HFS Headlines

Acroynym Circus

Posted by on Oct 13, 2021 in blog | Comments Off on Acroynym Circus

Acronym Circus

In 1981 The Johnson Companies created the first 401 (k) plan which allowed employees to contribute to their retirement plan through payroll deduction.  So, from an employee perspective this is simple, how much do you want to contribute and where would you like to invest that among plan options.   From a company or plan sponsor perspective maybe not so simple.  Should I use a Stand-Alone Plan, a MEP’s, PEP’s, PEO’s GOP’s, ARP, or an exchange plan.  Let’s take a look at what each plan is and we have provided a chart below with some of the similarities and differences.


Stand Alone Plan (NO Acronym):  You as the plan sponsor have the full flexibility to design your plan and investment menu that best fits your plan participants. (more…)

Job openings available, but Workers unwilling to work!

Posted by on Aug 27, 2021 in blog | Comments Off on Job openings available, but Workers unwilling to work!

Job openings available, but Workers unwilling to work!

In February of 2020 US unemployment was 3.5%, this represented 50 year low and employers could foresee a possible labor shortage on the horizon.  Then the pandemic hit in February of 2020 and unemployment rose to 15% in March as we shut down many sectors of our economy.   With so many Americans suffering, Congress stepped in and passed an array of assistance for struggling US workers.  Congress has stimulated the economy allowing us to create a vaccine, get the cases of COVID 19 down to a manageable number, and open up the economy.  Now let’s fast forward to the summer of 2021. The US in June 2021 had 10 million job openings and 9.5 million unemployed workers; why aren’t Americans going back to work?  (more…)

“Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” – Anonymous

Posted by on Jul 26, 2021 in blog | Comments Off on “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” – Anonymous

“Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” – Anonymous

Aging is an act that many individuals want to make gracefully. However, it is important to know that risks exist throughout all life stages. Today, let’s focus on risks in the retirement years.

Statistically speaking, as we age, we lose cognitive abilities.  Now is the best time to plan with your loved ones in mind; to protect wants, wishes, and desires for when they may lose a step or two.

Baby boomers are ranging from ages 57-75 in 2021. According to The Alzheimer’s Association, 11% of those age 65+ have Alzheimer’s. Nearly 14% of those ages 75-84, and 35% of those ages 85+ have Alzheimer’s.

Baby boomers, ages 57-75, hold half of the $50 trillion dollars in US household wealth. Time has been spent building that wealth and for what? Is it for charities, scholarships, or is it be left to care for and support family members?

Throughout life we develop our own unique way of caring for ourselves, paying bills, managing finances, maintaining our home, caring for loved ones, and maintaining our physical and mental health. Those who take a solo approach to managing life’s finances may run more of a risk than those who go about it with a team.  Those who have a trusted team in place ensure their financial wellness will stay on track. (more…)

Q3 2021 Global Asset Allocation Views

Posted by on Jul 23, 2021 in blog | Comments Off on Q3 2021 Global Asset Allocation Views

Q3 2021 Global Asset Allocation Views

Market Review

Stocks hit new highs as pandemic recedes – equity markets were finally able to hit new highs in June after trending sideways during the first part of the quarter.  The latest grind higher was led by big tech after taking over leadership from cyclical sectors.  Breadth has been weak as of late as the rotation from value to growth has occurred while the 10yr yield drops back below 1.5%.  Almost all of the U.S. has fully opened up as covid restrictions have lifted.  We are beginning to see travel pick up, and the return of large gatherings at stadiums and concert venues.

Fiscal Policy sees some bipartisanship – A bipartisan group of senators have come to a tentative agreement on an infrastructure package. The $579 (billions) focuses on mostly traditional infrastructure (planes, trains, and automobiles) as well as broadband and water infrastructure among other items.  A bipartisan group in the House, the Problem Solvers Caucus, has also given their blessing.  The passing of the bill could yet be stifled by both parties.  Democrats on the left do not believe it goes far enough regarding environmental and human infrastructure, though this could be remedied with additional funding through reconciliation.  Republicans are opposed to a two-stage deal that would increase the deficit by over $2trillion. (more…)

Inflation! Should I Be Worried?

Posted by on Jul 14, 2021 in blog | Comments Off on Inflation! Should I Be Worried?

Inflation! Should I Be Worried?

I don’t know about you, but recently every time I go into a store shopping for some item I am in need of there is a little sticker shock. It seems prices are rising on a many of the items we use on a normal basis. Gas prices have surged 56.2% in the 12 months ended in May. Food prices are rising but at a much slower rate than other segments of the market. Consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 5% in May. It seems more expensive these days for just about everything. There are many reasons prices are rising and you will hear theories from various sources blaming just about every possible cause. The reality is that there is no one specific reason, but many factors that come into play. Some economic, some political and some just the realities of worldwide economies trying to cope with the effects of a global pandemic. (more…)

Securing the New Normal

Posted by on Jun 18, 2021 in blog | Comments Off on Securing the New Normal

Securing the New Normal

Historically a company was focused on 4 walls: the walls that encompassed employees, a culture, and a secure environment that houses sensitive data as it pertains to not only your clientele, but also your employees. 2020 taught us that work life exists outside of the 4 walls of an office. When March of 2020 brought about the first wave of COVID-19 most businesses went to a remote work environment.

As the world reopens, we are seeing many companies keeping some semblance of remote work. As a business, how are you to adjust to this as it pertains to cyber security? As an employee, it is not only what you do in this new environment, but what you do not do.

On the plus side, remote work offers a great deal of flexibility. One can work in their home, on vacation, at a coffee shop, on a hotspot on a plane, or anywhere where internet access exists. One question to consider: is all internet access to be trusted with private information?

A business likely spent decades protecting data inside of its 4 walls, but now that data exists outside of them. Being conscious of working only on a secure network is how you ensure that no one from the outside can “penetrate” those 4 walls. (more…)

How will I decide I am ready to retire?

Posted by on Jun 15, 2021 in blog | Comments Off on How will I decide I am ready to retire?

How will I decide I am ready to retire?

After 40 or more years working, how do you know when is the right time to retire?  Is it based on your age 62,65,67,70 or does age have nothing to do with it?  Maybe you need to acquire a certain level of assets, one million, two million or even five million or more.  Is it based on my health which is deteriorating, and I want to enjoy what time I have left?  Maybe I cannot handle the stress or negative work environment I am in, is that what will push me into retirement?  I think it is all these things and more.  As we approach our late 50’s and early 60’s most of us start thinking about retirement and yes age, money, health, and job satisfaction all come into play.  In addition, we need to look at healthcare, long term care, caring for family members, and unforeseen expenses like home repairs, or vehicle repairs. (more…)

SECURE Act 2.0 Get the Jump on this Legislation

Posted by on Apr 12, 2021 in blog | Comments Off on SECURE Act 2.0 Get the Jump on this Legislation

SECURE Act 2.0 Get the Jump on this Legislation

As part of our financial wellness focus for a business, we hope to keep you on the forefront of legislation that can impact the financial wellness of your business and your employees.

Even in an era of extreme polarization, both sides of the political aisle can still come to a consensus on issues like retirement legislation. In 2019, a divided government easily passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (SECURE) Act. And regardless of the balance of power going forward, another retirement law, dubbed the SECURE Act 2.0, is currently in the works.

SECURE Act 2.0 has a long road to walk before it becomes law. The timing of enactment is unclear. Cost has not yet been factored in. There is a high probability of changes as it winds its way through Congress. Passage, may in fact, have to wait until the legislation can be attached to bigger priorities, such as how the original SECURE Act was tacked onto a budget bill.

As a team, we are preparing for what appears to be a significant enhancement to the retirement savings arena. Let’s zoom in on some provisions inside of this proposed act: (more…)

What is the Planning Gap

Posted by on Apr 6, 2021 in blog | Comments Off on What is the Planning Gap

What is the Planning Gap?

You may recall back in 2008 ING ran a series of commercials showing people carrying around a big orange number that was supposed to indicate the “number” they need to have saved in order to be able to retire comfortably. Today’s world is a little more complex than just working toward achieving a dollar amount that will carry you through retirement.

Traditionally there were three components of retirement income that most people relied upon. The first component, an employer defined pension, has all but disappeared for most private sector employees. The next component is Social Security. While Social Security is still a very valid component of retirement planning, there is some uncertainty as to its future in terms of what changes may be necessary to maintain the program. That leaves personal savings as the third component. (more…)

Don’t Stop Believin’

Posted by on Jan 19, 2021 in blog | Comments Off on Don’t Stop Believin’

Don’t Stop Believin’

The year 2019 seamlessly gave way to 2020. Many individuals around the world traveled extensively, enjoyed time with family, and grumbled about their daily commute to and from their 9-5 jobs. What happened in March significantly impacted everyone across the globe. COVID-19 traveled across the world, and life as we knew it changed in an instant. Work and schools went fully remote, commutes were now from the bedroom to your new living room office, zoom/teams arose (who had heard of zoom before 2020…be honest), jobs were lost for millions of Americans, restaurants closed, and last, but not least, childcare became scarce in America.

2020 created multiple levels of physical, financial, and especially mental exhaustion. A change of the work and family dynamic placed parents and children around a dining room table all working side by side. Early in the year we wondered when this would all be over?

A common phrase, according to the wonderful band Journey, was “Don’t Stop Believin’” … (more…)