Critical Ages to Keep Track of in Retirement

Although you might not care much about what age you are, the government does. It’s very important you keep track of key age-related milestones in retirement. If you fail to properly plan around these, you may be missing out on some opportunities – or even face penalties.

As you enter the end of your working years and transition into retirement, these key dates are critical. You really need to start paying attention to these in your 50’s and 60’s. Once you’ve reached your 70’s, the actions tied to your age start to taper off, but there are other important factors to consider.

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The 3 Main Phases of Retirement Planning

There are three main phases of retirement planning: accumulation, transition, and decumulation (retirement). Depending on which you’re in, you’ll need to focus on different aspects of your financial life. The advice and expertise you’ll need will also be different as you move through these phases.

Someone who’s in the accumulation phase will need to focus on eliminating risks preventing the buildup of retirement assets and income streams. The transition phase bridges the gap between accumulation and decumulation. As you move into the decumulation/retirement phase, many changes happen.

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Calculating the Right Amount of Roth Conversions

Roth conversions are one of the most powerful methods for maximizing long-term tax savings. If you believe that a Roth conversion might be something you could benefit from, the next question is how much to convert. The right amount will vary based on your situation.

Once you’ve decided to implement a Roth conversion strategy, you’ll want to look at areas of opportunity. We usually look at projected cash flows throughout retirement and attempt to find any dips in income. Dips in income may be opportunities for additional Roth conversions.

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What is a Diversified Portfolio Anyway?

You hear the words “diversified portfolio” all the time, but what does diversified even mean? At first, we’re not even comfortable asking because it feels like something we should know, but don’t. Let’s explore what being diversified really means and why you need a diversified portfolio.

You might be surprised at how little it really takes to be “diversified.” There are a lot of technical terms surrounding portfolio construction, but you don’t need to get too wrapped up about those. We’ll talk a lot more about your overall risk in your portfolio.

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Opportunities in Down Markets and Recessions

Recessions and down markets are scary, but they can also offer lots of opportunities too! If you’re wondering what to do with your money, you’re not alone. When markets get sideways, folks tend to look to make moves to protect their assets.

Depending on what your financial life looks like, you can employ a number of tax saving strategies and other methods to boost your financial stability. There are some particularly useful strategies for down markets.

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Planning for Retirement in a Down Market

Can you still retire in a recession or “down” market? Many have done it, but there’s so much to think about when things don’t feel very optimistic. Don’t worry.

There are lots of things you can’t control like the markets and when recessions will occur. Many other things you can. Let’s look at what needs to happen to successfully retire in a down market.

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The IRS Hardship Rules Do Not Care About Your Boat

If times are tough, a hardship withdrawal from your 401k might sound like a good solution. Hold your thoughts and do lots of research first. There are irreversible consequences to taking a hardship withdrawal for emergency situations.

To be clear, the IRS and your retirement plan sponsor will only allow hardship withdrawals for an “immediate and heavy” financial need. The IRS specifically states purchases “such as a boat or television” are not covered. In other words, the IRS doesn’t care about your boat when it comes to hardship withdrawals.

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Strategies to Save Money on Taxes in Retirement

Are you looking for ways to avoid taxes on retirement and Social Security income? There are many retirement tax strategies you should be aware of. You may even be looking for how to avoid taxes on withdrawals from your 401k or other investment accounts.

It’s tempting to look for an IRS loophole to reduce taxable income in retirement. We’re not going to talk about hacks or questionable loopholes, but we will outline some legal and proven methods to reduce your taxes in retirement.

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Should I Take Monthly Income from My Investments for Retirement?

Deciding how to spend down your life savings can be stressful. Working hard for decades to accumulate a nest egg is no easy feat. Spending money in retirement can be challenging because you don’t want to accidentally spend too much and mess things up.

Fortunately, you’re not the only one going through this, and you don’t have to do it alone. There are a multitude of options for what to do with the money you’ve worked hard for.

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How Inflation Affects Planning Your Retirement

Inflation can really eat into your retirement if you’re not careful. However, with proactive planning, you can effectively combat inflation. You don’t have to let inflation slowly erode your lifestyle over time.

To be clear, there’s little we can do to eliminate inflation completely. However, you can avoid losing purchasing power over time. A properly constructed portfolio can withstand the damage of inflation.

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Will Required Minimum Distributions Affect My Retirement?

If you have a retirement account like a 401(k) or IRA, Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) can be a real drag in retirement. Knowing if RMDs will affect your retirement is critical so you can make the right adjustments now and moving forward.

RMDs have the potential to affect your tax rates, Social Security benefits, Medicare premiums, and more. Don’t worry though, there are several strategies financial planners, investment advisors, and individuals alike can use to minimize, and hopefully avoid, the impact of RMDs.

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Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Medicare Open Enrollment

Your medical care is one of the most important decisions you need to make as a retiree. Getting these top 5 Medicare considerations right could keep you from making a huge mistake. Medicare is a major part of the retiree healthcare equation.

Planning around Medicare is essential for your financial planner or advisor to consider too. Your decisions on medical care can have significant impacts on your retirement expenses.

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Is There an Ideal Age to Retire?

There may be several points in your life that are ideal to retire, but when is best for you? As you approach retirement, you might be wondering, “Is there an ideal age to retire?” Of course, this depends on your unique personal and financial situation.

It’s understandably difficult to pinpoint exactly what retirement will look like. Did you know five years ago exactly what your life would look like today? Yeah, we didn’t either.

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Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) and Medicare Premiums

This post was last updated on December 29, 2022, to reflect all updated information and best serve your needs.

Interested in keeping your medical costs low in retirement? Failing to plan out key details could cost you if you’re not careful. Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) for your Medicare Part B and Part D premiums are a prime example.

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3 Reasons Kansas City is a Great Place to Stay in Retirement

Kansas City is one of the most interesting and fulfilling places to live in the country. There are three big reasons why you should consider staying in Kansas City for retirement – the people, lifestyle, and affordable health care. Sure, there are many other places in the country to retire to, but there really is something special about Kansas City.

Where you stay or move in retirement is critical to many aspects in retirement planning. Actually, many important decisions in retirement revolve around physical location. You and your financial advisor need to plan out taxes, housing rates, medical care, and so many other variables tied to where you live.

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Are Roth IRA Conversions a Good Idea in Retirement?

This post was last updated on December 30, 2022, to reflect all updated information and best serve your needs.

It seems like Roth conversions are all the rage, but are they really the right thing for you? There are many potential benefits, but there are some trade-offs to consider as well. The decision to use a Roth conversion incorporates a much longer timeline than many other tax-saving strategies.

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Why the PBGC is Important to Your Pension

Earning a pension is a feat all to itself. Maintaining the security of your pension becomes even more important once you enter retirement. Luckily, there are programs like the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) looking out for your pension as well.

Although the name can be misleading, the PBGC is ran by the federal government to ensure retirement security for pensioners. There are laws governing what benefits you might receive if your covered pension fails. This could be another consideration for whether you should take a lump sum instead of a pension.

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How the GATT Rate Changes Your Pension Lump Sum


Although defined benefit plans (pension) are less common today, many people will still rely on them for retirement. There are some very specific rules governing how these plans are calculated for payout either over the course of retirement or in a lump sum.

If you have a pension or are expecting to receive one, then you need to be familiar with the role the Federal General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) rate has on your benefits. This is particularly important when deciding if you should take a lump sum payout.

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Top 5 Things to Consider Before Setting a Date for Retirement


Setting your date to retire can be one of the most stressful decisions you’ll ever make. Maybe you’ve been anticipating this day for a long time - or dreading it. Retirement means different things to different people, but no matter what, you still need to prepare.

Let’s talk about the five things that you need to consider: what you are retiring to, current income versus retirement income, current expenses versus retirement expenses, having enough resources (money), and changes to your plan.

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Qualified Charitable Distribution as a Required Minimum Distribution?

This post was last updated on March 28, 2023, to reflect all updated information and best serve your needs.

If you’re required to take Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), then knowing your options is important. Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) are a useful tool to keep in mind.

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