August 2023 Blog Newsletter

August Captain’s Log

College Planning for Illinois Residents
Everyone is in the mindset of going back to school! The process of getting school supplies, working out childcare, pick up and drop offs, to lunches! It is a busy time of the year. There are a lot of moving parts. Parents may be excited to send their children back to school while the kids might be dreading it.

Since school is on everyone minds from pre-school to college, I wanted to take the opportunity to share information related to the State of Illinois sponsored 529 plan called Bright Directions.

The biggest benefit to utilizing Bright Directions is that your contributions to the 529 plan will enjoy Illinois tax benefits. Contributions are deductible from Illinois State income up to $10,000 per Illinois taxpayer or $20,000 for married Illinois taxpayers filing a joint return per year. The $10,000 (individual) and $20,000 (joint) limit on deductions will apply to total contributions made without regard to whether the contributions are made to a single account or more than one account. Contributions are considered calendar year and must be made by December 31.

Always ask your tax professional for additional information regarding the tax benefits of contributing to a 529 plan through Bright Directions in the State of Illinois as each individual tax situation may be different.
New legislation passed in Illinois called Illinois First Steps, will provide $50 to help you start saving for college. Children born or adopted on or after January 1, 2023, with parents who are residents of Illinois can receive the seed deposit through Bright Directions for their future college, technical, or apprenticeship education. The $50 can be claimed by either opening a new account or adding to an existing account.

Lastly, I wanted to point out that just because you are funding a 529 plan sponsored by the State of Illinois which benefits Illinois residents this does NOT mean that your child will need to attend a higher education school only in Illinois down the road. Almost all public and private colleges and universities, vocational, trade, technical, and professional institutions, and even some foreign schools are eligible.

Reach out to Anchor Wealth Management to help claim your $50 seed deposit and discuss the tax benefits of setting up a 529 plan through Bright Directions today!

529 Disclosure: Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses, summary prospectuses and 529 Product Program Description, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing. Depending on your state of residence, there may be an in-state plan that offers tax and other benefits which may include financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors.. Before investing in any state’s 529 plan, investors should consult a tax advisor. If withdrawals from 529 plans are used for purposes other than qualified education, the earnings will be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty in addition to federal and, if applicable, state income tax.

Ready, Set, Retire: Is Your Small Business Mandate-Ready for the November Retirement Plan Deadline?

If you’re a small business owner and you don’t have an employee retirement plan, the clock is ticking…
Effective November 1, 2023, Illinois will require employers with 5-15 employees to have retirement plans as part of the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act. If you missed the deadline for companies with 16-24 and 25+ employees, start planning today to prevent further fines and penalties.

As a small business owner, it can be challenging to manage day-to-day operations and do the research to find the best retirement plan to fit the needs of your employees and your company. The first step is understanding your retirement plan options and discovering the advantages and differences between them.

The Benefits of Retirement Plans for Employees and Businesses
• Recruitment Tool: Retirement plans offer numerous benefits to both employees and businesses by serving as a valuable tool for attracting and retaining talented employees. Implementing a retirement plan can give your business a competitive edge in recruitment, even if it’s a small company, as it enables the business to attract qualified employees who are eager to invest in their financial future to build a path towards a comfortable retirement.
• Tax Advantages: There are also tax advantages when offering a retirement plan, both for employees and employers. Employers can typically deduct contributions made to retirement plans, reducing the overall tax burden that can weigh down small businesses. Employees can make contributions to a retirement plan on a pre-tax basis, resulting in a decrease to their taxable year-end income.
• Avoid Penalties: In certain states like Illinois, employers with five or more employees are legally required to offer retirement plans by November 1, 2023. See if your state requires retirement plans at

Types of Retirement Plans
There are several types of retirement plans that small businesses can choose from, each with its own set of features and benefits depending on the size and needs of the company.

401(k) Plan: A 401(k) plan is one of the most common employer-sponsored retirement plans today. Employees can contribute a portion of their salary to the plan, and some employers may also provide matching contributions. There are ongoing administrative tasks and fees which may rule this option out for smaller businesses.

SIMPLE IRA: Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA is a plan offered by smaller employers in lieu of more complex and flexible 401(k) plans. In a SIMPLE IRA, the employee makes tax-deductible contributions to the plan, and an employer must make either matching contributions (up to 3% of the employee’s salary) or nonelective contributions.

Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA: A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA is a straightforward way to contribute toward your own and your employees’ retirement accounts without introducing excessive administrative costs. Anyone who is a business owner with one or more employees can open a SEP-IRA. Employers make contributions on behalf of eligible employees and contributions are tax-deductible for employers.

When to Start
Assuming the clock is not ticking on meeting state-mandated retirement plan requirements, consider investigating your company’s retirement plan options three to six months before the desired implementation date. Take advantage of the time now to gather essential information, coordinate with payroll services, and address any logistical concerns so you and your employees are ready to begin at the start of 2024, which will provide a clean start for record-keeping.

Choose the Right Retirement Plan for Your Business
When choosing a plan, evaluate your business’s size, financial capabilities, and employees’ age, salary levels, and anticipated retirement goals. This assessment will help you understand the retirement plan features that will best suit your workforce and your company.

You should also determine the level of administrative complexity your company can handle as some plans require more administrative duties such as record-keeping, compliance, and reporting.

A financial professional can help you assess the options and make the right plan decision for your company. Additionally, investment professionals can provide educational resources to help both businesses and employees understand their retirement options and reach their goals.

Ready to start or just have questions about your company’s retirement plan? Email our team at

Adam’s Nightstand

This month, Adam is reading The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell. This is a great book to dig deeper into self-reflection for personal development. One of my favorite laws is The Law of Awareness. You must know yourself to grow yourself. I need to have absolute clarity on who I am. I need to know my strengths and weaknesses as well as what gets me excited? What am I passionate about? Passion gives me energy, therefore what do I love doing? I am utilizing this book to become a better husband, father, and leader to those that I have the opportunity to lead in my life.

Sun-Kissed Memories: Our Unforgettable Summer Adventures

The kids of Anchor have had a busy summer. With summer quickly coming to an end and the school year about to begin, here is a quick recap of the summer of 2023.

Adam and Katie’s daughter practiced her driving skills on her grandparents’ farm. Shea is now a legally permitted driver and is anxiously waiting for the behind the wheel portion of Driver’s Education.

Reese also had a busy summer spending time with friends and swimming. She really enjoyed playing games at the Boone County Fair with her family.

Landry loves baseball. He and his 9U Stix teammates and families celebrated their successful season with an end of the year celebration.

When Dan’s daughters aren’t playing with their Goldendoodle. Duke, they enjoy spending time outdoors.
Dan’s oldest daughter, Ella, likes to hike. Their family hiked a few times this summer when they weren’t spending time on their boat.

Adelyn and Dan have also been working on their golf game this summer. Adelyn is becoming a very good golfer. Watch out Dan!
Finley has also been practicing her golf skills with private lessons from her golf pro dad, Shane. Finley also played softball this summer. Shane isn’t sure which sport she likes better. Finley will start pre-school this fall.

Chris Perry’s son Preston is a busy guy with a lot of interests. He loves to go to the zoo, discovered that he likes roller coasters at Santa’s Village, and even kayaked with Dad. Preston started playing soccer this summer and he loves to go to Home Depot on Saturday mornings for the DIY workshops for kids.

Chris DeSchepper’s daughter, Kiley is starting the second half of Junior year at Northern Illinois University where she is majoring in Early Childhood Education with endorsements in ESL and Special Education. She and her friend Kat have moved into their first college apartment. It is Harry Styles themed.

Good luck to our kids and to your kids and grandkids as they begin a new school year or just a new adventure. May they have a fun and successful year.