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Future of Social Security

Will Social Security Retire Before You Do? People have traditionally seen Social Security benefits as the foundation of their retirement planning programs. The Social Security contributions deducted from workers’ paychecks have, in effect, served as a government-enforced retirement savings plan. However, the Social Security system is under increasing strain. Better health care and longer life

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Social Security Income

Social Security Income Estimating your future Social Security benefits used to be a difficult task, but not any longer. For an estimate of your projected benefits, go to www.ssa.gov/estimator. The retirement estimator gives estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record. The website form will ask you for a number of facts, including your

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Self-Employed Retirement Plans

What Is a Self-Employed Retirement Plan? A self-employed retirement plan is a tax-deferred retirement savings program for self-employed individuals. In the past, the term “Keogh plan” or “H.R. 10 plan” was used to distinguish a retirement plan established by a self-employed individual from a plan established by a corporation or other entity. However, self-employed retirement

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Indexed Annuities

Indexed Annuities If you want to participate in the potentially attractive returns of a market-driven investment but would also like a guaranteed return, an indexed annuity might be worth checking out. The performance of indexed annuities, also referred to as equity-indexed or fixed-indexed annuities, are tied to an index (for example, the Standard & Poor’s

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Retirement Plan Distributions

Retirement Plan Distributions When it comes to receiving the fruits of your labor — the money accumulated in your employer-sponsored retirement plan — you are faced with a few broad options. Should you take the payout as systematic payments, a lifetime annuity, or a lump sum? Systematic Withdrawals Some retirement plans may allow you to

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Traditional IRAs

What Is a Traditional IRA? Traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs) can be a good way to save for retirement. If you do not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan or would like to supplement that plan, a traditional IRA could work for you. A traditional IRA is simply a tax-deferred savings account that has several

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401(k) Plans

What Is a 401(k) Plan? A 401(k) plan is a self-directed, qualified retirement plan established by an employer to provide future retirement benefits for employees. Employee contributions are made on a pre-tax basis, and employer contributions are often tax deductible. If you have a Roth 401(k) option, contributions are made with after-tax dollars, but qualified

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Managing Retirement Plans

How Should I Manage My Retirement Plan? Employer-sponsored retirement plans are more valuable than ever. The money in them accumulates tax deferred until it is withdrawn, typically in retirement. Distributions from a tax-deferred retirement plan such as a 401(k) are taxed as ordinary income and may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty

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Save Now or Save Later

Save Now or Save Later? Most people have good intentions about saving for retirement. But few know when they should start and how much they should save. Sometimes it might seem that the expenses of today make it too difficult to start saving for tomorrow. It’s easy to think that you will begin to save

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Home Equity Loans

Is a Home Equity Loan Right for Me? Taxes are becoming an ever-increasing burden to Americans. Through the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Congress reduced or eliminated many of the ways that taxpayers can lower their taxes. Interest deduction is one of the areas that has been strongly affected by this tax reform legislation. Since

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