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Retirement

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Have questions? Email Send your question to jbarnash@smartasset.com

Jan 18, 2018 A traditional individual retirement account (IRA) is one tool that savers can use to plan for retirement. It allows you to sock away funds for the future and whatever you save can potentially lessen your tax bite. But the IRS limits how much you can contribute to these retirement accounts each year. Read on to find out the IRA contribution limits for tax year 2017 ans 2018.

Feb 08, 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.  

Dec 04, 2017 It seems like an ever-larger share of our time is spent online. With so many people working online, keeping in touch with friends online and meeting significant others online, why not find a financial advisor online, too? That's where robo-advisors come in. They can offer competitive rates to help you manage your retirement savings and other investments. No need to change out of your pajamas.

Jul 05, 2017 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.

Feb 08, 2018 A Roth IRA is an individual retirement account funded with after-tax dollars. You can't deduct contributions to a Roth IRA at tax time, but you can withdraw your money tax-free in retirement. A Roth IRA is a popular choice for young people just starting out in their careers. Want to know more about this retirement strategy? You've come to the right place. We'll give you the run-down.

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.

Feb 20, 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.

Feb 09, 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.

Feb 02, 2018 You’re working, earning and growing your financial worth. You might be considering whether you need a financial advisor to make the best money decisions. Although the financial advisor term is bandied about quite a bit, there’s a wide range of certifications and job responsibilities for financial advisors. This article explains what financial advisors do, their qualifications, the differences between various financial advisors, how they are compensated and whether you need a financial advisor or not.

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. 

Jan 05, 2018 Beth Kobliner has achieved great 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.

Jan 10, 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.

Feb 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.

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.

Feb 23, 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.

Dec 08, 2017 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.

Dec 11, 2017 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.

Feb 07, 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.

Dec 05, 2017 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.

Dec 04, 2017 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.

Dec 18, 2017 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.

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.

Dec 08, 2017 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. 

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. 

Nov 28, 2017 When it comes to saving for retirement, you have a ton of options to choose from. Do you open a traditional IRA or 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.

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.

Nov 28, 2017 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?

Nov 24, 2017 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.

Nov 28, 2017 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.

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.

Nov 29, 2017 As Benjamin Franklin once said, the only certainties in life are death and taxes. So when a loved one dies and you receive an inheritance, the natural next question might be: Is your inheritance taxable? The answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no.

Nov 20, 2017 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?"

Nov 20, 2017 The term "fiduciary" has recently cropped up in headlines as lawmakers debate the rules that govern the financial industry. You may have seen it mentioned if you've ever  searched for a reliable financial advisor. But what exactly does it mean? As it turns out, fiduciary is a term you certainly want to hear more of as it ensures that a financial professional is acting in your best interests.

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.

Feb 02, 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.

Nov 15, 2017 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.

Nov 14, 2017 So you made an investment. How do you evaluate its profitability?  One of the most common ways is by calculating the ROI or return on investment. This calculation - which compares how much you invested to how much you got out of that investment - gauges 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.

Nov 13, 2017 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.

Nov 13, 2017 Your money is important. As you strive to reach your financial goals, you may consider turning to a financial advisor. But expertise comes at a cost. Fees and compensation structures differ from advisor to advisor, which can make it challenging for investors to figure out what's best for them. Here's what you need to know to make sure you fully understand financial advisor fees before you hire an expert.

Nov 10, 2017 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.

Nov 13, 2017 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.

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.

Nov 07, 2017 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?

Nov 09, 2017 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.

Nov 06, 2017 Ever wondered whether you could donate leftover money to charities after you pass away? A charitable remainder trust allows you to do just that. Not only can you donate to charities, but you can provide an income stream for yourself or another beneficiary. Charitable remainder trusts come with a ton of benefits, especially when it comes to taxes, but they also come with their fair share of restrictions and conditions.

Dec 08, 2017 Ever heard of the financial services industry? Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably interacted with this industry almost every day. Whether you’re an investor, a homeowner, a credit cardholder or even just a simple savings account holder, you’ve worked with the financial services industry. But what is the financial services industry exactly? It involves so many aspects of our finances, so let's take a look.

Nov 03, 2017 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.

Nov 01, 2017 A financial advisor provides financial guidance on everything from monthly budgeting to investing in the stock market. Many financial advisors find it rewarding to help others take control of their finances. But that certainly doesn't mean they work for free. The average salary for a financial advisor was $90,530 in 2016 - well above the national average. Job prospects in the field are also good with employment expected to grow by almost 30% from 2014 to 2024.

Nov 17, 2017 Depending on where you are in life, retirement may be just around the corner or pretty far off. But for some, retiring at 62 seems too late. Maybe you want to enjoy your retirement and travel the world. Or maybe you simply want to spend more time with your family sooner. Whatever the reason, you've set your sights on retiring early. But the question of how to retire at 55, for example, isn’t an easy one to answer. 

Jan 09, 2018 Start with giving yourself a pat on the back. Whether you saved $50,000 by diligently setting aside a portion of your paycheck, or you came into money through an inheritance, you now have a tidy sum to grow. Investing is one of the smartest choices to make when you have money to spare. Of course, with that comes the dilemma of how to invest $50,000.

Oct 27, 2017 Reaching retirement age can be exciting, but also nerve-wracking in regards to money matters. One of the first questions you may have, is what happens you start withdrawing from your 401(k)? You've spent years contributing to your account, and now it's time to use your retirement savings. Or, perhaps you’re well below retirement age but are doing your research the future. Regardless of your reason why, learning about 401(k) withdrawal taxes ahead of time might save you from a nasty surprise. 

Oct 25, 2017 The will and knack to get into investing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Just one look at the stock market can scare anyone away! It's true that  investing in stocks comes with potential risks. But at the same time, you can also see some real monetary benefits when you invest in stocks. Of course to start, you’ll need to know at least the basics of how to invest in stocks.

Oct 24, 2017 People often think of buying stocks as a high-stress situation. And in many scenarios, that may be the case. When you get into short-term investing, you’re constantly buying and selling your stocks to get the best prices. But this isn’t the only way to go about investing. Long-term investing, while requiring attention and strategy, eliminates much of the high stress of short-term investing.

Oct 30, 2017 You’ve worked hard for decades of your life, putting in hours of work and paying taxes like the upstanding citizen you are. You’re ready for retirement - who isn’t? You can’t wait to sit back and relax and never worry about taxes ever again. Except sadly, that’s not how it works. True, you don’t have to pay taxes on every bit of money you have in retirement. But you will need to pay taxes on some of that income.

Oct 19, 2017 Inheriting an IRA comes with certain responsibilities. The rules for an inherited IRA depend on the specifics of your situation as well as the deceased's age and can get a little confusing. Unfortunately, you might have to make financial decisions about the account while dealing with mixed emotions. It's not a simple task. But it’s important to follow the rules carefully, as there are a number of potential tax penalties or benefits that can apply to inherited IRAs.

Nov 28, 2017 Jim Cramer ran a successful hedge fund for 14 years. He regularly made over $10 million annually. Then he retired from that life to focus on writing and media. He started a successful TV show in 2005 and has since reached an almost cult following. Many know him simply as Cramer and he addresses his fans as "Cramerica." It’s great that he gets so many people excited about stock picking, but what advice can we gain from this financial guru? Let’s see what Cramer has to say about building wealth for your future.

Nov 07, 2017 In this economy, it seems like more and more of us are looking for a way to earn passive income. Whether we need to pay off credit card debt or just need some extra cash, passive income could come in handy. But what is passive income exactly? Depending on who you ask, it may not be as “passive” as you think. Let’s take a look at what it is and the top ways to make it.

Dec 04, 2017 You’ve probably heard that investing provides a great way to grow and save money. But getting into the stocks business isn’t a one-and-done deal. It requires research and upkeep to make sure your investments continue to perform well. So how do you start the investing process in the first place? Read on as we walk you through how to buy stock step by step.

Dec 06, 2017 Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help people save more and spend less. He offers his financial advice through a nationally syndicated radio show and also makes regular TV appearances in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. If you struggle to save money, Howard could be the guy that helps you to finally kick that overspending habit.

Dec 06, 2017 The financial gap between men and women is decreasing but there is still a big divide. That's part of why Amanda Steinberg founded DailyWorth in 2009. She felt women needed a dedicated, financial advice outlet. DailyWorth empowers women to take control of their personal finances by providing the necessary knowledge, advice and tools. Steinberg's advice comes from person experience, too. She once found herself deep in debt and had to change her habits to dig her way out.

Nov 28, 2017 Tony Robbins rose from humble beginnings to become one of today’s most successful motivational speakers. He is well known for working with entrepreneurial clients and is often considered a business guru. Fortune Magazine even dubbed him the “CEO Whisperer.” In recent years, he seems to have an increased interest in personal finance with two books and multiple products focused on 401(k) transparency. So should you check him out if you’re looking for personal finance advice? Let’s take a look.

Nov 28, 2017 Rachel Cruze is in the unique position of having learned about money since she was a child. Her father, financial expert Dave Ramsey, taught her how to stay out of debt and live within her means. Now Cruze is a successful speaker in her own right. She offers similar advice to Ramsey's but also draws on her own experiences as young professional and recent mother.

Nov 28, 2017 Chris Hogan is an engaging speaker who's passionate about retirement savings. After years of studying under Dave Ramsey, he published his own book and started his own blog. Now he’s working to become one of the leading voices on saving for retirement. His advice is simple and most people could learn a thing or two from him. So what exactly does he have to say about retirement?

Sep 21, 2017 The first step towards getting financial help is recognizing that you need it. The second step is figuring out exactly why you need help. Do you need help with your retirement savings? Do you want to start investing? Answering those questions will lead you into the third step: finding a financial advisor. This step isn't easy with so many financial advisors out there. But a good start would be to find yourself a fee-only financial planner.

Dec 28, 2017 J. Money is a professional blogger who's risen to fame over the past decade for his personal finance blog, Budgets Are Sexy. He has helped people understand their finances by talking openly about his own. He's received numerous awards along the way and his blog posts have been featured in several publications. So let's find out if J. Money can help you to take more control of your own personal finances.

Nov 28, 2017 Suze Orman was once a waitress making $400 per month. Today she's built a successful career as a personal finance guru through hard work and dedication. Orman has published several books and hosted her own TV show. As with many financial advisors, her advice is simple but sound. If you could use some help with your finances, read on.

Nov 28, 2017 Robert Kiyosaki is an author and business man who is best-known for his book, "Rich Dad Poor Dad." Kiyosaki has been successful because he tells a compelling story that connects with people. Some of his advice has come under criticism but he's also helped many people to start thinking about responsible financial habits. It’s possible his advice could also help you, so let’s see what he has to say.

Dec 28, 2017 Dave Ramsey has made a career of giving financial advice to the people who need it most. Most of the callers on his radio show are trying to dig themselves out of deep debt. His advice to them is actually quite simple. So if you're someone who struggles with your finances, is Dave Ramsey the guy to help you figure things out?

Sep 21, 2017 Do you have a budget? Do you follow it? If you answered no, you're not alone. According to NAPFA, 60% of U.S. adults don't have a budget and less than 50% of Americans have a purposeful savings plan. Luckily, financial advisors exist and can help you get out of your budget-less rut. You'll have to be careful about who you pick, though, since not all financial advisors act in your best interest. Some act in their self-interest instead to make more money.

Sep 21, 2017 So you’ve decided to start working with a financial advisor. Good for you! But even after narrowing down a list of possible advisors, deciding on one can still be difficult. Wondering how to choose a financial advisor? Here are some factors to remember so you can find the best one for you.

Sep 21, 2017 Managing your finances isn't always an easy task. From budgeting to investing to retirement, it's a lot to handle! That's where a financial advisor can help. Financial advisors provide financial planning advice and recommendations to help you achieve your economic goals. But not all advisors will fit your needs or give you the expertise required for your unique situation. So how do you find a financial advisor?

Sep 04, 2017 Investing can be an intimidating endeavor with all its terminology and the complexities of the market. But you shouldn't let that stop you. Investing provides a great way to grow your money. There are some risks associated with investing due to the volatility of the market to be sure. However, you can count on certain agencies, laws and financial advisors to help you succeed. That's where FINRA comes in.

Sep 21, 2017 When it comes to planning for the future, you may not even know where to start. On top of planning for retirement, there are potential expenses like college for your children. This is where a financial plan can help. It identifies your financial goals and outlines the steps to achieve them. A concrete plan helps quell any nerves about the future and lets you work toward your goals.

Sep 01, 2017 If you're ready to create a financial plan but can't quite do it on your own, you might need a financial advisor. But finding the right financial advisor can be a whole process on its own. When looking at different advisors, you'll notice that some have different designations, most noticeably ChFC and CFP. What exactly do these letters mean and how are they different? Is one better equipped to help with financial planning? Let’s break it down.

Sep 21, 2017 For someone seeking to get a start on major money projects, hiring a financial planner is a good first step. A financial planner will first assess her client's financial situation. Then, she will develop a comprehensive plan for money management and working toward a savings goal. This is great to have - but how much does a financial planner cost? The answer depends on on a few factors, including how the planner charges for her work and whether her advisement will be one-time or ongoing.

Aug 29, 2017 Plenty of Americans continue to work after hitting retirement age. Data from the Census Bureau shows that in 2015, 12% of Americans over the age of 70 admitted to doing some work in the previous 12 months. Maybe you're the type of retiree who wants to stay busy during retirement by working, or you want to supplement your retirement savings. But how do you decide where to settle down? Below we rank the best places for a worktirement.

Sep 21, 2017 Are you interested in investing in mutual funds, but find them complex and overwhelming? If this is the case, it may be time to turn to an expert. A chartered mutual fund counselor - or CMFC - is a financial adviser who has earned a certification in mutual funds. Her expertise helps her to make educated recommendations for investing your money.

Sep 21, 2017 If you are looking to invest money with a brokerage firm or an individual stockbroker, it is important to do your research first. You don't want to become a victim of investment fraud! One of the first places you should check is the Central Registration Depository, or CRD. Don't know what that is? Allow us to explain.

Sep 21, 2017 When you are looking around for a financial adviser to hire, you're likely to encounter an assortment of initials after each financial professional's name. CFA, CPA, CLU. These letters signify different financial certifications. Curious to know more? Read on and allow us to explain.

Oct 02, 2017 If you feel like you haven't gotten it all figured out financially, don't worry. You're not alone! It's hard enough to keep track of our professional and personal lives. Add in planning for the future and many of us just don't have the time or know-how. From budgeting to student loans,  retirement savings to taxes, insurance to investing and more, our finances are pretty complex. Luckily, there are certified financial planners who can help.

Aug 02, 2017 Think you want to help people manage their money and meet their financial goals? If so, you may be wondering how to become a financial planner. The process for becoming a financial planner varies depending on what kind of planner you want to be. Let us walk you through your options. 

Jul 27, 2017 Each year millions of Americans put away their work clothes for the final time and call it a career. But many of these retirees don't just retire and stay put. Many venture off to the warmer climes of Arizona or Florida to take advantage of year-round heat and relatively low costs of living. These retirees bring with them hard earned, and carefully saved, retirement income. This makes retirees an important part of any local economy in which they arrive.

Sep 21, 2017 The title of certified financial planner® (CFP) carries a lot of weight. It indicates that the bearer has put the time and work into obtaining CFP certification. Anyone can say they can help you with your finances, but only a select group of financial advisors obtains CFP certification. How does CFP certification work? Let's take a closer look.

Jun 29, 2017 Looking for a financial advisor can be a tricky task. It's hard to know what kind of financial advice you need, and how much you should pay for that advice. One important distinction to understand is the difference between financial counselors and financial planners. Let us explain. 

Jun 23, 2017 Private wealth management is a hot field these days. Wealth managers at small boutique firms and big-name firms like Goldman Sachs help wealthy individuals, couples, families and small foundations to manage their assets and plan for the future. What distinguishes private wealth management from other forms of financial planning? Let's take a closer look.

Jun 01, 2017 Self-employment or working for a small business may sound like a dream. However doing so can take a lot of planning. For one, you have to take care of health insurance by yourself. You will also have to consider and plan your retirement strategy early on. A $3,000 annual IRA contribution likely isn’t enough to reach your saving goals, but there are other options. That’s where the Keogh (pronounced KEY-oh) plan can come in.

May 25, 2017 Financial topics aren't always easy to understand. It can be hard to make a decision when it comes to our own finances. For example, you may not have known the difference between a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA. Or maybe at some point you decided to roll over your traditional IRA assets to a Roth IRA, but later regretted that decision. Luckily, you have the option to undo that transaction through a process called recharacterization.

Jan 10, 2018 With so much talk surrounding Medicare these days, it’s important to know how Medicare applies to you. Medicare benefits isn't an easy topic to tackle, and it is relevant to you regardless of your age. If you're 62, you're probably preparing for retirement and wondering when your benefits will kick in. But even at 20 years old, it helps to know what the Medicare eligibility age is so can better plan for your retirement future.

May 19, 2017 You know how important it is to save for retirement (or at least we hope you do!). Whether you put your money into a 401(k), a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, there are a number of options available to you. One of these options is a gold IRA. If you’re picturing a savings account filled with gold, you’re on the right track. Let’s take a look at what exactly a gold IRA is and how to get one.

May 04, 2017 The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.5% as of March 2017, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But in many states the jobs that are currently available and growing are not necessarily the ones that have traditionally been available. With the economy doing relatively well, SmartAsset took a look at the fastest-growing jobs in different parts of the country. 

Apr 18, 2017 When you're ready to tap into your retirement accounts, it's best to avoid doing so haphazardly. If you're strategic, your savings may last throughout the course of your lifetime. If you have an individual retirement account, you can take your distributions in the form of cash. You may also be eligible for qualified charitable distributions. Read on to find out what that means.

Apr 13, 2017 At some point, older adults may need help completing basic activities like getting dressed and taking baths. Unfortunately, health insurance plans don't exactly cover this kind of care. This is where long-term care insurance comes into play. If you're not sure how it works, here's everything you need to know about the best time to apply for long-term care insurance and why you might need coverage.

May 25, 2017 Many Americans are expected to sign up for health insurance during the open enrollment period that falls between the beginning of November and the end of January. But that's not the case for everyone. If you're applying for Medicaid or insurance through CHIP, for example, you can sign up for coverage anytime. And if you're eligible for Medicare, you'll have a different enrollment period from everyone else. Here's the lowdown on when you should apply for Medicare.

Mar 29, 2017 There's a reason that annuities are appealing financial products. They take the uncertainty out of retirement income by guaranteeing an annual sum. But do the costs outweigh the benefits? Let's take a closer look at indexed annuities and what experts say about them.

Mar 29, 2017 Planning to spend your golden years catching up on sleep? That might not be a good idea. A recent study from the National Institutes of Health found that physical activity may increase one's life expectancy by as many as four-and-a-half years. Of course, your ability to remain physically active in retirement may depend, in part, on your environment. Some cities simply make it easier for retirees to live active lifestyles.

Mar 27, 2017 Planning for retirement can be challenging. Figuring out exactly how much you need to sock away can be tricky, even if you use a retirement calculator. And many retirees are concerned about running out of savings. If thinking about your financial future makes you nervous, you may want to purchase an annuity. Here's a look at what an immediate annuity is and what to consider before buying one.

Mar 23, 2017 When's the best time to retire? Should you wait until your full retirement age? Or should you leave the workplace as soon as possible so you can trek across the globe or start the business you've always dreamed of owning? It's up to you. But if you're planning to rely on Social Security benefits as a source of income, you may want to wait until you reach your normal retirement age. Let's look at what the full retirement age is and why it matters.

Mar 20, 2017 The last Social Security privatization proposal with legs came in 2005. Former President George W. Bush proposed a system of voluntary investment accounts. These accounts would contain money from workers' payroll taxes. Since that failed, no other privatization proposal has gotten as far. But could that change? Let's talk about what privatized Social Security could look like. 

Mar 16, 2017 Most retirement advisors will tell you saving early and leveraging the power of compound interest makes for a smoother road to retirement. But what if you're unable to save in your younger years, what will you do in retirement? That is the question facing millennials in America today. Student loan payments, skyrocketing rent and extremely competitive international labor markets are all obstacles in the way of today's millennials and their retirement. 

Mar 09, 2017 Many adults look forward to retirement. And some wouldn't mind leaving the workforce ahead of schedule. But few people think about the drawbacks of retiring early. Few realize that an early retirement might affect their long-term financial plan and their access to certain benefits. Read on as we look at the impact of retiring early on collecting Social Security.

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