Retirement

Retirement 101: Will I Ever Be Able to Retire?

Most of the people today are busy spending more time contemplating about the future hobbies, adventures, and travels that they would do during retirement. This is also the reason why they are saving and investing as early as today to support the lifestyle that they are envisioning when they already decided to stop working.

However, there is one question that remains in their minds, “Will I ever be able to retire?”. Even though they already have a vision of what is waiting for them in the future, there is still this hint of uncertainty. This is normal. Of course, we can never be so sure of the future, right? Read on and find the answer to your question about retirement.

While 2/3 of people are now investing and saving for their retirement, 15% of them are planning on winning the lottery and 1% of them expect that they would be money-gifted. There are really many factors that intervene when it comes to retirement. But there are ways for you to be sure if you will really be able to retire. Here are some:

  • Know Your Expenses – Knowing your expenses is very critical for your retirement. If you have not been tracking your expenses, now is the best time for you to start your expense analysis. If you understand where your money goes, you can assess how much you will be needing for you to live in comfort during retirement. Do this by:
  • Plan for changes in your retirement expenses
  • Consider downsizing
  • Consider changes in healthcare cost
  • Understand Your Income Sources – Understand what is your income source when you are already retired. Are you depending on annuities, pensions, Social Security, distributions, or your own retirement savings? If you have savings, know if you can convert them into income stream or investment account.
  • Generate extra income
  • Take some risk
  • Do not forget inflation
  • Save More Often – Your savings play a big role in your retirement. It is actually the top consideration during retirement because it is the amount that you can surely use when you stop working. You can use your savings to invest in anything that you would like to do when you reach the age of 60 and up. If you are saving now, save more often. It would really be great help on your retirement.

The answer to the question “Will I ever be able to retire?” will always depend on how you work on it before the time comes. Retirement is not something that people should ignore. It is hard to work and earn money. You would no want your effort to come to waste in the end.

As early as now, do something to remove the uncertainty in you. The above mentioned are tips on how you can guarantee your retirement soon. Doing these tips will significantly determine your future lifestyle and status when you reach the age of your retirement.

Should a Thrift Savings Plan be a Part of Your Portfolio

TSP or Thrift Savings Plan comes under the 401k plan of the U.S. federal government. In terms of participant account and investment balance, TSP is the largest among all 401k-like plans. In this article, we are going to find out whether TSP is actually suitable for your portfolio or not. However, in order to determine this, we will need to dig deeper and find out the pros and cons of this savings plan while also finding out some strategies to include TSP in your portfolio.

TSP or Thrift Savings Plan

Under the retirement plans of US federal employees, TSP forms an important one besides Social Security and The Federal Employees Retirement System (pension). Both the military as well as the civilian employees of the federal government are eligible for this contribution plan.  Both traditional as well as the Roth accounts are offered by TSP.

Benefits of Thrift Savings Plan

  • Expense ratios are low
  • The five L funds along with the other six core funds have an expense ratio of 0.029%, which is $2.90 on an investment of $10,000. Thus, TSP maintains the lowest expense ratios for the mutual funds.
  • No hidden costs or fees – There are no hidden costs or fees for investing in TSP
  • Wise selection of funds – Core funds of TSP include C fund, S fund, I fund, F fund and G fund which cover majority of the asset classes.
  • Lifecycle funds – The five core funds are maintained in different percentages that matches the Lifecycle of Thrift Savings Plan.
  • Covers your entire life – Even when you separate from the federal service, you can still keep the account active while including any retirement plans into TSP.
  • Civilian receive an agency match – The civilians coming under the purview of FERS retirement system are entitled to receiving an agency match.

 

Downsides of Thrift Savings Plan

  • Withdrawal Limits – You will be entitled to only a single partial withdrawal prior to giving you the opportunity to withdraw the entire fund. Thus, there are many people who move to the IRAs post retirement.
  • No conversions within the plan – You are not allowed to convert any part of your traditional balances into Roth Balance.
  • I fund is not that great – I fund is considered to be among the weakest of all the five core funds.

 

Conclusion

Thrift Savings Plan is great for the federal employees but is not considered great for others. Thus, if your financial planning includes TSP then you must weigh your options before putting in your money.

Why Shouldn’t I Use a Roth Ira as a Saving Account?

Investment account IRAs (Roth or Traditional), like other IRA items, are beneficial for a few people in specific situations. Somebody as of now said the amassing stage, holding up to develop the base beginning venture required for some common assets. Another awesome case would be money that is stopped, prepared to move without punishment, simply sitting tight for the correct venture openings, yet on which one needs an arrival and some kind of FDIC insurance while holding up.

Before the (practically) incomprehensible occurred in 2008- – amazing speculation banks (Lehman, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, and so forth.) become bankrupt, Reserve Money Market Funds breaking the buck, TARP, Bernie Mad off- – the standard way of thinking was that exclusive the monetarily ignorant would need to keep any IRA cash in FDIC safeguarded accounts at banks. Now that we’re entering The Great Depression II, it can be one of the numerous reasonable decisions for those of us who still have cash cleared out. A 2% APR yield on a segment of one’s IRA resources amid market turmoil is greatly improved than a – 33% profit for the IRA portfolio.

Numerous speculations one can make outside an IRA can likewise be made inside an IRA. The trap is finding an organization that can help you make the ventures you need. A bank account isn’t generally proper for an IRA, nonetheless. In spite of the fact that it’s conceivable to pull back cash from your record under uncommon conditions, IRAs are intended for retirement, not for simple reserve get to henceforth it ought not to be utilized as a sparing record from where you can pull back sum according to your necessities now and again.

One ought to dependably imagine that it is the retirement finance which he had put something aside for harder circumstance when one begins their life after retirement. This sum is spared essentially for the different costs which is borne by different medicinal conditions and individual needs consequently sparing the piece of IRA can make mess at the later phase of your life.

One ought to want to proceed with the IRA and ought not to consider withdrawal till the person had accomplished superannuate, as the sum spared can truly be utilized when one gets dismissal from the general population because of their maturity. Indeed, even after retirement one ought to attempt to put resources into a wide range of things- – conventional stocks and bonds, as well as land, private stock, assess liens, contracts with an IRA. The points of interest being that you get more prominent broadening and can put resources into things in which you are well known/accept with the possibility to develop your cash tax-exempt in the event that you utilize a Roth IRA. Obviously, there are principles you have to take after. Yet, on the off chance that you take after the tenets there are brilliant opportunities to run the show. Thus utilize your Roth IRA sum admirably and put resources into productive ventures as it were.

Over The Cliff With A 401(K)

To begin discussing this subject let us be aware of all the facts we know about a 401(k).

What is a 401(k)?

A 401(k) is nothing but a retirement savings plan sponsored or paid by the employer. The employer lets the employee save and invest a certain percentage of their pay before it is taxed. Point to remember in a 401(k) is that you will only be taxed when the money is withdrawn and not when it is deposited.

So would it be worthwhile to contribute to 401(k) with a 3-year cliff?

Your question to me could be what exactly is a cliff? Is it the edge of a mountain or the end to nowhere? A cliff is nothing but vesting. A cliff vesting is when an employee becomes completely vested in a specified period in time. So for example, you have fully vested in a company sponsored pension plan only after 5 years of full service.

Now, coming back quickly to the intended subject, the money that you invest in a 401(k) is all yours. So for example, you work for 5 years and leave your job, there will not be any effect on the investment that you had made in a 401(k). The only thing that changes is the contribution of the employer because that depends on the vesting period. It is a good plan with good benefits. However, it is not something that is quickly recommended to young professionals.

To begin with, a 401(k) is ideally to be kept as a secondary hold. The idea is to maximize other resources and then fall back on this vehicle. My advice would be to begin investing in the Roth IRA and contribute to it till you do not reach the maximum limit. Once you have touched the limit, look towards the 401(k). This has a great advantage, the first and foremost being diversification.

There is a different school of thought who might suggest that given the pretax nature of 401(k), you will have more money to start with and then go ahead with your contributions to the Roth IRA.

Remember, most successful finances are largely behavioral. So a 401(k) being an automated process, really makes you keep aside a certain amount of investment, which otherwise would have been spent elsewhere. It actually is dependent on how you see yourself in 10 years time.

Never Too Young to Start an IRA

You are never too young for an IRA and the earlier you start preparing for retirement, the better it is for your financial freedom. Investing for retirement should never be put in the backburner till you turn 25 or 30 or settle down with a permanent job. IRAs are a great option to start investing your money as they are really easy to open and operate while requiring small investment only.

There’s no point fence-sitting till everything falls into perfect alignment because even a $400 dollar annual contribution towards your IRA account is enough to start with. Young investors focused on long term gains have numerous choices in front of them but the most preferred among them is Roth IRA.

Roth IRA – Perfect choice for young investors

Roth IRA makes perfect sense for young investors as it is one of the most straightforward investments that anyone can think of. You will be taxed on the money you contribute towards your Roth IRA and as long as you adhere to the guidelines, you will never be taxed on your withdrawals after you retire. Younger individuals can benefit for Roths by investing on the businesses that offer long term gains through capitalization on the market’s movement. Leveraging the market to make good gains while not having to pay any tax on withdrawals is simply awesome.

3 Stellar Advantages offered by Roth IRA

  • Simplicity

It is really simple to avail tax free withdrawals after retirement instead of just calculating what you will need after the taxes and sending off the estimated payments to IRS.

  • Easy Withdrawal

You will be able to withdraw your contributions at any time from your Roth without paying any penalty. Even the early-withdrawal penalty of 10% can be avoided if you are buying a home for the first time or you are disabled. This benefit is available in case of deaths as well.

  • Lower Tax Rates

The federal income tax rates are extremely low. Your present tax might be higher than what you will be paying at 59 ½, so that’s a much easier option.

The maximum permissible limit of investing in a Roth is $5500 every year and for people above the age of 60 can deposit $6000. You can walk into your nearest bank any day of the week and open your IRA certificate of deposit. The primary aim of IRA is to encourage investment, so invest whatever you can, even when you are in your early 20s.

Should you Withdraw From a Roth IRA to Pay Down Debt?

Most of the people who undergo retirement process want to become debt free and considering withdrawal from Roth IRA is the best option for them. But, what they really don’t know is that, withdrawing money from your Roth Ira to pay all of your debt is not a good action to consider. It is because there are lots of reasons why this is not a good option for you.

To help you have more knowledge about this issue, here are some reasons why you don’t need to withdraw your Roth IRA to pay down all your debts.

  • You will pay penalty once you withdraw from your Roth IRA. Even though you are allowed to withdraw in your contributions to Roth IRA, you will still be penalized once you withdraw your earnings unless you have qualified distribution of earnings. To make your earnings qualified, you should reach 59 ½ of age to make you become disable for withdrawal and should be used for buying your first home. Or your earnings should be five tax years or more after your first contributions. But if you are not qualified you will be subject to additional penalty on your tax upon your withdrawal.
  • You will become unprepared during your retirement. Since the Roth IRA is specifically design for helping people to pay their daily living expenses once you decide to stop working, withdrawing your money will increase your odds to impoverish your retirement.
  • You will lessen the interest of your withdrawal from your Roth IRA. Even if you have qualified distribution, you will just get small balance once you withdraw. This will provide you results that you will get less amount of money on your earning interest and lessen your own returns over a period of time. Thus, once you decide to withdraw your contributions, you will never reinvest it again.
  • You will have bad financial pattern. Withdrawing your money from your Roth IRA is easy however, it will provide you bad financial pattern if you take out your cask in early distribution. This will provide you to hit your retirement goals once you decide to tap your retirement contributions just to pay your debt.

In Roth IRA contributions, all the things are provided equally if you will avoid withdrawing your money just to pay down all of your debts. In case you have no more resources to help you pay your debts, you should try other ways and create good plan to ensure that you will have good future and avoid the withdrawal process in early contribution.

But if you really want to opt for this kind of decision, it is highly recommended that you just get your contributions from Roth IRA and not your actual earnings of your retirement. Just allow your earnings to continuously grow for you to prevent paying for penalty taxes from early withdrawal of your contributions most especially if it is under non – qualifying event. Through this way, there is still good future that awaits you.

Work 401K Offers Tradition & Roth Options: How Does it Work and Where Should I Contribute?

If you are not eligible for a Roth IRA but considered as high wage earner, there is an opportunity for you to create your own Roth IRA. You can invest in 401k taxable investment account that can offer you to build your own Roth contributions that will become beneficial for you upon your retirement.

Considering the 401k you should learn its two types so you can choose which option is the best for you. Here are the two plans you can choose from:

  • Roth contributions. In this kind of option, it is good combination of traditional contributions that offers maximum limit on your 401k. Choosing this kind of contribution will allow you to pay your tax but there is no longer a need for you to pay your tax once you have decided to withdraw your contributions.
  • After – tax contributions. This option will provide you higher limit that can reach $53k for your total contributions. If you decide to roll your contribution to your Roth IRA on your retirement, you will achieve similar Roth benefits.
  • Roth 401k. In this option, you will have the opportunity to achieve big amount of money from your Roth IRA as you expect. Thus, if you have employer that has good 401k options, you can roll in your own account of IRA into your 401k that makes it easier for you to roll them back and then out play the backdoor contributions of your Roth in the near future.

So if you are high wage earner, it is best for you to opt with the traditional contributions that only ask for $18k. But if you are expecting to pay higher rates upon your retirement then you can choose the after – tax contributions. However, your decision about which plan is best option for you will still depends to the current situation you have right now.

On the other hand, many people find the after – tax contributions attractive in some other ways. It is because it has IRS regulations that make it enjoyable and at the same time allow all the retiree to segregate effectively after your tax assets from pretax monies once you decide to rollover it into IRA. As you opt for pretax 401k assets, both of your investment earnings and pretax contributions will be rolled in a traditional IRA wherein you can convert it into your Roth IRA.

Meanwhile, for you to ensure that you will get the effective return from your pre-tax  contributions on your current marginal rate and can lessen your average tax rate for your retirement, you should ensure that you are high wage earner. It is because the marginal rates are always higher than the average rates that create sense to build your Roth.

Overall speaking, having high income will allow you to choose traditional 401k that reduces the taxes you pay that seems higher during your retirement. Once you are done with this process you can now proceed with after-tax Roth then reach the 401k and IRA that makes it beneficial in your account.

 

The Truth About Compound Interest

Saving money is one of the hardest things to get into the habit of doing. It is even harder to enjoy saving when interest rates are so low. However there is something to always check for when investing and saving, look out for compounding. Compound interest occurs when interest is added to the principle. This means that your initial principle grows and now this bigger amount earns interest. This is called compounding.

XKCD Investing Compound Interest

Compounding may seem small and futile like in the hilarious example above by XKCD but it can mean a noticeable difference in savings accounts where compounding occurs quarterly versus daily. Most common bank accounts will only offer quarterly or monthly compounding however some credit unions will offer daily compounding if offered a choice always chose the account with the most frequent compounding.

For example $100 earning 2% interest compounded Yearly, Quarterly, Monthly, and Daily will yield the following amounts after 10 years.

Yearly Compound Interest:
Interest Earned: $21.90
Total Value: $121.90

Quarterly Compound Interest:
Interest Earned: $22.09
Total Value: $122.09

Monthly Compound Interest:
Interest Earned: $22.12
Total Value: $122.12

Daily Compound Interest:
Interest Earned: $22.14
Total Value: $122.14

As you can see after ten years had you gone with the daily compounding interest account you would have $.20 extra cents. With interest rates so low these days it is hard to see the value you in compound interest but if instead we took a $100 which earned 10% a year over the next 100 years we see quite a different story.

Yearly Compound Interest:
Interest Earned: $1,377,961.23
Total Value: $1,378,061.23

Quarterly Compound Interest:
Interest Earned: $1,947,708.05
Total Value: $1,947,808.05

Monthly Compound Interest:
Interest Earned: $2,113,141.46
Total Value: $2,113,241.46

Daily Compound Interest:
Interest Earned: $2,199,531.87
Total Value: $2,199,631.87

As you can see the value of daily compounded interest is extremely important as time goes on. The difference between the $100 yearly compounded and daily compounded is $821,570.64. In closing always be looking at how often your investment compounds when you are saving for the long haul and daily is always the best.