Safe Investments for the Retirement Mindset

The closer you get to your retirement, the fewer risks you should be taking with your money and investments. That’s just good common sense, because you can’t find yourself after you stop working “losing” value in your nest egg or you will be in for real trouble. But it isn’t as easy as it sounds, because while you are looking for something that’s really “safe” and carry at most minimal risk, you are also looking for something with some kind of growth so you can keep ahead of inflation at the very least. So how do you find safe investments when you are in the retirement mindset?

As your approach retirement, it's important to have safe investments that will last as well as some growth. Here are some safer investments to consider.

Diversify Your Investments

The best investment advice for anyone, retiree or not quite there yet, is to diversify. That’s because it is a way to avoid putting all of your eggs into just one basket and gives you a hedge or safety net on exactly what happens in a typical market cycle.

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Forecasts Call for No Social Security COLA for 2021

It may be a little early to think about the potential Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment) changes for 2021, but the writing might just already be on the wall. The pandemic, which is wreaking havoc with every facet of our lives right now, is also now targeting next year’s potential adjustments in the COLA and Social Security payments. Not very good news, is it?

While forecasters predict there will be no Social Security COLA for 2021, there's more to know. Read on about deflation and what it means for the future.

With inflation likely to barely register this year, forecasters say that there will simply be no Social Security COLA for 2021. The COLA, which will be officially set in October 2020, would be zero, zilch, nada, nil. And that means no change in benefits next year for millions of Social Security beneficiaries. That is a blow that many just can’t take.

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Is the Pandemic a Retirement Dress Rehearsal?

Most everyone thinks and worries about money whenever the subject of retirement is discussed. That totally makes sense because having enough money is such an important part of your retirement. With it, you can take care of yourself and enjoy life to the fullest, and when you don’t have enough of it, you are in some danger and high risk. I can write volumes about money and the ways to approach it when it comes to retirement and you will agree or disagree, but right now you may be dealing with another huge piece of the retirement planning puzzle.

We often plan financially for retirement, but what about how you'll spend your time? This pandemic might just be a dress rehearsal for retirement planning.

That piece is a real life experience that over 30 million of us are now getting because of the COVID-19 pandemic and that is this: “How are you spending your time when you do not have to get up and go to work every day?” Is this like a dress rehearsal for your retirement?

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Yes, I Made It to Annuity Day!

Well, it finally happened. The check actually was in the mail and it came right on schedule, too. Twenty years ago, I decided to add an annuity to my retirement planning program and it kind of snuck right up on me. That was a really pleasant surprise. In a world where the annuity often has its detractors (and perhaps with good reason), I am pretty happy with it. I felt for me it was a good decision. Depositing that annuity check for $483.46 (the first of 240 for the next 20 years!) has comforted me quite a bit since February 1st. With the market in chaos, even more so in the past several weeks, I guess it’s congratulations to me! I made it to annuity day and now another of my nest eggs has hatched!

After opening an annuity 20 years ago, I finally made it to annuity day and received my first payment. Annuities can be a good idea in certain situations.

What Is an Annuity?

An annuity technically is not an investment. First and foremost, an annuity is an insurance product, which means you buy it because it reduces your risk. Some annuities, like variable annuities, do have a selection of stock and bond portfolios available as investment choices inside the insurance contract, but the one I bought was a fixed rate annuity which for me had no investment risk on my return and payout. I knew 20 years ago what I would be getting back to the penny when I bought it.

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The Screwed-Up Social Security System

Based on what you earn throughout your lifetime, you become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits when the time comes. That time can vary from person to person for many reasons, because once you hit age 62 you become eligible to get it, but you can wait for years if you choose to, even up to age 70.

When it comes to the Social Security system, there are a few things that can keep you from maximizing your benefits. Here are some of the gotchas to beware.

But despite the success and importance of the Social Security plan, the system suffers from problems and mistakes. Sometimes mistakes are made by the Social Security Administration (SSA). And sometimes you make them yourself. Why?

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How to Avoid Paying Income Tax in Retirement

Everyone has to deal with taxes; they’re oftentimes unavoidable. But if you play your cards right, you can spend as little money as possible on them. You may even be so lucky as to avoid paying income tax altogether in retirement and get this… the government might actually give you money when tax season rolls around in a little something called the EITC, the Earned Income Tax Credit.

You can maximize your finances if you avoid paying income tax in retirement. Here are 9 types of money that aren't taxed, plus money you might get for free!

Retirement won’t save you from the tax forms and some headaches, but there is money you get that Uncle Sam can’t touch, as long as you play by the rules. And you have to know and understand the rules to win this game. So pay attention now and learn how you can actually avoid paying any income taxes on these things when you hit retirement!

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The SECURE Act: The New 2020 Retirement Plan Rules

With all the news we are bombarded with every day, you may have missed this information which is new and will affect every single person in some way in their life. It is the passage of the new SECURE Act which became the law effective January 1, 2020 and changes retirement plan rules.

The new SECURE Act has made some important changes to retirement plan rules that you need to know. Here are some of the details and how they may affect you.

The new law has 29 new provisions or major changes, but I want to focus on just a few major areas. Some of this news is good news and some of it could be bad.

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“Will I Ever Be Able to Retire?”

Most people just took it for granted. What was it? The fact that when you’re young, you’ll go to college and get a great quality education that lands you a good job and starts a great working career. Or, perhaps you will take up some kind of trade after high school or even join the military and that will be your career path. The choices you make, they may eventually lead to—over the course of forty or so years (if you’re smart, frugal and make good money at your work)—your accumulation of enough money to retire comfortably at the age of 65 or so. That was then and this is now. Is it still true? You may wonder, “Will I ever be able to retire in the 21st century?”

If you're wondering, "Will I ever be able to retire?", you're not alone. But it's important to face where you're at and get started planning and saving!

A Cold, Hard Look at My Retirement – When It Happened

I made it. I am retired, albeit I didn’t do it with the full intention of retiring when I was forced to because of my health at the age of 62, eight years ago. A not-so-funny thing happened to me on my way to retirement and it’s called a heart attack, type 2 diabetes and CHF (congestive heart failure). Believe me when I tell you it wasn’t then—nor is it now—any fun.

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