Why is Planning for Retirement So Damned Confusing?

Retirement planning is no easy task. Oh, you may think it is, but it never really is, at least it isn’t for most people. Maybe if you are lucky enough to hit the Powerball jackpot and win a few hundred mil, you may be able to just coast into a retirement and never have to worry, but seriously? I hope you aren’t actually trying to do that. If you are, your retirement plan sucks!

Planning for retirement isn't always easy, but it can be much smoother if you start early and avoid these mistakes. Here's what to do and what not to do.

There are a lot of things that go into your retirement planning. Obviously, factors like salary, debt, and expenses all will affect your ability to save, but also know this: there is no one-size-fits-all solution to planning and realizing the vision of your successful golden years!

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Your IRA RMD – What You Need to Know About Required Minimum Distributions

You may not have given it that much thought while you were socking away your retirement contributions over the years, but in every life, some rain must fall! The rain in your IRA may be that “special” time when you must start withdrawing funds from it. Many retirees taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their traditional IRAs may not know all of the ins and outs of exactly the right way to do it and avoid any penalties along the way if they don’t!

You need to make sure you know all the facts about your IRA RMD (required minimum distribution) so that you avoid penalties. Check out all the details here.

Making IRA RMDs: the What, When, and How

When you reach age 70½—and that’s about 3.5 million Americans right now—you need to know the ins and outs of required minimum distributions (RMDs). If your parents or grandparents are the ones moving into RMD-land, do them a favor and give them some really good advice and information about this subject ASAP.

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Your 60’s, 70’s and Beyond – Money in Your Golden Years

It wasn’t that long ago that I wrote a 3-part series entitled “The Middle Ages”. No, not the kind that you studied about in school and have read books and seen some great flicks about. I know you weren’t there, but you do remember it, right? It was the period from the fall of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the European Renaissance, roughly from the 5th century through the 15th century AD. But now it’s practically 2019!

I've written before about money challenges in your middle aged years, but now it's time to examine your 60's, 70's, and beyond: money in your golden years!

Although times have changed a tad since the Middle Ages, financial needs, dreams, goals, and their importance have not. So that’s why today I thought I would talk to you about another period of your life that requires a great plan and execution. Yet often we just don’t do it the way we should. I’m talking about your 60’s and 70’s and beyond, the golden years that usually spell retirement and big adjustments in life.
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The Retirement You Have Always Dreamt Of?

I’m willing to bet that almost every one of you has dreamt about the day when you no longer have to deal with your 9-5 workday routine. I have to laugh though when I think about me and that kind of timeframe. I certainly didn’t 9-5 most of my work life, especially in my jobs in retail management. More often than not my work hours spanned an earlier start time at around 8 a.m. and ran into evenings, weekends, and holidays with many weeks running 6 days.

If you're working, you may have vivid retirement dreams about the day your time becomes your own. But not so fast...things may not be as rosy as they seem.

In fact, I’d guess that I almost never worked a 40-hour week and typically did 50-55 hours as a matter of routine. So, yes, I can honestly say that I did dream of the day when I would sleep in, roll out of bed whenever I felt like it, and then do pretty much anything I’d ever want to do without worrying about the old clock on the wall!Continue reading“The Retirement You Have Always Dreamt Of?”

How to Save $25,000/Year Just By Retiring!

One of the things that always worried me before I retired was that I couldn’t honestly figure out what I would actually need to live on after I stopped getting my weekly paycheck. In other words, what would my retirement expenses be?

When planning your retirement expenses, don't forget that there may be some savings too. Here are 10 expenses that will disappear or shrink in retirement.

Almost all of us dream of the day we can stop working for good, but we all still worry about our finances and that can cloud even the sunniest visions of retirement. What will be and how will you cover everyday expenses when you no longer can count on a payday? Fortunately, there are some costs that actually do go down or simply disappear once you quit the daily rat race. That really helps you add some bucks to your new budget and keeps your standard of living from crashing down on your head when you start depending on your retirement savings and Social Security for most of your spendable funds.Continue reading“How to Save $25,000/Year Just By Retiring!”

Upcoming Improvements to Medicare Benefits for 2019

It’s hard to believe, but it’s that happy time again for those who have Medicare benefits and use Medicare Advantage plans when the open enrollment period begins on October 15th and ends on December 7th 2018 for 2019. You’ll get the hint I am certain when you begin seeing the massive advertising, mail, and phone calls about it starting any second, but this time around there is something to actually celebrate.

Usually the news about Medicare coverage has to do with increasing costs, but surprise, there are some improvements coming to Medicare benefits in 2019!

The good news just ahead for Medicare recipients are some potentially big savings. The over 60 million people who currently participate in the program (which has been around for over 50 years now) benefit from lower administration costs than private insurers have and that is despite the losses from fraud which it suffers from. But for 2019, things are about to get even better.

It’s rare that I can report to you that there’s such good news, but with very little fanfare and parades, this is the case thanks to the passing of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, signed into law last February. The bill covers a lot of important and even controversial spending changes as it always does, but when it comes to changes that are lowering the cost to our healthcare and affect Medicare then bravo and thank you are in order!Continue reading“Upcoming Improvements to Medicare Benefits for 2019”

Anticipating Social Security COLA 2019 – Where are we headed?

Note: For the Social Security COLA for 2020, click here.

Update 10/11/2018: The Social Security COLA for 2019 has been announced as a 2.8% increase.

It’s once again the time of year that we are anticipating information about the Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment) for 2019. So, this is more of a “heads up” rather than a “super saving tip” you might say, for the over 60 million Social Security recipients in the US and even those who have relocated abroad.

Retirees and other SS recipients are trying to anticipate whether there will be a Social Security COLA 2019. Read on for my predictions.

As per usual, we already do have some clues as to where we are heading. Although the final decision for COLA for 2019 won’t be announced for another six weeks or so, here’s what I foresee as to what will happen. Brace yourself for it because it may not be good news. Good news is often hard to find when it comes to COLA and cost of living calculations.Continue reading“Anticipating Social Security COLA 2019 – Where are we headed?”

Geoarbitrage: The Power of Money Depends on Where You Live

I have always earned my living in the greater New York City metropolitan area, technically here in suburban central NJ (and as the late great Rodney Dangerfield often said, “we don’t get no respect!”). Because of that fact, I have always known that living around here was way more expensive than most other places and the purchasing power of a buck got you significantly less here than, say, someplace in the southern part of the USA. That’s always been one of the big downsides of living in this area.

Geoarbitrage is taking advantage of the fact that your financial power depends on where you live. In retirement, this becomes especially important.

This fact is verified every year by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis that has been measuring this phenomenon since 2013. It recently published its latest data and using this info, the Tax Foundation demonstrates the real value of what $100 buys you in every state in the Union. It revealed once again that the power of your money really does depend on where you live. I’ll tell you more about that in a bit.
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