If you are counting on Social Security to assist in your retirement, you have something new to worry about beyond the constant political cry that the system will go broke before you can use it. The federal government can withhold a portion of your Social Security check to recover unpaid student loans. They have recently stepped up enforcement of this ability. In 2000, there were a total of six cases of the government withholding from Social Security for student loans. On August 6, 2012, 115,000 … [Read more...] about Student Loans and Social Security
Using the services of a financial planner can be extremely beneficial as a way to preserve and grow your assets for your estate. However, not all financial planners are equal and you should have an idea of what to look out for when deciding which one to use. The wrong financial planner can cost your estate money. The first thing you should ask potential financial planners is what their qualifications are. Find out if they have any degrees or certifications and what they had to do to get them. … [Read more...] about Be Careful With Financial Planners
There are a large number of estate planning tools your estate planning lawyer is experienced with, and understands that you are not. Because there are so many options to explore and tools to put into place, it will be necessary to meet with your estate planning lawyer regularly until everything is complete. Even then, meetings will follow regularly in order to keep all the documents up to date. Often times, people believe they only have to worry about their estate plan during the planning … [Read more...] about Put the Proper Estate Plan Tools Into Place
Did you know that your retirement account avoids probate? Since there is a beneficiary form associated with this account, it is considered non-probate property, and will get to your beneficiary more quickly than probate property. Just like your other estate planning documents, your retirement account needs to be properly set up and maintained in order to reap the benefits, and you need to: 1. Make sure you have named a primary beneficiary along with a secondary beneficiary (some forms may … [Read more...] about Seven Estate Planning Tasks for Your IRA
You’ve undoubtedly heard the term “Roth IRA” – these tax-free retirement accounts are incredibly popular and, if you meet the qualifications, they can be a fantastic retirement planning tool. A less-known retirement planning option is the Roth 401(k). While Roth 401(k)’s are growing in popularity, they are not as widely available as traditional 401(k) plans. Here are a few Roth 401(k) basics: Contribution Limit: A Roth 401(k) has the same annual contribution limit as a traditional 401(k). This … [Read more...] about What is a Roth 401(k)?
If you’re among the dwindling minority of Americans who can rely on a pension when you retire, you might wonder whether you’ll be able to collect your full social security retirement benefit, too. For most people, the answer to this question is “yes”, but it depends on whether you’ve always worked for an employer that participates in the social security system. There are certain government agencies, nonprofits, and foreign employers that don’t pay Social Security tax on behalf of their … [Read more...] about What is the Windfall Elimination Provision?
What do you plan to do with your tax refund this year? Here are three suggestions that could net you long-term benefits: Reduce Your Debt: If you have credit card bills or other consumer debt hanging over your head, consider putting your tax refund to work by using it to pay down those debts. Not only will this reduce your current monthly bills and free up some cash, getting out of debt and staying out of debt can put you in a better position when the time comes to retire. Pay Down Your … [Read more...] about Three Smart Uses for Your Tax Refund
A traditional IRA can be an excellent retirement savings tool, particularly if your earnings are too high for you to contribute to a Roth IRA or you don’t have the opportunity to invest in a 401(K). A traditional IRA allows your retirement contributions to grow tax-free, and in many circumstances your contributions to the account are tax deductible, too. There are some limits to the amount you can contribute to a traditional IRA in any given year. First, you can only contribute up to the … [Read more...] about Traditional IRA Basics
Unlike a traditional IRA, which offers tax-deferred growth for your retirement savings, a Roth IRA offers tax-free growth. Your contributions are not tax deductible, but after you reach age 59 ½ , the distributions you take from your Roth are not taxed – and this includes the money that initially went into the account as well as the interest earned on those funds. There are some pretty strict restrictions on who can contribute to a Roth IRA, and how much can be contributed each year. First, the … [Read more...] about Roth IRA Basics
If there is one thing that you can count on when it comes to retirement, that is that the cost of living will increase by then, and will continue to increase during your retirement years. This is why the Cost of Living Adjustment, also known as COLA, is one of the most important elements of your Social Security Benefits. COLA is a method of which your monthly benefits are adjusted for the expected cost of living increases. The Cost of Living increase adjustments that you get with your Social … [Read more...] about Inflation and Social Security