipe first. By reading the whole recipe, cooks can get the ingredients and equipment they need without rushing.

4. Not taste-testing. One of the great things about cooking is the ability to toss in extra ingredients or use substitutions. Since these alter the flavor of the dish, cooks must taste-test as they go. Taste-testing is also important for cooks who follow the recipe carefully, because some ingredients or amounts may be off.