Congress passed the second installment of the SECURE Act under the Omnibus Spending bill of 2023, containing major changes to the retirement planning landscape.
In the past, retirees could typically rely on a pension and Social Security benefits for the rest of their lives. Today’s retirees are part of the first generation that often must fund their own retirement. Even for those who have saved diligently over many years, the threat of outliving one’s money is legitimate. Lawmakers recognized the changing needs of today’s retirees, and passed the SECURE ACT in 2019, and now the SECURE Act 2.0 in the final days of 2022.
It’s a New Year, and that’s something to celebrate! This year is the year for a renewed focus on planning and preparation in the five key areas of retirement planning. These are the building blocks of any solid retirement plan, and this guide will detail each one. Whether 2023 is the year when you retire or not, it’s the year to create a truly comprehensive retirement plan that addresses each of these areas.
After a tumultuous 2022, filing your taxes this year could be complicated. Maybe you stopped working, realized investment gains, created an estate plan, or went from itemizing to claiming the standard deduction or vice versa. There are many factors that can impact whether your taxes will increase and whether you need to rethink your tax strategy.
Many Americans rely primarily on Social Security in retirement, and even if you don’t, you still want to know how to claim your maximum benefit. Although you will most likely not be able to maintain your current lifestyle on a Social Security benefit alone, it can make up a significant portion of your income and is guaranteed for as long as you live.
They say “men are from Mars and women are from Venus” and their differences carry over into financial planning. In a world where women oftentimes share, or own, the responsibilities of household finances, and many are the major “bread-winner”, it makes sense that you are adequately addressed. There are a disproportionate number of men in the financial space today, so let’s take a moment to address some financial needs unique to women.
We have seen increased government spending due to COVID, and will likely see more in the next few years, leading to more debt. Some economists theorize that this could lead to increased inflation, in the short-term and/or the long-term. You may have already realized higher prices on the items you buy every week and be wondering if we’ll see the high inflation of the 1970s again. If you are nearing or in retirement, you need to protect yourself from the eroding effects of inflation, even if it never rises to the level it did during the 1970s.
Americans today are living longer than in the past. In 1950, life expectancy for Americans was 68 years old, and in 2022 it’s nearly 80. Of course, many people live to be older than that. In fact, the Census Bureau estimates that by 2050, Americans 90 and older will make up 10% of the population. A longer, healthier life is certainly a blessing, but it comes with extra costs that are important to consider when creating a retirement plan.
Here’s proof that funding retirement has changed. In 1970, 45% of private-sector employees were covered by a pension plan. Now, 4% are covered. If workers do receive their pension, they may have to decide between receiving larger payments over their lifetime or receiving smaller payments over their and their spouse’s lifetimes.
You taught your kids how to tie their shoes, to look both ways before crossing the street, and countless other lessons. But what have you taught them about money? Many parents may feel uncomfortable talking about the subject with their children, no matter how old they are. But, there are important lessons to teach your children about finances at any age.
We all know that a 401(k) is one of the most important retirement planning tools we have. You pay into it for decades and will likely need to rely on it, among other income sources, for decades in retirement. The potential tax benefits and power of compound interest can make it a great saving and investment tool for anyone who practices financial discipline and contributes regularly.
Happy Birthday! Now the real fun begins. Before you begin planning your retirement, be sure to mark these important dates in your calendar. Starting at age 50, several birthdays – including “half-birthdays” – are critical to understand because they have implications regarding your retirement income.
It’s the middle of summer vacation and you’re watching Neil Armstrong take one small step for a man and one giant leap for mankind. It’s July 20, 1969 and most everyone in America has stopped what they’re doing to watch the event that John F. Kennedy promised would happen just a few years earlier.
The SECURE Act 2.0, which passed in the final days of 2022 and stands for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, is the most significant retirement-related law seen since the initial passage of the SECURE Act in 2019. One noteworthy transformation which will influence all retirees with a standard retirement account like an IRA or 401(k) is that the age of Required Minimum Distributions has been raised from 72 to 73, with a provision that then raises the age to 75 after 2032. Even though it implies retirees can have more time for their savings to accumulate without taxation, they should not underestimate the eventual impact of RMDs on their tax liability and retirement savings.
Planning for retirement is never a “set it and forget it” activity. There are unexpected disasters, market drops, and changing laws that invariably cause retirees to reevaluate their plans of action. There’s no way to predict everything that will cause market downturns, but you can prepare yourself by having a solid financial plan in place.
From 1953 to 2021, the median home price in America increased from $185,290 to $342,844, adjusted for inflation. Just in 2021 alone, home prices went up 19%. Considering this level of appreciation and steadily rising rental prices, owning real estate can have its benefits. But, investing in real estate is quite different from owning or selling a first home in terms of risk, taxation, and upkeep.
A great financial plan is one that aligns your priorities with your money. But what happens when your priorities change? While every life transition poses its own unique set of challenges, a few guidelines can be applied to successfully navigate a course change life throws your way.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provided numerous changes to the tax code, including reducing tax rates for businesses and individuals, simplifying personal taxes, eliminating personal exemptions, limiting deductions for state and local income taxes, and much more.
Are your beneficiary designations for your retirement accounts up-to-date? You should periodically review your designations to protect the ones you love and ensure your intentions upon death are clear.
Settling the affairs of a loved one who dies is an important responsibility that requires time, patience, and a certain amount of organizational skill. An executor is charged with sorting out the finances, paying debts, and dividing what remains among beneficiaries.
Our lives, in many ways, can be recounted through aspects of our personal records and other important legal documents. Yet, when the time comes, can these critical papers be easily found? With a little preparation and planning, this information can be readily available at your fingertips.
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