Archives for Retirement

How COVID-19 Has Impacted Retirement Confidence

The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies recently conducted an online survey of more than 6,000 people in the U.S. and found that many are feeling financially vulnerable. Americans are feeling a distinct lack of confidence, particularly when it comes to retirement. Whether employed or unemployed, the survey found that 23% of workers are no longer certain they can retire comfortably following the coronavirus pandemic. Not unsurprisingly, the insecurity was highest for baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, who are closest to retirement—32% said their confidence in their ability to retire has gone down due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, 25% of
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Categories: Retirement.

Clearing Up Confusion About RMDs

Last month, we posted information about how the SECURE Act has increased the age for required minimum distributions (RMDs) from 70-1/2 to 72 starting this year, 2020. If you turned age 70-1/2 in 2019, your RMDs were required for the 2019 tax year, and WILL BE required for 2020, 2021 and every year from now on. For everyone turning 70-1/2 in 2020, your RMDs will not be required until the year you turn 72, even if you have received notification from your custodian to the contrary. Because the law was passed and became effective within two weeks of passage, automated
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Categories: Retirement and Tax Planning.

5 Things You Need to Know About the SECURE Act

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE) became effective Jan. 1, 2020, and many people have questions about it. Here are the top five things consumers should know.   72 is the new 70½ The SECURE Act raises the age at which retirees must begin taking Required Minimum Distributions from the awkward age of 70-1/2 to an even age 72, allowing for a couple more years of growth before RMDs kick in. NOTE: Anyone who reached age 70-1/2 in 2019 or before is subject to the old rules.   You can keep making contributions to traditional
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Categories: Retirement and Tax Planning.

The Rules Are Changing For 401(k)s In 2020

The Rules Are Changing For Your 401(k) In 2020 If you’re still working and contributing to a 401(k) or similar workplace retirement plan, there is some good news for the upcoming year. If you’re under age 50, the amount you can contribute to your 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is now $19,500 for 2020—a $500 increase over 2019. Additionally, for those who are age 50 or over by December 31, 2020, the catch-up amount is now $6,500, up by $500 (and the first increase since 2015). Keep in mind that you can still
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Categories: Retirement.

Does Your Retirement Plan Include Inflation Risk?

Inflation may not always be top of mind when you think about planning for retirement. Of course, you will likely consider your current expenses, but you need to account for what the costs of those expenses could be over time. None of us can predict the future, but we can plan. Inflation diminishes purchasing power over the years and increases the costs of services that retirees and pre-retirees need. Given that more Americans are living longer, it can pay dividends to include inflation risk in your overall planning. The other issue we have to contend with when it comes to
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Categories: Retirement.

The IRA Had a Birthday Last Month

The IRA can provide many gifts as part of a comprehensive retirement plan. The Individual Retirement Account (IRA) turned 45 on Labor Day. On September 2, 1974, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, was enacted into law, introducing broad safeguards to protect employee savings in both defined benefit plans like pensions, and defined contribution plans. The intent of Congress in initially establishing IRAs was to provide a tax-advantaged retirement savings plan for those workers at businesses that weren’t able to offer pensions. The IRA also made it possible to preserve the tax-deferred status of qualified plan assets when
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Categories: Retirement.

Make Room for Rising Healthcare Costs as Part of Your Retirement Planning

Does your retirement plan include strategies to plan for, manage, and even reduce healthcare costs in retirement? It is projected that an average healthy 65-year-old couple retiring this year will incur total lifetime healthcare costs of $387,644 in today’s dollars, according to research by HealthView Services, a provider of retirement healthcare, long-term care and Social Security optimization tools for the financial services industry. The figures were released in early July. To no surprise, as the couple ages, costs will be significantly higher later in retirement than at the beginning. In the first year of retirement, the couple’s total annual premium
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Categories: Health Care and Retirement.

Congress Looks to Provide More Options for Retirement Savers

While changes to traditional IRAs, RMDs offer some benefits, there are tradeoffs.   Broad proposals are in the works in the retirement savings arena to ease rules on tax-deferred savings vehicles, make it easier for employers to offer 401(k)-type savings plans and also convert balances into annuities for lifetime income. In late May, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE). Key provisions within the SECURE Act offer more flexibility for when distributions would have to be taken out of tax-deferred accounts. On the flip side, the Act takes direct
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Categories: Retirement and Tax Planning.

Women and Social Security: Do you really know your benefits?

Social Security guidelines for retirement benefits were established all the way back in the 1930’s and were founded on a traditional family situation1. With marriage patterns and caregiving needs constantly evolving, the modern woman could be at a disadvantage if strategic retirement planning is not properly implemented. While Social Security is gender-neutral and individuals with identical earnings histories are treated equally in terms of benefits, the reality of the matter is that women face greater economic challenges than men do when it comes to retirement for a number of reasons2. For example, women tend to live longer than men, but
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Categories: Retirement and Social Security.

What’s the difference between an IRA and a Roth IRA?

Common financial wisdom tells us that as a paid member of the American workforce, you should contribute the maximum to your 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) or similar retirement plan, especially if your organization matches a percentage of your contributions. But not every company has one of these plans. As an individual taxpayer with earned income, you have other options available to you in order to save for retirement, including the IRA or “Individual Retirement Account.”   An IRA is a type of account which acts as a shell or holder. Within the IRA, you can invest in many different types of
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Categories: Financial Literacy and Retirement.