Money Over 55: Most Popular Articles
Social security office locations can be found by inputting your zip code into the social security office location web page at the link below.
A Social Security benefit for a spouse is called a “spousal benefit”. It applies to current, widowed, and ex-spouses. Here is how it works.
If you have sources of income in addition to Social Security, then you may have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefits. The amount of taxes you pay on Social Security benefits will depend on your combined income.
There is not a mandatory 401k retirement age. However the rules on taking money out of your 401k change depending on how old you are. The three ages to take note of are 55, 59 1/2, and 70 1/2. Below are the rules that apply at each of those retirement ages.
Don't claim Social Security without calculating first. The right Social Security calculator can help you get more out of your benefits, particularly for married couples.
Can a capital loss carryover to the next tax year? Maybe. Here's how it works.
Collecting Social Security benefits before full retirement age while still working may trigger the earnings limit. Here's how it works.
Knowing your Full Retirement Age for Social Security benefits is important for two reasons. Get it wrong, and you may get less in benefits.
Should you take social security at age 62... or not? Here are a few general guidelines you can use to determine if it makes sense for you to start taking social security benefits at age 62.
Want to retire at 55? Here are three things to consider before you retire at 55.
Will you pay taxes in retirement? Probably so. Here is a guide to what types of retirement income are taxed.
Upon the death of a spouse, you are eligible for a social security survivor benefit as long as you have been married for at least 9 months. Here are additional details on how much, what age, and documents needed to claim a social security survivor benefit.
Here are the 6 common ways financial advisors charge fees and how each pricing structure works.
Need to know when your Social Security check will be deposited? Find the Social Security check schedule and answers to additional questions.
Here are ten facts about Social Security benefits for an ex spouse. Some of them may surprise you.
There are two types of Social Security death benefits paid out. One is a lump sum. The other is an ongoing monthly benefit called a survivor benefit.
Taking money out of your 401k plan in the wrong way can be costly. Read the rules and find the best way to take money out depending on your age and situation.
Here are 8 frequently asked questions about IRA rollovers. They'll explain what qualifies as a rollover, what does not, and what to watch out for.
2013 Traditional IRA rules, contribution limits, and earned income limitations.
The amount of benefits you receive will depend on the Social Security retirement age that you choose. If you take Social Security at 62, or any time before full retirement age (defined below), and continue to work and earn an amount in excess of the earnings limit, your Social Security benefits will be reduced. Details here.
Can you collect social security benefits based on an ex-spouse's work record? In many cases, yes. Here's what you need to know abut Social Security and divorce.
Is cashing out of your 401k plan a good idea? Is it even possible? Don't make a decision to cash out your 401k plan without knowing what you might be giving up.
You may be able to avoid the IRA early withdrawal penalty tax - if you qualify for one of these 8 exceptions.
There’s a mass of messy information out there about ROTH IRA withdrawals. I read through several leading articles, and the IRS website, and found little information the average person could decipher. So here’s the simple scoop about ROTH IRA distributions.
A good retirement calculator will help you determine how much you may have available to spend each month in retirement, the likelihood your savings will last throughout your retirement, and options to make up for potential shortfalls.
Non deductible IRA contributions can be a great way for high income earners to get money into a ROTH IRA. Here's how.
You inherited money that is in a 401k plan. Here are the rules the apply to when and how you can take the money out.
Millions of dollars are waiting to be claimed in old bank accounts, pension plans, forgotten 401(k) plans, and at the IRS due to undeliverable tax refunds. Some of it might be yours. Here are seven ways to find unclaimed money that might be waiting for you.
With 2013 tax rates comes good news for lower earners and bad news for higher earners.
Should you buy a condo as an investment? Is a condo even a good investment? Here are the questions - and the numbers - that you'll need to address to determine the answer.
Married couples should not look at when to take Social Security the same way a single person would. H
Is retirement income taxable? It depends on where your retirement income will come from, and how much of it you will have. Below is a list of common sources of retirement income broken down into taxable retirement income, partially taxable retirement income, and tax free retirement income.
Will I pay tax when I sell my home? What kind of taxes do you pay on home sales?
Here's how to employ smart planning strategies to use 2014 tax rates to your advantage.
What is a required minimum distribution? It starts when you reach 70 1/2. Find out when you have to take it, how much you have to take and what happens if you don't.
Rental property can provide a stable source of income, but like any investment, you need to understand what you are getting into before you buy. Here are the three things to consider.
Rising dividends can provide a hedge against inflation. One way to get exposure to dividend paying stocks with a solid dividend history is to use a dividend index mutual fund, or dividend index exchange traded fund. In moderation, one or all of the five dividend income stock funds below can be an appropriate addition to a retirement income portfolio.
In many cases you must use a restricted application to collect one type of Social Security benefit while preserving your option to later switch to another type. Here is an overview of the restricted application rules.
If you’re searching for information on retirement investments you’re probably looking for an investment that will provide income for you. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you’ll find a comprehensive list of retirement investments with additional information on each.
Not all 401k plans allow hardship withdrawals. If they do, here are the rules that apply.
Short term retirement planning: 5 steps you must take within 5 years of retirement.
The answer as to how to find the best IRA rate may surprise you.
2014 IRA income limits, contribution limits, IRA rules, and more.
This social security strategy allows you to collect a spousal benefit based on your spouse's earnings record while you continue to work, maximizing your own benefit by accumulating delayed retirement credits.
Here are 4 things you must know about early retirement and Social Security.
Measure investment risk accurately and you'll know what to expect. Learn how to tell the difference between low, medium and high risk investments and you'll avoid costly mistakes.
IRA age limits apply to Traditional IRAs but not to ROTH IRAs. Here are the IRA age related rules you need to know about for either type of IRA.
When you retire from a company with a pension plan you are often given the choice of taking your distribution as a lump sum or as an annuity payment. Here you'll find the pros and cons and step by step instructions on how to compare the lump sum verses the annuity distribution.
Five questions to ask a potential financial advisor that will help you determine if they are the right financial advisor for you. These questions help you determine their level of integrity and their ability to communicate to you in language and terms you can understand.
Here are the things you need to know about collecting social security retirement benefits; things like how working affects your benefits, if you will have to pay taxes on social security benefits, and how collecting benefits early affects you and your spouse.
Index funds provide one of the most effective ways to invest to meet your long term investing goals. Below is a list of some of the very best index funds to choose from.
Inheriting money can be great! Make it even greater by avoiding these family inheritance mistakes.
Here are 5 safe investments designed first and foremost to protect what you have.
Five questions to ask before you buy an annuity.
2014 401(k) contribution limits and rules.
You need to know exactly how your credit score is calculated. There are 5 components to your credit score and some carry more weight than others.
You want to make sure you hire the best financial advisor possible so before you hire a financial advisor, do your homework. Read through each of the seven steps below, follow them carefully and you will be able to find the best financial advisor for your situation.
One of the most important retirement decisions you will make is deciding when to take Social Security. Here are the factors to consider.
2013 Roth IRA rules, contribution limits, and earned income limits.
This table shows you historical S&P 500 stock market returns from 1973 through 2011, on a year by year basis. You can see that negative stock market returns occur, on average, one out of every four years.
What is financial planning, and what type of advice should I expect from my financial advisor? Here is what a good financial planner will do for you.
The forumula used to calculate how much Social Security you will get is complex. Here is a step-by-step guide, with examples, so you can see exactly what is used to calculate your Social Security benefits.
Five questions to ask before you buy an annuity. Page 5.
How much to retire? Great question. It takes some soul searching and some calculating to come up with the answer. These four steps will help you determine how much you will need to retire.
Almost 65? Over 65? Covered by a group health plan still? Not yet enrolled in social security? Here are the guidelines as to when and how you should apply for medicare.
Earned income is the money you earn from working. It includes wages, salaries, tips and net earnings from self employment income. Earned income does not include investment income like annuities, pension income, withdrawals from IRAs and other retirement accounts, capital gains distributions and passive income generated from rental real estate.
Here you'll find a list of five safe investments as well as answers to other questions about safe investments, such as how much of your money should be in them.
If you take Social Security benefits before you reach full retirement age, and you earn income in excess of the annual earnings limit, your Social Security benefits will be reduced. Here are the current and past years' earnings limits for reference.
Should you retire at 62 or 65? Here are several things you'll want to consider before you decide.
Planning for a longer than average life expectancy is a key component of a good retirement plan. Here are 5 ways to estimate life expectancy.
When interest rates go up, bond prices on existing bonds go down. Why? Find out here - and see just how a change in interest rates can affect a bond's price.
No need to reinvent the wheel. Most 401k plan now offer foolproof ways to invest your 401k money. Learn how to identify these great choices.
What is the difference between a fee-only financial advisor and a fee based financial advisor?
High yield investments offer additional income, but remember with high returns come greater risks. Here's a list of high yield investments you can use to start your research.
Are you saving enough to retire? Will you have enough to retire? Walk through these five steps and in five minutes you can come up with a simple yes or no answer.
Before you a buy an annuity ask yourself, “Why am I buying this?” Is it because it is the first solution that someone has presented to you? If so, step back and do additional research. Page 2.
Can you stop Social Security benefits once you start? Sometimes. Here are the conditions that must apply.
In some circumstances you can take withdrawals from a 401k plan as early as age 55. Here's when you can - and when you can't.
Is long term care insurance a wise purchase? You'll need to evaluate the pros and cons of long term care insurance to come up with your own answer. Here are five questions to ask to help you determine the pros and cons of long term care insurance.
2014 ROTH IRA contribution limits, income phaseout limits and ROTH rules.
Many Americans think of age 55 or earlier as an early retirement age. My definition of early retirement age is any age before age 65. Here's why.
To have success your retirement budget has to have some wiggle room. Retirement mistakes occur when you forget to include one of these seven items in your budget.
Filing a tax extension is ok. Here's why.
Social Security rules for widows and widowers are complicated. The amount you'll get depends on whether your spouse had or had not started their benefits, how old they were, and how old you are.
When closing the estate of a spouse or loved one it is easy to make costly mistakes. Here are 5 things you must and must not do after the loss of a loved one.
Divorce after 50 now has it's own terminology: gray divorce. Gray or not, here are 5 key things to consider when divorcing over 50.
The file and suspend social security strategy allows your spouse to collect a spousal benefit based on your earnings record while you continue to work, maximizing your own benefit by accumulating delayed retirement credits.
Bundle expenses to maximize itemized tax deductions.
There are 3 types of investment income. Which types are best for your retirement income?
Consider funding an HSA instead of an IRA, or even instead of excess 401k contributions. Why? An HSA can be like an IRA on steroids when used correctly.
ROTH 401k plan contributions differ from regular 401k contributions and from ROTH IRA contributions in several ways. Here are the similarities and differences.
Believe it or not, a retirement budget can lead to more fun in retirement. In addition, it can help you avoid one of the biggest mistakes people make in retirement: overspending.
Average investors consistently earn below average market returns - less than historical averages. Find out why.
See why ESPlanner Basic is the best free retirement calculator we could find.
Smart investing takes planning. Here are five questions you must ask to develop a good investment plan.
Accurately estimating retirement expenses is one of the most important things you can do. Here's how to get started.
This table shows how much tax an average married couple will pay in retirement, and how much tax they will pay on their Social Security benefits.
Take these steps to increase the amount of Social Security you will receive.
Managed payout funds, monthly income funds, income replacement funds, or retirement income funds; they each have a different name, but a common goal, which is to provide you a way to invest your money, and receive regular retirement income. They offer a great, all in one investment management solution, and are a more flexible alternative to annuities.
Normal distributions (meaning you are over age 59 ½) from a Traditional IRA plan are included in your taxable income in the calendar year in which you take the distribution. The total amount of tax you pay on this IRA distribution will depend on the total amount of income and deductions that you have that year.
Wondering when to retire? Here's what you need to think about if you are trying to decide to retire at 55, 62, or 65. There is a lot to learn, so don't decide when to retire until you've armed yourself with good information.
Are there social security strategies you can use to get the most out of your social security benefits? Yes, but each one only works if you fit a specific set of criteria.
You can use an internal rate of return calculation to compare investment alternatives, but be careful, published returns often use a time weighted calculation - which is different.
2014 Medicare Part B premiums remain the same as 2013. Premiums and income limits can be found here.
These 3 RMD calculators cover projecting future distributions, current year distributions, and required distributions if you inherited an IRA account.
New to retirement planning? You'll often hear the term salary deferral. Here's what it means, how to get started with it, and why it's a good idea.
Before you start a pension you'll want to figure out if you should have taxes withheld, and if so, how much to withhold. Here's how to look at it.
As I get older, how much of my money should be invested in stocks vs. bonds?
Managed accounts come in many forms, some with excessively high fees. Bad ones reduce your wealth. The best managed accounts, however, are likely worth the price.
Pick a finance magazine, or two or three, read them regularly, and you'll be amazed at what you learn in a relatively short amount of time. The problem is, with so many finance magazines on the market, where should you start? The list below will get you headed in the right direction.
Want to increase your social security retirement income by twenty-five percent or more? Once you reach full retirement age, your benefits do not cap out. As a matter of fact for each year after full retirement age that you delay taking benefits, you will accumulate delayed retirement credits, which result in a permanent increase in your benefits of five to eight percent a year.
Your pension plan will offer payout choices like life-only, joint and survivor, or life with ten years certain. This article explains what these choices mean and how you can pick one that is best for you and your spouse.
When discussing retirement plans and taxes we often use the terms “pre-tax” or “after-tax” dollars. How do you know what is pre-tax and what is after-tax?
Once retired, do you still need life insurance? To answer this, you must understand that life insurance isn't really about insuring your life.
Many savers are not aware of the rules that allow you to make a spousal IRA contribution for a spouse. You can make spousal Roth IRA contributions too! Here are four rules to follow when making a spousal IRA contribution.
The dividend yield on a stock can change rapidly. Before you buy, make sure understand yield and what it is that you are buying.
Use these factors to help determine how much to contribute to your 401k plan.
Social security uses your highest thirty-five years of work history to calculate your social security retirement benefit. To increase your social security benefits make sure you have a full 35 years of work history. Think of this calculation like an average; if you have a zero as one of the numbers, it will pull the average down.
With deferred annuities, you deposit your funds with the annuity company (by investing in either a fixed, variable, longevity, or equity indexed annuity) and the taxes on any investment gains are deferred until such time as you take a withdrawal.
When are annuities a good investment? Here's what can make an annuity a good investment, and when it might not be such a great idea.
The official Social Security website provides three free calculators you can use to estimate your future Social Security retirement benefits.
Find the best retirement calculator for your situation, see pros and cons of popular retirement calculators, learn what they do well, and what their limitations are. Page 4.
Investment fees will lower your returns, so find out whether you are responsible for these six investment fees before you buy.
Spring is the perfect time to get your financial house in order. Here are seven spring cleaning tips to get you off to a fresh financial start.
Active investing costs more, but does it deliver? Not for most. Here's why.
Find the best retirement calculator for your situation, see pros and cons of popular retirement calculators, learn what they do well, and what their limitations are. Page 2.
Here are seven things you need to know about a 401k loan before you take one.
A fixed annuity can be in the form of an immediate fixed annuity or a deferred fixed annuity. They provide a guaranteed return, but before investing you should compare them with other alternatives that may provide more flexibility.
Earning extra money is the fastest way to rebuild retirement plans. Here is a list of articles filled with tips and ideas on how to make extra money to jumpstart your own plans.
Deferred annuities are taxes differently than variable annuities. Learn more here. Page 4.
Understanding present value and how to calculate it can be quite useful when it comes to retirement planning. Here's what it is, how to calculate it, and how to use it.
There are a few key differences between a social security survivor benefit and a social security spouse benefit (spousal benefits taken while your spouse is alive.)Understanding them can help clear up much of the information you find about social security benefits.
Each type of annuity has a different way of charging fees; with variable annuity fees, all fees are disclosed in the prospectus. With fixed and immediate annuities, the insurance company gives you a quote that is net of all fees. Learn more here. Page 3.
Can you rollover (or convert) after-tax 401k money to a Roth IRA? Maybe. Here's why it isn't black or white.
6 steps to take before you start a consulting business.
Do not use immediate annuity rates when comparing annuities to other investment options. Here's why.
Learn the six withdrawal rate rules you must follow when creating a portfolio to generate lasting retirement income. These rules help you make appropriate adjustments to your withdrawal rate, reducing the probability that you will run out of money.
These five financial advisor search engines allow you to narrow down your search so you can find just the right financial advisor.
Your retirement age determines when and how you can access your retirement money. Retirement age rules vary from plan to plan and from country to country. Here are the things you need to know before you choose your retirement age.
All employee stock options are not taxed alike. Tax rules that apply to non-qualified options are different than those that apply to incentive stock options. Here's a comparison.
Is buying real estate in an IRA a good idea? For most people, the answer is no. Here's why.
Inherited IRAs come with rules you must follow. If you inherited the IRA as a spouse, you have a few choices a non-spouse won't have. Here are the basic inherited IRA rules.
In today's low interest rate environment what returns can you expect from safe investments? Not much. See a table showing historical safe investment returns from 1973 to today.
These are the biggest early retirement mistakes people make, and the steps you can take to avoid them.
Can you take an IRA deduction for the amount you contribute to a traditional IRA? It depends on how much you make, how you make it, and whether you participate in a company sponsored retirement plan. Details here.
There are 5 types of IRA withdrawals; early (hardship IRA withdrawals are included in this category), regular IRA withdrawals (meaning you are over age 59 1/2), required minimum distributions (which start at 70 1/2), ROTH IRA withdrawals, and an IRA rollover or transfer.
Better investing doesn't happen accidentally. Good investors work at it. They study. They learn. Start with 10 Ways to become a better investor, and once you start learning, never stop.
After conducting a thorough review of your existing variable annuity contract, you may decide it would be best to either surrender(cash in) your variable annuity contract, or exchange your variable annuity for a new contract that has much lower expenses. Here is how you decide which is better.
Retirement plans for those who are self employed can be quite flexible, allowing you to save a lot, or a little. Here are the four best retirement plans for self-employeds.