If you listen to the news, you’ll regularly hear mention of key economic indicators as they’re released. This is where a lot of us zone out because it’s hard to know how the ups and downs of these indicators relate to the overall health of the economy. What does it mean that the GDP in China declined last quarter or that U.S. jobless claims are up this week?
We’ll admit it, we’ve dreamed of early retirement, but who hasn’t? It’s not necessarily related to job satisfaction, but imagining how you would spend your days if you were footloose and fancy-free can be an entertaining exercise. And we know we’re not alone: the recent FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement is symbolic of the increased desire by some individuals to minimize their number of working years. The FIRE movement encourages living in a highly frugal manner in order to save early in life, and then retire with a minimalist lifestyle.
As your children grow into adults, your relationship with them naturally evolves. You love them and may want to continue to support them in various ways but, when it comes to supporting them financially, things can get complicated.
Welcome to a new year! With the holidays and celebrations behind you, it’s time to plan for the year ahead. If you have one or more retirement accounts and are over the age of 70 ½, taking your required minimum distribution (RMD) will be on the “to do” list for you and your financial advisor.
What’s an RMD and why do I have to take money out of my retirement accounts?
The biggest benefit of saving in retirement accounts is tax-free growth, meaning you never pay capital gains tax as the assets increase in value over time (motivation to start saving early!). The IRS, however, doesn’t want you and your beneficiaries to receive this benefit for eternity so, at the age of 70 ½, you must start taking money out of the account. Roth IRAs are an exception in that distributions aren’t required during the original owner’s lifetime but, after the owner’s death, beneficiaries are required to take annual distributions over the course of their lifetimes.
The Social Security system can be complicated to navigate. Whether you’re in the early years of your career or nearing retirement, it’s important to understand how social security works and how to maximize your eventual benefit, especially if you are divorced or widowed.