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Retirement

Aug 07, 2018 Around half of American households have no retirement accounts at all. No 401(k)s, no IRAs, nothing. You might think that's because they're all expecting pension income in retirement. In fact, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), around 29% of households age 55 and older have neither retirement savings nor a pension. It doesn't paint a pretty picture.   Read More...

Jun 01, 2018 Wondering how your retirement savings stack up to other Americans' nest eggs? Or whether your income in your post-work years will be enough to keep you afloat? It's normal to be curious about the average retirement income in the U.S. Just remember that you need enough in your retiree days to meet your own needs, not to keep up with the Joneses. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 If you're looking for a solid place to hold your retirement savings, a Roth IRA might just be the thing. Roth IRAs provide a great way to save for retirement. The money you contribute to the account is able to grow tax-free and you have flexibility with how you manage your money. If you've decided that you're ready, let's walk through how to open a Roth IRA. Read More...

Mar 14, 2017 You may be planning to spend your retirement playing golf or traveling the world. But if a financial disaster strikes, you'll have to find a way to bounce back from it. While you can't necessarily prevent an emergency from happening, there are ways to prepare yourself for a rainy day. Let's look at some situations that can derail your retirement plans and the steps you can take to deal with them. Read More...

Aug 14, 2018 Perpetuity, in general, means "eternity." And in finance, that concept of an everlasting state applies. A perpetuity describes a constant stream of cash with no end. But what is a perpetuity in more detail and should you invest to get that steady influx? Read on for more details. Read More...

Aug 13, 2018 When it comes to robo-advisors, both SigFig and Betterment offer a range of products and features to help you build your investment portfolio. The company you choose should ultimately align with your current financial situation, along with your  retirement and investment goals. Because the account balance minimums, features and management fees vary for each, it's important to understand how the two companies compare. Below, we analyze the SigFig vs. Betterment match-up and assess how they differ. Read More...

Aug 09, 2018 Contributing to your 401(k), especially if your company offers a match, is a no-brainer. After all, you want to be as prepared as possible for retirement. The good news is that the 401(k) contribution limit jumped up to $18,500 for 2018. Catch-up contributions for those 50 and older allow for $6,000 more you can toss into your 401(k). But should you contribute up to the 401(k) contribution limit? Read on to learn about how best to manage your 401(k) to be a savvy retirement saver. Read More...

Aug 08, 2018 South Carolina has six different iterations of its base retirement system for different types of local and state employees. It even has a National Guard-centric plan, which not many states offer. The state also recently signed into law new stipulations that guide the structure of the pension fund. And so far things are progressing rapidly. Should feel as though you want some professional help navigating these systems, SmartAsset's financial advisor matching tool can pair you with up to three financial advisors near you. Read More...

Aug 08, 2018 Arizona state and local employees should feel confident about the quality of the state’s retirement system, as well as each of its subcategories. It also boasts a simple set of retirement systems that are particularly inclusive. This makes it extremely easy to differentiate between plans and understand the benefits for which you’ll be eligible. Retirement planning includes many factors, though, and many financial advisors have experience dealing with these situations. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can pair you with up to three such professionals in your area. Read More...

Aug 08, 2018 If you're looking to get ahead on planning for retirement, you're likely familiar with individual retirement accounts, or IRAs. An IRA is a tax-advantaged vehicle that helps you grow your retirement savings. Roth IRAs are particularly attractive, because you don't pay taxes on withdrawals in retirement. There's one problem: you can't contribute to a Roth IRA directly if you make above a certain income. A backdoor IRA, though, can solve your problem. Here's how it works. Read More...

Aug 02, 2018 When it comes to accounting, you may get easily confused amid the sea of acronyms. But a solid understanding of certain accreditations is key if you're looking for a licensed tax professional to guide you through your financial needs intelligently. When making your decision about whom to work with, you may wonder about the differences between an enrolled agent (EA) and a certified public accountants (CPA). Below we guide you through the EA vs. CPA comparison so you can make the best choice. Read More...

Jul 31, 2018 The New Hampshire retirement system is fairly straightforward. Members are split into two broad categorizations, and a large majority is in the first category. Since your pension benefits will likely be only one part of your retirement savings, you may still find it beneficial to talk to a financial advisor, in which case the SmartAdvisor tool can match you with up to three advisors in your area. Read More...

Jul 31, 2018 The Washington Retirement System, managed by the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS), is a somewhat sprawling collection of retirement plans. While all systems are primarily defined benefit plans, many plans introduced a defined contribution portion for members hired more recently in order to supplement what the employers and pension fund will have to pay out. As you’ll see, things can get complicated in Washington. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the different plans and what’s actually applicable to you. SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor tool will connect you with up to three financial… Read More...

Jul 31, 2018 The Tennessee Retirement System, known also as RetireReadyTN, is one of the best-run state retirement systems in the country. Employees are split into a few intuitive categories, and understanding what you can expect to receive in retirement is fairly straightforward. If you want to consult an expert to discuss how to supplement your pension, SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor tool could come in handy. Just answer a few questions, and you’ll be matched with up to three financial advisors in your area suited to your financial goals and preferences. Read More...

Jul 31, 2018 With around 1.4 million members, the California Public Employees Retirement System, known as CalPERS, is the largest defined-benefit pension system in the country. Public employees ranging from state and local government employees to teachers and firefighters are enrolled in the system, paying into the pension fund throughout their careers and then receiving monthly payouts during retirement. Membership in the California retirement system isn’t designed to provide you with all the retirement savings you’ll need, so you may still be interested in finding a financial advisor to walk… Read More...

Jul 31, 2018 The Wyoming Retirement System (WRS) is a collection of seven different pension plans with around 35,000 active members and 27,000 people receiving benefits. Like all defined benefit plans, active members contribute throughout their careers and then receive monthly payments for life in retirement. If you’d like to speak to an expert about how your pension can fit into your retirement strategy, SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor tool can match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. Read More...

Jul 31, 2018 Rolling over a 401(k) plan into a traditional or Roth IRA is a fairly common practice. You'll often do this when you've left your former employer and want to keep your retirement savings all in one place. But you may also be looking to diversify your retirement savings with assets that aren't as closely tied to the economy. If that's the case, you might considering executing a 401(k) to gold IRA rollover. Read More...

Aug 01, 2018 The Florida Retirement System (FRS) is an extremely inclusive program that, for the most part, doesn’t require small sects of employees to enroll in specific retirement plans. Instead, it combines major portions of the state’s workforce to exist within the same systems, which has seemingly done wonders for the financial health of the FRS. Financial advisors also have the ability to impact your retirement planning process, and the SmartAsset SmartAdvisor tool can pair you with advisors in your area. Read More...

Aug 01, 2018 Texas believes all residents should have the “three-legged stool” of retirement income. This trio consists of Social Security benefits, personal retirement savings and state retirement. The Texas retirement system is fairly straightforward for public employees, so you should be able to differentiate between which plan you should belong to. But if you still feel like you’d prefer the help of a financial advisor, the SmartAsset SmartAdvisor tool can match you with advisors in your area. Read More...

Aug 01, 2018 The state retirement system of Kentucky had been in deep crisis for some time. But the recently developed “Keeping the Promise” plan that Governor Matt Bevin introduced looks to fix this long-running issue. Aside from this, the state’s pension plan is fairly complex and consists of eight different retirement plans for the multiple types of employees the state has. You may prefer to have some help navigating the complexities of the Kentucky retirement system. If so, the SmartAsset SmartAdvisor tool can match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. Read More...

Aug 01, 2018 The state of Virginia boasts the 44th largest public or private pension fund in the world and has performed past its benchmarks over the last 10 years to the tune of more than $2 billion. As far as specifics go, the Virginia Retirement System, or VRS, has many factors to consider. Financial advisors are trained to navigate these programs, though, and the SmartAsset SmartAdvisor tool can pair you with up to three in your area if you want personalized guidance. Read More...

Aug 01, 2018 The pension fund of New York is one of the three largest in the nation and serves well over one million plan participants. This success has put the state in a great spot for the health of its employees’ retirements. The New York retirement system is one of the simplest in the U.S., though there are still some nuances to be wary of. For those who want some extra help, the SmartAdvisor tool can pair you with financial advisors in your area that have experience working with such clientele. Read More...

Jul 30, 2018 Betterment and FutureAdvisor both operate as two of the most popular robo-advisors in online investing. Each company offers similar products to help you reach your investment goals, but the costs and online features vary for both. In weighing the Betterment vs. FutureAdvisor decision, you should make sure your final choice aligns with your investment and retirement savings goals. Read on as we compare the services and products each robo-advisor offers. Read More...

Jul 25, 2018 Saving for retirement is only increasing in importance as people live longer. Many look to supplement their nest-egg by purchasing annuities, but even that strategy comes with its own choices. Indexed annuities have been popular products in recent years. Insurance companies often market them as the best of both worlds between fixed and variable annuities: they have a mix of safety and aggressiveness that can appeal to the right investor. Read on to learn what an indexed annuity is, how it differs from other annuities and whether it’s right for your retirement plan. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 If you are an employee of a public school or a nonprofit, you are likely familiar with 403(b) retirement plans. Like a 401(k) , these plans allow participants to contribute pre-tax dollars throughout their careers in order to save up enough for retirement. But you can't just stash as much cash as you'd like in these savings vehicles. There are 403(b) contribution limits. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 As life expectancies continue to grow, many people are looking to supplement their existing financial strategies when determining how to save for retirement for longer periods. A deferred annuity is one tool that can serve just such a purpose. If you have several years until retirement, a deferred annuity could make sense for you. Read on to learn more about how a deferred annuity works, how it differs from other types of annuities and whether or not it's right for you. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. Whether you’ve just started working for a company or have been employed for a while, you should take advantage of retirement savings options as early in your career as possible. One of the ways to do this is through employer-sponsored and tax-favored retirement savings plans. Employers offer these contribution plans which allow you to defer a percentage of your salary toward retirement. Two plan types are the 403(b) and the 457(b). Read More...

Jun 25, 2018 Pensions and annuities are two common sources of retirement income. However, they are quite different with their own advantages and disadvantages. Which one is better for you will depend on your individual circumstances. For example, some people may choose a pension because they already have good retirement savings and just want the steady pay. Other people may prefer the flexibility that comes with annuities. In this guide to the pension vs. annuity decision, we discuss the difference between taking your pension payments and taking your pension as a lump-sum and using it to open an annuity. Read More...

Jun 22, 2018 As you sit down with your financial advisor to create an estate plan, one option that may arise is a testamentary trust. A testamentary trust is a type of trust that's created in a last will and testament. Also known as a will trust or a trust under will, a testamentary trust provides for the distribution of an estate into a trust when the person who created the trust dies. In this guide, we dive deeper into what exactly a testamentary trust is, how to create one and who can create one. Read More...

Jun 27, 2018 The average American can expect to live nearly 79 years. That is a full 14 years after the typical retirement age of 65. While many Americans perhaps imagine themselves filling those 14 years of retirement in blissful leisure, many others decide to spend part of it working. If you are the type of retiree who knows they will be spending some time in retirement doing some extra work, you will want to make sure you settle down in a place with plenty of working opportunity for seniors. Read More...

Jul 18, 2018 Interested in investing in your retirement? You know you should be socking money away for your golden years, but you need to understand the savings vehicle your employer offers. The 401(k) plan, which for-profit employers offer, is a popular way to save by directing a portion of every paycheck into this retirement fund. Some companies will even match your contributions up to a certain percentage of your salary. But there's also the 401(a) plan to consider. Government employers and non-profits typically provide this retirement plan. While the two plans are similar in their goals, they differ in significant ways.  Read More...

Aug 07, 2018 There's a lot you have to plan and save for when thinking about your future. Saving for retirement should be at the top of your list. But if you're planning on buying a home or having a family at some point, you'll need to start saving for those costs as soon as possible, too. It may sound crazy to a non-parent, but the average cost of raising a child in the U.S. surpasses $200,000. Read More...

Jun 18, 2018 When it comes to retirement, Social Security and your 401(k) plan don't always cover you throughout your retirement. If you're planning for retirement, you might want to also consider opening an annuity. Annuities are long-term investments that help protect you in retirement should you outlive your income. You can open an annuity with an insurance company or nonprofit agency, which distributes payments back to you. Read More...

Jun 08, 2018 Since pensions have become less common, many Americans now rely on employer-sponsored, defined contribution plans like 401(k)s or 403(b)s to cover their retirement needs. In fact, a recent study from the Investment Company Institute found that $5.3 trillion in assets were invested in 401(k) plans as of December 2017. That’s a 76% increase from the $3 trillion that Americans had invested in 401(k) plans in 2007. Read More...

Jun 08, 2018 Everyone has to plan for retirement, but most retirement conversations revolve around 401(k) plans. While ideal for retirement savings, you can only have a 401(k) plan as an employee of a private company. This does not include government or military employees. However, thanks to the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS), federal and military employees can build savings for retirement with a Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP. Read More...

Jun 08, 2018 There are many ways to set up a financially secure future for your loved ones. You could enlist the help of a financial advisor to come up with a comprehensive financial plan. Trust funds are another way to set your children or grandchildren up for future financial succes. And they aren't just for the very wealthy. You can open a trust fund to ensure your loved ones manage and distribute your assets in a specific way, regardless of your net worth. Read More...

Jul 06, 2018 Across America seniors are putting off retirement and staying in the workforce longer. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the percent of Americans age 65 and over who are still in the labor force has nearly doubled in the past two decades. In 1996, only 12% of Americans 65 and over were still in the workforce, while in 2016 that number rose to over 19%. In order to shed more light on this issue, SmartAsset analyzed local data to find the places in America where seniors are staying in the work force. Read More...

Jun 08, 2018 Like many aspects of personal finance, estate planning can be daunting. You'll encounter complicated terms, intimidating procedures and it’s all about your inevitable demise. Of course, everyone should create a will or trust. It’s the only way to ensure your assets end up where you want them to. Estate planning, which you can do with the help of a financial advisor, can also save your loved ones from financial and legal burdens down the line. Read More...

Jun 08, 2018 Investing isn’t always easy. The decision to buy or sell a specific security requires research, time and the knowledge on how to make a trade. That’s why some people are happy to pass off the work to a wealth manager or financial advisor who is an investing expert. A type of investing where an advisor makes decisions on a client’s behalf is called discretionary investment management. Removing yourself from the management of your account is a big decision, though. So before you find a financial advisor to invest with, let’s see if discretionary investment management is something you should consider. Read More...

Jun 08, 2018 Often, we think about writing a last will and testament to place our belongings and assets properly after death. While that's an important document to have, you shouldn't overlook having a living will, as well. A living will is a written statement that states your wishes for medical treatment in cases where you cannot provide consent. Other names for a living will include a declaration regarding life-prolonging procedures, an advance directive or a declaration. Read More...

May 30, 2018 When you work with a financial advisor, advanced certifications tell you that he or she has put in the work and has the qualifications to do advisory work. Two common certifications are the certified public accountant, or CPA, and certified financial planner, or CFP. There is overlap in what a financial advisor with these certifications can do, but individuals tend to do specific types of work. This article will look at the CPA vs. CFP question what separates these certifications so you can choose the right one for you – whether you’re looking to get certified or you’re trying to find a financial advisor. Read More...

May 29, 2018 About one in five people in the United States collects Social Security benefits each month, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance. Though Social Security benefits provide some income to employees after they leave the workforce, you'll probably need additional funds to lead a comfortable retirement. That's where defined contribution plans come in. Read More...

Aug 02, 2018 If you’ve given or received a large gift in the last year, you may need to pay tax on it if it’s over a certain limit. At the same time, you may not have to pay tax, depending on how much you have already gifted away over the course of your life. How much you gift will also affect how much of your estate you can shield from the federal estate tax when you die. So what's the gift tax limit? Let’s break down what all this means for you and how it might impact your federal tax bill. Read More...

May 23, 2018 As you get older, there are two major things that you should consider. One is retirement. Having the necessary retirement savings and a financial plan will allow you to live the kind of life you want to live during your golden years. The second thing to account for is what will happen to your estate. Estate planning is not just for rich people, and have a strategy in place to pass on your assets will make the process smoother for you and your loved ones later in your life. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 It you’re hitting the big 5-0 and your starting to think about retirement, you might be worried that you don’t have enough saved to ever stop working, let alone to actually enjoy yourself in retirement. But even if you’re a bit behind on your savings goals, don't worry. This guide will tell you what you need to know about how to invest for retirement at age 50. Alternatively, you can consider enlisting the help of a financial advisor who specializes in retirement planning. Either way now is the time to get serious about your financial future, so you are ready for your senior years. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 There are many reasons why you may have decided to make a 401(k) to IRA rollover. You may have left your job for a position at a new company, you may have been laid off or you may have decided to take your career in a new direction. Regardless, if you’ve been contributing diligently to your employer-sponsored retirement plan for a number of years, you could have a decent stash of cash in your account. So here's a complete guide to a 401(k) to IRA rollover. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 If you’re at or near your 40th birthday, retirement is probably still a couple decades away for you. That said, if you haven't started saving for retirement yet, it can seem too close for comfort. Don't panic though. There is still plenty of time to get ready for retirement, provided you take the time now to plan and commit to saving. With that in mind, here is a guide for how to invest for retirement at age 40. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to planning for retirement. There are  401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and annuities. Generally, retirement experts will tell you that it doesn’t matter what type of investment vehicle you have as long as you’re actively saving for retirement and have proper goals in mind. There is an exception to that rule, though: a 702(j) "retirement" plan. Read More...

Aug 14, 2018 Some cities are more famous for their creative histories than others. For example, Nashville and New Orleans are practically synonymous with their rich musical traditions. Los Angeles is known as the place to be to work on movies and New York has a long history as a place where writers congregate. But are those cultural centers the best places for creatives today? In many of those cities, rising costs of living mean creatives struggle to meet financial milestones like buying a home or saving up for a secure retirement. Read More...

May 08, 2018 Despite no longer working, retirees are an important part of a local economy. They number in the millions and make up a large amount of consumer demand. As one example of their purchasing power, the Social Security Administration estimates that in 2018 it will pay out approximately $1 trillion in Social Security benefits, 72% of which will go to retirees. With that sort of money on the line where retirees decide to move for their retirement is an important consideration for cities across the country.  Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 By the time your 30s arrive, you’ve probably settled into an adult life. But you haven’t really fully embraced “adulting” unless you’ve started saving for retirement. Whether it’s through an employer-sponsored retirement plan or some other financial product, the time to start planning for the end of your working days is now. Even if it seems like retirement is just a distant dream, you’ll want to get started now to make sure you and your family are secure when you’re ready to stop working. With that in mind, here is a guide for how to invest for retirement at age 30. Read More...

Jul 23, 2018 It might seem a long way off, but retirement will be here before you know it. If you haven’t been saving, you absolutely should be -- and you should start right now. The average life expectancy in the U.S. increased dramatically from about 70 in 1967 to about 80 in 2017. Those who reach age 65 also have a one in five chance of living into their 90s. A longer life is great news. You have time to check more off your bucket list, but it also means you need to plan for a longer retirement. For example, if you retire at 65, a 30-year retirement is quite possible. But even if you save $1 million for your retirement, you have to make sure to budget it out so it lasts. Start taking these 11 steps today to make your retirement savings last throughout your golden years. 1. Start Earning Serious Interest on Your Savings Imagine $28,243 more dollars in your bank account. It is doable. That… Read More...

Apr 26, 2018 In order to know how much you need to save for retirement you need to have a good estimate for how much you will be spending. But predicting how much you are going to be spending in retirement is difficult. Some retirees downsize their homes or move to a city with lower costs of living. But how much will that save? Your healthcare spending will likely increase in retirement, so that's a higher expense you'll need to account for. SmartAsset takes a look at these and other categories to find how spending changes in retirement. Read More...

Jun 21, 2018 In March 2018, the unemployment rate was a low 4.1%, with about 6.6 million Americans unemployed. This is good news for job seekers, as it's the lowest U.S. unemployment has been since 2000. Different types of jobs are available in different parts of the country, and it can be immensely valuable for workers today to get ahead of tomorrow's employment trends. It can mean the difference between a secure retirement and a working retirement.  Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 If you’re starting a new job, there’s a good chance you’re going to have the option to join an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and it’ll probably be one of two types of plans: a 403(b) or a 401(k). Both are defined contribution plans. Employees who participate in the plans choose how much to put into their account each month, and the payout in retirement is determined based on how much they save during their careers. This article will take a look at both plans, comparing 403(b) vs. 401(k). Read More...

Jun 28, 2018 You've worked hard for decades and now the time has come to enjoy yourself. Regardless of what you do in your retirement, you should always be aware of how much you have left for retirement savings. There isn't just a danger issue of running out of savings, you can also hurt yourself by not spacing out your spending. This is where a retirement budget really helps. Read More...

May 03, 2018 When you’re counting down to retirement, it’s easy to get caught up in fantasies of your future work-free life. Maybe it’s RV trips to Florida, days on the golf course or quality time spent with family. Whatever your dream retirement looks like, you can be sure you’ll need money to fund it. Unfortunately, if you’re like most Americans, you don’t have nearly enough saved for retirement. But you can help change that with a few key fixes. Read on to find out how with these five easy tips. Read More...

Jun 06, 2018 No matter your age, you’ve probably dreamed of retiring on a sandy beach somewhere at some point. Perhaps you’ve started planning your retirement in Florida or San Diego. But have you ever thought about retiring abroad to Costa Rica? We bet you are now! Retiring to Costa Rica has proven to be incredibly affordable for Americans. Let’s take a closer look at the costs of retiring in Costa Rica. Read More...

Jul 12, 2018 The gender pay gap has slowly been closing over the past decade. The Census Bureau estimates that in 2016 the average full-time employed woman earned 80.3% of what her male counterpart earned. In 2005, that number was 76.7%. But the gender pay gap does still exist and is more than just a number. When women earn less that affects their long-term earning potential and their ability to  save for retirement, whether on their own or with the help of a financial advisor. The gender wage gap issue is also not uniformly spread across the workforce. Read More...

May 15, 2018 The U.S. Census Bureau states that the average American retires at age 63. Yet the Social Security Administration defines full retirement age as between 65 and 67, depending on your year of birth. Your employer may say something different. Deciding when to retire is one of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make. Retire too late and you may not have the energy to enjoy it. But if you retire too early, you could end up in financial trouble. So how can you know if you're truly ready to retire? Read More...

May 15, 2018 Many people dream of spending their retirement in a sunny and warm locale, often heading to Arizona or Florida. But perhaps you’re interested in retiring abroad instead of stateside. In fact, heading south of the border to Mexico has become increasingly popular for American retirees. This is largely due to the warmer weather and lower cost of living. Before you hop on a plane, it’s important to know how to retire in Mexico. Read More...

May 15, 2018 We all know that we should save for retirement, but actually doing that is a challenge. There is good news though. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Americans have been saving more for retirement in recent years than almost any time over the past few decades. Many people still aren't saving enough to meet their savings targets, but it is a good trend. In this article, we'll consider how you can figure out what to save each year so that you can reach your retirement savings goals and enjoy your golden years. Read More...

Mar 13, 2018 Financial advisors can be a great resource for helping people hit their financial goals, whether they are saving up to buy a home or preparing for retirement. In some cities across the U.S., there are young populations who have high earnings after  housing costs who can benefit from professional financial advice. Below we look at these and other factors to rank the cities that are best placed for financial advice. Read More...

Feb 28, 2018 Before the recent tax bill was passed, there was some discussion around lowering contribution limits on retirement accounts. While no changes on contribution limits made it to the final version of the bill it does lead us to wonder which congressional districts would have been affected the most. Below we look at data on retirement income other economic indicators for seniors to see where they are in the best position to enjoy their golden years. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 The average financial advisor makes $123,100 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is about 2.5 times more than the average U.S. worker. But being a financial advisor is about more than just pay. It can also be a rewarding profession. Financial advisors can be some of the most trusted people in their clients' lives, as they help them reach life goals like saving for a secure retirement. Read More...

Mar 16, 2018 Saving for retirement is tough. Between paying rent or a mortgage, combined with credit card debt, or maybe student loans, finding a few spare dollars to contribute to a retirement fund is difficult. In fact, almost one in 10 seniors have an income which puts them below the poverty line, according to Census Bureau data. But there are some places where seniors are set up for a financially secure retirement thanks to diligent financial planning. Below we look at the top 10 places where seniors are best positioned for retirement. Read More...

Jan 24, 2018 The best way to prepare for retirement is to get a head start by saving early and often, letting your 401(k) accrue interest as you head toward your golden years. But even the best-laid plans may go awry, and sometimes it's difficult to save for retirement. This can leave seniors relying on Social Security to make ends meet during their retirement.  Read More...

Mar 01, 2018 Beth Kobliner has achieved success in journalism and finance over the past few decades. Her work has featured in a number of financial publications and she's made the rounds on TV and radio. She served on financial advisory councils for President Obama and created a teaching tool, Money as You Grow, that was later adopted by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Through it all, Kobliner has worked to share what she thinks are the essential money lessons that every one should know. Let's take a look at some of her biggest lessons. Read More...

May 15, 2018 As you get older, you start thinking more about retirement distributions than contributions. One of the biggest questions that near-retirees have is the best age to start collecting Social Security benefits. Most people take the benefits right away, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's the best thing to do. You can start collecting Social Security benefits any time between ages 62 and 70. Read More...

Jun 15, 2018 Putting away money for retirement isn’t always easy. Once you figure out how much you need to save for retirement, then you need to actually save that money. Consistently putting money into savings is a difficult habit to build. There are also a number of retirement options. Maybe your employer offers a 401(k). Maybe you save money on your own through an individual retirement account (IRA). Here’s one more option to consider: annuities. Annuities are a way to supplement your retirement income but they aren’t right for everyone. Consider these pros and cons of annuities to see whether an annuity could work for you. Read More...

Dec 20, 2017 Any money that you put into your 401(k) is yours. But when it comes to employer match contributions, things work a little differently. To own any portion of your employer's contributions, you'll need to vest in your employer's match contributions. Only once you're fully vested in your employer's retirement plan will you have full ownership of your company's match. Here's what you need to know about 401(k) vesting, and what it means for your retirement saving. Read More...

Jul 31, 2018 Investment management, also called asset management, money management or portfolio management, refers to the professional management of an asset portfolio. Investment managers buy and sell securities and other assets to achieve specified investment goals. Both private investors and corporations use investment management services to handle their investments. Here's what you need to know. Read More...

Jul 05, 2018 Between Netflix dramas and bad press, working in Congress might seem like a walk in the park. Filibusters and government shutdowns tend to dominate the headlines. In 2017, the House of Representatives was scheduled to work just 145 out of 261 work days. Some might even wonder: Are senators paid for life? The answer is no. While congressmen receive generous pension plans, they're not raking in their full salary after leaving office. Read More...

May 15, 2018 Taking money out of a 401(k) is a big decision. The specifics of how to take money out of a 401(k) plan depend on your age, employer plan, whether you're still working for the company that sponsors your 401(k) plan and the type of withdrawal you’re making. If you’ve reached retirement age and are no longer working, it will be very a different process than if you’re still with a company, are taking money out early or need a loan. You'll likely have to check your plan’s fine print to see which types of withdrawals are allowed. Read More...

Aug 15, 2018 The first cohort of millennials entered the workforce around the time of the Great Recession, when the economy was sputtering. Combine that fact with the constantly changing make-up of the modern economy and you have a uniquely difficult employment situation for working millennials. Below we look at the data to see how millennials have responded and to find the most popular jobs for millennials. Read More...

Aug 07, 2018 Imagine a world where you don’t have to constantly stress about money. You have enough to cover your bills and regular expenses. More than that, how would you like to know that you can afford to live the lifestyle you want to live? These things are all possible when you are financially stable. So what is financial stability and how can you get there? Let's take a look. Read More...

May 15, 2018 According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute's (EBRI) 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey, many people aren’t confident that they're doing a good job of financially preparing for retirement. EBRI found that only 28% of workers were confident in their retirement planning. That’s the highest level since 2013, but it’s still less than one-third of workers. Another 28% of people said that they were either not too confident or not confident at all. So let's take a look at what you can do to prepare for your retirement. Read More...

Jun 01, 2018 You already know  saving for retirement is important, but the best ways to do it arean't always apparent. You're likely familiar with the basics, like a 401(k) and a traditional IRA. But your goals and lifestyle may align with a different type of retirement account. For instance, if you own or work for a small business, a SIMPLE IRA or a  SEP IRA may be best. Of course, every retirement account comes with different rules and limits. Learn the SIMPLE IRA contribution limits and more below. Read More...

Dec 01, 2017 Ramit Sethi built himself up from humble beginnings to become a millionaire entrepreneur and best-selling author. The advice on his blog isn't groundbreaking, but it's his approach that sets him apart. He doesn't hold back and tries to tell people what they actually need to hear in order to be successful. If other financial experts haven't been helping you, Sethi might just be your guy. Read More...

May 15, 2018 For a young, working person, it can be hard to imagine – and save for – the future. Retirement and death seem light years away. But it's essential to calculate the savings you'll need for retirement and begin the process of estate planning. If you aren’t properly prepared, financial uncertainty could plague your retirement and the lives of those you leave behind.  Read More...

Nov 30, 2017 Patrice Washington had her fair share of financial troubles when she was younger. Now she helps others take control of their finances with honest and direct advice. She isn't just going to drone on about building a budget though. Washington prefers to help people understand why they struggle with money so that they can build a solid foundation that will help them build wealth for the rest of their lives.  Read More...

Jun 27, 2018 When it comes to saving for retirement, you have a ton of options to choose from. Do you open a traditional IRA or a open a Roth IRA? Which investments should you place in your 401(k)? It can be a lot to navigate, especially without a financial advisor. A good place to start is simply to familiarize yourself with the retirement options you have. Let's take a look at Roth IRAs, 401(k)s and the differences between them. Read More...

Nov 28, 2017 It's hard to overstate the value of an education. An education can boost long-term earnings and open up new career paths. But it can be tricky to measure the precise impact of pursuing higher degrees. Is a high school diploma enough? Should you pursue a master’s degree? The answers to those questions may differ based on where you live. Below we analyzed the cities where earning more education pays off the most. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Personal finance is not something they teach you in school. Alexa von Tobel understands this and has dedicated her life to teaching people the financial lessons they need. As the CEO of LearnVest, von Tobel has helped people to gain control of their spending and with her book she has brought awareness and financial knowledge to college-aged readers. So how can you apply her simple advice to help improve your finances? Read More...

Aug 07, 2018 Are your retirement savings on track? It can be hard to know exactly how much you should have tucked away and by what age. And how do you stack up compared to others? Taking a look at the average 401(k) balance by age can be a good way to see how you're doing. An employer-sponsored retirement account like a 401(k) is a great option for investing money pre-tax - especially if there's an employer match. Make sure you're taking full advantage. Read More...

Mar 16, 2018 Wes Moss has spent his career helping people to retire as soon as possible and as happily as possible. As a certified financial planner, Moss has experience showing people ways to reach their financial goals. He has also worked with people of all levels to help create them create retirement plans. Read More...

Feb 20, 2018 Nicole Lapin is a financial expert and successful entrepreneur who learned everything the hard way. She never studied finance or business. Instead she worked hard and tried to learn as much about money as she could. Now she shares the financial lessons she has learned so that others can take control of their finances. If you're looking for some help reaching financial stability, Nicole Lapin's advice could be the right place to start. Read More...

Jun 21, 2018 In short, yes, your inheritance is taxable. However, the full story is more complicated than a simple yes or no answer. Whether you'll pay inheritance tax and how much you'll pay depends on a variety of factors, including which state the deceased lived in and what your relationship to the deceased was. You could pay nothing -- or you could pay as much as 18% of the value of the inheritance. Read on for a full primer on the taxes related to inheritance. Read More...

Aug 01, 2018 Many people dream about retirement as a time to relax, have fun or just do whatever they want. To have the retirement of your dreams, you'll need savings. How much you need depends on multiple factors so let's take a look at the answer to the question "how much money should I have saved by 30?" Read More...

Jul 10, 2018 The term fiduciary is a good thing to hear if you're searching for a financial advisor. If a financial advisor is a fiduciary, he or she holds a relationship of trust with a client and abides by fiduciary duty. Fiduciary duty is the ethical obligation to act solely in someone else's best interest, which in theory should minimize conflicts of interest and make a financial advisor more trustworthy. Read on to learn more about what a fiduciary is and what fiduciary duty entails, as well as how to find a fiduciary to work with. Read More...

Dec 28, 2017 Farnoosh Torabi has spent years working in finance. She's written about topics ranging from saving money on groceries to investing your money more wisely. She's also the host of the award-winning podcast, "So Money," where she interviews successful people about the things that helped them find success in life. If you're a young professional who has ever had questions about money, check out Torabi's advice. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 You found a new job and can no longer contribute to your previous employer’s 401(k) or 403(b). If your new employer offers an equivalent retirement account, you can direct transfer the money from one account to the other. You can also move the money from your employer’s account into your own individual retirement account (IRA). Either way, you’ll need to do something called an IRA rollover. Read More...

Jul 10, 2018 When deciding how to invest your money, you'll likely run into two types of funds: exchange-traded funds (EFTs) and mutual funds. But you may be wondering, ETF vs. mutual fund? What's the difference? The two funds have a lot in common, but they are different in key ways. If you don't have a financial advisor guiding you through the process, here's what you need to know to figure out which fund is right for you. Read More...

Jul 10, 2018 One of the most important considerations when evaluating your portfolio is figuring out what the return on investment (ROI) is for all the investing choices you make. Return on investment is a ratio that represents your earnings in comparison to the costs of your investment. This number can gauge the bottom line return of an investment, whether it’s in real estate, stocks or bonds. After you get a grasp on what is ROI, learn how it can help with not just investment evaluation, but also with investment and retirement planning. Read More...

Aug 01, 2018 Saving for retirement is important. We all know that but how exactly does one save for retirement? If you work for a for-profit company, one great way to save is through your employer’s 401(k). But what percentage of salary should you save in your 401(k)? If you read the advice from financial experts, you’ll see varying percentages. You'll also see the ever-helpful “it depends”. So let's consider some general advice that will help you think about just how much you should save. Read More...

Jun 01, 2018 You may already be familiar with a  401(k), an employer-sponsored, tax-advantaged retirement plan. You fund this account by contributing a set percentage of your paycheck into the account. These funds deposit before you pay income tax, lowering your taxable income. Plus, your employer may even offer an employer match program where they match a certain amount of your contribution. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 It can be worrisome to think about your retirement savings if you’re self-employed or work for a small business. You don’t have to go without retirement savings, though. That’s where a SEP IRA comes in. As with other IRAs, SEP IRAs will have limitations as to how much you can contribute and withdraw. Let’s take a look at the latest SEP IRA contribution limits. Read More...

Nov 09, 2017 One of the most pressing concerns for the economy today is the gender pay gap. Different sources will give different figures, but almost all data shows that on average women get paid less than men. This is true across occupations, education levels and age. The good news is that data also shows that this gender pay gap is shrinking. In fact, in some cities the gender pay gap has almost disappeared. Below we look at the cities where the gender pay gap has closed the fastest. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 If you’ve thought about investing any time over the past decade, you might have heard people talking about robo-advisors. The first big robo-advisor popped around the time of the Great Recession. Since then, hundreds more have opened. Betterment, which is one of the biggest robo-advisors, has assets under management that total about $10 billion. So what are these companies that people are now investing billions of dollars with? Read More...

Aug 10, 2018 Do you want to retire early? Starting your golden years sooner may sound enticing but it's a difficult proposition. You'll probably need to earn a lot, and you'll definitely need to save aggressively and budget carefully. There are some states in the U.S. that are better suited for retirees, where your retirement savings would go further. Below SmartAsset finds the best states for an early retirement in 2017. Read More...

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