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NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

2019 Contribution Limits Increase for 401(k), IRA and Related Retirement Plans

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By Patricia L. Burris, CFP®, Vice President, Corporate & Retirement Plan Services

Provided by Meld University

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Click here to register for our next event, "Investment Planning: From Growth to Income".

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Employees who participate in retirement plans, such as a 401(k), 403(b), most 4S7(b), and the federal government's Thrift Savings Plan, will be able to contribute more of their paycheck to their plan in 2019; the limit has increased from $18,S00 to $19,000. The catch-up limit for employees age SO and over, which includes individuals who will turn SO in 2019, remains unchanged at $6,000. This means that employees age SO and over can contribute a total of $2S,000 to their retirement plan in 2019.

For the first time since 2013, the annual contribution limit to an IRA will increase as well, from $S,S00 to $6,000. The catch-up limit for age SO and over individuals will remain at $1,000, allowing them to contribute a maximum of $7,000 to their IRA in 2019.

On November 1st the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2018-83 announcing the dollar limits and cost of living adjustments for pension and retirement plans for the 2019 tax year. A recap of these limits is below.

20192018
401(k), 403{b), 457{b) Elective Deferrals; §402{g)$19,000$18,500
401(k), 403(b),457{b) Catch-Up Contribution (age 50+); §414{v){2)(B)(i)$6,000$6,000
SIMPLE 401{k) Elective Deferrals$19,000$18,500
SIMPLE 401{k) Catch-Up Contributions (age 50+);§414{v){2)(B)(i)$6,000$6,000
SIMPLE IRA Elective Deferrals; §408{p)(2)(C)$13,000$12,500
SIMPLE IRA Catch-Up Contributions {age SO+); 414{v){2){B)(ii)$3,000$3,000
SEP Minimum Compensation; §408{k){2){C)$600$600
IRA & Roth Contribution Limit; §219{b){S){A)$6,000$5,500
IRA & Roth Catch-Up Contributions (age 50+)$1,000$1,000
Annual Compensation Limit; Sections 401{a){17), 404(1), 408{k){3){C), and 408{k){6){D)(ii)$280,000$275,000
Maximum Annual Addition Defined Contribution Plans; §415(c){l){A)$56,000$55,000
Highly Compensated Employee; §414{q){l)(B)$125,000$120,000
Key Employee in a Top-Heavy Plan; §416{i){l)(A)(i)$180,000$175,000

Deductible IRA Contributions and Phase-Out Rules

If neither you nor your spouse is an active participant in a retirement plan at work, you can deduct contributions to an IRA on your tax return. However, if during the year either you or your spouse is an active participant in a retirement plan at work, the deductibility will depend on your tax filing status and subject to the following phase-out rules based on your income (under §219(g)(2)(A)).

Single or Head of Household and active participant in employer's retirement plan: phase-out range $64,000 to $74,000 (increased from $63,000 to $73,000 in 2018).

Married Filing Joint or a Qualified Widow(er), spouse making IRA contribution and spouse is an active participant in employer's retirement plan: phase-out range $103,000 to $123,000 (increased from $101,000 to $121,000 in 2018).

Married Filing Joint or a Qualified Widow(er), IRA contributor not an active participant in employer's retirement plan but spouse is an active participant in their employer's retirement plan: phase-out range is $193,000 to $203,000 (increased from $189,000 to $199,000 in 2018).

Married Filing Separate and active participant in employer's retirement plan: phase-out remains the same as 2018 at $0 - $10,000.

Roth IRA Contributions Phase-Out Rules

Contributions to Roth IRA accounts are also subject to the following phase-out rules for all taxpayers based on your income (under §408A(c)(3)(A)).

Single and Head of Household: phase-out range $122,000 to $137,000 (increased from
$120,000 to $135,000 in 2018).

Married Filing Joint or a Qualified Widow(er): phase-out range $193,000 to $203,000 (increase from $189,000 to $199,000).

Married Filing Separate: phase-out range remains the same at $0 - $10,000

If you have more than one employer during the year, you will need to combine some of the limits listed above, such as the $19,000 401(k) Elective Deferral limit, whereas some of the limits are per employer. The information above should be used as a guideline in determining the maximum amount you can contribute to your retirement plan. Please be sure to consult your tax advisor to determine your personal contribution and phase-out limits.

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Click here to register for our next event, "Investment Planning: From Growth to Income".

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Meld Financial, Inc. may be reached at:

205-967-4200

meld@meldfinancial.com

P. O. Box 43626

Birmingham, AL 35243

www.meldfinancial.com

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Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC . Member FINRA/SIPC.

Advisory services offered through Meld Financial, Inc.

Triad Advisors and Meld Financial are not affiliated.

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Weekly Economic Update - 11/12/2018

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Upcoming Event:

Click here for details and to register for our next Meld University event: Estate Planning. The class will be held on Tuesday, December 4th at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. There is no cost to register, but seating is limited.

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Meld Financial, Inc. Presents:

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Weekly Economic Update

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Weekly Tip
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If the terms on one of your credit cards change unfavorably, you may consider dropping the card. Think twice about doing so. If you have had the account for years and the payment history is good, closing it out could possibly hurt your FICO score. Instead, use that card for minor purchases only.

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Weekly Quote
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“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”

-Helen Keller

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Weekly Riddle
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A young man runs away from home. Cheered on by onlookers, he makes three lefts, then finds two masked men ahead of him, but he runs toward them. Can you explain why?

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Last Week's Riddle
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It floats when born, lies down when alive, and runs as it dies. What is it?

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Last week's answer:
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Snow.

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November 12, 2018

SERVICE SECTOR KEEPS BOOMING

At a lofty October mark of 60.3, the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing purchasing manager index was a bit lower than the record 61.6 reading seen in September, but it also beat the 59.3 consensus forecast from Refinitiv. Across the 12 months ending in October, the mean reading for the index was a strong 58.5.1,2

IS THIS THE BEST YEAR FOR CONSUMER SENTIMENT SINCE 2000?

It could turn out that way, if the University of Michigan’s influential index maintains its current level. Its preliminary November edition came in at 98.3, slightly below the final October mark of 98.6 and slightly above the 98.0 reading projected in a Bloomberg analyst poll. The gauge has averaged a reading of 98.4 in 2018, a level unseen in the past 18 years.3

WHOLESALE INFLATION JUMPS 0.6% IN A MONTH

Higher costs for fuel and industrial supplies were significant factors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The PPI rose 2.9% across the 12 months ending in October.4

A NEW MONTH, A NEW DIRECTION FOR STOCKS

In November, the market is doing its best to erase the memory of October. All three major indices advanced again last week, with the Dow Industrials adding 2.84%; the S&P 500, 2.13%; the Nasdaq Composite, 0.68%. At Friday’s close, their settlements were: Dow, 25,989.30; S&P, 2,781.01; Nasdaq, 7,406.90.5

THIS WEEK

Monday marks the observance of Veterans Day; the bond market will be closed, but stocks, currencies, and commodities will be actively traded, with no major earnings news scheduled. | Tuesday, earnings roll in from Advance Auto Parts, Aramark Holdings, Bayer, Beazer Homes, Cumulus Media, Home Depot, and Tyson Foods. | On Wednesday, the latest Consumer Price Index surfaces, and investors also consider earnings news from Cisco, Griffon, Macy’s, NetApp, NetEase, and Smart & Final. | October retail sales figures appear Thursday, along with a new initial jobless claims report and earnings from America’s Car-Mart, Applied Materials, Energizer Holdings, JCPenney, Nordstrom, Nvidia, Shoe Carnival, Sonos, and Walmart. | Friday, Viacom announces Q4 results.

% CHANGEY-T-D1-YR CHG5-YR AVG10-YR AVG
DJIA5.1410.7712.9819.30
NASDAQ7.299.7317.8035.81
S&P 5004.027.6011.4120.25
REAL YIELD11/9 RATE1 YR AGO5 YRS AGO10 YRS AGO
10 YR TIPS1.150.460.592.84

Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov - 11/9/185,6,7,8

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

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Upcoming Event:

Click here for details and to register for our next Meld University event: Estate Planning. The class will be held on Tuesday, December 4th at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. There is no cost to register, but seating is limited.

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Meld Financial, Inc.

P.O. Box 43626

Birmingham, AL 35243

Phone: 205-967-4200

Email: Meld@meldfinancial.com

www.meldfinancial.com

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Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC.

Advisory services offered through Meld Financial, Inc.

Triad Advisors and Meld Financial are not affiliated.

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This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

CITATIONS:

1 - cnbc.com/2018/11/05/october-ism-non-manufacturing-index.html [11/5/18]

2 - instituteforsupplymanagement.org/ISMReport/NonMfgROB.cfm?SSO=1 [11/5/18]

3 - 247wallst.com/economy/2018/11/09/november-consumer-sentiment-slips-election-impact-negligible/ [11/9/18]

4 - marketwatch.com/story/wholesale-inflation-surges-in-october-to-6-year-high-ppi-shows-2018-11-09 [11/9/18]

5 - markets.wsj.com/us [11/9/18]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F9%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/9/18]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F9%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/9/18]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F9%2F17&x=0&y=0 [11/9/18]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F8%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/9/18]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F8%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/9/18]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F8%2F13&x=0&y=0 [11/9/18]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=11%2F10%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/9/18]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=11%2F10%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/9/18]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=11%2F10%2F08&x=0&y=0 [11/9/18]
7 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [11/9/18]
8 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [11/9/18]

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CFP®: What it means - Why it’s important

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What sets a CFP® apart from the rest?

Presented by Meld University

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Upcoming Event:

Click here for details and to register for our next Meld University event: Retirement Planning – From Growth to Income The class will be held on Tuesday, November 13th at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. There is no cost to register, but seating is limited.

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You’ve likely heard the phrase CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ as you’ve gotten serious about your financial planning. You may have also seen the CFP® acronym next to the names of the financial professionals you’ve encountered.

It sounds important — official, almost — but in the world of financial advice, what does it actually mean to be a Certified Financial Planner™? And why does it matter?

Let’s start with the basics.

What is a CFP®?

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (or CFP®, for short) is a designation awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards that indicates an advisor has proficiency in the knowledge required to be a financial planner. To receive it is no easy feat. You need real-world work experience. You have to satisfy specific educational requirements, and you’ve got to pass a three-day test.

From a client perspective, the CFP® is an attractive designation because Certified Financial Planners are required to follow the fiduciary standard – which means they must act in the best interests of their clients — always.

What’s the history of the CFP® designation?

Financial regulators have always been concerned with the prospect of people abusing their profession. But in the days before the CFP® designation, the standards were a lot lower. Financial advisors were held to a so-called “suitability standard,” which basically meant they had to act in a way that was suitable for their customers.

That standard left much to be desired. So, in the early 1970s, a group of financial professionals started putting together what would eventually become the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, which was officially established in 1985.

The main focus of this new class of financial professional was around education and ethics. The new structure was based on the idea that a more educated advisor, bound to act in the best interests of his or her clients, would be a better advisor for their clients.

What does it take to become a CFP®?

As we mentioned, the process is rigorous. First, there are certain education requirements these professionals must meet to be eligible for CFP® status. You need a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. And, you need to have completed certain coursework in financial planning or hold some other financial designation, like a CFA or a CPA. That’s your foundation.

Then you need actual “in-the-field” experience — three years, to be exact, or two years of apprenticeship.

Finally, there’s the written test, comprised of 6 hours of testing, all in a single day. It covers everything from establishing client-planner relationships to analysis, communication, and developing and monitoring recommendations.

The sum of these requirements is the bare minimum just to attain the CFP® designation. Going forward, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS are required to complete continuing education programs every year to maintain their status.

What about the ethical requirements for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS?

CFP® applicants must submit to background checks and are required to disclose information related to any criminal activity or conflicts of interest. The CFP Board also sets standards of professional conduct that CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS must adhere to if they want to maintain their designation. They include a focus on integrity, objective advice, competence, fair treatment, privacy, professionalism and diligence.

Those standards got a substantial upgrade in 2018 that includes the expansion of the fiduciary standard all CFPs® are held to because, as the CFP Board puts it on their website: “Knowing what to expect from a financial planning relationship puts you in the driver’s seat — which is exactly where you belong.”

Are all financial advisors CFPs®?

In a word, no.

That means not all financial advisors are held to the same standards. And consider this: According to a survey conducted by the CFP Board, 87 percent of clients who hire Certified Financial Planners™ report being very satisfied, compared to only 72 percent of those who hire financial advisors who are not CFP®-certified. At Meld Financial, we utilize a team of CFPs to meet your needs. We also provide our School of Financial Planning as a part of Meld University, which is our commitment to educating the public on financial issues, free of charge.

In the complex world of financial planning and wealth management, the first step is understanding your options when it comes to a financial advisor. Then you can make the best possible decision for you and your financial needs.

Contact us to schedule an appointment and learn more about how a CFP® can help you reach your financial goals.

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Click here to register for our next event, "Investment Planning: From Growth to Income".

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Meld Financial, Inc. may be reached at:

205-967-4200

meld@meldfinancial.com

P. O. Box 43626

Birmingham, AL 35243

www.meldfinancial.com

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="WSS Fine Print - Text" _builder_version="3.17.6" text_font_size="10px" custom_css_main_element="font-size:10px important!;" saved_tabs="all" global_module="1711"]

Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC . Member FINRA/SIPC.

Advisory services offered through Meld Financial, Inc.

Triad Advisors and Meld Financial are not affiliated.

This material was prepared by Workspace Solutions, LLC, and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

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