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Money Over 55: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
When Can You Tap Your 401(k) Money? Age is Key
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.
Learn How Social Security Spouse Benefits Work
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.
Where Is the Closest Social Security Office?
Social security office locations can be found by inputting your zip code into the social security office location web page at the link below.
When Are Social Security Payments Deposited?
Need to know when your Social Security check will be deposited? Find the Social Security check schedule and answers to additional questions.
Before You Claim, Try One of These Social...
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.
The Top 10 Best Retirement Investments
This is a comprehensive list of retirement investments with additional information on each choice.
Want to Keep Working After Retirement? Don't...
Collecting Social Security benefits before full retirement age while still working may trigger the earnings limit. Here's how it works.
What Is Full Retirement Age For My Social...
Knowing your Full Retirement Age for Social Security benefits is important for two reasons. Get it wrong, and you may get less in benefits.
Why Taking Social Security at 62 May Harm You
Should you take social security at age 62... or not? Here are guidelines you can use to determine if it makes sense for you.
Everything You Need to Know About Social...
You are eligible for a social security survivor benefit as long as you have been married for at least 9 months. Here's how it works.
Are Social Security Retirement Benefits Taxed?
The amount of taxes you pay on Social Security benefits depends on something called your combined income. Here's how it works.
10 Things You Probably Don't Know About Divorce...
Here are ten facts about Social Security benefits for an ex spouse. Some of them may surprise you.
7 Things You Need to Know about Retirement Taxes
Will you pay taxes in retirement? Probably so. Here is a guide to what types of retirement income are taxed.
How to Take Money Out of Your 401k
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.
Want to Retire at 55? Consider These 3 Things
Want to retire at 55? Here are three things to consider before you retire at 55.
Top 5 Questions About Social Security...
Here are 5 key things you need to know before you claim your Social Security benefits.
Social Security Death Benefits - What Everyone...
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.
At What Age Does Required Minimum Distribution...
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.
6 Investment Fees You Should Understand Before...
Investment fees will lower your returns, so find out whether you are responsible for these six investment fees before you buy.
Try These Retirement Income Calculators from...
Get a head start on retirement with these online retirement calculators.
10 Signs You Need to Make Changes to Your Money...
Think your money habits are in order? These 10 signs help you see if you've got habits that could be leading you in the wrong direction.
6 Ways Your Financial Advisor May Charge You...
Here are the 6 common ways financial advisors charge fees and how each pricing structure works.
What to Know Before Cashing Out Your 401k
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.
3 Steps to Calculate Your Social Security...
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.
How to Use Capital Losses on Your Tax Return
Can a capital loss carryover to the next tax year? Maybe. Here's how it works.
When Can I Start Collecting Social Security?
Your Social Security retirement age depends on your year and month of birth. Here's how it works.
How 2014 Tax Rates Affect Retirement Savings...
Here's how to employ smart planning strategies to use 2014 tax rates to your advantage.
12 Inherited 401k Distribution and Withdrawal...
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.
5 Dividend Income Index Funds Worth Investing In
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.
Are There People Who Should Have Debt in...
If you've been financially successful and are actively paying down debt, you may want to rethink your approach. Here's why.
2014 Traditional IRA Rules and Income Limits...
2014 IRA income limits, contribution limits, IRA rules, and more.
4 Affordable, Reliable Index Funds to Consider
Index funds are a great investment choice. Here is a list of some of the very best index funds to choose from.
5 Investments That Keep Your Nest Egg Safe
Here are 5 safe investments designed first and foremost to protect what you have.
How to Choose the Right Pension Option
Should you take your pension as a lump sum or annuity? Here's how to do the analysis.
6 Ways a Divorce Can Affect Your Retirement
How does divorce affect your or your ex-spouse's Social Security? Here's what you need to know.
4 Things to Consider Before Taking Early...
Here are 4 things you must know about early retirement and Social Security.
Will I Pay Tax On My Home Sale?
Will I pay tax when I sell my home? What kind of taxes do you pay on home sales?
When My Spouse Dies Do I Get Social Security?
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.
Things to Know Before Taking a 401k Hardship...
Not all 401k plans allow hardship withdrawals. If they do, here are the rules that apply.
Retire at 62? Get Answers Before You Decide
Should you retire at 62 or 65? Here are several things you'll want to consider before you decide.
Investing in Stocks? Be Prepared for This
S&P 500 stock market returns from 1973 through year end 2013.
3 Tools to Help You Estimate Required Minimum...
These 3 RMD calculators cover projecting future distributions, current year distributions, and required distributions if you inherited an IRA account.
Close to Retirement? 5 Steps You Must Take Now
Short term retirement planning: 5 steps you must take within 5 years of retirement.
How to Know If That Condo Is a Good Investment
Is a condo a good investment? Here are the questions and calculations you'll need to make to determine the answer.
401(k) Withdrawals at Age 55
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.
Looking for High Yield Investments? Start Here
Looking for yield? Here's a list of high yield investments that offer above average income payouts.
How Much are Medicare Part B Premiums in 2014?
2015 Medicare Part B premiums remain the same as 2014 - but many don't know the more you make, the more you pay. Here's how that works.
Which Types of Retirement Income Are Tax Free?
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.
Important Facts About Social Security Earnings...
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.
Estimate Social Security Benefits With These...
The official Social Security website provides three free calculators you can use to estimate your future Social Security retirement benefits.
Married? Don't Make This Common Retirement-Age...
Married couples should not look at when to take Social Security the same way a single person would. H
Ask These 5 Questions Before You Buy an Annuity
Five questions to ask before you buy an annuity.
8 Ways to Avoid the IRA Early Withdrawal Penalty
You may be able to avoid the IRA early withdrawal penalty tax - if you qualify for one of these 8 exceptions.
How to Choose a Financial Advisor With the...
How to choose a financial advisor: learn what type of experience you must look for when you seek out a financial advisor, financial planner, investment advisor or certified financial planner.
What Happened to 401(k) Contribution Limits in...
2014 401(k) contribution limits and rules.
The Scoop On ROTH IRAs - Are Withdrawals...
Are Roth IRA withdrawals tax free? Most of the time, but not always. Here's the scoop.
How Much Can You Withdraw In Retirement?
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.
4 Retirement Income Fund Reviews And Descriptions
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.
Find The Best Financial Advisor in 7 Easy Steps
7 easy steps show you how to find the best financial advisor for you and your family.
7 Unexpected Places to Find Misplaced Money
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.
9 Rules for a Successful IRA Rollover
Here are 9 frequently asked questions about IRA rollovers. They'll explain what qualifies as a rollover, what does not, and what to watch out for.
3 Things to Keep In Mind Before Buying Rental...
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.
Here's Why You Might Want to Fund an HSA...
When used correctly an HSA can be like an IRA on steroids. That's why you might want to fund an HSA instead of an IRA.
How (and Why) to Use a Non-Deductible IRA...
Non deductible IRA contributions can be a great way for high income earners to get money into a Roth IRA. Here's how.
How to Hire the Right Financial Advisor
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.
How to Calculate Dividend Yield on a Stock
The dividend yield on a stock can change rapidly. Before you buy, make sure understand yield and what it is that you are buying.
What You Should Know About IRAs and Age Limits
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.
Benefits of Hiring a Good Financial Planner
What type of advice should you expect from a financial advisor? Here is what a good one will do for you.
2015 Tax Rates - How to Use Them in Your...
2015 tax brackets - and more importantly - how to use them when planning for retirement.
Best Personal Finance and Investment Magazines
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.
When To Take Social Security - It's More...
One of the most important retirement decisions you will make is deciding when to take Social Security. Here are the factors to consider.
6 Ways to Keep Your Nest Egg Safe
Want to keep your nest egg safe? These six guidelines show you how.
How Rising Interest Rates Affect Bond Prices
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.
Could This Help You Get More from Social...
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.
Can Social Security Benefits Be Stopped or...
Can you stop Social Security benefits once you start? Sometimes. Here are the conditions that apply.
ESPlanner Basic Retirement Calculator Review
See why ESPlanner Basic is the best free retirement calculator we could find.
2014 Roth IRA Limits You Should Know
2014 Roth IRA contribution limits, income phaseout limits, and Roth rules.
Find High Dividend Stocks Using These Top 5...
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.
How Salary Deferral Can Help You Save More
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.
50? 65? 72? A Guide to Retiring at Any Age
When can you retire? Here's a guide to retiring at 50, 55, 62, 65, or 70.
10 Smart Ways to Save 10 Dollars a Day
10 ways to save 10 dollars a day - practical tips on how to use small substitutions and micro changes that can add up to big savings.
3 Easy Ways to Get More Social Security Benefits
Take these steps to increase the amount of Social Security you will receive.
How Much Do You Need to Retire? Follow These 4...
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.
Vanguard Retirement Income Calculator Review
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.
A Guaranteed Way to Fund the Kids' College. But...
Want a guaranteed way to fund college costs for a child or grandchild? Here's a solution that provides a viable alternative to using 529 plans.
Top 10 Must-Read Retirement Blogs
These 10 retirement blogs are ranked form highly academic and technical, to those geared toward beginners.
What is Considered an Early Retirement Age?
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.
Is Buying an Annuity a Good Investment?
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.
The Benefit of Unearned Income
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.
Should You Hire a Fee Only Financial Advisor?
What is a fee only advisor, and should you hire one?
3 Smart Ways to Invest Your 401k
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.
6 Resources to Use to Find Retirement Tax...
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.
6 Things to Consider Before Starting A...
6 steps to take before you start a consulting business.
What Is The Difference Between Active and...
Active investing costs more, but does it deliver? Not for most. Here's why.
T. Rowe Price Retirement Income Calculator
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.
6 Rules to Make Your Retirement Savings Last
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.
What's the Right Time to Apply for Medicare?
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.
Everything You Need to Know About Contributing...
Use these factors to help determine how much to contribute to your 401k plan.
Calculate Internal Rate of Return to Compare...
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.
The Easy Way to Estimate Retirement Expenses
Accurately estimating retirement expenses is one of the most important things you can do. Here's how to get started.
5 Steps to Determine If You've Saved Enough to...
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.
5 Ways To Estimate Life Expectancy
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.
Why Annuity Payout is Not a Rate of Return
Do not use immediate annuity rates when comparing annuities to other investment options. Here's why.
Pre and After Tax Investments: Which One for...
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?
Life Insurance After 55: How Much Do You Really...
Once retired, do you still need life insurance? To answer this, you must understand that life insurance isn't really about insuring your life.
Average Retirement Age In The United States
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.
Stay on Track with a Simple Retirement Budget
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.
Increase Your Social Security Benefits By...
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.
Dive Into Dividend Income Funds
Looking for dividend income, but you don't really want to pick and choose individual stocks? It might be time to dive in and take a good look at dividend income funds. Dividend income funds do the work for you, owning a diversified selection of dividend paying stocks, and collecting the dividends and paying them out to you typically on a monthly or quarterly basis.
5 Questions You Must Answer to Develop a Good...
Smart investing takes planning. Here are five questions you must ask to develop a good investment plan.
Which Pension Benefit Choices Are Best for...
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.
Social Security Strategy for Marrieds - How to...
This Social Security may be a winning move for many married couples. Here's how to collect now - and later.
Here's What You Can Do With an IRA Inherited...
If you inherited an IRA from your spouse, you have a few choices a non-spouse won't have. Here are the rules.
Family Inheritance? Avoid These 4 Tax Traps!
Inheriting money can be great! Make it even greater by avoiding these family inheritance mistakes.
Social Security Survivor Benefits Differ From...
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.
File and Suspend: A Social Security Strategy...
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.
Convert After-Tax 401k Money to a Roth? Maybe.
Can you rollover (or convert) after-tax 401k money to a Roth IRA? Yes. Here's how it works.
How to Create Reliable Investment Income
There are 3 types of investment income. Which types are best for your retirement income?
AARP Retirement Income Calculator Review
This a review of AARP's retirement calculator. Additional retirement calculator reviews are provided in this series. Page 3.
What Is a Good Return on Your Investment?
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.
Medicare Part B Premiums - Current and Past
You will pay a premium for your Medicare Part B benefits. Find current and past Medicare Part B premium schedules here.
Understanding How Your IRA Distribution Is Taxed
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.
How to Spot a High-Risk Investment Opportunity
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.
The Scoop on Managed Accounts
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.
How Many Saturday's Do You Have?
An inspiring story using 1000 marbles to reflect how many Saturdays we may have left, and how we choose to spend them.
All About Deferred Annuities
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.
How Much in Taxes Should I Withhold from my...
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.
Important Events on Your Retirement Plan Timeline
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.
5 Ways to Get Money Out of Your IRA
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.
ROTH 401k vs. Regular 401k: Do You Know the...
ROTH 401k plan contributions differ from regular 401k contributions and from ROTH IRA contributions in several ways. Here are the similarities and differences.
Immediate Annuity Basics - What to Know Before...
Is an immediate annuity an investment? No, it is a risk management tool. Here's how it works.
Overview of Vanguard's Managed Payout Funds
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.
3 Types of Financial Planning (and Why You Need...
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.
3 Rules to Clear Up Confusion Over Spousal...
Confusion abounds over Social Security spousal benefits. Here are three subtle rules to know that will help clear up the confusion.
Case Study 1 - Taxation of Social Security for...
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.
5 Things That Help (or Hurt) Your Credit Score
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.
What Will A Good Investment Advisor Do For Me?
Investment advice and financial planning are two different services. Here is what you should expect from an investment advisor.
Want an Early Retirement? Follow These 3 Steps
Here are three steps you must take to plan for an early retirement.
4 Ways to Divide Your Money Between Stocks and...
How much of my money should be invested in stocks vs. bonds?
Schwab Retirement Savings Calculator Review
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 5.
2015 - 401k Contribution Limits, Rules, and...
Find 2015 401k limits, deferral rules, types of contributions and more.
3 Ways to Find the Best Mutual Funds for...
Finding good retirement mutual funds, and more importantly, learning how to use them, is an important part of investing in retirement.
5 Things to Know Before You Invest Your...
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.
Social Security Quiz
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7 Ways to Get Guaranteed Retirement Income
The are many ways to get guaranteed retirement income: annuities, pensions, reverse mortgages, longevity insurance, etc. Here's what you need to know.
4 Social Security Strategies for Smart Retirees
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.
401k Vesting And What It Means For You
401k vesting, or what you may call your “vested balance”, refers to how much of your 401k balance goes with you if you leave the company. Vesting is also used to determine how much you can borrow if you take a 401k loan, as you can only borrow from your vested balance.
What Rate of Return Can You Get from Safe...
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.
Use Delayed Retirement Credits To Increase...
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.
Beneficiary Designations Trump Your Will
When is the last time you checked to see who you named as the beneficiary, or beneficiaries, on your retirement accounts, life insurance policies and annuities? Many people neglect to update these types of beneficiary designations after a marriage, divorce or other change in their family situation.
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