Personal Finance


In 1970, average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. was 71 years. In 2014, it is 79 years; and by 2050, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that average life expectancy will be 84 years. Today, according to the National Institute on Aging, there are over 40 million people in the U.S. aged 65 or older, accounting for about 13% of the total population. In 1900, there were just 3.1 million 65 or older Americans, or about 4.1% of the...

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A new study finds that “leakage” from 401(k) and IRA accounts can reduce a person’s retirement wealth by as much as 25% and argues that changes are needed in these savings plans in order to plug the holes. The report, from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, notes that, in 2013, the typical working household with a 401(k) approaching retirement had only $111,000 in a 401(k) and individual retirement account. One big...

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Here is something every non-rich American family should know: The odds are that you will run out of money in retirement. On average, a typical working family in the anteroom of retirement — headed by somebody 55 to 64 years old — has only about $104,000 in retirement savings, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. That’s not nearly enough. And the situation will only grow worse. The Center for Retirement...

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One of the important tenets of financial and retirement planning is to strategically match your upcoming liabilities (such as college funding, a second home purchase, or retirement income) to assets in your savings or investment accounts.  Notice we mention two types of accounts, the savings account and the investment account.  It’s not necessary to have two distinct and separate accounts, but you should know that there is a...

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Before the days of estate taxes, children simply moved into the family home and took over the master bedroom after their parents died. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy anymore. There are several ways to give a home to your child. And a few are tax-free. But in order for the transaction to work properly, you’ve got to plan ahead. Here is a rundown of your options. Stay put If you plan to live in your home until you die, and your...

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Over the last month or so, several folks have asked Don and me several questions regarding taxes, retirement savings, and the tax issues associated with drawing money out of a retirement account. Although I’m sure you’ve heard myths and all the long-standing conventional wisdom about how and when to draw money out of retirement accounts, you’ll find your own best after-tax solution after a thorough analysis of your options. Clearly,...

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