Being ready to retire means more than being ready to stop waking up at 6:00 a.m. to put in long hours at a job you’re not thrilled about. If it were that simple, most of us would retire at 25. What it really takes to retire is a solid grasp on your budget, a carefully considered investment and spending plan for your life savings, debt that’s under control and a plan you’re excited about for how you’ll spend your days. With that in mind, here are 10 signs you might not be ready to retire yet.Read More
Most investors are still reeling from the steep stock market drop that occurred in January 2016. The brief mini-crash of the summer of 2015 is probably still fresh in everyone’s mind. But, many of the market declines of the last eight years, including the stock market crash of 2008, are becoming faded memories. Certainly, they were hard to go through at the time; but investors who stayed invested throughout that whole period probably can’t complain. That’s because, after every decline, no matter how severe, investors recover their losses. In this case, most investors’ stock portfolios have more than doubled since the market bottom in 2009. The same can’t be said for investors who sell into market downturns hoping to stem their losses. Many who sold their holdings from 2008 to 2009, still haven’t fully recovered, and anyone who sold into any of the subsequent stock market declines has more than likely underperformed the stock market. That may be the most compelling reason to not sell after a market downturn, but the research provides a few more reasons.Read More
Because federal tax law reaches deep into all aspects of our lives, it’s no surprise that the rules that affect us change as our lives change. This can present opportunities to save or create costly pitfalls to avoid. Being alert to the rolling changes that come at various life stages is the key to holding down your tax bill to the legal minimum. Check out these issues that confront the newly retired.Read More
Conventional wisdom suggests that inheriting a Roth IRA is always better than inheriting a traditional IRA. In the case of the former, the distributions are tax-free and in the case of the latter, distributions are taxed as ordinary income.Read More
It’s not too late to reduce your 2015 tax bill. Retirement savers continue to have a powerful option to decrease the amount they owe in federal income tax, if they are willing to deposit money in an individual retirement account. Depending on your tax rate, a last-minute IRA contribution could save you hundreds or even over $1,000.
There are many ways to make sure that your finances are in good health, as the new year gets underway. One of them—knowing how to spot a scam—is often ignored. The result is that many people are swindled out of their hard-earned savings every year. While 2015 was a year of many familiar scams, 2016 promises new scams as thieves take advantage of election fever, technological trends, and an inadvertent helping hand from the government.