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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a comprehensive list of retirement investments with additional information on each choice.
Should you take social security at age 62... or not? Here are guidelines you can use to determine if it makes sense for you.
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 your pension as a lump sum or annuity? Here's how to do the analysis.
Here are ten facts about Social Security benefits for an ex spouse. Some of them may surprise you.
Want to retire at 55? Here are three things to consider before you retire at 55.
Need to know when your Social Security check will be deposited? Find the Social Security check schedule and answers to additional questions.
Get a head start on retirement with these online retirement calculators.
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.
The amount of taxes you pay on Social Security benefits depends on something called your combined income. Here's how it works.
Taking money out of your 401k plan the wrong way can be costly. Here's how you can take money out the right way - depending on your age and situation.
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.
Will you pay taxes in retirement? Probably so. Here is a guide to what types of retirement income are taxed.
Is cashing out 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.
Here are 5 key things you need to know before you claim your Social Security benefits.
Your Social Security retirement age depends on your year and month of birth. Here's how it works.
Here are the 6 common ways financial advisors charge fees and how each pricing structure works.
If you don't buy insurance what are your choices? Here are 4 alternative ways to pay for long term health care needs.
Will I pay tax when I sell my home? What kind of taxes do you pay on home sales?
Should you retire at 62 or 65? Here are several things you'll want to consider before you decide.
Retirement is your time. Here's how to make it the happiest time of your life.
Married couples should not look at when to take Social Security the same way a single person would. H
How does divorce affect your or your ex-spouse's Social Security? Here's what you need to know.
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.
One of the most important retirement decisions you will make is deciding when to take Social Security. Here are the factors to consider.
Short term retirement planning: 5 steps you must take within 5 years of retirement.
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.
Not all 401k plans allow hardship withdrawals. If they do, here are the rules that apply.
Here are 4 things you must know about early retirement and Social Security.
Here are 5 safe investments designed first and foremost to protect what you have.
Is a condo a good investment? Here are the questions and calculations you'll need to make to determine the answer.
You may have unclaimed money in old bank accounts, pension plans, forgotten 401(k)s, and at the IRS. Here are 7 ways to find it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Want to keep your nest egg safe? These six guidelines show you how.
Five questions to ask before you buy an annuity.
Stable value is a 401k investment choice that near retirees should consider using. Here's why.
Traditional thinking on how much you can withdraw in retirement may be wrong. You must look at the after-tax impact of your retirement account withdrawals, which may mean taking more in some years than others.
What type of advice should you expect from a financial advisor? Here is what a good one will do for you.
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.
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.
You may be able to avoid the IRA early withdrawal penalty tax - if you qualify for one of these 8 exceptions.
When interest rates go up, bond prices go down. Why? Find out here - and see just how a change in interest rates can affect a bond's price.
7 easy steps show you how to find the best financial advisor for you and your family.
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.
Can you stop Social Security benefits once you start? Sometimes. Here are the conditions that apply.
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.
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.
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.
Looking for yield? Here's a list of high yield investments that offer above average income payouts.
S&P 500 stock market returns from 1973 through year end 2013.
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.
Are Roth IRA withdrawals tax free? Most of the time, but not always. Here's the scoop.
Can a capital loss carryover to the next tax year? Maybe. Here's how it works.
Pick one of these finance magazines, read them regularly, and you'll be amazed at what you learn in a relatively short amount of time.
See why ESPlanner Basic is the best free retirement calculator we could find.
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.
Take these steps to increase the amount of Social Security you will receive.
Here's how to employ smart planning strategies to use 2014 tax rates to your advantage.
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.
What is a fee only advisor, and should you hire one?
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.
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.
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.
Use these factors to help determine how much to contribute to your 401k plan.
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.
2014 IRA income limits, contribution limits, IRA rules, and more.
When can you retire? Here's a guide to retiring at 50, 55, 62, 65, or 70.
Many Americans think of age 55 or earlier as an early retirement age. My definition of early retirement is any age before age 65. Here's why.
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.
Non deductible IRA contributions can be a great way for high income earners to get money into a ROTH IRA. Here's how.
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.
Unfortunately there is no such thing as a “typical” financial planner fee. Instead there are six ways financial planners may charge fees, which can vary from commissions to an hourly rate. Here are the six types of financial planning fees you may encounter.
6 steps to take before you start a consulting business.
Inheriting money can be great! Make it even greater by avoiding these family inheritance mistakes.
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.
Active investing costs more, but does it deliver? Not for most. Here's why.
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.
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.
This Social Security may be a winning move for many married couples. Here's how to collect now - and later.
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.
These 10 retirement blogs are ranked form highly academic and technical, to those geared toward beginners.
The official Social Security website provides three free calculators you can use to estimate your future Social Security retirement benefits.
Have an IRA? Here are 9 things you might not know about it.
Smart investing takes planning. Here are five questions you must ask to develop a good investment plan.
Estimating life expectancy can help you make better financial decisions about social security, life insurance, annuities, pensions and more. Better decisions can potentially add thousands upon thousands of dollars to your lifetime income. From simple to advanced methods, here are six ways to estimate your life expectancy.
Are annuities a good investment? In the right situation, they can be a good choice, but in many situations they aren't so great. Here's why.
These 3 RMD calculators cover projecting future distributions, current year distributions, and required distributions if you inherited an IRA account.
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.
There are 3 types of investment income. Which types are best for your retirement income?
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.
How do you find the best IRA rates? The answer will surprise you.
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.
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.
Once retired, do you still need life insurance? To answer this, you must understand that life insurance isn't really about insuring your life.
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.
Social security strategies can help you get more money out of your benefits - but each strategy only works if you fit a specific set of criteria.
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.
2014 401(k) contribution limits and rules.
What to do and how to plan as you near certain retirement ages. Key ages are 55, 59 1/2, 62, 65 and 70 1/2.
Here are seven things you need to know about a 401k loan before you take one.
Accurately estimating retirement expenses is one of the most important things you can do. Here's how to get started.
Get smart about your money before you retire. These free online investment courses are a great way to get started.
Looking for high dividend stocks? No need to do your own research. Leading dividend income websites provide a wealth of information as well as dividend stock and fund screening services for free. These are my five favorite websites to use for finding high dividend stocks and funds.
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.
An inspiring story using 1000 marbles to reflect how many Saturdays we may have left, and how we choose to spend them.
2014 Medicare Part B premiums remain the same as 2013 - but many don't know the more you make, the more you pay. Here's how that works.
Do not use immediate annuity rates when comparing annuities to other investment options. Here's why.
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?
Where do you find a good return on your investment? It is harder than you might think. Here's why, and here's how to begin to figure out what is realistic.
Social security claiming mistakes cost Americans billions. Avoid these costly mistakes and get more from your Social Security benefits.
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.
The dividend yield on a stock can change rapidly. Before you buy, make sure understand yield and what it is that you are buying.
Financial planning, investment advice and retirement planning are not the same thing. Make sure you understand the difference before you search for the service you need.
This a review of AARP's retirement calculator. Additional retirement calculator reviews are provided in this series. Page 3.
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.
Is buying real estate in an IRA a good idea? For most people, the answer is no. Here's why.
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.
In today's low interest rate environment what returns can you expect from safe investments? Not much. This table shows returns from 1973 to today.
How much of my money should be invested in stocks vs. bonds?
Use your marginal tax rate to determine if you should make a traditional IRA or ROTH IRA contribution. Here's how.
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.
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.
There are plenty of ways to create retirement income, but only a few of them come with guarantees. Several variable annuities now offer guaranteed retirement income by using something called a guaranteed withdrawal benefit or lifetime income rider. They're worth checking out.
You can have far more income to spend if you live in one of the best states for retirement income taxes verses one of the worst. Is it worth relocating? You never know until you start looking.
Investment fees will lower your returns, so find out whether you are responsible for these six investment fees before you buy.
2014 ROTH IRA contribution limits, income phaseout limits and ROTH rules.
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.
Vanguard has three funds called Managed Payout Funds, each designed to provide monthly income while maintaining or growing your original investment. Here's an overview of how they work, expenses, and minimums.
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.
The U.S. Census Bureau tells us the average retirement age in the United States is 62. Social Security however, defines 62 as your early retirement age. There are 5 steps you should take if you are within 5 years of the average retirement age.
ROTH 401k plan contributions differ from regular 401k contributions and from ROTH IRA contributions in several ways. Here are the similarities and differences.
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.
Is an immediate annuity an investment? No, it is a risk management tool. Here's how it works.
Can you rollover (or convert) after-tax 401k money to a Roth IRA? Maybe. Here's why it isn't black or white.
How can you quickly find the best local savings rates? This link allows you search for the best savings rates on CDs and money market accounts by city and state.
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 7.
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.
How old does my ex have to be, 62, or 66, for me to be able to claim a spousal social security benefit?
Retirement is scary and figuring out where to put your retirement money isn't always easy. Here are five things you must know before you invest your retirement money.
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.