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January Quarterly Newsletter

LVM Client Vault Portal Updated

To take advantage of enhanced software capabilities and automate the secure delivery of reports to you, updates were made to the LVM SharePoint Client Vault Portal in November.

Vaults were renamed to include a unique LVM client ID and a new link was emailed to

clients who are currently receiving LVM reports in their secure SharePoint Client Vault. This new link, which can be bookmarked on your desktop, allows easy access to view or download reports at your convenience.

This same portal may be used to securely upload sensitive documents to LVM by copying them or dragging them into the subfolder named UPLOAD.

The electronic delivery of reports allows us to reduce the time and cost associated with printing/mailing/postage (and to save a few trees!). It allows you to retrieve and view current and past reports at your convenience.

If you would like to receive LVM reports electronically, via the Client Vault Portal, please contact LVM. You will receive an initial email invitation with a link to the Portal.

Class Action Claim Filing Service for LVM Clients

In April 2016, LVM engaged Chicago Clearing Corporation ("CCC") to provide class action litigation monitoring and securities claim filing services on behalf of our clients. This is an area that has been increasing in scope, and we wanted to provide our clients with an opportunity to more easily and efficiently pursue all class action litigation recoveries to which they may be entitled. CCC has been a major player in the class action settlement world since 1993 and is equipped to handle the volume and complexities of class action claims.

Unless you have specifically opted out of this service by signing an Opt-Out Waiver, LVM uploads transactional data to CCC, and they review trade history for every case in their database and file new claims as they arise. CCC monitors each claim, collects the applicable documentation, interprets the terms of each settlement, files the appropriate claim forms, interacts with the administrators and distributes your award. CCC charges a contingency fee of 15%, which is subtracted from your award at the time of payment. Award checks are redeposited into the affected accounts.

On behalf of LVM clients, CCC has:

  • Filed claims for 1286 LVM accounts eligible to participate in 42 class action cases

  • Issued 412 checks totaling $71,095, ranging from $8.63 to $9,082, for 15 settled class action claims

  • Has identified 31 LVM accounts that may be eligible to participate in upcoming cases And is tracking almost 2000 pending cases in various stages of litigation

Great news……Claims for every eligible case are automatically filed on your behalf, and there is no need to complete or mail Proof of Claim Forms!

LVM welcomes Sahana Madhanagopal!

Sahana will be joining LVM in January as a Research Associate. Sahana completed her Bachelors of Engineering degree at Thiagarajar College of Engineering in India and recently graduated from Western Michigan University with an MBA. Sahana will sit for level 3 of the CFA exam in June.

SECURE Act Becomes Law

Last May the U.S. House of Representatives passed the SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) by a 417 to 3 margin. The Senate did not consider the Act for a vote but attached it to the fiscal 2020 spending authorization bill, and President Trump signed it into law on December 20.

The legislation includes many changes to retirement plans, however the most significant changes for individual clients are the age to begin Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) and the elimination of the “stretch” IRA in favor of the “10-year rule.” This change will decrease wealth transfer and potentially require estate plan updates. The effective date of the SECURE Act is January 1, 2020.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Will Start at Age 72, not 70½

Starting January 1, 2020, the Act delays the age to begin RMDs from IRAs from the current age 70 1/2 to age 72. If you turned 70½ in 2019, you will still need to take your RMD for 2019. If you are currently receiving RMDs because you are over age 70½, you must continue taking these RMDs. Only those who will turn 70½ in 2020 or later may wait until age 72 to begin taking required distributions.

Inherited Retirement Accounts

Upon death of the account owner, the new law requires non-spouse beneficiaries who inherit IRAs to take the money out over a ten-year period, instead of over their lifetimes (the so-called “stretch” provision). This last change has significant tax implications, since currently an IRA inheritor age 25 would only have to take out 1/58th of the money in that year, 1/57th the year after, and so forth for the rest of his/her life. Taking all the money from a large IRA out in the tenth year after inheritance could have potentially severe tax consequences on the unsuspecting inheritor. There are exceptions for spouses, disabled individuals, and individuals not more than 10 years younger than the account owner. Minor children who are beneficiaries of IRA accounts also have a special exception to the 10-year rule, but only until they reach the age of majority.

You Can Contribute to Your Traditional IRA After Age 70½

Beginning in the 2020 tax year, for people who are working past age 70 1/2, the bill would allow them to contribute to an IRA if they have earned income. You still may not make 2019 (prior year) traditional IRA contributions if you are over 70 ½.

Adoption/Birth Expenses

The new law allows families who adopt or have newborn children to take out up to $5,000 from their retirement plan without the usual 10% early distribution penalty.

In all, the SECURE bill has 29 new provisions or major changes in 20 sections.

How Consumers Spend Their Money

Each year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports on consumer spending patterns. According to the 2019 report, consumers spent an average of $61,224 in 2018.*

*Average annual expenditures per consumer unit. Consumer units include families, single persons living alone or sharing a household with others but who are financially independent, and two or more persons living together who share major expenses.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditures 2018, released September 2019

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