Tag Archives: retirement

Social Security Benefit Basics

Sure, you get a periodic statement from the SSA indicating what your benefit will be if you continue working to 62, to your full retirement age (might be as high as 67) or to 70. And they tell you those benefits in today’s dollars.

But how did they come up with those numbers?

IRA Number Soup

All those tax-related forms which come with having an IRA, what they mean, and what to do with them. IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account (or, possibly, the collection of all such accounts), and each IRA account you have generates a small torrent of paperwork, both throughout the year and after the end of the […]

Required Minimum Distributions – What You Need To Know

Many types of retirement accounts offer enormous tax advantages.  For example, if you make contributions to an IRA or 401k, you may be able to deduct those contributions (i.e., not pay income taxes on the income you use to fund those accounts) now — and, instead, let the money grow — with no taxes due […]

Free Money! Which, sadly, only 25% of those eligible are taking…

Now that I have your attention, let’s try that again. Free Money! What we’re talking about here is the “Retirement Savings Contributions Credit”.  It was first created as part of the 2001 tax cut package called the “Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001” and was made permanent as part of the 2006 […]

How are Social Security benefits computed, and what are WEP and GPO?

Social Security. Perhaps the most successful government program ever, Social Security was put in place as a form of “social insurance” in order to protect against people who’d worked their entire lives ending up in poverty in their old age. Before diving into various details about benefits, there are a few things to clear up […]

A Few Points about Delaying Social Security, and about Spousal and Ex-Spouse Benefits

This started out as “A Few QUICK Points…” but unfortunately, Social Security is just too complex for almost anything to be “quick” about it. [For the sake of simplicity, we will assume for the rest of this article that “full retirement age” is 66 — which is actually the case for folks born between 1943 […]

Should retirees keep their life insurance?

I recently came across a brief video on a financial planning website (meant for advisors, not our clients), and it was supposed to explain to us 5 reasons why retirees might want to keep their life insurance.  I went to watch this video very openly and honestly.  There certainly are circumstances where some small subset […]

Who’s Training Your Advisor? And let’s talk about conflicts of interest…

Another great column from Jason Zweig over at the Wall Street Journal: <http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/02/14/whos-training-your-retirement-navigator/&gt; In it, he starts with the big issue — there’s a lot of money on the table in the world of retirement savings and, especially, those huge balances growing in people’s 401(k) accounts, many of which will be rolled over in some form […]

The 4% rule and its failings

The 4% rule and its failings There are plenty of articles about shortcomings of the 4% rule – which is still a great *starting point* if not a real plan. The WSJ brings up a few alternatives to help overcome the problems with the 4% rule: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324162304578304491492559684.html?mod=googlenews_wsj   Some of the adjustments/alternatives discussed: (1) using […]

Great explanation of the ObamaCare taxes kicking in

Great explanation of the ObamaCare taxes kicking in Two new taxes which are part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPA, also called ObamaCare) have taken effect as of January 1.  The first is the new 3.8% Medicare “surtax” on investment income.  Until recently, while investment income was subject to either […]