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Retirement

Dec 15, 2020 If you're wondering what's a normal amount of retirement savings, you're probably one of the 63% of Americans who either don't think their savings are on track or aren't sure, according to the Federal Reserve's " Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2019." Among all adults, median retirement savings is $60,000, the Federal Reserve's most recent data shows. The Fed estimates that by retirement, this number will grow to a median $228,900. Of course, these figures reflect the situation of people who have retirement accounts. About a quarter of us don't. Of those of us who do, 55% have employer-sponsored accounts and 47% having savings in non-retirement accounts. A small percentage - 22% - have pensions. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 A lot of people spend their adult lives working and saving to prepare for  retirement. But once you hang up your hat, you shouldn't necessarily stop thinking about saving and investing. The question of what should retirees invest in, though, isn’t necessarily simple to answer. There are a number of possible investments and strategies that retirees can use to help extend their savings and allow them to enjoy their retirement and maintain their lifestyle. A financial advisor can help you ensure you're optimizing your investment strategy, and SmartAsset can help you find one with our free financial advisor matching tool. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 Choosing the right way to save for retirement based on your personal needs is easier said than done. There is a plethora of options available, with annuities and 401(k) plans being some of the most prominent. While these two popular retirement savings vehicles are similar in some ways, they also have important differences, as well as times you can best utilize them. Below, we detail what should make or break your  annuity vs. 401(k) decision. Read More...

Feb 20, 2020 Saving for retirement is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to financial planning. At top of mind for those saving for retirement, of course, is the question of how much you’ll actually need when you retire. For many American workers, a 401(k) plan is the vessel used to save for retirement. Figuring out how much you should have in your 401(k) at any point in your career -- not to mention when you actually retire -- can be challenging. You’ll have to take into account a number of things, including where you want to live, what you expect your lifestyle to be and when you plan you retire. Read More...

Jul 07, 2021 Most retired workers depend on multiple streams of income during their retirement. Two of the most common such income streams are Social Security and pensions. If we look at pension vs. Social Security income, we find significant differences. Retired workers need to understand the key differences between the two programs. They are funded, structured and taxed differently. If you're planning for retirement be sure to make use of the insights of a financial advisor. Read More...

Jul 07, 2021 Private sector employers that once offered workers traditional pensions, typically defined benefit plans, have been encouraging people to roll over their pensions into tax-advantaged plans like individual retirement accounts (IRA) and 401(k)s. If you're considering such a move, it's important to understand your options, the pros and cons of each option and the tax-related rules about such a move. Before you do anything, though, consider working with a financial advisor who can help you make the best choices. Read More...

Jul 07, 2021 Surviving spouses are not the only ones who can qualify for a widow's pension under the Social Security Act of 1935. When we dig down into the details, there are others who can receive it besides the widow or widower. Other parties close to the deceased may also have a claim. There are specific rules and regulations, according to the Social Security Administration, regarding the payment of a widow's pension. Here is a breakdown of who can receive a widow's pension and how the payment amounts are calculated. Consider working with a financial advisor to ensure that your retirement planning is as effective as it can be. Read More...

Jun 29, 2021 Even though $5 million is a significant sum, having a nest egg that size for retirement still requires that it be handled in a prudent manner. Here are several ways to make sure that such an amount covers your wants as well as needs after you've stopped the 9-to-5 routine. One of the wisest moves you can make to ensure that you can do what you want in retirement is to work with a financial advisor in developing a retirement roadmap to guide you for the two or three decades you'll be drawing on that nest egg. Read More...

Jun 24, 2021 For years, financial experts have suggested a target retirement savings goal of $1 million. But when you consider things like inflation, the rising cost of healthcare and longer life expectancies, that amount of money may not go as far as you think. Aiming for $2 million in retirement savings might be more realistic or even necessary to enjoy the type of lifestyle you want. But is it possible to retire with $2 million, and if so, how much do you need to save and invest annually? And can you retire with $2 million if you’re getting a late start on saving or don’t make that much money? Here's an overview of what the careful planning and work needed to reach $2 million. Read More...

Jun 24, 2021 Dividends can be used to create passive income in an investment portfolio or grow wealth over the long term through reinvestment. Knowing how to live off dividends may be central to your retirement planning strategy if you want to avoid running out of money while also managing investment risk. The income you generate from dividends can be a welcome supplement to Social Security benefits, a pension or withdrawals from tax-advantaged accounts. Making the most of dividend income means knowing how to generate it and how to use it to your advantage. Read More...

Jun 23, 2021 Part of a sound retirement planning strategy involves choosing the best age to retire. The normal retirement age is typically 65 or 66 for most people; this is when you can begin drawing your full Social Security retirement benefit. It could make sense to retire earlier or later, however, depending on your financial situation, needs and goals. There’s no magic formula for finding the right retirement age and the timing that works for you may not work for someone else. When considering the best ages to retire, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. A financial advisor can help you sort through all the factors that go into making a wise decision about when to retire. Read More...

Jun 11, 2021 The FIRE movement promises a surefire way to help you retire below the national average retirement age of 64 and be financially independent. But first, you should know your FIRE number, or the amount of retirement money that you need to have invested to live off the returns. Here's how to calculate it. Consider working with a financial advisor about how to create a financial plan that will empower you to retire when you want to. Read More...

Jun 04, 2021 Adherents of the  Financial Independence/Retire Early (FIRE) movement aim to reach a point where they don't need ongoing income to retire and to get to that point before – sometimes well before - reaching age 65. Not surprisingly it requires rigorous savings and a frugal mentality. However, there's a sub-genre of this movement known as Coast FIRE. It promises financial independence in retirement for the average person but without saying goodbye to your career. Here's what you should know about Coast FIRE and how it differs from regular FIRE. Work with a financial advisor to construct a retirement plan that fits your goals, lifestyle and timeline. Read More...

May 12, 2021 If you have more than one retirement account, it’s possible to extend a short-term loan to yourself when you need cash in an emergency. This involves initiating an indirect rollover from one retirement account to another. But there’s just one catch: the 60-day rollover rule requires you to deposit the money within a certain window to avoid a tax penalty. If you’re considering taking money from an individual retirement account (IRA) temporarily, it’s important to understand what the 60-day rollover rules mean and how they're applied. Before attempting a 60-day rollover, check with a financial advisor to make sure you meet all the criteria of this tactic. Read More...

May 12, 2021 Investing for retirement means factoring in different types of risk that may affect your portfolio over time. Sequence of returns risk, also referred to as sequence risk, can come into play as you begin taking withdrawals from your retirement accounts. Specifically, it’s the possibility that the timing of your retirement withdrawals may negatively impact your overall rate of return. Knowing how to account for sequence risk in your financial strategy can help minimize the threat it may pose to your retirement income. Be sure to use the experience and insights of a financial advisor as plan for and investing during your retirement. Read More...

May 05, 2021 An annuity is a type of insurance contract that can offer a guaranteed income stream, making them a common investment of retirees. In exchange for a lump sum or a series of payments, an insurance company provides guaranteed returns. While only insurance companies can issue annuities, individuals may purchase them through banks, brokerage firms, and financial advisors. But what happens if the insurance company that issued the annuity goes out of business? Let's take a look at how annuities are protected. Read More...

May 01, 2021 Having one or more retirement accounts can help you realize your long-term financial goals, including growing wealth and securing a comfortable retirement. Workplace plans, Individual Retirement Accounts and self-employed retirement accounts are just some of the ways you can save. With so many options to choose from, you may be wondering where to put your money. Reviewing the best retirement plans for 2021 can help with deciding how to invest for the future. Another big help with retirement planning is working with a financial advisor experienced in this area. Read More...

Apr 22, 2021 A 401(k) rollover is the process by which you move the funds in your 401(k) to another retirement account - usually either an IRA or another 401(k). A 401(k) rollover typically happens when you leave your employer, either to retire or to start a new job. There are certain regulations you need to follow when rolling over your assets, most notably the 60-day rule. And you will also need to choose a new financial institution to house your account when you roll over your money into an IRA. If you're considering a 401(k), a financial advisor can help you set up a retirement plan for your nest egg. Let's break down everything you need to know about 401(k) rollovers. Read More...

Apr 15, 2021 If you've ever changed jobs, chances are you've considered rolling over your old 401(k) to an individual retirement account. But can you roll over your 401(k) even if you haven’t changed jobs? The answer lies in what’s known as an in-service rollover. However, before proceeding with one, you may want to speak with a financial advisor in your area about how to best save for retirement. Read More...

Apr 15, 2021 Rolling over your 401(k) to an individual retirement account is common practice when starting a new job. But what about doing the opposite: moving IRA assets into a 401(k) plan? While not nearly as common, these “reverse rollovers” do exist and may be an option if you’re an investor looking to merge multiple retirement accounts. When considering a rollover of any variety, it may help to work with a financial advisor who can guide you on your path to retirement. Read More...

Apr 15, 2021 Since their inception in 1987, 401(k)s have become the private sector’s most common employer-sponsored retirement plan -- the Investment Company Institute says that there are roughly 60 million active participants in 2020. Participating in your company’s 401(k) is a key component of saving for retirement, allowing you to divert a portion of your pre-tax income into an investment account. A financial advisor in your area can answer questions about retirement planning and help you create a plan for your financial needs. If you recently switched jobs or simply have never before contributed to a retirement plan, here are several easy steps to follow for setting up a 401(k) account. Read More...

Apr 15, 2021 Market volatility is inevitable.  Corrections happen every one to two years when stocks decline 10% or more from their most recent peak and usually last several months. Stock market crashes, on the other hand, are less common than corrections but more abrupt and severe. Look no further than the 2008 financial crisis or the 2020 crash ushered in by the coronavirus pandemic. But preparing for market volatility is possible. A  financial advisor can help you shore up your retirement savings for inevitable market events. Here are five ways to protect your 401(k) nest egg from a stock market crash. Read More...

Apr 15, 2021 The 401(k) has become a staple of retirement planning in the U.S. Millions of Americans contribute to their 401(k) plans with the goal of having enough money to retire comfortably when the time comes. Whether you’ve reached retirement age or need to tap your 401(k) early to pay for an unexpected expense, there are various ways to withdraw money from your employer-sponsored retirement account. A financial advisor can steer you through these decisions and help you manage your retirement savings. Read More...

Apr 06, 2021 A 401(k) plan can be a simple and effective way to save money for retirement on a tax-advantaged basis. While employers increasingly favor these defined contribution plans in lieu of traditional pensions, they aren’t all alike. There are different types of 401(k) plans companies can offer to employees and you may have more than option for retirement saving. Understanding how the different 401(k) plans compare can help you decide which one is best for your savings goals. While valuable, a 401(k) should only be a part of your overall retirement savings plan. A  financial advisor in your area can help you expand your plans based on your goals, timeline and risk profile. Read More...

Apr 06, 2021 The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) provides retirement and disability benefits to eligible workers. If you become disabled, you may be eligible to receive FERS disability retirement payments which are different from regular retirement benefits. There are specific requirements that need to be met before you can qualify for federal disability retirement benefits and the amount you receive can vary based on your age, length of service, earnings and whether you also receive Social Security disability benefits. Here’s more on how these benefits work and who may qualify for them. Read More...

Apr 06, 2021 In place of a 401(k) plan, your employer may offer a defined benefit pension plan for retirement savings. These plans follow different guidelines for withdrawals, including the rule of 85, which governs what type of payment you’re eligible for should you decide to retire early. However, not every employer follows this rule, so it’s important to understand how it may impact your retirement if you have a pension plan at work that is governed by the rule of 85. Read More...

Apr 02, 2021 You just landed a new job, and with it, an opportunity to move your career forward. Now comes an important decision: what should you do with your 401(k) from your former employer? While you can choose to leave your 401(k) with your former company, you may also consider rolling it over into an individual retirement account (IRA), a 401(k) at your new company or even cashing it out. A financial advisor could help you pick the smartest rollover option for your needs. Here are some important facts to consider when making a rollover after changing jobs. Read More...

Apr 02, 2021 When rolling over a 401(k) from a previous employer, there are several important rules to keep in mind to avoid costly taxes and penalties. Central to this transaction is choosing between a direct or indirect rollover, and then understanding your responsibilities as the account holder in either scenario. A  financial advisor can help you pick the best option for your retirement needs. Let’s go over some of the key rules to be aware of during a 401(k) rollover. Read More...

Apr 01, 2021 There’s a lot to consider when deciding whether to roll over your 401(k) after a job change. The available options of keeping your account with your former employer or rolling it over into a new tax-deferred plan pose a number of pros and cons, all of which factor into the decision that you will ultimately make. A financial advisor can help guide you through this decision and others like it. Let's break down the reasons for rolling over and not rolling over your 401(k)Read More...

Feb 18, 2021 When creating your personal retirement plan, there are a variety of tools you can use to fund your long-term savings goals. An employer-sponsored 401(k) is one of them while indexed universal life insurance (IUL) is another. A 401(k) allows you to invest money on a tax-deferred basis while also enjoying a tax deduction for contributions. Indexed universal life insurance allows you to secure a death benefit for your loved ones while accumulating cash value that you can borrow against. Understanding the differences and similarities between IUL vs. 401(k) matters for effective retirement planning. Working with a financial advisor can also make a substantial difference in the amount of money you'll have when you retire. Read More...

Feb 17, 2021 Bolivia is one of South America’s most diverse countries, in both its people and its beautiful, rugged landscapes. The country, which has more than 11 million people, has an array of sights and experiences, unlike anything most travelers will find. Crystal lagoons, lush rainforests and mirror-like salt lakes are just the tip of the iceberg, not to mention the various indigenous cultures which bring Bolivia to life. For the soon-to-be retiree, the low costs of living and beautiful sights are a notable draw. If you are considering how to make this country your new home, speak to a financial advisor who can help you navigate the process of how to retire in Bolivia. Read More...

Feb 17, 2021 Turkey is filled to the brim with beautiful architecture, art and a melange of cultures that reaches back thousands of years. It’s home to artifacts from communities like the Hittites, Ancient Greeks, early Christians and Mongols, which fill this nation of some 82 million, with a rich sense of history. Lying as it does at a crossroads of Europe and Asia, visitors can see a unique blend of Western and Eastern influences. Its Mediterranean and Black Sea beaches are renowned for their beauty. Istanbul's Grand Bazaar extends across 58 covered streets hosting some 1,200 shops. If you're considering retiring in Turkey, here's an overview of some basic information you’ll need. A financial advisor can offer valuable guidance as you consider retiring abroad. Read More...

Feb 17, 2021 An island in the West Indies, Barbados is a jewel of the Caribbean. Its turquoise waters and golden beaches are a perfect match to many people’s idealized days in the sun that they hope is waiting at the end of their working life. While this commonwealth country, where English is the official language, does have good reason to boast, you may wonder whether it’s right for you to retire in Barbados. Before contacting your financial planner to see if your finances are in order for the move, here are a few matters to consider first. Read More...

Feb 12, 2021 Home to both lively landscapes and a highly diverse and fascinating culture, South Africa stands out as a place of opportunity for many potential retirees. Bask in a glowing sun while out on the golf course or relax in the shade on a beach. If you are a foodie or oenophile, you can enjoy this country’s culinary treats and excellent wines. Between all the things to do and see, this southernmost African nation, where English is widely spoken, can sound like a dream. So, if you're considering how to retire in South Africa here are a few areas to look into first. A financial advisor can help you determine if your U.S.-based assets will cover expenses in the Rainbow Nation. Read More...

Feb 12, 2021 Indonesia’s climate may be one of its biggest draws to foreign nationals escaping the cold. But it’s certainly not the only reason to visit or stay long-term. The country is well-loved for its similarly warm hospitality. Not only that, but the gorgeous natural landscape and low cost of living have made it an ideal location for retirement among many. In particular, the province of Bali has become home to numerous expatriates. But there are challenges: English is not widely spoken, and terrorism has been a problem in some parts of this nation of 270 million. If you see yourself becoming one of the U.S. citizens to retire in Indonesia, here are a few things to consider beforehand. A financial advisor can offer valuable advice and insight into the best way to financially plan for retiring abroad. Read More...

Feb 10, 2021 For those considering how to retire in Finland, you have one of Europe’s finest countries waiting to be explored. As of 2020, Finland topped Gallup’s World Happiness Report for the third consecutive year and that ranking comes with good reason. Known as the Land of a Thousand Lakes, this country has natural beauty that stands out among the rest. Finland boasts a strong economy and healthcare system for its residents, some three-quarters of whom can speak English. A financial advisor can help you achieve your goal of retiring abroad.   Read More...

May 21, 2021 With just under 4,000 retired Americans getting Social Security benefits in the Netherlands at the end of 2019, this Western European country may not stand out as an obvious choice for retirement among some of its neighboring countries, but its high standard of living, universal health system and centuries of rich traditions, culture and food could make this the ideal retirement place for you. If you want to retire in the Netherlands, a financial advisor can help you create a retirement plan to reach all of your goals and needs.  Read More...

Feb 10, 2021 For those exploring a retirement abroad, Poland has plenty to offer the budget-savvy retiree. Poland is a relatively low-cost retirement destination when compared with some of its European nation neighbors, even in its capital, Warsaw. You’ll find that the country sits at centuries-old crossroads between Western and Eastern Europe, blending the best of their architectures, foods and cultures. If you want to retire in Poland, speak to a financial advisor to help you reach your retirement goals and needs.  Read More...

Jan 27, 2021 Social Security is a financial safety net for millions of retired Americans. Founded in the aftermath of the Great Depression, this social insurance program was designed to pay out monthly income for workers after reaching full retirement age. But for most people today, the money provided by Social Security is not enough to live on during retirement. More than 64 million beneficiaries will see an increase of 1.3% in 2021, which translates to a modest raise of $20 a month. This means that average benefits total just $1,543 per month, compelling many Americans to supplement that income with pensions, 401(k) plans and other retirement savings programs. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset analyzed data from top U.S. cities with the largest populations aged 65 and older to identify where retirees are the most dependent on Social Security. Read More...

Feb 17, 2021 Early retirement is a lofty financial goal, though it’s not impossible. If you’re interested in how to retire at 50 or even earlier, you’ll need a solid strategy for getting there. Having fewer years to save can present a challenge to retiring early so it’s important to invest and manage your money wisely. The more you plan ahead, the smoother the transition to an early retirement can be. One of the smartest moves in planning for an early retirement is consulting with a financial advisor. Read More...

Jan 13, 2021 Salespeople and marketers working in the financial services profession, as well as college students, can earn the Accredited Retirement Plan Consultant (ARPC) certificate to show they have proficiency and professionalism sufficient to help employers create effective retirement plans for workers. That includes plan features and designs as well as how to educate, advice and communicate with eligible employees about the plan, not to mention marketing the plans. They can also address required reporting and compliance demands. Meanwhile, a financial advisor can offer individuals, whether they are employees or not, valuable advice on creating, adjusting and monitoring their own personal financial plan. Read More...

Jan 07, 2021 Brazil, which has a population of some 213 million, is known for its passionate and fun-loving people, beautiful beaches and pristine rain forests that are home to an array of fauna and flora. Portuguese is the national language, and proficiency in English is rare, especially outside the main cities. Americans will find the cost of living favorable, and in some cases, one's Social Security check may be enough to live on. The right financial advisor can help you plan for your Brazilian retirement as well as help you navigate some of the tax laws and other implications of moving abroad. Here's what you need to know about South America's largest nation. Read More...

Jan 20, 2021 If happiness is contagious, think about retiring in Denmark. Danes are routinely held to be some of the world's happiest. Indeed two of the top five cities in a global survey of happiest cities occupy this tiny Scandinavian nation. Perhaps that's due to the country's generous social safety net. Or maybe it's Danish devotion to outdoor recreation and culture. Children's book author Hans Christian Andersen, composer Carl Nielsen, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki and some of the world's most avid sailors all hail from Denmark. Its capital, Copenhagen, is the most bike-friendly city in the world and home to the second-oldest continuously operating amusement park, the 177-year-old Tivoli Gardens. Here's what you need to know about visas, healthcare and cost of living in this nation of some 6 million, virtually all of whom speak English. Read More...

Jan 07, 2021 Slovenia, a country known for its castles and caves as well as a high number of bee-keeping aficionados, shares borders with Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary. While it isn't one of the most popular retirement destinations, this predominantly Roman Catholic nation of some 2 million has a lot to offer expatriates looking for a quiet retirement, either along the shores of the Adriatic Sea, in the mountains or in one of its cities. If you're wondering how to retire in this central European country, consider working with a financial advisor who understands your goals of retiring abroad. Read More...

Jan 07, 2021 From Oktoberfest to the Salzburg Summer Festival, Austria seems to have festivities year-round. This German-speaking nation of some 9 million has a rich cultural heritage and can boast of such fabled composers as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven, among others, as former residents. Citizens and visitors also come to Austria for the Alps, which offer some of the best snow skiing in the world. As you weigh whether to retire in Austria consider working with a financial planner to make sure you can afford it and handle your taxes in the most efficient way possible. Read More...

Jan 06, 2021 Singapore is a tiny country made up of 64 islands clustered around the end of the Malay Peninsula. Most of its population of nearly 6 million lives in Singapore City. Many locals speak English, and it is home to many human-made wonders, including a massive artificial waterfall, iconic skyscrapers and what is generally regarded as the world's best international airport. If you are considering the Lion City, as Singapore is sometimes called, as your retirement destination then it is wise to partner with a financial planner to help make your dream of retiring in Singapore a reality. Read More...

Dec 30, 2020 If you inherit an individual retirement account (IRA) from a spouse, you can treat it like your own IRA or roll it over into a traditional IRA you already have. If you are the beneficiary of an IRA inherited from someone other than your spouse, the options are different. You can’t roll it over into an existing IRA. However, you can transfer it into a new IRA, if you satisfy certain requirements. In either case, failing to follow the rules can result in the IRA being treated as a taxable distribution. A financial advisor can guide you as you deal with an inherited IRA so that you don't needlessly incur any tax liabilities. Read More...

Dec 30, 2020 Honduras is known for it’s beautiful beaches and low cost of living. The country is home to one of the largest cities in Central America, Tegucigalpa, and plenty of quaint mountain towns and a popular island called Roatan. In recent years, Americans have flocked to this Central American oasis of some 10 million people because their retirement savings can go much farther than in the U.S. A financial advisor can help you plan your retirement abroad and help you stretch your Social Security and other retirement funds while in Honduras. Read More...

Dec 29, 2020 The Republic of Taiwan is an attractive place to live due to its island setting and metropolitan feel. This island nation is known for having the highest concentration of mountains globally, and the food in Taiwan has made its way around the world. For example, bubble milk tea has become an international delight. If you are considering international retirement, there are a number of factors to consider so it's wise to work with a financial advisor. They will help you navigate the intricacies involved with moving abroad. Read More...

Dec 29, 2020 Sweden is one of the most sought-after countries in the world. It offers an excellent quality of life for retirees with beautiful landscapes and historic, walkable cities to enjoy. The archipelagoes on both the nation's East Coast and West Coast, famous smoked herring and classic meatballs plus vast, unspoiled forests offer something for just about any retiree. If you want to retire in this Scandinavian nation of just over 10 million people, this article will cover everything you need to know, from what costs you can anticipate to the quality of the healthcare system and more. Read More...

Dec 29, 2020 Do you dream of spending your retirement on a sunny Caribbean beach with a cool drink in hand? There are many alternatives, but one that you may want to consider is the Dominican Republic. From affordable housing to adventurous activities, this Caribbean island nation seems to have something for every retiree. Additionally, their expat laws favor Americans looking to retire there. Retiring abroad can help you extend your retirement savings, and a financial advisor can help you stretch your nest egg further. So, if you want to retire in the Dominican Republic, here is everything you need to know, from the cost of living to healthcare to immigration and visa laws. Read More...

Dec 29, 2020 Some people dream of spending their retirement on beaches, but others find joy in quaint villages, winter sports, snowy landscapes or dramatic views of glassy smooth fjords nestled between soaring mountain peaks. If the latter is more your style, you may want to consider retiring in Norway. If  are for you, this article lays out everything you need to know, from the cost of living to healthcare to immigration and visa laws. Read More...

Dec 09, 2020 Retiring in China, the world's most populous nation with some 1.4 billion residents, can offer financial benefits and geographic diversity but also significant challenges. It is generally less expensive to live in than the U.S. and the nation, which has the world's third-largest land mass, offers a vast array of landscapes and seascapes to choose from. However, the government has been rolling out a social credit system that could affect the quality of retirees' experience in the country. Here’s a rundown of the key things to know if you're considering retiring in China. Read More...

Dec 02, 2020 A qualified longevity annuity contract, or QLAC, is a type of annuity contract that you can use to create an additional stream of income in retirement. This type of annuity can offer guaranteed monthly payments beginning at a specific date and ending when you pass away. Like other annuities, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether it makes sense to include one in your financial plans. Read More...

Nov 19, 2020 Wondering whether you can collect Social Security and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) at the same time? The short answer is probably not. The long answer, however, is maybe. Social Security and SSDI serve similar purposes, but the requirements vary for each. Social Security is for those who've reached early or full retirement age, while disability insurance typically serves younger individuals who cannot work due to serious medical conditions. However, an exception may apply. We take a closer look in this guide. A financial advisor can provide professional insight into the world of retirement planning. Find a financial advisor today.  Read More...

Nov 19, 2020 If you've got a pension plan, such as a 401(k) or an IRA, and you'd like to access the vehicle's funds, you can typically choose between monthly distributions, a  lump sum payment or an annuity. The method you select should consider your short- and long-term savings goals so that your financial situation is in no way compromised. In this review, we explore how lump sum payments work. A financial advisor can help you navigate the complex world of retirement savings. Find a financial advisor today. Read More...

Nov 19, 2020 Retirement plan consulting services are used by companies to help oversee retirement savings options for employees. A retirement plan consultant can offer guidance on a variety of issues, from choosing which plan to implement to ensuring the plan meets tax and regulatory guidelines. Consulting services for retirement plans can be offered by individual financial professionals or by a consulting firm. If you participate in a 401(k) or similar plan at your job, a retirement plan consultant may play a part in how that plan is administered. A retirement calculator can tell you how much you will need to retire and an estimate of how close to that target you will come given your current savings and investment practices. Read More...

Nov 18, 2020 Many employers offer retirement benefits, and some will even match their employees' contributions. However, most people leave employers several times throughout their careers. In leaving one job and taking on another, some employees forget to take  their 401(k) or other retirement accounts with them. If there's a chance you have unclaimed retirement benefits but aren’t sure how to access them, here’s how to find your unclaimed retirement benefits. Keep in mind that getting help from  a financial advisor might save you a great deal of time in finding that money. Read More...

Nov 18, 2020 An annuity describes a contract between a policyholder and an insurance company. With this contract, policyholders give the insurance company a lump-sum payment in exchange for a series of payments made instantly or at a set time in the future. There are different types of annuities that people should both know about and understand. An ordinary annuity means you are paid at the end of your covered term; an annuity due pays you at the beginning of a covered term. If you have an annuity or are considering buying annuities, here's what you need to know about an ordinary annuity vs. an annuity due. Read More...

Nov 17, 2020 Retirement is an exciting time in many people's lives, but in evaluating which benefits to take when, those who leave the workforce may wonder whether they can get Medicare at 62? There's not a simple yes-or-no answer, but here's what you need to know so you can make a good decision about this benefit. As always, it may also behoove you to discuss your own particular situation with a trusted financial advisor. Read More...

Nov 16, 2020 Deciding when to take Social Security retirement benefits is important because it can directly affect your benefit amount. While you can technically start taking benefits as early as 62, you'd receive them at a reduced amount. On the other hand, you could delay taking benefits up to age 70. Calculating your Social Security break-even age can help you decide when the best time is to begin taking benefits. You can do that using a Social Security break-even calculator. Additionally, it may behoove you to consult with a financial advisor about when it's best for your particular situation to begin receiving Social Security benefits. Read More...

Nov 11, 2020 Saving for retirement is an important financial goal to have and the sooner you begin, the better. Finding the right asset allocation for your portfolio is important, but it's also helpful to consider asset location, meaning where you decide to keep your investments for retirement. A qualified retirement plan is one way to save for the future while enjoying some tax advantages. That can help you make the most of the money you're investing, both prior to and during retirement. Read More...

Nov 09, 2020 The Railroad Retirement Program is a federal program that extends retirement benefits to railroad employees. The program was established in the 1930s and in addition to retirement benefits, it also pays survivor, unemployment and sickness benefits to eligible railroad workers and their families. The Railroad Retirement Board is responsible for overseeing the program. If you're a railroad employee, here's more on how the program works and where it can fit into your retirement plans. Read More...

Feb 08, 2020 After spending years anticipating retirement, you've decided to figure out how to retire in 10 years. All of your hard work and savings are about to pay off. However, you’re unsure of what steps you need to take with your finances to achieve this goal. So, here's how to retire in 10 years with just a few steps. Read More...

Dec 09, 2019 The average cost of assisted living was $4,000 a month in 2018, according to Genworth Financial, which has been tracking costs since 2004. Across the country, though, the price of assisted living varies widely depending on such factors as location, facility size and amenities. If you're not sure whether or how you can afford this type of living arrangement, our free matching tool can connect you with a financial advisor. Here's what you need to know about the costs. Read More...

Dec 03, 2019 The vast majority of American workers pay in to the country's Social Security system through payroll taxes. These taxes provide retirement and disability income, as well as death and survivorship benefits. Still, not every worker is required to pay them. Read on to see if you're exempt from Social Security taxes, and what not paying them can mean for your future retirement. Read More...

Nov 27, 2019 Fiduciary liability insurance protects companies from lawsuits if they makes errors or fails to act in employees' best interests. For example, if beneficiaries of a 401 (k) plan accuse administrators of charging excessive fees, the insurance pays the company's legal-defense costs, settlement, and damages. Here's how. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Individuals who are turning 65 have a 70% chance of needing some form of long-term care during their remaining years. While the majority of these care needs fall under a short-term care plan, about 25% of these individuals will need care for longer than a year. When applying for long-term care insurance, your provider will ask if you can perform certain tasks. They're commonly referred to as activities of daily living (ADLs). Your ability or inability to complete these tasks can determine whether you're eligible to receive care and assistance under your policy. Here's what you need to know about the activities of daily living. Read More...

Nov 26, 2019 Before your long-term care insurance or disability insurance coverage kicks in, you may be disabled or hospitalized for a length of time. This period is known as the elimination period. Read on discover how an elimination period can impact your insurance premium and what you need to know before selecting a policy. Read More...

Nov 23, 2019 Investing in both a 401(k) and  Roth IRA can be a powerful combo for any retirement savings plan. That is, if you're eligible. Here's what to know about qualifying for a Roth IRA and how opening one in addition to an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan can build up a sizable nest egg. Read More...

Nov 22, 2019 A Roth IRA is a smart way to grow your savings for the future. These investment accounts offer tax-free income when you retire. Of course, any return you see on a Roth IRA account depends on the investments you put into it. Here’s what you need to know about the average Roth IRA return and how it can help you maximize your retirement savings. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 A multi-year guaranteed annuity, or MYGA, offers a predetermined and contractually guaranteed interest rate for a fixed period of time. A MYGA is just one way to create an additional savings bucket for retirement to supplement Social Security benefits or tax-advantaged investment accounts. Here's what you should know about how these annuities work and the benefits they can offer. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 Annuities can provide guaranteed income for retirement. But at some point, you may decide you no longer want or need an annuity you've purchased. If buyer's remorse has you wondering if it's possible to recover your investment, we've got news you can use: There are several ways to get out of an annuity if it is no longer a good fit for your financial plan. Read More...

Jan 13, 2020 Adding an annuity to your retirement plan could make sense if you're looking for a guaranteed stream of income. But the fees associated with one can be difficult to decode if you're not an insurance or investing expert. Here's what you need to know about the costs of different types of annuities, so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 A single premium deferred annuity is a financial tool you can use to plan for retirement. It offers you guaranteed income, beginning at a date you specify, along with tax-deferred growth on your investment. If you're considering this annuity for your retirement plan, here are the most important things you need to know. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Though probably the most well-known, nursing homes are just one of many types of long-term care facilities available to seniors. Facilities vary by level of services. Assisted living residences and adult foster care homes are at the low end of needed assistance while nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities are at the high end. Facilities also vary in environment and cost. Read on to learn about each type of long-term care facility and how they’re different from each other. And for help figuring out how you’re going to pay for eldercare, use SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Assisted living facilities and nursing homes differ in many ways, including the type of care provided, cost, and offerings for residents. You or a family member may need more help in retirement than family and friends can provide. Residential facilities, including assisted living and nursing homes that can provide it. Here's how (and how they differ). Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 If you're thinking of purchasing an annuity for retirement income, know that they're not all the same. A flexible premium deferred annuity offers a way to buy an annuity, without having to pay a large lump sum premium all at once. Consider the pros and cons as you weigh different annuity options. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 An annuity can provide predictable, guaranteed income in retirement. You can also use an annuity contract to schedule payments from a structured settlement or a financial windfall, such as a lottery payout. A period certain annuity lets you choose when and how long you'll receive payments. Here's how it works. Read More...

Nov 07, 2019 Annuities can generate income for retirement. However, most annuities also feature a standard death benefit. That lets you pass on assets from the annuity to an heir after your death. If you have an annuity of you're thinking of purchasing one, here's what you need to know about an annuity death benefit and how it works. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 More than 70 million aging adults will strain U.S. financial and medical institutions in the near future. Their Millennial children, struggling with student debt imposed by the Boomers' choice to defund higher education in favor of tuition increases, will be further taxed by elder care. Residential care will only add to the burden. Read More...

Apr 06, 2021 Annuities, which are insurance products, are an important part of many Americans'  retirement plans, especially for those who are looking for guaranteed payments. Insurance companies offer annuity contracts, which allow you to pay a premium in exchange for regular payments, and in some cases, investing opportunities. Depending on what stage of life you're in, payments can begin right away or at some date in the future. Regardless of the type of annuity you choose, though, there are a number of costs that go along with owning it. If you have questions about annuities or their fee schedules, consider speaking with a  financial advisor in your area. Read More...

Oct 31, 2019 Assisted living is one of the most difficult parts of elder care. Expensive, with costs driven by both residency and the skills involved with this care, assisted living leaves many seniors struggling to pay for it. Does Medicare pay for assisted living? For seniors and families on Medicare or Medicaid seeking answers, here’s what you need to know. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 When you purchase an annuity, you're buying an insurance contract to provide guaranteed income for yourself. You can purchase an annuity to benefit yourself but if you're married, you could choose a joint and survivor annuity instead. Learn more about how a joint and survivor annuity works and whether one belongs in your financial plan.  Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 Annuities can be a source of guaranteed income for retirement, as well as a way to schedule payments from a structured settlement. They may be categorized as qualified or non-qualified annuities. If you're thinking of adding an annuity to your financial plan, here's what you need to know about qualified vs. non-qualified annuities. Read More...

Oct 26, 2019 Nursing home cost may work their way into your retirement plan. You may have to help pay nursing care expenses for an aging parent, for example. Or long-term care may be necessary for your spouse or yourself as you grow older. Understanding  nursing home costs and how they may vary can help you prepare for the expense. Read More...

Oct 25, 2019 Employer-sponsored, tax-deferred retirement plans like 401(k)s and 403(b)s have rules about when you can access your funds. As a general rule, if you withdraw funds before age 59 ½, you’ll trigger an IRS tax penalty of 10%. The good news is that there’s a way to take your distributions a few years early without incurring this penalty. This is known as the Rule of 55. If you're contemplating early retirement or need to take money from your 401(k) or a similar plan for any other reason, it's helpful to know how the rule of 55 works. Read More...

May 07, 2021 Inheriting a 401(k) on the death of the account owner isn't always as straightforward as inheriting other types of assets. The IRS has certain rules that 401(k) beneficiaries must follow that determine when and how much tax they'll pay to inherit someone else's retirement plan. If you're currently the beneficiary of a 401(k) or you've recently inherited one, here are the most important things you need to know. Read More...

Oct 22, 2019 An employer-sponsored 401(k) plan offers a tax-advantaged way to grow retirement savings, along with the potential for matching contributions. These plans come in two flavors: The traditional, tax-deferred kind, which lets you contribute pre-tax dollars, or a Roth 401(k), which is funded with after-tax dollars but lets you realize tax free growth and retirement income. So if you have both options available to you, which should you choose? Both choices can offer tax advantages, but before you invest, it's important to learn how they compare and how they serve your financial plan and tax situation. Read More...

Oct 21, 2019 Ireland is home to some of the most stunning landscapes and coastlines in the world. This, plus the pace of life and rich Irish culture, make it an ideal destination for Americans looking to retire abroad. Americans who go this route should be ready to spend more in Ireland, though, as housing and other costs are generally higher than in the U.S. Still, it's entirely possible to live on the Emerald Isle for a manageable price. Here's what you need to know about cost of living, visa rules, and more. Read More...

Oct 14, 2020 Although the future is unpredictable, there are some things we can generally say with confidence. One is that prices are likely to rise over time, meaning the cost of living will rise as well.  Inflation affects those in the workforce, and it particularly impacts anyone who's in retirement and living on a (relatively) fixed income. The good news for those relying on  Social Security is that the federal government uses cost of living adjustments (COLAs) in order to keep up with these increases. And employers will also consider increases in the cost of living as they adjust salaries.  Read More...

Oct 08, 2019 When saving for retirement, your employer may give you a hand by offering a tax-advantaged savings plan. Your options might include a 401(k) plan or a 457(b) plan. Both plans allow you to contribute money towards retirement on a tax-deferred basis. While there are similarities between a 457(b) and a 401(k), there are also key differences to keep in mind. Those variations can affect how a plan will work for you and your retirement. Read More...

Oct 27, 2020 There are two basic types of distributions you might take from your Roth IRA: qualified and non-qualified. The basic difference is this: qualified distributions are generally made after a person is 59.5 or when the owned of the Roth IRA has become permanently disabled or has passed away. Non-qualified distributions are made at any other time. Additionally, a Roth IRA must have been opened for at least five years for distributions to be qualified. A  Roth IRA and its 100% tax-free distributions can hold huge advantages for retirees. Additionally, Roth IRAs aren't subject to required minimum distributions the way traditional IRAs are. That allows you to grow your money without triggering a tax penalty. If you want help with Roth IRA distributions or any financial issue, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Oct 07, 2019 Nearly 19%, or 9 million, Americans ages 65 and over are working part- or full-time, according to a recent Pew Research Center analysis. This is consistent with a steady increase dating back to 2000. Whether you need additional income or not, you might be thinking about working in retirement too. But there are a few things to keep in mind, like what it means for your taxes, whether it could impact your  Social Security benefits and how you would continue to build savings. Weighing the pros and cons can help you decide if working in retirement is worth it. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 As you age, it’s important to make decisions that help you attain your desired lifestyle. Where you plan to live is among those important considerations. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities offer care and hands-on help, while independent living provides freedom and flexibility with the support of a community. Here's why senior independent living communities are gaining popularity among retirees. Read More...

Sep 27, 2019 Medicare helps many seniors pay for their medical expenses. But does Medicare cover long-term care costs? Before you reach retirement, it’s important to understand what costs you’ll be responsible for. Read on to discover what long-term care costs Medicare will cover. We will also outline options to help you pay for the costs that Medicare won’t cover. Read More...

Sep 26, 2019 Running a small business or being self-employed can offer flexibility, freedom and control over your earning potential. While the perks are plentiful, there's one thing that's usually missing when you own a small business: an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Self-employed people don't have 401(k)s, and small business owners tend not offer them, citing the time and cost to set up and administer them. The good news is there are several other retirement plan options available to small business owners. If you have yet to begin saving for retirement as an entrepreneur, here's how you can change that. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 If you're saving for just yourself, a single life annuity may be the perfect choice. Your beneficiaries won't see a payout, though, as payments end when you die. A single life annuity, or straight life annuity, can provide a retiree with a monthly payment for as long as he or she lives. When the annuity holder dies, the payments stop. There are advantages and drawbacks to that, so here's how a single life annuity works and what you need to know. Read More...

Sep 18, 2019 An individual retirement account (IRA) can be the foundation of a great retirement plan. However, it takes a skilled financial planner to match a client up with the right IRA for their retirement. The Certified IRA Services Professional (CISP) designation can help separate financial advisors who know IRAs from those who may be less familiar. Here's how the CISP works, what it means, and how to get it. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 Those nearing retirement age may be looking to supplement their income. If they've already maxed out their other retirement savings accounts, like their 401(k) or IRA, then an annuity might help. Annuities come in many variations, including fixed, variable, indexed, immediate and deferred. We break down the different types of annuities so you can decide if one is right for your financial situation. Read More...

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