IRA http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3832/all en-US How Job-Hoppers Can Keep Up With Their Retirement Savings http://www.wisebread.com/how-job-hoppers-can-keep-up-with-their-retirement-savings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-job-hoppers-can-keep-up-with-their-retirement-savings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_saving_in_a_jar.jpg" alt="Woman saving in a jar" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's very common these days for young people to move from job to job. The days of sticking with a company for decades and earning a big pension are over.</p> <p>Thankfully, 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts allow workers to switch jobs without losing their retirement savings, but it's still possible for all that job-hopping to disrupt your ability to save. If you do switch jobs regularly, there are some sensible things you can do to ensure that your retirement plan stays on track.</p> <h2>Open a traditional or Roth IRA</h2> <p>If you are between jobs with no access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, there are still things you can do to save. If you have any earned income at all, you can contribute to an individual retirement account, which allows you to invest with some tax advantages.</p> <p>With a traditional IRA, any money you contribute is deducted from your taxable income. With a Roth IRA, your money is taxed upfront, but you will avoid paying any taxes on investment gains when you withdraw the money when you retire. IRAs can be very powerful tools for retirement savings for self-employed people, part-time workers, or those with irregular incomes. You can maintain and contribute to these accounts even after you get a 401(k) plan from a new employer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both?ref=seealso" target="_blank">401(k) or IRA? You Need Both</a>)</p> <h2>Roll over your 401(k)</h2> <p>If you had a 401(k) from one employer and switch jobs, you can take the funds from the old account and add it to the new one. This is called a 401(k) rollover. There usually is no penalty if you don't merge the accounts right away, but over time the old 401(k) provider may start to bug you about it. You should consider a rollover if the retirement fund from your new employer offers better investment options, lower fees, or both. If you call the brokerage firm that is managing your old 401(k), they will usually be happy to walk you through the steps to carry out a rollover. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-rolling-over-all-of-your-401ks-and-iras?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Simple Guide to Rolling Over All of Your 401Ks and IRAs</a>)</p> <h2>Open a rollover IRA</h2> <p>If you no longer have access to a 401(k) or don't like the investment options in your new retirement plan, you can place your investments in a new individual retirement account. This is called a rollover IRA, and it can be better than a 401(k) because you usually will have many more investment options, from mutual funds and ETFs to individual stocks and bonds.</p> <h2>Look into a 401(k)-to-Roth IRA conversion</h2> <p>When you have a 401(k), you will eventually be obligated to pay tax on any gains when you begin withdrawing money in retirement. That's why some investors look into turning their 401(k) and traditional IRA accounts into a Roth IRA, which allows money to grow tax-free.</p> <p>The big catch to making this conversion is that you must pay tax on any gains you've had up until now. That could be a big chunk of change that you may not be in a position to handle right now, but a smart move if you think your tax bracket will be higher in the future. An accountant or financial adviser can help you determine whether converting an old 401(k) to a Roth IRA makes sense for you.</p> <h2>Play catch up</h2> <p>Let's say you left a job and were not able to contribute to retirement accounts for three months. But, you land a new job with a higher salary than before. If this happens, consider bumping up your retirement contributions to make up for that lost time. Any time you get new or unexpected income, consider using that to backfill the retirement accounts you may have been neglecting.</p> <p>Once you make those extra payments, you may find that you have the ability to contribute the higher amount on an ongoing basis. And that's great, because the more you are able to save, the more you'll have in the long run. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meeting-the-2018-401k-contribution-limits-will-brighten-your-future?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Meeting the 2018 401(k) Contribution Limits Will Brighten Your Future</a>)</p> <h2>Pay close attention to the employer match</h2> <p>Employers can vary greatly in how much they contribute to workers' 401(k) accounts. Some will provide direct contributions while also matching what the employee put in. Some offer a full match on contributions, while others match just a portion. And some don't contribute at all. It's important to remember this when switching companies, especially if you are moving to a company with a retirement plan that's less generous.</p> <p>Ideally, you will want to make sure that the total amount of money going into your 401(k) remains the same or goes up over time. If your new employer is contributing less on a percentage basis, consider bumping up your own contributions to make up the difference. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-know-about-your-401k-match?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things You Should Know About Your 401(k) Match</a>)</p> <h2>Don't forget about the vesting period</h2> <p>If you work at a company that contributes to your 401(k) plan, it's possible that you may not be able to keep those contributions unless you stay at the company a certain number of years. For example, the company may reclaim any contributions if you leave before two years. This is called the vesting period.</p> <p>To get the full advantage of a company retirement plan, it makes sense to stay through the full vesting period. Some companies offer a tiered vesting schedule, in which employees keep an increasing portion of company contributions each year until they are fully vested.</p> <p>Be sure to read the documentation on your 401(k) plan to understand the vesting policies. If you leave the company before you are fully vested, you may be leaving large sums of money on the table.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-job-hoppers-can-keep-up-with-their-retirement-savings">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/left-a-job-do-a-rollover">Left a job? Do a rollover.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/intimidated-by-retirement-investing-get-professional-help">Intimidated by Retirement Investing? Get Professional Help!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-step-by-step-guide-to-rolling-over-your-401k">The Step-by-Step Guide to Rolling Over Your 401(k)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-invest-your-money-after-youve-maxed-out-your-retirement-account">Where to Invest Your Money After You&#039;ve Maxed Out Your Retirement Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-face-these-7-scary-facts-about-retirement-saving">How to Face These 7 Scary Facts About Retirement Saving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) IRA job hopping matching rollover Roth IRA switching jobs vesting Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:30:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 2129298 at http://www.wisebread.com Where to Invest Your Money After You've Maxed Out Your Retirement Account http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-invest-your-money-after-youve-maxed-out-your-retirement-account <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/where-to-invest-your-money-after-youve-maxed-out-your-retirement-account" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/getting_a_fortune.jpg" alt="Getting a fortune" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you a super saver? Have you managed to contribute the maximum amounts allowed into your 401(k) or individual retirement accounts? If so, you may now be wondering what to do with any additional money you have. Should you continue to invest? If so, how? Should you spend it on a Picasso painting or give it to your kids?</p> <p>There are many options for people who have maxed out their retirement contributions. Here are some of them.</p> <h2>Taxable brokerage account</h2> <p>I'm a huge fan of the tax-advantaged nature of retirement accounts, but regular taxable brokerage accounts have their good qualities. For one thing, they are more flexible than retirement accounts. There is no limit to what you can invest in a taxable brokerage account, and while you will pay tax on any dividends and capital gains in these accounts, there is no additional penalty for withdrawing money before you retire. If you collect dividends from investments in a taxable brokerage account, they can be a great source of extra income.</p> <h2>Real estate</h2> <p>If you've put as much money into retirement accounts as you can, why not take a look at buying a property or house as a possible investment? Real estate can appreciate in value just like stocks, and you may even be able to draw income from tenants as well.</p> <p>Investing in real estate is obviously different from investing in stocks or bonds. In this case, you are investing in actual property. There may be more costs upfront, and you may face the expense and work associated with managing it. But there are many people who have gotten wealthy by buying and selling properties.</p> <p>It's worth noting that under the new tax law, you can't claim a tax deduction for mortgage interest from a second home. But the potential for real estate to rise in value and generate income is still a powerful thing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-rules-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-real-estate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Only 5 Rules You Need to Know About Investing in Real Estate</a>)</p> <h2>Peer-to-peer lending</h2> <p>Did you know it's possible to make money directly off other people's borrowing? With peer-to-peer lending, an individual can use an online platform to purchase someone else's debt and make money off the interest payments. The money you can earn is based off the riskiness of the loan; more creditworthy borrowers will pay out less than those with worse credit.</p> <p>There is always the risk of borrowers defaulting on loans, but most lenders have found good returns by purchasing a &quot;portfolio&quot; of loans at various risk levels. Lending Club and Prosper are two of the most popular peer-to-peer lending platforms. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-money-with-peer-to-peer-lending-service-prosper?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Money With Peer-to-Peer Lending Service Prosper</a>)</p> <h2>Education savings accounts</h2> <p>If you have children or other relatives that will be going to college, you can help fund their education and receive some tax benefits for yourself. A 529 college savings plan is a popular option, because it allows someone to invest money and withdraw the gains tax free, provided the funds are used to pay for college. In many instances, the contributions are also deducted from your taxable income. The new tax law allows 529 plans to be used for other education expenses, such as private high school, as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <h2>The bank</h2> <p>It may seem silly to just put money in a simple savings account when interest rates are still quite low. But it's possible that, in an effort to max out your retirement accounts, you've been neglecting your cash savings. Having a good amount of cash on hand can give you a nice cushion in the event of an emergency and prevent you from raiding your retirement accounts. If you don't have at least three months' worth of expenses saved, it's a good idea to bolster that savings. Once you hit three months' of expenses saved, go for six. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-savings-accounts?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Online Savings Accounts</a>)</p> <p>It's actually not uncommon for people of high net worth to have cash flow problems, because they focus so heavily on investing their money. If you are maxing out your retirement contributions, you're doing great. There's really nothing wrong with having more cash on hand than you may need, and you may find that it gives you some nice peace of mind.</p> <h2>Collectibles</h2> <p>I am personally not a huge fan of collectibles as an investment, but they can be useful as part of a broad portfolio. A savvy, knowledgeable collector can make good money on things like art, antiques, trading cards, or even classic cars. And collecting can be good fun. Just be aware that the returns on collectibles rarely top what you can get in the stock market. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-collectibles-that-almost-always-become-more-valuable?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Collectibles That Almost Always Become More Valuable</a>)</p> <h2>Donations to charity</h2> <p>You may think that once you've maxed out your retirement contributions, there are no more tax breaks to be had. But you can get a tax deduction for donating to most charities. So you can feel good about supporting a worthy cause while helping yourself financially.</p> <p>The one caveat here is that under the new tax law, it may be financially smarter for people to take the standard deduction rather than itemize. This could make donating to charity less advantageous from a tax perspective.</p> <h2>Gift it to family</h2> <p>If you are very wealthy and expect that your children or other family members will inherit your money when you die, it may be a good idea to begin transferring that wealth now to avoid taxes. Under the new tax law, the exemption for gift and estate taxes &mdash; the amount you can give away in your lifetime &mdash; is $11.2 million per individual. Married couples can transfer double that amount, or $22.4 million. It's also possible to make an annual gift of up to $15,000 per person (married couples can gift $30,000 per recipient) without paying taxes.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhere-to-invest-your-money-after-youve-maxed-out-your-retirement-account&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhere%2520to%2520Invest%2520Your%2520Money%2520After%2520You%2527ve%2520Maxed%2520Out%2520Your%2520Retirement%2520Account_0.jpg&amp;description=Where%20to%20Invest%20Your%20Money%20After%20You've%20Maxed%20Out%20Your%20Retirement%20Account"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Where%20to%20Invest%20Your%20Money%20After%20You%27ve%20Maxed%20Out%20Your%20Retirement%20Account_0.jpg" alt="Where to Invest Your Money After You've Maxed Out Your Retirement Account" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-invest-your-money-after-youve-maxed-out-your-retirement-account">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement">8 Things Millennials Can Do Right Now for an Early Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life">7 Easiest Ways to Catch Up on Retirement Savings Later in Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-moves-for-retirement">8 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Moves for Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-basic-questions-about-retirement-saving-everyone-should-ask">11 Basic Questions About Retirement Saving Everyone Should Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/half-of-americans-are-wrong-about-their-retirement-savings">Half of Americans Are Wrong About Their Retirement Savings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) charity contributions gifts IRA maxed out peer to peer lending real estate investing saving money taxable brokerage accounts Tue, 10 Apr 2018 08:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 2115368 at http://www.wisebread.com Saving Goals for Every Age http://www.wisebread.com/saving-goals-for-every-age <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/saving-goals-for-every-age" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/meeting_with_the_close_family_is_very_important_for_them.jpg" alt="Meeting with the close family is very important for them" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems that current financial news is laser-focused on the crisis of skyrocketing student loan and credit card debt. While it's easy to focus on what the average American owes, we often forget that there is a savings crisis going on at the same time.</p> <p>According to a 2017 GOBankingRates survey, more than half of Americans (57 percent) have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts. An astounding 39 percent of Americans have no savings whatsoever.</p> <p>Retirement savings aren't faring well, either. According to a 2016 retirement confidence survey, more than a third of workers over age 50, and half the surveyed retirees, had less than $25,000 put away for retirement. Imagine trying to live the decades of your golden years on such a small nest egg.</p> <p>It is time to save more money. Start following these savings goals for every decade of your life, and you won't end up as a sad savings statistic.</p> <h2>In your 20s</h2> <p>Don't waste your 20s thinking you have plenty of time to earn more and save more. Putting away even a small percentage of your income each month can translate into big savings by the time you hit your 50s.</p> <h3>Savings goals</h3> <p>In your 20s, your first goal should be to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0?ref=internal" target="_blank">start an emergency fund</a> and build it to $1,000. Setting up this emergency fund gives your finances a little cushion so that you can avoid dipping into debt every time something goes awry. Once you hit the $1,000 mark, build up your emergency fund to three to six months' worth of daily living expenses. This will protect your finances even further against expensive emergencies or a job loss.</p> <h3>Retirement goals</h3> <p>Before you leave your 20s, use your gross annual income as the target amount for how much you should have saved for retirement. For example, individuals making $40,000 per year should try to have $40,000 saved in their retirement accounts before turning 30. This goal sounds daunting, but it's achievable, especially if you start earlier rather than later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-retirement-accounts-you-dont-need-a-ton-of-money-to-open?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Retirement Accounts You Don't Need a Ton of Money to Open</a>)</p> <p>If your company offers automatic deductions from your paycheck into a 401(k) each month, make sure you're enrolled so you won't have to consciously make the sacrifice. If you work for a company that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-know-about-your-401k-match?ref=internal" target="_blank">offers a 401(k) match</a> on a percentage of your contributions, make sure you're contributing enough to get that match. Otherwise, you're leaving free money on the table.</p> <h2>In your 30s</h2> <p>With the growing pains of your 20s out of the way, it's time to step up your personal finance game. During this decade of your life, you'll ideally start earning more money and keep the ball rolling on your savings goals. Remember to steer clear of unnecessary debt: In your 30s, you may be balancing a student loan with a new mortgage payment, so the less additional debt you take on, the easier it will be to reach your money goals.</p> <h3>Savings goals</h3> <p>If you have more expenses or are earning more money than you were in your 20s &mdash; especially if it's a <em>lot </em>more &mdash; you need to grow your emergency fund to a larger cushion. Aim to cover a year's worth of your daily living expenses (payments on your mortgage, student loan, credit cards, utilities, etc.). Once your emergency fund is fully funded, you want to keep that money there. Only dip into it when an emergency happens. After your financial emergency has been dealt with, you should get back to fully funding the account. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-decide-if-its-a-fund-worthy-emergency?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Decide if It's a &quot;Fund-Worthy&quot; Emergency</a>)</p> <h3>Retirement goals</h3> <p>In your 30s, focus on doubling the amount in your retirement accounts to <em>twice </em>that of your annual gross income. Make sure your retirement portfolio is not set to an ultra conservative investment mix. You have several decades before retirement, plenty of time to recover from any market downturns, and you can afford to set your portfolio allocation to a higher risk. This will increase your account's earning potential while it still has a long time to grow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-steps-to-starting-a-retirement-plan-in-your-30s?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Steps to Starting a Retirement Plan in Your 30s</a>)</p> <h2>In your 40s</h2> <p>Your 40s can feel like an overwhelming financial decade. It's likely you have a lot on your plate; you may be trying to maximize your retirement savings while also putting away money for your kids' college education. Don't get discouraged; it's more important than ever to stay on the ball. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-personal-finance-rules-to-live-by-in-your-40s?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Personal Finance Rules to Live By in Your 40s</a>)</p> <h3>Savings goals</h3> <p>At this point, your emergency fund should still have enough to cover a year's worth of living expenses. Once you've built enough safety savings, your extra dollars would better serve you elsewhere.</p> <p>Your extra money should first go toward your retirement and paying off any high-interest debt. If your retirement accounts are well-funded, and your debt is low, you can then send your dollars to other important savings accounts, like a college fund for your kids, a family vacation fund, or a home renovation fund. Aim to contribute 20 percent of your monthly take-home pay to your desired savings account each month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a>)</p> <h3>Retirement goals</h3> <p>As mentioned above, retirement is a major priority now. It's more important to build your retirement savings than it is to put away money for your kids' college tuition or an unnecessary expense like a family vacation. Your kids will have options when they attend college, whether in the form of student loans, scholarships, or AP credits. You will not have any options if your retirement savings are not enough.</p> <p>Aim to save <em>four times</em> your annual gross income in your retirement accounts before you leave your 40s. You don't have to switch your portfolio asset allocation to low risk, but consider revising your retirement accounts to a more moderate risk level. With your retirement savings looking healthy, don't fall into the temptation of dipping into it for emergencies or to pay your child's college tuition. It is seldom worth it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a>)</p> <h2>In your 50s</h2> <p>As you enter your 50s, retirement is visible on the horizon. You may be facing unique challenges during this decade, such as changes to your health or caring for an elderly parent. This is the time to cover all your bases; accelerate your savings and play catch up where you need to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-steps-to-take-when-your-aging-parents-move-in?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Financial Steps to Take When Your Aging Parents Move In</a>)</p> <h3>Savings goals</h3> <p>Your emergency fund should still reflect at least a year's worth of living expenses. If you have an aging relative who may need your care, or a health issue that threatens to leave you out of work, you may need to build your emergency savings further.</p> <p>Your 50s are also the time to get serious about debt repayment. At this point, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">high-interest credit card debt</a> is a large threat to your financial wellbeing. When you retire, you'll be living on a fixed income. If you didn't save enough money throughout your working life, that income may not be very high. The last thing you'll need to worry about are the bills piling up for your credit cards, car loans, or mortgage payments. Tackle these things as best as you can, now. The less debt you bring into retirement, the better.</p> <h3>Retirement goals</h3> <p>Before you leave your 50s, strive to have <em>six times</em> the amount of your annual salary saved for retirement. Your portfolio should now be managed as fairly low risk, though with people living longer than ever, it may still make sense to own a few higher-risk investments such as stocks.</p> <p>In order to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life?ref=internal" target="_blank">catch up on retirement savings later in life</a>, take advantage of the additional money you can contribute to your retirement accounts once you hit age 50; in 2018, it's an additional $6,000 per year to your 401(k), and an additional $1,000 per year to an IRA. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-longevity-is-changing-retirement-planning-and-what-to-do-about-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways Longevity Is Changing Retirement Planning (And What to Do About It)</a>)</p> <h2>In your 60s</h2> <p>You are on the cusp of retirement, but this doesn't mean now is the time to slack off on savings. You should be working extra hard toward your goal of financial stability for your golden years.</p> <h3>Savings goals</h3> <p>The goal is to enter retirement with very little financial worry. You <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-still-need-an-emergency-fund-in-retirement?ref=internal" target="_blank">still need an emergency fund in retirement</a>. If you don't have any liquid savings set aside for a crisis, focus on building that up. If your emergency fund is stocked, every extra dollar should go toward contributing the max on your retirement accounts and paying off the rest of your debt.</p> <h3>Retirement goals</h3> <p>Will retirement contributions even make a difference at this point? Yes! Boost your retirement funds as much as possible in the last few years you're still working. It's important to remember that life happens. You may have a plan to retire at 65, but a health issue, caregiving obligation, or even a layoff could <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-plan-for-a-forced-early-retirement?ref=internal" target="_blank">force you to retire early</a>. In a situation like that, you'll be so glad you continued contributing to your retirement accounts past age 60. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-youre-laid-off-before-you-retire?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What to Do if You're Laid Off Before You Retire</a>)</p> <p>Even in an ideal scenario, you'll still be relieved when you're ready to officially kick off your retirement with a well-stocked nest egg.</p> <h2>How much do you have saved?</h2> <p>How are you faring for your age group? Do you need to save more or are you right on track? If you are behind, don't get discouraged; now is the time to get your budget under control and accelerate your savings for a financially secure future.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fsaving-goals-for-every-age&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FSaving%2520Goals%2520for%2520Every%2520Age.jpg&amp;description=Saving%20Goals%20for%20Every%20Age"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Saving%20Goals%20for%20Every%20Age.jpg" alt="Saving Goals for Every Age" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saving-goals-for-every-age">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-critical-money-mistakes-people-make-in-their-40s">7 Critical Money Mistakes People Make in Their 40s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-your-emergency-fund-is-too-big">4 Signs Your Emergency Fund Is Too Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-rules-every-working-adult-should-know">10 Money Rules Every Working Adult Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Don&#039;t Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-making-these-7-basic-budget-mistakes">Stop Making These 7 Basic Budget Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance 401(k) aging college funds decades emergency funds income IRA milestones retirement saving money savings goals Fri, 06 Apr 2018 08:30:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 2128558 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Basic Questions About Retirement Saving Everyone Should Ask http://www.wisebread.com/11-basic-questions-about-retirement-saving-everyone-should-ask <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-basic-questions-about-retirement-saving-everyone-should-ask" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/investing_money_for_retirement_in_piggy_bank_0.jpg" alt="Investing money for retirement in piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Saving for retirement is critically important &mdash; we all know that. But sometimes, the confusing details can throw us off course or prevent us from doing all we can to properly grow our nest egg.</p> <p>Education is the best tool when it comes to most matters of personal finance. And for retirement planning, there are some facts everyone should know. It's time to ask yourself these questions and brush up on the basics of retirement savings.</p> <h2>1. When can I start contributing to a retirement account?</h2> <p>With a traditional or Roth IRA, you can generally start contributing funds as soon as the account has been set up. However, rules can vary for employer-sponsored 401(k) plans. Some 401(k) plans may have a waiting period ranging from six to 12 months to make your first contribution, while others may allow you to contribute immediately. It's a good practice to check all applicable rules for your workplace retirement plan at the time of sign-up and again during every open enrollment period. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-critical-401k-questions-you-need-to-ask-your-employer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Critical 401(k) Questions You Need to Ask Your Employer</a>)</p> <h2>2. How much can I save in each type of account?</h2> <p>You can sock away the most money per year in a 401(k). In 2018, you can contribute up to $18,500 to a 401(k), and an additional $6,000 in catch-up contributions if you're over age 50. By comparison, you can only contribute up to $5,550 to an IRA ($6,500 if over age 50). Due to its higher contribution limits, a 401(k) is a very beneficial account for those trying to make up for low savings in previous years or those close to retirement age. However, if possible, having both types of accounts is the even better option. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both?ref=seealso" target="_blank">401(k) or IRA? You Need Both</a>)</p> <h2>3. Am I taking advantage of the company match?</h2> <p>If you're offered a company match, you <em>must </em>take advantage of it. And since 94 percent of Vanguard 401(k) plans provide employer contributions, chances are that you have access to a workplace savings plan with a matching formula.</p> <p>A common formula for matching is $0.50 per dollar that you contribute up to 6 percent of your annual pay. This means that a worker making $50,000 per year could receive an extra $3,000 in employer matching contributions by contributing $6,000 of their annual salary into a 401(k). Some might say there's no such thing as a free lunch, but an employer match on your 401(k) truly is a freebie. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-know-about-your-401k-match?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things You Should Know About Your 401(k) Match</a>)</p> <h2>4. What happens if I change jobs?</h2> <p>From the date that you separate from your employer, you should aim to decide what to do with your 401(k) balance within 60 days. The reason for 60 days is that this is the deadline to complete an indirect rollover into a new retirement account (if your employer were to cash out your entire balance and hand you a check) and pay back any outstanding loans on your 401(k) (if not paid, they become taxable income and may even trigger penalties).</p> <p>Under most scenarios, you have six rollover options for your total vested account balance:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Keep your account.</p> </li> <li> <p>Rollover account into a new or existing IRA.</p> </li> <li> <p>Rollover account into a new or existing qualified plan.</p> </li> <li> <p>Do an indirect rollover.</p> </li> <li> <p>Request a full cash-out of your account.</p> </li> <li> <p>Do a mix of the above five options.</p> </li> </ul> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-rolling-over-all-of-your-401ks-and-iras?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Simple Guide to Rolling Over All of Your 401Ks and IRAs</a>)</p> <h2>5. Is it better to contribute after-tax or pretax dollars?</h2> <p>There is no right or wrong answer here, as either way offers a benefit. Contributing with pretax dollars (traditional IRA, 401(k)) allows you to reduce your taxable income by deferring income taxes until retirement, at which point you're more likely to be in a lower tax bracket. So, if you're expecting to be making more money now than you will be in retirement, you should contribute pretax money. This is the majority of American workers.</p> <p>Workers just beginning their careers, workers in professions with a high upside income potential, and individuals expecting a large windfall, such as a family trust or inheritance, can greatly benefit from contributing after-tax dollars to a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k).</p> <h2>6. Can I withdraw money early from my accounts?</h2> <p>Early distribution rules vary per type of plan.</p> <h3>401(k)</h3> <p>Generally, you can only take money from a 401(k) plan early due to a hardship or extreme situation, such as avoiding a foreclosure, making a first-time home purchase, or an unexpected medical expense. However, rules vary per plan: Some plans may only offer you the option to take out a loan, while other plans won't allow you to withdraw money early at all. If you take a distribution from a 401(k) before age 59 &frac12;, you become liable for applicable income taxes and penalties.</p> <h3>Traditional IRA</h3> <p>There are several instances in which you can take an early distribution from a traditional IRA without incurring a penalty. This includes unreimbursed medical expenses, health insurance premiums during unemployment, the purchase of a first home, higher education expenses, and others. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-penalty-free-ways-to-withdraw-money-from-your-retirement-account?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Penalty-Free Ways to Withdraw Money From Your Retirement Account</a>)</p> <h3>Roth IRA</h3> <p>Early withdrawals on <em>contributions</em> from a Roth IRA can be made at any time without incurring taxes and penalties, since you have already paid taxes on the money. Withdrawing any amount that exceeds your contributions counts as <em>earnings</em>, and is therefore subject to tax and penalties. In order to avoid those taxes and penalties, your Roth IRA must be at least five years old and withdrawals must be used for a qualified expense, such as the purchase of a new home or a disability. Higher education costs are also exempt from penalties, but you must pay income tax on the withdrawals.</p> <h2>7. What are required minimum distributions?</h2> <p>Eventually, the IRS wants its money in the form of taxes on your retirement distributions. When you reach age 70 &frac12;, you must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your retirement plans. These rules apply to traditional and Roth 401(k) plans, as well as 403(b) plans, 457(b) plans, and traditional IRA-based plans such as SEPs, SARSEPs, and SIMPLE IRAs. If you fail to take your RMD, the IRS will take 50 percent of the amount you should have withdrawn as a penalty.</p> <p>The exception to the RMD rule is the Roth IRA, which is funded with post-tax dollars. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-of-these-9-retirement-accounts-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which of These 9 Retirement Accounts Is Right for You?</a>)</p> <h2>8. Are there any tax credits for retirement contributions?</h2> <p>Come tax time, eligible workers can claim the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, better known as the Saver's Credit. Depending on your adjusted gross income (AGI), you can claim 50, 20, or 10 percent of your retirement plan contributions, up to $2,000 for single filers and $4,000 for married filing jointly. For example, a married couple with an AGI between $41,001 and $63,000 can claim 10 percent of their eligible contributions for the Saver's Credit in 2018. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dumb-401k-mistakes-smart-people-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Dumb 401(k) Mistakes Smart People Make</a>)</p> <h2>9. What is the recommended 401(k) portfolio allocation?</h2> <p>Here's some advice from one of the most successful investors of all time, Warren Buffett: Put 90 percent of your 401(k) balance in a very low-cost S&amp;P 500 index fund, and the remaining 10 percent in short-term government bonds. Keeping true to his word, he has included this very same advice in his will. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-a-step-by-step-guide-to-choosing-401k-investments?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Bookmark This: A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing 401(k) Investments</a>)</p> <h2>10. What is an HSA?</h2> <p>Those with a high deductible health plan (HDHP) are eligible for a health savings account (HSA), which is a way to make pretax contributions to save for medical expenses. Many HSA providers offer the option to put money in an investment account with several fund options, including mutual funds and low-cost index funds.</p> <p>The main benefit of saving for medical expenses using an HSA is that you won't have to pay any income taxes on withdrawals used for qualifying medical expenses (even before retirement age). And when you do hit age 65, your HSA will basically become a traditional IRA. You can withdraw funds for any reason penalty-free, only paying income tax on the distributions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-hsa-could-help-your-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How an HSA Could Help Your Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>11. Does my plan offer financial advice services?</h2> <p>More and more plans are jumping on the bandwagon of offering a robo-adviser (an automated service suggesting or performing certain types of transactions on your behalf). The range of trades that a robo-adviser can perform ranges from periodically rebalancing your portfolio to selling securities.</p> <p>Fees can range, too: Some robo-advisers charge about 0.15 percent of your account balance or a flat monthly fee. Some plans may also offer you a-la-carte paid options to add a standard robo-adviser service. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-questions-you-should-ask-before-hiring-a-robo-adviser?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Robo-Adviser</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F11-basic-questions-about-retirement-saving-everyone-should-ask&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F11%2520Basic%2520Questions%2520About%2520Retirement%2520Saving%2520Everyone%2520Should%2520Ask.jpg&amp;description=11%20Basic%20Questions%20About%20Retirement%20Saving%20Everyone%20Should%20Ask"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/11%20Basic%20Questions%20About%20Retirement%20Saving%20Everyone%20Should%20Ask.jpg" alt="11 Basic Questions About Retirement Saving Everyone Should Ask" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-basic-questions-about-retirement-saving-everyone-should-ask">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-critical-401k-questions-you-need-to-ask-your-employer">8 Critical 401(k) Questions You Need to Ask Your Employer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-age-milestones-that-impact-your-retirement">6 Age Milestones That Impact Your Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-of-these-9-retirement-accounts-is-right-for-you">Which of These 9 Retirement Accounts Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-retirement-saver-should-know-about-required-minimum-distributions">What Every Retirement Saver Should Know About Required Minimum Distributions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-invest-your-money-after-youve-maxed-out-your-retirement-account">Where to Invest Your Money After You&#039;ve Maxed Out Your Retirement Account</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) basics contributions early withdrawals employer match health savings accounts IRA penalties questions tax credits taxes Tue, 13 Mar 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Damian Davila 2115991 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Questions All Rookie Investors Should Ask http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-all-rookie-investors-should-ask <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-questions-all-rookie-investors-should-ask" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_boy_examines_money_falling_from_sky.jpg" alt="Young Boy Examines Money Falling from Sky" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The first time you got behind the wheel of a car, you were probably a little intimidated. The same can be true if you're just getting started with investing. Here are some questions that may be on your mind, along with answers designed to help you begin your investing journey with the knowledge you need to succeed.</p> <h2>1. Why should I invest?</h2> <p>Especially if you're young, investing might not seem very urgent. Investment goals, such as retirement, may seem distant and vague.</p> <p>The financial services industry has tried everything to get people to recognize the importance of investing for retirement, even using photo-enhancing software to show young people what they may look like when they're 65 or 70. A 2012 Merrill Edge study actually found the tactic somewhat effective in motivating people to save more for their later years.</p> <p>Assuming you don't have access to such technology, maybe the best way to find the motivation to invest is to consider the cost of waiting. Crunching the numbers just may be the wake-up call you need.</p> <h2>2. What's the harm in holding off a little while?</h2> <p>The sooner you start investing, the less you'll have to invest each month in order to meet your goals.</p> <p>Let's say you're 25 years old, plan to retire at age 70, and want to accumulate $1 million by then. Assuming a 7 percent average annual return, you would need to invest about $275 per month. Even waiting just five years will significantly increase that amount. Starting at age 30, you would need to invest about $361 per month in order to accumulate $1 million by age 70.</p> <p>Here's another way to think about it. If you invested $200 per month from age 25 until age 70 and generated an average annual return of 7 percent, you'd end up with about $733,804. Wait until age 30 to start investing $200 per month, and you'll end up with $512,663.</p> <p>That's amazing, isn't it? By investing for just five fewer years, you will invest just $12,000 less than if you had started at age 25. And yet, because of the power of compounding &mdash; more accurately, because of missing out on five years' worth of the power of compounding &mdash; you'll end up with about $221,000 less. That's a huge penalty for waiting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-investing-tips-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Investing Tips You Wish You Could Tell Your Younger Self</a>)</p> <h2>3. How much should I invest?</h2> <p>To get a general sense about how much to invest each month, use the <a href="https://www.fidelity.com/calculators-tools/fidelity-retirement-score-tool" target="_blank">Fidelity Retirement Score</a> calculator. Once you run some initial numbers, you'll be able to see how changing some of your variables, such as how much to invest and when to retire, will impact your how much money you end up with.</p> <h2>4. Should I use my company's 401(k) plan or an IRA?</h2> <p>The key to answering this question is whether your employer offers a match on some of the money you would contribute to its 401(k) plan. If so, start there.</p> <p>In a typical arrangement, an employer will match your contributions up to 6 percent of your salary. If yours will contribute a dollar for every dollar you put in, that's a guaranteed 100 percent return on your money. If it will match 50 cents for every dollar you contribute, that's a guaranteed 50 percent return on your money. Don't miss out.</p> <p>If your employer doesn't offer a match, the decision depends on the investment options it offers. There are still some employers whose plans contain a strange mix of mutual funds with high fees (you should not be limited to funds with &quot;expense ratios&quot; higher than 1 percent). If that's the case with your employer's plan, you may be better off using an IRA. However, even with a solid 401(k) plan at your disposal, don't think an IRA isn't for you. Contributing to both plans can give you a further leg up in your retirement savings strategy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both?ref=seealso" target="_blank">401(k) or IRA? You Need Both</a>)</p> <h2>5. What should I invest in?</h2> <p>It used to be a lot more complicated and intimidating to figure out what investments to make. Today, target-date funds have simplified the process. By choosing a single mutual fund that has the year of your intended retirement date as part of its name, such as the Fidelity Freedom 2040 Fund, you'll gain a portfolio that's diversified across stocks, bonds, and other asset classes in a way that's appropriate for someone your age. As you get older, the fund will automatically adjust its investment mix, becoming more conservative as you near your target retirement date. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-easiest-way-to-save-for-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Know About the Easiest Way to Save for Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>6. What can I expect from my investments?</h2> <p>In short, you can expect that the ride will not always be smooth. Last year, the S&amp;P 500 generated a nearly 22 percent return, but in 2008 it <em>fell </em>37 percent.</p> <p>Investing always comes with risk, and there's no way to predict how each year will turn out. A solid approach is to build a diversified portfolio, perhaps through a target-date fund, and commit to staying with it in good years and bad.</p> <p>The longer you stay invested, the better your odds of success. As Morningstar documented in its 2017 Fundamentals for Investors report, from 1926 through 2016, 74 percent of one-year returns from the U.S. stock market were positive, 86 percent of five-year returns were positive, and 100 percent of 15-year returns were positive.</p> <p>As with so many things, the best way to learn about investing is to get started. Taking the steps described above should get you moving in the right direction.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-questions-all-rookie-investors-should-ask&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Questions%2520All%2520Rookie%2520Investors%2520Should%2520Ask%2520%25281%2529.jpg&amp;description=6%20Questions%20All%20Rookie%20Investors%20Should%20Ask"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Questions%20All%20Rookie%20Investors%20Should%20Ask%20%281%29.jpg" alt="6 Questions All Rookie Investors Should Ask" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-all-rookie-investors-should-ask">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement">8 Things Millennials Can Do Right Now for an Early Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-startling-facts-that-will-make-you-want-to-invest">8 Startling Facts That Will Make You Want to Invest</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-basic-questions-about-retirement-saving-everyone-should-ask">11 Basic Questions About Retirement Saving Everyone Should Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-millennials-should-stop-being-afraid-of-the-stock-market">7 Reasons Millennials Should Stop Being Afraid of the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-of-the-toughest-decisions-youll-face-in-retirement">Three of the Toughest Decisions You&#039;ll Face in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment 401(k) compound interest IRA new investors questions retirement savings returns rookies Tue, 06 Feb 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Matt Bell 2096590 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things Millennials Can Do Right Now for an Early Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/this_team_is_built_for_success.jpg" alt="This team is built for success" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're young, it's hard to think of retirement planning as a priority. You have barely entered the workforce; now you have to think about what to do when you've <em>stopped</em> working?</p> <p>But if you are of the millennial generation, the road to a comfortable retirement should begin now. And with the right moves, you may even be able to retire early. Consider these financial moves to supercharge your retirement plan.</p> <h2>1. Develop a net worth mindset</h2> <p>One of the keys to saving for a comfortable retirement is to focus on accumulating things that grow in value while reducing your liabilities.</p> <p>This means earning and saving as much money as possible while eliminating debt. It means investing and watching your money grow, through things like stocks and real estate. It means avoiding spending money on things that will lose financial value or have no value to begin with.</p> <p>This mindset will help you develop a high &quot;net worth,&quot; calculated by how much your assets exceed your liabilities. You can't retire unless you have a high net worth, and you can't get there unless you make the right financial choices &mdash; especially at an early age. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-if-your-net-worth-is-negative?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Money Moves to Make If Your Net Worth Is Negative</a>)</p> <h2>2. Open an IRA</h2> <p>If you have any earned income at all, you can open an individual retirement account (IRA), which allows you to invest in almost anything and enjoy tax savings along the way. With a traditional IRA, any money you invest is deducted from your taxable income. With a Roth IRA, contributions are taxed upfront, but any investment gains can be withdrawn tax-free when you retire. You will pay a penalty and taxes if you withdraw money before you turn 59&frac12;.</p> <p>These retirement accounts can be powerful saving vehicles if you have the discipline to set aside as much money as you can. The earlier you invest, the more time your money has to grow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-retirement-accounts-you-dont-need-a-ton-of-money-to-open?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Retirement Accounts You Don't Need a Ton of Money to Open</a>)</p> <h2>3. Put money in a 401(k)</h2> <p>If you are employed by a company, there's a good chance that you have access to a 401(k) or similar plan. Don't ignore your human resources representative when they hand you a stack of plan documents urging you to sign up.</p> <p>A 401(k) plan allows you to invest in a variety of mutual funds and other investments, and your company will often match your contributions up to a certain amount. Money you contribute is deducted from your taxable income. You should invest as much as you can into your 401(k), but it's imperative that you at least contribute enough to get the maximum in matching funds. Your contributions, coupled with the matching funds, can add up to millions of dollars by the time you decide to retire. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both?ref=seealso" target="_blank">401K or IRA? You Need Both</a>)</p> <h2>4. Open a taxable brokerage account</h2> <p>There's no rule that says all your investments need to be in retirement accounts. Regular taxable brokerage accounts don't have the same tax advantages as IRAs or 401(k) plans, but they do offer other perks, chiefly the flexibility to withdraw money whenever you want it. This is especially key for someone looking to retire before age 59.</p> <p>Taxable brokerage accounts can be used to accumulate dividend stocks, bonds, or other investments that provide income that will allow you to retire early. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-investment-accounts-all-30-somethings-should-have?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Investment Accounts All 30-Somethings Should Have</a>)</p> <h2>5. Get a side hustle</h2> <p>To accumulate enough money for an early retirement, you'll need a healthy and steady income. If your day job doesn't quite pay enough, look for other ways to generate cash. This may mean freelance writing or playing guitar at local coffee shops. Maybe it's tutoring math, working as a DJ, or doing ASMR videos on YouTube.</p> <p>If you're young, you have energy and freedom, and the ability to make some cash on the side. Earn it, invest it, and watch it help you retire for good from work at an early age. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-best-side-jobs-for-fast-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Best Side Jobs For Fast Cash</a>)</p> <h2>6. Learn to budget</h2> <p>It's simple: The only way to invest money is to save it, and the only way to save it is to spend less than you earn. This may be easier said than done, especially if you aren't making a lot of money early in your career. But it needs to happen.</p> <p>Start by tracking your spending so you know precisely where your money is going. Then create buckets for various categories of spending (rent, food, entertainment, etc.). Budgeting requires focus and discipline, but can be fun &mdash; and ultimately rewarding &mdash; when you see your savings grow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-staying-on-budget-can-be-fun-really?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Ways Staying on Budget Can Be Fun (Really!)</a>)</p> <h2>7. Tackle that debt</h2> <p>You may have student loans. As a result, you may also have credit card debt. If this is weighing you down, it's time to do something about it or an early retirement will be impossible.</p> <p>Begin by going after some of the most onerous debt first &mdash; usually, this is the credit card debt with the highest interest rate. Once the debt is eliminated, you can begin to focus on actually saving and investing, rather than simply making ends meet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Method to Eliminate Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>8. Get insured</h2> <p>The ability to retire early is as much a product of avoiding disaster as accumulating wealth. It's hard to save and invest aggressively if you find yourself saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, or expenses to replace items lost when your apartment flooded.</p> <p>You may think that health insurance is a waste of money because you are young and in good shape. You may think that you're a good driver and don't need comprehensive auto insurance. But if you truly want to gain financial independence and work toward an early retirement, you must be properly insured. Even if you have insurance now, review your policies to make sure you're covered at the right levels. Fail to do this, and you may find a single disaster will send your financial future off track. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-surprising-insurance-policies-you-might-need?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Surprising Insurance Policies You Might Need</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Things%2520Millennials%2520Can%2520Do%2520Right%2520Now%2520for%2520an%2520Early%2520Retirement.jpg&amp;description=8%20Things%20Millennials%20Can%20Do%20Right%20Now%20for%20an%20Early%20Retirement"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Things%20Millennials%20Can%20Do%20Right%20Now%20for%20an%20Early%20Retirement.jpg" alt="8 Things Millennials Can Do Right Now for an Early Retirement" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-invest-your-money-after-youve-maxed-out-your-retirement-account">Where to Invest Your Money After You&#039;ve Maxed Out Your Retirement Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-biggest-ways-millennials-risk-their-retirements">5 Biggest Ways Millennials Risk Their Retirements</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-perks-of-being-in-your-20s">The Financial Perks of Being in Your 20s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-plan-for-a-forced-early-retirement">How to Plan for a Forced Early Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-all-rookie-investors-should-ask">6 Questions All Rookie Investors Should Ask</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Retirement 401(k) budgeting compound interest extra income insurance IRA millennials net worth saving money side gigs taxable brokerage accounts young adults Wed, 24 Jan 2018 10:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 2084738 at http://www.wisebread.com Which of These 9 Retirement Accounts Is Right for You? http://www.wisebread.com/which-of-these-9-retirement-accounts-is-right-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/which-of-these-9-retirement-accounts-is-right-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/time_to_invest_for_retirement.jpg" alt="Time to invest for retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You might think that the simplest way to put away money for retirement would be to save or invest your money as you see fit &mdash; without reporting your contributions to anyone, and without following any special rules. The problem with following a freestyle retirement plan like this is taxes. You would pay full income taxes on the money that goes into your account, and you would pay capital gains taxes as your investment grows.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are many retirement savings plans out there that can reduce your tax burden now and in the future, all while avoiding capital gains tax. And while there are many types of retirement accounts, you can &mdash; and should! &mdash; contribute to more than one. The 2018 contribution limit for traditional and Roth IRAs is $5,500 ($6,500 if you're age 50 or older). For 401(k) plans, the current contribution limit is $18,500 (plus an additional catch-up contribution of $6,000 if over age 50). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-retirement-account-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Retirement Account Is Right for You?</a>)</p> <p>Here are some of the most popular tax-advantaged retirement plan options.</p> <h2>1. Traditional IRA</h2> <p>Contributions made to a traditional IRA are tax-deductible, which can reduce your current year income tax bill. However, you will have to pay income tax when you withdraw funds starting at age 59&frac12;. If your income is high now and you will be in a lower tax bracket after retirement, contributing to a traditional IRA may be a good move.</p> <h2>2. Roth IRA</h2> <p>Contributions to a Roth IRA are post-tax, so contributing to one of these accounts won't reduce your tax bill upfront. But when you withdraw the funds in the future, you won't have to pay income tax. A Roth IRA can be favorable if you are a young investor in a low tax bracket now. Also, if you are concerned that tax rates could go up in the future, contributing to a Roth IRA allows you to pay a known tax now versus a potentially higher tax in the future when you withdraw funds. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-every-millennial-needs-a-roth-ira?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Reasons Every Millennial Needs a Roth IRA</a>)</p> <h2>3. Traditional 401(k)</h2> <p>Employees can contribute wages to a 401(k) investment account as elective salary deferrals. The traditional 401(k) account works much like a traditional IRA where income can be contributed before taxes, but you will have to pay income tax on future withdrawals. Some employers provide matching contributions to 401(k) plans, and if you are not participating enough to obtain that match, you are leaving free money on the table. Keep in mind, however, that employer plans have fewer investment options than traditional IRAs, and that there may be limits on whether you can withdraw employer contributions early in, for example, a hardship distribution. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both?ref=seealso" target="_blank">401K or IRA? You Need Both</a>)</p> <h2>4. Roth 401(k)</h2> <p>The Roth 401(k) is an alternate 401(k) plan where employees can contribute after-tax funds. As with a Roth IRA, the Roth 401(k) allows you to pay a known tax <em>today</em> at your current tax bracket instead of an unknown tax rate in the future. A Roth 401(k) is also an attractive option to younger workers who are in a lower tax bracket now and who have a lot of time for funds to grow. If your employer offers matching funds, again, try to contribute at least the minimum required amount to receive the match. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-know-about-your-401k-match?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Things You Should Know About Your 401(k) Match</a>)</p> <h2>5. SEP IRA</h2> <p>An SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) plan allows business owners &mdash; often the self-employed &mdash; to contribute to traditional IRAs on behalf of themselves and any employees they have. An SEP IRA has many of the same rules as a traditional IRA, but the employer is required to make all contributions to the SEP IRA, and employees can't make any.</p> <p>An SEP IRA allows employers to adjust how much they contribute to an employee's account depending on the company's cash flow that year. Contributions cannot exceed the lesser of 25 percent of the employee's compensation, or $55,000, in 2018.</p> <p>Money contributed to an SEP IRA is tax-deductible for the current year, and is subject to income tax when withdrawn in retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-sep-ira-is-how-the-self-employed-do-retirement-like-a-boss?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The SEP-IRA Is How the Self-Employed Do Retirement Like a BOSS</a>)</p> <h2>6. SIMPLE IRA</h2> <p>A SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employee) IRA is a retirement savings plan for businesses of any size, although it is still aimed at small businesses. A SIMPLE IRA allows employees to invest in their own accounts, in addition to receiving employer contributions of 1-3 percent of the employee's compensation. An employee may contribute up to $12,500 to a SIMPLE IRA in 2018.</p> <p>Contributions made to a SIMPLE IRA (by both the employer and employee) are tax-deductible upfront and subject to income tax rates upon withdrawal.</p> <h2>7. 403(b) plans</h2> <p>A 403(b) plan, also known as a tax-sheltered annuity or TSA plan, is similar to a 401(k) &mdash; but is offered by public schools and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Like 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans may be offered in either a traditional tax-advantaged or after-tax Roth version. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/403b-vs-401k-how-are-they-different?ref=seealso" target="_blank">403(b) vs. 401(k): How Are They Different?</a>)</p> <h2>8. Payroll deduction IRAs</h2> <p>Payroll deduction IRAs allow employees or even self-employed workers to automatically contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA through payroll deductions. The employees set up the account and then let the employer know how much they'd like to contribute from each paycheck. This is perhaps the simplest retirement program that a business can establish for its employees.</p> <h2>9. HSA &quot;IRA&quot;</h2> <p>A HSA (health savings account) is available to those who are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). An HSA allows you to contribute pretax funds into a savings or investment account, and you can withdraw funds tax-free at any time for qualified health expenses. Once you reach age 65, money left in an HSA basically acts like a traditional IRA &mdash; there is no restriction that the funds must be spent on health expenses, but they will be subject to income tax upon withdrawal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-hsa-could-help-your-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How an HSA Could Help Your Retirement</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhich-of-these-9-retirement-accounts-is-right-for-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhich%2520of%2520These%25209%2520Retirement%2520Accounts%2520Is%2520Right%2520for%2520You_.jpg&amp;description=Which%20of%20These%209%20Retirement%20Accounts%20Is%20Right%20for%20You%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Which%20of%20These%209%20Retirement%20Accounts%20Is%20Right%20for%20You_.jpg" alt="Which of These 9 Retirement Accounts Is Right for You?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-of-these-9-retirement-accounts-is-right-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-basic-questions-about-retirement-saving-everyone-should-ask">11 Basic Questions About Retirement Saving Everyone Should Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life">7 Easiest Ways to Catch Up on Retirement Savings Later in Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-retirement-terms-every-new-investor-needs-to-know">15 Retirement Terms Every New Investor Needs to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-important-things-to-know-about-your-401k-and-ira-in-2016">5 Important Things to Know About Your 401K and IRA in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-invest-your-money-after-youve-maxed-out-your-retirement-account">Where to Invest Your Money After You&#039;ve Maxed Out Your Retirement Account</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) 403(b) company match contributions health savings account HSA IRA retirement plans Roth tax advantaged taxes Wed, 24 Jan 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2090876 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Easiest Ways to Catch Up on Retirement Savings Later in Life http://www.wisebread.com/7-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/investing_money_for_retirement_in_piggy_bank.jpg" alt="Investing money for retirement in piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, three in 10 workers report that preparing for retirement causes them emotional distress. Why? Well, because most people feel they are sorely behind when it comes to retirement savings.</p> <p>The Economic Policy Institute reports that baby boomer families, on average, have just a little over $160,000 saved for retirement. With longer life spans, inflation, and increasing health care costs, it's possible that many retirees won't have enough to comfortably sustain their retirements.</p> <p>If you feel behind with your retirement savings, you may be panicking. However, there's hope for you. If you're open to suggestions, a few smart moves will help you catch up on savings even late in the game. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <h2>1. Change your mindset</h2> <p>One of the best ways to take the pressure off catching up with retirement savings is to change your mindset.</p> <p>Rob Hill, owner of financial advisory firm R. Hill Enterprises, Inc., helps people plan for retirement and other stages of life. He says that in order to catch up with your savings, you need to first be more flexible with your idea of retirement. &quot;The first thing I would suggest is not looking at retirement as an age, but rather a financial position,&quot; he says.</p> <p>Hill explains that focus can ease anxiety and make a catch-up goal more feasible for some. He explains, &quot;The goal of retirement is not a pile of assets, it is cash flow that makes retirement possible.&quot;</p> <p>If you look at retirement in this light, you may discover you have more retirement runway than you thought and that building up your nest egg is a little more possible.</p> <h2>2. Make catch-up contributions</h2> <p>If you're over 50 years old, you can contribute more than usual to your 401(k). For 2018, employees within the age guidelines can contribute $18,500 plus a catch-up contribution of $6,000, for a total of $24,500. This approach can be even more helpful if your employer offers a match.</p> <p>Kevin Ward, of Park Elm Investment Advisors, notes another way to save: an IRA &mdash; either a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. &quot;Aside from your employer-sponsored plan, you can save $5,500 in an IRA,&quot; he says. &quot;For those over 50, there is an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000, for a total of $6,500.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meeting-the-2018-401k-contribution-limits-will-brighten-your-future?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Meeting the 2018 401(k) Contribution Limits Will Brighten Your Future</a>)</p> <h2>3. Contribute to a health savings account (HSA)</h2> <p>Though HSAs were created as savings vehicles for health care expenses, there are some tax advantages and treatments that can make this type of account a supplemental retirement option. In order for you to open an HSA, you must have a qualified health care plan, like a high deductible health plan (HDHP).</p> <p>Shobin Uralil, founder of HSA management platform Lively, says placing money in an HSA has many benefits and &quot;loopholes&quot; that make this a great addition for retirement savings.</p> <p>&quot;You can save pretax money and then use pretax dollars to pay for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses,&quot; he says. &quot;After the age of 65, you can use HSA funds for anything you want, not just qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses.&quot;</p> <p>It's also worth noting that HSAs have no mandatory distributions in retirement so you can save into your 70s, 80s, and beyond. This is helpful for anyone behind on retirement saving and needing more time to save. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-hsa-could-help-your-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How an HSA Could Help Your Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>4. Be frugal</h2> <p>You might be excited about the idea of saving more money, but wondering how you'll actually achieve those higher savings rates. Your best bet is to reduce your current lifestyle expenses. Of course, you'll want to adjust your spending to a level that is comfortable for you. But keep in mind the ultimate goal of having enough money to support your retirement.</p> <p>The options for saving money are unlimited. With some creativity and motivation, you should be able to find some frugal habits that will help you make your savings goals &mdash; everything from downsizing your home, to eating out only once per month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</a>)</p> <h2>5. Postpone collecting Social Security</h2> <p>This is another strategy that can help you earn more income during retirement. The Social Security Administration reports that postponing Social Security benefits past your full retirement age can boost future payments by up to 8 percent for every year the income is deferred until age 70.</p> <p>Tom Foster, national spokesperson at MassMutual, works with financial advisers and employers to educate them about 401(k) plans. He recommends postponing Social Security benefits because the returns are pretty significant if you can hold off. He notes, &quot;Few investment strategies net such a return, never mind one with a guarantee.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Smart Ways to Boost Your Social Security Payout Before Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>6. Keep working</h2> <p>A 2013 Georgetown University study estimates that there will be as many as 55 million job openings by 2020 due to baby boomers retiring and leaving the workforce. So the chances are, there will be plenty of demand for those who want to stick around and work longer.</p> <p>Fortunately, we live in a wonderful time where the internet allows people to work longer, under flexible conditions from almost anywhere in the world. If you can keep working longer, it will add to your potential to save up even more money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-creative-remote-jobs-that-can-supplement-your-retirement-income?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Creative Remote Jobs That Can Supplement Your Retirement Income</a>)</p> <h2>7. Keep investing</h2> <p>It used to be that people drastically reduced their investment portfolios in anticipation of their &quot;golden years.&quot; In order to reduce the risk of losing the principal amount of their savings, a retiree might be prompted to go with a very conservative investing strategy by keeping their assets in cash, bonds, or a combination of both.</p> <p>Nowadays, people are living and working longer and may be able to invest and save more aggressively for longer periods of time.</p> <p>Cliff Caplan, CFP at Neponset Valley Financial Partners, suggests that people needing to save more should continue to invest for growth. &quot;Establish and continually fund a growth-oriented account that can benefit from lower long-term capital gains treatment,&quot; he says. &quot;Dollar cost averaging can also be used to reduce volatility in a portfolio.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520To%2520Travel%2520More%2520With%2520a%2520Full-Time%2520Job.jpg&amp;description=7%20Easiest%20Ways%20to%20Catch%20Up%20on%20Retirement%20Savings%20Later%20in%20Life"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20To%20Travel%20More%20With%20a%20Full-Time%20Job.jpg" alt="7 Easiest Ways to Catch Up on Retirement Savings Later in Life" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aja-mcclanahan">Aja McClanahan</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-invest-your-money-after-youve-maxed-out-your-retirement-account">Where to Invest Your Money After You&#039;ve Maxed Out Your Retirement Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-roadblocks-to-retirement-and-how-to-clear-them">7 Roadblocks to Retirement (And How to Clear Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed">How to Save for Retirement When You Are Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-moves-for-retirement">8 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Moves for Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) catching up contributions cutting expenses HSA IRA late starters risk saving money social security stocks Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Aja McClanahan 2085769 at http://www.wisebread.com What Every Retirement Saver Should Know About Required Minimum Distributions http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-retirement-saver-should-know-about-required-minimum-distributions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-every-retirement-saver-should-know-about-required-minimum-distributions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_and_time_background.jpg" alt="Money and Time Background" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You may be aware of the fact that contributing money to a tax-deferred retirement account, like a traditional IRA or a 401(k), means you get to put money aside before it is taxed. This reduces your current tax burden and gives you a great incentive to save for retirement.</p> <p>Unfortunately, Uncle Sam will eventually want his cut of that money. That's where required minimum distributions (RMDs) come in.</p> <p>The good news is that you have until age 70&frac12; before you have to worry about RMDs. But it's still important to understand how RMDs work and what to expect before you get to that age milestone.</p> <h2>What is a required minimum distribution?</h2> <p>Deferring taxes is great for the taxpayer, but the IRS can't afford for taxpayers to defer their taxes indefinitely. Individuals with tax-deferred retirement accounts have to actually withdraw money &mdash; and thereby pay taxes &mdash; or else those taxes will never get paid.</p> <p>Everyone holding a 401(k) or IRA account (with the exception of Roth IRAs) must begin withdrawing money from those accounts during the year they reach age 70&frac12;. This ensures that account holders have enough time to allow their money to grow without permanently sheltering their money from federal taxes.</p> <p>The IRS has established minimums that you must withdraw each year after reaching age 70&frac12;. If you fail to withdraw the proper RMD, you face a stiff penalty: The IRS will take 50 percent of the amount you should have withdrawn.</p> <h2>Calculating your RMD</h2> <p>It's also important to note that you are responsible for calculating and withdrawing the correct RMD each year &mdash; and the calculations aren't necessarily easy. Even if the custodian of your IRA or 401(k) does the math and paperwork for you, you are the responsible party in the IRS's eyes.</p> <p>So how do you figure out your RMD? You need to start with three pieces of information:</p> <ol> <li> <p>Your date of birth.</p> </li> <li> <p>The balance of each tax-deferred account as of Dec. 31 of the year <em>before </em>the year in which you turn 70&frac12;.</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/uniform_rmd_wksht.pdf" target="_blank">The IRS distribution table</a>.</p> </li> </ol> <p>This IRS distribution table calculates your life expectancy based on your age. The table gives you a number that corresponds to the number of years the IRS expects you to live.</p> <p>For instance, let's say a retiree was born on February 4, 1948, and will turn 70 in the first half of 2018. This retiree has a single IRA, with a balance of $250,000 at the end of 2017 (the calendar year before the year in which she turns 70&frac12;). To calculate her RMD, she'd look up her age (70) on the IRS distribution table to find the distribution period, which in this case is 27.4. She would then divide her IRA balance by the distribution period for her 2018 RMD:</p> <p style="text-align: center;">IRA balance / Distribution Period = RMD</p> <p style="text-align: center;">$250,000 / 27.4 = $9,214</p> <p>To keep on the right side of Uncle Sam, she will need to withdraw a minimum of $9,214 from her $250,000 IRA in 2018. But remember, the operative word is &quot;minimum.&quot; Account holders can always take more than their RMD if they choose to do so.</p> <h2>Why am I celebrating my 70&frac12; birthday?</h2> <p>While 70&frac12; may seem like an arbitrary number, there is a lot of thought put into this milestone age. The IRS makes a distinction between people born in the first half of the year, and those born in the second half. If your birthday falls between July 1 and Dec. 31, you don't officially have to take an RMD until the year you turn 71.</p> <p>This means that those with birthdays in the first half of the year take their first RMD the year they turn 70, and those with the later birthday take their first RMD the year they turn 71 &mdash; which averages out to 70&frac12;. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-age-milestones-that-impact-your-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Age Milestones That Impact Your Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>Required beginning dates</h2> <p>To offer retirees a little more time to get their ducks in a row, the IRS does not require account holders to take their first RMD until April 1 of the year <em>following</em> the one in which you reach age 70&frac12;. That April 1 deadline is known as the required beginning date. The year in which that date falls depends on whether you have a birthday in the first or second half of the year.</p> <p>So, our Aquarian born Feb. 4, 1948 will turn 70&frac12; on Aug. 4, 2018. But remember, those born in the first half of the year calculate their RMD based on the year <em>before </em>they turn 70. So while she can wait to take her first RMD until April 1, 2019, at that point she'll calculate that RMD based on her age of 70 (which was her age as of Dec. 31, 2017), as well as her account balance as of Dec. 31, 2017.</p> <p>The first year following the year in which you reach 70&frac12; you will usually have <em>two </em>required distribution dates. Besides the April 1 date we just discussed, you'll also have to take another withdrawal by Dec. 31 of that same year. For our Aquarian, that means she will have to take a second RMD by Dec. 31, 2019. This RMD will be calculated based on her 2019 age of 71 and her account balance as of Dec. 31, 2018. This distribution catches her up on her requirements, and during all subsequent years, she is only required to take one RMD.</p> <p>The required beginning date is similar for anyone with later birthdays. Let's say you're a Virgo with an Aug. 31, 1948 birthday. You'll turn 70&frac12; on Feb. 28, 2019, which means you won't have to take your first RMD until April 1, 2020, and you'll calculate the amount based on your age of 71 (which is your age as of Dec. 31, 2018) as well as your account balance as of Dec. 31, 2018 &mdash; the year before you turned 70&frac12;. In addition to the April 1, 2020 distribution you will also have to take your 2020 RMD by Dec. 31, 2020, which you will calculate based on your age then of 72, and your account balance on Dec. 31, 2019.</p> <h2>Figuring out your required beginning date</h2> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><strong>If your birthday falls between Jan. 1 and June 30</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>If your birthday falls between July 1 and Dec. 31</strong></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Your required beginning date is April 1 of the calendar year you turn 71.</p> </td> <td> <p>Your required beginning date is April 1 of the calendar year you turn 72.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>You will use the age of 70 to calculate your first RMD amount.</p> </td> <td> <p>You will use the age of 71 to calculate your first RMD amount.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Your second RMD is due by Dec. 31 of the calendar year you turn 71.</p> </td> <td> <p>Your second RMD is due by Dec. 31 of the calendar year you turn 72.</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <h2>How your RMDs are taxed</h2> <p>Since the entire exercise of taking RMDs is about making sure you pay the income taxes you owe, it's important to understand how your distributions will be taxed.</p> <p>Your RMDs will be taxed as regular income at your applicable federal tax rate for the tax year for which you are making the withdrawal. This, in fact, may be the easiest-to-understand aspect of RMDs.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-every-retirement-saver-should-know-about-required-minimum-distributions&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520Every%2520Retirement%2520Saver%2520Should%2520Know%2520About%2520Required%2520Minimum%2520Distributions.jpg&amp;description=What%20Every%20Retirement%20Saver%20Should%20Know%20About%20Required%20Minimum%20Distributions"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20Every%20Retirement%20Saver%20Should%20Know%20About%20Required%20Minimum%20Distributions.jpg" alt="What Every Retirement Saver Should Know About Required Minimum Distributions" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-retirement-saver-should-know-about-required-minimum-distributions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-age-milestones-that-impact-your-retirement">6 Age Milestones That Impact Your Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-basic-questions-about-retirement-saving-everyone-should-ask">11 Basic Questions About Retirement Saving Everyone Should Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-401k-hardship-withdrawals">7 Things You Need to Know About 401(k) Hardship Withdrawals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-penalty-free-way-to-withdraw-retirement-money-early">The Penalty-Free Way to Withdraw Retirement Money Early</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-of-the-toughest-decisions-youll-face-in-retirement">Three of the Toughest Decisions You&#039;ll Face in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) age 70 ½ IRA IRS penalties required minimum distributions rmds taxes Wed, 10 Jan 2018 09:30:11 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2084542 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Critical 401(k) Questions You Need to Ask Your Employer http://www.wisebread.com/8-critical-401k-questions-you-need-to-ask-your-employer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-critical-401k-questions-you-need-to-ask-your-employer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/401k_retirement_plan.jpg" alt="401(k) Retirement Plan" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The 401(k) plan is one of the most popular ways for workers to build up their nest eggs for retirement. As of June 2017, 55 million Americans held an estimated $5.1 trillion in assets in 401(k) plans. Whether you're already enrolled or planning to enroll in your employer-sponsored retirement plan, there are several details that you should find out to make the most of it. Let's review some key 401(k) questions you need to ask your employer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dumb-401k-mistakes-smart-people-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Dumb 401(k) Mistakes Smart People Make</a>)</p> <h2>1. When am I eligible to make contributions?</h2> <p>Different plans have different rules. You shouldn't assume that the same rules from your previous workplace retirement savings plan will apply to that of your current job. Some plans may require you to wait at least six to 12 months before you can contribute to your account, while others may allow you to do so right away. In a review of 4.4 million 401(k) plans in 2016, Vanguard found 67 percent of plans offered immediate eligibility for employee contributions.</p> <h2>2. Do you offer a company match?</h2> <p>America is experiencing very low unemployment levels. In October 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the national unemployment rate stood at 4.1 percent, with some states reaching even lower rates (North Dakota and Colorado recorded 2.5 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, that same month). Looking to retain and attract talent, more and more employers match employee contributions to their retirement accounts. In Vanguard's <em>How America Saves 2017</em> report, 94 percent of employers offered matching 401(k) contributions in 2016, up from 91 percent in 2013. After you find out how much of a match your workplace offers, be sure to contribute at least up to that amount. If you don't, you'll be leaving free money on the table.</p> <h2>3. What type of formula do you use for matching contributions?</h2> <p>In 2016, there were over 200 different ways in which employers matched their employee contributions, according to Vanguard. By far the most common formula (70 percent of plans) is 50 cents for every dollar up to 6 percent of your pay. Assuming that you make $50,000, this would mean that your employer would contribute up to $1,500 if you were to contribute $3,000 to your 401(k).</p> <p>Here are the next two most common types of matching formulas found in the study:</p> <ul> <li> <p>$1.00 per dollar on first 3 percent of pay, then $0.50 per dollar on next 2 percent of pay (22 percent of plans).</p> </li> <li> <p>A dollar cap, often set at $2,000 (5 percent of plans).</p> </li> </ul> <p>It's important to find out the matching formula used by your employer so that you know how much you need to contribute to your plan to maximize that match. In 2016, 44 percent of surveyed plans required a 6 to 6.99 percent employee contribution for a maximum employer match.</p> <h2>4. When do employer contributions become fully vested?</h2> <p>While all of your 401(k) contributions become fully vested immediately, funds contributed by your employer may take longer to actually become yours. Knowing the applicable vesting schedule is essential to know how much of your 401(k) you'd keep if you were to separate from your employer at any point in time.</p> <p>Depending on your employer, matching contributions may be immediately yours (cliff vesting) or gradually over a period of time (graded vesting). In the Vanguard study, 47 percent of plans granted immediate ownership of employer contributions, 30 percent of plans gradually granted ownership over a five- to six-year period, and 10 percent had a three-year cliff vesting waiting period. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Tell if Your 401(k) Is a Good or a Bad One</a>)</p> <h2>5. Can I take hardship withdrawals?</h2> <p>In a perfect world, you would leave your 401(k) funds alone until retirement. However, life happens and it may throw you a curve ball leaving you in a major cash crunch. Some plans offer holders the ability to withdraw money early without the 10 percent IRS penalty due to hardship exemptions, such as certain medical expenses, avoiding foreclosure, and funeral and burial expenses.</p> <p>Some plans may even allow you to take hardship withdrawals for less gloomy situations, such as buying your first home and paying for college expenses for yourself, your spouse, or your children. Eighty-four percent of plans offered hardship withdrawals in the Vanguard study.</p> <h2>6. What are my investment options?</h2> <p>In 2016, 96 percent of surveyed 401(k) plans designated a target-date fund as the default investment option. There are many reasons, including high expense ratios and variable return rates, why you should look beyond target-date funds and consider all funds available in your 401(k).</p> <p>On average, 401(k) plans offered 17.9 funds to plan holders in 2016. Over recent years, more and more plans are offering a suite of low-cost index funds covering domestic equities, foreign equities, U.S. taxable bonds, and cash. In 2016, 57 percent of plans offered such an index &quot;core&quot; of funds covering at least these four asset types. Take a good look at what your 401(k) has to offer so that you can select the best funds for your unique financial goals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-a-step-by-step-guide-to-choosing-401k-investments?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Bookmark This: A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing 401(k) Investments</a>)</p> <h2>7. Do you offer financial advice?</h2> <p>Plans may offer a wide variety of financial advice, ranging from access to a financial adviser a few times out of the year to fully-fledged management of your investments. These perks often come at a cost ranging from 0.25 to 1 percent of your account balance. Still, depending on your financial situation, getting professional advice may be worth every penny to maximize your nest egg or handle tricky tax scenarios.</p> <p>Besides checking for a human financial adviser, inquire about whether or not your plan offers you robo-advisers. Often charging much lower fees than human advisers, robo-advisers can offer valuable services, including automatic portfolio rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting (selling securities that have experienced a loss to offset taxes on both gains and income). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-questions-you-should-ask-before-hiring-a-robo-adviser?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Robo-Adviser</a>)</p> <h2>8. Can I make Roth contributions?</h2> <p>If you are just starting your career, have a large upside income potential, or are expecting a big salary bump in the next few years, having the ability to make after-tax contributions to your nest egg is important. Under these scenarios, taking the tax hit early in your retirement account would make sense because you would be at a much lower tax rate now than in the future. This is why 65 percent of Vanguard 401(k) plans offered Roth 401(k) contributions in 2016. For some plan holders, a Roth 401(k) is a great way to grow contributions tax-free forever.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-critical-401k-questions-you-need-to-ask-your-employer&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Critical%2520401%2528k%2529%2520Questions%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520Ask%2520Your%2520Employer.jpg&amp;description=8%20Critical%20401(k)%20Questions%20You%20Need%20to%20Ask%20Your%20Employer"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Critical%20401%28k%29%20Questions%20You%20Need%20to%20Ask%20Your%20Employer.jpg" alt="8 Critical 401(k) Questions You Need to Ask Your Employer" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-critical-401k-questions-you-need-to-ask-your-employer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-basic-questions-about-retirement-saving-everyone-should-ask">11 Basic Questions About Retirement Saving Everyone Should Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-invest-your-money-after-youve-maxed-out-your-retirement-account">Where to Invest Your Money After You&#039;ve Maxed Out Your Retirement Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-inventor-of-the-401k-has-second-thoughts-about-your-retirement-plan-now-what">The Inventor of the 401K Has Second Thoughts About Your Retirement Plan — Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life">7 Easiest Ways to Catch Up on Retirement Savings Later in Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-traps-to-avoid-with-your-401k">7 Traps to Avoid With Your 401(k)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) contributions employer match financial advice hardship withdrawals IRA questions vesting period work Tue, 12 Dec 2017 09:30:15 +0000 Damian Davila 2069139 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Signs You're Making All the Right Moves for Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-moves-for-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-moves-for-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggybank_with_glasses.jpg" alt="Piggy bank with glasses" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute made a disheartening discovery; only six in 10 U.S. workers feel confident that they'll be able to retire comfortably. That means 40 percent think they won't.</p> <p>That's grim news. But you don't have to fall into this group if you're making the right financial moves to prepare for your after-work years.</p> <p>It can be tricky to know for sure how confident you should feel about your nest egg, but some key signs can indicate that you're on your way to building a happy and healthy retirement.</p> <h2>1. You've worked out the kind of retirement you want</h2> <p>The best way to prepare for retirement? You have to plan for it. This means knowing how you want to spend your after-work years. After all, if you plan on traveling the globe after retiring, you'll need plenty of money. If you instead plan to spend more time visiting your grandchildren, reading, or playing golf, you might not need to save quite as much.</p> <p>The key is to determine what kind of retirement you want long before it arrives. That way, you can financially plan for it. And if you're in a relationship, remember that both you and your partner have to agree, and prepare for, the retirement lifestyle that suits you both. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-your-new-identity-after-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Find Your New Identity After Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>2. You've set a retirement age</h2> <p>Do you know when you want to retire? You should. That decision can have a huge impact on your finances once you leave the working world.</p> <p>If you were born between 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age is 66. If you were born after 1959, your full retirement age is 67. You can start claiming Social Security benefits once you turn 62. But if you wait until you hit full retirement age &mdash; or beyond &mdash; the money you receive each month will be far higher. In fact, if you start claiming your Social Security benefits at 62, your monthly payment will be lowered by 30 percent compared to how much you'd get at full retirement age.</p> <p>And if you can hang on until age 70, you'll collect a monthly benefit that is 132 percent of the monthly amount you would have received if you started claiming Social Security at full retirement age.</p> <p>There's nothing wrong with claiming your benefits early, if you've planned for this. But make sure you know how much money you'll need before retiring early. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-start-claiming-your-social-security-benefits?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Questions to Ask Before You Start Claiming Your Social Security Benefits</a>)</p> <h2>3. You've made a retirement budget</h2> <p>Before you hit retirement age, it's important to determine how much money you expect to spend and receive each month once that steady paycheck has disappeared. This means it's time to create a monthly retirement budget.</p> <p>For income, you can include any pensions, Social Security payments, disability payments, rental income, or annuity income you plan on receiving. You can also include the amount of money you expect to draw from your retirement savings. For expenses, include everything that you'll spend money on each month, including groceries, eating out, mortgage, auto payments, health care expenses, and utility bills.</p> <p>Once you know how much you'll be spending and how much you'll be earning in retirement, you can better prepare for it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-should-budget-your-social-security-checks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How You Should Budget Your Social Security Checks</a>)</p> <h2>4. You've paid off your debts</h2> <p>The best way to increase the odds of a happy retirement is entering your post-work years without any debt. That means paying off your credit cards, paying off your mortgage, and making sure you don't owe any money on your car once you've retired.</p> <p>Paying off debt isn't easy. It's why so many of us are struggling under mountains of credit card debt. Before your retirement hits, though, start funneling money toward your debt. The more you pay off, the less financial stress you'll face in retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>5. You've maximized your retirement savings contributions</h2> <p>You should be contributing to an IRA, 401(k) plan, or a combination of both. But as retirement gets closer, make sure you are contributing the maximum amount to these retirement savings vehicles. Doing so will leave you with the greatest financial cushion for retirement.</p> <p>It might seem like a financial sacrifice to devote, say, 15 percent of your regular paycheck to a 401(k) account. But by saving that much, as opposed to 5 percent or 10 percent, you can dramatically increase the amount of money you'll have when retirement arrives. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-you-arent-saving-enough-for-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Signs You Aren't Saving Enough for Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>6. You're playing catch-up</h2> <p>Once you hit your 50th birthday, you can contribute even more money each year to your 401(k) plan or IRAs. Take advantage of this benefit to provide a late-in-life boost to your retirement savings.</p> <p>For the 2017 tax year, you are allowed to contribute up to a maximum of $18,000 in a 401(k) plan. But if you're 50 or older, you can make what are known as catch-up contributions and contribute an extra $6,000 &mdash; meaning that you can put a total of $24,000 into your 401(k) this year. For the 2018 tax year, 401(k) contribution limits will be raised to $18,500, which means those age 50 or older can contribute up to a total of $24,500 per year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meeting-the-2018-401k-contribution-limits-will-brighten-your-future?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Meeting the 2018 401(k) Contribution Limits Will Brighten Your Future</a>)</p> <p>Traditional and Roth IRAs also have catch-up policies for investors 50 or older. For the 2017 tax year, you can contribute up to $5,500 in either form of IRA. But if you are 50 older, you can contribute an additional $1,000, meaning that you can save up to $6,500 this year in a Roth or traditional IRA. This will be remaining the same in the 2018 tax year.</p> <h2>7. You've prioritized your spending &mdash; even when it comes to your kids</h2> <p>It's not easy telling your kids no, even when both they and you are adults. But when it comes to saving for retirement, you might have to do just this.</p> <p>You might want to help your children pay for their college tuition. And hopefully, you've already saved for this. But if you didn't, you shouldn't be putting off saving for retirement to help your adult children pay for college.</p> <p>Your children have other options when it comes to college: They can find a less expensive school, attend community college for two years, or apply for loans and grants. If you can't afford to save for both retirement and your children's college tuition, you absolutely must put saving for retirement first.</p> <p>If you don't? You might just become a financial burden for your adult children when you can't afford to maintain a healthy retirement lifestyle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a>)</p> <h2>8. You've tinkered with your savings formula</h2> <p>Early in your working days, it's a sound strategy to invest in a riskier mix of stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles. The potential rewards are higher, and you have more years to recoup whatever losses you might suffer from a potentially more volatile portfolio.</p> <p>But once you get closer to retirement, it's time to rebalance your investments to eliminate much of the risk. When you're 10 or five years from retirement, you want a safer investment mix because time is running short. You won't have as many years to recover from the downs that sometimes come with a high-risk, high-reward savings portfolio.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-moves-for-retirement&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Signs%2520Youre%2520Making%2520All%2520the%2520Right%2520Moves%2520for%2520Retirement.jpg&amp;description=8%20Signs%20Youre%20Making%20All%20the%20Right%20Moves%20for%20Retirement"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Signs%20Youre%20Making%20All%20the%20Right%20Moves%20for%20Retirement.jpg" alt="8 Signs You're Making All the Right Moves for Retirement" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-moves-for-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-invest-your-money-after-youve-maxed-out-your-retirement-account">Where to Invest Your Money After You&#039;ve Maxed Out Your Retirement Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life">7 Easiest Ways to Catch Up on Retirement Savings Later in Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/half-of-americans-are-wrong-about-their-retirement-savings">Half of Americans Are Wrong About Their Retirement Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-face-4-ugly-truths-about-retirement-planning">How to Face 4 Ugly Truths About Retirement Planning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement">8 Things Millennials Can Do Right Now for an Early Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) contributions debt family full retirement age IRA nest egg saving money social security benefits Tue, 05 Dec 2017 09:00:07 +0000 Dan Rafter 2066271 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Meeting the 2018 401(k) Contribution Limits Will Brighten Your Future http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meeting-the-2018-401k-contribution-limits-will-brighten-your-future <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-meeting-the-2018-401k-contribution-limits-will-brighten-your-future" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy_bank_with_retirement_formula.jpg" alt="Piggy Bank with retirement formula" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Starting next year, investors will be allowed to contribute more money into their 401(k)s. In 2018, the limit on annual contributions to a 401(k) plan will rise from $18,000 to $18,500.</p> <p>That additional $500 may not seem like a lot, but you should try and hit the new maximum if you can. Maxing out your 401(k) is often the best way to accumulate a healthy sum for retirement, and there are great tax benefits as well.</p> <p>If you're on the fence about whether you need to direct another $500 into your 401(k), consider these arguments.</p> <h2>1. It could net you tens of thousands of dollars</h2> <p>It's not easy to contribute $18,500 annually into a retirement account. But if you can do it, that extra $500 each year can really pay off. Let's say you're 30 years old and plan to retire at age 65. Assuming a conservative 7 percent return, that extra $500 annually could mean an additional $74,000 overall. If you start contributing that extra $500 starting at age 25, and keep doing it for 40 years, the difference is $106,000 over time &mdash; more than an entire year's worth of living expenses for many people.</p> <h2>2. It's more money for you and less to taxes</h2> <p>If you have $500 in income available, that's money that the IRS will get a share of, unless you place it in a 401(k) plan or traditional IRA. Any money you contribute to these retirement accounts is deducted from your taxable income. If you are in a high tax bracket, that $500 could actually just represent about $300 in your paycheck. If Uncle Sam would take that much anyway, why not invest the whole amount instead?</p> <h2>3. You can find $42 a month</h2> <p>If you are at the maximum contribution now, you can find a way to hit the new ceiling. Eat out less. Ditch the morning coffee. Quit that gym you never go to. If you break down $500 over the course of a year, it comes out to less than $42 a month &mdash; or barely $10 a week. That's the cost of a mediocre lunch out. Even the smallest amount of belt-tightening can help you hit this goal, and it's probably not money you'll notice. But you'll notice it later at retirement time.</p> <h2>4. You may have already maxed out your IRA</h2> <p>If you've been placing money in an individual retirement account (IRA), you may be aware that contribution limits are lower than 401(k) plans. People under age 50 are permitted to contribute only $5,500 each year to an IRA, and it's not uncommon for people to hit that maximum. If your IRA is maxed out, having permission to place an additional $500 in a 401(k) is a huge bonus.</p> <h2>5. The limit might be decreased in the future</h2> <p>We should be thankful that in 2018, the 401(k) contribution limit is rising. That's because some members of Congress have suggested that the limit could be drastically reduced in the future as part of tax reform. Thankfully, it seems like discussion of such changes has been tabled, but there's no guarantee the idea won't be resurrected in the future. In the meantime, it's a good idea to contribute as much as you can.</p> <h2>6. Where else are you going to put your money?</h2> <p>If you have $500 a year to spare, the stock market may be the smartest place to put it. Interest rates are still very low, so placing it into the bank would only result in a few bucks each year. And very few other investments offer the same kinds of consistent returns as stocks. Unless you plan to use the money to purchase a home or start a business, you likely won't do much better on a consistent basis than &mdash; or get the same tax advantages of &mdash; investing in stocks in a 401(k).</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-meeting-the-2018-401k-contribution-limits-will-brighten-your-future&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520Meeting%2520the%25202018%2520401%2528k%2529%2520Contribution%2520Limits%2520Will%2520Brighten%2520Your%2520Future.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20Meeting%20the%202018%20401(k)%20Contribution%20Limits%20Will%20Brighten%20Your%20Future"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20Meeting%20the%202018%20401%28k%29%20Contribution%20Limits%20Will%20Brighten%20Your%20Future.jpg" alt="6 Ways Meeting the 2018 401(k) Contribution Limits Will Brighten Your Future" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meeting-the-2018-401k-contribution-limits-will-brighten-your-future">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-8-rules-of-investing-you-need-to-know">The Only 8 Rules of Investing You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one">How to Tell if Your 401K Is a Good or a Bad One</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-choose-a-roth-401k-or-a-regular-401k">Should You Choose a Roth 401k or a Regular 401k?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-common-retirement-regrets-you-can-avoid">3 Common Retirement Regrets You Can Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-you-must-open-a-roth-ira-before-april-15">4 Reasons Why You Must Open a Roth IRA Before April 15</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Retirement 401(k) limits government investing IRA mutual funds stocks taxes Wed, 29 Nov 2017 09:00:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 2058941 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Revive an Old Retirement Fund http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-revive-an-old-retirement-fund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-revive-an-old-retirement-fund" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rescue_your_401k.jpg" alt="Rescue your 401k" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know that you should be investing regularly in a 401(k) plan or IRA to build a retirement nest egg. But what if you haven't been contributing enough to your 401(k)? What if that old IRA that you started a decade ago has been sitting untouched ever since?</p> <p>Or, what if you're past 50 and retirement is looming ever nearer?</p> <p>The good news is that it's possible to revive an old or neglected retirement savings plan, even after you've hit the half-century mark. It just takes dedication to devoting more of your income to your IRA or 401(k) plan along with a willingness to take advantage of catch-up contributions that are available to those 50 or older. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <h2>Some concerning statistics</h2> <p>According to a 2017 retirement plan wellness &quot;scorecard,&quot; 75 percent of Baby Boomers between ages 50 and 68 are contributing to their 401(k) plans. That sounds great, but Baby Boomers actually had the lowest participation among all age groups in the study.</p> <p>The same study found that 77 percent of Gen Xers (ages 35&ndash;49) contributed to their 401(k) plans while 82 percent of millennials (ages 21&ndash;34) did the same.</p> <p>More worrisome news came from the 2017 PWC Employee Financial Wellness Survey. The survey found that 30 percent of Baby Boomers have just $50,000 or less saved for retirement &mdash; significantly short of the amount needed for a happy and healthy post-work life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-you-arent-saving-enough-for-retirement?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Signs You Aren't Saving Enough for Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>Time to play catch-up</h2> <p>If you don't have enough money in your 401(k) plan, or if you have an IRA that you've been mostly neglecting, you can boost the amount of money you save each year if you are age 50 or older.</p> <p>For the 2017 tax year, you are allowed to contribute up to $18,000 in a 401(k) plan. But if you're over 50, you can go past this threshold with what are known as catch-up contributions. Currently, at 50+, you can contribute an extra $6,000 to a 401(k) for a total of $24,000 a year.</p> <p>Traditional and Roth IRAs also have catch-up policies for investors 50 or older. For the 2017 tax year, you can contribute up to $5,500 in either type of IRA. But if you are 50 or older, you can contribute an additional $1,000 for a total of $6,500 this year in your neglected IRA.</p> <p>If you can make these extra contributions happen, do it. The catch-up contributions are designed to help sluggish savers boost their retirement dollars as they get closer to leaving the workforce. They're a good option for providing a boost to a 401(k) plan or a largely ignored IRA.</p> <h2>Increase your regular contributions</h2> <p>When you take out a 401(k), you tell your employer what percentage of your paycheck you want devoted to the savings vehicle. If you're not contributing as much as possible with each paycheck by the age of 50, now is the time to change that. It is absolutely essential, if your retirement savings account is lacking, to boost those regular contributions.</p> <p>You should definitely increase those contributions so that you are saving enough to meet your company's matching program, if it offers one. Many employers offer a matching program. To take advantage of this, you'll have to contribute a set minimum amount of dollars in a given year to your 401(k).</p> <p>The amount of money employers match, and the way company matching programs work, varies. But it is possible to earn thousands of dollars in free money each year if you contribute enough of each paycheck to qualify for matching funds from your employer. Those funds are basically free dollars from your company, and can help provide another boost to a 401(k) plan that needs more money.</p> <h2>Change your spending priorities</h2> <p>Once retirement nears, boosting your savings for it should become your top financial priority. Fortunately, many adults in their 50s have already helped pay for their children's college tuitions, so that major expense is behind them. These adults can then boost the amount of money they contribute to old IRAs or underfunded 401(k) funds.</p> <p>But what if you still have children getting ready to attend or already attending college? It's OK to tell these kids that your retirement savings come first.</p> <p>Financial experts agree that it is more important for adults to build their retirement savings than it is for them to pay for their children's college tuitions. This doesn't mean that you can't help your kids pay for college. It just means that you shouldn't contribute so much that you can't afford to sock away enough for retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a>)</p> <p>As you move past 50, it's time to shift priorities toward yourself. You don't want to enter retirement unsure of whether you have enough dollars saved up to afford it.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-revive-an-old-retirement-fund&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Revive%2520an%2520Old%2520Retirement%2520Fund.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Revive%20an%20Old%20Retirement%20Fund"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Revive%20an%20Old%20Retirement%20Fund.jpg" alt="How to Revive an Old Retirement Fund" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-revive-an-old-retirement-fund">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/half-of-americans-are-wrong-about-their-retirement-savings">Half of Americans Are Wrong About Their Retirement Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-moves-for-retirement">8 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Moves for Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-job-hoppers-can-keep-up-with-their-retirement-savings">How Job-Hoppers Can Keep Up With Their Retirement Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-invest-your-money-after-youve-maxed-out-your-retirement-account">Where to Invest Your Money After You&#039;ve Maxed Out Your Retirement Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-early-retirement-might-be-financially-risky">4 Reasons Early Retirement Might Be Financially Risky</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) baby boomers catch up contributions IRA neglect nest egg old accounts Fri, 10 Nov 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2045998 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Common Retirement Regrets You Can Avoid http://www.wisebread.com/3-common-retirement-regrets-you-can-avoid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-common-retirement-regrets-you-can-avoid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/retirement_plan_concept.jpg" alt="Retirement plan concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the best ways to set your life on a positive course &mdash; financially and otherwise &mdash; is to find out what older people wish they had done when they were younger. Along these lines, Vanguard <a href="https://vanguardblog.com/2017/04/18/the-coulda-shoulda-woulda-behind-every-retirement-story/" target="_blank">recently asked readers</a> of its blog, &quot;If you had a do-over, what would you do differently to prepare for retirement?&quot;</p> <p>That question generated a treasure trove of advice. They covered a lot of ground, but many pertained to the following three regrets.</p> <h2>Getting started with an investing plan too late</h2> <p>This is a common lament among older people, and it's easy to see why. Numerous studies show that too many people have too little saved for their later years. According to the 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, only 56 percent of American workers are saving for retirement at all. Of those with no formal retirement plan, 67 percent have less than $1,000 in savings and investments. That can spell hardship later in life.</p> <p>In the words of Vanguard readers:</p> <p>&quot;I wish someone would have taught me about the power of compounding when I was 10 instead of learning about it when I was in my early 30s.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;If I had a 'do-over,' I would have taken my financial future more seriously much sooner. I eventually learned the right lessons, but I long-courted the deadly twins &mdash; ignorance and immediate self-gratification. Thus, I forfeited my best financial friend &mdash; time. Now time is my unforgiving and fleet-footed competitor, and it is only by doing considerably more of my late-learned lessons that I am able to maintain a winded, yet hopeful, pace.&quot;</p> <h3>What to do?</h3> <p>Start investing! If that seems far easier said than done, a couple of practical steps you could take include:</p> <ol style="margin-left: 40px;"> <li> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps" target="_blank">Create a budget</a> so you can proactively plan how to best allocate your income in a way that makes room for investing, and;</p> </li> <li> <p>Set up an automatic monthly transfer from your paycheck to your workplace retirement plan or from your checking account to an IRA. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> </li> </ol> <h2>Not thinking carefully about the tax implications of different retirement savings options</h2> <p>Several Vanguard readers regretted using tax-<em>deferred </em>investment vehicles such as a traditional 401(k) or IRA instead of a tax-<em>free </em>vehicle such as a Roth IRA.</p> <p>Respondents noted:</p> <p>&quot;In addition to being diversified in asset classes, I should have also been diversified in tax types &mdash; i.e., most of my funds are in a 401(k) &hellip; so now everything I withdraw is taxable.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;The mistake I made was not converting my IRA to a Roth IRA in the 1990s. I thought the taxes for the conversion were too high. The result is that we are paying a higher tax rate now because the RMD (required minimum distribution) has raised our tax bracket and has increased our Medicare premium considerably each month. It has been an expensive lesson.&quot;</p> <h3>What to do?</h3> <p>Consider a Roth IRA or 401(k). Generally speaking, a Roth works best for younger people who are in a relatively low tax bracket. However, even for older, better-paid people, consider splitting your retirement contributions between a Roth and a traditional 401(k) or IRA. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both?ref=seealso" target="_blank">401K or IRA? You Need Both</a>)</p> <h2>Not developing a compelling vision for retirement</h2> <p>Several readers said their retirement planning was mostly about money. They wish they had spent more time thinking about how to use their time in their later years.</p> <p>Some examples:</p> <p>&quot;The financial aspects of retirement have worked out OK. I had been planning that aspect of retirement for many, many years. What I did not anticipate or prepare for was the lack of identity in retirement. When I walked out the door on my last day of work, that was the last I saw or heard from coworkers. I had a job where I mattered and all of a sudden that stopped. Yes, the financial aspects of retirement are important, but you cannot neglect the psychological aspects of retirement.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Don't just assume you'll enjoy relaxing after working for many years. Your job was a large part of your identity and you need to have a plan to fill that in with something else!&quot;</p> <h3>What to do?</h3> <p>Think about an issue you care about and how you might be part of the solution, whether through volunteer work or maybe even a business you start.</p> <p>In her book, <em>Life Reimagined</em>, Barbara Bradley Hagerty summarizes countless studies about how to move effectively from midlife onward. She said the research is clear: Being part of a cause that matters to you increases happiness and even extends life.</p> <p>Being intentional about avoiding these three common retiree regrets should give you greater confidence and peace of mind that you're on track toward a financially comfortable, meaningful retirement. And <em>that </em>could go a long way toward helping you dodge one other very common regret among the elderly: having spent too much time worrying.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F3-common-retirement-regrets-you-can-avoid&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F3%2520Common%2520Retirement%2520Regrets%2520You%2520Can%2520Avoid.jpg&amp;description=Goal%20Setting%3A%20Getting%20Out%20of%20Debt%20Once%20and%20For%20All"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/3%20Common%20Retirement%20Regrets%20You%20Can%20Avoid.jpg" alt="3 Common Retirement Regrets You Can Avoid" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-common-retirement-regrets-you-can-avoid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-basic-questions-about-retirement-saving-everyone-should-ask">11 Basic Questions About Retirement Saving Everyone Should Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-age-milestones-that-impact-your-retirement">6 Age Milestones That Impact Your Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-of-these-9-retirement-accounts-is-right-for-you">Which of These 9 Retirement Accounts Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meeting-the-2018-401k-contribution-limits-will-brighten-your-future">6 Ways Meeting the 2018 401(k) Contribution Limits Will Brighten Your Future</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/optimize-your-ira-and-401k">Optimize Your IRA and 401(k)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) identity crisis investing IRA late starts midlife regrets taxes Wed, 01 Nov 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Matt Bell 2040659 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Face These 7 Scary Facts About Retirement Saving http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-face-these-7-scary-facts-about-retirement-saving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-face-these-7-scary-facts-about-retirement-saving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/how_much_savings_will_you_need_to_retire.jpg" alt="How much savings will you need to retire" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Articles warning about our lack of retirement preparedness are a dime a dozen, and maybe that's part of the problem. We hear the warnings so often that we've become numb to them.</p> <p>Maybe packing the scariest statistics into one article will have more impact and motivate more of us to get in the retirement savings game. That's what this article is designed to do. But brace yourself: The picture isn't pretty.</p> <h2>1. You might not be saving enough</h2> <p>According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), about two out of every five workers today (44 percent) are not saving <em>any</em> money for retirement. None.</p> <p>Even among today's oldest workers &mdash; those closest to retirement &mdash; many have far too little saved for their later years. Among workers age 55 or older, 45 percent have less than $100,000 saved.</p> <p>If these folks really kick their savings into gear &mdash; let's say they end up with $250,000 by the time they finish their career &mdash; that still won't provide much to live on. A standard <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-retirement-rules-of-thumb-that-actually-work?ref=internal" target="_blank">retirement rule of thumb</a> says you can withdraw 4 percent of your nest egg every year without having to worry about draining your account before you die. At $250,000, that translates into just $10,000 of annual retirement income. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-you-arent-saving-enough-for-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Signs You Aren't Saving Enough for Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>2. You might outlive your money</h2> <p>Among the many risks financial planners talk about is <em>longevity risk</em>; the danger of living a long life. It may sound kind of funny to frame that as a risk since most of us would <em>like </em>to live a long life. However, running out of money before you run out of time wouldn't be very funny at all.</p> <p>A man who is 65 years old today can expect to live another 19.2 years, according to the Social Security Administration's Life Expectancy Calculator. A 65-year-old woman can expect to live another 21.6 years.</p> <p>Are you on track to save enough to cover your retirement expenses that long?</p> <h2>3. If you're young, you're probably not saving aggressively enough</h2> <p>Many millennials &mdash; people with the best opportunity to take advantage of compounding interest &mdash; are investing far too conservatively. A 2014 UBS Investor Watch survey found that millennials were almost as likely as baby boomers to describe their risk tolerance as conservative. The same survey found millennials holding over half their assets in cash.</p> <p>When you're young, the riskiest thing you can do with your investments is to play it too safe. Doing so will make it hard to outpace inflation and you'll miss out on much of the growth that compounding can provide. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-facts-millennials-should-know-about-retirement-planning?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Facts Millennials Should Know About Retirement Planning</a>)</p> <h2>4. You can't count on Social Security to fill in much of the gap</h2> <p>As of July 2017, the average Social Security retirement benefit was just $1,325 per month. Even scarier, the Social Security Administration notes that Social Security provides 90 percent or more of the income received by about one in five elderly married couples, and two in five elderly singles.</p> <p>A big part of the problem is that many people claim benefits as soon as they qualify &mdash; age 62. That guarantees the lowest possible monthly benefit. Waiting until full retirement age (67 for anyone born in 1960 or later), or even better, age 70, will boost monthly benefits substantially. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Smart Ways to Boost Your Social Security Payout Before Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>5. You shouldn't count on working for pay in your later years</h2> <p>Plan B for a growing number of today's workers is to retire after the typical retirement age of 65. For many, it isn't that they love their job so much; it's that they know they'll need the money.</p> <p>But their aspirations don't match reality. According to EBRI, 52 percent of today's workers <em>expect</em> to retire after age 65 or never retire, whereas just 14 percent of today's over-65 crowd <em>actually</em> retired that late or never retired.</p> <p>In fact, 48 percent of today's retirees left the workforce <em>earlier</em> than planned &mdash; mostly due to health issues or the need to care for a loved one.</p> <h2>6. You may have no idea how much you should be saving for retirement</h2> <p>EBRI found that just 41 percent of all of today's workers have tried to figure out how much they will need to have saved by the time they retire in order to live comfortably. Those that <em>have</em> run the numbers tend to save more for retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-thing-could-be-the-key-to-retiring-rich?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">This One Thing Could Be the Key to Retiring Rich</a>)</p> <h2>7. You may not be able to afford your later life health care costs</h2> <p>A recent Fidelity study found that a couple retiring this year would need $275,000 to cover their health care premiums, copays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs over the course of their retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-unexpected-expenses-for-retirees-and-how-to-manage-them?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Unexpected Expenses for Retirees &mdash; And How to Manage Them</a>)</p> <p>What that figure <em>doesn't </em>include is long-term care, and yet, today's 65-year-olds have a 70 percent chance of needing some type of long-term care before they die, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And that care is costly. Genworth's latest annual Cost of Care survey found that a private room in a nursing home cost nearly $7,700 per month in 2016, or over $92,000 per year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <p>If these scary statistics have convinced you to take action, here are three of the most important steps to take: Run the numbers to figure out how much you should be saving for retirement, make saving a priority, and wait at least until full retirement age before claiming Social Security benefits.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-face-these-7-scary-facts-about-retirement-saving&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Face%2520These%25207%2520Scary%2520Facts%2520About%2520Retirement%2520Saving.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Face%20These%207%20Scary%20Facts%20About%20Retirement%20Saving"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Face%20These%207%20Scary%20Facts%20About%20Retirement%20Saving.jpg" alt="How to Face These 7 Scary Facts About Retirement Saving" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-face-these-7-scary-facts-about-retirement-saving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life">7 Easiest Ways to Catch Up on Retirement Savings Later in Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-age-milestones-that-impact-your-retirement">6 Age Milestones That Impact Your Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-its-time-to-retire">8 Signs It&#039;s Time to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-should-budget-your-social-security-checks">Here&#039;s How You Should Budget Your Social Security Checks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-retirement-planning-changes-when-youre-single">7 Ways Retirement Planning Changes When You&#039;re Single</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) expenses health care IRA not saving enough outliving money scary facts social security Wed, 04 Oct 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Matt Bell 2030771 at http://www.wisebread.com