Retirement Planning: Most Popular Articles
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.
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.
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.
With spousal Social Security you can get retirement benefits through your spouse. Here's how it works.
Understand what a contingent beneficiary is before you choose one for your retirement account, life insurance policy or trust.
There are limits to how much you can contribute to an IRA each year. Here are the 2014 maximums. out how much you can contribute to your IRA in 2014.
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.
You can get Social Security retirement benefits while you are still working. But when you apply makes a difference. Here's how it works.
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.
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.
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.
How much can you contribute to a SIMPLE IRA in 2014?
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.
Can I withdraw money from my 401(k) before I retire? Yes, you can anytime, but you may have to pay a penalty.
Find out the contribution limits for Roth IRAs in 2014.
An explanation of how the Social Security Administration determines normal retirement age, sets the rules for monthly payments, and applies work penalties in certain circumstances.
What diversification is and how to diversify your investments.
Retirement plans can be confusing, this basic overview can help you understand how each one is different.
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.
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.
A simple overview of how to apply for Social Security retirement benefits.
Find out how much you can contribute to a SEP IRA in 2014.
How much will the government let you contribute to your 401(k) in 2014? Here's where to find out.
Taking a 401k loan may seem tempting in the short term, but be sure to consider the consequences and penalties carefully first.
A look at what an early distribution is, what taxes and penalties are involved, and the potential financial ramifications to a retirement plan.
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.
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.
What is a contingent beneficiary and why you should make sure yours is correct.
457(b) plan overview
An employer matching 401(k) contribution or employer match is a generous benefit that you should be taking advantage of. Here's why.
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.
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.
5 tips for planning the perfect overseas retirement from a relocation consultant.
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.
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.
Have questions about how Social Security works? Here are the answers.
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.
Modified Adjusted Gross Income, or MAGI, determines eligibility for numerous tax benefits. Here's how to calculate it.
Definition of a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from a qualified retirement plan such as a 401(k) or IRA
Learn how an unusual quirk in Social Security allows retirees to take an interest-free loan from Social Security.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Find out how much you can contribute to your 403(b) plan in 2014.
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.
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.
If you are near retirement age, these five tips can help you develop a strategy for how and when to begin claiming benefits.
Get to know the SEP IRA, a great retirement savings vehicle for small-business owners and self-employed people.
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.
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.
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.
Can you withdraw money from your Roth IR before you retire? Yes, but you could be penalized on the growth of your original investment.
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).
For individuals who have spent their careers working for the US railroads, Railroad Retirement Plans offer benefits beyond Social Security.
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.
A primary beneficiary is a person or entity designated as the first in line to inherit an asset.
Find out how much you can contribute to your 457(b) plan in 2014.
How much can you put in a Roth IRA in 2013? Find out the contribution limits for Roth IRAs.
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.
The latest financial trickery is not coming from Wall Street but from the government. Called pension smoothing, it's less smooth than it sounds.
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.
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 Social Security at age 62 or 70, or somewhere in between? There's no one right answer, but there is an answer that's right for you.
Find out how much you can contribute to a SEP IRA in 2013.
If your spouse has assets in a retirement account, a QDRO is necessary to share them equitably after divorce
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Learn how a tax deferred plan can lower your current and future taxes.
Are you and your spouse planning for the same retirement? Discussing retirement as a couple can help you plan for a shared ideal future.
Want to retire wealthy or at least comfortable? Avoid these retirement mistakes.
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.
Some individuals can maximize their IRA savings by contributing to both Regular IRA and Roth IRA plans. Find out if you qualify.
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.
An overview of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), including how it is financed, who it protects, ans where to get more information.
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.
What are normal distributions from retirement plans? This definition includes taxable and tax-free plans, as well as associated penalties and exemptions.
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.
An adult child moving home is not necessarily a retirement killer. But you must establish clear guidelines so that your retirement savings and retirement plan remain in tact.
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.
Find out how much you can contribute to your IRA in 2013.
Making tax-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA is more flexible than many retirement investors think.
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.
Find out how much you can contribute to a Spousal IRA in 2013.
You have a solo business, so why not get yourself a solo 401(k) or individual 401(k)? Here's how much you can contribute to a solo 401(k) in 2014.
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.
A definition of lifecycle funds, also known as target date or target retirement funds, that includes both the benefits as well as the drawbacks of such investments.
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.
Find out how much you can contribute to your 401(k) in 2013.
Should you convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA? Ask yourself these questions before you decide to convert to a Roth.
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?
A contingent beneficiary stands second-in-line to inherit assets such as a life insurance policy, a retirement plan or an annuity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The lure of a mortgage-free retirement is attractive. Learn the considerations for eliminating what's likely to be your largest bill in retirement.
Think the traditional pension plan is an urban myth? Although rare, pensions actually exist. Find out how pensions work and whether yours is safe.
Find out how much you can contribute to a Spousal IRA in 2013.
Although gift tax is very straightforward, those with high asset levels need to follow the rules or risk paying tax unnecessarily.
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.
Make sure to regularly check your 401(k) plan beneficiary designations, especially if any major family changes have occurred.
Mutual funds are the primary workhorses of most investors' retirement plans. Investing in mutual funds can be a quick and relatively inexpensive way to build a diverse portfolio of stocks and bonds, with the added benefit of professional management.
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.
An IRA rollover is an effective way to simplify your retirement planning while giving you more investment choices and extending your tax deferral.
Do you understand what each investment in your retirement account does? Sort our your investment options by understanding some of the common types of 401(k) investment options.
5 reasons to avoid taking a 401(k) loan.
Answers to the most common 401(k) loan questions.
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?
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 the self-employed are among the most generous in terms of annual contribution limits. They get even more generous in 2013.
Learn how a tax deduction plan can lower your current taxes.
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.
If you can read this, it's not too early to start saving for retirement. The sooner you start, the wealthier you can be.
Should you even consider saving for retirement if you have credit card debt? Get the answer to a frequently asked question: Save or get out of debt?
Find out how much you can put into your defined contribution plan (aka Keogh) in 2014.
Savings accounts may not be as popular as they once were, but can be a great emergency fund.
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 2014.
Defining what it means when assets are correlated or noncorrelated.
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.
Delaying Social Security benefits beyond your normal retirement date increases your monthly payments. Understand how the Social Security Administration will calculate your benefits.
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.
If you want to invest tax-efficiently, get to know which types of investments to buy in a taxable account and which to buy in a tax-deferred account.
Ready for retirement? Pre-retirees need to prepare, so here's a handy retirement readiness checklist to help you plan for your next adventure.
While it's important to have a will, a revocable living trust is often more meaningful in assuring that your affairs go smoothly and as you planned after you pass on. Learn about the advantages of a revocable living trust.
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Worried what will happen to your pension if your company makes a false move? The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) may ease your concerns.
An introduction to 401(k)s, IRAs, Roth IRAS and the importance of early saving to a successful retirement plan.
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.
Defined contribution plans vs defined benefits plans. What's the difference and which is the superior retirement savings option?
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?
Definition of a money purchase pension plan.
One of the most valuable parts of your Social Security benefit is your cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA). It is the Social Security COLA that allows for protection from inflation over the long-term.
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.
An investment portfolio is a collection of assets owned by an individual or by an institution.
How much do you need to have saved before retirement? The short answer is: as much as you can.
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).
Find out why employer matching programs are the best retirement investment.
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).
The pros, cons and facts you need to know before considering a 401(k) loan.
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.
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.
What a 401(k) is, how it works, and why you should be invested in your 401(k) plan.
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.
Investing is not instinctual and most of us don't know what we're doing. But with a little bit of understanding and discipline, you can make the most of your retirement investments. Here's how to become a better retirement investor.
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.