For forever and a day, conventional planning wisdom said don’t use your individual retirement account funds to buy an annuity, primarily because traditional annuities featured tax deferral. Recent changes in annuities may alter this conventional wisdom.
If 20-somethings ask me what to do to get ahead financially, I have a laundry list: create a budget, start investing now, be smart about your taxes and so on. If I absolutely have to narrow it down to one thing, I’d say, open up a Roth individual retirement account.
Saving for retirement means you must sort out countless and confusing options from 401(k)s to individual retirement accounts. How much you make and whether you’re self-employed or have a company-sponsored retirement plan are just a few criteria to determine which to chose. One of your first questions: What’s the difference between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA?
Many clients at our firm ask this when looking to maximize retirement savings. To understand which option may be better, let’s look at the differences and nuances between the two types of accounts.
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:
Being your own boss means providing for your own retirement. It means that there isn’t an employer looking over your shoulder who will sign you up for a plan. You have to be more proactive in setting the money aside. But how?
Having a variable income, which is often the case for people who own their own businesses, may make it harder to budget. When it comes to saving for your future self, where do you start and which is the best option? Read on for an overview of three retirement accounts that are great options for entrepreneurs.
Life expectancy has consistently increased through the years. Most of today’s retirees will live longer than their parents did. Understanding the length of retirement that you are likely to face will better prepare you to make investment choices.
The Society of Actuaries, an organization that tracks how long people live to assist companies understand the risk of their pensions, recently updated its mortality tables for the first time since 2000.
Turning your individual retirement account into a Roth IRA can seem great. Pull the trigger too quickly, though, and you may owe cash to the taxman.
Procrastination is a silent and slow killer of savings. Everyone puts things off, of course, waiting until the last minute and then scurrying to finish a longstanding to-do list. Taken to extremes, this course pulverizes your long-term financial plans.
Here’s an example. Last year my wife and I debated whether to remove a tree from our back yard. Mainly in the fall this sweet gum tree dropped its fruit, sharp and pointy gumballs that worked wonders on mower blades and bare feet.
The world of finance has traps for the unwary. Even in a bull market, they can harm you, so it pays to be on the look out. The three that are most insidious: more complex rules on IRA rollovers, tax scams and too-high margin debt.
A run-down of these problems, for the cautious: