The Freedom of Mortgage-Free Living in Retirement

When you retire, you deserve to enjoy years of relaxation and stress-free time doing the things that make you happy with people you love. One of the best ways to make sure this happens is by paying off your mortgage before you enter your retirement years. In this article, we’ll show you the freedom that mortgage-free living in retirement can offer, and we’ll also tell you how to get there. 

Living the Mortgage-Free Life

First off, should you even retire without paying off your mortgage? Columnist Michelle Singletary notes that mortgage payments are the biggest expense that retirees face, and getting rid of this bill means that other important payments can take its place.

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How to Create Your Retirement Transition Plan

Every working adult will eventually want to retire, but not everyone does the proper amount of planning for that event to actually happen. Without savings and a plan in place, this happy time might actually be more stressful than necessary. If you are a few years from retirement now, it’s time to really consider what the shift into this stage of life will mean for you. 

It is completely normal to feel concerned or scared. After all, this is uncharted territory, and the unknowns are many. How will your finances change? What will the social, mental and physical differences be in your life from this point onward? 

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What is a Limited Power of Attorney?

Let’s get right to it and answer the question before getting into the details. A power of attorney is a legal action that offers someone else of your choosing to make decisions on your behalf if you’re unfit or under contract. 

Its most common use is for people to have a go-to friend or family member to act on their behalf if they become sick or injured and can’t make decisions themselves. Power of attorney agreements are an essential part of the estate planning process and are usually connected to a will or trust fund. 

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What is Micro Investing?

Typically, if you want to become an investor, you need sufficient capital to make any headway. These days, however, it’s never been easier to make your money work for you, thanks to various investing apps and opportunities. 

If you’re short on funds, you might think that investing is out of reach. You’d be wrong. Thanks to the growing trend of micro-investing, anyone with a bank account can get started. 

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What is a Per Stirpes Beneficiary Designation?

When it comes to estate planning, it’s crucial to have all of your assets and beneficiaries listed and up to date. However, because this planning can be relatively messy at times, what you want may not always come to pass. For example, what happens if your beneficiaries predecease you? 

Although this situation can be rare, there’s already a process for what happens to your assets. It’s called per stirpes, and it can ensure that your money or property will pass down to living heirs should your beneficiaries die before you do. 

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The SECURE Act: How It Affects Your Estate Plan

President Trump signed into law the ‘Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement’ Act (SECURE Act) on December 20, 2019. It became effective on January 1, 2020. The SECURE Act is considered a part of the government’s spending bill and will affect retirement savers inevitably. 

The legislation puts into place several provisions that are designed to strengthen retirement security across the country. It also includes several common-sense reforms that are considered long overdue. These reforms are designed to make retirement more accessible and easier for many Americans.

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Does Taking a Lump Sum From My Pension Make Sense?

If you’re trying to save for retirement, it helps to have an employer-sponsored plan so that you’ll have access to funds once you stop working. Although 401(k) programs are the most common option available today, some companies still offer pensions. 

A pension plan is ideal for retirees because it guarantees payments for the individual for life. Also, some programs will continue to pay out to spouses, which means that these plans can offer financial stability for years. 

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How Much Should I Plan to Spend on Health Insurance in Retirement?

When discussing retirement planning, it’s crucial to prepare for the most significant expenses you’ll be facing. While you can control some of these, one cost that will only get higher is healthcare. Unfortunately, as you get older, your body will require more maintenance and upkeep, which can lead to more hospital visits, medications, and other treatments.  

To ensure that you’re ready for rising healthcare costs, we want to outline the best way to plan for them during retirement. Whether you’re going to retire in a few years or a few decades, it’s never too soon (or too late) to prepare. Here’s what you need to know. 

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How Much Should I Spend in Retirement?

No matter how old you are right now, you should already be saving for retirement. Whether you’re contributing to a 401(k), IRA or other long-term investment (or all three), you have to make sure that you’ll have enough money to stop working and have enough money to last the rest of your life. 

However, how will you know when you’ve reached a reasonable amount? How can you be sure that your nest egg will sustain your lifestyle during your golden years? Saving is a two-pronged approach: first, you need to put away enough while you’re employed. 

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How Much Should I Be Saving for Retirement?

When it comes to retirement, one of the most valuable questions you can ask yourself is, “how much is enough?” Unfortunately, it can be challenging to determine the right amount because there are many variables to consider. 

In this article, we’re going to discuss the finer points of saving for retirement so that when it arrives, you can feel secure in the size of your nest egg. Ideally, you shouldn’t have to limit your lifestyle or cut down on expenses during your golden years. So, the more planning and preparation you can do now, the better off you’ll be later on. 

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Budgeting Software Review: YNAB vs. Mint

Budgeting software has totally changed the way that we think about our money. They give us the ability to customize our budget which can help us: 

  • Get out of debt.
  • Save more money. 
  • Cut expenses. 
  • And make our hard-earned dollars go further. 

With budgeting software applications on our mobile devices, we can take them with us everywhere to inform our spending and saving decisions. They have given us intuitive and easy-to-use tools that make budgeting easier. With so many budgeting software and applications on the market though, how can you be sure which one is going to be the best for you? 

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How to Prepare for Retirement in the Age of COVID-19

Since the novel coronavirus began spreading across the globe, it has impacted everything about our daily lives. However, while some of the effects were immediate, such as quarantines and lockdowns, one of the less obvious was how it would impact retirement planning. 

In this article, we want to look at the various ways that COVID-19 has disrupted retirement plans. To help understand these effects better, we’re going to look at the three stages of planning - early, pre-retirement, and retirement. We’ll also pay attention to the various legal changes that were inside the relief bill passed in March. 

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Retiring Early and Paying for Health Insurance

As a financial advisor, I meet with individuals and couples who hope to retire early all the time - I mean, who doesn’t. Once I sit down with them for some basic number-crunching, we work together to create a long-term financial plan that will guide many of their decisions. 

This can include how much to invest, when and where to invest, and ways to increase cash flow and returns while keeping long-term costs and taxes to a minimum. 

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Do I Need a Budget in Retirement?

For many individuals, the primary concern is to save as much money as they can before retirement. After all, the bigger your nest egg, the less likely you’ll run out. 

However, even if your retirement accounts are bursting at the seams, budgeting is still a necessity. In many cases, without a budget, you could wind up having to dust off the old resume because your funds are starting to run low. 

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Tips for Withdrawing Money From an IRA

When talking about retirement planning, most of the focus is on how and where you’ll be saving money. While that should be your primary concern, you also need to figure out what comes after - withdrawing money to fund your retirement. 

In this article, we’ll talk about the different rules regarding traditional and Roth IRA withdrawals. Depending on your situation and your needs in retirement, you can maximize your earnings while minimizing your tax burden. Here are the tips that you need to know. 

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How Do I Calculate My Liquid Net Worth?

If you were to run a business, would you pay close attention to its financial health? Unless you want to go bankrupt pretty fast, we’d bet that you would. Elements like cash flow, debts, and total assets would be part of your normal routine. 

Now, what about your personal financial health? If you’re like most individuals, you might not be as diligent when it comes to your own net worth. Unfortunately, that lack of oversight can be a huge problem, particularly when disaster strikes. 

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The Four Phases of Your Financial Life

Designing, building and protecting a plan throughout these phases requires an integrated approach across many life and financial areas. Key moments across each phase can impact your long-term success to whether you accomplish the goals you’ve set forth. 

I believe that by having a better understanding of each phase, you’ll be able to know what to expect and plan for throughout each one, in particular when it comes to creating a retirement spend down strategy.

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Estate Planning in the Age of COVID-19

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have been forced to ask ourselves: Am I truly prepared for the worst? And one too often undiscussed yet important aspect of future preparedness is estate planning

In just a few short months, the COVID-19 virus (or, coronavirus) has ravaged the global economy, shattered unemployment claims numbers, and left many Americans worried about the well-being of themselves as well as their families.

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Everything You Should Know About an Emergency Fund

No matter how well things are going, disaster can always strike. Even worse, it does so without warning, meaning that you’ll never be as prepared for it as you should. Unfortunately, for many Americans, these setbacks can have significant consequences on one’s financial stability and security. 

The best way to alleviate this fear and worry is to set up an emergency fund. If you haven’t thought about doing this before, now is the time to start. Whether you have $5,000 in the bank or $50, it’s never too early to begin saving for a rainy day. In this article, we’ll break down the basics of emergency funds, as well as how to make sure that you’re on the right track. 

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Our Review of Betterment vs. Wealthfront

Technology has made so many facets of modern life easier. When it comes to finances, you no longer have to meet with an actual person in an office to manage your money. Now, there’s an app for that. 

However, while there are plenty of finance apps on the market, two of them are notable for their high-tech approach to investment and portfolio management. 

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