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Retirement

Mar 20, 2019 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) often get lumped together or confused for each other, despite being two distinct government programs. This is understandable: They are both government disability assistance programs with very similar acronyms. That said, the two programs have some key differences, including the requirements for eligibility. If you’re experiencing a disability (be it temporary or permanent), you’ll want to know how each program functions. Read More...

Mar 18, 2019 Many retirement planners suggest the typical 401(k) portfolio generates an average annual return of 5% to 8% based on market conditions. But your 401(k) return depends on different factors like your contributions, investment selection and fees. This article will explain these points in-depth so you can aim for the best returns from your 401(k). We can also assist you in finding a financial advisor. This professional can help you create a personalized retirement planning strategy. Read More...

Mar 18, 2019 If you’re trapped under a pile of debt, bankruptcy may be your last resort. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form. It can wipe out your debt and give you a fresh start. This article will explain how to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy and everything you need to know to go through the process. A financial advisor can also help you stay on track during and after the proceedings. Read More...

Mar 15, 2019 After working hard and saving diligently for retirement, you may find that your nest egg won’t take you far in the U.S. But don’t fret. You may be able to stretch your dollar further outside the country. And it won’t mean retiring in a collapsing country. To assist you in figuring out where you should consider retiring, we compiled a list of the best countries where you can retire cheaply and peacefully. We can also help you find a financial advisor who can guide you to the right destination on the right budget. Read More...

Mar 15, 2019 If your company offers a 401(k) plan, you’re in luck. These savings vehicles help you save for retirement as you enjoy some tax breaks. This article will explain how they work and all you need to know to start investing in your Golden Years. We can also help you find a financial advisor to help you invest on a 401(k) plan the right way. Read More...

Jul 25, 2019 Once you reach age 59.5, you may withdraw money from your 401(k) penalty-free. If you tap into it beforehand, you may face a 10% penalty tax on the withdrawal in addition to income tax that you’d owe on any type of withdrawal from a traditional 401(k). But in some cases, your plan may allow you to take a penalty-free early withdrawal. We’ll cover the 401(k) early withdrawal rules and alternatives to dipping into your retirement savings. We can also help you find a financial advisor who can guide you through your options based on your individual needs. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 Normally, you can’t withdraw money from your traditional individual retirement account ( IRA) until you reach age 59.5 without facing a penalty tax. But you can avoid this sanction if you make an IRA hardship withdrawal. The IRS typically allows this when you need it to cover expenses like substantial medical bills or higher education debt. We’ll explain IRA hardship withdrawal rules in depth. We can also help you find a financial advisor to guide you through all your options. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is one of four parts of the Medicare Program. While Part A covers in-hospital services,  Part B covers outpatient and preventative services. Part D covers the cost of prescription drugs. Part C, meanwhile, is an alternative that ties together all of the other parts into a single plan known as a Medicare Advantage Plan. It may also offer coverage for other things, including vision, hearing, dental and wellness programs. There are pros and cons to using Medicare Part C, so make sure you know the details before making a decision about how to proceed with planning your retirement healthcare. Read More...

Aug 01, 2019 When you first embarked on your retirement planning journey, your goal was probably to save as much as possible and generate the biggest returns you could through a diversified portfolio. But as you get closer to your golden years, you need to protect your nest egg like never before. That’s where a good retirement income planning strategy comes in. Our guide will cover some steps you can take to make one. We can also help you find a financial advisor to guide you in building a strategy that's specific to your individual goals and needs. Read More...

Mar 12, 2019 Applying for your Social Security benefits is less of a daunting process than it may seem, especially since the Social Security Administration (SSA) allows you to apply online. Once you've determined the best age to apply for your situation, the actual application is fairly straightforward. The SSA will need a few documents and some supplementary information from you in order to begin sending you your benefits. We'll go through all the necessary documents you'll need to have. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 If you’re like many people with an individual retirement account, the money in your IRA likely represents one of your largest assets. And if you find yourself in a tight financial spot, you may want to be able to borrow from that IRA before you reach retirement age. If that describes you, there is good news and bad news. Read More...

Mar 12, 2019 If you want to spend your retirement in year-round warmth with the backdrop of rain forests or beaches, the Philippines may be your ideal option. The cost of living in the Philippines dips significantly lower than it does in the U.S., and the government takes steps to make it especially welcoming to expats. But there are some pitfalls you’d want to avoid. This article provides an in-depth guide to what it's like to retire in the Philippines. We’ll cover topics like costs, taxes, access to healthcare and safety. We can also help you find a financial advisor to guide you through the process of strategizing your retirement abroad. Read More...

Jul 25, 2019 Annuities can help you plan for your retirement by providing a guaranteed source of income for you and your family when you reach your golden years. They aren’t the simplest of investments, though, and sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly how much your annuity is worth. An annuity table can help with that by allowing you to easily calculate the present value of your annuity. This information allows you to make informed decisions about what steps to take to plan for your retirement. If you need assistance with annuities or retirement planning more generally, find a financial advisor to work with using SmartAsset’s Read More...

Mar 11, 2019 The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program offered by the Social Security Administration helps older and disabled people who have a low income and limited resources. While it is oftentimes thought of in conjunction with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), it is actually a wholly different program. It isn’t difficult to apply for SSI, but the bar for entry to the program is fairly high. Make sure you know how you can qualify and what your benefit level may be before you apply. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE) is a movement driven mostly by optimistic millennials who pledge to cut back on expenses and boost savings in order to retire as comfortably and as early as possible. But is it as hot as it sounds? Or is it just going to fade away like the last fad? This article will explore the movement and give you tips on how you can follow FIRE. We can also point you to the right financial advisor if you want some hands-on, professional guidance. Read More...

Mar 08, 2019 An annuity is a contract to guarantee a series of structured payments over time. It starts at a predetermined date and lasts for a predetermined time. There are two main forms of annuity: the ordinary annuity and the annuity due. Read More...

Mar 08, 2019 Is the thought of losing your employer-sponsored health plan keeping you from retiring early? Don’t stress. There are plenty of ways you can kick off your golden years early while still having affordable health insurance to fall back on when you need it. This guide will walk you through all your options so you can pick the right one and leave the 9-to-5 life for good. And if you want some personalized attention, try our free financial advisor matching tool to get linked to an expert in your area who can best create a strategy for you. Read More...

Mar 07, 2019 The Social Security Administration offers a number of programs that Americans may end up using at some point in their lives. Besides the usual  Social Security retirement payments, there is also  Social Security disability for those who can’t work due to a disability. For all this and more, you’ll need a mySocialSecurity account, effectively the digital entry to the world of Social Security. Even if you aren’t using any of these programs just yet, you may find use from a mySocialSecurity account of your own. Read More...

Jul 26, 2019 Whether you’re in your 20s and just embarking on your career path or you’re a seasoned professional ready to step into the golden years, it helps to know the top retirement planning strategies. In this article, we’ll walk you through important money moves, some of which you may not have even considered. Read through these tips closely, and if you want some hands-on advice from an expert, check out our free financial advisor matching tool to connect with up to three financial advisors in your area who are best suited to your needs. Read More...

Mar 04, 2019 Life is expensive in San Francisco. Arguably the current hub of innovation in America, some of the richest companies in the world call San Francisco home. These companies have brought high-paid engineers and wealthy executives to the area, driving up the cost of living in the City by the Bay. Although San Francisco's median income is above the national average, it doesn't necessarily make up for the higher cost of living there. Read More...

Mar 04, 2019 If you're seriously thinking about New York City as a place to live, you'll want to be sure that you can do so within your means. A wide range of salaries exists in the Big Apple, so it's important to know what to expect. Many factors will eventually determine your ability to balance your expenses with your paycheck. To start you off, here's an introduction to the average salary in New York City. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 We designed our guide to health insurance for retirees to help you explore your options quickly and efficiently. After all your hard work, you deserve to enjoy your retirement without worrying about paying for healthcare expenses. Despite rising healthcare costs, there are several ways you can slash the price tag of staying healthy. We will help you understand what’s on the table. As you navigate this process, it can also be helpful to enlist the help of a trusted financial advisor. Read More...

Jul 25, 2019 Opening a Roth IRA for kids is easier than you may think. You can open one at several brokerage firms and banks. And you can manage the investments on behalf of your child. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of opening a Roth IRA for your kid and how to get the process started. If you want hands-on guidance to manage this account, check out our free financial advisor matching tool to link up with an expert in your area. Read More...

Feb 28, 2019 “Annuity due” is a financial term that you may encounter when you are borrowing money, paying rent, saving for retirement or purchasing an annuity. Annuity due means that a payment is due at the beginning of the time period in question. That distinguishes it from ordinary annuity, which means the payment is due at the end of the period rather than at the beginning.  Read More...

Feb 28, 2019 If you’ve served your country honorably or are considering doing so, you deserve to retire with dignity. But navigating the terrain of the active duty retirement system can be tough. Ultimately, the rules depend on when you joined the service. You may be eligible to collect a monthly pension check, contribute toward a thrift savings plan, earn a bonus or all of the above. This article will break down the military retirement system to help you make the best retirement decisions. Read More...

Mar 01, 2019 Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s are retirement savings vehicles that can protect your earnings from Uncle Sam when you withdraw your money in retirement. But one may be better for you depending on your needs. We’ll explain the pros and cons of each to help you decide which plan is right for you. If you want further hands-on investment advice, consider enlisting the help of a train expert by using our financial advisor matching tool. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 Medicare is a government program that provides  health insurance to senior citizens throughout the United States. There are four basic parts to Medicare, designated by letters A through D. Medicare Part B is an optional program for some services that are not covered by Part A, the coverage bucket for inpatient hospital stays. Medicare Part B covers a number of outpatient services. It can be a good option for those who are in retirement, so make sure you know exactly how much it costs and what services you’ll get when you sign up for Medicare Part B. Read More...

Jul 25, 2019 There's plenty to consider when it comes to deciding where to retire. You'll want an acceptable cost of living, access to hospitals and medical care, a tax burden that isn't too severe and enough to do to keep you entertained after you stash your briefcase for good. Thankfully, there are countless locales across the globe that satisfy all these requirements and more - though that only makes the choice harder. Read More...

Jul 26, 2019 Unless you want to work until the day you die, planning for your retirement is a must. There are a number of ways to get ready to retire, but you’ll generally need to open a retirement account to save the money you need. That way you can spend your golden years traveling, relaxing and enjoying your family instead of stuck behind a desk or starting a second career as a retail greeter. Here are some of the retirement account options you may have the ability to use and why each of them may or may not make sense for you. Read More...

Feb 21, 2019 A 401(k) plan is a widely used type of employer-sponsored retirement plan that allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars for their retirement. Safe harbor 401(k) plans are a special type of 401(k) plan that small businesses use. Though there are trade-offs, safe harbor 401(k) plans provide small business owners who want to offer a retirement savings plan to their employees a way around specific IRS tests. Read More...

Jun 27, 2019 As of 2018, around 55 million American workers were active  401(k) participants and assets in 401(k) plans totaled $5.60 trillion. Still, many people are in the dark about how exactly 401(k) plans work and how to maximize their accounts to prepare for retirement. There are a lot of moving parts that you should understand so you can ensure you’re getting the most out of your retirement savings account. Read More...

Jul 28, 2019 Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are important vehicles for Americans to prepare for the day they stop working. This is especially true for those without access to a workplace retirement plan like a 401(k), though you also can use an IRA in conjunction with an employer-sponsored plan. A traditional IRA allows you to contribute pre-tax dollars. Your investments can then grow tax-deferred until you withdraw your money in retirement. Though fairly straightforward, you'll want to make sure you're fully educated on traditional IRAs before you decide to use one to save for your retirement. Read More...

Feb 19, 2019 If you’re building your retirement saving, 401(k) plans are a great option. These employer-sponsored plans allow you to contribute up to $19,000 in pre-tax money per year. Some employers will also match some of your contributions, which means free money for you. Come retirement, though, your withdrawals are subject to income taxes and other rules. Here's what you need to know about how 401(k) contributions and withdrawals are taxed.   Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 401(k) plans are one of the most popular retirement plans in the U.S., having blown past  pensions as the primary employer-sponsored plan. And unlike pensions, 401(k)s require participants to choose where to invest their savings. While the options in most 401(k)s are significantly limited compared to your typical brokerage account, they can still have a big impact on your finances. You’ll want to choose a fund or funds that reflect your risk tolerance and time to retirement. Read More...

Aug 01, 2019 Both pensions and 401(k) plans have at one time held the distinction of most popular employer-sponsored retirement plan in the country. However, due to the much higher cost on employers, pensions are becoming less and less popular, especially for non-government employees. In their place, more employers are offering 401(ks). Typically employers will offer either a pension or a 401(k), but not both. So it’s unlikely you’ll ever have to choose between the two. However, odds are that you or someone close to you will enroll in one of these plans at some point in your career, so it’s helpful to understand how they’re similar and how they differ. Read More...

May 06, 2019 When you leave a job where you had a  401(k) plan, you might choose to roll over that plan an individual retirement account (IRA). Such rollovers are fairly straightforward; the transfer of assets isn't a taxable event, and your savings will continue to grow tax-deferred. But some might take this opportunity to roll over some or all of their funds to a  Roth IRA instead. Here's how you do it, and what you need to know about the implications for your finances and taxes. Read More...

Feb 25, 2019 Believe it or not, a hefty amount of your money could be sitting at a government agency without your knowledge. Unclaimed money can come in the form of inactive financial accounts, unclaimed retirement assets and tax refunds, lost insurance policy benefits and more. The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) states that about $2 billion in unclaimed property is transferred back to owners each year. This in-depth article will guide you through the places you can find unclaimed money and how to retrieve it. Read More...

Feb 05, 2019 Individual retirement accounts ( IRAs) first came along in the mid-70s. This means that the first Americans to make use of these retirement savings vehicles throughout their careers are now headed into their golden years. The result is that more and more individuals will start inheriting IRAs from spouses or older family members. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 If you have looked into products like annuities, you’ve probably seen the term “exclusion ratio” floating around. It’s one of the most important factors you need to consider when planning your investments. The exclusion ratio is the portion of an investment’s return that is not taxed. It’s a percentage of the total investment payout equal to the amount of money you originally invested. This initial principal comes back to you tax-free, after which you pay taxes on the remainder, which make up the profits earned from your investment. Exclusion ratios… Read More...

Dec 14, 2018 It’s easy to understand why a Jamaican retirement would be attractive to many people. Anyone who's enjoyed Jamaica's beaches, lush greenery and beautiful weather could see the appeal of living out their golden years in the country. There’s no denying, though, that Jamaica lacks many of the amenities and resources of a more developed country like Spain or Switzerland. If you have your heart set on a Caribbean retirement, here's what you need to know. Read More...

Dec 12, 2018 Perhaps the generic portrait of a retiree lounging on a beach isn’t quite your thing. Instead, you might be considering going in the opposite direction and  living in Alaska for retirement. In addition to the state's abundant natural beauty, you'll also enjoy a relatively low tax burden. We crunched the numbers to figure out the best cities and towns in the state for retirees. Read More...

Dec 11, 2018 Thinking of retiring in Ohio? Many cities in the Buckeye State are ideal for retirees, with low tax burdens, a high percentage of senior residents and plenty of access to recreation and a healthcare. We crunched the numbers to figure out the best places to retire in Ohio. Read More...

Dec 11, 2018 A retirement in the Empire State doesn’t have to mean shelling out all your retirement savings for a tiny apartment. You’ll find all the best places to retire in New York in Long Island, north of the city or way upstate. And while you do have to watch out for New York taxes, the upside is you’ll generally have great access to medical care. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Germany has become a popular destination for American retirees due to its reasonable costs, excellent healthcare system and well-kept infrastructure. The weather may not be on the level of Thailand or Portugal, but if you don’t mind some chilly winters, Germany could be the retirement destination you’re looking for. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 Thinking of retiring in Maryland? You'll find plenty of company in the following cities and towns, which generally have large populations of senior citizens living there. You'll also have the peace of mind of being near ample medical facilities. Where Maryland falls short, however, is its relatively high tax burden rates. This means you might need to save a little more for retirement and perhaps work with a financial advisor to make sure your nest egg will last through retirement. Read More...

Dec 21, 2018 If you’re looking for a tax-friendly retirement, Nevada is one of the places to be. It’s very tax-friendly toward retirees, with no state taxes on income or Social Security benefits. Withdrawals from retirement accounts and public and private pension income are also not taxed. This can leave a lot of extra cash to live a comfortable retirement - or to take to Las Vegas and try your luck! If you'd like to retire in Nevada, you might find the following cities particularly appealing. Read More...

Jan 07, 2019 The best Roth IRAs offer a range of funds, low fees and digital tools to help you plan for retirement. We gathered data on the entire Roth IRA universe and found the best ones. These can suit a range of investors, from the more independent to those who want to leave the investment decisions to a trusted financial advisor. Read More...

Jan 07, 2019 The best IRAs offer robust investment menus, low fees and a wealth of tools to help you save for retirement. SmartAsset gathered data on the best IRA providers to help you find the one that’s right for you. We also broke down our list based on which providers would be best for do-it-yourself investors or those who want some guidance. But first, we’ll give you a quick overview of IRAs and their benefits. A financial advisor can also help you invest in one like a pro. Read More...

Dec 04, 2018 A division of Regal Securities, Inc., eOption was created in 2007, designed to offer a more affordable way to trade options. You’ll find the lowest options commission charges here. You’ll also find a convenient trading platform, eOption Trader, with various tools and interactive features to help you trade smarter and faster. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 Americans look forward to their golden years, but saving for retirement can be an intimidating undertaking. The long-term nature of this type of financial planning calls for good decision-making, so simplifying it is of the utmost importance. In this article, we delve into two of the most prominent retirement investment vehicles: annuities and IRAs. Read on to determine which is best for you. Read More...

Nov 30, 2018 They say it’s better to give than to receive. But when you’re the one doing the giving, there are some things that you'll have to take into account, like the gift tax and the lifetime gift tax exemption. It’s important to know how the laws surrounding the gift tax work so that you don’t end up with any surprising tax bills or other issues. When giving sizable gifts, it's important know about the lifetime gift tax exemption. This looks at how your gifts accumulate over the course of your lifetime. Read More...

Nov 28, 2018   The Social Security Administration (SSA) is an enormous organization, and the decisions it makes regarding your benefits can have a big impact on your finances. It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed when you’re applying for benefits or appealing a decision. In some circumstances, you can benefit from having a qualified individual such as an attorney represent you before the SSA. To establish this kind of representation, you’ll need to complete Social Security Form SSA-1696-U4. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 Most people have heard of traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. Both are vehicles for saving money for your retirement, separated only by their tax treatment. There are two other types of individual retirement accounts, though, that aren't as common: the SIMPLE IRA and the SEP-IRA. Read More...

Nov 27, 2018 When you enroll in Medicare part B, the premiums you pay are partially dependent on your income. If your income is above a certain threshold, you'll have to pay higher premiums; this higher premium amount is known as your income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA). However, incomes can change from year to year, so you need a way of notifying the Social Security Administration (SSA) if your income changes. The way to do this is with Social Security Form SSA-44. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 Whether you take an aggressive or conservative approach to investing, your asset allocation is likely to include some bonds. When reading about or researching bonds, you’ll hear about duration, an important metric that investors use when deciding whether or not to invest in certain bonds. Here's what duration tells you about a bond and its suitability as an investment. Read More...

Nov 26, 2018 Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a long process. It can involve interviews, multiple applications and sometimes rejections and appeals. The Social Security Administration (SSA) needs to determine both that your injuries or conditions are actively preventing you from working and that they’ll continue to do so for some time. To determine this, the SSA needs a lot of information from you. One way you provide this information is through Form SSA-3373-BK. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 When you seek assistance from the Social Security Administration (SSA), it will make a decision on whether you’re eligible to receive that assistance. The SSA may also make decisions about any assistance you’re already receiving. If there’s ever a point where you disagree with one of these decisions, you can attempt to appeal it. To do that, you'll use Social Security Form SSA-561-U2. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 Most Americans enroll in Medicare Part A when they turn 65. Since it comes at no cost to you (provided you've paid Medicare taxes), there’s little reason not to. However, not everyone chooses to enroll in part B, as it comes with monthly premiums. If you decide to enroll in part B after already being enrolled in part A, you’ll need to apply with form CMS-40b. Read More...

Dec 03, 2018 If you work for a public school or some kind of non-profit organization, you may have access to a 401(a) or a 403(b) plan. Both are retirement savings vehicles that offer major tax breaks. However, they are structured a bit differently. We’ll define both plans, as well as explain the pros and cons of each. We can also help you find a financial advisor to help you create a personalized retirement-planning roadmap. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 The process of applying for Medicare benefits is more complicated than it may initially seem. If you want to apply for a portion of Medicare insurance called Medicare Part B, you can only do so during certain parts of the year. If you plan to apply during what’s called a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), then you’ll need to fill out and send in a Form CMS-L654 as part of your application. Read More...

Dec 03, 2018 Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences you'll ever experience. But it doesn’t have to ruin your financial future. There are certain steps you can take to protect your nest egg during divorce proceedings, and we’ll cover each one. A financial advisor can also serve as a valuable asset as you split property and financials in a divorce. So let’s start by examining how 401(k) assets are split from a legal standpoint in a divorce. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 If you’re self-employed, you may be weighing the SEP IRA vs. Roth IRA decision. Both are tax-advantaged savings vehicles that provide particular benefits. But before we explore those and compare them, it's necessary to unpack who can invest in each and what the contribution limits are so you can make the best choice for your needs. Of course, you can always find a financial advisor to help you invest in a retirement plan that’s right for you. Read More...

Nov 19, 2018   From time to time, you need to provide information or records about yourself to another party - for instance, a doctor or insurance company. When this happens, you’ll need to ensure that all the information is accurate. You can request that the Social Security Administration (SSA) send your information or records directly to the third party by consenting for its release with Form SSA-3288. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Perhaps you lived your 20s without a care in the world. But once you reach your 30s, it’s time to start building wealth and getting serious about money. That can including everything from ramping up your  retirement saving and planning to grappling with your debt and credit issues. Following these tips can help you get on track with your finances and build wealth in your 30s. Read More...

Nov 16, 2018 The best places to retire in the U.S. are scattered across the country from coast to coast, and though they vary in climate and geography, they all tend to excel in particular areas. Cities with low tax burdens, easy access to health facilities, a high percentage of senior citizen residents and entertainment opportunities pepper the top of this list. Whether you want to spend retirement on sandy beaches or with the wilderness as your backyard, you can find what fits your lifestyle for your golden years. Below, you can discover which locations are best for retirees, how they'll affect your finances and how they stack up in terms of the healthcare and recreational offerings. You can also Read More...

Nov 15, 2018 Since electronic funds transfers (EFTs) have become commonplace, direct deposit has overtaken the mailing of paper checks as the most popular way to receive recurring payments.  Before you can get direct deposit payments, though, you'll need to fill out a form providing the payer with your personal and banking information. If the party sending you direct deposit payments is a government agency, the form you need to fill out is SF-1199a. Read More...

Nov 14, 2018 An annuity is good way to supplement your retirement savings to ensure your golden years are as smooth as possible. By locking in a fixed monthly income in exchange for an upfront payment, you can make sure that you’ll be able to handle all of your bills and expenses when you are no longer working. If you decide to buy an annuity for your retirement, you'll likely want to know what the future value of annuity is — or, in other words, what the total value of your annuity payments will be at any given point in the future. Luckily, there's a future value of annuity formula to figure that out. Read More...

Jul 31, 2019 The best retirement communities in Tennessee offer a range of amenities to backdrops like breathtaking mountains. You can also reside in luxurious homes with most maintenance costs covered by homeowners association (HOA) fees. Below, we cover the best retirement communities in the Volunteer State along with everything you can expect. This includes the price tag. But to make the most out of these great communities, you need careful financial planning. A financial advisor can provide expert guidance. You can use our free SmartAsset financial advisor matching service to find one. Advisors can also help with all financial issues, including things like … Read More...

Nov 13, 2018 If you're considering a move to California, you might be wondering how much you can expect to earn and what the average salary in California is. A lot of factors go into determining how much money you'll make no matter which state you live in, of course. Your chosen field and level of experience both play into how much you can expect to earn from your job. The area of the state in which you live will also impact your paycheck. You should take all of these factors into account when figuring out how much you can expect to earn in the Golden State. Read More...

Nov 13, 2018 Your Social Security number is an essential piece of information, used for everything from getting  Social Security benefits to opening a bank account. You'll find your number on your Social Security card, which can also be used as proof of your identity. While most parents get a Social Security card for their children at birth, you might find yourself needing to apply for one - either because it needs to be replaced, or because you never received one in the first place. To do this, you'll need to fill out Form SS-5.  Read More...

Nov 12, 2018 The best retirement communities in Maryland provide their residents with several options to stay active while also enjoying a laid-back lifestyle. Large clubhouses feature state-of-the-art gyms, spas and plenty of meeting rooms to spend quality time with your new friends. This article will cover everything you can expect at Maryland's retirement communities from amenities to scenery and price tags. However, you can always find a financial advisor to help you make the best retirement planning decisions. Read More...

Nov 12, 2018 When you retire, you’ll probably want nothing more than to sit in the sun, sipping lemonade and watching time pass from the comfort of your porch. There is no better place to do that than the South. Where in Dixie, though, do you want to spend your retirement? To help you decide, we’ve assembled a list of the top 10 best places to retire in the South and laid out what makes each location so appealing. If you want to live in one of these sun-kissed locales, you should start planning now. A financial advisor can help you achieve your retirement goals, and SmartAsset can help you find a financial advisor with our Read More...

Mar 18, 2019 Retirement communities in Florida have plenty to offer. From luxury homes to state-of-the-art fitness centers and amenities, you can spend your golden years in style while staying in the Sunshine State. Read on to learn more about the best retirement communities and what you can expect to find. Each community is listed based on general home prices, from low to high. You can also find a financial advisor to help you make the best decision. Read More...

Nov 12, 2018 Retirement is the time in your life when you can finally forget the stress of work and just relax. You may find yourself wondering, though, where exactly you want to spend your golden years. If you know you want to settle somewhere near the Atlantic but aren't quite sure where, this guide will walk you through the best places to retire on the East Coast. Making your dream retirement a reality takes money, though, and saving enough money takes planning. You might want to consider hiring a financial advisor to help you. SmartAsset can help you find a financial advisor who is right for you with our Read More...

Jul 31, 2019 When you reach a certain age, you might want to find a place to live where you can relax and engage with other people who have lived a life as full as yours. Retirement communities can be perfect for this. You’ll find haven from the outside world as you gain access to amenities and entertainment options and shed the burden of some home upkeep responsibilities in your retirement. Read More...

Nov 09, 2018 If spending your retirement surrounded by other active adults in a community with plenty of options for fun sounds ideal, you may want to consider a retirement community. There are numerous retirement communities in Texas. This guide will walk you through some of the best options in the Lone Star State, many of which are near the best places to retire in Texas. We provide the information you’ll need to decide which retirement community is going to check all of your boxes, whether that’s easy access to the golf course or a deluxe indoor pool. Read More...

Nov 09, 2018 Do you want to live in the crisp Rocky Mountain West in retirement, but you don’t want to deal with shoveling snow in the winter? A retirement community in Colorado may be the perfect place for you to hang your hat in your golden years. You can take advantage of all the amenities that these places have to offer and be part of a community of like-minded retirees. Plus, almost all of these retirement communities handle lawn care and snow removal for you, so your back will absolutely thank you. This guide lists some of the best retirement communities in Colorado for you to consider. Read More...

Jul 31, 2019 Retirement can be a grand part of your life. This is especially true if you surround yourself with other folks whose working days are behind them and who want to wile away the days with some cards and maybe a cold glass of lemonade. You can find that life in the Keystone State at any of the retirement communities in Pennsylvania. We’ll give you a glimpse of what each one has to offer, from floor plans to entertainment options. If you want help planning for a retirement in one of these locations, consider finding a financial advisor with our free financial advisor matching service. If you're already living in Pennsylvania, we also have lists of the… Read More...

Jul 31, 2019 The best retirement communities in Arizona have a lot to offer. Given that the state has everything from golf courses and resort-style pools to vast hiking trails surrounded by beautiful mountain tops, it's hard to get bored here. Read on to learn more about the best retirement communities in Arizona. Each place is listed based on general home prices, from low to high. Still, you can find a financial advisor to help you make a choice based on your individual circumstances. Read More...

Nov 02, 2018 A big part of your financial health relies on saving enough for retirement, from maximizing your 401(k) contributions to growing your other investment portfolios. But what happens to your investments once you reach retirement? Of course, finally reaching your golden years doesn’t mean you have to close all your investment accounts. Instead, you’ll need to make some changes to your portfolio to reflect the life change. Read More...

Nov 01, 2018 The best retirement communities in South Carolina are definitely a sight to see. From pristine beaches and palm trees to miles of hiking trails, South Carolina offers several opportunities to relax and stay active as you settle in a community of your contemporaries during your golden years. In this article, we’ll explore what you can expect at the best retirement communities in South Carolina. The area offers something in everyone’s price range. We list different retirement communities in order of home prices, from lowest to highest. Of course, consulting with a  financial advisor can always help as you arrange your financial strategy in your… Read More...

Nov 01, 2018 The best retirement communities in North Carolina offer plenty of amenities and the backdrop of rolling hills, mountains and pristine waterways. And you can make new friends at large clubhouses and country clubs. So you think the Tar Heel State may be the place you'd like to spend your golden years, read on for our coverage of the best retirement communities in North Carolina. We cover entertainment and recreation options as well as access to medical centers and major attractions. These retirement communities in North Carolina are listed based on general home prices, ranging from low to high. But it’s always a good idea to find a financial advisorRead More...

Oct 30, 2018 Retirement communities in Virginia offer a range of amenities and plenty of opportunities to stay active well into your golden years. You can enjoy championship golf courses designed by the likes of Arnold Palmer. Or you can relax at spas and heated indoor pools. This article will cover everything you can expect from the luxurious retirement communities in Virginia as well as the price tag, as you decide from among the best places to retire in Virginia. We break down our list based on general home price ranges, from smallest to largest. But a finding a… Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 When you walk down the aisle, you probably assume the union you are about to enter into will last a lifetime. The statistics tell us, though, that many don’t. Unfortunately, sometimes marriages end in divorce, which on top of personal turmoil can bring a host of legal and financial issues. If you live in Pennsylvania, this guide will explain everything you need to know about divorce in the Keystone State, from child support to retirement plan division. If you are in the midst of a divorce or about to file for one, it might make sense to find a financial advisor to help you through the process. SmartAsset can help you find an advisor in your area with our Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Newlyweds usually think that their love is going to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, that isn’t always true. As statistics show, some unions end in divorce. This is obviously difficult on an emotional level, but it can also cause legal and financial troubles. If you live in Florida, this guide will take you through what you need to know about ending a marriage in the Sunshine State. You’ll learn how to handle everything from your retirement plan to child support so that your divorce doesn’t cause any more issues than it needs to. Finding a financial advisor can also make a divorce easier. SmartAsset can help you find an advisor who is a good fit for you with our Read More...

Jul 25, 2019 Thailand receives a lot of attention as a retirement destination -- and for good reason. The cost of living is low, which means you can stretch your retirement savings further. The country has a rich culture with delicious cuisine and friendly people. The weather is sunny and hot, and there are plenty of beaches to kick back on. For more active retirees, you can visit beautiful temples or go for a hike. Interested? Here's what you need to know about spending your golden years in Thailand. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 No one thinks that their marriage is going to end in divorce, but unfortunately it does happen. This is obviously difficult on a personal level, but it also raises a number of legal and financial issues that you’ll have to solve. For those who live in North Carolina, this guide will walk you through the divorce process in the Tar Heel State. Here’s how you’ll handle everything from child support to 401(k) plans during your divorce so your financial life doesn’t go up in flames just because your marriage is ending. If you are going through a divorce, it might make sense to find a financial advisor. SmartAsset can help with our Read More...

Oct 30, 2018 One of the benefits that makes tax-deferred retirement accounts like 401(k) plans so attractive is their high contribution limits. This becomes especially appealing when your company offers a 401(k) employer match. However, some plans restrict highly compensated employees from making the maximum contribution. Nonetheless, you can walk around these restrictions and find ways to maximize your retirement savings. But first, let's determine if you are a highly compensated employee in the first place. You may be surprised. Read More...

Oct 26, 2018 Going through a divorce is never easy. But if you live in Illinois, it’s important to be aware of Illinois divorce laws before going deep into the proceedings. There are certain eligibility requirements one must meet to even file for divorce. In most cases, you’d need grounds for divorce such as adultery or felony conviction. Furthermore, Illinois courts divide marital property as it deems fair. But this doesn’t always mean an even split. Divorce can mean a period of great mental anguish, but it doesn't need to be hard on your bank account. This article will cover how Illinois divorce laws apply to all possible situations and allow you to be better informed so you can plan accordingly. And if you want extra guidance, consider linking up with a Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 One of the easiest ways to save for retirement is to contribute to your 401(k). Set up through your employer, a 401(k) allows you to set aside a certain amount of each paycheck before income taxes apply. Sometimes, your employer can also contribute to your 401(k) through an employer match program. This program can significantly boost your retirement savings, and if your employer offers matching, there’s very little extra work you need to do to snag this perk. How Does 401(k) Match Work? It’s important to note that employer matching usually doesn’t mean that your employer will match 100% of your contributions. Rather, your employer… Read More...

Oct 26, 2018 Virginia divorce laws can be complex. Individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements even before filing for divorce. And unless a couple agrees on how to split property and assets, a judge will divide these as fairly as the court sees fit. Child support and alimony may also play a role. But as emotionally straining as divorce can be, it doesn't have to be a financial nightmare. This article will explore how to file for divorce in Virginia and what you can do to protect your finances, whether you’re the plaintiff (person filing) or defendant. As always, finding a financial advisor can serve as a valuable asset to either party going through divorce in Virginia. Read More...

Oct 26, 2018 When love does not end up being until death do you part, you’ll have a maze of legal and financial challenges to work through as part of your divorce. If you live in California, you’ll need to know about the specifics of how divorce works in the Golden State. This guide will take you through the steps and specifics of divorce in California so you can  keep your finances intact even though your marriage is ending. If you are going through a divorce, you might want to find a financial advisor. SmartAsset can help you find a suitable advisor in your area with our Read More...

Oct 25, 2018 Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. While you’d like to think that your marriage will last forever, there may come a time when you and your spouse want to call it quits. That scenario brings with it a series of legal and financial challenges that you’ll have to work your way through. If you’re living in Texas, this guide will walk you through all of the intricacies of severing a marriage in the Lone Star State so that you can hopefully avoid having a Texas-sized mess on your hands. Finding a financial advisor can be a good idea during a divorce — try finding one using SmartAsset's Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 If you dream of retiring in Europe, Portugal is worth considering. It boasts a rich culture and a Mediterranean climate, all at an affordable price. There are sunny beaches in Algarve, wine in Porto and a historic metropolis in Lisbon. What’s more, the Portuguese government has taken steps in recent years to make the country easier and more affordable for tourists and expatriates. You may be eligible to receive up to 10 years of tax benefits, which will certainly help you extend your retirement savings. So for those looking to spend their golden years abroad, here's a rundown of the things you need to know in order to retire in Portugal. Read More...

Oct 24, 2018 It isn’t always entirely clear when we’re supposed to retire. The reality is that everyone’s situation is different. Some people have the means to retire early while others have to work their whole lives. To know exactly when you’ll be ready to retire, you’ll need to do some calculations. This will include looking at your salary, set expenses, savings, projected spending and more. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 When choosing a place to retire, you may want to look for an affordable locale that’s full of things to do and sights to enjoy. If you’re interested in retiring abroad, Argentina is an attractive country to consider. In addition to the low cost of living, it showcases a number of diverse cultures and has varied landscapes to explore - the Andes Mountains, glacial lakes and the Pampas in addition to Buenos Aires. But before making any moves, it’s a good idea to talk with a financial advisor - an expert who can help you understand the best way to make your retirement savings last. If you’re just researching why Argentina could be a good retirement destination and how you… Read More...

Dec 05, 2018 Retiring in Idaho is a great option for those seeking an active retirement. Because many of the cities given below lie along the Snake River or rest near a National Park, they offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. There’s still lots to do in Idaho even if the active lifestyle isn’t for you. Plus, the best places to retire aren’t just about fun activities. We also took into account taxes and the presence of medical centers to find the best places to retire in Idaho. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 If you dream of retiring on a sunny island with delicious food and a thriving local culture, it may be time to look at Greece. The country offers hot summers and mild winters. You can live in a metropolis, like Athens, or a picturesque town on Santorini. Greece has a long history with centuries of fine architecture, delicious foods and a thriving culture. So is Greece the right retirement destination for you? It’s good to get an expert opinion, like from a financial advisor, but this guide will help you to answer some basic questions about whether you could afford to live in Greece and… 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...

Jul 26, 2019 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...

Nov 12, 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...

Jan 02, 2019 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...

Nov 30, 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 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...

Nov 30, 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...

Dec 05, 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...

Jan 08, 2019 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...

Dec 21, 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...

Dec 21, 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...

Aug 23, 2019 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. 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...

Nov 12, 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...

Aug 21, 2019 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 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...

Dec 21, 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...

Nov 28, 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...

Dec 19, 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...

Dec 19, 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...

Jan 02, 2019 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...

Nov 28, 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...

Dec 05, 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...

Oct 31, 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...

Oct 31, 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...

May 21, 2019 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 06, 2019 The term perpetuity in finance and investing describes a constant stream of cash with no end, into perpetuity. The concept of perpetuity is pivotal when it comes to valuating stocks, businesses, real estate and more. Consequently, understanding how it works and how to calculate it can help you better understand your own investments and the financial world in general. 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...

Apr 08, 2019 Contributing to your 401(k) is a great way to prepare for retirement. And if you really want to super-charge your savings, you might even contribute the maximum to the account. The good news is that the 401(k) contribution limit jumped up to $19,000 for 2019. There are also catch-up limits you should know if you’re over age 50, as well as rules surrounding employer matching. Read More...

Oct 31, 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...

Oct 31, 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...

Sep 04, 2019 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...

Dec 21, 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 15, 2019 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...

Dec 19, 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...

Nov 19, 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...

Aug 23, 2019 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...

Aug 23, 2019 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...

Jul 19, 2019 As you sit down with your financial advisor to create an estate plan, one option that may arise is a testamentary trust. A testamentary trust is a type of trust that's created in a last will and testament. Also known as a will trust or a trust under will, a testamentary trust provides for the distribution of an estate into a trust when the person who created the trust dies. In this guide, we dive deeper into what exactly a testamentary trust is, how to create one and who can create one. Read More...

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

Jul 26, 2019 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...

Aug 23, 2019 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...

Oct 19, 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...

Jul 18, 2019 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 success. 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...

Apr 30, 2019 Per stirpes is a legal term of Latin origin (translated as "by roots" or "by branch") that has to do with the transfer of your assets after you pass away. Specifically, it comes into play when the beneficiaries you name in your will die before you do. As you build your  estate plan, you should understand what the per stirpes designation means and how it can impact your loved ones. Read More...

Oct 18, 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...

Aug 21, 2019 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...

Jul 09, 2019 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...

May 16, 2019 A gift tax is imposed by the IRS if you transfer money or property to another person without receiving at least equal value in return. This could apply to parents giving money to their children, the gifting of property such as a house or a car, or any other transfer. Whether or not the tax applies is dependent on a few factors, primarily the value of the gift. If the amount stays below the gift tax exclusion, you won't have to worry about any tax. There are both annual and lifetime exemption amounts. The annual gift tax exclusion for 2019 is $15,000, and the lifetime exclusion is $11.4 million. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 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...

Jun 24, 2019 There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to planning for retirement, including  401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and annuities. While saving in any way is great, each of these offer different benefits and drawbacks. One type of plan, though, should be approached with special caution: The 702(j) “retirement” plan. While it might sound like yet another retirement plan named after a section of the tax code, a 702(j) plan isn’t really a retirement plan at all. Rather, it is a type of life insurance frequently sold to consumers as a retirement plan. If you’re serious about saving for retirement, this guide explains whether a 702(j) plan makes sense for you and your finances. 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...

Sep 20, 2018 Despite no longer working, retirees are an important part of a local economy. They number in the millions and make up a large amount of consumer demand. As one example of their purchasing power, the Social Security Administration estimates that in 2018 it will pay out approximately $1 trillion in Social Security benefits, 72% of which will go to retirees. With that sort of money on the line where retirees decide to move for their retirement is an important consideration for cities across the country.  Read More...

Aug 01, 2019 By the time your 30s arrive, you’ve probably settled into an adult life. But you haven’t really fully embraced “adulting” unless you’ve started saving for retirement. Whether it’s through an employer-sponsored retirement plan or some other financial product, the time to start planning for the end of your working days is now. Even if it seems like retirement is just a distant dream, you’ll want to get started now to make sure you and your family are secure when you’re ready to stop working. With that in mind, here is a guide for how to invest for retirement at age 30. Read More...

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

Sep 20, 2018 In March 2018, the unemployment rate was a low 4.1%, with about 6.6 million Americans unemployed. This is good news for job seekers, as it's the lowest U.S. unemployment has been since 2000. Different types of jobs are available in different parts of the country, and it can be immensely valuable for workers today to get ahead of tomorrow's employment trends. It can mean the difference between a secure retirement and a working retirement.  Read More...

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

Apr 17, 2019 Required minimum distributions (RMDs) are withdrawals you have to make from most retirement plans when you reach the age of 70.5. The amount you must distribute depends on the balance in your account and your life expectancy as defined by the IRS. If you want to have more hands-on assistance as you make withdrawal decisions, SmartAsset can help you  find a financial advisor. Read More...

Jul 15, 2019 You've worked hard for decades and now the time has come to enjoy yourself. Regardless of what you do in your retirement, you should always be aware of how much you have left for retirement savings. There isn't just a danger issue of running out of savings, you can also hurt yourself by not spacing out your spending. This is where a retirement budget really helps. Read More...

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

Aug 01, 2019 Regardless of your age, making sure you have enough money for  retirement takes strategic planning. The hope is that you've been actively saving money for years. Garnering $1 million in your retirement nest egg might seem like a far-fetched idea. But if you start early and manage it correctly, you might surprise yourself. But once you leave the workforce, you also have to make sure that money can get you through the rest of your life. Below, we detail some different steps you can take to make sure what you save for retirement lasts. Read More...

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

Sep 20, 2018 The gender pay gap has slowly been closing over the past decade. The Census Bureau estimates that in 2016 the average full-time employed woman earned 80.3% of what her male counterpart earned. In 2005, that number was 76.7%. But the gender pay gap does still exist and is more than just a number. When women earn less that affects their long-term earning potential and their ability to  save for retirement, whether on their own or with the help of a financial advisor. The gender wage gap issue is also not uniformly spread across the workforce. Read More...

Jul 30, 2019 The U.S. Census Bureau states that the average American retires at age 63. Yet the Social Security Administration defines full retirement age as between 65 and 67, depending on your year of birth. Your employer may say something different. Deciding when to retire is one of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make. Retire too late and you may not have the energy to enjoy it. But if you retire too early, you could end up in financial trouble. So how can you know if you're truly ready to retire? Read More...

May 02, 2019 Many people dream of spending their retirement in a sunny and warm locale, often heading to Arizona or Florida. But perhaps you’re interested in retiring abroad instead of stateside. In fact, heading south of the border to Mexico has become increasingly popular for American retirees. This is largely due to the warmer weather and lower cost of living. Before you hop on a plane, it’s important to know how to retire in Mexico. Read More...

Aug 01, 2019 We all know that we should save for retirement, but actually doing that is a challenge. There are a few basic rules to follow, though, that can help you figure out what your goal should be and how to meet it. A financial advisor can also help make saving for retirement easier. Find one to help you with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

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

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

Aug 21, 2019 The average financial advisor makes $123,100 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is about 2.5 times more than the average U.S. worker. But being a financial advisor is about more than just pay. It can also be a rewarding profession. Financial advisors can be some of the most trusted people in their clients' lives, as they help them reach life goals like saving for a secure retirement. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 Saving for retirement is tough. Between paying rent or a mortgage, combined with credit card debt, or maybe student loans, finding a few spare dollars to contribute to a retirement fund is difficult. In fact, almost one in 10 seniors have an income which puts them below the poverty line, according to Census Bureau data. But there are some places where seniors are set up for a financially secure retirement thanks to diligent financial planning. Below we look at the top 10 places where seniors are best positioned for retirement. Read More...

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

Aug 15, 2019 Beth Kobliner has achieved success in journalism and finance over the past few decades. Her work has featured in a number of financial publications and she's made the rounds on TV and radio. She served on financial advisory councils for President Obama and created a teaching tool, Money as You Grow, that was later adopted by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Through it all, Kobliner has worked to share what she thinks are the essential money lessons that every one should know. Let's take a look at some of her biggest lessons. Read More...

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

Aug 23, 2019 Putting away money for retirement isn’t always easy. Once you figure out how much you need to save for retirement, then the real planning begins. Consistently putting money into savings is a difficult habit to build. Luckily, there are a number of retirement savings options. Perhaps your employer offers a 401(k). Maybe you save via your own individual retirement account (IRA). Annuities are simply another way to supplement your retirement income, but they aren’t right for everyone. Read More...

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

Jul 17, 2019 Investment management, also called asset management, money management or portfolio management, refers to the professional management of an asset portfolio. Investment managers buy and sell securities and other assets to achieve specified investment goals. Both private investors and corporations use investment management services to handle their investments. Here's what you need to know. Read More...

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

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

Jul 17, 2019 The first cohort of millennials entered the workforce around the time of the Great Recession, when the economy was sputtering. Combine that fact with the constantly changing make-up of the modern economy and you have a uniquely difficult employment situation for working millennials. Below we look at the data to see how millennials have responded and to find the most popular jobs for millennials. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Imagine a world where you don’t have to constantly stress about money. You have enough to cover your bills and regular expenses. More than that, how would you like to know that you can afford to live the lifestyle you want to live? These things are all possible when you are financially stable. So what is financial stability and how can you get there? Let's take a look. Read More...

Jul 26, 2019 According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute's (EBRI) 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey, many people aren’t confident that they're doing a good job of financially preparing for retirement. EBRI found that only 28% of workers were confident in their retirement planning. That’s the highest level since 2013, but it’s still less than one-third of workers. Another 28% of people said that they were either not too confident or not confident at all. So let's take a look at what you can do to prepare for your retirement. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 A SIMPLE IRA is an excellent tool for small business owners to help their employees save up for retirement. This type of retirement account combines features of both the traditional IRA and the 401(k). Like both of these plans, the SIMPLE IRA is subject to annual contribution limits. In 2019, employees can contribute up to $13,000 to a SIMPLE IRA account, significantly more than the $6,000 limit of traditional and Roth IRAs, but less than the $19,000 401(k) limit. Read More...

Sep 12, 2018 Ramit Sethi built himself up from humble beginnings to become a millionaire entrepreneur and best-selling author. The advice on his blog isn't groundbreaking, but it's his approach that sets him apart. He doesn't hold back and tries to tell people what they actually need to hear in order to be successful. If other financial experts haven't been helping you, Sethi might just be your guy. Read More...

Jul 19, 2019 Estate planning is the process of making a plan for how your assets will be distributed upon your death or incapacitation. Through estate planning, you can ensure your assets are given to the people and organizations you care about and also take steps to minimize the impact of taxes and other costs on your estate. Even if you don’t have a million-dollar home or a hefty bank account, you should take steps --- either on your own or with the help of a financial advisor or attorney -- to ensure that your assets end up where they should. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Patrice Washington had her fair share of financial troubles when she was younger. Now she helps others take control of their finances with honest and direct advice. She isn't just going to drone on about building a budget though. Washington prefers to help people understand why they struggle with money so that they can build a solid foundation that will help them build wealth for the rest of their lives.  Read More...

Sep 06, 2018 When it comes to saving for retirement, you have a ton of options to choose from. Do you open a traditional IRA or a open a Roth IRA? Which investments should you place in your 401(k)? It can be a lot to navigate, especially without a financial advisor. A good place to start is simply to familiarize yourself with the retirement options you have. Let's take a look at Roth IRAs, 401(k)s and the differences between them. Read More...

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

Jul 23, 2019 Personal finance is not something they teach you in school. Alexa von Tobel understands this and has dedicated her life to teaching people the financial lessons they need. As the CEO of LearnVest, von Tobel has helped people to gain control of their spending and with her book she has brought awareness and financial knowledge to college-aged readers. So how can you apply her simple advice to help improve your finances? Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 Are your retirement savings on track? It can be hard to know exactly how much you should have tucked away and by what age. And how do you stack up compared to others? Taking a look at the average 401(k) balance by age can be a good way to see how you're doing. An employer-sponsored retirement account like a 401(k) is a great option for investing money pre-tax - especially if there's an employer match. Make sure you're taking full advantage. Read More...

Oct 19, 2018 Wes Moss has spent his career helping people to retire as soon as possible and as happily as possible. As a certified financial planner, Moss has experience showing people ways to reach their financial goals. He has also worked with people of all levels to help create them create retirement plans. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 Nicole Lapin is a financial expert and successful entrepreneur who learned everything the hard way. She never studied finance or business. Instead she worked hard and tried to learn as much about money as she could. Now she shares the financial lessons she has learned so that others can take control of their finances. If you're looking for some help reaching financial stability, Nicole Lapin's advice could be the right place to start. Read More...

Sep 12, 2018 In short, yes, your inheritance is taxable. However, the full story is more complicated than a simple yes or no answer. Whether you'll pay inheritance tax and how much you'll pay depends on a variety of factors, including which state the deceased lived in and what your relationship to the deceased was. You could pay nothing -- or you could pay as much as 18% of the value of the inheritance. Read on for a full primer on the taxes related to inheritance. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 Many people dream about retirement as a time to relax, have fun or just do whatever they want. To have the retirement of your dreams, you'll need savings. How much you need depends on multiple factors so let's take a look at the answer to the question "how much money should I have saved by 30?" Read More...

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

Aug 21, 2019 Farnoosh Torabi has spent years working in finance. She's written about topics ranging from saving money on groceries to investing your money more wisely. She's also the host of the award-winning podcast, "So Money," where she interviews successful people about the things that helped them find success in life. If you're a young professional who has ever had questions about money, check out Torabi's advice. Read More...

Jul 31, 2019 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 directly transfer the money from one account to the other. You can also move the money from your employer’s account into your own individual retirement account (IRA). Either way, you’ll need to do something called an IRA rollover. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 When deciding how to invest your money, you'll likely run into two types of funds: exchange-traded funds (EFTs) and mutual funds. But you may be wondering, ETF vs. mutual fund? What's the difference? The two funds have a lot in common, but they are different in key ways. If you don't have a financial advisor guiding you through the process, here's what you need to know to figure out which fund is right for you. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 One of the most important considerations when evaluating your portfolio is figuring out what the return on investment (ROI) is for all the investing choices you make. Return on investment is a ratio that represents your earnings in comparison to the costs of your investment. This number can gauge the bottom line return of an investment, whether it’s in real estate, stocks or bonds. After you get a grasp on what is ROI, learn how it can help with not just investment evaluation, but also with investment and retirement planning. Read More...

May 16, 2019 You're likely already 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. One of the biggest perks of a 401(k) plan is that employers have the option to match your contributions to your account up to a certain point. While the IRS places annual contribution limits on 401(k) contributions, employer matches do not count towards that limit. However, there is a higher annual limit for overall contributions, which does include employer matching. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 A SEP-IRA is a tax-deferred retirement plan for self-employed people and small business owners. It can be a useful tool for saving for retirement. Like all retirement savings programs, though, there are limits, rules and regulations you need to know about to get the most out of your savings. While a good financial advisor can help you navigate the finer points of retirement account rules, we’ll walk you through the most important limits and rules you need to know. Read More...

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

Aug 16, 2019 If you’ve thought about investing any time over the past decade, you might have heard people talking about robo-advisors. The first big robo-advisor popped around the time of the Great Recession. Since then, hundreds more have opened. Betterment, which is one of the biggest robo-advisors, has assets under management that total about $10 billion. So what are these companies that people are now investing billions of dollars with? Read More...

Sep 20, 2018 Do you want to retire early? Starting your golden years sooner may sound enticing but it's a difficult proposition. You'll probably need to earn a lot, and you'll definitely need to save aggressively and budget carefully. There are some states in the U.S. that are better suited for retirees, where your retirement savings would go further. Below SmartAsset finds the best states for an early retirement in 2017. Read More...

Apr 17, 2019 While most estate plans focus on leaving wealth to your heirs, some people also wish to provide for a charitable cause with their estate. A charitable remainder trust allows you to do both. This type of trust lets you set up an income stream for you and your beneficiaries and then give the remainder to a charity. Charitable remainder trusts come with many benefits, especially when it comes to taxes. But they also come with some rules and restrictions you should know before setting one up. 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 12, 2019 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.  Read More...

Aug 20, 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. Read More...

May 01, 2019 One of the most attractive features of a 401(k) plan is that you can contribute pre-tax dollars throughout your career. This reduces your taxable income and allows you to contribute more to your retirement with each paycheck. That said, you're only postponing taxation, not avoiding it entirely. You'll still have to pay taxes on that money once you start withdrawing it. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 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. Read More...

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. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 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. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 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. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 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. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 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. Read More...

Aug 07, 2019 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. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 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. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 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 personal experience, too. She once found herself deep in debt and had to change her habits to dig her way out. Read More...

Oct 19, 2018 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. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 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. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 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? Read More...

Sep 12, 2018 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. Read More...

Oct 19, 2018 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. Her advice is simple but sound. If you could use some help with your finances, read on. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 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. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 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? Read More...

Jun 01, 2018 If you're ready to create a financial plan but can't quite do it on your own, you might need the help of 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 certifications, most noticeably ChFC and CFP designations. 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. Read More...

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. Read More...

Sep 12, 2018 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 advisor who has earned a certification in mutual funds. Her expertise helps her to make educated recommendations for investing your money. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 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. Read More...

May 21, 2018 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. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 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. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 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.  Read More...

Aug 06, 2019 Private wealth management is an investment advisory practice focused on serving the unique needs of wealthy individuals. The practice incorporates a wide range of services, including financial planning and investment management, to manage significant amounts of wealth in a comprehensive fashion. Private wealth managers at small boutique firms and big-name firms like Goldman Sachs help high-net-worth individuals, couples, families and small foundations to grow and protect their assets and plan for the future. So what distinguishes private wealth management from other… Read More...

Jul 26, 2019 Self-employment or working for a small business may sound like a dream. However, one downside is that you likely won’t have access to a workplace retirement plan like a 401(k). Sure, you could max out the $6,000 annual IRA contribution limit, but that might not be enough to reach your savings goals. That’s where the Keogh (pronounced KEY-oh) plan can come in. A Keogh plan is a tax-deferred retirement plan for self-employed people and small businesses. Read More...

Apr 01, 2019 Update: As of January 1, 2018, recharacterization of Roth IRAs is no longer possible due to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Once you convert a traditional IRA to a Roth, you no longer have the option of changing back to a traditional. The below article describes how the process worked before this change. -- Many people choose to convert their traditional IRAs into Roth IRAs. This means paying taxes now in exchange for enjoying tax-free growth and withdrawals down the road. If you regretted that decision, you could undo it through a process known as recharacterization. However, this is no longer allowed under current tax law. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 The Medicare eligibility age is the age at which you have access to Medicare Part A and are able to purchase Medicare Part B. For just about everyone, the Medicare eligibility age is 65. For some with disabilities or End Stage Renal Disease, though, eligibility may come at a younger age. Most people are eligible to receive part A without having to pay for it, but there are a few exceptions, which we'll note in further detail below. Read More...

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.  Read More...

Apr 12, 2019 Giving to charity can be a benefit in many ways. Not only does it help people and make you feel good, it can have a positive impact on your taxes. Taking money out of an individual retirement account (IRA) to give to charity is known as a qualified charitable distribution (QCD), and it may help you with your taxes. Make sure you know everything about QCDs before making the decision to take this path, and talk to a financial advisor if you need help. Find a financial advisor with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

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. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 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. Read More...

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. Read More...

Sep 20, 2018 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. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 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. Read More...

Jun 20, 2019 Determining the best time for you to begin receiving Social Security benefits has become a more complex endeavor in recent decades. Technically, you can elect for these benefits as soon as you reach age 62, or you could wait all the way until you're 70. An important benchmark to use in this decision is your full retirement age (FRA). Your FRA is the point at which you're able to earn the full amount of benefits that you've earned throughout your career, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, that doesn't mean it's the age at which you can receive your maximum benefit, as we'll see in more detail below. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 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.  Read More...

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.  Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 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. Read More...

Sep 20, 2018 If you're a millennial, it probably won't shock you to learn that the average salary of a millennial today is an estimated 20% lower than the average salary that a baby boomer had at the same age (in real terms). What's more, today's millennials are deeper in debt than their parents were at their age. Let's take a closer look at the average salary of a millennial. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 If you follow business and technology news you probably hear about blockbuster IPOs. Does this news leave you wondering if you should invest in an IPO? Are you afraid of missing out on the potential for fortune-making returns from an IPO? Read on to learn more about investing in an IPO and how to separate the hype from the reality.  Read More...

Jul 11, 2019 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 in a tax-advantaged way. But the IRS limits how much you can contribute to these retirement accounts each year. In 2019, that limit is $6,000 for people under 50 and $7,000 for people age 50 and older. There are also limits to who can contribute to these accounts, which are based on your income and whether you're covered by a workplace retirement plan. Read More...

May 15, 2018 We all know that it's hard to become a high-earner in this country without a college degree. This can make it hard to save for retirement or meet other financial goals. Access to the middle class is increasingly reserved for those with some higher education under their belts. Let's take a closer look at the average salary by education level to see what dividends education pays.  Read More...

Feb 24, 2017 You may have heard talk of "block granting" Medicaid in the news or in House Majority Leader Paul Ryan's outline for a replacement to the Affordable Care Act. What exactly does "block granting" mean and how does it work? How would it affect healthcare access for the low-income and elderly Americans who currently rely on Medicaid for health insurance? Let's take a closer look.  Read More...

Apr 30, 2019 Are you making enough money? It's a complicated question, and the answer depends on where you live and what your needs and long-term goals are. But some people just want to know how their pay compares to that of other people their age. No one likes to feel like they're at the back of the pack, after all. To help you get a sense of where you stand, we took a closer look at the average salary by age for full-time workers in the U.S. We got this data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which tracks Americans' earnings by several demographic factors, including age. These numbers are for full-time workers in each age set. Read More...

Mar 02, 2017 Does retirement sometimes seem like a pipe dream? It’s true that incomes and jobs aren't what they once were. Plus, planning for something 20, 30 or 40 years in the future can be difficult. But with careful planning and financial management, it's possible to save enough to enjoy retirement. Depending on where you hope to live, early retirement may even be possible. We looked at data on the 15 largest cities to help you figure out how early can you retire? Read More...

Feb 20, 2017 Retirement is supposed to be the time when seniors finally get a chance to relax after working for decades. But sometimes, having no job at all doesn’t work out for retirees. Some may need extra income, while others may simply want to remain productive. If you're looking for a temporary gig or side hustle, here are 12 part-time job opportunities for retirees. Read More...

Jul 09, 2019 The median pay for a flight attendant was $56,000 in 2018, according to the latest data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That figure climbs above the national average. You’d likely need just a high school diploma to become a flight attendant. But you need to meet certain requirements before you become one. We’ll cover all you need to know about entering the field and how much you can expect to earn. And as you think of navigating the friendly skies and your finances, consider getting a financial advisor to help. Read More...

Sep 25, 2017 The Fed’s decision to raise rates at the end of 2016 sparked much speculation about what that would mean for everyday Americans. While the rate hike will benefit savers by boosting their interest rates, it'll hurt borrowers by making it more expensive to take out a loan. But the rate hike may have a much larger impact on retirees who rely on savings and investments to live. Let's look at how rising interest rates could affect seniors across the country. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 While preparing for retirement is a good idea, having a plan in place for how to withdraw your savings is equally important. Without considering how you'll use the funds in your accounts, you could run out of money or lose most of your savings to taxes. Here's how to develop a strategy that'll allow you to withdraw your retirement assets as efficiently as possible. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 The official unemployment rate is considered to be a good indicator of where the economy stands, but there's still a lot that it won't tell you. Looking at the unemployment rate won't tell you how long people without jobs haven't been able to find work, for instance. And it doesn't reveal anything about the number of people who are underemployed. Underemployment is a fairly broad term that can help us understand who is currently satisfied with their level of employment and who isn't. Currently, different institutions have divergent methods of quantifying the underemployment rate. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 Many of us often dream (or stress) about the day when we can finally leave our full-time jobs behind and treat every day like it's a Saturday. Some of us, though, are thinking about ditching our 9-to-5 routine sooner rather than later. What does it take to retire early? Let’s take a look. Read More...

Jun 24, 2019 You may think of police officers as having blue-collar jobs. However, the salary of a police officer is higher than you might expect. The median annual salary of a police officer is $65,400. Being a police officer comes with risks, but it can also be a financially rewarding career. Let's take a closer look at the average salary of a police officer and where officers make the most.  Read More...

Feb 07, 2017 You’ve worked hard for 40-odd years and now you are ready to ready to enjoy a long relaxing retirement. But where should you live? You probably want to be somewhere affordable to get the most out of your retirement savings, but you may also want to be somewhere with warm weather and relaxing activities. It may also be important that you retire to a place where the stress of potential crime is far from your mind. Below, we used these and other metrics to determine the best places for a relaxing retirement. Read More...

Jan 26, 2017 Folks at all income levels dream of the chance to retire with enough money to live comfortably. And retiring early, when you're young enough to fully enjoy it, is an especially enticing prospect. In order to live that dream, early retirees need to track their money carefully making sure no dollar is wasted. But money isn't early retirees' only concern. Access to medical care and general quality of life are also important. We looked at these and other factors to see which were the best cities for an early retirement. Read More...

May 31, 2018 If one of your New Year's resolutions is to finally start saving for retirement, an individual retirement account may be just what you need. IRAs offer a tax-advantaged way to save for the future but they're not all created equal. If you're planning to open your first IRA in 2018, we'll help you get started. Here are three tips you'll need to consider. Read More...

Sep 20, 2018 Many people look forward to the day they can hang up their work clothes for good and enjoy their golden years. For most people, retirement occurs sometime in their late 60s or even their 70s. However, with careful planning and prudent financial management, it is possible to retire even earlier. There are many factors at play when determining whether a place is suitable for an early retirement. First and foremost are financial concerns.  Read More...

Nov 09, 2017 In 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act into law. This legislation would create a state-sponsored retirement savings program with the goal of improving savings options for private sector workers. It’s an ambitious plan and faces many challenges before it can go into effect.  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...

Jul 16, 2018 Your credit score can affect many different aspects of your financial life. If you're hoping to buy a home, refinance your student debt or get a new credit card, your credit is going to come into play. One thing you may not automatically connect your credit score with, however, is your retirement plan. You may be surprised to learn that your score can influence how financially sound you are after you stop working. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 The so-called gig economy is reshaping the way companies sell products and services, and it's having an impact on how its workers plan their financial futures. While freelancers and independent contractors may have more flexibility, their jobs typically don't come with built-in retirement plans. If you're part of the gig economy, here's how you can plan for retirement. Read More...

Mar 29, 2017 Not everyone leaves the workforce at age 65. Some people decide to retire before they reach full retirement age, even if they have to miss out on some of the Social Security benefits they're entitled to receive. Others try to keep working for as long as they can because retiring early isn't possible or they're afraid of outliving their retirement savings. For the second year in a row, SmartAsset took a look at how the average retirement age varies across the country. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 Part of planning for retirement is deciding when to leave your job behind. But sometimes plans go awry. If a sickness prevents you from working or your company downsizes, you could be forced to retire months or years ahead of schedule. If you haven't saved enough money, there's no need to panic. Here are five steps to take when you're forced into an early retirement. Read More...

Sep 26, 2016 Saving for retirement can be a daunting task and it's hard to do it without a road map. Maxing out your employer-sponsored plan (such as your 401(k) account) can be a great starting point. But there's more than one way to pad your retirement accounts. If you're looking for creative ways to boost your savings, here are some ideas that you can begin to implement. Read More...

May 06, 2019 SEPP, which stands for substantially equal periodic payments, is a little-known program that can enable you to withdraw money from your IRA or 401(k) before age 59.5 without facing an early withdrawal penalty. Doing so is permanent, so it may not be the best course of action if you need a short-term cash infusion. Before you commit to a SEPP plan, make sure you’ve considered all the ins and outs and concluded that it’s the best option for your situation. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Knowing that you should save for retirement and actually doing it are two different things. If you never got around to building a nest egg, you run the risk of going broke in retirement. That could be a problem if you have a lot of unpaid debt and financial obligations. But luckily, there are ways to stay afloat when you run out of savings. Here are three ways to cope when you come up short. Read More...

Mar 09, 2017 By the time you turn 60, you may be ready to leave the workforce for good. But some seniors aren't in the financial position to quit their jobs. While working in retirement won't prevent you from claiming your Social Security benefits, it could affect your benefit amount. If you're planning to work after you retire, here's what you'll need to consider before taking Social Security. Read More...

Aug 01, 2019 Worrying about having enough retirement savings can keep you up at night. If you've barely put anything away, it's easy to panic or give up on saving altogether. But there's a third option: You can find ways to funnel a few extra bucks into your 401(k) account or your IRA. If you're ready to put more effort into saving, here are seven easy ways to fill your retirement accounts. Read More...

Sep 07, 2016 Married couples have to figure out how to merge their assets. And whether they're managing budgets or mapping out a plan to eliminate debt, it's important for both people to be on the same page. That's particularly true when it comes to planning for retirement. Whether you're a newlywed or you've been hitched for decades, here are some issues that you can't afford to overlook. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 If you're young, your retirement healthcare needs are probably the last thing on your mind. But even if your golden years are decades away, it might be a good idea to start thinking about how you're going to pay for your medical bills and medications. The average 65-year-old couple who retired in 2015 can expect to spend a total of $394,954 on premiums, co-pays and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses by the time they turn 85, according to a recent report. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 If you're thinking about retiring, you may want to consider how leaving the workforce might affect your adult children. Many millennials live at home with their parents. And a large percentage of those who live on their own rely on their parents for financial support. Before you give up your career, check out some of the factors you'll need to discuss with your kids first. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 October 15 marks the beginning of the annual Medicare open enrollment period. If you're a senior, you'll have until December 7 to make changes to your existing coverage or enroll in Medicare for the first time. While navigating the maze of healthcare options can be tricky, you can't afford to make any mistakes. Here's what you need to know in order to prepare for open enrollment. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 An emergency fund can go a long way in keeping you from running out of cash when you lose your job or you're forced to cover the cost of an emergency expense. Once you retire, you may think that you no longer need a rainy day fund, but that's not necessarily the case. Here are five reasons why having an emergency fund can come in handy after you decide to leave the workforce. Read More...

Jun 11, 2018 There are lots of reasons why you might consider buying a home overseas. Perhaps you've found the ultimate vacation spot and you want a permanent place to park your stuff. Or maybe the idea of spending your golden years someplace warm and sunny appeals to you. Either way, buying property in a foreign country is going to be a different experience than buying a place on your home turf. Before you fall in love with that Italian villa or a Mexican hacienda, here are five things to take into account. Read More...

Jul 30, 2019 One million dollars is often cited as the amount that most people should use as their benchmark when trying to figure out how much they need to save for retirement. But you may be able to retire on less than $1 million, depending on your financial situation. While having a lot of money in the bank is always a plus, you don't have to be rolling in dough in order to retire comfortably. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 Retirement is supposed to be a time when you can sit back and relax. But for some seniors, their golden years aren't as bright as they anticipated. According to a recent report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the number of retirees who say their retirement is "very satisfying" declined by nearly 12% within a 15-year period, while the number of those who say it's not satisfying at all has increased by nearly 3%. Read More...

Aug 06, 2018 Most people assume that once you hit retirement, it's time to pack up and move someplace sunny. But surprisingly, many American seniors aren't interested in straying too far from home. A survey from The American College of Financial Services found that 83% of retirees or near retirees had no plans to relocate in their later years. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Full retirement age is now 66 or 67, depending on the year you were born. But a recent survey revealed that one in four workers don't plan to retire until after their 70th birthday. While some people may choose to work longer out of a desire to stay active, others may have to do so in order to keep up with their expenses. If you're thinking about putting off your retirement, here's a look at some of the pros and cons of working until age 70. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Cutting the apron strings is an important rite of passage for many parents but one thing that many of them fail to do is cut the purse strings while they're at it. According to a recent survey, 6 in 10 Americans provide financial support to their adult children and in doing so, they may be putting their retirement security at risk. Read More...

Jun 28, 2019 Getting married means more than merging your lives - it's also about joining your finances together. Handling money as a married couple can be challenging at any age but it can be especially tricky for retirees who are concerned about keeping their nest egg secure. If you're a senior who's planning on walking down the aisle again or for the first time, here are some important rules to keep in mind. Read More...

Sep 24, 2018 Planning for retirement involves more than just mapping out your savings strategy. You'll need to know how much you can afford to spend once you leave the workforce. In the past, some financial experts recommended that retirees stick with the 4% rule when making retirement withdrawals. But it may not be the best guideline for everyone. Here's what you need to know about the rule. Read More...

Jun 16, 2016 Retirement can be a hotly anticipated stage of life. But things are changing. With people living longer and the Baby Boomers retiring, there are important things we all might forget about retirement. We can't forget about how Social Security works, how much health care is going to cost and, of course, we can't forget that saving for retirement early is one of the most important things we can do to prepare. Read More...

Jun 15, 2016 More and more seniors are staying in the workforce in their 60s and beyond. Some keep working out of financial necessity. Others want to wait to retire until age 70, when they'll receive the maximum in Social Security income. Still others stay in the labor force because they derive satisfaction and enjoyment from their jobs. Here are the best cities for a "worktirement" in 2016. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Saving for retirement is a common financial goal, but it's often easier said than done. A new survey suggests that despite the pressure to plan for the future, retirement savings rates have dropped. Meanwhile, concerns about not having enough money in retirement have risen. If you haven't saved much for your golden years, keep reading to see how you compare to the rest of the country. Read More...

Feb 07, 2017 Traveling and volunteering are both great ways to spend your golden years. But some seniors are more interested in starting the businesses they've always dreamed of founding. Donning a small business owner's hat later in life can be rewarding, but it comes with a certain degree of risk. Before you get started, it's a good idea to consider the following financial tips. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Social Security benefits supplement existing savings in retirement and while they're valuable to many seniors, they're often misunderstood. In a recent survey, only 28% of participants earned a passing grade when quizzed on their knowledge about Social Security. Here's a look at the most common things seniors get wrong when it comes to Social Security. Read More...

May 18, 2016 One of the most challenging aspects of raising teenagers is helping them develop good money management skills. Teaching them how to budget and save can help them build a solid financial foundation. Setting up a custodial IRA can help them start preparing for retirement. Basically, it's a traditional or Roth IRA that you'll maintain control of until your child becomes an adult. If your teen doesn't have one, here are three reasons to consider opening a custodial IRA. Read More...

May 10, 2016 Tying the knot means making a commitment to share every aspect of your life with your significant other. As you begin merging your money, one area that requires special attention is your retirement planning strategy. Building a nest egg as a team can be easier than doing it alone if you know which steps to take. Here are four retirement planning moves for newlyweds. Read More...

May 09, 2016 Everyone wants to be able to retire comfortably, but making that dream a reality is easier said than done. Even if you're socking money away here and there, there's no guarantee that you'll have enough cash for your golden years. In fact, you could be sabotaging your long-term financial goals without even realizing it. Here are five mistakes that can leave you feeling the pinch in retirement. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 As the baby boomer generation ages into their 60s and 70s, the number of retirees in the United States is going to increase. So too will their economic sway. Many retirees, no longer anchored to a city or region by their job, choose to pack up and leave. Some seek a lower cost of living. Others want beautiful scenery, warm weather or both. Some are looking for lower taxes on their retirement income. Read More...

Sep 14, 2018 Opening an individual retirement account (IRA) can be an excellent way to supplement your 401(k) or another employer-sponsored retirement plan. A traditional IRA offers tax-deferred savings while a Roth IRA allows for tax-free withdrawals in retirement. In some scenarios, your financial advisor may recommend converting your IRA into an annuity. This type of savings vehicle offers a consistent stream of income but it isn't right for everyone. Before you convert your IRA, let's take a look at the pros and cons of doing so. Read More...

Aug 01, 2019 Retirement planning is a hot topic and the research suggests that Americans are overwhelmingly unprepared. According to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, only 22% of workers say they're very confident about their ability to save enough for a comfortable retirement. Seventeen percent said they're not too sure they'll be able to meet their basic expenses once they retire. Read More...

Mar 29, 2017 What’s your ideal retirement? For the couch potatoes among us, it probably involves lots of big books, television shows and classic movies. Beach bums might envision a spot in the sand with a cool drink and a bit of shade. Others prefer the purpose (and income) provided by entrepreneurship or a part-time job. For many, however, the perfect retirement isn’t about relaxation or economic productivity. It’s about staying active, staying fit and getting some fresh air in the process. Read More...

Nov 04, 2016 In the final stretch of his presidency, Obama has made it his mission to encourage states to make it easier for workers to save for retirement. Currently, there are almost 70 million Americans without employer-sponsored retirement plans. While many states are making an effort to develop new savings vehicles, five of them are ahead of the curve. Read on to find out which ones have already created their own retirement savings programs for their residents. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 If retiring rich is one of your financial goals, one of the best ways to make that happen is to study the habits of wealthy savers. When it comes to money, the rich know a thing or two about growing it and making it last, both of which are evident in the way they build their nest eggs. If you want to enjoy a lavish post-work lifestyle, here are three retirement planning rules you can put into practice. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 You probably understand that saving for retirement is important, but you might not know exactly how to get started. Whether you're able to participate in an employer-sponsored plan or not, contributing to an individual retirement account (IRA) can be a great way to prepare yourself for the future. Check out our beginner’s guide to getting started with an IRA. Read More...

Sep 06, 2018 Participating in a 401(k) plan is one of the simplest ways to start planning for retirement. Unfortunately, not all employers offer this tax-advantaged savings plan. If you don't have the opportunity to invest in a 401(k), you may need to convince your employer to provide this benefit. Check out three tips that can improve your odds of getting the retirement support you need for your future. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 For many people, turning 50 signals a shift in the way they approach their finances. If you have kids, they're probably preparing to leave the nest and you may just be hitting your stride in terms of your earning power. With retirement looming, now's the time to amp up your efforts to save. Whether you're a late bloomer or you've been socking money away steadily over the years, here's what you can do to enjoy a rich retirement. Read More...

Aug 01, 2019 Saving for the future can be intimidating. But you don’t want to put it off or settle for strategies that save you very little. There are plenty of ways to take charge of your finances now in order to enjoy a big payoff later in retirement. So whether you've recently started your career or you're counting the months to freedom, here are three simple ways to grow your nest egg. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 As you head into your 60s, you reach the point where retirement is very much a reality. Just because you're close to leaving your job behind for good, however, doesn't mean you can slack off when it comes to getting your financial ducks in a row. In fact, the years leading up to retirement can be crucial to your long-term outlook. If you want to enjoy your golden years, here are the retirement planning mistakes you'll want to avoid in your 60s. Read More...

Jan 25, 2016 A 401(k) account is one of the most powerful tools you can have when it comes to saving for retirement. If you're not using yours wisely, however, you could be putting your savings in jeopardy. When you're focused on creating sustainable, long-term wealth through your 401(k), there are certain pitfalls that you need to watch out for along the way. Read More...

Jan 22, 2016 If your retirement is in the works for the new year, you don't want to wait until the last minute to prepare yourself for your new lifestyle. Putting your financial house in order sooner rather than later can help you make a smooth transition out of the workforce. Not sure where to start? Here's a checklist of the bases you'll need to cover if you'll be retiring in 2016. Read More...

Jan 18, 2016 It's best to have a solid grip on your retirement planning strategy by the time you reach your 50s. If you've been saving steadily throughout your 30s and 40s, the next decade or so will hopefully be a cakewalk. But you can't afford to leave room for error. As you get closer to retirement age, it's important to make sure you're avoiding these potentially costly mistakes. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 Maxing out your IRA each year is a smart move when you're focused on growing your retirement fund but contributing too much money can result in a tax penalty. Regardless of how you ended up with excess contributions, it's important to make sure you correct your mistake and minimize the financial damage. If you've got too much money in your IRA, here's what you can do about it. Read More...

Aug 01, 2019 Building wealth takes time. Your approach will depend in part on the stage of life you're in. The way you handle your money as a 40-something is likely a bit different than the way you managed your finances in your 20s and your 30s. If retiring rich is your ultimate goal, here are three ways to work toward making that happen as you hit your midlife stride. Read More...

Dec 29, 2015 Most of us start each new year with a list of resolutions. Some of us focus on fitness, others on career goals. Unless you're financially flawless (good for you!) you may also have some money-related resolutions. We here at SmartAsset know that when it comes to our finances there's always room for improvement. Here's a sampling of the SmartAsset team's 2016 financial resolutions.  Read More...

Dec 20, 2016 While you're making your New Year's resolutions, it might be a good idea to set aside time to map out your retirement strategy for the year. And that includes taking a look at where you currently stand with your 401(k) contributions. January is the start of a new contribution year. So if you want to make the most of your 401(k) retirement account this year, here are five steps you can take. Read More...

Dec 23, 2015 When it comes to building your nest egg, you can't afford to make any mistakes, especially if your retirement is right around the corner. If you're in your 40s, your window for saving is starting to narrow. So it's important to commit to setting aside as much money as possible. Make any of these serious blunders and your retirement-planning strategy could veer wildly off course. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 Once you enter your 50s, the pressure to make sure you're ready for retirement starts to increase. If you've been saving diligently up to this point, you might not be feeling too stressed. But if you haven't put much effort into building your nest egg, there's no time to waste. Check out some steps you should consider taking now to make sure your golden years look bright. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 The government recently announced that there will be no cost of living adjustment for Social Security in 2016 due to falling gas prices. This is the third 0% COLA increase in the last 40 years, but the first time in half of a decade. No Social Security COLA means that 30% of Medicare participants will see their premiums rise. Read More...

Nov 05, 2015 Saying goodbye to your 20s and hello to your 30s might mean making some slight adjustments to how you manage your money on a daily basis. That can include putting saving for retirement on your financial to-do list. If you're a 30-something saver, there are several retirement planning mistakes you'll likely want to steer clear of when you're in the process of building your nest egg. Read More...

Sep 20, 2018 Choosing the right retirement age is as difficult as it is important. A premature retirement can also cost you a chunk of your annual Social Security income. Retiring too early could leave you short on savings years into your retirement. Regardless of when you retire, you'll want to stick to a retirement budget to ensure your spending stays in line with your savings. Read More...

Oct 26, 2015 Your 40s are a transitional period financially. Instead of attacking student loan debt, you might be looking for ways to pay down your mortgage faster. If you've got kids who are planning to go to college, saving for their tuition might also be on your radar. As far as retirement goes, you still have time to save but the countdown clock is likely ticking a little more loudly. If you haven't squirreled away as much as you would like or you haven't started saving yet, here's what to focus on. Read More...

Aug 16, 2018 When you think "golf" do you think executives doing business on the links or wealthy retirees? If so, you might have a good reason for associating golf with money. The sport is big business, from the manicured courses to the televised competitions. Want to know more about the economics of golf? You're in the right place.  Read More...

Aug 10, 2018 Thinking about an early retirement? If so, you’ll need to plan carefully. There are a number of financial challenges for early retirees that those who wait until 65 or later don’t need to worry about. Read More...

Oct 16, 2015 It's natural for your financial priorities to shift once you reach your 30s. Instead of living on a broke college student's budget, you're likely earning more. And if you haven't done it already, now is the time to start building your nest egg. Even though your retirement is still decades away, there are some steps you'll need to take to plan for your golden years. Read More...

Oct 12, 2015 Making mistakes in your 20s is natural. The ones that involve your money, though, can come back to haunt you for years to come. That's especially true when it comes to socking away money for your retirement. Some mistakes tend to be more expensive than others, so if you're a 20-something who's just starting to save, here's what you don't want to do. Read More...

Sep 25, 2017 The decisions you make in your 20s can shape your future for years to come. That's especially true when it comes to your finances. Between slaying your student loan debt and trying to launch a career, saving for retirement probably falls pretty low on your list of priorities. But it's not something you can afford to neglect, even if you have several decades to build up your nest egg. Read More...

Sep 16, 2015 If your retirement strategy involves putting money into a 401(k), you want to make sure you're getting the most out of what you're saving. Choosing low-fee investments is a step in the right direction, but there's a faster way to grow your money. Bumping up your contribution amount so you qualify for the company match can yield a big payoff when you're ready to retire. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Having access to a 401(k) can be a blessing or a curse depending on how it's structured. If you're forking out big bucks for fees or the match is minimal or nonexistent, you may be wondering whether it's even worth keeping. If your 401(k) isn't helping you save, it can be difficult to keep your retirement planning on track. But it's not impossible if you know how to deal with it. Read More...

Aug 28, 2015 Landing a big-time job comes with lots of perks and a retirement plan is one of the best parts of the package. The only problem is that some employers require newcomers to wait a few months or even a year before they can start chipping into their 401(k)s. While you're waiting for your contributions to kick in, here are three smart ways to put your extra money to good use. Read More...

May 31, 2018 A stretch IRA is a way to limit required distributions on an inherited IRA, avoiding a sizable tax bill in the process. Instead of naming his or her spouse as the IRA's beneficiary, an account holder can name children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. This stretches the lifespan of the IRA, extending its tax-deferred growth for years or decades beyond the life of the original accountholder. Let us explain:  Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 Plenty of the most quotable individuals have weighed in on the topic of retirement. Some praise retirement while others say it's the beginning of the end. Looking for the perfect retirement quotes to put on a card or just look at to keep yourself motivated? We've got you covered with our round-up of wit and wisdom about our post-work years.  Read More...

Jul 11, 2019 Saving for retirement is important, and if you don’t have access to a workplace savings account an individual retirement account (IRA) might be your best option. You may be considering, though, how to choose between traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA. This is not an easy decision, and it will have a big influence on your future. Make sure you know everything you need to know about the differences between traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs before making the decision. If you want help planning your retirement, consider finding a financial advisor to help using SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Feb 28, 2018 Thinking of converting to a Roth IRA? There are several reasons this might make sense. Maybe you can no longer contribute directly to a Roth IRA because your income is too high (congrats!) or you want to spread your tax risk. At SmartAsset we're all about saving for retirement. Choosing the right retirement savings vehicle is an important step in that process.  Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Whether your dream is taking early retirement or working through your eighties, you should know why your retirement age matters. Choosing when to retire is one of the biggest financial decisions you'll make, right up there with buying a home. Retire too early and you risk outliving your retirement savings. Wait too long to retire and you might be robbing yourself of hard-earned leisure time. Read More...

Jan 15, 2016 We talk a lot about the financial side of planning for retirement. It's hugely important and can mean the difference between a carefree retirement and no retirement at all. But what about the other factors that contribute to a happy retirement? Enjoying your retirement is about more than just tapping into your 401(k). Here are our top tips for enjoying life after work: Read More...

Mar 01, 2018 It’s called a worktirement and it’s becoming increasingly common. Instead of leaving the workforce entirely sometime in their 60s, many seniors are continuing to work (at least part-time) well into their 70s and 80s. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 Self-directed 401(k) plans let savers decide how to invest their pre-tax retirement contributions. Rather than being limited to the pre-approved funds typically offered by traditional 401(k) plans, self-directed 401(k) plans allow you to choose exactly where you’ll invest your money. For many Americans the 401(k) is their main – if not their only – retirement account. Given the important role the 401(k) plays in Americans’ retirement plans, it’s natural to want a high degree of control over how one’s 401(k) performs. Here’s a full rundown on self-directed 401(k)s so you can decide if it’s the right option for your retirement savings. Read More...

Mar 13, 2018 In the showdown of IRA vs.  401(k), which wins? That depends on your retirement savings needs. Just because you have access to a 401(k) through work doesn't mean you should necessarily max it out. Consider what a 401(k) and an IRA can do for you before investing your hard-earned dollars in one or the other. Let us walk you through the important differences between 401(k)s and IRAs.  Read More...

Mar 26, 2019 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. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 One of the most difficult aspects of ending a relationship is often figuring out how to divide your assets. While splitting up a checking or savings account may be fairly straightforward, figuring out who gets what with regard to a 401(k) usually isn't so simple. If your marriage is drawing to a close, there are some basic rules to apply when dividing retirement accounts during a divorce. Read More...

Aug 01, 2019 Saving in your employer's 401(k) could be a wise financial move. But believe it or not, it's not your only avenue for growing a healthy retirement nest egg. If you're approaching the annual contribution limit to your plan, there are three other accounts you can consider if you're looking for places to park some extra cash for your golden years. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Millennials consistently hear that they should be saving for retirement. Recent studies show 70% of 20-somethings are already socking away money for the future so it seems like the lesson is being heeded. But there are plenty of young adults still stuck at square one. If you're launching a career and have yet to jump on the retirement savings bandwagon, we've got tips on the tools you need to do it right. Read More...

Jan 12, 2016 Funneling money into your retirement accounts is an important link in the wealth-building chain. When it comes to your future, you can't afford to make the wrong move, but that doesn't mean you always have to follow the rules. In fact, there are some scenarios where deviating off the tried-and-true savings path might actually be good for your retirement strategy. Read More...

Jan 12, 2016 High fees can undermine your retirement savings strategy by eating into your earnings. But the Supreme Court is stepping in to protect workers' benefits. In a recently issued decision, the court put plan administrators on notice when it comes to high fees. If you're saving in a 401(k) or another employer-sponsored plan, here's what you need to know. Read More...

Jan 28, 2016 Retirement savings plans like 401(k)s offer tax advantages, but they come with a catch in the form of required minimum distributions (RMDs). As part of President Obama's 2016 budget proposal, new rules could affect savers with balances below a certain threshold. If you have a retirement plan that requires you to take minimum distributions, here's what you need to know. Read More...

Jan 28, 2016 Being married can come with lots of advantages. When both you and your spouse work, having two incomes can make it easier to tackle your debt or  save for rainy days. If you're flying solo, the responsibility for all of those things falls squarely on your shoulders. Saving for a comfortable retirement can seem particularly daunting, but it can be done if you make the right moves. Read More...

Sep 20, 2018 Do you have a cool million dollars sitting in your retirement account? If not, you probably need to keep saving if you’re planning on retiring in one of America’s largest cities. Thanks to the rising cost of living in urban areas across the country, retiring in a big city is more expensive than ever. In places like New York and Los Angeles, many retirees are forced to either work during retirement, find a new home or live frugally on a strict retirement budget. None of those may appeal to you, but unless you’re a millionaire they may be your only options. Read More...

Mar 25, 2017 Are you factoring Social Security benefits in to your retirement planning? If so, you should know the basics of Social Security eligibility and payments. That way, you won't get any unpleasant surprises when it comes time to claim your benefits after decades of hard work. Don't worry - we've got you covered with our guide to Social Security and how retirement benefits work. Read More...

Nov 18, 2016 Paying down your mortgage ahead of schedule can be a smart way to save yourself some serious dough on interest. That doesn't mean, however, that it's always the right move financially. In some cases, it might make better sense to use the extra money you're paying toward your mortgage to fatten up your nest egg. Here are some reasons to make retirement a priority over paying off your home. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 A profit-sharing plan is a form of Defined Contribution (DC) plan that relies on employer contributions to employees' accounts. A business owner who wants to set up a profit-sharing plan for the benefit of herself and her employees may make generous contributions that are tax-deductible and enjoy tax-deferred growth. Does that sound too good to be true? It's not. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 A cash balance plan is a twist on the traditional pension plan. Like a traditional pension, a cash balance plan provides workers with the option of a lifetime annuity. However, unlike pensions, cash balance plans create an individual account for each covered employee, complete with a specified lump sum. Establishing a cash balance plan offers potential savings for employers.  Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 If you're working on building up a nice nest egg for yourself, it's important to make sure that it's going to last through retirement. One of the ways you can stretch your savings further is by structuring your retirement account withdrawals to minimize your tax burden. Read More...

Jul 25, 2019 A Roth IRA can be a great way to stash away savings for your  retirement. Like all tax-advantaged retirement plans, however, the IRS has rules and requirements governing how they’re used. These include rules regarding the taxation of contributions and withdrawals. There are also limits on how much you can contribute in a given year, as well as income limits for participating in these plans. We’ll walk you through these rules, show how Roth IRAs differ from traditional IRAs, and help you understand how these rules impact your savings. Read More...

Nov 17, 2016 Early retirement isn't the norm for most workers, but with some careful planning, it's possible to quit the 9-to-5 grind 10, 15 or even 20 years ahead of schedule. Whether you plan to spend your golden years sunning on the beach or traveling the world, it's important to be prepared for how leaving the workforce early will impact your finances. Aside from not having enough money saved to last for the long haul, there are a few other issues that could negatively affect your bottom line. Read More...

Apr 22, 2019 A pension plan is a form of Defined Benefit (DB) retirement plan. A company may provide pensions to its employees. These pensions provide a set level of income in retirement - assuming the company doesn't fold or confiscate pension funds. While defined contribution plans like 401(k)s have largely replaced the pension for most Americans working in the private sectors, many workers still have pensions coming their way in retirement. Read More...

Feb 28, 2018 You've worked hard for decades and you've decided it's time to retire. Now how do you apply for Social Security benefits? The good news is that applying for Social Security is a fairly straightforward process. The bad news is that maximizing your Social Security benefits is complicated - and requires some delayed gratification on your part. Ready to learn more? Read More...

Apr 01, 2019 The simplest answer is yes, Social Security is taxable. Whether or not you have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefits depends on your income level. If you have other sources of retirement income, such as a 401(k) or a part-time job, then you should expect to pay income taxes on your Social Security benefits. If you rely exclusively on your Social Security checks, you probably won't pay taxes on your benefits. Read More...

Jul 17, 2019 A SIMPLE IRA is a retirement savings option for the owners and employees of small business. True to its name, the SIMPLE IRA is easy to set up and administer. If you're a business owner, a SIMPLE IRA lets you save for both yourself and your employees. People who work with their spouses can even double their retirement savings by using a SIMPLE IRA. Read More...

Jan 12, 2016 Americans are living longer, which means seniors spend more time in retirement. For some, a lengthy retirement is a dream come true. More years of water aerobics and cruises - what's not to like? But for others, the prospect of decades of idleness is not appealing. That's why some seniors choose to work, at least part-time, to fill their days and their bank accounts. Read More...

Jul 17, 2019 A Self-Directed IRA is a tax-deferred investment option for those who like a little more control than a regular IRA affords. It's an approach that comes with higher risk and greater potential rewards than your standard index fund. If you don't have the time, expertise or inclination to chase high returns, it's probably not for you. But if you're intrigued, read on for more about this retirement vehicle.  Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 If you imagined spending your retirement like Smaug the dragon, sitting atop a pile of gold (by which we mean retirement savings), think again. The IRS wants you to start taking money out of your retirement accounts beginning around age 70.5. This money goes by the name required minimum distributions (RMDs). Want to learn more? You're in the right place. 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 16, 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. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 If you work for a for-profit company, you may have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan called a 401(k). The primary benefit of a 401(k) is tax-deferral: The money you put into your account is withdrawn from your paycheck before taxes are applied, effectively giving you a tax deduction. If you're considering using a 401(k) as part of your retirement plan, here's what you need to know. Read More...

Jun 24, 2019 A 403(b) is a tax-advantaged retirement plan available to many of America’s public employees, employees of universities and hospitals, religious leaders and workers at non-governmental organizations. Like a 401(k), a 403(b) comprises contributions that aren’t taxed right away. The contributions grow in a tax-deferred plan, with taxes paid upon withdrawal. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 IRA stands for "Individual Retirement Account." The name says it all. An IRA is an account you open on your own - you don't need the participation of your employer to open an IRA. If you're curious about how IRAs work and how to start one, you've come to the right place. We'll walk you through what you need to know about this powerful retirement savings tool. Read More...

Jul 29, 2015 It’s never too late or too early to start saving for retirement. Obviously the earlier you start, the more of a nest egg you’ll be able to grow and the more comfortable your retirement will likely be. If you have no idea how to go about increasing your retirement fund, there are many unexpected ways you can start saving. Read More...

Jul 26, 2019 A defined benefit plan is a retirement plan in which employers provide guaranteed retirement benefits to employees based on a set formula. Defined benefit plans, often referred to as pension plans, have become less and less common over the last 40 years. In 1980, 38% of Americans participated in defined benefit pension plans. By 2008, that figure was cut almost in half, falling to 20% of Americans, and the number continues to fall. This decline is especially pronounced in the private sector, where more and more employers have shifted to Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Want your retirement to be about travel and relaxation, not bills and stress? We feel you. The best way to ensure your peace of mind in your post-work years is to a) save for retirement and b) pay off debt before retirement starts. We've got plenty of resources to help you get started with retirement planning. As for living debt-free in retirement, here are our top tips: Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 Once upon a time you worked at a job for 40 years or so. Then they gave you a cake, a gold watch and a pat on the back and sent you on your way, never to be seen or heard from again. They called it retirement and it usually happened at age 65. It was considered your just reward for a lifetime spent working. You could expect to spend five to seven years reading the newspaper and yelling at the neighbor's kids to keep off your lawn before you moved on to your final reward. Now that we've started living longer and healthier lives, the prospect of being idle for 20 or 30 years is less appealing. There are a number of practical reasons to consider postponing retirement beyond the fear of boredom. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 Update: On March 15, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the fiduciary rule. In a 2-1 vote, the court ruled that the Labor Department had overstepped its authority when it wrote the rule. However, the fate of the fiduciary rule is not yet final, as the Labor Department could ask the court to revisit its decision or the case may make its way to the Supreme Court. Back in 2015,  former President Barack Obama proposed the fiduciary rule. This rule is a financial industry reform aimed at making it easier for you to know whether you can trust your financial advisor. The rule would require all financial advisors to have a “fiduciary duty”… Read More...

Jul 26, 2019 It’s best to begin saving for retirement sooner rather than later to ensure that your 65-year-old self is as financially secure as possible. But all the jargon associated with retirement plans can make them almost impossible to comprehend. It’s time for some clarity. Here are 10 retirement terms we’ve made easy for you to understand. Read More...

Jun 28, 2019 Think your Social Security decisions are a personal matter? Think again. When approaching retirement age, it's a good idea for married couples to work together to plan a Social Security strategy (or better yet, start even earlier!). Read on to find out why. Read More...

Jan 23, 2019 The April tax deadline is approaching. However, it's not too late to dig up some extra savings on your taxes. Contributing to a traditional or Roth IRA for the 2018 tax year is an easy way to score an additional deduction or a credit, both of which can cut your tax bill or pump up your refund, while also increasing your retirement savings. If you're thinking of opening IRA ahead of the filing deadline, here are a few things to keep in mind. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 It's easy to get lost in the midst of complications surrounding inherited IRAs. Unfortunately, the decisions beneficiaries make in the months after inheriting retirement accounts can mean the difference between a reliable income source and a hefty IRS bill. Let us walk you through the top four mistakes heirs make with inherited IRAs and share our tips. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 As a freelancer, it can be easy to live from project to project and put off retirement savings for another day. But without the built-in savings mechanism that is the employer-sponsored 401(k), you'll need to take responsibility for your savings trajectory. That's where these three options come in.  Read More...

Mar 01, 2018 For the third year in a row, the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is coming in under 2%. America's tens of millions of Social Security recipients will get a 1.7% boost to their benefit checks in 2015. Some analysts say Social Security COLA should be doing more to help seniors keep up with inflation. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 Is retirement on your mind? If so, you may be wondering where to settle in your golden years. This choice can have a big impact on your happiness. Whether you're living in a big city now or considering moving to one in retirement, it's important to know the pros and cons of retiring in a booming metropolis. We've got a list of three of each for you to check out before making any decisions. Read More...

Mar 01, 2018 From the time you started working and got on a payroll, you’ve been paying into the Social Security system. It’s a bit like the American government trust fund that you’ve been expecting to tap into once you retire. Over the past decade, there have been a number of reports that the so-called "trust fund" is diminishing, and those who are paying into it won’t be able to reap any of its benefits once they retire. Here are the top 5 social security facts anyone nearing retirement must know. Read More...

May 27, 2015 Maybe your 401(k) is invested in a target date fund, or you're considering a target date fund for your IRA. You should know about the growing debate around an important question: How well do these funds work as retirement savings vehicles? Read on for the pros and cons of these popular funds.  Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Mike and Lauren plan to retire early. Like super early. The couple, married since 2008, plan to have saved enough money to be financially independent by the time they are thirty. Sound crazy? They explain for us in this edition of SmartAsset Talks. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 What happens when the car breaks down or your refrigerator conks out or you end up missing a week of work because you're sick? If you're prepared, you just tap your emergency fund instead of relying on credit cards or short-term loans to see you through. Whether it's a few hundred dollars or several thousand, everybody needs to have a few extra bucks set aside for rainy days. But the question is, where do you put it?  Read More...

Jul 26, 2019 Funneling money into a tax-advantaged account, such as an IRA or a 401(k) is a must if you're banking on enjoying a comfortable retirement. These kinds of accounts offer a much higher rate of growth compared to a regular savings account. However, there's a catch when it comes to how much you can save each year. The IRS routinely adjusts the annual retirement contribution limits for qualified retirement accounts. Here are the latest contribution limits for 2018. Read More...

Jan 08, 2015 If social security were a person, 2015 would mark its 15 th year receiving benefits. In other words, the most significant social benefits program in history turns 80 shortly. The program looks remarkably good for its age and shows no signs of slowing down or going away anytime soon. That is, unless you believe the rumors and innuendo that regularly make the rounds of news hounds, social media mavens and government gossip columnists. Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 Making the transition from working 40+ hours a week to suddenly having tons of free time can be mentally jarring for some retirees, not to mention the impact it can have on your finances. Without something to occupy their time and a regular paycheck coming in, many older workers may feel adrift. For some, a phased retirement simply makes more sense. Offered by some private companies and now the federal government, the trend of letting workers cut back gradually is catching on. But it may not be right for everyone. Read More...

Dec 19, 2014 As 2014 winds down, it's time to start getting your financial house in order for the new year. One of the things you want to take a closer look at is where you are with your retirement savings. If it's been a while since you looked over your account statements, or you haven't actually gotten around to making a contribution yet, you can't afford to waste another minute. How you approach your retirement strategy can directly impact your tax filing, so there are a few things you… Read More...

Jun 28, 2017 Mapping out your retirement strategy involves more than just tossing money into a tax-advantaged account; you also have to pay attention to what the guidelines are for pulling the cash back out. Certain types of qualified savings plans, including 401(k)s and traditional IRAs require you to start making withdrawals once you reach age 70 1/2. Navigating the rules for required minimum distributions can be tricky, though, so it's to your advantage to understand how they work. Read More...

Dec 16, 2014 Transitioning into retirement sometimes means making some financial adjustments, and one of the things that's likely to change most is your tax situation. If your income fluctuates once you leave the workforce, it could affect how much you owe Uncle Sam when April 15th arrives. Knowing what the biggest shifts are that you can expect makes planning ahead for your filing easier. If you recently retired, check out these tips to make tax time less stressful. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Ideally, by the time you reach retirement age, you'll have accumulated enough savings to sustain a comfortable standard of living. Unfortunately, that's not always the case for seniors who find themselves entering their golden years saddled with debt. Faced with mounting medical bills or staggering credit card balances, retirees are increasingly turning to filing bankruptcy in retirement to remedy their financial woes. While it can provide some relief to cash-strapped seniors, there are some potential downsides. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 When it comes to retirement savings and the readiness of the current workforce, most of us are nowhere near where we should or would like to be. In the case of minorities in the United States, however, the retirement situation is even more dire. Although every racial group is facing setbacks and feels the retirement savings struggle, when it comes to race and retirement, many minorities simply aren’t ready. Read More...

Nov 27, 2014 Retirement was originally intended to be a period at the end of your life when you were too tired or weak to do much of anything. Many able-minded people are now opting out of traditional retirement, however, because they are healthy and, frankly, bored. Starting and building second careers is becoming more popular every year, not necessarily because we're living dramatically longer lives (we are living longer), but because we're living decidedly healthier lives. To that end, what makes second careers so exciting and rewarding is the same thing that's supposed to make retirement appealing: freedom. Read More...

Aug 01, 2019 Unless you win the lottery or inherit a fat stack of cash, early retirement isn't a possibility without some careful planning. When you're trying to leave the rat race ahead of schedule, there are inevitably going to be some obstacles that stand in your way. Knowing how to navigate your way around them can improve the odds of reaching your goal. If retiring early is part of your plan, here are five things that can potentially slow you down. Read More...

Nov 19, 2014 I'm a little biased when it comes to the ideas of owning a business and retiring as late as possible, as I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. Both of my parents operated side businesses in addition to their regular jobs, and both of my grandfathers operated small businesses. My parents and grandfathers may not have been pioneers, but they were on to something: as baby boomers are living longer and the job market continues to frown on older workers, more and more people of a certain age are turning retirement into a business opportunity--ones that have all the challenges, risks and rewards as those started by twenty-somethings. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 An annuity is a financial contract you can sign with an insurance company, wherein you pay a premium in exchange for guaranteed payments at a later date. Annuities can be a useful tool to help you fund your retirement. If you’re worried that you might outlive the savings you’ve built with your 401(k) or IRA won’t quite cover the cost of your lifestyle, an annuity might be a good idea. They come in many varieties, though, and not every type will be right for you. As such, it’s crucial to understand how they work. Read More...

Nov 17, 2014 Education debt is skyrocketing as grads are increasingly relying on loans to finance their education. On average, students are leaving school with roughly $30,000 in debt, which doesn't include other liabilities like credit cards or car loans. The burden has become so great for some young adults that it's led them to put financial goals like buying a home or Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 When the clock is ticking down to your retirement date, your focus should be on getting your financial ducks in a row. And if cutting back on expenses is a priority, a refinance may be one of the moves you're considering. Refinancing may makes sense if you're trying to snag a lower interest rate or reduce your monthly payments, but like anything else, timing is everything. If you've only got a few years left until you hit your golden years, you'll want to weigh the pros and cons carefully before pulling the trigger. Read More...

Feb 03, 2017 Earlier this year, when MLB slugger Miguel Cabrera signed an eight year contract worth $248 million, much was made of one astounding aspect of that deal: on average, over the course of the coming decade, Mr. Cabrera will earn nearly $50,000 every time he steps to the plate. That’s an absurd number, and it got us thinking. How does Miggy’s 50-grand per at-bat compare to the equivalent number for the highest paid football players? Read More...

Nov 10, 2014 Rolling over retirement money from one qualified account to another is a pretty straightforward move, but the IRS is about to make things a little more complicated. Starting in January 2015, new guidelines take effect that determine how often you can shift your nest egg funds around. If you've got multiple IRAs and you're planning to transfer money from one account to the other in the near future, here's what you need to know about the upcoming changes. Read More...

Apr 20, 2015 For years, studies have linked being in debt to conditions like increased blood pressure, higher anxiety levels, increased rates of depression and, most recently, a decreased sense of physical, mental and financial well-being. While the research focuses on different types of debt, the results all seem to show that owing money to creditors can have an adverse effect on your health. So what effect, if any, does saving money have? Read More...

Nov 05, 2014 Saving for retirement can be confusing and arduous. This is especially true if you're in your twenties or thirties and have decades ahead before you can even seriously consider retiring. However, thinking about and saving for retirement is a major burden that we all have to deal with. To that end, there are constant threats and risks that can severely affect your retirement fund, which means they can have a major impact on your quality of life during retirement. The more you know about these risks and educate yourself on how to minimize them, the better chance you have of securing a sizeable retirement fund that will last you long into your golden years.  Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 Are you worried about retirement? You are not alone! A new documentary takes a deep look at the state of retirement in America. In this edition of SmartAsset Talks, we interview one of the producers of the Broken Eggs film. Sylvia Flores is passionate about the topic and eager to get this conversation going across the country. We caught up with her at the film's screening (and one of my highlights of FinCon14!) in New Orleans. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 The cost of retirement is steep. A retirement calculator can give you a more exact estimate of how much you’ll personally need to save to be able to retire, but, on average, a person needs to have $1.5 million saved to live comfortably in retirement. As you push through contributing to your 401(k) plan each month, costly fees could be setting you back - and you might not even know you’re paying them. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Student loan debt is on the rise, and much of the focus surrounding the crisis has been on how it's affecting the current wave of college grads, as students are leaving school with around $30,000 in education debt. While young adults have become the poster children for student loan debt, though, there are plenty of seniors who are still paying the price for their degree. In fact, the total debt load for Americans 65 and up ballooned from $2.8 billion in 2005 to $18.2 billion, as of 2013. The result is that many seniors are seeing their financial outlook become a little less rosy in retirement. Read More...

Oct 20, 2014 When it comes to retirement, people who choose to live in inter-generational communities are doing anything but retiring. Also known as co-housing or intentional communities, these planned developments are communities by design, in every sense of the word. Their intent is to foster interaction between multiple generations for the benefit and enrichment of all involved. The concept succeeds because it appeals to seniors and young families alike. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Investing in your company's 401(k) is a fairly hassle-free way to build your retirement savings. You set aside a percentage of your pre-tax income and in many cases, your employer antes up matching contributions which helps your money grow even faster. No taxes are due until you start making qualified withdrawals and you may even be able to borrow against your account if you need to tap the cash. Read More...

Aug 01, 2019 In the wake of the housing market collapse and the ensuing recession, millennials found themselves facing unique challenges when it comes to how they handle their finances. Record-high levels of student loan debt have made it harder to save and many young adults are putting off major milestones like buying a home. How you manage your money in your 20s can have a long-lasting impact on your bottom line for decades to come. If you're a member of the millennial generation, here are four financial missteps you need to stop making now. Read More...

May 27, 2015 We begin life as helpless newborns completely dependent upon others for every aspect of our well-being. The 'others' are most often our parents. We then spend a couple of decades leaning on them while learning to be independent. This sometimes continues well into our adulthood. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 To many, an imminent retirement can seem like a prison sentence. They feel they will be cut off from the world and locked away, enjoying only the occasional weekend visit by family and friends. For those who want a little more out of their retirement, there are alternatives: second careers, volunteerism, part-time employment, etc. For some the dream of being in business offers the greatest allure. Going into business later in life can be challenging and not all businesses may be ideally suited to seniors, but for every business opportunity that is not appropriate there exists another that is. Read More...

Sep 12, 2018 Raising children is one of life's biggest challenges and it's even more so when you're going it alone. Many single parents become so focused on providing for their kids that they tend to overlook their own financial priorities. In fact, a new study shows that an overwhelming number of solo moms and dads put saving for college ahead of saving for their retirement. Trying to find the right balance between building a nest egg and planning for your child's education often proves difficult in households with two… Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 For many people, retirement is all about slowing down and enjoying the things that you didn't have time for you when you were punching a time clock every day. For others, it means finally having the opportunity to explore entrepreneurial dreams. Starting a business in retirement is becoming an increasingly popular choice among seniors who are looking to supplement their income. According to a hearing by the Senate Special Committee on Aging held earlier this year, there are currently… Read More...

Aug 12, 2014 It's a sad fact that many Americans are vastly unprepared for retirement but if you're still relatively young, it's not too late to work on beefing up your savings. Building your financial safety net can put you in a good position when it's time to quit the workforce but you may also need to make some lifestyle adjustments. If you're worried about having a comfortable standard of living once you retire, looking for ways to minimize your expenses can help you further stretch your dollar. We've come up with things that you can do to keep your cost down so you don't deplete your nest egg too quickly. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 When you're contemplating a career change, one of the most important decisions you'll have to make is what to do with the retirement savings you've accumulated. If you contributed to a 401(k), 403(b) or a similar employer-sponsored plan, transferring it to another qualified account is the easiest way to take it with you. Rolling your account over is fairly straightforward but there are a few basic rules to keep in mind. Here are a few potentially costly rollover missteps you'll want to avoid. Read More...

Jul 29, 2014 Leaving the 9 to 5 behind for good usually brings a welcome change of pace and for many retirees, it also means a change of address. Deciding where to spend your golden years isn't something you want to do on a whim. It takes some careful research and planning to find a place that fits your lifestyle, needs and budget. If you know that you'll most likely be moving once you retire, here are six things to look at when choosing your final destination. Read More...

May 03, 2018 The sooner you can start saving for your retirement, the better. Plus, saving for your retirement is often made a lot easier with the help of an employer savings plan. However, not everyone has access to a 401(k), 403(b) or other employer savings account. If you’re self employed or work for a small business, chances are a retirement savings plan won’t be included in your benefits. Don’t worry, though! There are a number of ways you can save for retirement. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 When you're trying to build your nest egg, it's best to start setting money aside as soon as possible. The longer you put it off, the less time your assets have to grow. If you wait too long, you risk not having enough cash to see you through your golden years. Getting a late start isn't ideal but it's still possible to build a comfortable retirement if you're savvy about planning. Here are a few tips to get your financial future on the right track when you're behind the eight ball. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 Summer is in full swing and next year's tax filing deadline is probably one of the last things on your mind. Even though the 2015 tax season is still several months away, now's a good time to go over your financials and fine tune your tax planning strategy. The more prepared you are the better off you'll be, especially if you're worried about owing money to Uncle Sam. Here are a few midyear tax must-dos that can help you hang on to as much of your hard-earned cash as possible. Read More...

Feb 19, 2016 Getting ahead financially requires determining your priorities and setting goals. When you're focused on paying down debt, it's tempting to put things like saving for retirement on the back-burner. Dumping your debt as quickly as possible can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest but you have to figure out whether it's worth it to delay building your nest egg. If you're torn between saving for retirement and getting rid of those lingering credit cards or student loans, here are some tips to help you strike the right balance. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 Where you plan to live in retirement can have a major impact on your finances, especially if a change of address is in the cards. When you're looking for a new place to put down roots one of the questions you'll have to ask yourself is whether to rent or buy. Buying may seem like a no-brainer when you're used to being a homeowner but there are plenty of good reasons to rent instead. If you're struggling with whether you should rent or buy a home in… Read More...

Jun 01, 2018 If you've already maxed out your retirement contributions through your employer's plan or you're not eligible to participate in a plan at work, an individual retirement account (IRA) may be your best bet. IRAs are typically categorized as traditional or Roth accounts but there's also a third option in the form of an IRA CD. This particular savings vehicle combines certain features of an IRA with a certificate of deposit. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with each option so it's important to understand how they work when making your choice. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 Leaving the stability of a 9 to 5 job behind in order to go into business for yourself takes a certain amount of determination, patience and courage. Owning a business or freelancing full-time offers more flexibility and control over your career but it also means missing out on certain perks including saving for retirement using your employer's plan. When you're self-employed, the options for building your nest egg are a little different. If you currently work for yourself or you're thinking of striking out on your own, here's a rundown of the different ways to save for your future. Read More...

Jan 12, 2016 There's a lot of variability when it comes to planning for retirement. If you're a 20, 30 or even 40-something plugging away at your day job, you've probably entered your information into a retirement calculator once or twice just to see what came up. It's always fun to think about retirement no matter how far away it might seem. But tools like this are useful for more than just day dreaming. Read More...

Aug 18, 2015 The Golden Years are meant to be a time for enjoying the things you may have missed out on during your working years. If your nest egg isn't as large as you hoped it would be, it may require some careful planning to stretch your dollars. Moving to a city with a lower cost of living can help your savings last longer and it's also a good way to reduce your tax burden. If you're looking for an affordable place to call home, check out our list of the best cities to retire on a budget. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Retirement saving should be a top priority for anyone but it's especially important for women. Compared to men, women tend to live longer and earn less making a comfortable retirement that much more difficult to achieve. A recent AARP Public Policy Institute analysis suggests that women are nearly twice as likely to live in poverty as men past the age of 65. Read More...

Sep 02, 2014 When the lazy days of summer come calling it's easy to adopt a more relaxed approach, especially when it comes to your finances. Going on vacation, buying new clothes or socializing with friends can eat away at your bottom line if you're not careful. Taking some time to do a midyear money checkup can help you stay on track and see how much progress you've made towards your goals. Here's a quick rundown of what you should look for to make sure you're fiscally fit. Read More...

May 29, 2014 Retiring abroad has become an increasingly popular trend over the past few years as more and more Americans are seeking greener, and less expensive, places to spend their golden years. The U.S. State Department estimates that there are as many as six million retirees living overseas worldwide. Relocating to a foreign destination may seem appealing if you're looking to cut your cost of living or see the sights, but it's not a move you can afford to make without some careful planning. Before you pick up roots, you need to understand the financial ramifications of retiring overseas full-time. Read More...

May 23, 2014 Smart savers know that contributing money to your employer's 401(k) and taking advantage of the company match is a no-brainer when it comes to planning for retirement. What you may not know is exactly how your 401(k) works or that hidden fees could steadily be chipping away at your nest egg. According to a recent study from the Center for American Progress, workers could be losing up to $70,000 over the course of their career due to high 401(k) management… Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 I come from a long line of retired people, my parents, my grandparents and my great grandparents all retired. In fact in my family retirement is a sort of a tradition. All of my aunts and uncles are now retired and I even have cousin or two who are getting quite close to their golden years so to speak. Read More...

Jan 26, 2016 When you're fresh out of college and just getting started on the path towards a career, retirement savings may fall fairly low on your list of priorities. Many of today's twenty-somethings are too busy struggling to find their place in an ultra-competitive job market and dealing with overwhelming student loan debt to give their golden years a second thought. While retirement is still decades away for the millions of millennials out there, it's never too soon to start planning ahead. If you're a member of Generation Y, here's what you need to do now to get a jump start on your building your nest egg. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Leaving the workforce behind for good means making some important decisions that impact both your lifestyle and your finances. One of the biggest questions for many retirees is where they'll live once they reach the golden years. Buying a home for retirement is a major financial commitment and you can't afford to make the decision lightly. Whether you're looking to downsize in your current area or pick up stakes and head someplace new here are a few things you need to consider before taking the leap. Read More...

May 09, 2014 So we all know that the key to retiring is saving your money and investing well. But there are a few other helpful tips you may not know that can help you retire the way you want. Read More...

Aug 17, 2015 In today's economy, retirement has become an elusive goal for many Americans who were hit particularly hard by the fallout from the housing market collapse. Some older workers are even facing the possibility of having to continue working long past retirement age. The concept of retiring early may seem foreign to a large part of the population but if you're diligent about saving, it could become a reality. Here are some tips: Read More...

Apr 28, 2015 You know how important it is to save for your retirement years. Problem is, you don't make a lot of money. Maybe you're pulling down $40,000 a year. Maybe your annual salary is even under $30,000. It might seem impossible to put anything away for retirement if your yearly salary is so low. Read More...

Sep 20, 2018 A computer is only as good as the information that’s fed into it. That’s one of the truisms of programming that has held for as long as computers have existed, and ever since Charles Babbage and Ada Byron Lovelace designed the first “difference engine” in 1822, there has been a need for professionals to program them. Read More...

May 27, 2015 Planning for your financial future can seem like a daunting task, but it does not have to be. Finances can be confusing and there is a bit of a learning curve, but there are a few key things you should do if you are trying to secure your financial future. You do not have to be rich or extremely wealthy to have a secure financial future. However, you do need to pay attention to your finances and be willing to make changes when needed. Here are four things you should have to help ensure a secure financial future. Read More...

Apr 24, 2014 Here's what often happens when someone retires and is ready to downsize: They sell the home, take the profits from the sale and buy a smaller home in an all-cash purchase (or as close as possible). The benefits of this approach are obvious: You no longer have a mortgage loan. Eliminating that monthly payment matters when you're living on a fixed income. But does it ever make sense to sell your home after retirement and then downsize into a rental unit? Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Over the last few years, the way Americans view retirement has changed significantly. Although millions of baby boomers are nearing retirement age, whether or not they'll be able to leave the 9 to 5 behind any time soon remains to be seen. For younger workers, the need to rev up their retirement savings has never been greater but a recent survey shows that nearly a third of employees have less than $1,000 saved. Whether you're already saving or you have yet to get started, avoiding these common missteps can help you get closer to your goal. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Winning the lottery or inheriting a fat stack of cash are two ways to get rich quick but if you're like most people, the odds are against you. This means most of us will have to focus on hard work, discipline and smart decision-making to build wealth. Whether you make a lot or a little, what you do with it that has a big impact on your financial outlook. If getting rich is your goal, avoiding these common money missteps can help you move from the red to the black. Read More...

Jul 05, 2019 Saving for retirement should always be a top financial priority but it can be difficult to get started if you're not sure what your options are. If you're not able to participate in an employer-sponsored plan, like a 401(k) or 403(b), an individual retirement account or IRA may be the answer to your retirement quandaries. Here's a breakdown of how each type of IRA works. Read More...

May 21, 2018 For some time now, national debate has centered around whether or not to raise the federal minimum wage. The current minimum wage is $7.25. Former President Obama advocated for gradually raising the minimum wage to about $10 an hour. Recently, the Congressional Budget Office reported, that both sides of the debate held some merit, as there are benefits and some drawbacks to raising the minimum wage. Read More...

Apr 20, 2015 Stashing money in a 401(k) is one of the best ways to fatten up your retirement nest egg. These employer-sponsored plans offer a tax-advantaged way to save and you may be able to grow your money faster through company matching contributions. Making the most of your savings plan means understanding how it works and what the benefits are. You can improve the odds of reaching your retirement goals by avoiding these common 401(k) mistakes. Read More...

Apr 11, 2014 The 60’s rock band The Byrds had a huge hit that opens with “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” which is lifted straight out of the book of Ecclesiastes and as far as I know they have never been sued for plagiarism. Lyric litigation aside, The Byrds and the Bible were both offering some of the most sound retirement planning advice ever. Read More...

May 27, 2015 It may seem like retirement is something far away from your reality or something you can't be concerned about now. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Although it is getting harder and harder to retire around the age our grandparents were able to, you need to make financial decisions now toward that far off retirement goal. In order to reach that goal, you'll want to avoid some costly mistakes. Read More...

Apr 04, 2014 In today’s economy, most of the financial responsibility for saving for retirement falls on the shoulders of individuals. This means, we must be aware of how we are saving to ensure that we are saving enough. One tricky part of saving for retirement comes in the form of 401(k) fees. Many of us, are not even aware of the overall amount we are paying in fees and where these fees are going. However, 401(k) fees can be costing you a great deal of money in terms of retirement savings. It is important to understand not only the fees, but how you can either avoid or reduce the impact of these fees. Here are four ways you can lessen the burden of 401(k) fees. Read More...

Dec 08, 2014 Your golden years are meant to be a time for relaxation and doing all the things you never had time for when you working a steady 9 to 5 gig. For some retirees, that means settling down in a new location. While moving in itself isn't necessarily a budget buster, where you decide to put down roots can have a major impact on your bottom line. Certain areas tend to have a much higher cost of living than others and you could end up losing out on certain tax breaks. If you're planning a move post-retirement, here are a few states that you may want to cross off your list. Read More...

May 03, 2018 The U.S. government has calculated that less than half of all Americans have a plan for their retirement. That statistic is shocking, given that at some point the majority of Americans would like to actually retire. The earlier you create a plan for your eventual retirement, the better chance you’ll have to be able to retire and live comfortably before the age of 80. Thinking about your retirement in your 20’s is one of the most important financial decision you can make to plan for your future. Read More...

Mar 02, 2016 You can't afford to put off saving for retirement but there are still millions of workers who have yet to begin building their nest egg. In fact, roughly 31% of workers don't have anything at all set aside for their golden years according to the 2014 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking conducted by the Federal Reserve. Read More...

Jan 31, 2019 Saving money in a 401(k) or an individual retirement account (IRA) is a smart way to build retirement savings. Not only will your money grow over time, but you won't have to pay taxes on that money as it grows. You will only pay taxes when you withdraw the money in your retirement. In addition to deferring taxes on your contributions, you may be eligible for a tax credit just for making contributions. That tax credit is called the Saver's Credit. Let's see if you're eligible to use this credit in order to save yourself some money on your federal income taxes. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 The unfortunate truth is that most people do not feel prepared financially for their retirement years. A 2013 survey by American Consumer Credit Counseling found that 75 percent of people agreed that they were not financially ready for their post-work years. But what about if retirement comes earlier than expected... and not by your choice? Read More...

Dec 22, 2016 New research shows what you already know - your family affects your finances. But specifically, your family dynamics play a big part in your retirement plans. Read More...

Jun 27, 2019 Saving regularly in a 401(k) account and leaving it untouched is a great way to build your nest egg. That said, unforeseen situations happen to all of us at some point in our lives. If you're desperate for cash and your emergency fund isn't enough to cover your expenses, you can borrow against your 401(k). Here's when a 401(k) loan makes sense - and how to do it. Read More...

Dec 30, 2014 What are your beliefs on saving for retirement? Well, according to a recent study, for many Americans saving for retirement is a trick of mind over matter. We all should be well aware by now that the bulk of our retirement savings falls on our own shoulders. Long gone are the days of having a secure pension plan by your employer. Read More...

Oct 20, 2017 In his 2015 State of the Union Address, former President Barack Obama introduced a new way to help Americans save for retirement: myRA, or My Retirement Account. Obama billed this new type of retirement account as having “a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in.” MyRA didn’t last long. In July 2017, the Trump administration announced that it was ending the Obama-era program.  Read More...

Dec 30, 2014 For many baby boomers, 2014 signals the end of their time in the workforce. Retirement often means a lifestyle change but it can also bring some significant financial changes as well. Having a plan in place can take some of the stress and headaches out of the transition. If you're a soon-to-be retiree, here are a few tips to ensure that you're prepared when it's time to say goodbye to the 9 to 5 routine. Read More...

May 27, 2015 My late grandfather used to say he would retire when he was dead. True to his word he worked until the day he passed away at 84. Like my grandfather before me I have no intention of stopping work and will probably die at my keyboard with emails from editors about missed deadlines piling up. Read More...

Nov 05, 2014 Previous generations could rely on their employer to provide pension plans once they retired. However, times have changed. It mostly falls on us to stay on top of our retirement savings, to ensure we have enough to live on once we are ready (or forced) to stop working. While pensions are mostly things of the past, 401(k) plans are still popular. But they're not always enough.  Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 When it comes to retirement there are a number of things that need to be considered. One of the most important is where you are planning to live during your golden years. For many North Americans, retiring abroad is becoming popular. Read More...

Dec 29, 2014 If you're working on your retirement savings strategy for 2014 you need to know exactly how much you can sock away. The Internal Revenue Service routinely adjusts the annual contribution limits for different types of retirement plans, including 401(k)s and IRAs. For 2014, most limits will stay the same. But there are a few key changes that take effect. Here's a rundown of what you can expect if you're looking to max out your retirement plan this year. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 When you sign the dotted line on that 30-year mortgage, you're probably thinking how great it will be to have that house paid off right around the time you retire.  But most people don't live in the same house for 30 years like they used to.  Plus some choose to take on second mortgages through the years.  Read More...

Dec 29, 2014 Many of us have been taught to look at the purchase of a home as a good investment. When we purchase a home, we are investing in a neighborhood, a school system, and hopefully a safe community to raise our families and spend a large portion of our lives. Buying a home is also a major financial investment, and some of us may be banking on that financial investment when the time comes for retirement. Read More...

Dec 12, 2016 Wanting a financially sound retirement and actually achieving it are two different things. Without a solid plan for reaching your retirement goals, your golden years could end up being somewhat tarnished. Securing your financial future is all about making the right choices. If you find yourself doing any of the following, you could be sabotaging your retirement dreams without even realizing it. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 < It’s a great feeling to receive your first paycheck after you graduate from college. You can rent a better apartment, pay off those student loans and have more freedom to spend your money than you did before. However, one mistake that many people make is that they don’t realize how important it is to focus on saving money instead of spending it all. Once you have begun a career in your field ,whether it is business, education, health services, or another area, when and how should you save your money for retirement? Read More...

Dec 24, 2014 With shrinking savings, and retirement incomes failing to keep pace with inflation, older Americans are looking for alternative ways to save money and increase their cash flow. In many cases, they are also looking for ways to simplify their lives. One common strategy for older homeowners is to move into a smaller home. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 Getting older means making some important decisions with regard to your lifestyle. This includes where you plan to live. Retirement homes and assisted living facilities offer seniors a measure of independence while providing certain care and amenities. But they're not right for everyone. Senior housing cooperatives are quickly gaining popularity as an alternative for retirees who are looking for housing with a community feel. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Have you found a new job? Are you starting a new career? What are you going to do with the 401(k) retirement plan that you left in the care of your previous employer? Here's what you should do: rollover your old 401(k) retirement plan into your new employer’s plan right away. Don't pass go. Don't have the check sent to you because you might forget to roll over your funds.  Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Discussing your retirement strategy may not be your idea of a dream date but it's not something married couples can afford to put off. According to a 2013 study from Hearts & Wallets, just 38 percent of couples actively work on their retirement strategy together. If you and your spouse aren't on the same page when it comes to retirement planning, here are a few tips to get the conversation off to a good start. Read More...

Aug 18, 2015 Retirement sounds like a dream - no work and all play. The good life. But the good life may actually mean more life. A new study shows when you retire early, you may live longer. It's enough to leave us wondering how to retire at 50. Many people derive great satisfaction from their work, but there are health benefits to leaving work behind.  Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 When you are first starting out in your career, you tend to think of retirement as something far off.  In the days of our grandparents, and even some of our parents, retirement savings wasn't even an issue - many employers took care of that with company pension plans. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Americans are switching from one job to the next as they bounce from one career to another. But, what is happening to your 401(k) retirement plan in the process? There are four options for investors. You can leave your 401(k) with your old employer, roll it over to your new employer’s 401(k) plan, roll it over into an IRA, or simply cash it out. Read More...

May 29, 2019 Elite professional athletes regularly draw salaries reaching into the millions. The minimum annual salary for players in the four major sports leagues is well into the six-figure range, and it's not uncommon for star players to receive multi-year contracts worth more than $100 million. If you're a college athlete, though, you don't make a dime. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 This is a guest post from Bo Lu, CEO of FutureAdvisor, a fee-only registered investment advisor. There aren't many products or industries where the lowest cost item often turns out to be the best choice.  But when it comes to mutual funds, that's often the case. The most expensive funds tend to be actively managed mutual funds while the lowest cost funds are passively managed index funds. Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 This is a guest post from Bo Lu, CEO of FutureAdvisor, a fee-only registered investment advisor. Even the most amateur investor has probably heard that they should diversify their portfolio.  We all know that it's important to diversify, and most investors probably think they're very well diversified.  But diversification requires more than just picking a few companies you believe in, and making sure they’re in different industries.  It actually requires splitting your investments among different classes of investments (stocks vs. bonds), looking outside the United States (domestic vs. international) and more. Diversifying might seem like a complex topic but here are some key points about it. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 This is a guest post from Bo Lu, CEO of FutureAdvisor, a fee-only registered investment advisor Believe it or not, the government actually wants you to save money for retirement.  Sometimes the rules for contributing or not contributing can seem a bit complex but at the end of the day, the government uses tax-sheltered accounts like 401(k)'s and IRA's to encourage you to save for retirement. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The past few months have been very exciting for same sex-couples. One of the most exciting occurrences was the Supreme Court’s striking down of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA. The Supreme Court’s decision made way for a number of significant advancements for same-sex couples when it comes to taxes and nursing homes or living arrangements for elderly same-sex couples. One of the main arguments for same-sex couples who were championing the legalization of marriage had to do with tax and other benefits that heterosexual married couples enjoy. According to an article published by Slate by J Bryan Lowder, the U.S. Treasury announced that given the strike down of DOMA, same-sex couples will be recognized for federal tax purposes. The press release from the Treasury states, in part: Read More...

Jul 25, 2019 A Roth IRA is one of the best types of retirement accounts that you can own. A Roth IRA is not its own type of investment class like a stock, mutual fund, or bonds. Instead, a Roth IRA is a type of tax and accounting classification that you can designate an investment. So, why would you want to establish your mutual fund or brokerage account as a Roth IRA? It is because of the taxes of course! Your contributions to your investment in a Roth IRA type of account is made with after-tax dollars. Your money has already been taxed by the government and withheld by your employer in your paycheck. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 After you retire, your cost of living will likely decrease. This is a good think for most people. While everyone's situation is different, in many cases, there is a noticeable decrease in how much you spend when you enter retirement. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 What may be good for the economy may not have been good for retirees. When the markets crashed and the economy tanked the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates. Then they lowered them some more and then lowered them still further until they shattered previous records settled just above zero. The Fed’s goal was to stimulate the economy by promoting borrowing and in turn inspiring investment. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 Have you thought about what type of lifestyle you want to have during retirement? It’s time to start thinking about it, and what type of financial decisions need to be made to help you lead the life you want while retired. A recent study, published on Market Watch of over 15,000 consumers found that the average American will run out of retirement funds, other than state and occupational pensions, around 14 years into retirement. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 What do you do if you are one of the largest governmental agencies, responsible for the millions of records of employee across the country, in addition to sending out millions of payments per month? Well, if you’re Social Security, you create an app for smartphones. It is estimated that Social Security is accountable for the financial records of 160 million workers, and sends more than 55 million payments out each month (Landis, 2013). Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Retirees and pensioners on fixed incomes are among the hardest hit in the recession. Some companies have developed ways to exploit their financial woes while disguising the solutions as “pension advances” rather than show their true nature. To seniors, these “cash now” offers may seem like the answer to money problems. Pension loan companies tell clients that these advances will turn future pension checks into hard cash today. Read More...

May 21, 2018 Despite all of its traditions and connections to spirituality, yoga is a very physical activity that can produce fantastic results. Prolonged and consistent practice of yoga has proven to increase muscle mass and flexibility. Similar to anything else that can produce tangible results, a very large and lucrative industry has sprung up to feed the demand for yoga related products and services. Read More...

Aug 20, 2019 In 2019, approximately 64 million Americans are expected to receive more than $1 trillion in  Social Security benefits - primarily retirement benefits. Calculating Social Security retirement benefits can be complicated, as it depends on factors including your average lifetime earnings and the age when you first start taking benefits. If you want to maximize your own payout, here's what you need to know. Read More...

Jul 24, 2018 For many young Americans, thinking about what life will be like during their retirement years is almost inconceivable.  Retirement is still decades away, and while they know their 401k or IRA is (hopefully) growing, the benefits they will receive from Social Security don’t even register on their radar.  So, for those Generation X & Y-ers unsure about social security, here’s a breakdown of what is going on. Read More...

Sep 14, 2018 Seniors aged 65 years and older are racking up debt, according to a news release recently issued by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Not only is this age group more likely to attach debt to their homes, they are also borrowing more. Read More...

Sep 17, 2018 If you’re visiting SmartAsset, chances are you’re here because you’re interested in making smart personal finance decisions. Whether you're looking for tips so you can save up to buy a home or are contemplating your financial future and saving for retirement, we have a few tips for you. But we know you may want to read from a different perspective now and then. If in the course of your browsing you decide you want some one-on-one help from a financial expert, head on over to Read More...

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