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Retirement Planning: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Read This Before You Consider Withdrawing Funds...
Every 401(k) withdrawal affects your taxes and your future in retirement. Here's everything you need to know about early 401(k) withdrawals.
Social Security
Definition of Social Security Retirement Plan Benefits
Your Life Expectancy Affects How Much You Must...
Learn how to calculate your required minimum distributions (RMD) with your qualified account balance(s) and the IRS Uniform Life Expectancy tables.
When You Can and Can't Withdraw Money From Your...
You can always withdraw money from your traditional IRA, but you will owe taxes and likely be hit with a penalty. Learn the IRA withdrawal rules here.
How to Get Money Out of Your 401(k) or IRA
At some point, you'll withdraw money from a retirement account. But when you do it and how you do it matter. Here are the rules for withdrawals in a 401(k) and IRA.
9 Things You Need to Know About Borrowing from...
401(k) loans are available with no credit checks. Are they a good idea? Learn the advantages, disadvantages, and limits of borrowing from your 401(k).
How To Maximize Your Retirement Plan At Work
401(k) plans provide a great source of retirement savings. Learn how to get the most from a retirement plan at work by making saving and investment decisions automatic.
Can You Get Spousal Security Benefits?
With spousal Social Security you can get retirement benefits through your spouse. Here's how it works.
Here's How You Can Calculate Your Projected...
Estimating your future Social Security retirement benefit is no easy task. Learn how benefits are calculated and where you can get an accurate estimate.
Where Do You Want to Retire?
You know how and when you want to retire, but have you considered where you want to retire? Here is how to choose the best place to retire.
How Retiring Early Affects Your Social Security...
At what age can you start receiving Social Security? Find out what happens if you start to receive benefits before or after your full retirement age.
What All Investors Should Know About Required...
Required minimum distributions, more commonly referred to as RMDs, are a congressionally-mandated distribution from a qualified retirement plan.
Eligible for Social Security? Learn How to Apply
A simple overview of how to apply for Social Security retirement benefits.
Important Things to Know About Working During...
You can get Social Security retirement benefits while you are still working. But when you apply makes a difference. Here's how it works.
Why Not Retire Abroad?
Ever thought about retiring outside your own country? Here's a list of the 10 best places in the world to retire outside of the U.S.
Why Some Roth IRA Withdrawals Can Be Subject to...
Roth IRA withdrawals are different from traditional IRA withdrawals. Learn when Roth IRA withdrawals are tax-free and when they may be subject to tax.
Yes, You Can Withdraw Money from Your 401(k)...
You always have the right to withdraw some or all contributions and their earnings from your 401(k), but that doesn't mean that you should. Here's why.
Contingent Beneficiaries Provide a Back-Up Plan
Understand what a contingent beneficiary is before you choose one for your retirement account, life insurance policy or trust.
Most Americans Don't Know This About Social...
Learn how an unusual quirk in Social Security allows retirees to take an interest-free loan from Social Security.
What is a 457(b) Plan?
457(b) plan overview
6 Essential Retirement Accounts to Help You Save
Retirement plans can be confusing, this basic overview can help you understand how each one is different.
SIMPLE IRA Contribution Limits for 2016
Find out the SIMPLE IRA contribution limit for 2016, and when small business owners should consider setting up this type of retirement plan.
Railroad Retirement Plans
For individuals who have spent their careers working for the US railroads, Railroad Retirement Plans offer benefits beyond Social Security.
401(k) Contribution Limits for 2016
Find out the maximum amount you can set aside in your 401(k) retirement plan in 2016.
How and When Do You Get to Touch Your...
When it's time to retire, there are decisions to be made. How will you withdraw your savings? At what rate? How will you change your investments? Find out how to withdraw from a 401(k) at retirement.
What Every Pre-Retiree Should Know About the...
Due to the rising cost of health care, Medicare is a critical and growing component of retirement planning. Learn about the four parts of Medicare here.
Is there a "normal" age to retire?
Normal retirement age is the age at which you receive full benefits from retirement plans, including Social Security. But normal may vary.
Do You Know Your Full Retirement Age According...
Your full retirement age is based on your year of birth, but it may have little to do with when you actually retire. Learn about your full retirement age.
The Hidden Tax Benefit of a Non Deductible IRA
Due to certain income limits, not every worker is eligible to make a deductible contribution to a regular IRA. A subset of this group may be permitted to make a contribution to a Roth IRA. Still others will be prohibited from doing either. Enter the non-deductible regular IRA contribution. Learn the ins, outs, and implications of a non-deductible IRA contribution.
Exceptions to Early Withdrawal Fees for...
There are some exceptions to the penalties for withdrawing money from an individual retirement account, 401(k) plan or other qualified distribution plan. Find out what the IRA withdrawal exemptions are and who qualifies.
All About 403(b) Plans
A 403(b) plan is a retirement plan for nonprofit workers. Find out exactly how 403(b) plans work and how much you can contribute to your 403(b) in 2016.
Maximize Your 401K Match
Taking advantage of an employer's 401K match is a critical piece of proper retirement planning. This company match provides you with the opportunity to receive free money into your retirement plan.
Qualifying for Medicaid for Long-Term or...
Long-term care and nursing home can be extremely expensive, and only if the patient falls below a certain level of wealth is it covered by Medicaid. Regardless of age or health status, as long as you have assets and an income that can be counted as your own, the options may be limited when it comes to securing long-term care.
Safe Harbor Protects 401(k)s From Disaster
Safe harbor is not a metaphor. Find out how safe harbor 401k plans protect small business retirement plans from making expensive mistakes.
401K Vesting Schedules for Retirement Planning
Understanding your vesting schedule is a crucial and often underestimated part of retirement planning. The risk of forfeiting your employer's matching contribution is real and often preventable. Learn about the different types of vesting schedules and what they may mean to your financial future.
When You Can and Should Enroll in Social...
Can retirees receive Medicare without taking their Social Security benefits? The short answer is yes. The long answer is more strategic.
How to Calculate Your Modified Adjusted Gross...
Modified Adjusted Gross Income, or MAGI, determines eligibility for numerous tax benefits. Here's how to calculate it.
How to Avoid Paying Penalties on Withdrawals...
You can always withdraw money from your Roth IRA, but you could be penalized on any growth on your initial investment. Learn about Roth IRA withdrawals.
You May Be Able to Contribute to Both a 401(k)...
A common question among retirement planners is whether they can contribute to both a 401(k) and a Roth IRA. Most people can participate in both.
What Are Vesting Schedules?
Vesting schedules come in three types: immediate, cliff and graded. Even if your employer contributes to your retirement plan or to your stock option plan, you don't really own those benefits until you have complied with their vesting schedule.
How a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)...
A definition of a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, that includes what retirement plans it can be applied to, how it works, and what is required in a QDRO.
Understand The Recent Social Security Changes...
Important changes to Social Security are scheduled to begin in 2016. Find out how the closure of unintended loopholes may affect your retirement plan.
How and Why to Open a Roth IRA
Learn the basics of Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs): where and how to open an account, Roth IRA contribution limits, income limitations, what is an IRA, who's eligible, when they're called for, and how you can profit from a Roth IRA today.
What To Do With an Inherited IRA or 401(k)
So you've inherited an IRA or 401(k)? Here's what spouses and non-spouses need to know to make the most of an IRA or 401(k) inheritance.
The Tax Deductions That Save You Money and Help...
Tax deductions are powerful. Learn how tax deductions can lower your income tax bill today and help you to fund your retirement accounts for tomorrow.
Annuities and Retirement Planning
The promises of a retirement annuity such as guaranteed lifetime income and tax-deferred growth are tempting, but be sure to consider the taxes and expenses involved as well.
4 Tips to Get Your Retirement Plan on a...
Retirement success depends on a variety of factors. Learn how to take control of your retirement and take the steps needed to prepare with confidence.
Understanding 457(b) Plans
Find out how 457(b) plans can help you save for retirement, and why a 457(b) plan is even better than a 401(k).
Contribution Limits for 403(b) Plans Stay the...
403(b) plans allow teachers and non-profit workers save for retirement in an account with tax advantages. Find out the contribution limits for 2016.
How to Rollover SIMPLE IRA Assets into a New...
If you participated in a SIMPLE IRA for at least two years, you may rollover the plan into another qualified plan like a 401(k). Learn how.
How to Max Out Your SEP IRA in 2015
In 2015, the amount that business owners can contribute to a SEP IRA increases. Find out the SEP IRA contribution maximums for 2015.
How Much You Can Put in Your IRA in 2014?
There are limits to how much you can contribute to an IRA each year. Here are the 2014 maximums. Find out how much you can contribute to your IRA in 2014.
Advantages of Tax Deferred Plans
Learn how a tax deferred plan can lower your current and future taxes.
What is a Contingent Beneficiary?
A contingent beneficiary stands second-in-line to inherit assets such as a life insurance policy, a retirement plan or an annuity.
The 5 Biggest Retirement Mistakes
Want to retire wealthy or at least comfortable? Avoid the common types of retirement mistakes.
Who knew retiring on a paradise island was this...
Retire in paradise. Here are 11 fabulous island destinations where you can stretch your dollars in retirement.
5 Things You Need to Know About Social Security
Have questions about how Social Security works? Here are the answers.
What Happens to Your Retirement Plan When You...
Leaving your job and not sure what to do with your 401(k) or other retirement account? You have plenty of options to choose from.
Saving for Retirement? Don't Miss This Free Money
An employer matching 401(k) contribution or employer match is a generous benefit that you should be taking advantage of. Here's why.
Why SIMPLE IRAs Aren't Really That Simple
A SIMPLE IRA is an employer-sponsored retirement plan offered to small-business employees. Find out how a SIMPLE IRA works, and how much you can contribute to the plan this year.
Normal Distributions From Retirement Plans
What are normal distributions from retirement plans? This definition includes taxable and tax-free plans, as well as associated penalties and exemptions.
The Pros and Cons of Borrowing From Your 401k
The pros, cons and facts you need to know before considering a 401(k) loan.
Who Can Make Tax-Deductible Contributions to...
Making tax-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA is more flexible than many retirement investors think.
Beginner's Guide to the Rollover IRA
What do you do with your 401(k) after you leave a job? Roll it over into a special account called a Rollover IRA as you plan your retirement.
Here's How You Can Contribute to Both a...
Some savers can maximize their IRA savings by contributing to both a traditional IRA and Roth IRA. Learn more about eligibility and contribution limits.
Roth IRA Distributions - Use A Roth IRA...
The use of Roth IRA distributions as an emergency fund is a noteworthy concept. Nonetheless, it is fraught with significant disadvantages including negative tax and retirement planning consequences. Learn what to consider whenever you take a Roth IRA distribution, be it before or during retirement.
The Importance of Designating Beneficiaries
How do you designate a beneficiary? Most retirement plans, annuities and life insurance policies let you decide what should become of your assets after your death through the naming of beneficiaries. Deciding which beneficiaries to name entails a whole set of considerations.
Set Your Sights on These Retirement Hotspots
The best states for retirement in 2014 have been named by Bankrate. Here's how to look beyond the top 10 lists and find a place that's right for you.
Do You Know the 5-Year Rule for Roth IRA...
To benefit from tax-free growth in a Roth IRA you must meet the five-year rule, but like other tax rules, it's all about how you calculate those years.
IRA Contribution Limits for 2016
An Individual Retirement Account can help you maximize your retirement savings and can also reduce your tax bill. Find out the 2016 limits here.
How the 4% Rule Does (and Doesn't) Apply to...
How much you can safely withdraw from your retirement accounts is more than a matter of a withdrawal rate. Learn how the 4% rule doesn't always apply.
Self-Employed? This Is A Great Way to Save for...
Get to know the SEP IRA, a great retirement savings vehicle for small-business owners and self-employed people.
Here's Why You Should Consider an IRA Rollover...
An IRA rollover is an effective way to handle former employer 401(k) assets while providing more investment choices, less fee, and more simplicity.
Everything You Need to Know About Your 401(k)
Learn the basics of 401(k) accounts; what is a contribution percentage, contribution limitations, tax-deferred growth, required distributions, IRA contribution limits, and how you can profit from a 401(k) plan today.
Pros and Cons of Roth Conversion
A Roth Conversion means entering retirement with tax-free income. However, a Roth IRA conversion also comes at an upfront cost of paying taxes now. Converting your qualified retirement account (like a traditional IRA or old 401(k) plan) to a Roth IRA may be a great idea. But since your tax may be significant, make sure to learn the key considerations.
When Should You Consider a Roth 401(k)?
A Roth 401(k) is a combination of retirement account types. Find out how the Roth 401(k) works and whether it could work for you.
IRA Rollovers - How to Avoid Mandatory...
401K to IRA rollovers are a fairly straightforward process as long as you make it clear of your intentions. However, if you take a distribution and then decide to do an IRA rollover, your job just got harder thanks to mandatory withholding. Learn how to avoid the 20% mandatory withholding on IRA rollovers.
What Is a Catch-Up Contribution?
If you are age 50 or older, you can stash a little bit more away each year in your retirement account. It's called a catch-up contribution. Here's how it works.
Book Review: What Your Financial Advisor...
What Your Financial Advisor Isn't Telling You:The 10 Essential Truths You Need to Know About Your Money by Liz Davidson promotes financial wellness
What Are the SIMPLE IRA Contribution Limits for...
How much could you contribute to a SIMPLE IRA in 2014?
How to Calculate What You'll Need to Retire
Can you figure out exactly how much you will need to live on for retirement? You can at least come close. Here's how to calculate a retirement savings goal.
Do I Need a QDRO After Divorce?
If your spouse has assets in a retirement account, a QDRO is necessary to share them equitably after divorce
Make Sense of Medicare
Medicare is government health insurance for seniors age 65 and older. Here's how it works.
Will You Be Able to Deduct Your Medical...
You may not realize that some of your medical expenses are tax deductible. Save those receipts!
IRAs - How Individual Retirement Accounts Can...
Lean the basics of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): where and how to open an account, IRA contribution limits, income limitations, what is an IRA, who's eligible, when they're called for, and how you can profit from an IRA today.
How to Increase Your Retirement Savings and...
Many last minute tax reduction strategies exist that can improve retirement savings. Contributions to 401ks, IRAs, and HSAs can get you on track to retire.
What's a Contingent Beneficiary?
What is a contingent beneficiary and why you should make sure yours is correct.
What Will it Take to Max Our Your 401k in 2015?
Find out the maximum amount you can stash in your 401(k) retirement plan in 2015.
Roth 401(k)- Saving For Retirement Tax-Free
Roth 401(k)s bring together the tax-free growth of a Roth IRA and the higher contribution limits of a 401(k). Yet a Roth IRA contribution lowers your net pay in a way a regular 401(k) does not. Learn what to consider when evaluating a Roth 401(k).
The Impact of an Early Distribution From a...
A look at what an early distribution is, what taxes and penalties are involved, and the potential financial ramifications to a retirement plan.
How Much Can You Contribute to a SEP IRA in 2014?
Find out how much you can contribute to a SEP IRA in 2014.
How Much Can You Save in Your Roth IRA in 2015?
If you have a Roth IRA, you know the benefits of contributing as much as possible to the fund. Find out how much is possible in 2015.
Going Beyond the Budget to Track Your Personal...
Do more to improve your financial wellness. Creating a budget or personal spending plan is essential but also track other important financial ratios.
What Is a Keogh?
A Keogh plan is a once-popular retirement plan option for self-employed individuals. For a certain type of professional, a Keogh could be a great choice for amassing retirement savings. Find out if a Keogh is right for you.
What Is Expected of You as an Executor
An executor is a job with little training and a lot of trust. Not everyone's cut out for it. If you take on the job of executor, know what's expected.
What Is Asset Correlation?
Defining what it means when assets are correlated or noncorrelated.
When you shouldn't convert to a Roth IRA
Should you convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA? Ask yourself these questions before you decide to convert to a Roth.
More Retirees Are Returning to Work... Should...
Considering going back to work in retirement? A job could impact your expenses, taxes, and Social Security benefits. Here's what you need to know.
5 Questions About Retirement and Bankruptcy
More and more seniors are seeking Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in retirement. So how does bankruptcy affect your retirement funds, and is it the solution for you?
The Retirement Requirement
The one thing we all need to know about most individual retirement accounts and 401(k)s: eventually, you will be required to take a minimum distribution.
The War of the Retirement Plans - Defined...
Defined contribution plans vs defined benefits plans. What's the difference and which is the superior retirement savings option?
SIMPLE IRA Rollovers Are Not Actually So Simple
Despite its name, SIMPLE IRAs do not always make for simple IRA rollovers. Here's what you need to know about SIMPLE IRA rollovers.
4 Times It's Okay to Borrow From Your 401(k)
Before you consider borrowing from your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement account, make sure you have considered these four reasons to take a 401(k) loan.
The Savings Account for the Stay-at-Home Set:...
What are the contribution maximums for a spousal IRA in 2015? Find out how much you can put away whether your spouse is not working or earning income.
How to Keep Your Money Growing Tax-Free Longer...
Some retirement plans require you to make a withdrawal, or RMD, each year after a certain age. Learn why Roth IRAs are not subject to these RMD rules.
What to do when the stock market is down.
When the market takes a dive, it's normal to get a little worried. But should you act on that worry? Here's what to consider when the stock market goes down.
Can Your Business Max Out a SIMPLE IRA in 2015?
Find out how the maximum amount you can contribute to a SIMPLE IRA in 2015.
This Is Why You Should Review Your 401(k) Plan...
Retirement account beneficiary designations are not a one-and-done process. Here's why you'll always want to review your 401(k) and IRA beneficiaries.
5 Things to Consider When Saving for Retirement
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What Will IRA Contribution Limits Be in 2015
In 2015, some individual retirement account contribution limits are up, some have remained the same. Find out how much you can contribute in 2015.
Self-Employed? This Might Be Your Best Option...
SEP-IRAs (Simplified Employee Pensions) are an excellent retirement planning opportunity for the self-employed. With high contribution limits and late deadlines, they provide for great flexibility and savings.
How Do I Rollover a 401(k) Plan?
The steps to take to move your 401k into a Rollover IRA.
Refreshing Purchasing Power With COLA
One of the most valuable parts of your Social Security benefit is the cost of living adjustment, or COLA, which protects against long-term inflation.
Social Security - How Early Retirement Affects...
When you choose early retirement and take Social Security benefits before your normal retirement age, your benefit is reduced. Understand how the Social Security Administration figures this benefit reduction.
Are You Taking Advantage of this No-Fail...
Taking advantage of an employer match on your 401(k) contributions should immediately become your next important financial move. Learn why.
Overview of 401k Loans
Taking a 401k loan may seem tempting in the short term, but be sure to consider the consequences and penalties carefully first.
Why You Should Contribute to a 401(k)
What a 401(k) is, how it works, and why you should be invested in your 401(k) plan.
What's the Contribution Limit for a 2014 Roth...
Find out the contribution limits for Roth IRAs in 2014.
Yes, Pension Plans Do Still Exist. Here's How...
Think the traditional pension plan is an urban myth? Although rare, pensions actually exist. Find out how pensions work and whether yours is safe.
403(b) Plan Limits for 2014
Find out how much you can contribute to your 403(b) plan in 2014.
Plan a retirement built for two.
Are you and your spouse planning for the same retirement? Discussing retirement as a couple can help you plan for a shared ideal future.
What is a 403(b) Plan?
Overview of 403(b) plans
Here's How Annual IRA Contribution Deadlines...
You can contribute to your traditional or Roth IRA at any time, but there are limits based on the tax year. Learn about how those deadlines affect you.
What is the Thrift Savings Plan for Federal...
An overview of the Thrift Savings Plan for Federal Employees, or TSP..
Top 5 Ways to Get Started With a Retirement Plan
An introduction to 401(k)s, IRAs, Roth IRAS and the importance of early saving to a successful retirement plan.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Pay Off...
The lure of a mortgage-free retirement is attractive. Learn the considerations for eliminating what's likely to be your largest bill in retirement.
How to Prepare for Health Care Costs in...
Health care inflation is rising faster than the cost of living, and most of us haven't saved enough to cover it. Find out how to prepare for the rising cost of healthcare in retirement.
What is a Primary Beneficiary?
A primary beneficiary is a person or entity designated as the first in line to inherit an asset.
What Are the Spousal IRA Contribution Limits in...
Find out how much you can contribute to a Spousal IRA in 2013.
Should I Name a Trust as IRA Beneficiary?
When does it make sense to name a trust as a primary or contingent beneficiary of your IRA or 401(k)?
What a Difference a Year Makes
Delayed retirement credits represent the additional income you can receive by delaying Social Security beyond full retirement age.
Learn How Index Funds Could Work For You
Index mutual funds offer a low-cost, tax-efficient way to invest in broad segments of the market. They also tend to outperform the competition. Here's why.
What Is a Solo 401(k)?
If you are a self-employed small business owner, you can have access to a 401(k). Find out what about the benefits of the solo 401(k) and the solo Roth 401(k).
Is Your Financial Advisor Telling You...
Retirement planning has some potential blind spots. Not all financial advisors are held to the fiduciary standard. See how this may affect your plans.
Pros and Cons of Self-Employed Retirement Plans
The pros and cons of various retirement plans for the self-employed.
What Is an Intermediate Term Bond Fund?
The intermediate-term bond is among the most common options offered in employer-sponsored 401(k)s. What are intermediate-term bonds and what makes these funds so popular?
Roth IRA Basics
Roth IRA Basics - Understanding the Roth IRA
Why Would You Rollover a 401k?
Leaving a job? You need to decide what to do with your 401(k) before your employer decides for you. Here's why it's important to rollover your plan.
Profit Sharing Plan
Profit sharing plans are retirement plans that allow employers to determine how much they will contribute to an employee's retirement. Here's how profit-sharing works.
Retirement Plan Custodians
What a retirement plan custodian is and how it helps protect your funds.
Health Savings Accounts - Is An HSA Another...
A Health Savings Account (HSA) can be an important part of your retirement planning. Coupled with a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), an HSA can provide you with tax-free growth on qualified medical expenses and tax-deferred growth on the excess. Learn more about how an HSA might help you achieve your retirement goals.
Understanding Employer Matching Programs
Taking part in an employer matching program, if you're lucky enough to work at a place that offers one, is like receiving free money. Here's how it works.
Retirement Plans for Entrepreneurs
Have a small business that doesn't require a big 401(k) plan? Find out which small business or self-employed retirement plan is right for you.
How to Tap Your 401(k) Early... Without a Penalty
Answers to frequently asked questions about hardship distributions or hardship withdrawals that allow you to take money out early from a 401(k), 403(b) or 457(b) retirement plan.
What Is a Stable Value Fund?
If you have a 401(k), chances are you may have a stable value fund available to you. What are stable value funds and why are they so popular?
How Much Should I Save for Retirement?
How much do you need to have saved before retirement? The short answer is: as much as you can.
The Inner Workings of Your IRA Account
An IRA or individual retirement account is among the most popular tax-favored retirement savings vehicles. Learn the basics of how IRAs work.
2014 401(k) contribution limits, 2014 401k max,...
How much will the government let you contribute to your 401(k) in 2014? Here's where to find out.
Can I Open an IRA for My Kid?
Have you ever considered opening a retirement account for your kid? In some cases, you can. Here's how to open an IRA for your child.
Should You Take a 401k Loan?
Should you take a 401k loan or apply for a 401k hardship loan to help with short-term cash needs? The answer, in almost all cases, is absolutely not. However, there are numerous things to consider, not to mention the need to consult with a qualified professional to get an opinion of whether or not a 401k loan makes sense based upon your own alternatives and situation. This resource was designed to explain the process and provide information that might help you.

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