The overall economic news this week was not good, either for workers or for retirees. I’m afraid that it will be some time before we start hearing better news. Many economists predict that unemployment will remain at today’s levels or get worse through 2010. In other words, if our economy is now in a “recovery” mode, it is a jobless recovery. That suggests that there is no real recovery. Read more
One of the worst financial decisions a baby boomer can make is to raid a tax-deferred retirement account such as an IRA or 401(k) to pay for non-retirement expenses. I like to call these early withdrawals “retirement plan leaks” although sometimes they are more like floods! Read more
If you have an IRA or want to use an IRA as part of your retirement income plan, it helps to know how you will be able to manage distributions. There are online tools that will help you do this. Read more
Spreadsheets can be useful as a simple form of retirement calculator. I have found a few that are free to use. If you are comfortable working with spreadsheets and are interested in using them as retirement planning tools, download them and try them out. (If you are reading this in feed reader or by email, you will have to click through to the original post to download the spreadsheet files.) Read more
Our retirement assets are down but should not be forgotten. Depleted or not, there are plenty of folks out there who would like to have them. That includes creditors. So what kind of protection is available for retirement accounts from the claims of creditors? Read more
Many members of the baby boomer generation are experiencing significant and perhaps abrupt transitions in their family status. Their children have left home to lead independent lives. Spouses have retired or perhaps even moved on to become ex-spouses. Changes in boomer families can create a need for changes in your retirement plan documents.
First, analyze your options if your employer has stopped matching 401(k) contributions. Read more
The issues related to funding of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) are particularly complex for baby boomers for several reasons. Fear of investing after what happened in 2008 is certainly one of them. Nevertheless, I think that all baby boomers should give strong consideration to funding an IRA in 2008 and 2009. Read more
It is unfortunate to read about so many businesses cutting costs by reducing or eliminating the match of their employees’ 401(k) contributions. This is a particularly devastating blow to the retirement plans of baby boomers who have been depending on the employer match to rebuild dwindling 401k account balances. Read more
Congress recently passed legislation waiving required minimum distributions (RMD) from an IRA, 401k plan, and other qualified retirement plan for 2009. Based on that, some retirees age 70 1/2 and older who are subject to RMD rules waited to see if the Treasury would apply the RMD waiver for 2008 as well.
On December 18, the Treasury announced that the Required Minimum Distribution rules would apply for 2008. Read more