Roth IRA Contribution and Income Limits for 2014

In response to The Ultimate Guide to Traditional and Roth 401(k) and IRA Retirement Accounts, a reader recently asked the following question: I retired 12/31/2010. I received my last pay check in 01/2012. Can I put money into my Roth IRA in 01/2012 (up to the amount of my gross or net income)? When it […]

Published or Updated: July 22, 2014

Traditional IRA Contributions and Deduction Limits For 2012


As I’ve written about in the past, an IRA is a great way to save for retirement. If you qualify, you can stash money away for retirement, deduct your contributions from your taxable income, and let your nest egg grow tax-deferred until you take it out during retirement. The rules on contribution limits and whether […]

Published or Updated: October 28, 2012

Reader question: Should you invest in a 401(k), a Roth IRA, or pay off credit card debt?

Recently a reader e-mailed me with the following question: I definitely do want to open a Roth IRA as soon as possible because I hear it’s typically better than the Traditional IRA. However, I’m not certain whether one should be putting money way in one’s 401K or Roth. As you can tell, I’m not that […]

Published or Updated: January 7, 2012

Social Security Increase (COLA) for 2012–3.6%

Social Security Benefits Increase 2012

The Social Security Administration announced that monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase 3.6 percent in 2012. Called a Cost-of-Living Adjustment, or COLA for short, the 3.6% increase is the first raise in benfits since 2009. About 55 million Social Security beneficiaries will see the increase beginning in January 2012. Another […]

Published or Updated: October 20, 2011

Retirement Income Security Made Simple

Sources of retirement income

If you’re about to retire, you’ve got to be deadly serious about your retirement income security. All kinds of thoughts might be running through your head. “What if I need more income for some unexpected reason? What if my investments don’t do as well as planned? What if I live longer than I expect? Should […]

Published or Updated: March 29, 2014

Everything You Want To Know About Annuities


An annuity is an insurance product by which you make a lump-sum payment or series of payments. In return, the insurer agrees to make periodic payments to you beginning immediately or at some future date. Annuities can be used as part of a retirement strategy as many retirees want to receive a steady stream of […]

Published or Updated: March 15, 2013

You Wouldn’t Dare Borrow Money From Your 401k Would You?


I generally regard financial advisers to be smart people when it comes to money. Since they almost universally warn against taking out a loan against a 401k plan, I tend to think they must know what they’re talking about. Recently, however, research has come out indicating that borrowing money from your retirement account can actually […]

Published or Updated: March 17, 2014

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