Retirement Accounts That Matter

Retirement Planning Basics

There are many factors to consider when developing a retirement income plan. After all, everyone has different retirement needs and goals, and your plan should reflect your own individualized requirements. Here are some retirement planning fundamentals which will help with your planning process.

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IRAs Explained

Individual retirement accounts (more formally known as “Individual Retirement Arrangements”), or IRAs, are a method for saving money for retirement that is either tax-free or tax-sheltered (or arranged to minimize tax liability). There are several types of IRAs. Each comes with its own benefits, rules, and contribution limits.

If you set up your IRA through a brokerage firm, you are able to invest your funds in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and various other government-approved asset classes. Let’s cover the different types of IRAs and their fundamentals.

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401(k)s vs IRAs

When it comes to tax-advantaged retirement savings accounts, people have many options. The most popular retirement savings accounts are 401(k)s and IRAs. Both accounts are similar in many ways, but they also come with notable differences. It’s important to view them through the lens of retirement planning.

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Federal Retirement Benefits

As a U.S. government employee, you have high-quality federal retirement benefits. Your federal benefits are different from private-sector employment benefits in a number of ways. Unlike private-sector workers, many federal employees have access to pensions as well as 401(k) like plans for their retirement futures, for instance.

The specific benefits you receive will depend on the government retirement system to which you belong. Depending on when you came into service as a federal employee, you may fall under one of two retirement systems: the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS), or the grandfathered Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).

Most of the federal civilian workforce will be FERS employees, but some will be designated as CSRS employees.

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Retire My 401(k)

“Can I unlock my 401(k) account while I am working?” This is a frequent question in the world of financial retirement planning. Saving money in a 401(k) retirement plan does offer benefits, but some people find it unfavorable. One challenge which investors may face is a lack of flexibility with their 401(k) account. For instance, if they want to invest their retirement money, they are often stuck with their company’s plan.

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Long-Term Care Basics

Long-term care applies to people of any age who require help performing the activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing or eating. They may need care because of age, illness, injury, or cognitive disorder. Care may be provided by private homes, assisted-living facilities, adult day-care centers, hospices, or nursing homes.

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Required Minimum Distribution

When you reach your 70s, the IRS requires you to start taking Required Minimum Distributions from your retirement plan account. A Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) is the minimum of what you are required to withdraw from your retirement plan account on a yearly basis.

Like many other people, you probably have an IRA. There is a good chance it’s one of the largest financial assets you own – if not the largest one.

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Medicare Basics

Medicare BasicsOnce you are close to turning 65, you will have to start dealing with Medicare. Medicare is the national health insurance program for senior citizens. This program is administered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the federal government.

Medicare has four main parts. Each part covers a different aspect of healthcare. Parts A and B are mandatory, and together they are known as “Original Medicare.”

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Social Security Benefits

Social Security BenefitsWhen you reach your sixties, you’ll encounter many age-related financial and planning milestones. One of the primary concerns is when to file for Social Security benefits. You’ve probably heard that going with the right Social Security claiming strategy will help with maximizing benefits.

For many Americans, Social Security benefits will be a primary retirement income source.

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Next Steps to Consider

  • Start a Conversation About Your Retirement What-Ifs

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    Start a Conversation About Your Retirement What-Ifs

    Already working with someone or thinking about getting help? Ask us about what is on your mind. Learn More

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    What Independent Guidance
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    See how the crucial differences between independent and captive financial professionals add up. Learn More

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