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The Style, Why, When, Where, How To Retire

Early on, it won’t hurt just thinking about how, when and where you would retire in order to prepare for the inevitable advantage of living a full hassle-free living after working for a number of years.

The following are a number of tips to ensure you are set for life.

Decide where you want to settle

According to a demographic survey most retirees, seem to be content living for a number of years in the same place and in the same community until retirement age. But t...

retirement, investment, 401k financial, stocks

Early on, it won’t hurt just thinking about how, when and where you would retire in order to prepare for the inevitable advantage of living a full hassle-free living after working for a number of years.

The following are a number of tips to ensure you are set for life.

Decide where you want to settle

According to a demographic survey most retirees, seem to be content living for a number of years in the same place and in the same community until retirement age. But think about it, downsizing your expenses makes more sense. Moving to a less expensive community can help you keep your resources intact and your expenses less. This ensures you will have more income for future wants, needs and luxuries.

Decide what you want to do

It helps to think now about what you plan to do upon reaching retirement age than waking up one morning with no job after being used to having one for a number of years.

The idea is as financially troubling as well as psychologically disturbing. There are retirees who were able to lick the problem of what-to-do by pursuing a career or a task they were not able to do during their younger years. Primarily it should be a career one is genuinely interested in. It makes doing it more fulfilling and less stressing.

Pay it off now

Any debt, especially the mortgage, when finally paid off, helps most retirees sleep soundly at night. This is literally a load off your mind and your wallet. It helps if you have money left over that is sufficient enough to fully pay your mortgage as well as a little for something extra for you or your significant other. If your mortgage is fully paid, the tendency is for you to take less from your savings therefore allowing your money to increase via tax-deferred methods thus decreasing your total tax bill.

Know what to expect

There are three standard sources of income for retirees as according to experts: Social security payments, pensions, and the retirees’ savings. Do not forget to review your yearly Social Security benefit. For information, call 800-772-1213 to know your estimated monthly check. Make sure to contact your previous employers to see if you have other pensions available as well as to determine how much you could receive. Compute your income from the investments you made in the past. The total of these three could help you determine where you stand as well as how much.

 

How To Determine If Your Social Security Retirement Benefits Are Taxed

Up to 85% of your Social Security retirement benefits may be taxable. Here’s how to find out how much is taxable and what you can do to reduce or eliminate any tax.

Of all the financial issues surrounding being a senior, the one that tops the list in terms of anger is the fact that, depending on the situation, Social Security retirement benefits are taxable. My experience indicates that some seniors are completely unaware of this fact. I have also had to sit and listen to ...

finance, tax, social security, retirement, provisional income

Up to 85% of your Social Security retirement benefits may be taxable. Here’s how to find out how much is taxable and what you can do to reduce or eliminate any tax.

Of all the financial issues surrounding being a senior, the one that tops the list in terms of anger is the fact that, depending on the situation, Social Security retirement benefits are taxable. My experience indicates that some seniors are completely unaware of this fact. I have also had to sit and listen to the ranting of those who are aware. It goes something like this: “I already paid tax on the earnings during my working years. The Social Security withdrawn from my income each pay check was a tax. This sounds like a tax on a tax.” And on and on…

After letting the person blow off some steam, my response typically was, “Hey, don’t shoot the messenger! I’m here to see if any of your Social Security benefits are taxed, if so, how much and what we can do to reduce or eliminate that tax.” So let me take you through the first part of our conversation.

Whether or not you are taxed depends on:

1. The amount of your income.
2. Whether or not you have income from sources other than Social Security.

The amount of your tax depends on:

1. Your marital filing status: single or married.
2. The amount of your income.

The tax on Social Security retirement benefits was put into effect in 1983. Tax was applied on up to 50% of benefits. In 1993 this was increased to 85%. Here’s how the calculation goes…

The first step is to calculate your “provisional income”. So grab last year’s tax return.

1. Subtract your taxable S.S. benefits (line 20b) from your Adjust Gross Income (line 37).
2. Add one half of your total S.S. benefits (line 20a).
3. Add any tax exempt interest (line 8b).
4. The result is your “provisional income”.

Once you know this number, you can apply the rules to determine how much of your S.S. is taxed. Again, this depends on whether you are married or single and the amount of your income.

Let’s look first at a married couple filing jointly. Here is the math…

1. If your provisional income is below $32,000, you don’t have a problem.
2. For provisional income over $32,000:
a. Take the provisional income between $32,000 and $44,000 and divide it by two.
b. If your provisional income is above $44,000, take the total provisional income, subtract $44,000 and multiply by 0.85.
c. Add 2a and 2b.
d. Multiply your total S.S. benefits (line 20a) by 0.85.
e. The lesser of your result on 2c and 2e above is the amount of your S.S. benefit taxed.

Now let’s look at the calculation for a single person…

1. If your provisional income is below $25,000, none of your S.S. benefits are taxable.
2. For provisional incomes over $25,000:
a. Take the provisional income between $34,000 and $25,000 and divide it by two.
b. If your provisional income is above $34,000, subtract $34,000 from your total provisional income and multiply by 0.85.
c. Add 2a and 2b.
d. Multiply your total S.S. benefit (line 20) by 0.85.
e. The lesser of your result on 2c and 2d above is the amount of your S.S. benefit taxed.

Now that you know whether or not any of your Social Security benefits are taxable, and if so, how much, the next step is to take a look at the ways you can reduce or eliminate this tax. In general, there are three solution categories:

1. Reduce your interest income. The most common is interest on CDs.
2. Reduce your dividend income.
3. Reduce your tax exempt interest income.

Note: The calculations above use a very simplified approach. Your situation may have other factors that would affect the math. It is strongly advised that you consult with a qualified tax professional.

 

How To Develop A Secure Retirement Income

One of the rules of life is that, sooner or later, everyone has to stop working and retire. For some, this is a golden opportunity to enjoy life and do things they never got the chance to do while they were busy with working and raising a family. For others, however, retirement can be a very scary prospect, with no money coming in and yet some of the biggest expenses still needing to be taken care of. Even though work stops, the truth is that life (and your bills) doesn’t. He...

retirement

One of the rules of life is that, sooner or later, everyone has to stop working and retire. For some, this is a golden opportunity to enjoy life and do things they never got the chance to do while they were busy with working and raising a family. For others, however, retirement can be a very scary prospect, with no money coming in and yet some of the biggest expenses still needing to be taken care of. Even though work stops, the truth is that life (and your bills) doesn’t. Here are some ways to plan ahead and develop a secure source of income for when you retire.

The most important factor in planning out your retirement income is to plan ahead- the sooner you start to plan, the better. As soon as you reach that stage of life where you are receiving a secure income, you should begin to put money aside in order to draw off of when you retire. You can do this by diversifying your investments- small contributions to several areas will add up when you retire to provide you with a comfortable living- if you are very wise and frugal you may find that your retirement income is actually more than your regular working income was!

The best places to put this money are in areas where they will be able to accrue interest, especially of the compound variety. Some safe investments include mutual funds and saving bonds, in which an investor agrees to leave the money aside for a stated amount of time in order to earn the interest that will often be guaranteed. In some areas, it is also possible to invest in Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) which will not only accrue interest until the time you retire, they are also usually tax deductible in the present.

You should also look for a job in which a regular contribution is made by both the company and by yourself to a pension plan. Ask your employer if it is possible to have some money deducted from each paycheck and deposited to a specific pension plan- many employers will meet the contributions made by the employee.

The most important thing when you are planning out your retirement income is to make sure that the money you invest for that purpose remains there. Many people lose their retirement nest egg in emergencies or even investing in opportunities that seem iron clad, but aren’t. When you make investments towards your retirement, do not touch them. Remember that this money will be all you have at that time in your life, and if you lose it you are going to be in for some hard times, with no chance at recuperation. Any risks as far as investments go should be undertaken with money that you budget for that purpose, and not with any of the money that you plan on setting aside for retirement purposes.

Prudence and long-term planning are the watchwords when you begin to develop your secure retirement income. Make a plan and stick to it, and your golden years will be the best time of your life.




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