Are you saving enough?
When you are saving for retirement, you will have many questions, such as:
- I want to retire on time. How much should I save every year?
- What is the right asset allocation for my retirement goals?
- What types of retirement accounts would make the most sense for me from a tax perspective?
- What is a Roth IRA account? Am I able to contribute to one?
- What percentage of my income should I be contributing to my employer's retirement plan?
- Should I convert my traditional IRA to a Roth IRA?
- Should I put more money towards my mortgage?
- How can I save for retirement and my child's college education?
Are you approaching retirement or already retired?
If you are preparing for retirement or are already retired, you have probably asked yourself the following questions:
- How can I consolidate my accounts to simplify my finances?
- Are my investments too risky for this point in my life? Should I be taking more risk?
- How much can I safely withdraw from my investment accounts each year?
- Should I take my Social Security benefits now or wait?
- How do I setup an automatic deposit into my checking account from my investment accounts?
- How can a Roth Conversion help me reduce my Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)?
- What are my options for meeting my Required Minimum Distributions?
- How do I move my money from my employer's retirement plan without incurring taxes?
Designing a cash flow plan for retirement.
With the prospect of paying for retirement needs for as many as 30 years, retirees need to be concerned with maintaining their standard of living. First, we will ask you about your current monthly expenses, outstanding debt, and expected future expenses such as travel, relocation, home repair, new purchases, etc. Then we evaluate all of your sources of income such as employer-sponsored retirement plans, including 401(k) and 403(b) plans, Social Security, pensions, annuities, rental property, and investment assets. Your plan will incorporate your tax situation based on the assistance of your tax professional. Ultimately, we define success as producing a long-term plan that will last a lifetime.
Consider Delaying Social Security
Some Important Social Security Numbers
The table below shows the Social Security Full Retirement Age by year of birth along with the impact of taking benefits at ages 62 and 70. As of 2018, the maximum full retirement age starting annual benefit for someone born in 1952 is $33,456. For someone born in 1948, the maximum age 70 benefit is $44,162. These amounts can be reduced by $1,608 for the Medicare Part B premium.
Review Your Retirement Plan Beneficiaries Periodically
Planning for the transfer of assets at death is a critical element of retirement planning especially if there are survivors who are dependent upon the assets for their financial security. We recommend that you review the beneficiaries listed on your employer retirement plan, IRA and Roth IRA accounts, and transfer-on-death accounts (for taxable accounts) at least annually. These beneficiary designations may override what is stated in your will.
Health Care Needs and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Longer life spans can also translate into more health issues that arise in the process of aging. The federal government provides a safety net in the form of Medicare, however, it may not provide the coverage needed especially in chronic illness cases. Planning for long-term care, in the event of a serious disability or chronic illness, is becoming a key element of retirement plans today.
Those who have a high-deductible health plan ($1,350 individual or $2,700 family) are eligible to contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA) in the amounts of $3,500 for individuals and $7,000 for families. Those age 55 or older may contribute an additional $1,000. These contributions are tax-deductible, grow tax-deferred, and are not taxed upon withdrawal for legitimate health care expenses.
Important Retirement Contribution Limits for 2019
401(k)/403(b) Employer Retirement Plans
The 2019 maximum 401(k)/403(b) employee contribution = $19,000 with a $6,000 age 50+ catch-up. Under certain circumstances, a 403(b) may qualify for an additional $3,000 catch-up.
IRAs and Roth IRAs
2019 Contribution limit = $6,000 with a $1,000 age 50+ catch-up.
Deductibility of Traditional IRA Contributions:
For single taxpayers with a workplace retirement plan, the deduction is phased out at MAGI (modified adjusted gross income) of $64,000 to $74,000.
For married couples filing jointly, where the IRA contributor is covered by a workplace plan, the deduction is phased out at MAGI of $103,000 to $123,000.
For married couples filing jointly where the individual contributor is not covered by a plan, but their spouse is, the deduction is phased out at MAGI of $193,000 to $203,000.
Eligibility of Roth IRA contributions:
For single taxpayers, the phaseout range is now $122,000 to $137,000. For married couples filing jointly, the income phase-out range is $193,000 to $203,000.
SEP IRAs and Solo 401(k)s
For the self-employed and small business owners, the amount they can save in a SEP IRA or a solo 401(k) is $56,000 in 2019 (with a $6,000 age 50+ catch-up for the solo 401(k)). The compensation limit used in the savings calculation is $280,000.
SIMPLE IRAs and 401(k)s
The 2019 contribution limit on SIMPLE retirement accounts is $13,000 with a catch-up limit of $3,000.
Defined Benefit and Cash Balance Plans
The limitation on the annual benefit of a defined benefit or cash balance plan is $225,000 in 2019.