Local Edward Jones financial advisor meets with U.S. lawmakers on behalf of individual investors

FA Michael J. Hirsch, a Villa Park financial advisor for the financial services firm Edward Jones, recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with U.S. legislators to discuss and advocate for issues on the minds of individual investors and business owners - particularly retirement savings legislation to help more Americans save for a secure and dignified retirement - and to promote greater financial education and wellness. Members of the Grassroots Task Force collectively held more than 300 in-person meetings with U.S. legislators.

Hirsch serves on the Grassroots Task Force, a volunteer group of financial advisors from all 50 states who are dedicated to voicing the investment concerns of individual investors to local, state and national lawmakers. Now in its 37th year, this is one of the longest-running nationwide grassroots outreach efforts to Congress in existence.

The theme for this year's set of meetings was "Activating Our Purpose."

"I believe that advocating on behalf of investors embodies our purpose, which is to partner for positive impact to improve the lives of our clients and colleagues and together better our communities and society," Hirsch said. "I am grateful for the opportunity to speak directly with our legislators in order to share the concerns of individual investors, especially those here in Illinois, and make sure they are heard on Capitol Hill."

According to new research Edward Jones conducted with Age Wave and Harris Poll, Americans are changing the definition of retirement, and 69% say they want to live to age 100. Over the past few years, the Grassroots Legislative Task Force has focused on building momentum for bills that will strengthen millions of Americans' retirements, and this year, there is an added layer of focus on enhancing financial education and confidence.

The group's current priorities, which Hirsch discussed in his meetings include:

• Establishing a new catch-up contribution to help workers 60 and older who have not been able to save sufficiently for retirement.

• Increasing the required minimum distribution age from 72 to 75 to help more workers who are working and living longer to save longer.

• Enhancing the small business start-up tax credit, which will enable many small businesses across the country to provide retirement benefits to their employees.

• Permitting employers to make matching contributions with respect to student loan repayments that will help workers burdened with large student loan debt to start saving for retirement.

• Launching The Military Spouses Retirement Security Act, which helps address the unique challenges military spouses face in saving for retirement by providing a tax credit of up to $500 to small businesses to make military spouses eligible more quickly for retirement benefits.

At Edward Jones, our commitment is to grow the impact we're able to make, which is why we advocate for issues that will help investors improve the possibilities for their lives, Hirsch said. "As I work one-on-one with clients, I see firsthand the impact this work addressing our legislators can have for them."

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