Monthly Tips September 2023

Monthly Tips

September 2023


TIP 1 401(k) Day

Did you know that September 8th is National 401(k) day? Here’s some quick trivia to share:

The name 401(k) comes from the Revenue Act of 1978, when the provision (the section 401(k)) was added to the Internal Revenue Code that allowed employees to make retirement plan contributions on a voluntary, salary deferral basis.

In the 45 years since inception, 401(k) plans have been adopted by more than 500,000 companies, and the assets in such plans have grown to over $6 trillion!

To encourage participation, employers may offer matching contributions. Even if there isn’t an employer match, 401(k) plans are a great tool, so it’s a good idea to evaluate how much you can contribute every year. Garden State Trust Company helps clients determine if they are financially independent enough to retire, based on their resources, needs and goals. If you are approaching retirement, let us know if you’d like a consultation.


TIP 2 “It’s September. Do You Know Where Your Student Loans Are?”

Interest has started accruing on student loans, repayment begins next month. Given the long hiatus it’s possible that the service providers handling those loans have changed.

One side effect of the requirement to resume student loan repayments may be curtailment of retirement contributions. A recent survey by Fidelity showed that there was an increase in 401(k) contributions during the payment pause. That increase could disappear, and there might be a temptation to raid the 401(k) to keep the financial boat afloat. A small respite to the issue of this choice may come with changes to 401(k) plans by the SECURE 2.0 Act that allows employers to match student loan payments with payments into their retirement plan. The same survey showed that 55% of employers have adopted or plan to adopt this provision.

Learn more about the state of student loans in our newest blogpost: “It’s September. Do You Know Where Your Student Loans Are?”


TIP 3 Making Donations

Americans are some of the most generous people in the world. Small donations add up, and some of that generosity may be incidental but still create large changes. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that the small donations from people at checkout added up to a whopping $749 million in 2022!

Although those charities may be doing good work, being pestered to donate all the time can also get on people’s nerves. A better course of action might be to have larger intentional gifts. For the philanthropically minded with assets that have greatly appreciated over a lifetime, consideration might be given to a charitable trust to do well by doing good. We’d be pleased to share more.


TIP 4 Cine2Nerdle

Consider yourself a film buff, but have a little more trouble remembering names as you age?

Many believe that brain games help exercise and keep our brains younger for longer, and one game to consider for film buffs is Cine2Nerdle. It’s a four-by-four grid composed of 16 tiles, each of which has a characteristic related to a movie. It might be a word from the title, an actor, a character name, the director, or the theme. The player rearranges the tiles so that four common characteristics of a film are in the same row or column. It sounds more complicated than it really is. After the first couple go-rounds, it becomes easier and a lot of fun. It might even introduce film buffs to movies they’ve never heard of, when they think they know an actor’s or actress’s entire filmography.

Know any other brain games? Let us know in the comments 😊.