Blue Ocean Global Wealth
Certified Financial Planner
Marguerita M. Cheng is the Chief Executive Officer at Blue Ocean Global Wealth. Prior to co-founding Blue Ocean Global Wealth, Marguerita was a Financial Advisor at Ameriprise Financial and an Analyst and Editor at Towa Securities in Tokyo, Japan. Marguerita is a spokesperson for the AARP Financial Freedom Campaign and a regular columnist for Kiplinger. She is a CFP® professional, a Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM, a Retirement Income Certified Professional® and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.
As a Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) Ambassador, Marguerita helps educate the public, policy makers, and media about the benefits of competent, ethical financial planning. She serves as a Women’s Initiative (WIN) Advocate and subject matter expert for CFP Board, contributing to the development of examination questions for the CFP® Certification Examination. Marguerita also volunteers for CFP Board Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (DEC) hearings. She served on the Financial Planning Association (FPA) National Board of Directors from 2013 – 2015 and is a past president of the Financial Planning Association of the National Capital Area (FPA NCA).
Marguerita studied at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, and earned her B.S. in Finance and her B.A. in East Asian Language and Japanese Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a recipient of the Ameriprise Financial Presidential Award for Quality of Advice and the prestigious Japanese Monbukagakusho Scholarship.
Marguerita’s mantra is “So many people spend their health to gain wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health” (A.J. Reb Materi).
BS, Finance, Keio University
BA, East Asian Language & Japanese Literature, University of Maryland
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Laura Virili Interviews Marguerita Cheng, CEO, Blue Ocean Global Wealth
Hi! First, congratulations on your healthy cash reserves and retirement savings. Most definitely do not put your loans into forbearance. Many consumers do not realize that they can contact their student loan servicer to explore other payment options. Here is the link. https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans. I don't know much about your situation, so I want to also provide options. If you are not comfortable cutting back on retirement savings because you value the tax savings, consider paying off your credit card. I know your cash will reserve will decrease, but so will your monthly expenses. You can direct those savings to your cash reserve or student loan payment. Finally, I am not certain if you received a tax refund for 2017. If you did, consider adjusting the amount of tax withholding. I certainly don't want you to owe money in taxes. I want you to have your money working for your throughout the year. Good luck.
Congratulations to you on maximizing your contributions to your tax-deferred and tax-free retirement savings accounts. When you turn 50, you will be able to take advantage of catch-up contributions to your 401(k) plan. It's important to save money in taxes today, as well as in the future. I often advise clients in this situation to direct their catch-up contributions to their 401(k) to the Roth option to allow them to accumulate some tax-free savings for retirement. Investments like exchange-traded funds, unit investment trusts or index funds can help you build wealth in a more tax-efficient manner.
Each you and your spouse can open a Roth IRA. You can be the owner of your Roth IRA and your spouse the beneficiary and vice versa. Your spouse does not need to have earned income in order to contribute to a Roth IRA. Provided you are married and do file a joint tax return, both you and your spouse can open Roth IRAs. You need to make sure that you satisfy the income requirements. Here is the link for you https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/amount-of-roth-ira-contributions-that-you-can-make-for-2018.
Hi! Congratulations to you and your husband on your retirement! I want to do my best to answer your question. First, I am not certain of your husband's age, but retirement plans (401(k), 403(b), 457, IRA) are subject to Requirement Minimum Distributions (RMD) the year in which you turn 70 1/2. I am going to assume that your husband is at least 59 1/2. Distributions from retirement plans after age 59 1/2 are not subject to 10% penalty but are taxed at ordinary income rates. At age 70 1/2, distributions are required and still taxed at ordinary income rates. Yes, if your husband withdraws money from his 401(k) plan after 59 1/2, but before 70 1/2, he would be reducing the outstanding balance, which can reduce his Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) in the future.
I am not certain how long you have been receiving your pension or whether you were married at the time you made your pension benefit selection. I think all of my colleagues did a fantastic job answering this question. I did want to provide additional clarification. First, some pension plans offer a pop-up provision, meaning the when the employee selects the joint and survivor benefit, should their spouse predecease them, the pension will pop up to the higher amount. Second, if you are not able to change your pension benefit options, you may be able to purchase life insurance to provide resources for your new wife. If permanent life insurance is cost prohibitive, you can consider term insurance with provisions to convert to permanent coverage in the future. This type of insurance may be more expensive than term insurance because of the convertibility feature.
Good luck to you and your wife!