Don’t Miss the IRA Contribution Deadline

IRA deadlinesDon’t miss the 2013 IRA deadline and cost yourself saving more for retirement.

In the haste of getting all your tax documents in order to meet with your tax preparer, don’t forget about making your IRA contributions for the 2012 tax year.

If you didn’t know, even though you haven’t opened an IRA account yet, you can still do so and still be eligible to make a contribution for 2012 – this applies both to traditional and Roth IRAs.

Taxpayers will have until Monday, April 15 to make their 2012 IRA contributions. Even if you are just now opening an account you want to contribute toward last year first. Once the deadline passes you cannot contribute for that tax year in the future.
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Investing in Your 20’s and How to Avoid the Ramen Noodle Dilemma

As a child growing up, I remember my father constantly eating Ramen Noodles in a Styrofoam cup.

It was pretty fascinating that all you had to do was add hot water, and presto, you had a ready to eat meal in a few minutes.

Perfect for an impatient kid!

As I got older I started to notice that the package of Ramen Noodles still existed in our kitchen.

Ramen Noodle Dilemma

My father had always struggled with money.

He had battled credit card debt and never really made good financial “cents” of his money.

I guess I always just thought that he really liked the cup of Ramen Noodles.

I later found it there was much more to the story.
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Start Saving For Retirement Today: Best IRA Online Brokers

best ira online brokerAs a financial advisor one of the biggest frustrations about our industry is for the young investor that want to get started investing into an IRA.

Why is it frustrating?

Because most big firms don’t want to help new investors.

Otherwise known as “small investors”.

Yes, you can walk into an Edward Jones office and open an IRA, but you’re going to have to pay an annual custodial fee.

They aren’t the only ones.  All big brokerage firms will charge $40-$75 per year just to have the account open.

In addition, some firms will charge you a small account fee if you don’t generate enough commissions or fees or the year.

Over and above that, you’re either going to have to pay a commission for each mutual fund, stock or ETF trade that you place or you have to pay an advisory fee which will be anywhere from .75% to 1.5% of your account balance.

Cha-ching!

As you can see, yes you can open the account with a big brokerage firm, but they’re going to gouge you in fees making it nearly impossible for any new investor to make any money.

So what’s the alternative?
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Dave Ramsey Might Think I’m Crazy. Here’s Why:

UntitledWhen I first read, Total Money Makeover, back in 2003, I was excited to find another personal finance expert that shared my recommendations regarding saving for retirement.

One of Dave’s core tips regarding investing is,

Get your free money first with your 401(k) match. After that, take advantage of the Roth IRA to get your tax-free money. Then go back to the 401(k) and max it out.

This is the same advice that I’ve been giving to individuals ever since I became a financial advisor.

But over the last year or so my opinion has changed. What I’ve realized is that the majority of people that save in their 401(k) s have no idea what they’re doing.

They’ve usually let their employer decide where to put their money and they never really have no clue in what they are investing into. 

Are you one of these people?

{Ahem.}

Because of this, I have changed what I believe.
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Best Places to Open a Roth IRA

Do you know what your income tax rate will be in the future?

The answer to that question is key to your retirement planning. If you think your tax rate will be lower in the future then it makes sense to avoid paying tax now through a tax-deferred investment vehicle like a Traditional IRA.

The Roth IRA Movement

The Roth IRA Movement

But with a mounting national debt, many people believe personal income tax rates will eventually be forced to increase.

Even if the national debt somehow gets taken care of, the government doesn’t tend to lower a tax once it is set.

If tax rates are going to go up the best retirement account for you to open if you qualify is a Roth IRA.

You will pay income tax today and never pay income tax on your nest egg again.


Where to Open a Roth IRA

Once you’ve made the decision to open a Roth IRA there are a number of companies that are happy to accept your contributions. The number of options you have can be overwhelming: do you go with a discount broker, a full-service broker, or direct to a mutual fund company?

We’re here to help you cut through the confusion to find the best company to open a Roth IRA with. (Just getting started investing? Check out our Best Online Brokers for Beginners.)
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Roth IRA Savers Credit

Most people have some sort of savings for retirement. While we know it’s beneficial to save, sometimes the additional money we lose from our wages to save for retirement can be a burden. The US Government implemented the savers credit back in 2002 as a way to encourage Americans to start saving more money for retirement. Since then the program has become permanent, and as of 2006 has remained available for those who qualify to claim on their income tax returns. Unlike tax deductions, tax credits can do more then just reduce the tax you owe, they can increase your refund. It is worth trying to see if you are eligible to claim this credit.

Who Qualifies

Not everyone is eligible to claim the savers credit. However, if you contribute to a retirement account like a Roth IRA and meet the other requirements you may be eligible to claim the savers credit. Students can not claim the credit, nor can someone who is claimed as a dependent on another persons tax return. You must also be 18 years old or older in order to apply for the credit.
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Is a 401k Enough For Retirement?



Transcription follows below:

Hey everybody,  this is Jeff Rose from Goodfinancialcents.com. Today I am going to talk a little bit about a common question that I get quite frequently. This question is:

Is just having a 401k enough to have a successful retirement?

It is a very good question because a lot of people wonder about, am I saving enough? Am I putting enough away to make sure I get enough to retire when I want to retire and is the 401k only thing that we need to get us by? And I would say that generally speaking that answer is no. As far as my reasoning and logic behind that is this.

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What Happens When You Over Contribute into IRAs?

You always hear that you need to “Save, Save, Save” for retirement, but is it really possible to save too much? When it comes to contributing to your IRA, it can.

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) have annual contribution limitations that indicate how much you’re allowed to contribute. Anyone, regardless of income level can contribute to Traditional IRAs, but in addition to having a maximum contribution amount for a Roth IRA, you’ll also need to have annual income within limitations in order to contribute, at all.

It’s always best to prevent over contributions into IRAs, whether you have a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA, so consult a tax professional if you have any questions about your allowed contribution amounts each year. If you do contribute more than you are supposed to, also consult a tax professional for advice on how to remove the overage to avoid penalties and tax implications.
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Should You Invest in Roth IRA or Thrift Savings Plan?

Saving for retirement is one goal commonly shared by most individuals. Unless you are independently wealthy or inherit enough money to feel confident you will never have to rely on savings (I did not either one of these), you most likely want to put money aside during your working years to ensure your comfort and security when you retire. This can be done in any number of ways, as there are dozens of different “types” of retirement savings plans from which to choose. Each plan has its own benefits and drawbacks making it important to find the one that best meets your current and long term financial needs. Members of the military and federal employees have additional savings tools at their disposal, making the decision where to save even more complicated. Here we look at two popular savings plans available to service members, their families and United States Federal Government employees.
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Roth IRA Withdrawal Rules

Many people invest in the Roth IRA because it offers tax free growth, tax free withdrawals during retirement, and tax diversification while contributing to the retirement account.

I know I’m all about “tax free”! Unfortunately though, there are times when you end up needing the money you’ve put in your Roth IRA before you retire.

Of all the retirement account options you have, the Roth IRA is one of the most flexible in that it does allow you to make withdrawals of money you contributed at any time, without hefty early withdrawal penalty fees or tax penalties, under certain conditions.

If you make an ineligible withdrawal from your Roth IRA before you reach retirement age, you could end up paying a 10% early withdrawal penalty.

The last thing you want do is give more to the IRS than they deserve.

Sorry, IRS. I don’t mind paying what is owed to you, but I’d rather not give you a dime more.

We can still be friends, right?
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