The Proactive Solutions Blog

Get Serious About Catching Up

If you're age 50 or older, tax law has a permanent provision that lets you make extra contributions to your retirement plans. These "catch-up" contributions vary depending on the type of retirement plan. For example, if you participate in a SIMPLE, you can make a catch-up contribution of up to $3,000 in 2016, over and above the maximum $12,500 salary reduction contribution. For IRAs, both Roth and traditional, the 2016 catch-up contribution is $1,000.

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NATIONAL OUTLOOK

As the presidential political season approaches its climactic months, there is growing evidence that the U.S. economy is functioning far better than the headlines. At its foundations, however, the economy is showing cracks. Businesses have slowed the pace of hiring. Corporate earnings continue to decline. Uncertainty about the coming year, perhaps magnified by election rhetoric, seems to be dampening business investment. At the same time the underpinning of the economy, the U.S. consumer, seems to be clearly split about the health of his or her own household finances compared to those of the nation.

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WHATS IT COST

After years of relative stability, construction costs have begun to see upward volatility in several key categories. Steel, fuel and labor have all seen prices rise higher than the overall rate of inflation. In the case of steel and fuel, the increases are rebounds from cyclical lows. Given that incidence rate of those basic materials, and the continued short labor supply, construction prices should move higher faster than inflation over the next year.

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Home Builder Controller Conference

Weber O'Brien presents the second annual Home Builder Controller Conference

October 6 -7, 2016    Washington, DC

National Association of Home Builders - The Westin City Center, Washington DC

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Saving For a Comfortable Retirement Is Up To You

If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, participating can mean the difference between having a sufficient nest egg and worrying about your expenses after you stop working. 

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Who pays for Social Security and Medicare?

According to the 2016 Summary of Annual Reports by the trustees, the major source of funding for the Social Security and Medicare programs is the payroll tax you and your employer pay, or that you pay as a self-employed worker. 

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Margin vs. Markup

Understanding the difference between markup and margin, as used in estimating, is essential to the success of your construction company.  Understanding margin allows you to easily make financial decisions and gauge their impact on your bottom line.  Bankers and accountants commonly speak of margin, not markup.

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Breakeven Analysis

Business owners must know their breakeven point. Knowledge of the various components of the breakeven point allows business owners the ability to evaluate fixed costs, variable costs, margin, and profitability.

The breakeven point, using the contribution margin method, is computed as follows:

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ACA and Employers: How Seasonal Workers Affect Your ALE Status

When determining if your organization is an applicable large employer, you must measure your workforce by counting all your employees.  However, there is an exception for seasonal workers.

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Constructing a Construction Company Future with Employees as Owners through an ESOP

The difference between company ownership and employment is being recognized by a growing number of construction companies, which are finding it increasingly beneficial financially and operationally to convert to ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plans).

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