Quick answers to common questions about retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, IRAs, Keoghs and SEPs.
How Much Money Will You Need When You Retire?
Retirement planning can be stressful and discouraging. With all the variables, how can you possibly know how much to save? You don't know how long you'll live or how expensive your health care costs will be in your later years. And there's always inflation to consider. Slow down and take a deep breath. Then take the first step: figure out how much money you'll need each year when you retire. It will probably be a lot less than you feared.
How to Live Below Your Means During Retirement
Whether you plan to retire or have already made the leap, you may long for some material luxury such as a new car or a second home. But because you must build a safe spending and budgeting plan for the long term, you need to keep that money invested and working for you, instead. This is the sort of discipline it takes to Live Below Your Means (your guidepost for all spending-related matters in your retirement years).
Although most middle-aged people say that they hope to be physically active after retirement, a great many follow a lifestyle that almost certainly sabotages that goal. Think about the life you envision after you retire. Now, level with yourself. Will you be physically able to live that life? If you
What Will You Do When You Retire?
For most people, the key to a happy and fulfilling retirement is simple: staying busy. Unfortunately, when planning for retirement, a lot of folks focus only on finances, and fail to think about, or plan for, how they will spend their time. Why worry about retirement activities now, when retirement is years, or even decades, away? Because, put bluntly, people who count on developing new interests and involvements after 65 often don't. And that makes for a bored, depressed old age.
Retirement Plans for the Self-Employed
One of the many advantages of being a freelancer, independent contractor, or other self-employed individual is the ability to create and contribute to your own retirement plan. Not only does this help to ensure a financially secure future, it also makes financial sense right now: A retirement plan can take the teeth out of the tax bite because, in most instances, your contributions will be tax-deductible. It pays to learn about your options and establish a plan that's right for you.
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If I retire after 55, can I withdraw from my 401(k) without a penalty tax?
I read somewhere that there is an exception to early withdrawal on a 401(k) account if you are over 55 and retired. Is this true -- and how do I find out more about doing this?
Can I control who inherits my 401(k) money after my spouse dies?
My husband and I each have adult children by other marriages. My spouse is the beneficiary of my 401(k). But when he dies, I would like what's left of that money to go to my child. How do I handle that?
My company changed owners -- must I continue with the new 401(k)?
Another company has just purchased my employer. The new company has told us that we must keep our 401(k) money in the new company's plan. In other words, we are not allowed to withdraw our 401(k) funds as either a rollover to an IRA or as a lump sum distribution. Is this true?
When is the deadline for making retirement plan contributions?
Find out which deadline applies to you.
Can I shield my IRA funds from estate tax?
I am 75 years old and I am concerned that when I die my estate will have to pay income and estate taxes on my IRA. If I put my IRA into an annuity and receive annual payments, will that remove the IRA from my taxable estate?
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