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Retirement

Aug 20, 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...

Aug 20, 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...

Oct 17, 2018 If there’s nothing keeping you from staying here in the U.S., why not retire abroad? You have a ton of options from the standard destination of Mexico to a colder retirement in Iceland. Somewhere in between those is Spain, which offers both great mountain and beach experiences. But before you start packing your bags, check out what it takes to retire in Spain, including the costs and residency requirements. Read More...

Oct 17, 2018 Pennsylvania is filled with great places to retire. All 10 of the communities on this list perform well nationally as well. Only Florida and Oregon have 10 communities that all rank higher in our national index. Major cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh provide plentiful resources, but the state is also filled to the brim with small-town charm and space to spread out. If you are considering moving for retirement or you just want help developing your general retirement plan, finding a financial advisor could be a big help. Thankfully, SmartAsset’s Read More...

Oct 17, 2018 Saving for retirement is one of the most important financial steps you can take. If you don’t, you could end up entering what should be your golden years struggling to make ends meet. One of the most common ways to save for retirement is to use a workplace retirement plan. While most people use a 401(k), there are other workplace retirement plans you might have access to, such as a 401(a) plan. Read More...

Oct 16, 2018 If retirement in Florida seems a little too overwhelming for you, consider a retirement in Georgia instead. As Florida’s northern neighbor, Georgia offers easy access to the popular beaches and attractions that draw so many other retirees while maintaining enough distance. Plus, Georgia contains a number of its own cities that will set you up for a retirement that's just peachy. You can find the top 10 of those cities, all within close proximity to Atlanta, below. Read More...

Oct 16, 2018 If your dream retirement involves small town living and wide open spaces, then you may be very interested in a Wyoming retirement. The ten communities listed below are our best places to retire in Wyoming, and all performed fairly well in our national ranking of the best places to retire, ranking between 74th and 528th in the country. Wyoming may lack a sprawling urban metropolis or a sandy beach. However, the state is filled with interesting history and plenty of room to spread out. The low cost of living and favorable taxes aren’t bad either; Wyoming ranked 49th in our study of where it costs the… Read More...

Oct 16, 2018 If you’re looking to spend retirement abroad and strengthen both your faith and your Jewish identity, then you may want to retire in Israel. Moving to Israel is generally referred to as "making Aliyah." While the process can get a bit complex, there are plenty of resources available to help you along the way. Israel certainly isn't thought of as a retirement destination as quickly as somewhere like Mexico, but it has everything that makes for pleasant golden years. Read on to learn all the essentials for an Israeli retirement. Read More...

Oct 15, 2018 One of the biggest advantages to investing in a qualified retirement plan like a 401(k) or an individual retirement account ( IRA) is tax-deferred growth on your savings. But you can’t keep avoiding taxes by keeping your money locked up in these plans forever. At some point, Uncle Sam wants his cut. That’s why the IRS established  required minimum distributions (RMDs). This is the amount you must withdraw from these accounts each year after you reach age 70.5. But how do you calculate your RMD? Read on to learn all about RMDs and how to calculate your withdrawals so you won’t face a severe penalty. Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 Most people envision retirement as relaxing on a bright beach without a care in the world. But if retiring along sunny shores isn’t quite your thing, consider a retirement in Washington state. Many of the best cities to retire in Washington give you access to beautiful bay views with the cooler weather of the Pacific Northwest. Plus, Washington is tax-friendly toward retirees, ensuring a more affordable retirement option. Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 If scenic New England towns and access to fresh seafood seems like a great way to spend your retirement, Maine may be the perfect place for you to spend your golden years. There are a lot of places in the Pine Tree State to choose from though. This guide takes you through the top 10 best places to retire in Maine and explains exactly why each city is a good place for retirees to live. If you want to retire in Maine, it may be a good idea to hire a financial planner to help you get ready. SmartAsset can help you find the right advisor for you with our free financial advisor… Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 The Great Lakes, access to several great cities and a lot of great scenery are just a few of the perks waiting for you if you choose a retirement in Michigan. Where exactly in the Wolverine State should you settle down though? This list lays out the top 10 best places to retire in Michigan and walks you through what makes each of them a worthwhile spot to spend your golden years. If a Michigan retirement is of interest to you, consider finding a financial advisor to help you make it happen. Finding the right financial advisor is key to achieving your retirement goals, and you can do that with SmartAsset’s Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 Many Americans are looking to spend their post-work lives abroad these days, and Switzerland is an attractive destination for a number of reasons. While it may not be as exotic as somewhere like Costa Rica, the beautiful scenery, high standard of living and plentiful English speakers make it a great spot all the same. However, retiring in Switzerland can get pretty pricey, and there are several details you’ll want to have nailed down before you buy plane tickets. Read on to learn all the essentials for a proper Swiss retirement. Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 Between the mountains, the scenery and the relatively easy access to the beaches and other attractions of the West Coast, a retirement in a Mountain West state like Utah certainly has its appeal. But where in the Beehive State should you hang your hat? There are a number of good options. This guide will take you through the top 10 best places to retire in Utah, and tell you what makes each city a great place to spend your golden years. If retiring in Utah is your goal, financial planning can make it a reality. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service makes it… Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 Many retirees are traveling abroad to live out their post-work lives these days, and the island of Iceland is becoming an increasingly popular locale. While it’s not as cost-effective as somewhere like Mexico or South America, Iceland’s mythic natural beauty, rich history and plentiful English speakers make it an attractive destination. However, retiring in Iceland or any foreign country can be a bit complex, and you’ll want to have all the logistics settled before you jet off. Read on to learn all the essentials for a proper Icelandic retirement. Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 Do you want to spend your retirement nestled in a quaint New England town? If so, New Hampshire may be the state for you. The question is, where in the Granite State do you want to settle down? This list lays out the top 10 best places to retire in New Hampshire and walks you through what makes each of them such a great place to spend your golden years. If you are planning a New Hampshire retirement but aren’t sure how to make it financially feasible, you should find a financial advisor. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service makes it easy to find an… Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 If you want to spend your retirement someplace warm and with a unique culture, you can’t go wrong with New Mexico. The Land of Enchantment has a lot of great places where you can spend your golden years, but some do shine brighter than the rest. This list identifies the top 10 best places to retire in New Mexico and explains why each town is a great place for retirees to live. If you want help getting ready for your New Mexico retirement, you might want to find a financial advisor to work with using SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 An annuity can be a useful tool when planning for retirement. After you’ve stopped working, you’ll be relying on your savings and Social Security payments to support yourself and enjoy your golden years. Purchasing an annuity creates an additional income stream, which can make things easier. You may find yourself wondering, though, about the present value of the annuity you’ve purchased. The present value of an annuity is the total cash value of all of your future annuity payments, given a determined rate of return or discount rate. Knowing the present value of an annuity can help you figure out exactly how much value you have left in the annuity you purchased. This makes it easier for you to… Read More...

Oct 05, 2018 Arizona, the land of cacti and dry heat, is understandably a popular place to retire, especially if you lived in a cold-weather place during your career and you’re eager to escape the snow. Certain cities in The Grand Canyon State, though, are even more appealing to retirees than others. This guide will walk you through the 10 best places to retire in Arizona. Whether you want to retire in Arizona or have another destination in mind, a financial advisor can help you prepare. You can use SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service to get paired with advisors in your area or take a look at SmartAsset’s list of the Read More...

Oct 05, 2018 California, here we come... There’s certainly an allure to retiring on the left coast and living out your days under the California sun. The Golden State has more than just great surfing, though, and you can surely find a city to retire there that will fit all your needs. This guide will take you through the top 10 best places to retire in California, explaining what each city has to offer. No matter where you are thinking of retiring, you may want to find a financial advisor to work with using SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Oct 05, 2018 Looking to retire deep in the heart of Texas? To be sure, the Lone Star State has plenty to offer those who have left the working world behind and are looking for somewhere to spend their retirement. Some Texas cities, though, have more to offer retirees than others. This guide will show you the 10 best places to retire in Texas and explain what makes them so good for retirees. Whether a Texas retirement is imminent or just a distant dream, finding a financial advisor can help you get prepared. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service makes it easier to find a… Read More...

Oct 05, 2018 North Carolina has a lot going for it when it comes to retirement: good weather, access to great beaches and a whole lot of barbecue, if that’s the type of thing that floats your boat. There are a lot of cities where you can hang your hat after you retire in the Tar Heel State. This guide will take you through the top 10 best places to retire in North Carolina, explaining what makes each of them so great for retirees. If you are thinking about retirement, you might want to find a financial advisor to work with using SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching serviceRead More...

Oct 05, 2018 It probably comes as no surprise that Florida is full of great places to retire. After all, the Sunshine State is famous for being the destination for retirees to enjoy their golden years, especially if they spent most of their working lives in the less-temperate climates of the American North. But even within the retiree mecca of Florida, there are some cities that shine even brighter as the best places to retire in Florida. Read More...

Oct 05, 2018 An individual retirement account, more commonly referred to as an IRA, is a good place to save for your retirement. Once you reach a certain age, though, you’ll have to start taking a minimum amount out of your account each year, called a required minimum distribution (RMD). The RMD table the IRS provides can help you figure out your required minimum distribution. Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 Retirees flocking to the Volunteer State for their golden years are in for a treat. The best places to retire in Tennessee offer everything from scenic mountain landscapes and hiking trails that will keep you active to historic museums where you can keep your brain stimulated. And in terms of Tennessee tax friendliness, the state ranks quite well overall. It doesn’t tax retirement plan income or Social Security tax benefits. So a 401(k) plan can go further here than in states that will tax it. Plus, Tennessee property taxes are low. But despite these advantages, preparing for retirement can be challenging anywhere. So if you’d like access to professional advice, you can use our Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 The best places to retire in South Carolina have plenty to offer from pristine lakes and mountains to historic sites that date back to the Revolutionary War. So it’s no wonder so many nature lovers, outdoors enthusiasts and history buffs come to spend their golden years here. And it also has some of the lowest property taxes in the nation. Despite these advantages, retirement planning can still be a challenge and the cost of living in South Carolina can vary sharply depending on where you lay your nest egg. So if you’d like some professional guidance, you can use our Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 If you love the outdoors and want to stay active, you may consider spending your golden years among the pristine landscapes of Virginia. To help you narrow down your choices, we compiled a list of the top 10 best places to retire in Virginia. These locations offer great leisure activities for those in their post-work life with offer easy access to nature, as the state is home to plenty of national parks. And you have miles upon miles to hike, the Blue Ridge mountains to climb and numerous luxury golf courses. As the site of several Civil War battles and the birthplace of George Washington, Virginia can also suit all you history buffs out there with its museums and monuments. In addition, the state offers plenty of financial advantages to help you preserve your nest egg. Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, maritime communities and the arts, you may want to retire in the Beaver state. The best places to retire in Oregon offer plenty of opportunities to stay active well into your golden years with activities including hiking, mountaineering and water sports. But picking the spot that’s just right for you can be a challenge. So the retirement experts at SmartAsset did the homework for you and devised a list of the top 10 best places to retire in Oregon. Of course, strategizing your own retirement once you're there is a challenge of its own. But if you’d like some professional guidance, you can use our free Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 The high mountains and pristine lakes in Colorado can serve as aesthetic backdrops for those who want to spend their retirement years close to nature. And the best places to retire in Colorado offer plenty of that. The state can also serve as a fine retirement ground for those who still want adventure in their life. Common activities among the best places to retire in Colorado include white water rafting, kayaking and horseback riding. You also have miles of trails  to hike. And to stay healthy enough to enjoy these tasks to the fullest, these locations also offer easy access to healthcare facilities. And if you’d like professional guidance in planning your retirement in Colorado, you can use our Read More...

Oct 02, 2018 Retirement can be a wonderful time when you get to relax, explore your passions and spend time with your family. No matter how carefully you’ve planned for this period, though, you may find yourself asking: How long will my money last now that I’ve stopped working? It’s understandable if you are concerned. If you don’t know how long your money will last, you could be in for a rough surprise. This guide will walk you through figuring out how long your money will last in retirement based on your current savings and expected expenses. Read More...

Sep 28, 2018 Everyone has heard of Social Security, and everyone knows the basic concept. If you pay into it while you work, then you benefit from it when you retire. However, there are some lesser known features of Social Security that can make a big difference for your retirement. Social Security spousal benefits are just one of these features. Intended for married couples with a sole or primary breadwinner, spousal benefits can significantly increase the amount of money you have coming in during retirement. They can even provide a nice supplement to your  401(k) or IRA distributions. Read on to learn how you can become eligible for… Read More...

Sep 26, 2018 Looking to invest in your child’s future or teach him or her about the power of compound interest? A great way to do so is through a custodial account. With a custodial account, you can transfer funds to a minor easily while keeping the money safe until the minor is of age. You can even get some tax benefits along the way. Custodial accounts come in a few different shapes and sizes. And each kind has its own upsides and drawbacks. Read on to learn what a custodial account is, how it works and if it’s the right option for you and your child. Read More...

Sep 12, 2018 Raising a family has never been a walk in the park. But today’s parents may face a steeper uphill climb, financially speaking, than those in the past. The cost of raising a child has risen to $233,610. according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile the need for, and price of, a college education has never been higher. It is no surprise, then, that conquering all of those financial feats may leave parents feeling like they missed their chance to save for retirement. But while saving for retirement is best done while young, it is never too late to start planning. With a little hard work, diligence and expert advice from a financial advisor, even someone starting with little savings at age 50 can… Read More...

Sep 04, 2018 A retirement system is a network of pension plans that states use to help public employees save for retirement. Each state has at least one retirement system and an organization that administers the program. The systems vary greatly from state to state both in terms of size and number. In Hawaii, there is one system: the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS). The ERS has a Board of Trustees governing it. Read on to learn more about how this plan works. (And should you want more guidance in your own planning, SmartAsset's  free financial advisor matching tool can pair you with a knowledegable advisor in your area.) Read More...

Aug 31, 2018 A retirement system is a pension plan that a state or other local government uses to help its public employees save for retirement. The systems requires members to contribute during their careers so that when they retire, there is a large enough fund for them to receive monthly benefits. This works similarly to Social Security benefits. There is a retirement system in each state but they vary in size and scope. The system in Maine is called the Maine Public Employees Retirement System, or MainePERS. Read on to learn about how this system works and who it covers. You can also jump start your retirement planning with  SmartAsset's financial advisor matching tool. It pairs you with financial advisors near you so… Read More...

Aug 31, 2018 Illinois state employees may be eligible to take part in the state’s retirement system. A retirement system is a pension plan that a state uses to help public employees save for retirement. Public employees become members in the system and then have to contribute a certain amount of their salary. Those contributions grow to cover employee retirement benefits. Each state has at least one retirement system, but they vary in both size and scope. Illinois has the State Retirement Systems (SRS) of Illinois. Continue reading to learn more about how the SRS works and who it covers. If you want more hands-on help in your own retirement planning, also check out SmartAsset's  free financial advisor matching tool,… Read More...

Aug 31, 2018 Saving for retirement is certainly a financial priority for everyone. For Nevada state employees, it’s comforting to know that your retirement savings are automatic. Once you start working for the state, you’ll begin making contributions to your pension through the Nevada retirement systems. Most employees are covered by the Public Employees' Retirement System of Nevada (PERS). Below, we outline the different retirement systems and each one’s eligible employees. And if you want personalized help navigating the Nevada retirement system, check out SmartAsset's free  financial… Read More...

Aug 30, 2018 Pennsylvania manages its state government employees’ pensions through two different systems: Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) and Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS). SERS manages the public pension system for most state employees while PSERS serves state employees in the field of education. If you want extra guidance navigate the Pennsylvania retirement system, use SmartAsset's free financial advisor match tool to get paired up with an expert in your area. Read More...

Aug 29, 2018 Established in 1957, the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System (APERS) provides pension, retirement and disability benefits for employees who meet its eligibility requirements. While APERS functions as the state’s primary system for public employees, it also offers additional pension and retirement systems. Below we take you through the ins and outs of the Arkansas retirement system. But if you want extra guidance from an expert, use SmartAsset’s matching tool to get paired with a financial advisor in your area who can best meet your needs. Read More...

Aug 29, 2018 The Employees Retirement System of Georgia (ERSGA) provides a range of pension plans that mostly come with lengthy eligibility requirements. While each of its systems and plans serve different employees, some systems consist of more components than others. In addition, for users who aren’t sure which plan applies to them, ERSGA’s website provides a useful “account summary” option that details each. Eligible members also receive death and disability retirement benefits. If you want an expert to help you navigate the Georgia retirement system, check out SmartAsset's free financial advisor… Read More...

Aug 28, 2018 Though Michigan’s pension fund is only the 18th-largest in U.S., that doesn’t stop it from offering its employees an array of retirement plans from which to select. The state of Michigan’s Office of Retirement Services (ORS) administers a variety of retirement programs that serve eligible employees. These include closed defined benefit (DB) plans, open DB plans, defined contribution (DC) plans, hybrid plans and deferred compensation plans. When it comes to funding, the system’s DB plan funding comes from both member and employer contributions and investment earnings. All plans, however, come with death and disability benefits, life and health insurance and long-term care insurance. If you don't want to navigate the complexities of the Michigan retirement system alone, consider using Read More...

Aug 31, 2018 Each state has its own retirement system. This is an organization that helps state and local employees save for retirement. The individual pension plans that these organizations administer (also called retirement systems) vary in size and complexity by state. Some states have five plans that cater to different types of public employees. Other states, like Oregon, have one main plan that applies to all state and local employees. Read More...

Aug 28, 2018 The state retirement system of Missouri covers the multiple types of employees working on behalf of the state. The Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System (MOSERS) was established in 1957. Under the management of a board of trustees, it currently provides retirement benefits to most state public employees. MOSERS delivers those retirement benefits through pension trust funds. And per its 2017 annual report, MOSERS serves more than 49,000 active employees. In addition, it pays benefits to more than 47,000 benefit recipients. If you would value some extra assistance navigating the complex Missouri retirement system, considering consulting an expert. SmartAsset’s Read More...

Aug 28, 2018 The state retirement system of Mississippi consists of seven different retirement plans to account for the multiple types of employees working for the state. If you’re new to pensions, and would value some extra assistance navigating the complex system, SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can pair you with financial advisors in your area and your price range, for free. Read More...

Aug 28, 2018 The state retirement system of South Dakota covers the multiple types of employees working on behalf of the state. The South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS) is a cost-sharing, multi-employer retirement system for public employees, and it supports over 200,000 participants. SDRS excels in providing retirement, disability and survivor benefits for state employees and political subdivisions. If you’re new to pensions and would value some extra assistance navigating the complex system, SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can pair you with financial advisors who will best meet your needs. Read More...

Aug 27, 2018 A retirement system is an organization that helps government workers save for retirement. It then helps distribute the money, in the form of a pension, to retirees. Each state has a retirement system, but they vary in size and complexity. The organization that runs the systems in Alabama is called the Retirement Systems of Alabama. According to a 2017 report, there are more than 300,000 people participating in the state’s retirement plans and they earned about $3 billion worth of benefits in 2017. Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of the Alabama retirement system. And if you want hands-on guidance in your own planning, check out SmartAsset's free matching tool to pair up with a financial advisor.  … Read More...

Aug 24, 2018 The state retirement system of Maryland consists of seven different retirement plans to cover the multiple types of state employees. Before we dive deep into the intricacies of each system, take the time to brush up on pensions. If you would value some extra help navigating the complex pension system, SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can help pair you with advisors  in your area who will best meet your needs. Read More...

Aug 24, 2018 The state retirement system of Indiana comprises several different retirement plans to cover the wide range of public employees working on behalf of the state. As pension systems can be complex, you may value some extra assistance understanding the Indiana retirement system. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool can pair you with financial advisors in your area who can best cater to your financial needs and goals. Read More...

Aug 28, 2018 Under its Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS), Teachers Retirement Association and Public Employees Retirement Association, Minnesota offers retirement benefits through several different pension plans. A key fact to consider, however, is that all of Minnesota’s plans come with retirement benefits. But the state taxes all forms of retirement income. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure your pension plan’s eligibility requirements and the state’s tax law align with your savings goals. If you could use some additional retirement planning help , the SmartAsset financial advisor matching tool can help you find financial advisors in your area. Read More...

Aug 17, 2018 The investments that Utah has made with its public employee pension funds have paid off handsomely in recent years. However, its state income taxes can be a bit heavy at a 5% rate. There are also a number retirement systems in Utah, which the state divides between Tier 1 and Tier 2 systems. SmartAsset's free  financial advisor matching tool can set you up with financial advisors in your area if you want some help navigating the sometimes complex structure of Utah’s retirement systems. Read More...

Aug 17, 2018 With around a million public retirement system participants in North Carolina, the state has plenty of residents to take care of. But although the number of retirees in the state and the subsequent costs are increasing, the fund currently boasts about $90 billion in assets. There are also many different programs to take advantage of in the Tar Heel State, so make sure you know all your options. Many financial advisors have the capabilities to handle this type of retirement planning, and SmartAsset's free  financial advisor matching tool can pair you with up to three experts in your area. Read More...

Aug 17, 2018 Wisconsin boasts one of the least complicated retirement systems in the country, as essentially all state and local employees fall under the umbrella of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). It has experienced plenty of financial growth over the last few years, which should make participants feel increasingly confident in their retirement. Although your pension will drastically aid you in retirement, you should have separate funds set up to help you stay afloat. SmartAsset's  matching tool can pair you with financial advisors in your area who are equipped to help you plan for your specific needs. Read More...

Aug 17, 2018 The retirement system of Ohio is in good shape, especially after experiencing a major financial boost entering 2017. Whereas many states will convolute its offerings by having many base and supplemental programs, Ohio keeps things simple and logical. SmartAsset's free matching tool can pair you up with as many as three financial advisors in your area, if you feel that you want some professional help in fleshing out your retirement plans beyond just pensions. 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...

Sep 12, 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...

Sep 05, 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...

Aug 27, 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...

Sep 14, 2018 Saving for retirement is only increasing in importance as people live longer. Many look to supplement their nest-egg by purchasing an annuity, 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...

Sep 14, 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...

Sep 14, 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...

Sep 14, 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...

Sep 05, 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...

Sep 05, 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...

Sep 12, 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...

Sep 14, 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...

Sep 06, 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...

Sep 05, 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...

Sep 12, 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...

Sep 14, 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...

Sep 05, 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...

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