Generally, you can only contribute to a Roth IRA if you have taxable compensation and income less than the top of the phaseout range for your filing status (see chart below). If your income is greater than that threshold amount, you are prohibited from contributing directly to a Roth IRA. A "backdoor Roth IRA" allows a taxpayer to bypass income limitations by first making a nondeductible contribution to a traditional IRA and then converting it into a Roth IRA. If the conversion happens soon … [Read more...]
Gray Divorce: Dividing Assets Can Impact Retirement
Although most people who marry hope their unions will last forever, about 50% of first marriages in the United States end in divorce.1 Individuals age 50 and older are still less likely to get divorced than those who are younger. Even so, the divorce rate for Americans under age 40 has declined since 1990, while it has roughly doubled for those age 50 and older.2 Unfortunately, a divorcing couple must typically negotiate a property settlement agreement (or seek the assistance of the courts) … [Read more...]
How Does Your Employer’s Retirement Plan Compare?
“To compare your plan's offerings and features with those described in this article, review your plan materials or ask your Human Resources Department for its Summary Plan Description. Diversification is a strategy that helps manage investment risk; it does not guarantee a profit or protect against investment loss. Mutual funds and target-date funds are sold by prospectus. Please consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus, … [Read more...]
The Future of Social Security and Medicare: Here’s What Trustees Are Projecting
“Based on the "intermediate" assumptions in this year's report, the Social Security Administration is projecting that the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), announced in the fall of 2019, will be 1.8%. This COLA would apply to benefits starting in January 2020.” Most Americans will eventually receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. Each year, the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds release lengthy reports to Congress that assess the health of these important … [Read more...]
Quiz: How Much Have You Thought About Health and Health-Care Costs in Retirement?
“According to the 2018 Senior Report from America's Health Rankings, social isolation is associated with increased mortality, poor health status, and greater use of health-care resources. The risk of social isolation for seniors is highest in Mississippi and Louisiana and lowest in Utah and New Hampshire.” When planning for retirement, it's important to consider a wide variety of factors. One of the most important is health and its associated costs. Thinking about your future health and the … [Read more...]
Women: Are you planning for retirement with one hand tied behind your back?
Women can face unique challenges when planning for retirement. Let's take a look at three of them. First, women frequently step out of the workforce in their 20s, 30s, or 40s to care for children — a time when their job might just be kicking into high (or higher) gear. It's a noble cause, of course. But consider this: A long break from the workforce can result in several financial losses beyond the immediate loss of a salary. In the near term, it can mean an interruption in saving for … [Read more...]
Hidden Gem: HSAs in Retirement
When saving for retirement, you're probably aware of the benefits of using tax-preferred accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs. But you may not be aware of another type of tax-preferred account that may prove very useful, not only during your working years but also in retirement: the health savings account (HSA). HSA in a nutshell An HSA is a tax-advantaged account that's paired with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). You can't establish or contribute to an HSA unless you are enrolled in an … [Read more...]
Key Retirement and Tax Numbers for 2019
Every year, the Internal Revenue Service announces cost-of-living adjustments that affect contribution limits for retirement plans and various tax deduction, exclusion, exemption, and threshold amounts. Here are a few of the key adjustments for 2019. Employer retirement plans Employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans can defer up to $19,000 in compensation in 2019 (up from $18,500 in 2018); employees age 50 … [Read more...]
Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD)
“The Pension Protection Act of 2006 first allowed taxpayers age 70½ and older to make tax-free charitable donations directly from their IRAs. The law was originally scheduled to expire in 2007, but was extended periodically through 2014 by subsequent legislation and finally made permanent by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015.” The Pension Protection Act of 2006 first allowed taxpayers age 70½ and older to make tax-free charitable donations directly from their IRAs. By … [Read more...]
On the Road to Retirement, Beware of These Five Risks
No investment strategy can guarantee success. All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of your contribution dollars. There is no assurance that working with a financial professional will result in investment success. On your journey to retirement, you'll likely face many risks that have the potential to throw you off course. Following are five common challenges retirement investors face. Take some time now to review and understand them before your journey takes an … [Read more...]