Retirement

Are You Being Careful With Your 401(k)?

In time where traditional pensions are all but extinct, 401(k) accounts are key to many people’s retirement strategies. You just set them up, make sure you put money in and that’s it. Right? Trick question. A 401(k) needs management in order to be the retirement nest egg you want it to be. Your employer put it in place for you, but it’s up to you to make it work for you. There’s plenty of information out there on managing a 401(k) and the mistakes people make with their accounts. Even the IRS has some definite opinions on how you should…

How to Talk to Adult Children About Your Estate Planning

If you have adult children, you’ve probably done some planning about what you’d like to leave for them when you’re gone. You may even have a will and keep your paperwork and electronic files in places they know how to access. Many parents, however, have not actually talked to their older or adult children about their retirement years and end-of-life financial plans. It’s a subject that many find intimidating and uncomfortable. Or you may think your children don’t want to have such a conversation about that eventual day just yet. If you’re a good planner, take it to the next…

How to Apply for Social Security

What most people think of as Social Security is just one part of a much larger program. In 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act—legislation that provided for Retired Worker Benefits, Survivor Benefits and Disabled Worker Benefits. This post focuses on Retired Worker Benefits—that money you’re expecting to see after all those years of payroll deductions. What Do I Need to Know to Get Social Security? So, the day has finally arrived. You’ve decided to sign up and start collecting your Social Security benefits. Before you start the process, ask yourself an important question: Is this the…

What You Should Think About When Thinking About Retiring

A Gallup Poll in 2016 reported that nearly two-thirds of Americans worried they did not have enough money for retirement. With other polls showing the retirement age is rising and more data showing Americans should expect to retire even later in life than previous generations, what effect does that have on your future plans? Check Your Savings and Create a Budget It seems to be an obvious first question: Do you have enough money socked away in savings? A majority of pre-retirees probably don’t have enough in savings if they wanted to quit working tomorrow. Life expectancies are growing, yes,…

Should Women Save for Retirement Differently Than Men?

With cost of living outpacing salary growth and an ever-increasing average lifespan, saving enough for retirement is daunting for anyone. Women, in particular, face challenges on the road to retirement that men do not, which result in reduced quality of living during their later years. A survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found only 12 percent of working women are “very confident” in their ability to retire comfortably. An additional 46 percent are “not too confident” or “not at all confident.” This lack of confidence is, unfortunately, warranted. The average Social Security benefit for women 65 and older…

How to Face Off With Debt Before Retirement

As you enter your 50s and 60s, hopefully you find yourself coming face-to-face with retirement. You may also find yourself still in debt. You are not alone. In fact, nearly 70 percent of people over 55 are in debt. To really make the most of your retirement years, it is essential you do whatever you can to ditch your debt now. Still, it can be overwhelming to even know where to begin. Following these tips can help you pay down your debt before retirement. Reconsider Housing No one is saying you have to hole up in the wilderness or live…

The Social Security Dilemma: The Best Decision is a Personal One

The early bird gets the worm. The slow and steady tortoise wins the race. There are a multitude of adages defending both quick-acting people and those who delay decisions. When it comes to Social Security, there are advantages and disadvantages to collecting early or postponing the start of retirement benefits. Retirement Age and Percentages People who have paid into Social Security are eligible to start collecting their retirement benefits as early as 62 or as late as age 70. The amount of benefits received depends on how close someone is to their full retirement age when they begin collecting. Depending…

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

Have you ever compared the purchase price of your home with the amount you’ll actually end up spending to pay it off over the life of the mortgage? If you have, you’ll know the sobering realization that comes with seeing just how much your home will cost you, and the inevitable question that follows – should I pay off the mortgage now, so I don’t have to fork over all that interest? It’s an exhilarating thought, freeing up so much extra cash. But when it comes down to it, whether you should actually pay off your mortgage early is dependent…

Self-Employed Retirement Options Your Future Self Will Love

You’ve hustled your heart out and now you’re your own boss. With estimates that over 25 million Americans were engaged in entrepreneurship in 2016, this is becoming a reality for many. There are definite perks: pursuing your passion, setting your own hours and maybe even working from home in your pajamas. But there is one thing that many people might miss from a traditional 9-to-5 job—a retirement package that comes free from guesswork. While it may be a bit more complicated when you are your own boss, planning for retirement is possible when you are self-employed. Any entrepreneur who wakes…

How to Help Your Brain Age Gracefully

Living life to the fullest includes keeping the mind and body active at all ages and stages. Our brains actually shrink as we get older, especially the frontal cortex, which has a direct effect on cognitive ability. The good news is there is a long list of ways to keep your brain sharp as you age—probably more than you can, um, remember. Give It a Workout Researchers have found regular mental stimulation can build new connections between nerve cells, maybe even help the brain generate new cells. Who couldn’t use a few more of those? This doesn’t mean you have…

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