Distributing a 401k in retirement

401k retirement

For years you've been accumulating assets in your 401k plan. But now you're retiring and you know that you'll need to make some changes. What happens to your 401k when you retire? Do you need to begin withdrawing immediately? Can distributions be scheduled? Or do you have to take your money as a lump sum?   You're not alone in asking these questions. Approximately 10,000 baby boomers reach retirement age every day. And many of them have at least one 401k account.   Your 401k account is regulated by rules created by the plan administrator and by the IRS.   Your first decision is whether to leave the money in your 401k plan or withdraw it.   Most advisors will tell you to take the money out. If you choose to stay, contact the plan administrator and … [Read more...]

Are you financially healthy?

are you financially healthy

Would you describe yourself or your family as being financially healthy? What exactly does that mean?   I asked several friends and colleagues how they would define someone as being “financially healthy.” While the responses varied (most notably by age or life-stage), they did have a common theme. Namely, having a steady stream of income to meet monthly expense obligations as well as having enough left over to set aside for savings or investing.   Here are some of the responses I received:   Making a lot of money Having a sizeable nest egg for retirement Having a stable job and my kids college education paid for Owning my own home Paying all my bills and having some money left over to “splurge” on myself and my family Having all my student loans … [Read more...]

9 Easy ways to Spring clean your finances

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In the midst of warm weather, new growth, yard work and deep cleaning, don’t let your finances be overlooked. Leverage that spring-cleaning feeling and take the sponge to your finances. Here are 9 ways to clean up your finances for a squeaky clean year. (For 6 more tips, head to our spring cleaning page!).       Spring cleaning tips for beginners   1. Evaluate your budget   Your budget is the foundation of your financial health, so it’s a great place to kick off your spring cleaning.  Use a spend analyzer through your bank or a third-party application to figure out where your money has been going. Or simply review your transactions from the last few months. Then compare those trends with your budget. Have you been staying on … [Read more...]

4 Tips for a budget-friendly work week

BLOG - 4 Tips for a Budget Friendly Work Week

Saving a healthy budget is a lot different than actually sticking to a healthy budget. It’s a lot like dieting in that way. I know I shouldn’t eat that cookie, but it looks SO GOOD.  If you really want to stick to that 300-line spreadsheet you spent hours perfecting (or maybe you simply opted to spend 10 minutes in a budgeting app… still counts!), you’ve got to break unhealthy habits, make changes and start disciplining yourself. The cushy savings account you accumulate will be worth the hard work. I promise.     Although a challenging work week can often distract your from overspending, the stress can backfire and result in splurge decisions and breaking budget.  Don’t cave in. Take these three tips to make sure you stick to your budget—at least from Monday to … [Read more...]

Revolving vs. installment credit: Which type of credit is best for you?

BLOG - Revolving vs Installment credit - Which credit is right for you

  With the economy recovering, consumers are slowly starting to gain more confidence. Many people are beginning to think about expenditures they have been holding off on as they felt less confident about the economy.  You know … getting that roof repaired that has been on the “fix it” list for a while, trading in that 10-year-old car or finally taking a “real” vacation instead of the “stay-cations” you’ve had over the past several years.     While some people will leverage their savings to fund these expenditures, others may want access to new credit.  If you are in this position and plan on applying for credit, now is the time to think through options and determine which is the best fit for your profile and needs. Here’s a few things you should do … [Read more...]

Cash, credit or bitcoin—which payment option do you choose?

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While it is unlikely your local grocery store is currently accepting payment in bitcoin, you may have heard of this new emerging form of currency and may be wondering what is it; how does it work; and should you have some bitcoin stashed in your wallet?     Bitcoin is a new form of currency created in 2009 that only exists in digital format. At its core, bitcoin functions like other payment forms—you can purchase goods online or offline using your bitcoins as long as the seller accepts that form of payment. At present, not that many entities take payment in the form of bitcoin (coinmap.org is attempting to track physical locations that accept the currency), and people are likely buying bitcoins more as an investment with hopes they’ll go up in value over … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Take Advantage
of America Saves Week

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What do primetime TV commercials, Pinterest and Starbucks have in common? They all entice you to spend, spend, spend. In the name of America Saves Week, the overspending stops here.   The annual event is designed to spread the word about healthy financial habits while providing tips and tools to take control of your own savings plan. You can take their savings plan assessment, download a poster to keep your goals in focus or test your savings knowledge.   If nothing else, consider this a good time to evaluate your spending habits and savings. Whether you’re starting from scratch or well on your way, we’ve got a tip for you.  Open a spreadsheet or log in to your favorite finance app, and take advantage of America Saves Week. Here are 5 ways to update to your savings … [Read more...]

Easy Ways to Start Investing

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Beginning investors are sometimes slow to get started because they aren’t sure just what to invest in. If this describes you, there’s no need to delay – you can start investing in just about everything. You can do it now, and it’s easier than you think.   You don’t need to worry about individual stocks or bonds. You can invest in either mutual funds or exchange traded funds (ETF’s), each of which represents a portfolio of stocks and other investments in either the overall market, or in various specialized sectors.   This is the easiest route for most new investors, because you can diversify across literally hundreds of stocks, thousands even, simply by holding a very small number of funds. This will also cut down on the cost of investing, since you pay a single fee – … [Read more...]

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