10 Retirement things to know

 

It’s impossible to know what tomorrow may bring. Another Boston. A sequester surprise. Or disasters both natural and man-made. Life is different in Retirement Land. Here, there is certainty in sniffing out the major issues that will confront retirees and people getting ready to retire. Regularly, a common group of core issues is studied, reported, blogged, and tweeted about – day in and day out, week in and week out, year in and, well, you get the picture.

Here are 10 of the most commonly aired retirement issues. Beyond getting a jump on tomorrow’s news, it can be to your advantage to consider these issues in your own retirement plans. Regardless of whether you’re 20 years into retirement or 20 years away from it, being on the right side of these long-term concerns is the best place to be.

1. Boomers turn 65 unprepared for retirement. Hope springs eternal and so do our best wishes for aging baby boomers. Every year, the Employee Benefit Research Institute and other think tanks issue research documenting how poorly Americans are prepared for retirement. We haven’t saved enough money. We don’t do a good job of investing the meager retirement funds we have scraped together. We don’t know how much it will cost us to live in retirement. There is much moaning and gnashing of teeth. Then we repeat the exercise the following year, and the next, and the next. Seriously, are you prepared for retirement? Think about what this means for you and your family. Make a plan, and carry it out.

2. Americans don’t understand finances and investments. Instead of more studies about how unprepared we are for retirement, maybe we should spend the research money on financial literacy education. Without signing up for a Ph.D. curriculum, there are countless strong sources of financial education online as well as at a nearby college or community center. I recently did a primer on retirement planning.

3. Federal deficits threaten our way of life. Everyone is waiting for the shoe to fall on this one, but the joke may be on us. The shoe has already begun falling. Our standard of living relative to the rest of the world has declined. China has been off-loading part of its cache of U.S. Treasury securities. Deficits contribute to such changes, and they don’t send out a formal announcement in the process. For many retirees, deficits will mean lower growth and a reduced quality of life for the rest of their lives.

4. Social Security is broke and broken. I have seen this story a gazillion times, and we don’t even have a serious reform proposal on the table yet. Adopting the chained CPI is a change, and a debatable one at that, but it is not reform. Social Security needs to be mended, but it’s hardly broken. The Social Security Administration calculates that the program can pay all promised benefits for more than 20 years. Then, its reserves will be exhausted and ongoing Social Security payroll taxes will cover only 78 percent of benefits. Now, if it’s judged that promised Social Security benefits are not affordable, I suppose they can be cut. But because the program is funded with payroll taxes, workers deserve a say in how much they’re willing to spend to secure their future benefits.

5. When should I begin taking Social Security? In the meantime, the decision about when to begin taking Social Security tops the hit parade of financial issues that confront nearly all Americans approaching retirement. For people who are not in poor health or have family histories of early deaths, the best answer is usually to wait. Taking benefits as soon as possible at age 62 locks in payments that are only 75 percent of what they would be at age 66, which is defined as the full retirement age for the current wave of retirees. Delaying benefits at age 66 will raise them by 8 percent a year until age 70, after which benefits do not increase with age.

6. Get ready for inflation. We have been seeing inflation around every corner for so many years that we’ve just about run out of corners. Core rates of inflation have been very low, and that’s still the case even as the recovery slowly gathers steam. Still, retirees must plan for inflation. This means that the buying power of fixed incomes will erode over time. It means the real return of investments, after inflationary factors are considered, may decline.

7. Look carefully at retirement fund fees. It can be very hard to determine how much you actually pay the firms that manage your retirement accounts and mutual funds. Often, the firm with a higher fee does not do a better job of managing your money. Because fees are charged year in and year out, they can have a big impact on long-term investment returns. The funds’ prospectuses provide some information, and federal disclosure rules are being strengthened. Look at the new wave of disclosure statements for the funds you already own. They can tell you a lot.

8. Medicare cuts would ruin seniors’ futures. Seniors will face health care challenges for the rest of their lives. Access to the care and providers you want will become harder as the nation’s growing physician shortage runs smack into rising numbers of aging baby boomers looking for more care as they get older. In addition, Medicare costs will be under relentless pressure. The health reform law aims to cut Medicare expenses over time. Serious proposals to cut federal deficits must include Medicare to be credible. House Republicans would replace Medicare with a voucher program in 10 years for future retirees. But even less dramatic changes would probably raise the share of medical expenses paid by seniors, particularly well-off seniors.

9. Retirees are worried about outliving their money. Just when we should be happy about regular gains in longevity, we’re instead bummed out by fears that we won’t have enough money if we survive to old age. Remember those annual surveys showing how ill-prepared we are for retirement? They’re often linked with polling questions showing how fearful we are of outliving our money. Think there’s a relationship?

10. Low interest rates hurt retiree incomes. Who’d have thought we’d be quoting interest rates on U.S. Treasury securities in thousandths of a percent? Welcome to low interest rates, the recession-period guest who won’t leave the party. The Federal Reserve’s free money policy has destroyed meaningful yields on bonds, CDs and other holdings with returns tied to interest rates.

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The Five of Tips of Financial Success!

1. Save at least 10% of your income

Saving 10% of your total income is paramount to your financial health. By saving at least 10% of your income, you are effectively living within your means.  Many of the financial struggles that individuals and families face can be attributed to living beyond their means (spending more than they earn).

This is one of the most important aspects of a successful financial life.  Saving 10% of your total income is a great method to take you to the next stage in your financial life cycle.

2. Have sufficient liquidity

Just as a building set upon a weak foundation will collapse under stress, a financial plan without sufficient liquidity is vulnerable to failure under economic hardship.  We all face difficult financial times in our lives, and proper liquidity will help us weather a financial storm without irreparable damage.  Having the right amount of emergency funds is the keystone of your financial foundation!

Once the proper amount of liquidity is determined, the money should be held in the most tax efficient manner possible.  These emergency funds will strengthen your financial foundation and serve as a defense against a true emergency.  We define an emergency as a situation that would result in a drop of your tax bracket.

3. Fully Fund Retirement Plans (can be applied to 10% savings goal)

This fundamental of financial success will serve two purposes. First, by contributing and funding a retirement plan, you will be saving towards or above your 10% goal. Second, money applied towards a defined contribution plan is not currently taxed.  This tax–deferred money whittles away at the largest expense for Middle Americans: taxes.  The government actually will subsidize your retirement by allowing favorable tax treatment of employee contributions into the plan.  Another benefit to defined contribution plans (401K and 403b type plans) is the matching available from the employer.  This allows an employer to match up to a percentage of the employee contributions.  By not contributing at least up to the match, employees are leaving free money on the table.

Set Up a Retirement Plan or Fully Fund One Before Year-End – If you are self-employed, now is the time to set up a retirement plan or add pre-tax money to your existing plan to reduce this year’s income. If you still can, max out your pre-tax contributions to your traditional IRA, 401k, or 403b, and get a tax deduction to lower your taxable income. This year, sole proprietors can put $16,500 (pre-tax) into a solo 401(k), ($22,000 if you are 50 or over). Check with your plan administrator for limits and deadlines for different types of plans.

4. Have the right house and mortgage

Buying the right size house and having the right size mortgage on that house is a key factor in your financial stability. A mortgage (long term fixed) leverages money by the tax savings generated by our current tax system and makes use of the fact that mortgage payments in the future will cost less due to inflation. A home valued at two to three times
your income with a mortgage of 50% to 80% is usually recommended.

5. Pay off credit cards/ consumer debt

Credit card and consumer debt can be one the biggest struggles people face on the road to financial freedom.  It not only imposes a real monetary cost (interest), but it also can create an unhealthy attitude towards money and spending.  Credit card and consumer debt can lead to overspending and living beyond your means.  Credit card and consumer debt interest payments are not tax deductible like mortgage interest. Therefore, credit card and consumer debt should be eliminated.

These Five Fundamentals of Financial Success are not meant to be all encompassing,
but these fundamentals are generalizations that are meant to improve financial
health.

Contribute to Charity– With the holiday season upon us, now is the time to consider making a business charitable contribution. You can donate money and/or usable items such as clothing, toys, and other goods, and claim a deduction for the fair market value. Be sure to get proper documentation or a receipt for your records.

Keep your Records Straight – Keeping your books in order throughout the year is critical. Use the time now to make sure everything is up-to-date and accurate so that you maximize your deductions and save your accountant time and billable hours when tax season rolls around. Read these tips from the SBA about Managing Your Small Business Tax Obligations.

Hire a Returning or Disabled Veteran – In November, the President signed into law specific tax credits for businesses that hire unemployed veterans.  The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides businesses that hire unemployed veterans with a maximum credit of $5,600 per veteran, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit offers businesses that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities with a maximum credit of $9,600 per veteran. Read more in this White House fact sheet: Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits.

2. Are you contributing at least 10% to your 401k/403b or other retirement plans?

This question is obviously financial in nature and focuses on the importance of saving for tomorrow. It also brings with it tax benefits. Remember that many retirement contributions are pre-tax and will save tax dollars today. Contributions to ROTH and non-deductible IRAs are a couple examples of plan contributions that do not save current tax dollars.

3. What is your tax picture for 2011?

If you have not completed a tax projection for 2011, it’s a good time to do so. There is plenty of time left to make changes to your withholding rate or quarterly payments to positively impact your financial year. Tax planning is one of the most important aspects of financial planning and should be used to create maximum financial traction. Whether you are reducing the check you will have to write next spring or withholding less each pay period, it’s important to use tax planning to increase financial efficiency.

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5 Steps To Ensure Your Retirement Financing Until Age 100

No one knows how long he or she will live. Death is a mystery.

The hardest part of retirement planning is calculating how many years we are going to live after we retire. As human beings, we don’t know when we are going to die. It might be tomorrow or it might be more than 100 years. Still, we want to ensure that we will have enough money to last throughout our retirement.

Most people who plan their retirement assume that they were going to live until they are 100 years old. So when you plan to retire at the retirement age of 65, you must raise enough money to provide for your needs for 35 years.
Some Americans between the ages of 45 to 70 are preparing for their retirement period, but many of them haven’t thought about the circumstances when their savings run out and they are still alive. Or more simply said: they don’t have a plan B. This is according to an online survey of the Society of Actuaries.
Though, it is not easy to save and to raise money that will provide your needs all throughout your life, there are ways to make your finances last.

One way to ensure that you can have finances for your lifetime is through Social Security. The Social Security System will provide you income for your lifetime, but the amount of the money you can get depends on the year you claim it. The longer you delay claiming it, the more you will receive. It’s been advised to wait as long as you can, claiming your money only when you really need it.

A second guaranteed way you can have source of income for your lifetime is through a traditional pension. But only a few people are lucky enough to have this. If your company is offering you a traditional pension, take advantage of it. You will benefit from it for the rest of your life.
Another way you can secure financing for your retirement period is through annuities. These are designed to meet your retirement goals. Some workers invest 20% of their income and others invest huge amounts to get a higher security payment.

Medicare supplemental policies or MediCaid are helpful for your medical expenses. These are insurance policies that will pay your health expenses that your savings can’t cover. Let’s face it when we grow old, there’s a fat chance that we will become sickly. Better invest in medical insurance than spend all your retirement savings on your medical expenses.
It is also better to secure yourself with Long Term Care insurance because we don’t know how long you would need a medical attention. Medicare would only cover 100 days of your medical expenses and after that you have to pay on your own.

Secure yourself for the long run. Be prepared and take action now

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PaYMatters

Reprinted from                                         March 2014

 PAYTECH

Expand Your Outlook on Financial Planning

By Kris Miller

Imagine living a life of financial independence. Imagine having no money worries, knowing you have an income stream you can’t outlive. Think that’s impossible and just a daydream? Think again. When you implement some key financial strategies, anyone can have financial independence now and in their retirement years. Continue reading

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Why you’ll want to get ready for Retirement with PREtirement

Planning for your financial and medical future can be scary, daunting and time-consuming. It’s a task that many people delay, often until it’s too late. So planning early can be the difference between panic, stress and worry and a comfortable, carefree retirement. The good news: it’s never too early to start!

No matter what your age, no matter what your career stage, you’ll want to get ready NOW. Make the word “PREtirement” part of your goals and daily experiences; to be sure your money is where you need it, when you need it. Don’t put your nest-egg at risk! Remember that Retirement Planning is NOT just for seniors anymore.

Let’s First Define PREtirement:

It is:

The act of preparing early for retirement.

  1. Planning ahead to avoid probate, Long Term Care and the (next) Great Recession, and making sure your money lasts as long as you do.
  2. P – Plan, R- Retirement, E- Early.
  3. PRE-plan before you are tired.
  4. My recommended PREtirement plan provides the following benefits:
  • • Protects your assets from catastrophic illness and nursing home costs
  • • Earns more interest on your money with depression-proof safety
  • • Lowers or eliminates taxes on social security and interest income
  • • Moves your 401(k) or IRA without cost so you can afford to retire

Facts, Myths, Do’s and Don’ts of Retirement Planning

How can decisions made and actions taken today ensure you enjoy a prosperous, healthy, worry-free retirement later?

Let’s look at these realities:

  • People in their 40s, 30s, and even their 20s should be kick-starting their retirement planning journeys TODAY.
  • Without preparation, your retirement fund could be subject to taxes and probate later.
  • Prepare, and you can avoid market loss long before the next recession happens.
  • Are you putting off writing your will? If you think you’re too young to consider it — think again! If you’re employed or have any savings, property, possessions or keepsakes — you’ll want to make sure those assets go to the loved one/s you intend.
  • Who would be guardian to your minor children — if something happened to you? (Most parents are stumped by that question, but should not be.)
  • Low-risk investments are more readily available that you realize.
  • Once your affairs are in order, you won’t have to worry about being blindsided by a medical or financial emergency.
  • Unexpected medical problems can force families to make drastic decisions under anxious circumstances. How much better it is to plan for such emergencies before they occur! Preparation takes the stress and uncertainty out of such decision-making.

Warnings

During my 20 years as a Retirement and Estate planner, I’ve seen too many people lose their money or homes as a result of unanticipated health crises that led to accompanying astronomical catastrophic bills. What I have learned is something I rarely see reported elsewhere. In fact, I believe that, the laws on Medicaid plans are intentionally confusing so that most people can’t understand them. In many cases, people are forced to hire a professional to get the benefits they are qualified to receive.

This unacceptable situation gave me a mission. This mission was to make my workshops and books understandable to the “everyday person.” I want people to ask questions and take away details that will help them get their affairs in order. Herein I will cover topics YOU should be considering about preparing for your future.

Plan for Emergencies                         

Planning for medical emergencies is a must for everyone and should include the signing of two important legal documents: A Living Will and an Advance Medical Directive. Make sure that your Directive includes language that satisfies the federal HIPPA (Health Information Privacy and Portability Act) law or your medical records cannot be released to the people you want to make health care decisions for you when you cannot. If you are out of the country, then you will also need a Durable Power of Attorney to allow your spouse or another person of your choice to manage your finances and sign legal documents on your behalf.

Long Term Care Insurance — Who Needs It?

Today, 2 out of 10 people under age 65, and 7-in-10 seniors over age 65 in the U.S. will end up using convalescent care, home health care, custodial care, intermediate care or respite care. Given the statistics, nursing home residency could well be in your own future. Don’t expect Medicare or Medicaid to cover these costs, which may average $5,000 to $11,000 (not including medical expenses and drugs). As more people live well into their 80s and 90s with their families dispersed across the country, everyone will be involved in some way in elder care — if not today, then tomorrow. If you are among the Sandwich Generation, meaning you are parenting your own children and taking care of your parents at the same time, this issue is especially relevant as you plan for your own retirement. Some estimates show that nearly two-thirds of the baby boomer generation will be taking care of an elderly parent in the next ten years. As the Sandwich Generation grows, the need to understand aging dynamics and family relationships increases dramatically.

Only 10 percent of people over age 65 in the U.S. today have long-term care insurance, however. So it’s not uncommon for adult children to go into bankruptcy as they help care for their elderly parents. You may find that you’re drawing on your savings, retirement plans, home equity line of credit or credit cards to handle these costs that could be covered instead by long term care insurance. Consider how such coverage could rescue the future and finances for you, your parents and also your own kids.

Pre-nups

If you are young and in love and don’t think that you need to plan for future life (and retirement) before Marriage — think again. Many circumstances warrant the consideration of a prenuptial agreement, including being involved in a family-owned business, owning your own business, having a substantial 401(k) or other retirement plan, inheriting assets from your family, owning a residence that will be used as the marital home, or marrying someone who has already accumulated a large amount of debt.

A prenuptial agreement can protect what assets you currently have or significant assets that you expect to inherit, and can also protect your assets from the debts your partner acquired before marriage.

When Kids are in the Picture…

If you have minor children, retirement/estate planning is a necessity, not just for financial reasons. You will need to name a Guardian to take care of your children. Without a plan in place, if both you and the other parent of your children die while the children are still minors, then the children will become wards of the court until a judge can decide with whom the children should live until they become adults. Without a plan in place, control of the minor’s inheritance will be taken over by a court-supervised guardian or conservator whose fees will be paid for out of the inheritance. Through proper PREparation, however, you can make advance decisions that you feel are best in your particular circumstances and write documents that will allow you to express those decisions and preferences.

Factors you should consider in deciding on your guardian(s): Child-rearing skills … Similar or compatible religious beliefs … Whether there are other children in their household of similar age to yours … Integrity and stability … Is the prospective guardian physically able to care for your children? … Does the guardian’s job situation allow sufficient time for your children? … What is his/her financial lifestyle and philosophy? … Geographical location: must your children move and leave their friends?

As you plan your PREtirement, you will also want to consider these topics:

Take inventory of your assets.

These may include your bank and other investment accounts (money market or mutual funds), retirement savings, insurance policies, and real estate or business interests.

Discuss your estate plans with your heirs may prevent disputes or confusion.

By being clear about your intentions, you help dispel potential inheritance conflicts after you’re gone.

Shifting your income in tax-exempt securities

You can put money into municipal bonds, for example.

Giving can reduce taxes.

Gifts in any amount between spouses are tax free and never taxed to the donor. Current gift tax laws also permit gifts of $13,000 per year, per individual, to any number of recipients with no tax consequences.

Consider the tax consequences of working or not-working.

You need to consider carefully whether working will end up costing you more money than not working because you’d end up paying taxes and potentially becoming ineligible for certain benefits.

Designate a health care power of attorney.

No one plans to be incapacitated, but if you are, who will make health care decisions for you? You must make sure to complete a healthcare power of attorney so can you be protected. And also designate alternates.

Update your estate plan.

Keep current: Be sure to review your estate planning documents every three years or so to ensure they are still current. Changes in personal circumstances, economic fortunes, and tax laws may warrant revisions.

Check your beneficiary designation forms.

Wills are not the only documents which govern the disposition of your assets. Insurance policy proceeds and retirement accounts both pass in accordance with the terms of your beneficiary designation form when you pass on. Make sure the information on these forms is current and accurate.

Protect your homestead.

If you own a home as your primary residence, for a modest fee you can place protection on your home from creditors for up to $500,000 of the equity in your home. Simply contact your attorney to complete and file the necessary documents.

Keep your papers in a safe place.

Obvious — but many people do not do this!

For more information on everything from taxes to trusts, investments to insurance, attorneys to annuities, stocks to social security, living wills to long-term care, check out my website, workshops, writings, books and blogs. Make my motto yours: “Expect the unexpected; be PREtirement ready.

Legacy Planning/Asset Protection money expert Kris Miller shares her vast knowledge of issues affecting retirees in her latest acclaimed book: Ready For PREtirement: Everything You Need To Know NOW So Your Money Is There When You Need It. Contact: 951-926-4538; www.readyforpretirement.com.

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How Do You Start Preparing for Your Financial Independence?

Everyone dreams about financial independence

—having enough personal wealth to be able to live comfortably and have all basic necessities covered without having to work actively for it. Financial independence lets you have more personal time while still being able to earn substantial income. It pays (no pun intended) to start preparing to be free from the worries of debt and financial trouble—a very important move for retirees or people who are just beginning to earn their keep. So many things could be said on how to prepare yourself for financial independence, but Continue reading

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It’s an Odd Time to Be a Tax Professional

We like concrete rules. We look at the absolutes and tell you what the tax implications are for purchases, investments and major financial decisions. In 2014, however, we are entering uncharted territory with Obamacare and all the tax implications it leaves in its wake. It’s a weird feeling when I find myself talking to someone over 65, telling them that if they need to get their knee replaced that they really should do it now. Your doctor is supposed to tell you when to get your knee replaced, but I know that if you do it now you will achieve significant tax savings.

In practice, the Affordable Care Act has proved to be anything but affordable. You can prepare for the continuing roll out of Obamacare in three steps:

Step one: Go talk with your tax professional. Several parts of Obamacare have a direct impact on investors over 65, most importantly the 3.8 percent Medicare surtax on net investment income, if your adjusted gross income is over a certain threshold. Older Americans typically have bigger investment accounts, because they’ve spent their whole lives working and saving. Starting in 2013, Obamacare takes 3.8 percent off the top of the investments and dividends working Americans planned to live on in retirement.

For example, your IRA will be taxed on net investment income, which means some of the money you were counting on will go to the IRS instead of providing for you in retirement. You can minimize that amount by taking more out of Social Security, which isn’t taxed, and less from your IRA. Even if your tax situation seems simple to you, you need to take advantage of all the available deductions to retain as much of your hard-earned money as possible.

Step two: Find out your health insurance costs. Americans need to go to the Affordable Care Act health exchange and figure out what their health care will cost them. To date, health insurance premiums have gone up, not down. Young, healthy Americans have not flocked to Obamacare as predicted, and health-care providers have responded with high premiums.

In the past, taxpayers have been able to itemize their medical expenses and deduct any medical care that exceeded 7.5 percent of gross adjusted income. This is especially important to seniors in assisted living and retirement facilities who could deduct medical-related expenses from their care and reduce their tax liability. Obamacare raises that threshold to 10 percent, now for people under age 65 and in a few years for those over age 65, meaning it will take more medical bills to be able to benefit from deductions on your 2017 taxes.

Additionally, medical devices are going to face a new 2.3 percent tax in 2014, levied on the manufacturer or importer of the device. As with most manufactured goods, increases in costs eventually get passed on to the consumer. Dental implants, dentures, hip and knee replacements are expected to be part of the as-yet-unreleased medical-device list.

Finally, by 2018, so-called “Cadillac” plans for medical insurance will be hit by a 40 percent excise tax, targeting individuals with premium health care plans—with an annual cost of $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for an employee and spouse/family coverage. The Obamacare logic holds that plans with low deductibles encourage unnecessary testing and excess health spending, and the tax will offset those inefficiencies.

Step three: Calculate a new projection for how much money you will need to add to your current savings to retire. As we learn the rules and implications of Obamacare, we are able to calculate the increase in taxes and medical costs shouldered by Americans. Americans will need more money to retire than ever before—maybe you’ll need to work longer or start socking away money in retirement accounts and savings earlier.

As tax professionals, we are here to offer you the tax guidance you need to have a secure retirement. You may want to look into that knee replacement sooner, rather than later.

Paul Oman

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Do As the President Says, Not As He Does

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama unveiled a plan to allow more workers to save money. This MyRA savings plan will be a U.S. Treasury Bond-style product, allowing for individuals to contribute up to $15,000 per year, gain modest returns and enjoy a guarantee that they won’t lose principal.

The MyRA plan opts for a small, safe investment return —bonds currently offer under 3 percent annual returns. With inflation running around 1.7 percent, that’s barely any gain at all. There are better options than MyRA available to ensure a safe future through responsible saving.

First, if you have an employer-run 401(k) program, take advantage of it, especially if your employer offers matching. Corporate matching is basically free money. If I told you I could offer you a 100 percent return on your investment, you’d think I was an investment genius. With corporate matching you take, as an example, a $3,000 contribution and your employer instantly provides you with a 100 percent return by giving you an account balance of $6,000. Take every pop you can get through employer plans. Only a small percentage of American workers max out their 401(k) contributions.

Next, stock away money in a Roth IRA. This retirement plan uses after-tax dollars, but all the growth you make in the future will be tax-free. It is crucial to understand the importance of taxes on your money. Think about your first job—when you got that first paycheck, it wasn’t what you thought it would be, because of the taxes. A Roth IRA allows you to make withdrawals in retirement without paying taxes on the increases in your investments. You get the full benefit of your savings and diligence.

Finally, seek qualified financial advice on investment products. There are a full array of products that provide safe, reliable gains that well outpace the MyRA’s conservative projected returns. Investment instruments can be intimidating, but with a trusted investment professional, you can find something that fits your goal, style and retirement needs.

Over 50 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 in retirement savings, which is a scary thought. Social Security will only be able to provide a fraction of the money most people need in retirement. As our life expectancy extends, many Americans will spend a staggering 20 to 25 years in retirement, accompanied by the higher costs of medical care brought on by aging.

By showing discipline and forethought in the short-term, you can enjoy the retirement you want later in life.

-Aaron Freeman

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Five Secrets By Marilyn Tam

 

Five Secrets to a Happy, Healthy & Successful Life

 

By Marilyn Tam

You make well-meaning resolutions to improve your life. But your resolutions fade under the stress of multiple demands on your time and attention. Oftentimes the resolutions are history before the month is done. How can we ensure that we actually benefit from the good intentions that we made with such conviction?

Many years ago I made an earnest resolution to work less and to spend more time on my personal life, family and health. Being a type A personality, it was easier to say that than to follow through. By late in the same month, as I am running through another airport, I realized that I am already back to my old pattern of working seven days a week. On the next plane ride I took the time to ask myself a few hard questions. From that experience I developed Continue reading

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Are Americans Retiring Early Then Running Out Of Money?

Confused might be the best word to describe the understanding of retirement for many Americans. According to a recent survey undertaken by Genworth (GNW) on retirement readiness for American adults nearing an end to their working years, it was found that many American have unrealistic expectations.
The actual problem as cited by the report lies in the fact that Americans are retiring earlier but they are ill prepared for retirement. Under estimating retirement expenses and a number of other unrealistic expectations means that retirement becomes very tough.
Lack of adequate preparation in readiness for retirement means retirees are at risk of outliving their retirement savings.
A recent trend indicates that Americans struggle with their retirement. It is confirmed by the Genworth study which indicates that 73% of Americans are confident that they will retire as planned yet only 48% of actual retirees retire
Another highlighted problem was the fact that middle class Americans place paying debt as the greater priority when compared to saving for retirement. It is best explained by a study by Wells Fargo (WFC). Well, it is a splendid choice but little is left for a retirement savings account once the bill is paid.
The Genworth report exposes that expenses actually rise in retirement as is the case with 65% of retirees. This is contrary to popular belief manifest by 52% of pre-retirees who expect their living expenses to decrease in retirement. The main culprits causing the increase are health care expenses, real estate and money on dependents.
Among those interviewed by Genworth, only 12% had adequate money to meet the increasing living expenses.
When all these finding are put into perspective, millions of Americans are going to retire without the knowledge that they lack enough funds to survive in retirement. Additionally, they may lack the means to find finances to close the difference when they are already in their 60s, 70s and beyond.
It should be a wakeup call for all Americans nearing retirement.
Kris Miller, Estate Planning Expert and Safe Money Strategist, will guide you on how you can successfully prepare your retirement plan. For more information on how Kris can help you, call (951) 926-4158 or email Kris@ReadyForPREtirement.com and see her #1 Best Selling book at www.ReadyForPREtirement.com

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