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Money Over 55: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Are Social Security Benefits Taxed?
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.
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.
Why Taking Social Security at 62 May Harm You
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.
Social Security Docks Benefits If You Make Too...
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.
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.
Everything You Need to Know About Social...
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.
10 Facts About Social Security for an Ex-Spouse
Here are ten facts about Social Security benefits for an ex spouse. Some of them may surprise you.
Social Security Quiz
Social Security Quiz Sorry, but this quiz requires that you have javascript turned on. Please turn javascript
6 Ways Your Financial Advisor May Charge You...
Here are the 6 common ways financial advisors charge fees and how each pricing structure works.
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.
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.
A Range of Great Retirement Income Calculators...
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.
How Does Divorce Affect Your Social Security?
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.
What to Know Before Cashing Out Your 401k
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.
What is My Social Security Retirement Age?
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.
How to Take Money Out of Your 401k
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.
What You Need to Know When You Inherit a 401k
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.
Near Retirement? 5 Steps You Must Take Now
Short term retirement planning: 5 steps you must take within 5 years of retirement.
What are the Best Investments for Retirement?
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.
When to Take Social Security for Married Couples
Married couples should not look at when to take Social Security the same way a single person would. H
9 Things to Know About IRA Rollovers
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.
3 Things You Must Know Before You Buy 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.
4 Things You Must Know About Early Retirement...
Here are 4 things you must know about early retirement and Social Security.
7 Places to Look For Unclaimed Money
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.
Social Security Strategy - Collect A Spousal...
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.
Is Buying a Condo a Good Investment?
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.
5 U.S. Dividend Income Index Funds To Use For...
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.
Yes, IRA Rules Require You to Take Money Out....
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.
How To Compare Pension Distribution Choices:...
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.
5 Ways To Estimate Life Expectancy
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.
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?
The Scoop On ROTH IRAs - Are Withdrawals...
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.
5 Key Things To Know About Your Social Security...
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.
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.
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.
4 Steps To Determine How Much Money You Need To...
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 401k Hardship Withdrawal?
Not all 401k plans allow hardship withdrawals. If they do, here are the rules that apply.
Best Index Funds
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.
5 Questions To Ask A Potential 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.
5 Investments That Keep Your Nest Egg Safe
Here are 5 safe investments designed first and foremost to protect what you have.
2014 Tax Rates
Here's how to employ smart planning strategies to use 2014 tax rates to your advantage.
Should You Buy An Annuity? 5 Questions to Ask...
Five questions to ask before you buy an annuity.
7 Step Process To Find The Best Financial Advisor
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.
When To Take Social Security
One of the most important retirement decisions you will make is deciding when to take Social Security. Here are the factors to consider.
8 Exceptions to the IRA 10% Early Withdrawal...
You may be able to avoid the IRA early withdrawal penalty tax - if you qualify for one of these 8 exceptions.
How to Measure Investment Risk
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.
Are You Making These Money Losing Investment...
Average investors consistently earn below average market returns - less than historical averages. Find out why.
How to Calculate Social Security Benefits - A...
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.
What Affects Your Credit Score? These 5 Things
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.
A Year By Year Look At S&P 500 Stock Market...
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.
Things to Know Before You Retire at 62
Should you retire at 62 or 65? Here are several things you'll want to consider before you decide.
Family Inheritance? Avoid These Tax Traps!
Inheriting money can be great! Make it even greater by avoiding these family inheritance mistakes.
Restricted Application for Social Security...
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.
6 Ways to Keep Your Nest Egg Safe
Want to keep your nest egg safe? These six guidelines show you how.
How To Find The Best IRA Rates
The answer as to how to find the best IRA rate may surprise you.
High Yield Investments For Income
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.
What Will A Good Financial Planner Do For Me?
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.
2014 401(k) Contribution Limits
2014 401(k) contribution limits and rules.
Enough To Retire – A Simple Calculation...
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.
Why Do Bond Prices Go Down When Interest Rates...
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.
3 Types of Investment Income
There are 3 types of investment income. Which types are best for your retirement income?
What Happens To The Annuity Upon My Death
Five questions to ask before you buy an annuity. Page 5.
When and How 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.
What is a Fee-Only Financial Advisor vs. a Fee...
What is the difference between a fee-only financial advisor and a fee based financial advisor?
3 Foolproof Ways To Allocate Your 401k Money
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.
2013 Tax Rates
With 2013 tax rates comes good news for lower earners and bad news for higher earners.
How to Stop Social Security Retirement Benefits
Can you stop Social Security benefits once you start? Sometimes. Here are the conditions that must apply.
What is an Early Retirement Age?
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.
5 Steps To Make An Investment Plan
Smart investing takes planning. Here are five questions you must ask to develop a good investment plan.
File and Suspend - Social Security Strategy for...
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.
2014 Traditional IRA Rules and Income Limits...
2014 IRA income limits, contribution limits, IRA rules, and more.
Why Are You Buying The Annuity?
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.
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.
Social Security for Widows and Widowers
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.
Current And Past Social Security Earnings Limits
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.
How to Make a 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.
ESPlanner Basic Retirement Calculator Review
See why ESPlanner Basic is the best free retirement calculator we could find.
How to Close Affairs After the Loss of a Loved...
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.
When to Retire
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.
Best Personal Finance And Investment Magazines
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.
Using Non Deductible IRAs to Get Money Into a...
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 Estimate Your Retirement Expenses
Accurately estimating retirement expenses is one of the most important things you can do. Here's how to get started.
7 Things To Know About 401k Loans
Here are seven things you need to know about a 401k loan before you take one.
Retirement Income Funds Offer Flexibility and...
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.
How to Calculate Your Internal Rate of Return
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.
IRA Age Limits - Minimum and Maximum Ages for...
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.
Understanding The 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.
Withdrawal Rate Strategies for Creating...
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.
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.
Joint Life Pension Payouts - Is this 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.
3 Steps To Increase Social Security Benefits
Take these steps to increase the amount of Social Security you will receive.
How Much of My Money Should Be In Stocks vs....
As I get older, how much of my money should be invested in stocks vs. bonds?
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.
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.
Why Fund an HSA Instead of an IRA or 401k
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.
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.
I’m Retired - Do I Still Need Life...
Once retired, do you still need life insurance? To answer this, you must understand that life insurance isn't really about insuring your life.
How Much Should I Contribute to my 401k Plan?
Use these factors to help determine how much to contribute to your 401k plan.
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.
2014 Roth IRA Limits You Should Know
2014 ROTH IRA contribution limits, income phaseout limits and ROTH rules.
Using Present Value for Your Retirement Plan
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.
6 Investment Fees To Ask About Before You Invest
Investment fees will lower your returns, so find out whether you are responsible for these six investment fees before you buy.
Key Differences Between Social Security...
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.
3 Good RMD Calculators
These 3 RMD calculators cover projecting future distributions, current year distributions, and required distributions if you inherited an IRA account.
Pre Tax Vs After Tax Investments
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?
Pros and Cons of Long Term Care Insurance
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.
Earning Extra Money Can Be Easier Than You Think
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.
How Do ROTH 401k Plans Differ From Regular...
ROTH 401k plan contributions differ from regular 401k contributions and from ROTH IRA contributions in several ways. Here are the similarities and differences.
Rules of Buying Real Estate in an IRA
Is buying real estate in an IRA a good idea? For most people, the answer is no. Here's why.
How to Compare Immediate Annuity Rates
Do not use immediate annuity rates when comparing annuities to other investment options. Here's why.
Top 10 Must-Read Retirement Blogs
These 10 retirement blogs are ranked form highly academic and technical, to those geared toward beginners.
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.
4 Social Security Strategies To Increase Your...
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.
Earned Income Is Taxed Differently Than...
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.
What Is The Difference Between Active and...
Active investing costs more, but does it deliver? Not for most. Here's why.
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.
6 Steps To Take Before You Start A Consulting...
6 steps to take before you start a consulting business.
Are Annuities a Good Investment?
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.
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.
10 Ways to Become a Better Investor
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.
Your Pre-Retirement Years - 15 Things You Must...
15 most important things you must do during your pre-retirement years - ideas about health and fitness, family relationsips, anti-aging, careers, travel, money and more.
When to Take Social Security for Singles
Singles, there are five factors you need to consider when deciding when to take Social Security. Miss one of them and you may permanently reduce the amount of benefits you receive.
4 Retirement Myths About When And Why You...
These four retirement myths cause people to retire too soon.
Convert After-Tax 401k Money to a Roth? Maybe.
Can you rollover (or convert) after-tax 401k money to a Roth IRA? Maybe. Here's why it isn't black or white.
How Much Income Can I Expect to Receive From...
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.
5 Search Engines To Use To Find The Right...
These five financial advisor search engines allow you to narrow down your search so you can find just the right financial advisor.
What Is A Fixed Annuity?
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.
Want an Early Retirement? Follow These 3 Steps
Here are three steps you must take to plan for an early retirement.
What is Salary Deferral?
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.
How to Create a Retirement Income Plan In 4 Steps
A retirement income plan is a year by year timeline that shows you where your retirement income will come from. It can be done on a sheet of graph paper, or quite easily in an Excel spreadsheet (or other spreadsheet program). Here is how you create one.
What to Know Before You Choose Your Retirement...
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.
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.
How Do Annuity Taxes Work?
Deferred annuities are taxes differently than variable annuities. Learn more here. Page 4.
Ask About Annuity Fees
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.
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.
I Inherited an IRA - Now What?
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.
What Should I Do With My Money? 8 Steps You...
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How To Surrender Or Exchange Your Variable...
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.
AARP Retirement Income Calculator Review
This a review of AARP's retirement calculator. Additional retirement calculator reviews are provided in this series. Page 3.
How Do I Get a Pension?
There are two ways to get a pension. You can create your own, or work for an employer who offers one. Here's how to get started down either path.
Pros and Cons of Borrowing Money From Your 401k
If you need money should you borrow from your 401k? Here are the pros and cons.
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.
Variable Annuity Compared to Index Funds
It is rare you will see an objective comparison of a high fee variable annuity to other lower cost alternatives. This analysis shows you how a variable annuity would have held up under various historical market conditions.
Expense Ratios and Why They Are Important
Are you paying too much? Knowing the expense ratio on your investments can help you reduce fees and earn more. Here's how.
Are You About to Make One of These 6 Social...
Social security claiming mistakes cost Americans billions. Avoid these costly mistakes and get more from your Social Security benefits.

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