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Month: June 2019

Retirement the Machiavellian Way

When someone says “Machiavellian,” you might think of a lying schemer, a power-hungry politician, or ruthless individual who believes the ends justify the means. But this characterization isn’t quite fair to the political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli. He gave practical advice to the prince of Florence about how to rule, and was concerned with him being successful, not evil. Possibly his most important piece of advice was to focus on what you can control, not on matters of chance.

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A Plan to Help Minimize Your Taxes in Retirement

Your steady source of income might disappear in retirement, but unfortunately your taxes probably won’t. Did you know that up to 85% of your Social Security benefit could be taxed? And, retirement account distributions are taxed differently than investment income. If you’ll have multiple income sources, you should know how each is taxed so that you can best plan to minimize your taxes in retirement. Social Security benefits The federal government only taxes Social Security benefits if your income exceeds $25,000 as a single filer, or $32,000 when married filing jointly. 50% of your benefit...

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Covering Long-Term Care Costs

Some of the major expenses you’ll need to anticipate in retirement are your healthcare costs. There are many choices to make when it comes to choosing a Medicare plan, using an HSA, and qualifying for Medicaid. One healthcare cost that is easy, but possibly detrimental to overlook is long-term care. It’s estimated that 52% of people turning 65 will need some type of long-term care during their lifetimes. On average, women will need 2.5 years of long-term care, and men will need 1.5 years. Also, 14% of people need long-term care for longer than five years. When you consider that the average...

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Are You Ready for Endless Summer?

It’s time to start planning your summer, and whether you’re going to laze around on the beach, visit friends, or take a trip, it’s important to also start thinking about your retirement plan. On average, we spend more time every year planning for vacations than planning for retirement – and retirement is much longer than any vacation you will take. Summer is definitely a time to relax, but it’s also the perfect time to think about what you want your future retirement, the endless summer, to look like. Start off with the “What” If you and your spouse are traveling together, use the hours on...

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Social Security’s Decreased Buying Power

Some are worried about the state of Social Security since the latest report found that starting next year, the program’s annual cost will exceed its income. Some speculate that since the program’s trust fund is expected to be depleted by 2034, cuts are inevitable. But, there should be a more immediate worry facing beneficiaries than a theoretical future policy change: Social Security’s decreased buying power. There are several reasons why you can’t rely solely on Social Security in retirement, and the fact that benefits have lost 33% of their buying power since 2000 is one of them. And, they...

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What is a Phased Retirement Program?

Some look forward to their last day of work, some are disappointed to leave coworkers and a purposeful career, and others are somewhere in between. There are many things to love about retirement, like the freedom to travel, spend time with family and friends, and just wake up whenever you want, but hopefully there are also things you love about your career. For people who experienced a sense of accomplishment from their work and like to be busy, suddenly having little mental stimulation can be less than ideal. One solution is to phase from full-time to part-time before retirement. Transitioning...

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Higher HSA Contribution Limits

If you have an HSA or are planning on opening one, you’re in luck: The IRS has announced higher contribution limits for 2020. Starting next year, you can contribute up to $3,550 for individual coverage, or $7,100 for family coverage. And, if you’re 55 or older, you can contribute an additional $1,000 per year. You can contribute to an HSA if you have a health plan with a minimum annual deductible of $1,400 for individual coverage or $2,800 for family coverage. You can reduce your taxable income by contributing to an HSA even if you don’t itemize your taxes. Since it’s a tax advantaged account,...

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The State of Social Security

The annual report on Social Security’s financial condition was recently released, and many are worried about the program’s solvency. The annual cost of the program is expected to exceed its income for the next 75 years starting in 2020. And, the trust fund that covers retirement benefits is expected to be depleted by 2034. This seems grim, but it’s unlikely that the program will disappear. Here are 3 important things about Social Security to keep in mind. This does not spell doomsday for Social Security The current projections are based on estimated economic growth, tax collections, inflation,...

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