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Retirement Planning: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
What You Need to Know Before Making a 401(k)...
Every 401K withdrawal affects your taxes and your future retirement planning. Make sure to consider these implications and others concerns whenever contemplating a 401K distribution from your 401K.
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) plan.
Can You Get Spousal Security Benefits?
With spousal Social Security you can get retirement benefits through your spouse. Here's how it works.
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.
What Is a Contingent Beneficiary?
Understand what a contingent beneficiary is before you choose one for your retirement account, life insurance policy or trust.
When You Can and Can't Withdraw Money From Your...
An IRA withdrawal is any distribution from your individual retirement account. It's critical to understand how your distribution will affect your financial future, both from tax and retirement planning perspectives.
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.
How to Calculate and Take Required Minimum...
When you reach 70 1/2, IRS rules say you have to start required minimum distributions from your traditional IRAs or your 401(k)s. The tax bite for not obeying the rules can be major.
Catching the Savings Bug
How to get more people to save for retirement. Tips for encouraging participation in a 401(k) or other company-sponsored retirement plan.
The Right Way to Withdraw Money from a 401(k)
Can I withdraw money from my 401(k) before I retire? Yes, you can anytime, but you may have to pay a penalty.
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.
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.
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.
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 Will Social Security Pay If Your Spouse...
The death of a spouse is a dramatic event, emotionally and financially. Fortunately, the Social Security widow benefit paid to surviving spouse's takes some of the financial sting away. Learn more about the Social Security Survivor's Benefit.
5 Things to Know Before Making a Roth IRA...
When can you make withdrawals from your Roth IRA account? Roth IRA withdrawals are different than regular IRA withdrawals. Roth IRA withdrawals are tax-free, as along as certain conditions are met.
Tips for Calculating Your Social Security...
Learn the two components of calculating your Social Security Benefits: your earnings history and the age you retire. Understand the impact your normal retirement age has on your retirement benefit too.
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.
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.
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.
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 Your Age Impacts Required Minimum...
Shortly after your 70th birthday, you will be forced to begin taking required minimum distributions (RMD). As such, you will need to begin withdrawing money from your 401K and regular IRA. Learn how to calculate your required minimum distributions (RMD) and view the Uniform Life Expectancy tables.
How to Calculate Your Normal Retirement Age
Your normal retirement age, or your Social Security Retirement age is based on your year of birth. Learn the importance of your retirement age and how it might affect your retirement plans.
Eligible for Social Security? Learn How to Apply
A simple overview of how to apply for Social Security retirement benefits.
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.
What is a 457(b) Plan?
457(b) plan overview
Thinking About Retirement? Be Ready for...
Definition of a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from a qualified retirement plan such as a 401(k) or 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.
Can You Contribute to a 401(k) and a Roth IRA...
One of the most common questions among retirement planning overachievers is whether they can contribute to both a 401(k) and a Roth IRA. Most people can participate in both.
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.
401K Vesting Schedules - Know the Impact of...
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.
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.
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 2015.
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.
Social Security
Definition of Social Security Retirement Plan Benefits
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.
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.
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.
What's a Contingent Beneficiary?
What is a contingent beneficiary and why you should make sure yours is correct.
What's the Contribution Limit for a 2014 Roth...
Find out the contribution limits for Roth IRAs in 2014.
What to look for in a retirement community.
Yes it matters where you retire, particularly if you think you'll need long term care in the future. Here is a look at popular retirement care options.
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.
Exceptions to IRA and 401(k) Early Withdrawal...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Can you roll over your SIMPLE IRA into a 401(k)...
If you participated in the SIMPLE IRA for at least two years, you may roll over the plan into another qualified plan, such as a 401(k) or IRA.
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.
5 Things You Need to Know About Social Security
Have questions about how Social Security works? Here are the answers.
The 5 Biggest Retirement Mistakes
Want to retire wealthy or at least comfortable? Avoid these retirement mistakes.
How Much Can You Contribute to a SEP IRA in 2014?
Find out how much you can contribute to a SEP IRA in 2014.
Advantages of Tax Deferred Plans
Learn how a tax deferred plan can lower your current and future taxes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Railroad Retirement Plans
For individuals who have spent their careers working for the US railroads, Railroad Retirement Plans offer benefits beyond Social Security.
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
What’s the Safe Withdrawal Amount for...
What is the real safe withdrawal rate? Many experts feel withdrawing 4% of your initial retirement account balance, then adjusting annually for inflation is the right amount. But such a straightforward approach does leave us with some pretty illogical conclusions. Learn what to consider when contemplating what you can afford to spend in retirement.
Hate thinking about retirement?
It's not news that most Americans feel unprepared for retirement, but it feels personal to this author. Find out why I hate to think about retirement.
Why I like working with a financial planner.
What does a financial planner have to offer? The benefits of working with a professional financial planner (for people who don't have millions).
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.
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.
Your 401(k) Plan Beneficiary Designations
Make sure to regularly check your 401(k) plan beneficiary designations, especially if any major family changes have occurred.
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.
Can I withdraw money from my Roth IRA before I...
Can you withdraw money from your Roth IR before you retire? Yes, but you could be penalized on the growth of your original investment.
What Are the Spousal IRA Contribution Limits in...
Find out how much you can contribute to a Spousal IRA in 2013.
Indiviudal Retirement Accounts (IRAs) - What is...
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.
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.
Why Does it Matter Where You Retire?
Does it matter where you live in retirement? Yes, it does. But what matters to you depends on what most affects your quality of life.
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.
5 Things to Consider When Saving for Retirement
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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.
Can You Contribute to a Regular and Roth IRA?
Some individuals can maximize their IRA savings by contributing to both Regular IRA and Roth IRA plans. Find out if you qualify.
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.
All About Medicare - Medicare Part A, Part B,...
Due to the rising cost of health care, Medicare is a critical and growing component of retirement planning. Learn about the alphabet soup of Medicare Parts.
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.
What Are the SIMPLE IRA Contribution Limits for...
How much can you contribute to a SIMPLE IRA in 2014?
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.
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.
Advantages of Tax Deductions
Learn how a tax deduction plan can lower your current taxes.
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).
Who Should Not 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.
The Pros and Cons of Borrowing From Your 401k
The pros, cons and facts you need to know before considering a 401(k) loan.
Roth IRA – Five-Year Rule for Distributions
To benefit from the tax-free growth of a Roth IRA, you must keep your assets in your account for five years after your initial contribution. Like with other fun tax rules, five years can actually go by a lot quicker. Learn how.
How to Save With an IRA Step 1 - Learn Your IRA...
Your maximum IRA contribution limit is based on several factors including your earned income, marital status, total income, age, date, and year. While the amount you can afford will also play in a role in how much you ultimately save for retirement with an IRA, understanding the general parameters of the tax law enables you to aim for the maximum.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When am I eligible for Medicare?
Find out when your eligibility for Medicare begins.
Should You Have a Mortgage During Retirement?
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 Do I Rollover a 401(k) Plan?
The steps to take to move your 401k into a Rollover IRA.
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.
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 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.
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.
SEP IRA Contribution Limits for 2013
Find out how much you can contribute to a SEP IRA in 2013.
What is a Primary Beneficiary?
A primary beneficiary is a person or entity designated as the first in line to inherit an asset.
What Is Asset Correlation?
Defining what it means when assets are correlated or noncorrelated.
Benefits of an IRA Rollover
An IRA rollover is an effective way to simplify your retirement planning while giving you more investment choices and extending your tax deferral.
Who Can Make Tax-Deductible Contributions to...
Making tax-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA is more flexible than many retirement investors think.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Make Sense of Medicare
Medicare is government health insurance for seniors age 65 and older. Here's how it works.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Are You Eligible to Contribute to a 401(k) Plan?
An overview of 401k eligibility including time limits on delaying eligibility, as well as age requirement and monetary limitations.
The Benfits of Converting Your Traditional IRA...
Some benefits of a converting to a Roth IRA are unavailable through a traditional IRA. But the Roth IRA also has its own set of limitations. Here's how Roth IRAs stack up compared to traditional IRAs.
403(b) Plan Limits 2014
Find out how much you can contribute to your 403(b) plan in 2014.
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.
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.
Can I take Medicare and not Social Security?
Can retirees receive Medicare without taking their Social Security benefits?
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.
IRA Contributions for 2013
Find out how much you can contribute to your IRA in 2013.
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?
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.
Americans Don't Save Enough for Retirement, and...
Almost half of our readers think saving $1,000,000 is necessary for a comfortable retirement. How much money do you think you need to retire?
What is the Thrift Savings Plan for Federal...
An overview of the Thrift Savings Plan for Federal Employees, or TSP..
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 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.
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.
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.
5 Things to Consider Before You Retire Abroad
5 tips for planning the perfect overseas retirement from a relocation consultant.
Advantages of Tax Free Plans
Learn how a tax free plan can lower your future taxes, potentially significantly.
How Index Funds Work
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 Are International Equity Funds?
If you have a 401(k), you've probably seen an international equity fund option. What is an international equity fund, and should you own one?
What is a 403(b) Plan?
Overview of 403(b) plans
Vesting
Understand vesting and vesting schedules for employer-sponsored retirement plans.
What Was the SIMPLE IRA Contribution Limit in...
Find out how much you can put into a SIMPLE IRA in 2013, and why small business owners may or may not want to consider one.
Gift Taxes - Who Pays the Gift Tax?
Although gift tax is very straightforward, those with high asset levels need to follow the rules or risk paying tax unnecessarily.
What Was the Maximum Roth IRA Contribution...
How much can you put in a Roth IRA in 2013? Find out the contribution limits for Roth IRAs.
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.
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.
Simple IRA Rollovers – Not So Simple
Despite its name, the Simple IRA does not provide for a simple rollover. Make sure you know what you need to do if you decide to rollover your Simple IRA.
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.
Can You Count on Social Security?
Americans have been counting on Social Security programs since the 1930s, but of late there is increasing uncertainty surrounding its future. Given the looming prospect of insolvency around 2040 and a history of political tinkering with the program, should you count on Social Security to help fund your retirement?
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?
Contribution Limits for 457(b) Plans in 2014
Find out how much you can contribute to your 457(b) plan in 2014.
Top Step 4 – Consider How You Will Spend...
Many people give little thought to how they will spend their time in retirement. After all, the biggest use of their time - working - will be no more. While many retirees report a near honeymoon- like period for the first six to nine months of retirement, many report an eventual urge to become more productive in retirement than they had anticipated.
2014 Limits for Defined Contribution Plans
Find out how much you can put into your defined contribution plan (aka Keogh) in 2014.
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)?
Can I withdraw money from my IRA before I retire?
Yes, you can withdrawal money from your IRA before you retire, but there can be restrictions and penalties.
Can I take Social Security and not Medicare?
Can retirees receive social security benefits if they are not eligible for Medicare?

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