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Retirement Planning and Investing
Planning for retirement may seem overwhelming. Learn how to make smart decisions as to saving for retirement, working after retirement, withdrawing money from your 401(k) plan, and planning for a healthy and happy retirement.
Questions Why are 401(k) plans so popular? What is a Keogh plan? What does it mean to be "vested" in my retirement plan? Is an IRA a retirement plan? Can people who work for a company and own their own business have a retirement plan both at work and through their small business? Is my retirement plan
Think you know a few things about retirement plans? So do many of us. But be careful -- many common perceptions about retirement plans are incomplete, misleading, or just plain wrong. Learn the real facts about age requirements, distribution requirements, and penalties -- your nest egg may depend on these rules.
There are hundreds of ways to invest for retirement. Sales pitches from stock brokers abound, as do articles and websites devoted to retirement investments, many written or sponsored by companies that sell investment products. All of this advice can be confusing and contradictory. Fortunately, you can learn the basics of smart retirement investing by following several simple strategies.
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.
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).
If you're just starting out in the workforce, it's time to start thinking about saving for retirement. True, you probably have many other financial choices to make -- which debts to pay off, whether to buy a house, or whether to go back to school. But setting aside some cash for retirement now can pay off handsomely in the long run.
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
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.
Millions of Americans buy the retirement industry's familiar song: Unless you save upwards of a million dollars, you are likely to end your days living on the street eating cat food. Wrong! Though it makes sense to save a few dollars for a rainy day, there is no evidence that great wealth is needed to enjoy a safe, secure, fulfilling retirement. In fact, the toll on the human body and spirit it takes to amass large sums of money can make your retirement worse, rather than more comfortable.
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.
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 wife's employer has just changed to a defined benefit pension plan. If the plan terminates before my wife reaches retirement age, what happens to the contributions left after she is given credit for her vested amount? Does she get them -- or does the employer?
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?
Are ERISA qualified pension and S&PS plans with non-assignment restrictions fully protected from all creditors, excluding federal agencies, such as the IRS? Does federal law or state law govern in this situation? If these plans are protected, is the protection absolute?
I'm a 51-year-old married homeowner (I still have a mortgage and kids in college), with a decent but not fabulously paying job, who has saved very little for retirement. Can you suggest a strategy to keep me out of the old paupers' home?
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?