The Disappointing Status of Social Security

Social Security

As part of the recent tax deal, President Obama has proposed a 2% reduction of the Social Security payroll tax. With this change, a worker making $50,000 in wages would bring home about $1,000 extra over a year. But this also means smaller revenues for the Social Security Administration. Employees currently pay 6.2% of wages […]

Published or Updated: April 4, 2013

401(k) and IRA Contribution Limits for 2011

401k vs IRA Retirement Accounts

The IRS recently released retirement savings contribution limits for 2011. These caps cover 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), and traditional IRA retirement accounts. For the most part, the limits are unchanged from 2010, although there are some small inflation adjustments with respect to qualifying income limitations. So here are the 2011 401k and IRA contribution limits: Elective […]

Published or Updated: April 4, 2013

Social Security Benefits Flatlined Until 2012

Social Security

Social security, first passed in 1935 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, encompasses a host of social insurance programs, including well-known federal benefits such as temporary assistance for needy families, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. In common parlance, however, Social Security is usually used to refer to […]

Published or Updated: April 5, 2013

How Much Dough Does A Roller Need to Retire?

Magic Number

A simple question, with such a complicated answer. Just how much money do you need to retire?  The short answer is that you should certainly have enough in savings to bridge the gap between your retirement income and expenditures. Trouble is, that it can get complicated pretty quickly. First, you’ll need to figure out an […]

Published or Updated: April 4, 2013

What is a Social Security Statement

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I just received my Social Security Statement in the mail and thought it would be a good time to cover this important document. Mailed once a year to workers and former workers 25 and older, a Social Security Statement provides information that can help you plan for retirement. It also provides information about disability and […]

Published or Updated: September 13, 2011

How to Uncover the Secret Fees of Your 401(k)

401K

Do you know how much your 401(k) is costing you? Chances are the answer is no. Because a 401(k) does not send out a monthly or quarterly bill, it’s easy to forget about the fact that these retirement accounts can cost plenty. Most employers absorb some of these costs, but many of them are passed […]

Published or Updated: July 6, 2010

2010 IRA Contribution and Deduction Limits

IRA Contribution Limits

The IRS recently released the 2010 IRA contribution and deduction limits. IRAs (Independent Retirement Accounts) are a great way to save for retirement, even if you already have a 401k at work.  Figuring out how much you can contribute and whether your contributions are deductible can be a bit daunting at times. In fact, to […]

Published or Updated: April 5, 2011

SEP IRA Contribution Limits (2014)

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A few years ago I set up an SEP IRA, a retirement account designed for self-employed individuals and owners of small businesses. Frankly, it’s one of the best kept secrets for the self-employed. An SEP IRA works similar to a traditional IRA or 401(k). Contributions are generally 100% tax deductible, and investments grow tax deferred. Withdrawals […]

Published or Updated: July 30, 2014

401k Layoff Trap

I was surpirsed at the “Borrow from your 401k” suggestion. While it’s true that it’s better than cashing out, so many people are being laid off unexpectedly. When this happens, it must all be paid back or considered a cash-out, which comes at a time when people are least able to repay because they just […]

Published or Updated: October 28, 2012