You want a solid foundation

IRAsOh man, you’re thinking, “I have to come up with a way to help my employees plan for their future.”  You want it to be a good plan because you will be using the same plan for your future. Problem is you just do not know what to do. You are thinking about IRAs. But you have found out there are many different types of IRAs. You had no clue. Now you have to decide what IRA would be best for you and your employees. You may even be wondering if each employee can chose what IRA they want. Your friends have listened and given advice, you have done research, you have even talked to other business owners but at the end of the day you still do not know what you want to do. The questions keep rolling in your mind. You want to do what is best for your employees and their families. At this point you are just plain tired of thinking about what to do.

 What you do know is you want a solid foundation for your investment portfolio before you introduce it to your employees. You have a good group of people and you want to keep them. The decision you make is going to be very important. You want them to be as happy with the company as you are with them.

 Instead of continuing to rack your brains think about this:  There is a better way to take control of your future. Let SMA Services, Inc. help you find the right IRA that will help you save for retirement and get great tax advantages along the way.

 You can talk to SMA Services, Inc. and they will listen. If you have decided to go with IRAs they will help you decide the best IRS for your need. Yes, there are several choices. You may already realize that and that is part of what is so confusing to you. Do not feel bad about that. It can be confusing, but SMA Services, Inc. has the resources to help you decide what is best for your company. They can even show you other options. You may continue to want to offer IRA plans to your employees. Plus you may come up with other options too. Remember you are trying to come up with the best plan for your employees.

 Think about this there is the SEP-IRA, (Simplified Employee Pension), the Contributory IRA, a Spousal IRA, a Rollover IRA, the Roth IRA, etc. Do you really want to continue to worry about this or do you want to use your time and energy running your business? You are an expert in your field. You do not have to be an expert in choosing an IRA plan for your company. It is time for you to call SMA Services, Inc. They are waiting to help you. Call 1-800-423-4992. Tell the person that answers what you are interested in discussing and you will be directed to the person you need to help you.

Planning Ahead to Avoid Pain Later

Planning Ahead to Avoid Pain LaterPlanning for our financial futures is something we should all take part in. You may never know when illness or death can strike and it’s better to be prepared when the time comes rather than be left with a financial burden on top of your grieving. Planning for your future doesn’t always mean funeral expenses. It can mean planning for health costs, vocational counseling, financial planning for a child’s educational costs, or financial planning for long-term income in the event of a severe injury. Each family is different and has different needs and resources available. There are no clear-cut answers to how a catastrophic event will affect your family, but it is important to begin planning now for the inevitable to lessen the blow when and if the time comes.

Planning ahead for funeral arrangements can eliminate a great deal of strain on your family members left behind. The value of “Pre-Need” arrangements can save a spouse or children thousands of dollars and time that can be spent properly grieving. Another one of the primary objective of “Pre-Need” arrangements is to ensure that the funeral is carried out according to your wishes. It doesn’t take much thought to see the value in this approach. In fact, millions of people choose to pre-arrange their funeral every year. Taking the beforehand approach can provide social, psychological, and emotional benefits to loved ones at a difficult time and allows your family to have peace of mind that “your affairs are in order.”

Not all planning has to be done to prepare for death. Albeit equally as grim, you may find yourself in a situation where you can’t work or you may find yourself in need of some sort of long-term care. People choose not to think about becoming dependent on others for care, and often times, people are just misinformed about the risks of needing care coupled with a lack of knowledge about the cost of care and payment options available. There is a very good chance that by the time you reach the age of 65 you will need some sort of long-term care or assistance, and that probability only rises as you continue to age.

Some people find it difficult to discuss these topics with their loved ones, making it difficult to explore their options and define their plans. Adult children often times find it difficult to raise these subjects with their parents for fear of feeling as if they are patronizing them, but the fact is, these things need to be talked about. Same goes for the parents of the adult children, they don’t want to make their children uncomfortable by discussing their passing or how they will be cared for in their final years. Some people realize the importance of planning ahead, but just don’t know how to go about doing so. The best way is to being with small and easy steps. Even just talking with your loved ones is a great first step toward being well prepared.


Qualified Retirement Plan

Qualified Retirement PlanYou work and work and work for your whole life in hopes that one-day you’ll be able to retire and enjoy the golden years of life. You can’t rely on Social Security to provide you with a trust fund once you reach the age for retirement, so you continue to work to attempt and build up a savings for you and your family. If you have the pleasure of working for a company that offers its employees a qualified retirement plan, that dream is becoming a reality even though it may seem like a distant dream. By offering these plans, companies can attract and retain employees that strive to work and stay with the company for a very long time. You are the one in control of your retirement and the first person you should do it for is yourself.

It is important to understand exactly what a Qualified Retirement Plan is before we can begin discussing the benefits they hold. Qualified Retirement Plans is a plan that is established by an employer for the benefit of the company’s employees. These plans give employers a tax break for the contributions they make for their employees. If the plan allows employees to defer a portion of their salaries into a plan, it also reduces the employees’ present income-tax liability by reducing their taxable income. In some cases, the employer will match the employee’s contributions to the retirement plan. Contributions are made in the accounts, in which the accounts earn income and begin to grow, and, hopefully, the assets in the account appreciate. Thus, when it is time for the employee to retire, he or she may begin receiving a payout from the account.

Qualified plans may allow investments, but only certain types, which vary from plan to plan, but these typically include publicly traded securities, real estate, mutual funds, and money market funds. These qualified plans also define when distributions from the plan may be made. Typically, these distributions are made when the employee reaches the retirement age defined by the plan, when the employee becomes disabled or unable to continue work, when the plan is terminated and not replaced by another qualified plan, or if the employee dies, in which case the beneficiaries receive the distributions.

It is important to note that workers may take distributions from qualified retirement plans before the retirement age is reached or one of the triggering events occurs. If a distribution is made from the plan, the employee may be subject to taxes and penalties that might make it unwise to take an early distribution. Some plans allow employees to borrow from the plan, but they also hold strict rules regarding the repayment of the loan.

This is just another way that you can plan for your future, and, in a way, reward yourself for your life of hard work. That isn’t to say that a Qualified Retirement Plan isn’t a way to help your family continue after a tragic incident. By making these preparations now, you can ensure that you and your family will be taken care of after your days of working are over.



PayrollWhen running any type of business, your employees are your backbone. They help you carry your business and make sure the day-to-day duties are handled.

You also want to make sure that they are compensated well, fairly, and on time. If you’re handling the payroll aspect of your business on your own, the outcome could be risky and complex which leaves you and your company vulnerable to several different negative possibilities. By turning over your payroll completion to an outside source, you reduce the unwanted risks as well as ensure greater accuracy with up-to-date tax rates and regulatory information. You can simply your payroll with a combination of resources available through SMA Services to help you make sure your employees and your business are taken secured.

By allowing SMA Services to take over your business’s payroll, you are putting a dedicated team in charge of handling the payment of your employees. Your business receives expert, one-on-one service and support from a local, small business minded team. SMA Services provides a better payroll experienced that is focused on providing you with a smooth, glitch-free payroll system that is customized to meet the unique needs of your business regardless of the size.

When you put SMA Services in charge, you’re still the boss of your payroll. The details of your payroll system are customizable all the way down to the way that you submit your information to SMA Services. You can submit your payroll directly to our professional payroll team and receive a small business payroll package delivered to you, included with processed checks and essential management reports and supplies. We make it easy to submit payroll online, by phone, or through Email, view reports, import payroll data to your business’ accounting software, and save time answering your employees’ payroll questions that may arise.

The SMA Services payroll system is ideal for small to mid-sized employers. With SMA Services’ payroll and tax compliance, your payroll can be managed in-house and online. This allows you to eliminate inefficiencies of managing data in multiple places. This provides you with complete control and ownership of your payroll information and financial assets.

In addition to eliminating confusion and additional stress, SMA Services allows you to manage your payroll on your terms. By cutting checks, SMA Services can put effective payroll management tools in your hands to make every pay period business-as-usual. You have options when entering in your payroll information into the accounting software of your choice as either a regular entry or in more detailed check and draft amounts. You can automatically withhold and remit garnishment payments through electronic fund transfers. SMA Services gives you access to accurate reports to make understanding your payroll that much easier. SMA Services also offers the convenience of direct deposit, a paycard program, or a variety of traditional paper check options to fit the need of your employees.

When SMA Services handles your payroll needs, you can rest assured that you are receiving accurate handling of your payroll resources. You have enough to worry about when handling a business, so make payroll one less thing you have to struggle with juggling everything and then your business’ payroll. Turn the payroll worries over to SMA Services and continue carrying your business with a little less to worry about.


The Plan

Theplan-01One of the ladies at the coffee club today asks us if we had a Plan for the future. As always Uncle Bud was the first to speak up and let us know he had a plan.

He always has the answer and is so ready to share it with us. Someone made the mistake of asking him to tell us his plan. He would have anyways so it was not a huge mistake. Uncle Bud said, “I have money under the mattress, some cold cash in the freezer, and a few jars of money buried in the back yard”. Well, needless to say, we feel like we need a better Plan. No one could get Uncle Bud to change his mind. We pointed out that houses burn and tornados have been known to carry freezers several miles from home. Someone even had the gall to remind us that if we buried money in the back yard we might forget where we buried the jars.

Finally it was agreed upon that Uncle Bud’s Plan was one he would forever stick to but none of us would join him. We need to feel a little more secure about our future. Some of us have a Plan in place but are not sure it is what we need. Some admitted they do not have a Plan at all. So where should we go for help?

SMA Services, Inc. is the place to go. They will review the Plan you have and help you decide if changes need to be made. If you have no Plan at all then you, without a doubt, need their help. It is never too early to start planning for your future. But keep in mind; it is never too late either. While some of us may have waited longer than we should have to plan for our future we do not need to continue to make mistakes. SMA Services, Inc. will help you see if you are on track. If not, they will help you find different ways to reach your goals and make adjustments as needed.

The younger members of the coffee club can benefit greatly by receiving guidance from the retirement professionals at SMA Services, Inc. They can help them decide how much money needs to be but in what plan. You may be tempted to do your own research. Please reconsider and let the experts help you. SMA Services, Inc. professionals are aware of so many ways to help. How many of us know the different Plans out there? You are an expert in your field of work but are you an expert on 401Ks, Profit Sharing, Hybrid Plans, Money Purchase Pension Plans? Need we go on because there are more? If we are honest with ourselves most of us need guidance in this field.

Your future is serious business. SMA Services, Inc.’s Customer Service Representatives can help you.  They understand the importance of a Plan.

Call Customer Services – 1-800-423-4992

Financial Planning

Financial PlanningHave you ever heard anyone say they wish they had not planned so well for the future? No, no one ever feels that way. In fact, most people say just the opposite. Reaching your financial goals can be compared to planning a road trip. You cannot get to your destination until you have a plan. You need to know things like, where you are going, how long it will take you to get there, how comfortable do you want to be when you are there, and the best route to use in order to arrive safely. These are just a few of the plans you need to make for a road trip.

Why are these things also important when setting your financial goals? There are many reasons. For instance, if you don’t know the destination, how will you know when you’ve arrived? To really enjoy your vacation you want a comfortable place to stay so you plan ahead. In order to have a “comfortable retirement” you must plan. Just as you need to know how long it will take you to arrive at your vacation spot you need to know how long it will take you to reach your financial goals for retirement. We could continue to list things we need to do in order to reach our financial goals. But, the fact is, most of us need help with planning for our future.

SMA Service, Inc. can help set your goals and plan the best route you need to take to reach your goals. There are just so many things to consider. A few other questions that have to be answered are:

  • Are you saving enough? A professional planner can help you decide how much you need to save in order to maintain your life style. They can help you chose how to invest you money to best suit your needs.
  • Do you need to plan for children’s college education? Education is so expensive. We are hearing so many young adults who are struggling to repay their student loans. Most parents would like to be able to help their children avoid starting out their adult lives with the debt of a student loan hanging over their heads.
  • What are the proper investments to make? A professional planner will be able to help you decide where you will feel most comfortable investing your hard earned money.
  • Do you have the right life insurance? What happens to your investments at your death?

These questions do not begin to cover every decision that must be made when setting your financial goals but they may give you reasons to understand why we often need help to ensure we do the best planning for our future.

SMA Services, Inc. realizes that financial planning is not just a one-time event but an ongoing process. Our Customer Service Representatives can take an objective and unemotional look at your situation and put you on the right path for you to reach your goals. They understand the importance of a plan but also understand the plan can and should change from time to time as your circumstances.

Call Customer Services – 1-800-423-4992


Are You Ready For Your Debt Diet?

DebtDietThe year is drawing to an end. As you think about the things you need to do there are several things you may need to check off your financial to-do list. You may just want on step back and enjoy the season but that is not the best thing to do right now. It is important to address financial items now. You may just benefit from a tax and savings perspective by doing so. SMA Services, Inc. can help you start off the New Year with your best financial foot forward.

We at SMA Services, Inc. feel there is no time like the present to get a grip on your finances. We will help you assess your current financial situation and review the past year. Did you meet your financial goals? Did you pay off the debts that you hoped to pay off? Did you live within your budget?

If there are some areas that need improving, commit to making those changes now. There’s no time like the present to get a grip on your finances.

You may be thinking to yourself, “No way! I just do not want to worry about my debt in the midst of the holiday season!” But the honest truth is that now is the best time to go on a “debt diet”. Do not give in to the temptation to spend, spend, adding more debt to your already tight budget. Yea, a lot of us do that with our eating but we do not need to do the same with our debt. All that credit card debt does indeed make your bottom line look bad and it’s hurting your financial health. Rethink your holiday plans. Think of way to enjoy them without adding to your debt. Start shedding it today. We can help you get a plan that works for you and your family.

We will help you by having you list all your debts from the smallest to the largest. Focus all your resources on paying off the smallest to the largest. You will need to focus on paying off the smallest then moving to the next and before you know it you can have a strong, healthy, debt-free New You.! Doesn’t this sound good to you? Wouldn’t it be nice to be free of debt before the end of the coming year?

Some of us start the New Year wanting to take better care of our health. We agree that everyone wants the best of health but do not always have the “stick to it” we need. We often do better if we have a buddy plan. SMA Services, Inc. wants to be your “buddy” as you focus on your debt diet. As with any diet the first few weeks may be the hardest. But as the pounds, or the debts, begin to decline and we see results it becomes easier.

Our Customer Service Representatives can help you. Just give us a call.

Customer Services 1-800-423-4992

What Exactly is an IRA?

WhatExactlyisanIRALooking back, we probably all wish we had taken the piggy bank a little more seriously. Putting money back for a rainy day always seems easier said than done. Expenses pile up and the cost of living in America isn’t exactly cheap. Although, there is a way for us to put away money and other assets necessary for once we retire. By setting up an IRA, or Individual Retirement Account, we can plan ahead for the future and our retirement so that we may be able to live comfortable with the resources we need. It may take some penny pinching but every bit that you can put away now is what you can have available to you once you have retired.

As stated above, IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account, which is basically a savings account that you set up. In addition to being in control of the account itself, you receive some major tax breaks for having the account open. There is often some confusion from many people who think that the IRA is the actual invest, when really, the IRA is the basket you place all of your proverbial eggs in (meaning your stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other assets). There are three main types of IRAs available to you – Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and Rollover IRAs – each with different advantages to you. With a traditional IRA, you make the contributions with money you may be able to deduct on your tax return and any earnings you can potentially grow tax-deferred until you withdraw them in retirement. A lot of retirees find themselves in the lower tax bracket than they were in pre-retirement, so the tax-deferral could allow the money to be taxed a lower rate. A Roth IRA requires you to make the contributions with money you’ve already paid taxes on (after-tax) and your money may potentially grow tax-free, with tax-free withdrawals in retirement, provided that certain conditions are met. A Rollover IRA is a Traditional IRA intended for money “rolled over” from a qualified retirement plan. Rollovers involve moving eligible assets from an employer-sponsored plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), into an IRA.

Several financial experts have estimated that in retirement, you will more than likely need up to 85% of your pre-retirement income. A 401(k) or some other employee-sponsored savings plan may not be enough to amount to the savings you’ll need. Fortunately for you, you can contribute both to a 401(k) and an IRA. An SMA Services professional will always be willing to help you sort out your financial planning and assist you in making the smartest decision with your money.

After-Tax Plan

After-Tax Plan-01Retirement is something that we will all face sooner or later, but the way we prepare for it may differ from person to person. You may be an employee at a job where you have the option to deposit into a 401(k), an IRA, or some other tax-advantaged savings plan.

These plans provide a number of various benefits and can help you develop a substantial savings when your retirement day arrives. Most of these plans allow for tax deferral on contributions and on earnings/growth and, for some, there is the added bonus of your employer matching your input. Because of these plans implemented by your employer, millions of workers, who otherwise might not be saving for their retirement, are responsibly saving regularly.

Unfortunately, the truth for many people approaching retirement is that a combination of these accounts, in addition to any social security benefits they may receive, may not be enough to provide a comfortable retirement. How will they build up enough money? What options do they have? While a purchased immediate fixed annuity is one option, there is another option that is more flexible and perhaps more attractive from an income tax perspective – after-tax savings and investment accounts.

While what you have heard is true, after-tax accounts do not offer upfront tax deductions/credits for tax-deferred growth; they do offer a number of advantages to the user. Some of these advantages make after-tax accounts attractive complements to standard retirement plans:

There are no contribution limits:
While standard retirement plans have a maximum annual contribution limit, after-tax plans have no limit and allow the user to deposit as much or as little as often or as rarely as they please.

There are no income limits:

Most tax-advantaged plans have income limits. Employer plans limit the degree of participation for workers with high incomes through anti-discrimination rules. IRAs and Roth IRAs impose income caps, which prohibit contributions for years in which the caps are exceeded, although non-deductable IRA contributions are not subject to an income limit. An after-tax account is available to anyone, regardless of his or her income.

Easy access to funds:

Unlike employer retirement funds, an after-tax account gives you the freedom to access your hard-earned money whenever you choose.

Investment flexibility:
Unlike participants who utilize an employer retirement plan, taxable accounts give you unlimited investment options, unlike employer plans or IRA or Roth IRAs, which limit the investment choices by the account administrator.

Couple these benefits with others including tax flexibility, no minimum distribution requirements, and estate planning flexibility, and an after-tax investment plan gives you the options to be in control of your money. A well financial plan can map out the correct mix of retirement plans, IRAs, and Roth IRA accounts, depending on the individual’s goals, access to various plans, income level, time to retire, and other factors. If you would like to begin planning your future to insure that you’re financial stability is in order when your retirement day comes, contact SMA Services today and let us help you become ready for the first day of your retirement.

IRA/SEP Account Rates Effective July 1, 2014

IRA/SEP Account Rates

Are your other IRA Accounts “bearly” making progress?

IRA/SEP Account Rates Effective July 1, 2014



Effective July 1, 2014, the interest rate for new deposits posted by September 30, 2014, is 1.85%. This rate is guaranteed through June 30, 2015.

Renewal rate for those rates that expired on June 30, 2014, is 3.12%. This rate is guaranteed through June 30, 2015.

Terri Carroll, IRA Administrator
800/423-4992 X 170