Borrowing from a 401k Calculator

15 08 2012

View the calculator here.

Before borrowing from your 401k, run the figures in this calculator to see how your retirement balance will be affected.

Read the entire article here.





Tax Time Savings Bonds

22 03 2012

If you haven’t filed your taxes – hurry!  The deadline is April 17, 2012. 

And, if you’re a saver, heck even if you aren’t a saver . . . . . watch this video.  Tax time savings bonds help you to save.  Ask your tax preparer about Tax Time Savings Bonds!

“For as little as $50 today, you can start giving your loved ones the future of their dreams, while they are still dreaming. Tax Time Savings Bonds grow with your loved ones. When they are ready, so is their money. Just select the amount you want to save from your refund and you’ll receive your bond in the mail.”





Does my Child’s Retirement Account affect their Ability to obtain Financial Aid?

22 03 2012

Parents nation-wide are worried about their child’s eligibility for college financial aid.  This is especially true for those parents with children whom have a small retirement nest egg from earned income.

The facts – retirement accounts (such as Roth IRAs, 401ks) are not reported to the Financial Aid board (FAFSA) if distributions (a/k/a withdrawals) are not being made.  Once assets are withdrawn, they are considered “income” and will be factored into the FAFSA application.  Besides, it doesn’t make ‘financial sense’ to withdraw funds from retirement accounts prior to retirement age – you will end up paying early withdrawal penalties and taxes on money withdrawn.  The best advice is to withdraw funds during retirement age in intervals.

A great article about the topic is found here.





Estimate your Social Security Retirement Benefits

20 03 2012

Source:  http://www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator/

The Retirement Estimator provides estimates based on actual Social Security earnings recorded. The results are purely estimates and the calculator will not provide actual benefit amounts until you apply for benefits. And that amount may differ from the estimates provided because:

  • Your earnings may increase or decrease in the future.
  • After you start receiving benefits, they will be adjusted for cost-of-living increases.
  • Your estimated benefits are based on current law. The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2036, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 77 percent of scheduled benefits.
  • Your benefit amount may be affected by military service, railroad employment or pensions earned through work on which you did not pay Social Security tax.

You can use the Retirement Estimator if:

  • You have enough Social Security credits at this time to qualify for benefits and
  • You are not:
    • Currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record;
    • Waiting for a decision about your application for benefits or Medicare;
    • Age 62 or older and receiving benefits on another Social Security record; or
    • Eligible for a Pension Based on Work Not Covered By Social Security.

If you are currently receiving only Medicare benefits, you can still get an estimate and Retirement Information For Medicare Beneficiaries.





U.S. Savings Bond Calculator

16 02 2012

Calculate the Value of Your Paper Savings Bond(s) with Treasury Direct’s online calculator.  It’s a good idea to either print the values or write them down on paper each year.  Your paper bonds should be stored in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box at the bank or in a fire/water proof box at home.

Want to learn more about bonds?  Check out our post here.





Tax Free Yields – Are they Worth it?

3 02 2012

What are “munis”?  Municipal bonds are issued by local governmental units or a state.  The type of bond issuers include cities, counties, school districts, publicly owned airports and seaports, and any other governmental agency.

These bonds are exempt from Federal income tax as well as the income tax in which the state they are issued (Note: the holder must live in the state in which the bond is issued for income tax exclusion).

The money generated from the purchase of municipal bonds helps to finance various projects around the community – schools, city streets and other public projects.

Try out this calculator if you want to figure out what taxable yield you’ll need to achieve in order to reach the same rate of return on a tax-free bond.

Intrigued?  Want to purchase a municipal bond?  Follow these steps.





Put your Retirement Contributions in High Gear: New Contribution Limits for 2012

1 02 2012

Today kicks off the second month of 2012!  If you’re like most folks, bills from the holidays were probably paid off in January and you can catch a breather from all that holiday shopping. 

If one of your New Years Resolutions was to save for retirement – heck, if saving for retirement wasn’t on your list, hear us out – now’s a good time!  The IRS announced new contributions limits for 2012 were due to a cost of live adjustment (COLA).  How much was the adjustment?  Let’s compare the new to prior limits:

 

Under Age 50 Age 50 and Older 
2012 $17,000 $22,500 
2011 $16,500 $22,000 

As you can see from the chart above, the COLA has increased by $500, that’s $500 more you can set aside for future retirement use. 

You:  “But where am I going to find an extra $500 in my budget?”

The answer is simple – scale back your expenses.  Read more here, here, here, here.








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