Greetings loyal PLANADVISER readers! Coming on the third Friday of the month, this weekend’s mailing is dedicated to the timely and evolving topic of financial wellness. While the topic has been an important focal point for several years now in the retirement plan advisory space, the coronavirus pandemic has cast an entirely new light on the concept of financial wellness. Simply put, the virus has exposed financial fractures and weak points impacting individuals across the income spectrum, putting the onus on advisers to help people create a sense of stability and confidence about their short-term finances.
Mark Waterstraat, president of consumer solutions at Alegeus, offers simple steps to coach clients through managing their health care finances after a layoff. For example, did you know that individuals can use HSA funds to pay COBRA premiums tax-free?
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The way in which companies structure their remotely distributed workforces will depend on the financial consequences of the pandemic, the impact on corporate culture and other factors, such as the prevalence of gig work.
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Though retirement plans can allow individuals to self-certify that they qualify for a penalty-free coronavirus-related distribution, should the IRS discover otherwise during a future audit, a participant can be subject to substantial penalties.