As if the decision in estate planning over whether to create a will or open a trust isn’t confusing enough, I’ve come to understand (on a personal level) that even this may not be sufficient for ensuring your lifelong savings get passed on to your loved ones. In short: With the way things work now with elder care, there may not be anything left to give! Here’s my story. Recently, my wife’s grandparents both developed a very bad case of Alzheimer’s, and somewhat rapidly. This has caused the family to make a quick decision to move them from their residence and into the care of … [Read more...] about Could an Irrevocable Trust be the Key to Leaving a Financial Legacy?
Have you ever wondered what sets you apart from people who retire young? All over the Internet, you can find incredible success stories of regular folks who were able to pull off the impossible. But what is their secret? How do you retire young in today’s world when so many of the odds seem stacked against you. It’s one of my personal hobbies to read these stories and look through the details to see what makes them different. And you want to know what I’ve noticed? It’s not that they won the lottery or received a huge inheritance. It’s also not that they were … [Read more...] about What’s the Best Way to Retire Early? By Doing This One Important Thing
If your pool water is cloudy or a sick dark color, and you're looking for tips on how to turn it from green to blue, then this is the post for you! For years, I've had a love / hate relationship with my pool. I love it in the middle of the summer when it's 100 degrees outside and I want a nice, cool place to float around all afternoon. But I hate it when I pull the cover off every spring only to find a puke-colored, army-green swamp where my crystal blue water used to be. Believe me - I know how desperate you feel when your pool looks like this and you fear it will never be suitable … [Read more...] about How to Turn Cloudy Pool Water From Green to Blue
Question: What happens to your 401(k) when you quit your job or switch to a new one? Your retirement security used to be a BIG consideration when it came to changing employers. In the old days of pension plans, if someone were to quit their job early, they could be potentially giving up life-long future monthly checks worth thousands of dollars! But that was then, and this is now. According to the website The Balance, the average person changes jobs 10-15 times during their career. What changed? A lot. But in terms of the future of your retirement savings, a big … [Read more...] about What Happens to Your 401(k) When You Quit Your Job?
It’s payday. You’re happy. But your joy doesn’t seem to last for long. You start to pay your bills one by one, and quickly the money leaves your checking account just as soon as it got there. In the blink of an eye, you’re pretty much right back to where you started … You’re living paycheck to paycheck, and you can’t stop worrying about money. And unfortunately, your story is not unique. According to a report from CareerBuilder, seventy-eight percent of full-time workers said they live paycheck to paycheck, up from 75 percent from the previous year. If you … [Read more...] about How to Stop Worrying About Money – 5 Effective Strategies for Better Money Habits
Do you know about flexible spending accounts (FSA’s)? You may have heard of them from your HR department and wondered: “How would this benefit me?” or “How does an FSA work exactly?” Believe me - These were the same types of questions my wife and I had when we were first getting started in our jobs years ago and looking for every angle we could to save a little bit of cash. At first glance, an FSA seems like just another thing taking money out of your paycheck. For most of us, that’s a deal-breaker. Between taxes, social security, and our retirement contributions, … [Read more...] about What Is a Flexible Spending Account? How Does an FSA Work?
What to do with $1,000? What a great problem to have! According to a survey reported by Fox Business, the majority of people receiving their tax refunds (one of the most common ways we find ourselves with $1,000 or more) plan to use it to pay down their debt (27%). While paying off your debt is certainly a smart use your windfall, it’s by no means the only way or (in some circumstances) always the best way to invest $1,000. There are lots of other choices to consider that could have just as important financial benefits. Whether you’ve managed to come in … [Read more...] about What Are the Smartest Things You Can Do With $1,000 Right Now?
Did you know that you can use a 72t distribution to get early access to your 401(k) or most any other retirement account before age 59-1/2 ... WITHOUT having to pay a penalty? One of the biggest obstacles we face when we're saving for retirement is the rule that we have to wait so long in order to finally use it. For years, I had a goal to retire early (long before age 60). But I was completely stumped by how I was actually going to be able to take money out of it. I remember being in my young 20's and thinking "what good is using a 401(k) if I have to wait almost 40 years to get … [Read more...] about How to Use a 72t Distribution to Get Money Out of Your 401(k) and Retire Early!
If you’re looking to retire in your mid 50’s and want to be able access your retirement nest egg, then I’ve got some good news for you: The 401(k) Age 55 Rule might allow you to accomplish your goal of early retirement! As most people in the U.S. know, when it comes to retirement planning, the IRS says you have to wait until at least age 59-1/2 to start withdrawing funds from any tax-deferred retirement accounts such as your 401(k) or IRA. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay a pesky 10% penalty along with any applicable taxes. If you’re an early retirement seeker like, then this … [Read more...] about The 401(k) Age 55 Rule for Early Retirement Income
Do you pay taxes on the money you earn from your side hustle? If so, then he's a hack you'll want to know: Contributing to a SEP IRA can help lower your taxes as well as allow you to stash away more money for retirement! For years I’ve enjoyed making money on the side from blogging. But in the eyes of the government, that money is “business income”, and therefore taxable. So while it was fun to earn several thousand dollars per year, it wasn’t so great having to pay roughly a quarter of that money back into taxes every year. Just like all the steps I’ve taken to reduce my … [Read more...] about How We’ve Saved $1,000’s in Taxes By Contributing to Our SEP IRA