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What is the Value of Your Business?

In the third quarter of 2017, more than 2,500 small businesses were sold. The median sale price was $225,000, up from $200,000 the year before.¹

As a business owner, ascertaining the value of your business is important for a variety of reasons, including business succession, estate tax estimates, or qualifying for a loan.

There are a number of valuation techniques, ranging from the simple to the very complex. Outlined below are three of the different approaches to valuing a business.

  1. Asset Based: Calculates the value of all tangible and intangible assets held by the business. This approach ignores the future earning potential of the company. Thus, a pure asset-based valuation model is often used for companies that are bankrupt or looking to liquidate.
  2. Earnings Based: Seeks to arrive at a business’s value by applying a multiple to normalized earnings, i.e., earnings adjusted to subtract owner’s compensation and related expenses. The multiplier can vary substantially, depending upon the industry and the outlook for the business.
  3. Market Based: Compares the business to recent sales of similar companies.

Business valuation is not just a formulaic exercise. For instance, there is a value to the business of being a “going concern” as opposed to the start-up alternative. Ownership percentage will also matter; purchasing a minority share that has limited control may result in a discount to the actual value. The prospects for the business impact value. A greater premium will likely apply to a company engaged in a leading-edge technology than to one involved in a mature market.

Valuing a small business is not an exact science. Some aspect of the valuation may be debatable (e.g., the remaining life expectancy of a machine), while other aspects may be positively subjective (e.g., the value of the company’s reputation).

Willing Seller & Buyer

The true value of anything can only be determined when a willing seller and a willing buyer agree on a price of exchange. As a consequence, any valuation exercise may yield only a rough estimate.

Before moving forward with a business valuation, consider working with legal and tax professionals who are familiar with the process. Also, a qualified business appraiser may be able to offer some valuable insight.

  1. BizBuySell, 2017
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2018 FMG Suite.

Social Security: The $64,000 Question

 

One of the most common questions people ask about Social Security is when they should start taking benefits.

This is the $64,000 question. Making the right decision for you can have a meaningful impact on your financial income in retirement.

Before considering how personal circumstances and objectives may play into your decision, it may be helpful to preface that discussion with an illustration of how benefits may differ based upon the age at which you commence taking Social Security.

As the accompanying chart reflects, the amount you receive will be based upon the age at which you begin taking benefits.

Monthly Benefit Amounts 
Based on the Age that Benefits Begin¹

Age Benefit Amount
62
63
64
65
66 and 4 months
67
68
69
70
$953
$1,018
$1,097
$1,184
$1,300
$1,369
$1,473
$1,577
$1,681

*This example assumes a benefit amount of $1,300 at the full retirement age of 66 and 4 months.

At first blush, the decision may seem a bit clear-cut: Simply calculate the lifetime value of the early benefit amount versus the lifetime value of the higher benefit, based on some assumed life expectancy.

The calculus is a bit more complicated than that because of the more favorable tax treatment of Social Security income versus IRA withdrawals, spousal benefit coordination opportunities, the consideration of the surviving spouse, and Social Security’s lifetime income guarantee that exists under current law.²

Here are three ideas to think about when making your decision:

  1. Do You Need the Money? 
    Retiring before full retirement age may be a personal choice or one that is thrust upon you because of circumstances, such as declining health or job loss. If you need the income that Social Security is scheduled to provide, however reduced, then taking benefits early may be the only choice for you.
  2. Consider the Needs of Your Spouse 
    If your wife is expected to depend on your Social Security income, it’s important to remember that, based on current life expectancy tables, she will likely live longer than you. Consequently, the survivor benefits she receives may be reduced substantially if you begin taking benefits early—a penalty with which she may be burdened for many years to come.
  3. Are You Healthy? 
    The primary risk in retirement is living too long and running out of money. The odds of living a long life in retirement argues for waiting at least until you reach full retirement age so that you receive a full benefit for as long as you live. However, if your current health is poor and/or you have a strong family history of premature death, then starting early may make sense for you.

There are several elements you should evaluate before you start claiming Social Security. By determining your priorities and other income opportunities, you may be able to better decide at what age benefits make the most sense.

  1. Social Security Administration, 2018
  2. Withdrawals from traditional IRAs are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2018 FMG Suite.

What Is a Roth 401(k)?

While many people are familiar with the benefits of traditional 401(k) plans, others are not as acquainted with Roth 401(k)s.

Since January 1, 2006, employers have been allowed to offer workers access to Roth 401(k) plans.¹ And some have rolled out offerings as part of their retirement programs.

As the name implies, Roth 401(k) plans combine features of traditional 401(k) plans with those of a Roth IRA.2,3

With a Roth 401(k),contributions are made with after-tax dollars—there is no tax deduction on the front end—but qualifying withdrawals are not subject to income taxes. Any capital appreciation in the Roth 401(k) also is not subject to income taxes.

What to Choose?

Fast Fact: Roth 401(k) plans were made permanent by the Pension Protection Act of 2006.
Source: IRS, 2018

The choice between a Roth 401(k) and a traditional 401(k) comes down to determining whether the upfront tax break on the traditional 401(k) is likely to outweigh the back-end benefit of tax-free withdrawals from the Roth 401(k).4

Often, this isn’t an “all-or-nothing” decision. Many employers allow contributions to be divided between a traditional 401(k) plan and a Roth 401(k) plan—up to overall contribution limits.

Considerations

One subtle but key consideration is that Roth 401(k) plans aren’t subject to income restrictions like Roth IRAs. This can offer advantages to high-income individuals whose Roth IRA has been limited by these restrictions. (See accompanying table.)

Traditional
401(k)
Roth 401(k) Roth IRA
Contributions Contributions are made with pre-tax dollars Contributions are made with after-tax dollars Contributions are made with after-tax dollars
Income Limits No income limits to participate No income limits to participate For 2018, contribution limit is phased out between $189,000 and $199,000 (married, filing jointly), and between $120,000 and $135,000 (single filers)
Maximum Elective Contribution* Aggregate contributions are limited to $18,500 in 2018, ($24,500 for those over age 50)* Aggregate contributions are limited to $18,500 in 2018, ($24,500 for those over age 50)* Contributions are limited to $5,500 for 2018, ($6,500 for those over age 50)*
Taxation of Withdrawals Qualifying withdrawals of contributions and earnings are subject to income taxes Qualifying withdrawals of contributions and earnings are not subject to income taxes Qualifying withdrawals of contributions and earnings are not subject to income taxes
Required Distributions In most cases, distributions must begin no later than age 70½ In most cases, distributions must begin no later than age 70½ There is no requirement to begin taking distributions while owner is alive
* This is an aggregate limit by individual rather than by plan. The total of an individual’s aggregate contributions to his or her traditional and Roth 401(k) plans cannot exceed the deferral limit—$18,500 in 2018, ($24,500 for those over age 50).
Source: IRS, 2018

Roth 401(k) plans are subject to the same annual contribution limits as regular 401(k) plans—$18,500 for 2018, ($24,500 for those over age 50). These are cumulative limits that apply to all accounts with a single employer; an individual couldn’t save $18,500 in a traditional 401(k) and another $18,500 in a Roth 401(k).

Another factor to consider is that employer matches are made with pretax dollars, just as they are with a traditional 401(k) plan. In a Roth 401(k), however, these matching funds accumulate in a separate account that will be taxed as ordinary income at withdrawal.

Setting money aside for retirement is part of a sound personal financial strategy. Deciding whether to use a traditional 401(k) or a Roth 401(k) often involves reviewing a wide-range of factors. If you are uncertain about what is the best choice for your situation, you should consider working with a qualified tax or financial professional.

  1. To qualify for the tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, Roth 401(k) distributions must meet a five-year holding requirement and occur after age 59½. Tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal also can be taken under certain other circumstances, such as a result of the owner’s death or disability. Employer match is pretax and not distributed tax-free during retirement. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.
  2. Distributions from 401(k) plans and most other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.
  3. Roth IRA contributions cannot be made by taxpayers with high incomes. To qualify for the tax- free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, Roth IRA distributions must meet a five-year holding requirement and occur after age 59½. Tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal also can be taken under certain other circumstances, such as a result of the owner’s death or disability. The original Roth IRA owner is not required to take minimum annual withdrawals.
  4. The information in this material is not intended as tax advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult a tax professional for specific information regarding your individual situation.
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2018 FMG Suite.