thinking-about-the-time-1316649-640x480-300x225“While a longer life is a good thing, it will also present challenges – and unfortunately, sometimes financial predators.”

The prospect of a long, healthy and active life is a wonderful thing to consider. However, one in 10 seniors have suffered financial abuse, according to The Kansas City Star’s article “Five ways to avoid elder financial abuse.” The grandson of Brooke Astor spoke at a conference about how his grandmother’s last years were spent living in squalor, as a result of her son and guardian stealing from the estate and cutting the amount of money available for her care. The grandson and his brother sued their father to protect their beloved grandmother, a leading philanthropist and one of New York’s high-profile society figures.

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pexels-photo-164474-300x200“If you are looking to pull cash from your 401(k) plan or traditional IRA without getting hit with a penalty, the IRS will allow you to do it.”

This is a move of last resort. You’ll need to do all the research to be sure this will not do more damage to your retirement savings than absolutely necessary. You are allowed to take a series of equal payments from your IRA or a 401(k) account, without being subject to a 10% penalty—but only under certain circumstances, advises CNBC in the article “How to tap your retirement savings without getting hit with a stiff penalty—but only if you absolutely have to.”

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investment-3247252_640-300x200“Everyone wants to retire with ample savings in their bank account. Plan your retirement, by avoiding these eight common IRA mistakes.”

IRAs, or Individual Retirement Accounts, are great tools for retirement savings. The best tactic says Born2Invest in the article “Retirement planning: 8 common IRA mistakes” is to make the most of your IRA, as early in your career as possible. That will give you a larger nest egg later in life.

Avoid these classic errors and keep that IRA growing! Continue reading

guardianship-1200x600-300x150“Many of us have experienced the unexpected “telephone call” from a hospital or loved one that a sudden negative medical crisis has occurred, involving a member of your family.”

It’s never a good thing when you get a call and the person on the other end asks if you are sitting down.

A sudden death or medical crisis can turn your world upside down, especially if the person was not prepared with the right documents says The Union in the article “Estate planning in a time of crisis.” Your heart sinks and questions start flooding your mind. Will they survive? How far is the hospital and how fast can you get there? Will they end up in nursing care? Who will be able to help you care for them? Continue reading

time“Though retirement can be a fulfilling time in people’s lives, it can also be a stressful one. This especially holds true, if you fall victim to the following mistakes, so be sure to avoid them at all costs.”

Most people spend their entire working lives dreaming of retirement. However, when they get there, it’s a new and strange world without fixed schedules or routines. If you make any of these mistakes, reports The Motley Fool in the article “4 Retirement Planning Mistakes You Probably Don’t Even Realize You’re Making,” you might be surprised to find yourself working again! Continue reading

bigstock-Extended-Family-Outside-Modern-13915094-300x200“Although we typically associate the term “estate” with the ultra-wealthy, estate planning is not just for the rich. Everyone, regardless of family dynamics or financial status, can benefit from having an estate plan—a collection of documents that specify how you want your assets distributed.”

Estate planning has a purpose while you are alive, with medical directives and power of attorney, as well as when you have passed. That is something most people don’t understand. As described in a recent article in Forbes, “6 Reasons Why You Need an Estate Plan,” most people continue to neglect to put a plan in place. A recent survey from caring.com found that less than half of American adults have estate planning documents, such as a will or a trust. Here are a few reasons why that’s a big mistake: Continue reading

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“A 401(k) plan ensures that you have money to spend during your retirement years. However, there are reasons why a 401(k) stinks.”

It’s almost always enlightening to hear from a different perspective, even in finance. This article from Born2Invest, “Retirement planning: The downsides of your 401(k),” takes a somewhat contrarian view of retirement accounts in general and the use of 401(k)s in particular. We may not agree. However, it’s worth the read. Continue reading

pexels-photo-267350-300x218“As our lives become more and more connected online, we increasingly need to also consider what to do with the digital estate, the online accounts of our dearly departed, many of which hold photos and personal memories, as well as sensitive financial information.”

Settling the estate of a loved family member or dear friend is a challenging and emotionally wearing process, reports The-Parallax in the article “How to settle your loved one’s digital estate.” If an estate plan is in place, some things are easier. However, even then, there are possessions to sort through, assets to distribute and many tasks that need to be done. Now, add digital assets to that list. Continue reading

old-people-couple-together-connected-300x198“If you’re part of a married couple, it’s highly likely that one of you will become a widow or widower at some point. Married couples can ‘show each other the love’ by planning for this inevitability.”

If it’s any comfort, there are now some 20 million widows and widowers in America, according to a study from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave that focuses on widowhood, as reported by CBS News’ Moneywatch in “A retirement planning must-do for married couples.” The study, “Widowhood: The Loss Couples Rarely Plan for—and Should” takes a detailed look at what happens, when the first spouse dies. Continue reading

accessory-adult-aged-1251174-300x251“Workers aren’t the only ones who need to double-check that they’re withholding sufficient taxes. The IRS is warning retirees to ensure they’re paying enough federal income tax.”

The IRS embarked on a big awareness campaign since the summer, telling taxpayers they should review and update their withholding numbers at work to ensure that they are paying enough federal income tax. But they’re not the only ones who should be checking their numbers, reports CNBC in the article “The IRS is warning retirees of this impending surprise tax.” Retirees who fail to update withholding from pensions or annuities may be in for a surprise, and it won’t be a good one. Continue reading