• What Is the Minimum Salary You Need To Be Happy in Every State?

    What's the price of happiness in your state? Can money buy happiness? According to a recent Purdue study published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, income can correlate with emotional well-being and life satisfaction. “Globally, we find that satiation occurs at $95,000 for life evaluation and $60,000 to $75,000 for emotional well-being,” said the study’s authors in the journal.[...]

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    7 Reasons You Should Retire Already

    Sometimes the writing is on the wall Retirement may seem untenable with inflation soaring and gas prices skyrocketing, but for some older adults, hanging on to their job can cause more harm than good. Sure, you still have money coming in, but at what price to your mental or physical health? “In this economy, people are starting to worry that they don’t have a plan,” says Riley Rindo, [...]

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    7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement

    A long and happy retirement takes more than just money. Here are seven things happy retirees do – besides dutifully saving the money they’ll need to quit the 9-to-5 grind. Retirement planning is all about numbers. It centers around one question: Do my financial assets — pension, 401(k)s/IRAs, Social Security, property, sale of a business, etc. — provide enough income to fund my desired [...]

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    Coronavirus scams keep coming as fraudsters follow the headlines The COVID-19 pandemic continues to fuel a parallel outbreak of coronavirus scams, many targeting older Americans. As of mid-June, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had logged nearly 754,000 consumer complaints related to COVID-19 and stimulus payments since the start of the pandemic, 72 percent of them involving fraud [...]

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    With no spouse and no children, she's looking elsewhere for backup The Problem Elizabeth Spiegler, 68, a retired office manager in New York City, was thinking ahead. She wrote me wondering who could handle her financial affairs if someday she can't. Spiegler isn't married, doesn't have children and isn't that close to her extended family. Right now her brother has her power of attorney for [...]

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    Talking about who will control your assets is tricky; doing it slowly may help My husband and I have never told our adult children, now in their mid-30s, how much money we make, how much we have tucked away and how much we spend in a year. But after talking with more than a dozen lawyers, therapists and financial advisers for this article, I'm cautiously nudging us toward opening up. The risk [...]

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    A long and fulfilling retirement takes more than just money. Here are seven things happy retirees do – besides dutifully saving the money they’ll need to finally quit the 9-to-5 grind. Retirement planning is all about numbers. It centers around one question: Do my financial assets — pension, 401(k)s/IRAs, Social Security, property, sale of a business, etc. — provide enough income to fund [...]

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    The reality of quitting work can be far different from the fantasy. Here's what you need to know Even if you love your job, there are times when you'd rather be alphabetizing the spice shelf than riding a packed train alongside hundreds of sniffling fellow commuters. And as you sway in the car next to a man who has biked four hours to the station, you might be thinking about early retirement. [...]

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    Couples on their second marriages need to plan carefully for each other and their kids A second marriage can be a balm for the heartache of losing a spouse, be it through death or divorce. Nevertheless, if there are children or other heirs involved, you should consider carefully what will happen with your money and possessions when you pass on. You can never guarantee that everyone in the [...]

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    In 2007, at age 52, I was forced to retire overnight. An MRI had revealed a tumor, the size of a large eggplant, sitting on my pelvis. In 98% of these cases, my oncologist told me, bone tumors are secondary cancer. He estimated that I had about six months to live. But after two successful operations, I took a few months to recuperate on crutches and learn how to walk again. After my [...]

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    Prepare for the monetary shock of widowhood When you lose your mate, you lose so much—your best friend, your equilibrium, your future together. And just when you’re at your lowest, it hits you: You could lose a lot of money, too. Your finances may crash in myriad ways just when you’re dealing with grief. Among them: If your spouse was still working—and the average age at which [...]

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    Thinking about retiring? The keys to contentment are at your fingertips Some might say that an ideal retirement would find you waking up in a private Mediterranean villa on a mattress made of freshly ironed $100 bills. And it's true: Money is a big part of a happy retirement for many. But most people need other things to be happy in retirement. After all, a pile of cash doesn't guarantee good [...]

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    Caregivers can play a key role in keeping criminals at bay It’s a sad fact of life: Criminals target older Americans for fraud. Many older folks have nest eggs. Cybersecurity is not their second language. They came of age during more trusting times. And they may be coping with isolation, diminished eyesight, hearing loss or other health issues. Crooks exploit these vulnerabilities, but [...]

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    Steep rises in energy, housing, food WASHINGTON — Inflation soared over the past year at its fastest pace in more than 40 years, with costs for food, gasoline, housing and other necessities squeezing American consumers and wiping out the pay raises that many people have received.​ The Labor Department said Tuesday that its consumer price index jumped 8.5 percent in March from 12 months [...]

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    Economic downturns are inevitable. Here's how to protect your retirement nest egg Sooner or later, the economy will fall into a recession, because that’s the nature of the economy: Busts follow booms. For many retirees, the biggest challenge is the investment volatility that typically accompanies a recession. For those who haven’t retired yet, the biggest worry tends to be losing their job.[...]

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    IRS tax code offers perks to taxpayers of a certain age If you’re 50 or older, there is one benefit to reaching this milestone that you may be overlooking: tax breaks aimed right at you. Now you can contribute more to your Roth or traditional individual retirement account (IRA), to your employer-sponsored plan or to your health savings account (HSA) than you could when you were younger. You can[...]

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    Social Security retirement benefits are primarily based on two factors: your average income over your working life and your age when you claim them. You get to decide when to start collecting benefits, within an eight-year window from age 62 to age 70. The longer you wait, the higher your monthly payment will be. That means choosing when to file for Social Security is in part a [...]

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    How to get control of what you owe For Gail and Tony Dean, the crisis came as they approached 50. Living in South Florida, they decided to move north, near Orlando, where they bought land and began to build their dream home. Then the debts piled up. The couple — she worked for Disney, he was in law enforcement — had a construction loan for their new place. The tenant whose rent was[...]

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    5 things loved ones will have to do to settle your accounts How many times have you told your loved ones that you don’t want to be a burden, and saddle them with a financial mess at the end of your life? It’s a common sentiment. Despite their good intentions, however, many people do leave a pile of bills. So, what happens to unpaid bills, and how can you make sure that your loved ones [...]

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    The answer: $1,000 more than you could in 2021 A 401(k) plan is a great way to increase your retirement savings. Your employer will deduct your pretax contributions from your paycheck, and your savings will be tax-deferred until you take withdrawals during retirement. (The exception is a Roth 401(k), which is funded with after-tax dollars and from which withdrawals in retirement are tax-free.) [...]

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    For many financial documents, just 3 years — for others, practically forever You may be starting at a heap of paperwork when you finish filing your 2021 federal taxes, which are due April 18. Your first urge may be to sweep them all into a paper bag and put the bag under a stairwell. Don’t do that. Instead, keep only the records you need to keep. And that starts with sorting them out. Try to[...]

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    You'll get better savings rates but higher borrowing costs this year The Federal Reserve is raising borrowing costs to cool the hottest inflation readings in 40 years. The Fed on Wednesday hiked its key short-term fed funds rate to a range of 0.75 to 1 percent, the second of what the central bank expects to be a steady string of increases this year. Those rock-bottom rates that have starved [...]

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    There are probably thousands of articles published every day on how and why to eat well and exercise. And yes, these are critical endeavors for healthy aging. But, they don’t cover everything you need to do to live your best life for as long as possible. What might be missing? The two most overlooked endeavors for preparing for your future are: Carefully fostering intellectual and [...]

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    Benefits are going up, but so are the Medicare premiums deducted from monthly checks Social Security beneficiaries will have a lot to cheer about in 2022 — but they may have a few things to grouse about as well. Here’s a rundown of what will change for Social Security beneficiaries in the new year. Monthly benefits The biggest change beneficiaries will see in Social Security in 2022[...]

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    Making a retirement plan requires more knowledge than you might think. You'll need to understand how inflation affects your investment account; how much income Social Security provides, and how much you need to subsidize it; and how much you can withdraw from investment accounts without draining your nest egg. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are lacking these basic facts. This is based on a [...]

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    Fixed index annuities can help you accumulate money for retirement and provide guaranteed income after you retire. A fixed index annuity may be a good choice if you want the opportunity to earn indexed interest, but don’t want to risk losing money in the market. What is a fixed index annuity? A fixed index annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company. In exchange for the [...]

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    Purchasing life insurance is a big deal. If you want to be sure your family is covered if something happens to you, choosing the right policy is imperative. Whether you’re looking for the average policy cost or more in-depth knowledge, such as the largest life insurance companies, you can find answers in the facts about life insurance below. 9 Life Insurance Facts 9 Life Insurance Facts[...]

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    It hasn’t been an easy couple of months for savers. At the height of the pandemic in April 2020, Americans’ personal savings rate – the portion of monthly income that households are socking away – hit a record 33.8%. Now that rate hovers around 6.4%, which is below pre-pandemic levels, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This comes as inflation is at a 40-year [...]

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    Changes in contribution limits, taxes, Social Security benefits, Medicare premiums and more We all get sentimental from time to time, but unless you hit the lottery or found true love, you probably won't be looking back on 2021 all too fondly. The COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, inflation is rising, and ABBA, inexplicably, dropped a new album. Although everyone’s retirement is [...]

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    What You Need to Know The government is confusing. Stock market gains are high, for now. The Secure Act is turning employer-sponsored retirement plans into income-planning educators. Have you ever experienced the solution to a problem being in plain sight, only to pass over it? The time for consumers to notice the obvious is coming for annuity products in 2022. This will be the [...]

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    As volatility creeps back into the marketplace the need for the guarantees that only annuities provide is only going to increase. Retire with $500,000 but Spend Like a Millionaire Inflation (CPI) went up 7 percent in 2021, the highest annual inflation increase since 1982.  A million dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to. In this guide, I will show you how to retire like a [...]

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    New full retirement age is 67 for anyone born after 1960 There is good and bad news for older Americans: The Social Security full retirement age increased again in 2022 for some individuals – but it marks the last year that the age will change. The full retirement age – the age at which individuals are eligible to claim their full Social Security benefit – rose to 67 this year for [...]

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    As we head toward 2022 and see more Americans reaching their mid- to late 60s, it is a great time to revisit how annuity products can be used to meet consumer financial challenges. In anticipation of the new year, here are 22 ideas on how consumers can use annuity products to meet their growing financial needs: 1. Social Security Maximization Purchase an immediate annuity to provide current [...]

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    Eliminating these expenses means substantial savings in retirement. Lower your expenses. Many retirees are tempted to spend more money on leisure activities in retirement. Health care costs also tend to increase as people age. But there are many costs that decline in retirement, and a few you can eliminate entirely. Here are some expenses you will no longer have in retirement. Mortgage[...]

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    Starting the new year off with a strong, strategic financial plan to kickstart your financial goals for the next 12 months can have a lasting impact on your future beyond 2022. This, of course, includes the ever-important consideration of retirement planning. Luckily, recent legislative changes have increased contribution limits for the 401(k), as well as altered some other retirement investment [...]

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    Social Security survivors benefits are paid to widows, widowers, and dependents of eligible workers. This benefit is particularly important for young families with children. This page provides detailed information about survivors benefits and can help you understand what to expect from Social Security when you or a loved one dies. The Basics About Survivors Benefits Your family members [...]

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    Harry N. Stout, author and podcast host at the FinancialVerse says that 2022 will be the year that consumers proactively reach out for information and advice to explore the solutions that annuity products can provide to address some of their financial challenges. Here are the forces Stout says will shape the annuity market: > The large number of individuals in or nearing retirement [...]

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    The end of the year provides a good opportunity for reflection. The past 12 months brought plenty of opportunities to make financial strides — and plenty of potholes and challenges. A lot of Americans struggled with money issues, but others flourished. Whether your final ledger for 2021 puts you in the plus or minus column, these practices and behaviors can help going forward, especially if [...]

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    Understanding the various types of annuities and how they work If you are considering buying an annuity to provide steady income during retirement, it's important to understand the different types and how they work. Here's a look at the fundamentals of annuities and what to consider before making a decision. KEY TAKEAWAYS Investors typically buy annuities to provide a steady income stream[...]

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    KEY POINTS The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted people to rethink both big and small life goals. For 2022, it’s “super important” that everyone redo their financial plans, advisors say. These tips can help you make sure you’re on track and turn uncertainty into opportunity. This January not only marks the start of a new year. It is also the two-year anniversary of the [...]

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    Inflation is here. The most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation report showed that prices rose across the board in November. By a lot. Overall, prices climbed 6.8% year-over-year, the largest increase since June 1982, and rose 0.8% over the past month. Higher prices were “broad-based,” per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with substantial increases seen in the indexes for [...]

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    What to do now, as the pandemic surges yet again in the U.S. COVID-19 is still raging throughout the U.S., and in much of the world it has never stopped doing so. Safe and highly effective vaccines are available, but not everywhere, and even where they are, not everyone who is eligible has gotten them. That means there is still the possibility of accompanying financial volatility, despite steady [...]

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    There's still time to give your savings a good boost before you retire If you're between 55 and 64 years old, you still have time to boost your retirement savings. Whether you plan to retire early, late, or never ever, having an adequate amount of money saved can make all the difference, both financially and psychologically. Your focus should be on building out—or catching up, if necessary. [...]

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    Different phases call for different strategies If you’re physically healthy and financially prepared, your retirement could last for decades. During that time, it may go through several distinct phases, with changing levels of income and expenses that require different approaches to budgeting. Even with a shorter retirement, you’ll likely experience much the same stages, just in a condensed [...]

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    Staggering your retirement date from your spouse may benefit you both Many working couples dream of the day when they can retire and sail off into the sunset together. However, couples should consider whether retiring at the same time is the wise choice. There are both financial and emotional ramifications to retiring simultaneously compared to having one spouse work longer than the other. It's a[...]

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    The income ranges, adjusted annually for inflation, determine which tax rates apply to you You may be making plans for filing your 2021 income taxes, but in a few short weeks you'll be living in tax year 2022, and tax year 2022 will differ substantially from 2021. Your tax brackets will be slightly higher, for example, as will your standard deduction. There is still time to reduce your[...]

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    Planning ahead is one of the best ways to prepare for a comfortable retirement. From keeping track of your savings to adopting strategies for generating income, a thoughtful approach can help you sustain your lifestyle as you move into the next phase of your life. Below, we break down four key factors to consider—and how to develop a retirement plan that works for you. 1. Generate Income in [...]

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    Steps you can take to avoid disagreements over spending and much more You've looked forward to retirement for decades — the chance to slow down the pace, to live in a different place, to see parts of the world you've only dreamed of, to spoil the grandkids just a bit. But if your spouse or partner has a different vision, if you don't agree on financial issues or avoid them completely, then [...]

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    What Is Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE)? Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) is a movement of people devoted to a program of extreme savings and investment that aims to allow them to retire far earlier than traditional budgets and retirement plans would permit. Borne out of the 1992 best-selling book Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, FIRE came to [...]

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    Working at 50+ From flight attendants to grocery store managers, older adults made the tough decision to end careers Retirement is supposed to be a happy time, but Lucie Desmond expects there will be tears when her paperwork comes through. Desmond, 62, has been a flight attendant for 36 years, most recently on the American Airlines route between Phoenix and London. But after repeated leaves [...]

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    What Is Financial Health? Financial health is a term used to describe the state of one's personal monetary affairs. There are many dimensions to financial health, including the amount of savings you have, how much you’re putting away for retirement, and how much of your income you are spending on fixed or non-discretionary expenses. KEY TAKEAWAYS The state[...]

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    Few are prepared as financial decision-making grows more complex Many consumers have little understanding of finances, how credit works, and the potential hit to financial well-being that poor financial decisions can create for many, many years. In fact, a lack of financial understanding has been signaled as one of the main reasons many Americans struggle with saving and investing. [...]

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    What to do now, as the pandemic surges yet again in the U.S. COVID-19 is once again raging throughout the U.S., and in much of the world it has never stopped doing so. Safe and highly effective vaccines are available, but not everywhere, and even where they are, not everyone who is eligible has gotten them. That means there is still the possibility of accompanying financial volatility, despite[...]

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    KEY POINTS The Covid-19 pandemic has hurt some Americans’ confidence that they can meet their retirement goal date on time. Among those feeling the most negative effects are women and pre-retirees. Even so, many Americans say the pandemic was a financial wake-up call that prompted them to rethink how they plan for their futures. It’s no secret that Covid-19 has upended [...]

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    Studying behavioral economics has taught me that our brains don’t make it easier for us to save. Psychology is often just as important in personal finance as are the numbers — the way we save, spend and invest are all influenced by the way we think and feel, especially when it comes to preparing for future events like retirement. Saving money for retirement is important because [...]

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    If you earn money from the sale of a capital asset — your home, part of a business, stocks, or bonds, for example — that profit may be subject to capital gains tax. There are two categories of capital gains: short term (assets held for a year or less) and long term (assets held for longer than one year). The day you acquire the asset isn't included in your holding period, but the day you [...]

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    Most people over 65 will eventually need some form of paid care. Here are some ways to plan ahead. Many people are frightened of long-term care costs — for good reason. Most people over 65 eventually will need help with daily living tasks, such as bathing, eating or dressing. Men will need assistance for an average of 2.2 years, while women will need it for 3.7 years, according to the [...]

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    If you want to retire in the next 10 years, lower your spending and increase your income. Paying off debt can give you more money to save and invest, and free up your budget later. Increasing your income with a raise or side hustle could give you more money to save. If you want to retire in 10 years, it might be possible. But it'll require some work. Getting your finances in order[...]

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    More people are retiring with less savings than they need to be comfortable. Much less. According to Northwestern Mutual, 21% of Americans have no retirement savings at all. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says around 29% of households age 55 and older have neither retirement savings nor a pension. These numbers may sound surprising and even daunting, but it’s important to [...]

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    Going from saver to spender is mostly a matter of psychology It's Time to Wind Down You've done all the right things—financially speaking, at least—in saving for retirement. You started saving early to take advantage of the power of compounding, maxed out your 401(k) and individual retirement account (IRA) contributions every year, made smart investments, squirreled away money into [...]

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    No matter what stage of life you’re in, one thing will always remain the same: You’re never too young — or too old — to save money. Using your age can be a helpful way to calculate your potential savings and estimate how much money you should save for various life events. Just remember: Don’t get discouraged if you haven’t started yet, need to hit pause, or fall behind. You can [...]

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    If you want to retire in 10 years, it might be possible. But it'll require some work. Getting your finances in order now can help you meet your goal later. While everyone has a different budget and circumstances, it might be possible to retire comfortably sooner than you think. However, it might take more time than 10 years, depending on your starting point. Whenever you want to [...]

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    More people are retiring with less savings than they need to be comfortable. Much less. According to Northwestern Mutual, 21% of Americans have no retirement savings at all. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says around 29% of households age 55 and older have neither retirement savings nor a pension. These numbers may sound surprising and even daunting, but it’s important to [...]

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    Annuities are contracts issued and distributed (or sold) by financial institutions where the funds are invested with the goal of paying out a fixed income stream later on. They are mainly used for retirement purposes and help individuals address the risk of outliving their savings. Upon annuitization, the holding institution will issue a stream of payments at a later point in time. KEY TAKEAWAYS[...]

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    IDENTIFY RETIREMENT STRATEGIES TO PUT IN PLACE NOW—LIKE ANNUITIES— TO LIVE RETIREMENT ON YOUR TERMS. As the pandemic thankfully wanes, we are starting to see its impact and long-term repercussions on retirement planning and security. One thing that hasn’t changed is Americans’ overwhelming desire to age in place. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control defines “aging [...]

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    YOU MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR with annuities, but they have a rich history dating back to Ancient Rome. In fact, millions of Americans currently use annuities to help their retirement savings grow and to create protected income that can help cover essential expenses and contribute to a more enjoyable retirement. In its simplest terms, an annuity is a contract between an individual (or married [...]

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    Workers want to retire at 55, but are they positioned to successfully do so? The category of “pre-retirees” is being redefined as more than one-third of workers younger than 54 saying they aspire to retire by age 55. In 2020, more consumers (39 percent) anticipated retiring before age 65 than in any year since in 2010, with 18 percent of those saying they plan to retire by age 59, [...]

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    Like previous pandemics, COVID-19 has touched off profound changes for our societies, economies, workforces, and overall life models, not least of which are people’s shifting expectations for later-life work, purpose, health, and finances. Bank of America’s Lorna Sabbia and Surya Kolluri recently explored these trends in a wide-ranging discussion on the emerging shifts and signals that [...]

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    Retirement planning is a multistep process that evolves over time. To have a comfortable, secure—and fun—retirement, you need to build the financial cushion that will fund it all. The fun part is why it makes sense to pay attention to the serious and perhaps boring part: planning how you’ll get there. Planning for retirement starts with thinking about your retirement goals and how long [...]

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    How to Retire in 2021 When you are ready to retire, there are certain basic things you should do before you leave the comfort and security of your old job. You need to make final adjustments to your financial plan and make important decisions about Social Security and health insurance. Here's a checklist for retiring in 2021: Decide when to start Social Security. Sign [...]

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    New rules for savers, beneficiaries and taxpayers Most people will miss 2020 about as much as they miss mosquito season. For many retirees and retirement savers, the year had a few benefits, such as some COVID-19 relief measures. Even without those, however, most of the retirement changes in 2021 are for the better. Here's a look at some of the most important you need to know. Retirement savings[...]

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    The pandemic may have hit your wallet hard. Here are some lessons we can learn from this unprecedented time. he reverberations of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been a wake-up call for many of us as we scratch our heads over our finances: Are our wallets in disarray or have we come through this pandemic well? Are we prepared for what comes next or should we re-evaluate our outlook? Ryan [...]

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    Pandemic-related job losses forced many older Americans out of the workplace in the past year, perhaps permanently. But the COVID-19 crisis also seems to have delayed some retirements. Remote work eliminated commutes and often allowed more flexible schedules with fewer interruptions. At the same time, the pandemic restricted many traditional retirement activities, including travel and visits with[...]

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    For many Americans, retirement may look different in 2021 than it has in years past. The severe economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could push many people to consider retiring early, with less saved than they may need. Whether or not your retirement plans are looking secure, the new year is a great time to review where you stand. Regardless of your particular financial situation, the same [...]

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    The 401(k) has become the go-to retirement plan for many Americans and continues to gain traction. The flexibility, tax savings and scale of 401(k) plans have made it attractive to employers and employees alike. But A 401(k) plan doesn’t need to be just for large corporations. It can be used to help small business owners save for their future in a tax-advantaged way and allow minor children [...]

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    The Covid-19 recession, like all recessions, threatens the wealth and retirement security of millions of workers. Job loss prompts people to stop saving, raid their nest eggs or go into debt by falling behind on their rent and mortgage payments. Most workers nearing retirement had insufficient retirement savings even before the recession, and many planned to delay retirement and work longer[...]

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    You now have an extra month to lower your tax bill with contributions to your individual retirement account (IRA). Just like last year, the IRS has extended the 2020 tax filing deadline to May 17, allowing Americans an extra month to make IRA contributions that can potentially ease their IOU to Uncle Sam while also helping them save for retirement. But are these contributions the best way [...]

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    A year has come and gone since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States in March 2020, upending all of our lives. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their lives, millions have lost their jobs and practically every kid (and parent) in America has endured school at home for months on end. We’ve changed how we work, how we shop and how we socialize. But there’s [...]

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    See how the benefits of a fixed index annuity work together to keep retirement income planning on track. We look at six top fixed index annuity benefits: principal protection, tax deferral, growth opportunities, liquidity, guaranteed income and beneficiary payments. In a relay race, the strength of the team outweighs the abilities of a single athlete. For each leg of the race, a runner plies [...]

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    Figuring out if you can retire securely can sometimes feel like the most complicated math problem ever.  Just figuring out which retirement number to worry about can be perplexing.  And then there is the further complication of knowing how they all fit together. Here is your guide to the 16 retirement metrics that are most important. Retirement Number 1: Your Financial Independence Number [...]

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    his story is part of a series in support of America Saves Week 2021. Since 2007, this initiative has provided a call to action for U.S. consumers to save intentionally. Today’s theme is: Save to Retire. Once you reach a certain age, nearly every dinner party you attend features a conspicuous conversation about the stock market. It’s an odd ritual, given that so few Americans own individual [...]

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    These changes in Social Security taxes and benefits take effect Jan. 1 Every October, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announces its annual changes to the Social Security program for the coming year. Here are the Social Security changes that were announced in Oct. 2020 to take effect on Jan. 1, 2021, according to the SSA's annual fact sheet. Keep them in mind when you update your [...]

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    CORONAVIRUS Reactions to COVID-19 and the impact on consumer confidence is prompting many consumers to reassess their retirement and financial plans. A majority of today’s workers and retirees range from feeling cautious to pessimistic about the economic outlook for 2021, according to the Principal Financial Group’s latest Retirement Security Survey, which explores consumer attitudes [...]

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    FERS INFORMATION Eligibility is determined by your age and number of years of creditable service.  In some cases, you must have reached the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) to receive retirement benefits.  Use the following chart to figure your Minimum Retirement Age. Eligibility Information If you were born Your MRA is Before 1948 55 In 1948 55 and 2 months In [...]

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    Your Social Security benefit may be taxable. Try these strategies to reduce your tax bill in retirement. MOST WORKERS PAY INTO the Social Security program throughout their career. Many people also pay taxes on part of their Social Security payments in retirement. Retirees with low incomes or whose only source of income is Social Security generally don't pay income tax on [...]

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    Why you should look for other solutions first More than 4 of 10 jobs lost during the pandemic may never come back, the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago predicts. That grim statistic means many pre-retirees may not find work again. As a result, they could be pushed into early retirement, possibly creating an unexpected cash crunch. And that raises a key [...]

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    The author offers an introduction to how annuities can help. For investors, the last twenty years have been something of a roller coaster. The dot-com bubble, 9/11, the financial crisis, and now the recession associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have roiled stock markets enough to make any investor apprehensive about the consequences of the next big crisis — whatever it is and whenever it[...]

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    For many Americans, retirement may look different in 2021 than it has in years past. The severe economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could push many people to consider retiring early, with less saved than they may need. Whether or not your retirement plans are looking secure, the new year is a great time to review where you stand. Regardless of your particular financial situation, the same [...]

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    Considering annuities, insurance, new investments and delaying Social Security? With all the changes 2020 brought and a new year around the corner, it may be time to revisit traditional approaches to retirement planning. The pandemic and near-zero interest rates dramatically changed the environment, but few advisers have similarly transformed their advice. How should advisers be reworking client [...]

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    It's a pivotal age for retirement planning — even if you aren't ready to retire yet Gone are the days when most people retired at 65, received a gold watch, then lived off their pension and full Social Security benefits. But 65 is still an important age financially for retirees and near retirees — both in terms of what you get and what you don't get. It's essential to know the new rules for [...]

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    Over the last year, both before and after the current pandemic, there have been multiple law changes that have impacted retirement plans and retirement benefits. There have been many articles and constant commentary on these changes, but as we reach the end of 2020, it is a good time to review all of the changes. On December 20, 2019, Congress signed the Setting Every Community Up for [...]

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    The COVID-19 pandemic has upended just about everything this year, including retirement planning. Enough new rules governing Individual Retirement Accounts and workplace 401(k) plans were introduced that a year-end review is in order. Congress enacted many of these regulations with the aim of making it easier for people to tap into their accounts, if necessary, to stay afloat financially. [...]

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    Should US retirees delay claiming Social Security until age 70, even if they have to spend savings until then? The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College proposes that strategy as a default option in retirement plans. What do Social Security benefits and marshmallows have in common? When placed squarely in front of most people, both are hard to resist. Almost everyone knows about [...]

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    Fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) address many basic retirement concerns: protection of hard-earned dollars, tax-deferred growth, balance, and lifetime income. Get some peace of mind — no matter what happens in the market. Consider these five key benefits: Guaranteed Income Stream With Americans living longer and spending more time in retirement, many retirees are concerned about outliving [...]

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    And one other reason to keep working Being ready to retire means more than being ready to stop waking up at 6:00 a.m. to put in long hours at a job you're not thrilled about. If it were that simple, most of us would retire at 25. What it really takes to retire is a solid grasp of your budget, a carefully considered investment and spending plan for your life savings, debt that's under control, and[...]

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    Durable power of attorney is one of the most important and useful documents you will ever sign. It is also one of the most dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands. Your will controls what happens to your money after your death. But the power of attorney can determine what happens to it while you’re still alive. If abused, there may not be any money for anyone to inherit. “It really [...]

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    It’s a way to hedge against uncertainty The COVID-19 pandemic is making many Americans — whether they’re approaching retirement age or just starting out in their career — anxious about their finances, and retirement savings and plans. As a result, people are increasingly looking for lifetime income products that are less susceptible to factors like market volatility, retirement longevity,[...]

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    Millions of Americans expect their efforts to save for retirement to be derailed, perhaps permanently, by the coronavirus pandemic. That’s the main takeaway from several surveys released in October that begin to create a snapshot of the retirement landscape in the Covid era. Workers who have been laid off or had their hours reduced amid the pandemic are particularly concerned about their [...]

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    Don’t let the pandemic derail your plans for retirement These days, older workers and retirees are understandably concerned that their retirement plans will be disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn. There are concerns that pre-retirees and recent retirees may have about any economic downturn, and strategies that are designed to help them withstand multiple [...]

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    Workplaces have grown steadily less friendly to older employees, and the pandemic has pushed more of these workers from the labor market. Joey Himelfarb estimates that in his 25 years in sales, hawking everything from Hewlett-Packard computers to cars and swimming pools, he has been laid off or downsized at least a half-dozen times. The most recent occasion came in April, when he got a call from[...]

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