Retirement Planning

Telling Kids ‘No’ About Money

Your financial future starts at home, especially when you begin filling that home with children. Establishing limits is part of parenthood and your skill at teaching this lesson directly impacts your quality of life in retirement.

I remember going to the grocery store when my children were little. I put them in the cart and hurried through the store to get all I needed as quickly as possible. If your store experience resembles mine, inevitably as you wait on the checkout line, the candy display comes into the focus of your chocolate-loving toddler.

Retire Early? 14 Snags (Pt. 1)

Who doesn’t want to retire early? Unfortunately, if you’re like many people you won’t be able to. Here is the first of two articles looking at 14 reasons that early retirement might elude you.

Some of the reasons involve how you handle money, but others focus on your mindset and expectations or on factors beyond your control.

Wise Retirement Withdrawals

Saving for retirement is one thing, spending those savings wisely another. One school of thought says you must withdraw consistently from your savings to simply avoid exhausting cash before you die. Another believes in adjusting withdrawals depending on changes in your later years. Which is right for you?

5 IRA Withdrawal Mistakes

When you put earned income into a tax-deferred account such as an individual retirement account or a 401(k), Uncle Sam eventually wants those taxes. The Internal Revenue Service requires you to take required minimum distribution (RMD) withdrawals. You must know when and how much to take, though, or you face hefty penalties.

Here are the top five mistakes people make with RMDs and how to avoid them:

Retirement and Boredom

Retirement is a major life change. Financially, you have it all planned out. But did you take the time to prepare yourself psychologically for this transition?

Most major life-changing events involve an ongoing process of emotional adjustment, and retirement is no exception. You have all the free time with no schedule or commitment. This transition may be more difficult than you think as you were disciplined with a routine for most of your life. Too much freedom may not be a good thing.

What to Do With an Old 401(k)

It’s a question my clients ask me all the time: “What should I do with my old 401(k)?” When you change jobs, you can keep your 401(k) where it is, or roll it to other accounts.

Let’s examine your choices:

Roll your 401(k) to an individual retirement account is usually the default option I recommend to clients. Flexibility is the primary reason.

When Should You Retire?

You might be thinking about retiring, but how do you know when you are really ready for it, mentally and financially?

For decades, the normal retirement age was 65. This was when you became eligible for Social Security and Medicare. Things are different today. Baby boomers get full Social Security at 66, for instance, and younger generations will have to wait longer.

Answer these five questions to find out how, when and if you should retire:

Best Retiree Cities, Financially

You’ve probably seen dozens of lists of places to retire in, but they seldom focus on financial factors, which are important when you live off your savings.

Due to warm weather, beaches and the absence of a state income tax, locations in Florida are heavily over-represented on most such lists – I even included one here. But I took the liberty of assuming that not everyone wants to live out their golden years in the Sunshine State, and broadened the list to cover the country.

7 Variable Annuity Questions

Variable annuities are often touted as an ideal retirement investing vehicle, especially if you talk to financial advisors who sell them. Variable annuities can be a useful vehicle for retirement accumulation – but targets of the sales pitches (like you) often misunderstand annuities in general.

Is a variable annuity right for you and your retirement income needs? Ask these seven questions before buying.

Job = Insurance: Outdated

Critics and supporters of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, tend to gloss over one key issue with the whole plan: Employment still, largely, equals health coverage.

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