Having a financial safety net in place can ensure that you’re protected when a financial emergency arises. One way to accomplish this is by setting up a cash reserve, a pool of readily available funds that can help you meet emergency or highly urgent short-term needs. How much is enough? Most financial professionals suggest that…

How much annual income will you need in retirement? If you aren’t able to answer this question, you’re not ready to make a decision about retiring. And, if it’s been more than a year since you’ve thought about it, it’s time to revisit your calculations. Your whole retirement income plan starts with your target annual…

The question is actually more complicated than it first appears, because it demands consideration on two levels. First, there’s the emotional component: Are you ready to enter a new phase of life? Do you have a plan for what you would like to accomplish or do in retirement? Have you thought through both the good…

What is the Medicare open enrollment period? The Medicare open enrollment period is the time during which people with Medicare can make new choices and pick plans that work best for them. Each year, Medicare plans typically change what they cost and cover. In addition, your health-care needs may have changed over the past year….

If you’re a decade or so away from retirement, you’ve probably spent at least some time thinking about this major life change. How will you manage the transition? Will you travel, take up a new sport or hobby, or spend more time with friends and family? Should you consider relocating? Will you continue to work…

S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI recently moved publicly traded equity real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other listed real estate companies from the Financials sector into a new, separate Real Estate sector effective September 1, 2016. (Mortgage REITs remain in the Financials sector, along with banks and insurance companies.) There are now 11 headline…

In recent weeks, the world’s markets and media financial pages have focused intensely on the standoff between debt-laden Greece and its international lenders over the conditions of any further bailout.  For investors everywhere, both of the large, institutional kind and individual participants, the story has been fastpaced and difficult to keep up with. More importantly, the speculation about possible outcomes…

As life expectancies increase, longevity risk–the risk of outliving retirement savings–is a concern for a growing number of people. In response, recent federal regulations created qualified longevity annuity contracts (QLACs), which are accessible through employer-sponsored plans, such as 401(k)s and IRAs. What is a QLAC? A QLAC is a type of longevity annuity that is…

Each year in its annual Retirement Confidence Survey, the Employee Benefit Research Institute reiterates that goal setting is a key factor influencing overall retirement confidence. But for many, a retirement savings goal that could reach $1 million or more may seem like a daunting, even impossible mountain to climb. What if you’re investing as much…

During your working years, you’ve probably set aside funds in retirement accounts such as IRAs, 401(k)s, and other workplace savings plans, as well as in taxable accounts. Your challenge during retirement is to convert those savings into an ongoing income stream that will provide adequate income throughout your retirement years.  Your retirement lifestyle will depend…

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