March 23, 2017

5 Times an Annuity Makes Sense for Retirement

Jeff Rose explains "how to decide whether an annuity should be a part of your retirement plan."
1. You want guaranteed income for life.
2. You hope to secure guaranteed income for a spouse.
3. You want a low-risk portfolio above all else.
4. You want to create your own pension.
5. You want to protect your retirement assets from taxes.
Read the article to get the full details:   

Three Ways to Protect Your 401(k) If Trump Kills the Fiduciary Rule

"A new move by President Donald Trump may mean higher costs for individual investors and retirement plans, especially 401(k)s offered by small businesses. The good news, though, is that you can protect yourself against his order, which delays and reconsiders the so-called fiduciary rule, if you ask the right questions."
"Brokers often get incentives to steer clients into certain financial products, which can charge very high fees. President Barack Obama’s White House had estimated that these conflicts of interest were costing American investors $17 billion a year. The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, scheduled to go into effect in April, would have fought this, requiring financial advisers to put clients interests before their own when providing advice on retirement accounts." Writer Ben Steverman suggests asking your adviser 3 questions:
1. Are you a fiduciary?
2. How are you paid?
3. What are my fees?
Read the details:



Debt Collection help from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

"In the United States today, debt collection is a $13.7 billion dollar industry with more than 6,000 debt collection firms operating in the United States. The CFPB estimates that about one in three consumers, more than 70 million people, were contacted by a creditor or collector seeking to collect a debt within the past year. Dealing with debt collection issues can be difficult and stressful for consumers, and consumers may face debt collectors who use unfair or otherwise illegal practices. The CFPB handles more complaints about debt collection than any other financial product or service. The CFPB has tools and resources to assist you in helping consumers with debt collection issues." If you or someone you know is being contacted about debts they may (or may NOT) owe, check out this resource:

Just because a debt collector is contacting you does NOT mean that you owe the debt. You may owe nothing or far less than they are trying to collect. Know your rights!
The CFPB is under attack and threat of elimination under the new administration. 

How to select a continuing care retirement community

“By combining independent living with a continuum of care, CCRCs offer a viable solution for older adults who are healthy today but seek the peace of mind of having care services readily available in the future.” While this blog post is written for financial advisers, it provides an excellent over view of CCRCs to help consumers decode of a CCRC is the right choice for them or their parents. Check out this info from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants:

How to figure taxes on Social Security Benefits

 Are My Social Security Benefits Taxable?  How to Understand Form SSA-1099 and Determine whether You Owe Taxes
"Depending on the amount of alternate income that you have in retirement and your filing status, you could owe taxes on up to 85% of your Social Security benefits." When you receive Social Security income, "you will also receive a Form SSA-1099 from the government. This form tells you the total amount of your benefits but does not tell you if any of your benefits are taxable, or at what percentage." Read this article to understand if you owe income taxes and how to calculate the amount:

Hidden benefit of saving more

Workers who increase their savings will not only have more money in retirement, but when you save more, you also spend less! This means you won't need as much money to maintain your current level of living when you retire. So ratchet up your retirement investing by 1% today and each subsequent year.
Nerd's Eye View blog (2/15) 

Feed the Pig's Tips Help Millenials Save

Feed the Pig, a public service campaign sponsored by the American Institute of CPAs and the Ad Council, encourages Americans ages 25 to 34 to take control of personal finances. Free resources, financial tips and daily social posts help millennials save and budget regularly and wisely.

 Pig, Alp Rona, Furna, Sow, Happy Pig, Animals, Nature

March 14, 2017

Long Term Care: Rely on Saving Rather Than Insurance

Teresa Miller, the Pennsylvania insurance commissioner, and the head of the Long Term Care Innovation Subgroup says Americans must save more for potential long-term care costs and rely less on insurance. (See related posts about problems with the LTC insurance industry 12/15/16 post.) More savings may be the best option for the well-off, but most Americans suffer from far too little in retirement savings. Medicaid (NOT Medicare) pays for long-term care in nursing homes for the indigent but Medicaid is in serious trouble due to insufficient funding. Politicians get elected by promising to cut taxes but why do voters fail to ask what services and benefits will be cut? A good question for your members of Congress.

Test your Retirement Knowledge and Readiness

"How much do you know about planning for a long, financially secure retirement? Fidelity Investments recently prepared a two-part quiz that can help you answer that question. The first part concerns retirement savings and asks three key questions about how to put enough money away for a secure future."
"The second part of the quiz includes five questions about how prepared older workers approaching their retirement years are. If you’re within 10 years of retirement, this quiz can help you can assess your knowledge and help you get started planning for a healthy, happy, secure retirement." to take the quiz:

March 12, 2017

Get Dental Work Before You Retire

The Squared Away Blog, an excellent source of information, explains that many retirees lose dental insurance provided by their employer when they retire. Medicare doesn't cover most dental care (except for some Medicare Advantage plans). On average seniors pay about $1,100 for dental work. Many low-income seniors go without care while some use the option of going to Mexico for more expensive dental work. For more info on why pre-retirees should take full advantage of any denatl insurance before they retire, see:
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