Ways to Work Towards Happiness in Retirement.

Ways to Work Toward Happiness in Retirement.

The economy is struggling and that is affecting everyone’s financial future. As a result, you must take control of your retirement to ensure that you’ll stay above water when you’re ready to put your feet up and relax.

Here are some things to consider when planning for your retirement:

• Obtain adequate assets before you stop working. Do not rely on company pensions or benefits as your sole income in retirement.

• On average, women live longer than men; many married women outlive their husbands by at least 15 years. Economic decline often occurs after becoming a widow, so women need to prepare to be financially secure for their long lives.

• Outliving your assets is a reality. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), life expectancy in 1952 was 68.6 years old. In 2006, that figure had risen to 77.85 years old. At this rate, this trend will continue because of lifestyle improvements and advances in medical care. It is wise to organize your portfolio so that a portion of your retirement assets cannot be outlived.

• Contribute as much as possible to your 401(k) savings plan. Set the company match as your baseline for your contributions. Then, as finances allow, increase your automatic contribution amount so that you can set your savings on auto-pilot.

• Save early and diversify your assets to seek to maximize the return on your investments for the amount of risk you are willing to take. Keep in mind that diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against market loss.

• Be prepared for changes in retirement. Remember to take inflation, a possible decline in your functional status, medical costs, and the death of a spouse and other changes in your life into account when saving.

• Decisions made before retirement will affect you in your golden years. This includes taking a new job, getting married, getting divorced or having or adopting a child.

• Maintain your job skills to protect your financial security. Your benefits ultimately depend on your ability to make money. By keeping your skills up-to-date, you can better ensure that you are able to work and make money.

* This is a hypothetical example for illustrative purposes and is not indicative of any investment. Investments involve risks that could result in the loss of principal. There is no guarantee that the strategy illustrated will produce positive investment results. This example assumes payroll deductions of $400 per month for the next 20 years growing at an assumed rate of return of 8.00% (converted to a monthly return), and then compounded monthly.

According to recent government statistics, people age 65 and older have the following incomes:

The median income for people aged 65 or older is $30,193, but there are wide differences within the total group. Approximately 11% have income under $10,000, and roughly 32% have an income of $50,000 or more.


Income differences by age are associated with differences in marital status. Income is highest for married couples, who have a median income more than 2½ times that of non-married persons. Median income is generally lower in older age groups. The striking differences by age are due in part to the disproportionate number of non-married women in older age groups.


In 2014, 85% of married couples and 83.6% of non-married persons aged 65 or older received Social Security benefits. Social Security was the major source of income (providing at least 50% of total income) for 47.8% of married couples and 70.7% of non-married persons aged 65 or older.

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, Income of the Aged Chartbook 2014; and Income of the Population 55 or older 2014, Released April 2016.

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Learn More: Retirement Assets Depletion Rates

Read about just how fast retirement funds are spent to maintain current lifestyles.

Long Term Care: What it Could Cost.

Long Term Care: What it Could Cost.

It is important to be in the Know – especially when it comes to your long term care options and their expenses. Balance out the possible “what ifs” with knowledge of the facts.

Did you know…

• About 19 percent of Americans aged 65 and older experience some degree of chronic physical impairment. By the year 2020, 12 million older Americans will need long-term care.1

• The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates that 40 percent of the 13 million people receiving long-term care services are between the ages of 18 and 64.1

• One year in a nursing home can average more than $80,000. In some regions, it can easily cost twice that amount.1

• Disability income insurance will not cover most long-term care expenses.

• People will need to spend almost all of their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid benefits.

About MediCARE

Medicare pays only about 12% for short-term skilled nursing home care following hospitalization. Medicare also pays for some skilled at-home care, but only for short-term unstable medical conditions and not for the ongoing assistance that many elderly, ill, or injured people need.1

About MediCAID

The federal program that provides health care coverage to lower-income Americans – pays almost half of all nursing home costs. Medicaid pays benefits either immediately, for people meeting federal poverty guidelines, or after nursing home residents exhaust their savings and become eligible. Turning to Medicaid once meant impoverishing the spouse who remained at home as well as the spouse confined to a nursing home. However, the law permits the at-home spouse to retain specified levels of assets and income. 1 For 2018, the Medicaid maximum resource allowance for married patients is $123,600 2

Any gifts of assets must occur at least 60 months prior to applying for Medicaid in order to meet the asset guidelines.

1 A Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance © Revised edition, 2003, 2004, 2012, 2013 America’s Health Insurance Plans.

2 2014 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Medicaid Eligibility Policy.

Long-Term Care Costs by State: Average Nursing Home Cost

STATE

Private/day

Semi-Private/day

Private/month

Semi-Private/month

National Average

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusettes

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

$253

206

816

255

193

307

267

440

326

275

203

387

244

205

252

200

185

230

169

297

311

395

269

266

217

173

228

211

284

338

367

238

373

245

354

240

165

294

320

315

217

214

207

195

210

293

244

295

286

280

242

$225

195

800

207

161

250

228

407

315

244

190

355

229

184

210

182

171

206

160

275

286

370

250

242

209

156

218

185

261

320

325

213

361

216

359

210

145

277

298

273

199

205

190

148

185

283

221

265

275

257

217

$7,698

6,266

24,820

7,756

5,862

9,338

8,129

13,383

9,901

8,365

6,175

11,776

7,407

6,235

7,665

6,083

5,627

6,981

5,139

9,019

9,444

12,015

8,182

8,086

6,586

5,264

6,935

6,403

8,648

10,281

11,153

7,229

11,330

7,452

10,773

7,300

5,019

8,943

9,733

9,581

6,596

6,509

6,310

5,931

6,388

8,897

7,422

8,973

8,699

8,517

7,375

$6,844

5,931

24,333

6,296

4,905

7,604

6,935

12,364

9,581

7,422

5,779

10,798

6,965

5,597

6,388

5,536

5,201

6,266

4,867

8,365

8,684

11,254

7,604

7,361

6,357

4,730

6,631

5,627

7,939

9,733

9,885

6,471

10,988

6,570

10,905

6,388

4,410

8,425

9,071

8,304

6,053

6,235

5,779

4,502

5,627

8,608

6,715

8,060

8,365

7,817

6,593

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Learn More: Long Term Care: Medicare

Read more about what Medicare is and how you can supplement it to successfully cover the costs of long term care.

Long Term Care: Medicare – Getting Started

Long Term Care: MEDICARE - Getting Started

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people 65 and older and others with a qualified disability. A Medicare health plan is offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide Part A and Part B benefits to people with Medicare who enroll in the plan. Medicare health plans include all Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Cost Plans and Medicare Part D drug coverage.

Here is a closer look at the four types of Medicare:

1. Medicare Part A helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and hospice and home health care. Generally, there is no monthly premium if you qualify and paid Medicare taxes while working.

2. Medicare Part B helps cover medical services like doctors’ services, outpatient care and other medically necessary services that Part A doesn’t cover. You need to enroll in Medicare Part B and pay a monthly premium determined by your income, along with a deductible. Many people also purchase a supplemental insurance policy, such as a Medigap plan, to handle any Part A and B coverage gaps.

3. Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are combination plans managed by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. They typically are a combination of Part A, Part B and sometimes Part D coverage, but must cover medically-necessary services. These plans have discretion to assign their own copays, deductibles and coinsurance.

4. Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage, and is available to everyone with Medicare. It is a separate plan provided by private Medicare-approved companies, and you must pay a monthly premium.

Getting Started

Medicare sends you a questionnaire about three months before you are entitled to Medicare coverage. Your answers to these questions, including whether you have group health insurance through an employer or family member, help Medicare set up your file and make sure your claims are paid correctly.

Coverage and Costs Change Yearly

Medicare health plans and prescription drug plans can change costs and coverage each year. Always review your plan materials for the coming year to make sure your plan will meet your needs for the following year. If you’re satisfied that your current plan will meet your needs for next year, you don’t need to do anything

More Information

Visit www.medicare.gov to get detailed information about the Medicare health and prescription drug plans in your area, find participating health care providers and suppliers, get quality of care information and more.

What are my Medicare Coverage Choices?

There are two main ways to get your Medicare coverage: Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan.

 

 

 

Use the following chart to help you decide how you want to get your coverage:

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Learn More: Long Term Care

Read what Long Term Care is and how to prepare today for what it will cost down the line.

Long Term Care: Medicare

Long Term Care: Medicare

The Medicare program has three parts. Part A is Hospital Insurance (HI), Part B is Supplemental Medical Insurance (SMI), and Part D is the Prescription Drug Plan (PDP). Part A is financed by payroll taxes based on covered work before and after eligibility for Medicare. Part B (SMI) is partly financed by premiums and partly by the general tax revenues of the government. Medicare becomes available at the beginning of the month in which an individual reaches age 65, whether you are retired or still working. It is also available if one has been receiving Social Security disability benefits for two years or has a chronic kidney disorder.

Part A. Hospital Insurance

The amounts you pay for hospitalization change every year, depending on the increases in hospital costs. Amounts shown reflect those in effect for 2017. However, you never have to pay more than the actual charges.

Monthly Premium: Most people don’t pay a Part A premium because they paid Medicare taxes while working. In 2017, you pay up to $413 each month if you don’t get premium-free Part A. If you pay a late-enrollment penalty, this amount is higher.

Hospital Stays: On immediate admission the client must pay a deductible of $1,316 per stay. After the first 60 days you must pay $329 per day. After 90 days the co-insurance amount is $658 for each “lifetime reserve day.” After 150 days, you pay all costs. With each admission, you will need to pay another deductible charge.

Skilled Nursing Facility Care: You may qualify for nursing facility benefits if both your situation and the facility meet Medicare’s strict standards. Skilled nursing facility care is available only after a hospital stay of at least three days. It is important to note that custodial care is not covered. If you qualify, you pay nothing for the first 20 days of covered expenses, and for the next 80 days, you pay $164.50 per day. Benefits stop after 100 days.

Home Health Care: Care such as part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, medical social services, medical supplies, durable medical equipment and some rehabilitation equipment may be covered if prescribed by a doctor. You pay 20% of the approved amount for durable medical equipment. A hospital stay prior to these benefits is not required.

Hospice Care: The patient can be charged $5 per prescription and 5% of the Medicare Payment per day for respite care, for no more than 5 days. However, if hospice is selected, all other Medicare benefits stop.

Part B. Supplemental Medical Insurance Benefits

In 2017 you pay for the first $183 of qualified charges for covered medical services. This is the deductible. After that, Supplemental Medical Insurance will pay 80% of covered expenses, subject to the maximum of the standard charges recognized by Medicare.

Monthly Premium: $134 – Premium will be higher if your yearly income is greater than $170,000 for those who file a joint tax return and $85,000 for those who file an individual tax return. If you pay a late-enrollment penalty, the monthly premium is higher.

Covered Services: Medicare Part B helps cover what is medically necessary including medical and other services, clinical laboratory services, home health care, outpatient hospital services and blood. In addition, Medicare Part B offers preventive services to help you stay healthy. See Medicare & You for a complete list of covered services.

Part C. Medicare Advantage Plans

A Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) is another Medicare health plan choice you may have as part of Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans may offer extra coverage, such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs. Most include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).

Medicare pays a fixed amount for your care every month to the companies offering Medicare Advantage Plans. These companies must follow rules set by Medicare. However, each Medicare Advantage Plan can charge different out-of-pocket costs and have different rules for how you get services.

Part D. Prescription Drug Plan (PDP)

Medicare offers prescription drug coverage for everyone with Medicare. Medicare will provide coverage to help you pay for both brand-name and generic drugs you need. To get Medicare prescription drug coverage, you must choose and join a Medicare drug plan. 

Medicare drug plans will be offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare. There are two types of Medicare plans. 

• There will be Medicare Prescription Drug Plans that add coverage to the Original Medicare Plan, Medicare Private Fee-for Service Plans that don’t offer Medicare prescription drug coverage, and Medicare Cost Plans.

• There will also be prescription drug coverage that is a part of Medicare Advantage Plans (like a HMO, PPO, or a PFFS Plan) and other Medicare Health Plans. You would get all of your health care, including prescription drug coverage, through these plans.

If you have limited income and resources, you may get extra help to pay for your Medicare drug plan costs.

Your costs will vary depending on your financial situation and which Medicare drug plan you choose. All Medicare drug plans will offer at least the standard level of coverage below. Medicare drug plans may design their plans differently as long as what their plan offers is, on average, at least as good as the standard coverage described below. Some plans may offer more coverage for higher premiums.

Standard Coverage (the minimum coverage drug plans must provide):

If you join in 2017, for covered drugs you will pay:

• A monthly premium (varies depending on the plan you choose).

• The first $400 per year for your prescriptions. This is called your “deductible.”

After you pay the $400 deductible, here’s how the costs work:

• You pay 25% of your yearly drug costs from $400 to $3,700, and your plan pays the other 75% of these costs, then

• When your total costs exceed $3,700, your cost sharing is 45% of covered brand name drugs and 65% of covered generics, then:

• You pay 5% of your drug costs (or a small copayment) for the rest of the calendar year after you have spent $4,950 out-of-pocket. Your plan pays the rest.

Some plans may be called standard plans but may be designed so that the deductible is lower and the coinsurance is slightly higher. Other plans may charge copayments or set amounts instead of coinsurance.

In general, your out-of-pocket costs should work out to be about the same under these plan designs.

Source: Medicare & You 2017, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and www.medicare.gov

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Learn More: Long Term Care: Medicare - Getting Started

Read what it takes to get started with Medicare for long term care.

Building Your Nest Egg: Understanding the Roth IRA

Building Your Nest Egg: Understanding the Roth IRA

There are numerous factors to consider when selecting an individual retirement savings plan. Regardless of whether you choose a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) or Roth IRA, planning for retirement is always a step in the right direction. To learn more about the Roth IRA and help you determine if it’s right for you, review the basics below.

What is a Roth IRA?

A Roth IRA is a retirement savings plan that allows the plan owner to contribute after-tax dollars, and cultivate those funds through investments on a tax-free basis. Funds in a Roth IRA may be invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities and, in some specific cases, real estate. They can also be purchased from banks, so that the underlying investments would be standard banking products such as CDs and bank money markets. When the plan owner wishes to retrieve funds from the plan in retirement, he or she is not taxed at the time of a distribution that is qualified. This is the primary difference between a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA. Traditional IRAs are taxed at the time of distribution, rather than at the time of contribution. In addition, Roth IRAs are not subject to required minimum distributions.

Who can contribute to a Roth IRA?

Anyone may contribute to a Roth IRA at any time throughout the year, as long as they are within the modified Annual Gross Income (AGI) limit requirements as set by the IRS. To be eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA in 2018, one must meet the following AGI limit requirements:

• If you are married and filing jointly, or you are a widow or widower, your modified AGI may not exceed $199,000.

• If you are filing as single, the head of the household or married filing separately and you did not live with your spouse in 2018, your modified AGI may not exceed $135,000.

• If you are married and filing separately, and you lived with your spouse in 2018, your modified AGI may not exceed $10,000.

How much may be contributed each year?

Like modified annual gross income limits, the IRS sets annual contribution limits each year. For 2018, contributions to a Roth IRA may not exceed the lesser of:

• $5,500 if you are under the age of 50 – or $6,500 if you are over 50 – minus other contributions to other IRAs that you make in the year, or

• Your taxable compensation minus other contributions to other IRAs that you make in the year.

If you exceed the contribution limit when funding your Roth IRA in any given year, you will be subject to a 6 percent tax that is applied to any excess contributions.

When can I retrieve my funds?

Since the sole purpose of the Roth IRA plan is to accumulate money for retirement, in most cases, it is best to leave the funds intact until at least age 59 ó, the age in which you may begin withdrawing from the plan without complication, as long as the Roth IRA has been established for at least five years. However, if you need to make an early withdrawal, you may typically withdraw from your Roth IRA contributions free of penalty, at any time, as long as you don’t withdraw from what you have earned from investments. If you withdraw more than what you’ve contributed, you will begin to dig into your earnings, which carries a 10 percent tax penalty on those distributions in addition to income tax on the earnings portion. You may not have to pay penalty in the following situations:

• If you are paying for qualified expenses associated with higher education

• If you suffer total and permanent disability

• If you are the beneficiary of a deceased Roth IRA owner

• If you have to pay for unreimbursed medical expenses that are more than 7 ó percent of your AGI

• If you are a first-time homebuyer and need up to $10,000 for costs

• The distributions are part of a series of substantially equal payments

• Distribution of the funds is due to an IRS levy

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Learn More: Building Your Nest Egg: Retirement Income Strategies

Read about how you can set up income strategies that will have a long-term effect for your retirement years.

Building Your Nest Egg: Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA

Building Your Nest Egg: Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA

TRADITIONAL IRA

Roth IRA

Up to $5,500 may be contributed annually with an additional catch up contribution of $1,000 available for individuals age 50 and older. Contributions may be tax deductible, but if either you or your spouse is an active participant in a qualified employer plan, your deduction may be reduced or eliminated depending on your modified adjusted gross income and filing status for the year.*

Up to $5,500 may be contributed annually with an additional catch up contribution of $1,000 available for individuals age 50 and older. Contributions are not tax-deductible.

Cannot make contributions past age 70 1/2.

Can make contributions past age 70 1/2.

A working individual not active in an employer-sponsored plan and a non-working spouse can each make annual contributions, as described above, without any income limitation.

The ability to make contributions are not affected by participation in an employer-sponsored plan.

An individual whose spouse is an active participant can make annual deductible contributions, as described above, with the allowable deduction for the year phasing out between a combined Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) of $189,000 and $199,000.

The deductibility of contributions for a married individual filing jointly and participating in an employer-sponsored plan phase-out with an MAGI between $101,000 and $121,000. The phase-out for single individuals who are covered by an employer sponsored plan is an MAGI between $63,000 and $73,000. For an individual who is married filing separately, the MAGI phase out is between $0 and $10,000.

The ability to make contributions are phased out for single persons with a Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) between $120,000 and $135,000, and for married couples, filing jointly, with an MAGI between $189,000 and $199,000. The contribution phase out for married couples filing separately is MAGI between $0 and $10,000.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) must begin by April 1 of year following attainment of age 70 1/2.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) are not required to begin when the owner reaches age 70 1/2.

Distributions before age 59 1/2 will be subject to ordinary income tax and a 10% penalty unless certain conditions are met.

Earnings portion of a distribution before age 59 1/2 is subject to ordinary income tax and 10% penalty unless certain conditions are met. 

Distributions after age 59 1/2 and after the Roth IRA owner’s qualified distribution five-tax-year holding period will be free of federal income taxes. 

Distributions after age 59 1/2 and before the end of the Roth IRA owner’s qualified distribution five-tax-year holding period will not be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty, but may be subject to ordinary income taxes. (After-tax contributions are withdrawn first, and no taxes are due until after all contributions are withdrawn and earnings begin being withdrawn.)

The 10% penalty will not apply for distributions for “qualified higher education expenses” for taxpayer, taxpayer’s spouse, children or grandchildren. It also will not apply for distributions up to a $10,000 lifetime limit for qualified first-time homebuyers expenses (expenses incurred by individuals who have not had an ownership interest in a principal residence for at least two years) if used within 120 days of purchase.

The 10% penalty will not apply for distributions for “qualified higher education expenses” for taxpayer, taxpayer’s spouse, children or grandchildren. It also will not apply for distributions up to a $10,000 lifetime limit for qualified first-time homebuyers expenses (expenses incurred by individuals who have not had an ownership interest in a principal residence for at least two years) if used within 120 days of purchase.

An account set up as a Traditional IRA can be converted to a Roth IRA without MAGI and filing status limitations. Taxes will be due on the deductible portion of the amount converted.

A contribution to an account or annuity set up as a Roth IRA, or amounts from a Traditional IRA that have been converted to a Roth IRA can be recharacterized to a Traditional IRA, provided the recharacterization is performed timely and all the applicable requirements are satisfied.

State taxes are generally paid on distributions.

 

 

In most states, there will not be any state taxes. Check your state for specific details because the state income tax treatment of your Roth IRA conversion and subsequent distributions may vary depending on your state of residence.

TRADITIONAL IRA

Up to $5,500 may be contributed annually with an additional catch up contribution of $1,000 available for individuals age 50 and older. Contributions may be tax deductible, but if either you or your spouse is an active participant in a qualified employer plan, your deduction may be reduced or eliminated depending on your modified adjusted gross income and filing status for the year.*

Cannot make contributions past age 70 1/2.

A working individual not active in an employer-sponsored plan and a non-working spouse can each make annual contributions, as described above, without any income limitation.

An individual whose spouse is an active participant can make annual deductible contributions, as described above, with the allowable deduction for the year phasing out between a combined Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) of $189,000 and $199,000.

The deductibility of contributions for a married individual filing jointly and participating in an employer-sponsored plan phase-out with an MAGI between $101,000 and $121,000. The phase-out for single individuals who are covered by an employer sponsored plan is an MAGI between $63,000 and $73,000. For an individual who is married filing separately, the MAGI phase out is between $0 and $10,000.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) must begin by April 1 of year following attainment of age 70 1/2.

Distributions before age 59 1/2 will be subject to ordinary income tax and a 10% penalty unless certain conditions are met.

The 10% penalty will not apply for distributions for “qualified higher education expenses” for taxpayer, taxpayer’s spouse, children or grandchildren. It also will not apply for distributions up to a $10,000 lifetime limit for qualified first-time homebuyers expenses (expenses incurred by individuals who have not had an ownership interest in a principal residence for at least two years) if used within 120 days of purchase.

An account set up as a Traditional IRA can be converted to a Roth IRA without MAGI and filing status limitations. Taxes will be due on the deductible portion of the amount converted.

State taxes are generally paid on distributions.

 

 

Roth IRA

Up to $5,500 may be contributed annually with an additional catch up contribution of $1,000 available for individuals age 50 and older. Contributions are not tax-deductible.

Can make contributions past age 70 1/2.

The ability to make contributions are not affected by participation in an employer-sponsored plan.

The ability to make contributions are phased out for single persons with a Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) between $120,000 and $135,000, and for married couples, filing jointly, with an MAGI between $189,000 and $199,000. The contribution phase out for married couples filing separately is MAGI between $0 and $10,000.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) are not required to begin when the owner reaches age 70 1/2.

Earnings portion of a distribution before age 59 1/2 is subject to ordinary income tax and 10% penalty unless certain conditions are met. 

Distributions after age 59 1/2 and after the Roth IRA owner’s qualified distribution five-tax-year holding period will be free of federal income taxes. 

Distributions after age 59 1/2 and before the end of the Roth IRA owner’s qualified distribution five-tax-year holding period will not be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty, but may be subject to ordinary income taxes. (After-tax contributions are withdrawn first, and no taxes are due until after all contributions are withdrawn and earnings begin being withdrawn.)

The 10% penalty will not apply for distributions for “qualified higher education expenses” for taxpayer, taxpayer’s spouse, children or grandchildren. It also will not apply for distributions up to a $10,000 lifetime limit for qualified first-time homebuyers expenses (expenses incurred by individuals who have not had an ownership interest in a principal residence for at least two years) if used within 120 days of purchase.

A contribution to an account or annuity set up as a Roth IRA, or amounts from a Traditional IRA that have been converted to a Roth IRA can be recharacterized to a Traditional IRA, provided the recharacterization is performed timely and all the applicable requirements are satisfied.

In most states, there will not be any state taxes. Check your state for specific details because the state income tax treatment of your Roth IRA conversion and subsequent distributions may vary depending on your state of residence.

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Learn More: Building Your Nest Egg: Understanding the Roth IRA

Dive deeper into the Roth IRA. Get tips on how to make your retirement fund work hard for your future through the Roth IRA.

The Future of Social Security

The Future of Social Security

In 1935, Social Security (the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance program) was introduced through the Social Security Act. Since then, retirees have used this as a reliable source of income to supplement retirement savings. The retirement age in which full social security benefits are payable is currently between the ages of 65 and 67, depending on your year of birth, while those who have reached age 62 are eligible for partial benefits. While the program has changed significantly since it was introduced, its goal has always been to provide a more stable income outlook for those that are retired or affected by disability.

Baby Boomers

The generation of Americans born from 1946 to 1964 has historically been called Baby Boomers. This generation will have a tremendous impact on the economy, strategy for investments and the future of social security. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2011, and every day for the next 19 years, it is projected that 10,000 baby boomers will reach the age of 65. In addition to the sheer number of baby boomers, the increase in life expectancy over the past few decades has caused the projected benefit obligations of the social security system to substantially increase.

 

Revenue and Expenses

While Social Security is not a business, the same concepts apply. For the system to continue operating functionally, it must generate a sufficient amount of income to cover the benefits that are paid out. In 2010 and 2011, Social Security expenditures exceeded non-interest income for the first time since 1983. This is expected to continue for at least the next 75 years under current circumstances. Thus, to continue the ability to fully pay all scheduled benefits, congress will have to either increase the revenues generated by social security taxes, decrease projected expenses or both. To generate income for Social Security funding, Congress enacted the FICA tax. Until recently, the income has been greater than payments, generating a surplus. This surplus has then been held in a trust fund, earning interest income. Any future funding shortfalls will be drawn from this trust fund.

Each year, the Trustees of the Social Security trust fund report on the financial status of the program. In 2012, the actuarial deficits were made worse because of updated economic data and assumptions. The Trustees determined that legislative modifications will be necessary in order to avoid disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers. The primary goal of the report was to warn lawmakers not only about the extent of the issue of long-term projected shortfalls, but also that changes should not be delayed. Any additional delay will only make the problem worse and will reduce options available to lawmakers. One of the biggest issues with the program is that growth in program expenses is forecast to be substantially larger than GDP growth due to the aging population of baby boomers. Additionally, social security will be strained by the increasing life expectancy of its participants and growing health care costs in excess of GDP, and Social Security costs as a percentage of GDP are projected to increase from 4.2 percent in 2007 to 6.4 percent in 2035. With projected future shortfalls, the trust fund is projected to run out in 2033 (three years earlier than in 2011). While this is alarming, FICA tax is still projected to cover roughly 75 percent of schedule benefits after the fund is depleted.

Future

Changes to Social Security that would help solve future funding shortfalls (increasing income, decreasing expenses or both) are difficult, but necessary. Further complicating this issue is political matters. Neither political party would like to be seen as responsible for raising FICA taxes or extending the retirement age. However, changes to the system are necessary in order to extend the availability of fully funded benefits and therefore appear inevitable. While no material discussions are ongoing regarding changes to the system, the simplest change to help combat future shortfalls would likely be an increase in retirement age. The main reason for this is that changes have not been made to the Social Security retirement age since the early 1980s. Life expectancies have continually increased, rising above 78 years in 2011. Additional possible changes could include raising the FICA tax to higher levels, raising/eliminating the income limit for FICA taxes, introducing means testing and many more.

Effect on Financial Planning

The effect of the uncertain future of Social Security on financial and retirement planning is tremendous and should be taken into account by everyone, regardless of age. Based on the projections outlined by the Social Security Board of Trustees, there is a marked difference in the effect this uncertainty will have on different generations. For those already in retirement, while it is possible that benefits could be changed to reduce expenditures, it is highly unlikely that changes would be made for anyone already retired. With benefits still projected to be fully provided through 2033, any potential benefit shortfalls are relatively unlikely to affect individuals that are already retired. With a high likelihood that Social Security will be changed to solve funding shortfall problems, it is reasonable to rely on this income source for the rest of your life. 

Individuals near retirement have less certainty about the future of social security, as the projected future shortfall in the Social Security trust fund in 2033 will likely be within your planning time frame. The high likelihood that some Social Security regulations will change in the near future will make it extremely likely that this projection will change for the better. If you are near retirement, most of your investment decisions related to retirement have already been made. As a result, future changes in social security may have little impact on your retirement plan. However, it may be beneficial to analyze the potential scenario (however unlikely) that no changes are made and only 75 percent of projected income is realized from this source after 2033.

For people who are far from retirement, any future changes to the structure of social security will alter the projections for the viability of future payouts. This uncertainty means that a contingency plan to cover cash flow shortfalls should be in place, just in case Social Security benefits are reduced. It is important to remember that even if no changes are made and the Social Security trust fund is entirely depleted, 75 percent of benefits are still projected to be paid from ongoing taxes. Projecting cash flow under the assumption that only 75 percent of benefits are paid would be helpful to determine whether your savings will be enough, even in this scenario. An increased focus on saving personal funds would decrease the risk of not having enough resources to achieve retirement goals.

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Learn More: Long Term Care

Read about what Long Term Care really means and the projected costs that you may face when you get older.

Building Your Nest Egg: 401(k) Explained

Building Your Nest Egg: 401(k) Explained

When most of us think about retiring, it is easy to picture ourselves having a comfortable cash cushion to sit on, but we often experience uncertainty when trying to figure out how to inflate that cushion. Sorting through and understanding retirement options can be a confusing and daunting task. If you are planning for retirement and a 401(k) is available to you, it may be a beneficial option for you to explore. To help you better understand what a 401(k) can do for you, review the following essentials.

What is a 401(k)?

A 401(k) is a tax-deferred retirement plan that is commonly offered by employers as an added benefit to their employees. The name of the retirement plan, 401(k), derives from its section of the Internal Revenue Code, and has become one of the most commonly used employer-sponsored retirement programs.

Putting the Money In

There are multiple ways that a 401(k) can be funded:

Employee contributions

Employee select a tax – deferred dollar amount or percentage of their salary to be placed into their retirement fund.

 

 

 

 

Non-elective contributions

Employers contribute a specific dollar amount or percentage of the employee’s salary to the employee’s account.

 

 

 

Matching contributions

Employers contribute to the employee’s retirement fund based on a specific formula framed around how much the employee elects to contribute. For example, a common company-match program is 50 cents for every dollar contributed by the employee, up to 6 percent of the total salary deferment.

401(k) plans can be funded by any combination of these three options, though it should be noted that employee contributions of any kind are not required.

Here are additional basics to understand regarding the funding of your 401(k):

Vesting – Many companies establish a vesting schedule that allows employees to gain entitlement to employer contributions as their tenure with the company lengthens. Employees are always 100 hundred percent vested in their own contributions however, as those funds originally belonged to them to begin with.

Contribution limits -Employees are in control of how much they contribute to their 401(k), so long as they stay within the annual contribution limits that are set by the IRS. In 2018, employees under the age of 50 may contribute up to $18,500.

Catch-up contributions – Employees over the age of 50 have the ability to make additional contributions up to a specific limit. In 2018, employees over the age of 50 may contribute up to an additional $6,000.

Investing Your Funds

Once a 401(k) plan has been established, employees may choose where to invest their funds from a list of investment options. Employees may opt for allocation of different percentages to different investments, devote all of their funds to one investment or choose to decline on investing their funds altogether. Investing funds from one’s 401(k) is not risk-free, but it does offer the possibility of portfolio growth.

Taking the Money Out

Funds in your 401(k) account may be available to you should you wish to access them before you retire. However, if you desire to make a withdrawal from your 401(k) prior to retirement and are not in a state of financial hardship, you may be subject to a 10 percent tax penalty in addition to the regular income tax that is due at the time of withdrawal. Because of the negative impact an additional 10 percent would have on your funds, it is widely recommended to avoid withdrawing from your 401(k) unless you believe it is absolutely necessary. It should be noted, however, that there are certain exceptions to the additional 10 percent tax penalty.

It may be possible to use money from your 401(k) before retirement without the 10 percent tax penalty if you need it for sudden disability costs, avoiding eviction or foreclosure, buying your first house, or the expenses of higher education. However, withdrawing from that fund means withdrawing from your future financial stability because you are extracting potential portfolio growth. One way to be sure that the funds you take out are eventually refunded back into your retirement plan is to take out a loan from your 401(k), if this feature is an option in your employer’s 401(k) plan.

Taking a loan from your 401(k) is a lot like most other loans; you have a set amount of time to pay it back, you will be penalized if you don’t pay it back on time (the additional 10 percent tax penalty that comes from making an early withdrawal), and you will owe interest on the loan that is similar to the market rate of other loans. Whether or not a 401(k) loan or another type of loan is a better option varies by each individual scenario, as there are pros and cons to each type of loan. For example, a benefit of borrowing from your 401(k) rather than a different loan is that the interest you pay goes to you, so the interest you pay actually helps fund your future financial stability rather than becoming money that you will never see again. On the other hand, borrowing from your 401(k) plan could significantly reduce the potential growth of your portfolio, as the funds that would normally be invested are no longer in the account.

What is a Roth 401(k)?

The primary difference between the traditional 401(k) discussed above and the Roth 401(k) is that the taxation on the plans is reversed. In other words, funds that are contributed to a traditional 401(k) are not taxed at the time of contribution, but the funds are taxed at the time of withdrawal. Contributions to a Roth 401(k), on the other hand, are taxed with each contribution, but not at the time they are withdrawn. Because each contribution to a Roth 401(k) is already taxed, Roth 401(k) plans are not subject to required minimum distributions (RMDs) like traditional 401(k) plans are. RMDs are annual withdrawals that a tax-deferred plan participant must make once they reach age 70 1⁄2.

If a company offers both a traditional 401(k) and a Roth 401(k), an employee may choose to use either or both of them. Companies that offer both Roth and traditional contributions allow employees to elect what percent of each type of contribution is funded to their retirement plan.

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Learn More: Building Your Nest Egg: Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA

Read about the differences between the IRA and Roth IRA saving programs.

Building Your Nest Egg: Retirement Income Strategies

Building Your Nest Egg: Retirement Income Strategies

 You spend most of your adult life saving for retirement, but have you ever thought about what you’ll do once it’s time to actually tap into those savings? Retirement income has traditionally relied on a combination of Social Security, pensions and personal savings, such as 401(k) accounts, IRAs or other investment vehicles. Now that many workers believe social security and pensions will no longer be available in retirement, strategies for creating income must change as well.

Sources of Income

Social Security: According to a 2012 report by the Social Security Administration, the most used form of retirement income in 2010 was social security, with 86 percent of people over 65 receiving payments. This same study found that 65 percent of retirees depend on social security for over half of their income. If you believe social security will still be around when you retire, you can see that it could play a large role in your income plan. And if you don’t believe you can rely on it, you have a large percentage of income to make up for when you retire.

Pension plans: Like social security, pensions area form of retirement income that many workers are no longer depending on. Pensions and other defined benefit plans are waning in popularity among employers, and many companies have already phased them out. You may have a better chance at pension income if you work for the military or government, but for many future retirees, a pension will not be part of their retirement income plan either.

Savings: The final piece of your income plan is your personal savings and investments, perhaps the only piece many future retirees will depend on. Investment accounts, real estate, bonds, CDs, dividends, high-interest savings accounts and anything else that appreciates can provide income in your golden years.

Strategies

Your income strategy may combine two or three of the aforementioned income sources, or you may be relying solely on your personal savings. To develop an effective strategy, you’ll need to estimate how long you’ll be in retirement (what year you’ll retire and your life expectancy), the value of your savings (how much you’ve saved, how much you can save before you retire and how much it is expected to appreciate) and how much you need to live on.

Safe withdrawal rate: The 4 percent rule was established as a one-size-fits-all safe withdrawal rate. To follow this rule, retirees take 4 percent of their entire portfolio’s value in the first year of retirement to use as living expenses. This amount is then what they’d use annually throughout their retirement, adjusting only for inflation. Four percent is considered a safe withdrawal rate because it is not likely to deplete your savings before the end of your life. Many factors render this rule ineffective: excessive inflation, lifestyle changes, unexpected expenses, long lifespan and more. Additionally, 4 percent might not be enough for you to live on, or it might force you to live more frugally than necessary. Nevertheless, it is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind. Another strategy is to tie your withdrawals to your portfolio’s value, increasing when the market is up, and decreasing when it is down. This works well in theory, but only if you can afford to live on a smaller distribution in a bear market.

Annuities: For guaranteed, regular income throughout your retirement, consider purchasing an annuity, which you can think of as a cross between an investment account and an insurance plan. You purchase an annuity through an insurance company (which may also be an investment company in the case of variable annuities) who then professionally invests your money and uses the growth to provide you with a fixed or variable income stream. You can choose between different types of annuities to find one that fits your needs best, including the following:

• Fixed annuity: The most conservative type of annuity, these pay the same amount of money regardless of how the market performs. You won’t have to worry about a down market, but you also won’t reap the benefit of an upswing.

• Variable annuity: On the contrary, a variable annuity varies its payout with market trends. Your income correlates with market fluctuations, which is riskier but also has the capacity for better returns.

• Equity-indexed annuity: An attempt to combine features of fixed and variable annuities, the equity-indexed annuity guarantees a minimum return, but fluctuates with an equity index to provide higher payments in a good market. Returns won’t be as high as actual market returns, but they can be better than a fixed annuity. Here, you have the possibility of high returns without the risk of losing everything.

Other strategies: You can additionally live on income from part-time retirement jobs, rental income on owned real estate, royalties from past work, laddered CDs, stock dividends and more.

Risks

There is always the risk of unexpected expenses (especially health care costs) and not saving enough for retirement. But even if you do everything you can to mitigate these risks, you cannot have an entirely risk-free retirement. One of the biggest risks facing retirees today and in the future is increasing life expectancy. Many retirees save for a 30-year retirement and end up outliving their savings. Another risk is market volatility. You could lose more of your retirement savings than you can afford to if the market takes a downturn. Keeping safe, low-risk investments might seem like a good idea, but this actually puts you at risk of losing money to inflation. Inflation is another risk that is a real issue for those on a fixed income.

Income in retirement is never a sure thing. With possible social security decreases, the elimination of pension plans, a volatile economy and increasing health care costs, there is no way to guarantee a certain amount of income in retirement. The best way to approach the retirement income quandary is to create a realistic strategy that accounts for as much risk as possible while ensuring a comfortable lifestyle throughout your retirement.

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Learn More: Building Your Nest Egg: Qualified Retirement Accounts Chart

Read about which accounts are classified as retirement accounts and how you can get them started.

Building Your Nest Egg: Qualified Retirement Accounts Chart

Building Your Nest Egg: Qualified Retirement Accounts Chart

To make planning for retirement more appealing, the government developed qualified retirement accounts. 

These accounts (or plans) offer hefty benefits to employers and individuals who make an effort to map out a successful financial future.

Qualified Plans

The term “qualified” is often used to describe retirement accounts, but can cause confusion if not properly defined. Qualified accounts must meet the strict standards set by section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code and portions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Account management and distributions are monitored and firmly regulated. With the exception of IRAs, all qualified retirement accounts are offered through an employing business.

The hallmark of a qualified retirement account is its ability to defer or deduct certain taxes. Contributions made by an individual (or his or her employer) to a qualifying account are typically tax deductible. Contribution growth through investment is allowed to continue tax-deferred until the money is distributed during retirement. Distributions are taxed as normal income. (The exceptions to this rule are Roth accounts, which require individuals to pay income tax on contributions but have tax-exempt distributions.)

Individuals should not assume that non-qualified accounts are automatically worse than official “qualified accounts.” Qualified accounts are often only available through an employer and do not always accommodate for how some people would like to plan for retirement. Many forms of stock options and purchased annuity plans are quite popular despite not having any tax advantages.

Understanding the Chart

The chart of qualified retirement accounts listed below is a not meant to be complex or exhaustive. It reviews some of the most common accounts in use. Because the benefits of an account (particularly pensions) vary between individuals or employers, only the basic restrictions and tax attributes are covered here. Four categories help summarize each account as follows:

Qualification to Make Contributions Contains the restrictions or rules that affect an individual’s ability to participate in a plan. IRS and ERISA guidelines for creating or operating a plan (for employers and account custodians) are complex, lengthy and not meant to be addressed by this participant-focused chart.

Annual Contribution Limits Because of their beneficial tax status, the IRS must impose limits on contributions to qualified retirement accounts. These limitations are meant to prevent abuse of the system but are set high enough to accommodate a reasonable retirement for the majority of individuals.

Deductibility of Contributions Determines whether employer or participant can deduct contributions to the retirement plan from taxable income. If a plan features deductible contributions, it will be taxed during its retirement distributions.

Taxation of Distributions The kind of tax levied on the owner once retirement distributions have begun. Account distributions are usually taxed as regular income.

The following table is a partial list of retirement accounts that may be available to you:

Note: This chart will NOT display properly on a mobile device. You will need to use a computer or tablet to view the chart. 

Traditional IRA

Spousal IRA

Nondeductible IRA

Roth IRA

Qualifications to Make Contributions

Individual must have earned income and under age 701⁄2 at end of year.

Individual must be under age 701⁄2 at end of year. Contributions based on other spouse’s earned income.

Individual or spouse must have earned income and under age 701⁄2 at end of year.

Individual or spouse must have earned income. May be any age, including over 701⁄2.

Annual Contribution Limits

2018 – $5,500 Indexed for inflation, in $500 increments. Lesser of the above limits or owner’s taxable compensation. Annual total contribution limit between Roth IRA and Traditional IRA is $5,500 (2018). Additional catch-up contributions available for individuals age 50 and over.

2018 – $5,500 Indexed for inflation, in $500 increments. Lesser of the above limits, or total compensation, less your spouse’s IRA contribution and less any contributions for the year to a Roth IRA. Additional catch-up contributions available for individuals age 50 and over.

2018 – $5,500 Indexed for inflation, in $500 increments. Lesser of the above limits or owner’s taxable compensation. Annual total contribution limit between Roth IRA and Traditional IRA is $5,500 (2018). Additional catch-up contributions available for individuals age 50 and over.

2018 – $5,500 Indexed for inflation, in $500 increments. Lesser of the above limits, or total compensation, less your spouse’s IRA contribution and less any contributions for the year to a Roth IRA. Additional catch-up contributions available for individuals age 50 and over. Phase-out for contributions apply as follows:
Single, HOH: $120,000 – $135,000 MFJ: $189,000 – $199,000
MFS: $0 – $10,000

Deductibility of Contributions

Above-the-line deduction. If active participant in employer retirement plan, phase-out rules apply; phase-out reduction of deduction begins and ends: Single, HOH: $63,000 – $73,000

MFJ: $101,000 – $121,000
MFS: $0 – $10,000 Not covered under employer plan but filing joint return with a spouse who is covered under an employer’s plan. Phase-out begins and ends: MFJ: $189,000 – $199,000

Above-the-line deduction. Phase-outs apply if the couple’s AGI is between $189,000 and $199,000; and filing a joint return with a spouse who is covered under an employer’s plan.

Not deductible.

Not deductible.

Taxation of Distributions

All distributions are taxable.

All distributions are taxable.

Basis distribution non-taxable. Earnings portion is taxable.

Qualified distributions are non-taxable, including earnings.

The following table is a partial list of retirement accounts that may be available to you:

401(k)

403(b) TSA

SEP – Employee

SEP-Self Employed

Qualification to Make Contributions

Cannot exclude employees who:

• Are 21 years old.

• Have completed one year of eligibility service (1,000 hours).

• Service eligibility may be 2 years where plan provides for 100% vesting at start of participation.

Employee of a tax-exempt religious, charitable or educational organization is eligible. Part-time employees who were hired to and do work less than 20 hours per week may be excluded from the plan.

Cannot exclude employees who:

• Are 21 years old.

• Are employed in 3 of last 5 plan years.

• Earn at least $550 in current year.

Anyone with self-employment income.

Annual Contribution Limits

Employee Elections or designated Roth contributions: 2018 – $18,500 Indexed for inflation in $500 increments. Total contributions to the plan cannot exceed 100% of compensation (limited to $275,000, adjusted to inflation) or $55,000, adjusted for inflation. Additional catch-up contributions available for individuals age 50 and over for either elective or designated Roth contributions.

Employee Elections or designated Roth contributions: 2018 – $18,500 Thereafter, indexed for inflation in $500 increments. Total contributions to the plan cannot exceed 100% of compensation (limited to $275,000, adjusted to inflation) or $55,000, adjusted for inflation. Additional catch-up contributions available for individuals age 50 and over for either elective or designated Roth contributions.

Employee can contribute up to $5,500 (2018) as an individual IRA contribution to the SEP account in addition to the employer’s SEP contribution. Employer may contribute 25% of first $275,000 of compensation up to a maximum of $55,000. Compensation limit of $275,000 adjusted for inflation in $5,000 increments Annual addition limit of $55,000 indexed for inflation in $1,000 increments.

20% of first $275,000 of trade or business income.

Deductibility of Contributions

Contributions made pre-tax. Designated Roth Employee contributions are made after-tax.

Contributions made pre-tax. Designated Roth Employee contributions are made after-tax.

Employer’s contributions are excluded from income. Contributions independent of employer deducted same as regular IRA; deduction may be reduced because covered by employer plan.

Limited to 20% of adjusted net self-employment earnings.

Taxation of Distributions

Distributions are taxable unless the distribution is from a designated Roth account.

Distributions are taxable unless the distribution is from a designated Roth account.

All distributions are taxable.

All distributions are taxable.

The following table is a partial list of retirement accounts that may be available to you:

SIMPLE

Defined Benefit

Profit Sharing

Money Purchase

Qualification to Make Contributions

Employers with 100 or fewer employees and self-employed, who received $5,000 in compensation in the preceding year. Once qualified, can exclude employees who earned less than $5,000 in any two preceding years or expected to receive less than $5,000 in current year.

Cannot exclude employees who:

• Are 21 years old.

• Have completed one year of eligibility service (1,000 hours).

• Service eligibility may be 2 years where plan provides for 100% vesting at start of participation.

Cannot exclude employees who:

• Are 21 years old.

• Have completed one year of eligibility service (1,000 hours).

• Service eligibility may be 2 years where plan provides for 100% vesting at start of participation.

Cannot exclude employees who:

• Are 21 years old.

• Have completed one year of eligibility service (1,000 hours).

• Service eligibility may be 2 years where plan provides for 100% vesting at start of participation.

Annual Contribution Limits

Employee: 2018 – $12,500 Indexed for inflation in $500 increments. Employer: Required to make either a matching contribution of up to 3% of employee wages or a nonelective contribution of 2% of annual compensation for each eligible employee with proper notification. Additional catch-up contributions available for individuals age 50 and over.

Lesser of $220,000 (indexed for inflation) or 100% of average compensation during three highest consecutive earning years. Thereafter, indexed for inflation in $5,000 increments.

Contribution Limit per employee: 100% of compensation up to $55,000 (adjusted for inflation in $1,000 increments) Compensation limit: $275,000 (adjusted for inflation in $5,000 increments)

Contribution Limit per employee: 100% of compensation up to $55,000 (adjusted for inflation in $1,000 increments) Compensation limit: $275,000 (adjusted for inflation in $5,000 increments)

Deductibility of Contributions

Contributions are pre-tax.

Employee may be permitted to make nondeductible contributions.

Employee may be permitted to make nondeductible contributions.

Employee may be permitted to make nondeductible contributions.

Taxation of Distributions

All distributions are taxable.

All distributions, except Nondeductible contributions, are taxable.

All distributions, except Nondeductible contributions, are taxable.

All distributions, except Nondeductible contributions, are taxable.

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Learn More: A New Look at Annuities

Did you know you can design your own paycheck for life, without loads, fees, or commissions charged to you? While some annuities come with heavy charges, others can be tailored to fit your needs with a guaranteed return and no loss of principal. It's time to take a new look at annuities.