If you have recently lost a job, or have changed a job, you may be wondering what to do with your 401(k) investments. Do you roll them over to your new employers 401(k) plan? Do you leave them in your old 401(k)? or Do you do a rollover to an IRA account? When making a decision, it's important to know the pros and cons of each option.
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have become increasingly popular since they were introduced in the mid-1990s. Their tax efficiencies and relatively low investing costs have attracted investors who like the idea of combining the diversification of mutual funds with the trading flexibility of stocks. ETFs can fill a unique role in your portfolio, but you need to understand just how they work and the differences among the dizzying variety of ETFs now available.
Negative returns early in retirement can have a devastating long term impact. There are numerous studies on the impact of volatile market returns on your income from retirement savings. However, the sequence in which those returns happen can be the difference in barely making it through retirement or leaving a multimillion dollar legacy to your family. Despite these studies, I still see many traditional retirement income plans that utilize a constant average rate of return in their projections. This flat, no volatility average can lead pre-retirees and retirees to believe that they face minimal or no risk in funding their retirement. These conventional retirement plans completely exclude sequence of return risk and the impact of negative years early in retirement.
To pay off debt or save for your retirement is an age long debate. When it comes to paying off debt there are a variety of methods that will not only reduce the amount of interest paid, but significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to pay off the debt. On the flip side we hear all of the studies that the more we save earlier in life, the more of an impact compound interest has later in life, and could potentially reduce the amount of money I you would need to save to reach your retirement goals. Both are important; both can give you a more secure future. If you are not able to afford to tackle both at the same time, which should take priority?
As you evaluate your retirement strategy and make 401k plan investment decisions you will need to consider your investment objectives, your comfort with risk, and each investments performance over time in order to make sound investment decisions. However, a real problem can arise if you are not considering the 401k fees and expenses. These fees and expenses are hidden factors that may disrupt the entire 401k and retirement planning process by reducing the amount of money you have at retirement.
Determining how big of a nest egg you will need to generate enough retirement income is the most commonly asked question when it comes to retirement planning. There are many rules of thumb to calculating your retirement number. I have read articles that say to calculate your retirement account size, simply take 80% of your current income and multiply it by 25. These basic retirement goal calculations are OK, because it gives you a goal to target. However, I will give you a more targeted 6 step approach to calculating your nest egg and better set your retirement goals.
When visiting with a financial planner that you are considering working with, treat the initial meeting as a mutual interview. The financial planner should ask you about your current financial situation, financial goals and your personality as it relates to investing. By getting to know your financial situation, the financial planner can begin to formulate an investment strategy that is specific to your needs. At the same time, you should be prepared to ask questions that will allow you to determine if you would feel comfortable working with this financial planner.
Why is it important to enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) Plan as soon as I enroll in Medicare?
Individuals who choose not to join a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan when they are first enrolled in Medicare may have to pay a Late Enrollment Penalty every month for the rest of their lives when they eventually do join a Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) plan.
If you're married, a combination of trusts, often referred to as A/B, or A/B/Q trusts, may be useful for estate planning purposes. The combination of trusts can sometimes be used to minimize total estate tax for two spouses, and can provide non-taxed benefits as well.
Honorably discharged veterans who have limited incomes and nonservice related health problems may be eligible for a pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
To be eligible for this pension, you must be age 65 or older, or you must be permanently and totally disabled; you must have limited income and assets; and you must have served a minimum of 90 days of active duty with at least one day of active duty during wartime. If you entered active duty after September 7, 1980, you must have served at least 24 months, or the full period for which you were called to active duty.