John Graham & Associates, Inc. | 300 E. Washington Street, Suite 4, East Peoria, IL 61611
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John Graham & Associates, Inc.

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Do I Need Disability Income Insurance?

Although most of us are aware of the need for health insurance coverage when determining our risk management needs, many of us fail to consider the possibility that we could become disabled.
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Can I roll a retirement plan distribution into an IRA?

Can I roll a retirement plan distribution into an IRA?If you're asking this question, you probably have a 401(k) or other retirement plan through a former employer. The short answer is yes — most retirement plans allow you to roll your plan funds over into an IRA after you've left your employer's service. However, there is more than one way to do a rollover, and how you do it can be critical.
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Get a Fresh Start on Your Finances in 2021

There's no doubt about it - last year was tumultuous. The coronavirus pandemic, a contentious election, and widespread protests were just some of the events that impacted our nation in 2020. Fortunately, the arrival of new vaccines has brought hope for a brighter 2021. If you are looking forward to a fresh start this year, why not begin with your personal finances? Here are some tips to help you get started.
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Four Steps to Rebuilding Your Business

Few business owners have escaped the financial effects of stay-at-home orders, new safety protocols, and consumer fears related to the pandemic. Even if you took advantage of temporary federal, state, or local relief funds to help you stay afloat during the worst months, you could be expecting significantly lower sales and profits for 2020 overall.
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Am I prepared for long-term care expenses?

In general, Americans are not sufficiently prepared to pay for long-term care. Many of them go through their lives simply hoping that they won't ever need it. Unfortunately, in the event that you or a loved one does need long-term care, hope won't be enough to protect you from potential financial ruin.
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Accumulating Funds for Short-Term Goals

Stock market volatility in 2020 has clearly reinforced at least one important investing principle: Short-term goals typically require a conservative investment approach.
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Why do I need life insurance?

Life insurance has several purposes. Its most important function is to replace the earnings that would cease at the death of the insured.
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Are 529 plans a good way to save for college?

Yes, they can be an excellent way to save for college. 529 savings plans let you save money for college in an individual investment account that offers federal tax advantages.
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Should I retire now at age 62 and collect Social Security benefits?

Should I retire now at age 62 and collect Social Security benefits? There's no right time to begin collecting Social Security benefits, but the age at which you begin receiving benefits will affect how much retirement income you have, so you should weigh the consequences carefully.
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Coping with Market Volatility: Be Willing to Take Advantage of Market Downturns

Anyone can look good during a bull market. Smart investors are prepared to weather the inevitable rough patches, and even the best aren't successful all the time. When the market goes off the tracks, knowing why you originally made a specific investment can help you evaluate whether those reasons still hold, regardless of what the overall market is doing.If you no longer want to hold an investment, you could take a tax loss, if that's a possibility.
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Coping with Volatility: Understand How Biases Can Affect Investment Decisions

When it comes to your finances, "go with your gut" might not be the wisest adage to follow. In fact, it may work against you, particularly in periods of market turbulence. Before jumping to conclusions about your finances, consider what biases may be at work beneath your conscious radar.Recency bias refers to the tendency for recent events to have a stronger influence on your decisions than more distant events.
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The Secure Act offers new opportunities for individuals and businesses

The SECURE Act Offers New Opportunities for Individuals and Businesses The SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act) is major legislation that was passed by Congress as part of a larger spending bill and signed into law by the president in December. Here are a few provisions that may affect you. Unless otherwise noted, the new rules apply to tax or plan years starting January 1, 2020.
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JGA named 2019 Small Business of the Year

John Graham & Associates was named 2019 Small Business of the Year by East Peoria Chamber of Commerce at their annual dinner on Jan. 9. President Michael Graham, CFP said this was a group effort for both our JGA and MSTC teams.
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How can my gift benefit me and the charity?

You're free to give almost any type of property to whatever organization you choose. But in order to obtain the tax benefits associated with charitable giving, contributions need to be made to qualifying tax-exempt organizations that have been organized in the United States and meet certain criteria.
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Lawsuits Over the Years and What it Means to Plan Sponsors

The barrage of excessive fee lawsuits filed in 2006 started a trend that continues to this day. At first, plan sponsors saw early signs of success in getting cases dismissed. However, this changed after a few years when participants started honing in on claims of self-dealing, i.e. the plan's fiduciaries benefitting themselves at the expense of the plan's participants.
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How late is too late to start saving for retirement?

This question is difficult because the answer depends on your income and assets, your goals for retirement, and many other factors. Ideally, you should begin saving for retirement in your 20s. More time to save enhances your chances of having the kind of retirement lifestyle you want. If you're in your 40s or older and haven't saved much (or anything) yet, you may face a challenge in building the retirement fund you need.
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Our 401(k) Investments are on the Watchlist. Now What?

Approach, review, document, and decide. As a member of your company's retirement plan committee, if you have recently been informed that one or more of your company's retirement plan investments are on the Watch List, don't panic. This is an opportunity for due diligence and possibly to enhance the plan's performance.
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Automatic Features to Help Boost Participation and Savings Rates

The use of auto features in 401(k) plans has continued to climb in popularity over the past decade. In fact, auto features such as automatic enrollment and auto escalation are considered best practices in 401(k) plan design as ways to help boost participation and employee savings rates.
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What does the term "qualified plan" mean?

What does the term qualified plan mean? A qualified plan is an employer-sponsored retirement plan that qualifies for special tax treatment under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. There are many different types of qualified plans, but they all fall into two categories. A defined benefit plan (e.g., a traditional pension plan) or a defined contribution plan.
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How to think about financial wellness ROI

How to Think About Financial Wellness ROI If you want to sell your C-suite on paying for an employee financial wellness program, you'll probably hear this question from your CFO: What's the ROI? It's natural for a chief financial officer to ask about the return on investment (ROI) from spending the organization's money on a program that, at first glance, appears to only help employees with their lives outside work. But research finds a direct connection between employee...
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Should you include ESG funds in your retirement? Maybe, maybe not.

Should You Include ESG Funds in Your Retirement Plan? Maybe, Maybe Not. ESG, or environmental, social and governance funds, can be appealing to many investors, including millennials. These funds may be viewed as a proactive way to encourage reluctant and under-prepared millennials to save for retirement. But is it a good idea to include ESG funds in your plan's investment menu to entice investment do-gooders to boost their retirement savings? The short answer is, it depends.
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Is it time to consider a new plan design?

Is it Time to Consider a New Plan Design? You may have heard about a cash balance plan and wondered whether it would be something advantageous for your business. A cash balance plan operates differently from other types of traditional retirement plans in that it combines features of both defined benefit and defined contribution plans.
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Share Class ABCs: Choose Wisely

Choosing mutual funds for your retirement plan's investment lineup can feel like wading through a sea of alphabet soup. Fund companies typically offer multiple share classes, each sporting its own unique letter. A shares, C shares, I shares, R shares; what does it all mean? Luckily, you don't have to be a mutual fund expert to understand the different share classes. Here's a brief primer to help you understand the basics.
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Four Tips to Boost Your Employees’ Retirement Outlook

As many employees look ahead to retirement, 47% of workers feel somewhat confident that they'll have enough money saved to retire on time and then live comfortably.1 However, forward-thinking employers have the ability to help their employees work toward a confident and happy retirement. According to the 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), only 17% of American workers feel very confident
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Risky Business: Why Plan Governance Matters

Participant-driven lawsuits are on the rise, and employers are facing heightened scrutiny of the way they manage their retirement plans. In today's continually-evolving regulatory and legal environment, it's more important than ever to make sure your organization's retirement plan is both effective and compliant. A well-structured retirement plan governance program can help you pursue these goals when aiming to limit fiduciary risk
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The DOL Fiduciary Rule is dead, but you're still a fiduciary

On June 21, 2018, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Conflict of Interest Rule;more commonly referred to as the "DOL Fiduciary Rule;" thus killing the rule entirely. Despite this news, the death of the DOL Fiduciary Rule does not alleviate a plan sponsor from being a fiduciary when sponsoring an ERISA-covered retirement plan, such as a 401(k).
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Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck