For many couples, one spouse manages the majority (if not all) their financial affairs. That might entail managing assets, bank and investment accounts, credit cards, or dealing with a financial planner, accountant or estate planner. When both spouses are alive and well, this works well, but what happens if the spouse managing financial matters passes away? We’ll take a look at some of the issues that arise in such situations, as well as some ways to prevent them.Read More
You might still have plenty of time to take your required minimum distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s, according to Kiplinger’s “FAQs About Required Minimum Distributions for Retirement Account,” but you’ll want to do it sooner rather than later. If you’re older than 70 ½, you must take them by December 31st and delays could mean lost opportunities. Remember that you aren’t the only one making this transaction if you wait till the end of the year, and you’re hardly alone if you wait until the last minute. It’s best to start planning now to make the most of your options.
Here’s some additional information to help you meet your deadline for IRA withdrawals and some special rules for 401(k)s.Read More
The rules about when to start taking Social Security benefits are confusing to many. For people who file for benefits after their full retirement age but before they turn 70, a surprise comes when their initial benefit checks are smaller than they had anticipated.
Delayed-retirement credits increase Social Security benefits each month after you reach full retirement age (66 for those born between 1943 and 1954). If you accumulate the maximum credits by waiting until age 70, your first check will be for the full amount of those credits. However, if you claim your benefits prior to age 70, the size of the first check will be less and it won’t include the full power of the credits you’ve earned.Read More
If a working spouse participating in a company retirement plan passes, the surviving spouse receives 100% of the 401(k) unless that partner has specifically waived the right to inherit the asset and the waiver is properly documented. This is the result of a federal law designed to protect spouses.
When a worker takes a retirement plan payout as an annuity, he or she must select a plan that will continue lifetime payments to the surviving spouse equal to at least 50% of the original benefit amount. A spouse can also waive that right, but again, this must be in writing.Read More
The simplest definition of a reverse mortgage is, “a special type of mortgage allowing a senior homeowner to tap the equity of their home and eliminate the monthly mortgage payment.” As long as the borrower lives in the home, they can’t default on the loan or be forced to move, so long as they maintain the home, pay property taxes and provide the required homeowner’s insurance. When the borrower no longer lives in the home, for whatever reason, the loan is repaid.
The Daily World, in “Reverse mortgages—your questions answered,” explains that in order to qualify, the homeowner must be 62 years of age or older and pass a credit check. Anyone applying must also use the home as their primary residence.Read More