Government wants you to invest in them. President Obama talked of a new investment fund in the past and now, without consent of Congress, has started it up through the Treasury Department. Here is more from the Wall Street Journal:
A form of Roth Individual Retirement Account that allows people to save after-tax dollars and watch them grow tax-free until retirement, the new myRA offers a single investment option. It’s a private version of the G Fund that is available to federal workers and has lately been delivering annual returns of about 2% on its portfolio of Treasury securities.
Government is guaranteeing no fees to the investor. That is political code for the taxpayer will subsidize it.
Treasury is funding the program out of the budget for its Bureau of the Fiscal Service. The assertion here is that existing law allows this part of the Treasury to hire financial agents as part of its mission to efficiently finance the federal government.
Taxpayers are covering the costs, though their elected representatives in Congress never voted to create the program. So far Treasury also hasn’t told us the fees it is paying Comerica.
For many months now I’ve been hearing and seeing commercials for a program geared towards parents that helps them save for college. The program is called the COLLEGE CHOICE 529 INVESTMENT PLAN. Per Indiana Department of Education website:
The program allows Hoosiers to plan for their children’s or loved one’s future, making contributions into an investment account for higher education expenses. Indiana also enacted a tax credit that makes the CollegeChoice Plan an even better option.
You are directed out of the state website and to a place called College Choice Advisor. To be very brief, this is the site where you sign up an account and it gives you investment options for saving /giving. That is the key component of why I think a program like this is unnecessary…..investing. Parents can easily do this on their own with more options. This website really doesn’t offer a variety like you could get with a local advisor or you’re own research.
The investing assumptions they provide are very broad and unrealistic in today’s income reality a lot of people are living in. Per the website:
If an investor opened a 529 account with an initial investment of $2,500 and contributed $100 every month for 18 years, there could be over $6,300 more for a qualified withdrawal than the same investment in a taxable account.*
There is a reason for an asterisk at the end of that statement:
Assumptions: $2,500 initial investment with subsequent monthly investments of $100 for a period of 18 years; annual rate of return on investment of 5% and no funds withdrawn during the time period specified; and taxpayer is in the 30% federal income tax bracket for all options at the time of contributions and distribution. This hypothetical is for illustrative purposes only.
Overall the 529 is a plan that allows people to throw their money in a fund and than forget about it. I think parents should be more hands on with their money they save which then leads to conversations about money responsibility.
The majority of parents will never to be able to fully fund their children’s college and their’s nothing wrong with that. Big percentage of children will not attend or finish college at all. No one knows what college will be like 20 years down the road in a traditional sense. Save wisely for helping your child in college or with something else they may strive for. Just don’t hand it over to investors to draw a 1% fee for 18 years because it sounds good.
Data is coming in for public pensions carried by local and state governments in reference to debt held.
The 25 largest U.S. public pension systems face about $2 trillion in unfunded liabilities, showing that investment returns can’t keep up with ballooning obligations, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
The 25 biggest systems by assets averaged a 7.45 percent return from 2004 to 2013, close to the expected 7.65 percent rate, Moody’s said in a report released Thursday. Yet the New York-based credit rater’s calculation of liabilities tripled in the eight years through 2012, according to the report.
Public supporters of government pensions have always maintained the workers have properly foot the bill but the report says otherwise.
“Despite the robust investment returns since 2004, annual growth in unfunded pension liabilities has outstripped these returns,” Moody’s said. “This growth is due to inadequate pension contributions, stemming from a variety of actuarial and funding practices, as well as the sheer growth of pension liabilities as benefit accruals accelerate with the passage of time, salary increases and additional years of service.”
Read the rest here at Money News