Showing posts with label IRA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IRA. Show all posts

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Planning Ahead: How To Save For Retirement In Your 20s

As you hit age 20, you are usually more concerned about finishing college, starting your career, raising a family, and living life to its fullest. In fact, retirement seems like nothing but an abstract concept at this point in your life.

However, before you know it, decades will have passed, and you will suddenly be much older and retiring from your job. To make sure you have the financial resources necessary to enjoy your retirement, this means you need to start saving for it while you are still young. 

To plan ahead and get the best results, here's how to start saving for retirement early in life.

Don't Procrastinate


Even if you have student loan payments, rent, and other expenses each month, don't let one excuse after another keep you from saving for your retirement. 

By closely examining your monthly budget, you should be able to find a way to save 5-15 percent of your income each month for retirement.

Sign Up for a 401(k)


If a 401(k) plan is offered as part of your benefits package, take full advantage of it and sign up to participate right away. In many situations, employers will match the contributions their workers make to these retirement plans, meaning you can gain substantial savings in a short time. 

If you consult with a money management firm about your retirement planning, you will also learn that a 401(k) lets your money grow tax-free until it is withdrawn at retirement, allowing your money to compound much faster each year.




Emphasize Aggressive Investments


To build up your portfolio wealth, emphasize aggressive investments by making stocks the primary part of your investment portfolio. 

Though the stock market can be volatile, it also has a great long-term track record. Once you buy and hold various blue-chip stocks, you should be able to build up quite a nest egg for retirement.

Set Up Automatic Deductions


If you are not eligible for a 401(k) plan at work, choose to open a Roth IRA on your own. Though the money you put into the IRA will have already been taxed, it will be tax-free when withdrawn for retirement. 

To make the most of your IRA, set up automatic monthly deductions from your paycheck, which will ensure your IRA continues to grow year after year.

By thinking about retirement when it is still decades away, you can formulate a sound financial plan that will have you enjoying retirement more than you ever thought possible.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

What is a 401k Plan and How Do I Calculate It?



401k plan is an employer-sponsored retirement plan in the U.S and several other countries. It was named after a section of the United States International Revenue Code. Money put into the 401k account is usually deducted from the individuals' taxable income.

The amount is only taxed when withdrawing which happens after the age of 59. If the money is to be withdrawn any earlier, both income and an extra charge of 10% penalty are owed. About 401K earnings It's never too early to begin saving to secure a comfortable retirement.

You should know that the sooner you can start saving and invest in a 401k account, the more you are able to accumulate interest over the year. It is advisable to keep a keen eye on how you are doing by calculating your earnings occasionally. 





This can be helpful since you might need to make changes on your investment based on your tolerance for risk, age and the number of years before you retire. Calculate your earnings One of the best tools you can use to secure a comfortable retirement is a 401K plan.

A 401K plan provides you with 2 very important advantages. First, all your contributions and earnings are never subject to tax. the second advantage is that many employers often provide matching contributions to your account which ranges from 0% to 100% of your personal contributions.


Here is how to calculate your 401k earnings




1. You will need a copy of your most recent 401K statements. These statements are mostly sent quarterly. 

2. Note the initial balance, the amount your employer contributed to your account and the amount of contribution you made. Sum up all these factors to get their total.

3. Subtract the total you got from step 2 above from your end balance. The amount you find is your gain for that period.

4. Divide the amount from step 3 above (Your gain) by the total calculated from step

5. Multiply the result you got by 100 to find the percentage gain for your 401K account for the specific period.

Example: If your initial balance plus total contributions are $15,000 and you got your gain as $500, your percentage gain for that period will be approximately 3.33%. If you have a quarterly statement, then you will multiply the figure by 4. You will get an annual percentage gain of 13.32%.

You can also calculate your income tax on your 401K withdrawal. Here is how to do it and estimate your expected amount.

1. Estimate your annual taxable income. To do this, add up all your taxable income for the year like salaries, wages and interests then subtract any taxes such as standard deductions.

2. Find your tax bracket in the IRS publication 17 based on the estimated taxable income.

3. Multiply the amount in your 401K account with your marginal income tax rate.

4. If you are taking a non-qualified distribution from your federal 401k plan, add a 10% penalty to the amount of your federal taxes. Do not make any exception. All non-qualified distributions are distributions before the age of 59 1/2.

5. Multiply your 401k plan withdrawal amount by your tax rate.

6. Finally, add your federal and taxes with an early withdrawal penalty to get your total taxes on your 401K withdrawal amount.

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

3 Smart Investments

One of the major contributing factors to the economic crisis of 2008 was the lack of personal savings. Easy credit was a way of life through the early 2000's up until the crash, and consumers used that credit to fuel consumption. When the market tanked, wages dropped and jobs were cut, leading to a nasty decline in consumer purchases. Many of the newly-unemployed had no savings upon which to draw in order to maintain their level of spending. For those with adequate savings, however, the situation was much less dire. While you cannot prevent a widespread economic disaster, you can organize a plan to be prepared no matter the situation.

Traditional IRA or Roth IRA


An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a legal construct of the Internal Revenue Code that allows investors to shield their savings from taxes. There are two forms of the IRA. The first form is a Traditional IRA, which allows savers to fund their retirement account with pre-tax dollars. Essentially, if you put money into a Traditional IRA, you can deduct that amount from your taxes. You can continue making annual contributions to your account and you won’t pay taxes on it until you start withdrawing from the account in retirement. The second type of IRA is the Roth IRA, which takes contributions of after-tax dollars. This means that when you withdraw from your Roth IRA in retirement, you will not pay any taxes on it. Also, the Roth IRA has more flexible rules for pre-retirement withdrawals from the principal. One of the great things about both types of IRA's is that you can put whatever investments you want in the accounts: stocks, bonds, real estate, baseball cards, etc.

Index Funds


Many investors think that stocks are the best way to make money over time. While that can be true, this strategy only works if you pick the correct stocks; if you pick the wrong stocks, you can lose your entire portfolio overnight. Unfortunately, many experts believe that it is impossible to reliably pick the correct stocks over time. Even if you do pick the right stocks, you have to buy them and sell them at the right time. One commonly-used strategy is to invest in mutual funds, which are managed by professionals who charge a fee and take a cut of the earnings. The problem is that most mutual funds do not consistently beat the market. Even those funds that do outperform the market will eat away at your gains with their fees. A good alternative is to invest in an index fund. An index fund is a fund that consists of stocks from a stock index, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor's 500. These funds are meant to track the economy as a whole, which consistently outperforms most mutual funds. Even better, index funds have much lower fees than a typical mutual fund, preventing the erosion of your investment.

401(k) Matching


One very common financial mistake happens when employees who are eligible for 401(k) matching by their employers do not contribute up to the full match. For example, imagine a 401(k) match of 50% of employee contribution on up to 6% of the employee’s salary. This means that your employer will put fifty cents in your 401(k) for every dollar you put in on up to 6% of your salary. If you make $100,000 per year, 6% of your salary is $6,000 and your employer will contribute up to half of that, which comes out to $3,000. If you do not contribute at least $6,000, you are literally turning down free money from your employer!

Investments can be confusing and dangerous. A few wrong moves and you can delay or even eliminate your retirement. There are no guarantees in life, and even fewer in investing. However, if you invest in IRA's, index funds and 401(k) matching, you are definitely giving yourself a major advantage.

Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.


Friday, March 15, 2013

The Necessity of Individual Retirement Accounts

retirement
retirement (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)
Even if you have quite a long time before you retire, it's never too early to start thinking about a plan. When that day comes, you want to make sure you have enough money saved up and that you are able to live comfortably. What are the benefits if individual retirement accounts, which are sometimes referred to as IRAs?

An Individual Plan

Not everyone has the same needs, and you want to ensure that your personal ones are met. By developing an IRA, you can work to craft a plan that makes sense for you and addresses your personal and financial needs. When you take the time to sit down with a certified financial planner and come up with an individual retirement account, you are being smart about your future. Specifically, you will be able to work toward attaining a specific amount of money to have reserved for you when you retire. In society at large, these accounts allow people to develop a greater sense of personal responsibility.

Personal Responsibility

Let's explore this concept of personal responsibility a little bit more. It is clear from the state of the economy that many people and government entities are not great with money. Therefore, it's also smart to take some steps to amplify your knowledge and to learn more about where your money goes and why it's important. Taking the step to have an IRA, regardless of the specific type, means that you are putting personal stake into your financial affairs and working toward a plan that works for you.

Tax Options

You likely want to know about taxes on these accounts, and CNN Money's article, "Retirement: IRA Investment Advantages" discusses them in detail. The article writes, "There are two types: a traditional IRA offers tax-deferred growth, meaning you pay taxes on your investment gains only when you make withdrawals in retirement, and, if you qualify, your contributions may be deductible...A Roth IRA, by contrast, doesn't allow for deductible contributions but offers tax-free growth, meaning you owe no tax when you make withdrawals in retirement." You don't need to be told that both of these situations are rather desirable.

Withdrawing Money

The end of the article notes, "Further, if you need the money before retirement, there are more opportunities for penalty-free withdrawals." Ultimately, the goal here is to save up as much money as possible before retirement so that you do not have to deal with financial burdens later in life. However, sometimes situations do arise, and you just need to have the cash available now. When that happens, you can turn to your IRA and take out some of the money to help get you through. Since it's your personal account, you do have the freedom to do that.

Working toward an IRA is really a smart idea. Whether you have just entered into the workforce or you are thinking about retiring soon, it's smart to start making a plan that can be really beneficial to you and your financial situation.

Author Jason Harter is a retired accountant who can happily say that he has all of his retirement accounts in proper order. He obtained his Online Bachelor's in Accounting Degree.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Guidelines In Investing Your Retirement Money

Retirement
Retirement (Photo credit: Tax Credits)
Enjoyment in life does not have to end when one retires from his job and leaves work. In fact, it should be the time when one should sit back, relax, and reap or enjoy the fruits of his labor, so to speak.

But even during retirement, you should manage your finances and watch your expenses. Remember, you are no longer at work and you have no other means of earning an income. So unless you take care of your hard-earned retirement money, you may lose it through unnecessary spending and you may find yourself penniless one day.

When preparing for retirement, the first thing you should do is set aside money for your needs as well as for emergency purposes. Living expenses for food, clothing and shelter must not be disregarded. Similarly, an emergency fund that you can use in the event of illness, natural disaster and other unforeseen events must likewise be taken care of.

When all of these have been placed into your financial budget, it is time to explore your investment opportunities. As this is your retirement money, you need to be careful about the businesses that you want to put your money into. Many people have made the mistake of putting their retirement money into wrong investment ventures and end up losing much of their hard-earned money.

To avoid this, you need to avoid putting your money into high-risk investments to ensure that you have a secure financial base in the future and thus avoid bankruptcy. Although you may balance high-risk investment with low-risk financial opportunities, it is not a good decision to make.

Here are sound investments where you can invest your retirement money:

  • Treasury bonds – As many financial experts would say, treasury bonds are one of the safer options for investment. Unlike stocks, they have a fixed rate of interest, which means you know the constant growth rate of the bond.
  • Certificates of deposits – These are like money in time deposit term but in this type you will be penalized if you withdraw your money earlier as scheduled. However, if you have an individual retirement account (IRA), you can save and withdraw without penalty once you reach age 59.
  • Annuity – This is another option that financial advisors recommend. You can invest your money into an annuity where you can save or deposit money in a lump sum or in small amounts over time before you retire and receive back regular payments like a salary when you retire. You can choose from different kinds of annuities such as fixed annuities which has a set rate of interest, indexed annuities with a fluctuating interest based on a particular index, and variable annuities where you can choose how your money will be invested and whose rate of return will depend on the performance of your investments.
This guest post was provided by DebtSuccess.com, the debt management experts specializing in debt consolidation, debt relief, credit repair, tax debt, debt settlement and more.

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