How To Avoid The Highest Penalty In The Tax Code

There’s one tax mistake that can trigger a 50% penalty. I think it’s the steepest in the tax code. Of course, you might owe interest on top of that penalty. The mistake is to fail to take at least the required minimum distribution (RMD) from a qualified retirement plan, which includes IRAs and 401(k)s. The penalty is 50% of the amount that you should have distributed but failed to. To [...]

January 17th, 2020|

3 Smart 401(k) Moves to Make in 2020

The 401(k) is one of the most powerful tools in your retirement planning toolbox, but in order to make the most of it, you'll need to have a good understanding of how it works. The most important thing you can do right now is to simply start saving. Roughly half of Americans are not contributing anything to their 401(k), according to a survey from Edward Jones, which can lead to [...]

January 16th, 2020|

Retirement planning at every life stage

Preparing for retirement can be intimidating. You’re facing great uncertainties about how your financial future will unfold, with a lot at stake. Fortunately, a comfortable and sustainable retirement should be within your reach if you prepare for it properly. You’ll find that a little planning can go a long way to getting you where you need to go, although that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy. You will need to gradually [...]

January 15th, 2020|

These important tax changes in the Secure Act have nothing to do with retirement

On Dec. 20, President Donald Trump signed into law the imaginatively acronym-ed Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act). The new law is mainly intended to expand opportunities for individuals to increase their retirement savings. It also includes some other important tax changes that have nothing to do with retirement. In an earlier column, I covered the three most important changes that can affect individuals. See here. But [...]

January 14th, 2020|

3 trends that could change your retirement plans in 2020

The new year is upon us, and so are new retirement rules and plenty of new (or soon-to-be) retirees. This year already began with major changes, now that the Secure Act is in effect as of Jan. 1. The bill passed shortly before Christmas, and will change the way workers save for retirement and retirees contribute, spend or give away their assets. Other trends have been in motion over the last [...]

January 13th, 2020|

Getting Ready to Retire? Here’s a Planning Guide for the 5 Years Before Your Last Day

The five years before officially quitting full-time employment is the time to finalize your plan for the next stage in life. Pre-retirees should start taking a closer look at their financial situation and what actions they can take to bolster readiness—and confidence—as they near their last day on the job.  But knowing what to do, as well as when to do it to maximize any benefit or correct any problem, [...]

January 10th, 2020|