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  • Archive for October, 2012

    It’s National Save For Retirement Week! Today’s Topic: Managing Money in Retirement

    Friday, October 26th, 2012

    It’s National Save for Retirement Week 2012! A week dedicated to building knowledge and taking action toward securing your retirement. Each day this week we are going to look at a different contributing factor to retirement and help you increase your understanding of it so that you can take action and be prepared. Today we are looking at managing money in retirement.

    When it comes to preparing for retirement, the focus is typically on saving and increasing your assets until you are ready to retire. But building that nest egg is only part of the picture. Once you retire, you need to think about how you will spend and manage that money so that it lasts for the rest of your lifetime. This can be difficult, so it is worth putting in some time to learn about your options and think about what your strategy might be.

    Listen to our five-minute podcast, “What Income Will You Rely on in Retirement” to get a better understanding of the typical sources of retirement income, and what that income needs to support in your later years.

    Speaking of retirement income, as we talked about in our first blog of this series, Social Security is a vital source of income for women.  Deciding when to claim Social Security is a very important decision as you near retirement age; it can significantly impact how much your monthly benefit will be for the rest of your life. Check out the Social Security Administration’s online calculators to get estimates of what your benefit might be if you claim early, at full retirement age, or wait even longer. 

    Another great resource is this series of eleven retirement decision briefs published by the Society of Actuaries. Each focuses on a specific retirement-related decision area and offers key considerations. A sample of topics include When Should I Retire?, Designing a Monthly Paycheck for Retirement, and When Retirement Comes Too Soon.

    Annuities, which allow you to convert a lump sum of money into a lifetime income stream, might also be a good option for some people.  Learn more about them in WISER’s booklet, Making Your Money Last a Lifetime: Why You Need to Know About Annuities.

    Finally, widowhood is also an important issue for women since they are more likely than men to live alone at some point during their retirement years. Widowhood is usually associated with a sharp drop in income. Read through our Widow’s Checklist so that you know how to prepare for the possibility of widowhood, and check out some of our other resources on our Divorce & Widowhood webpage.

    Thanks for following us this week as we celebrated National Save for Retirement Week.  We hope the information we provided will encourage you to make saving for retirement a priority, not just for one week but throughout your life.  And if you have learned something useful, pass it on!  Let’s help each other get on track for a safe and secure retirement.

    It’s National Save For Retirement Week! Today’s Topic: Money Management and Saving Tips

    Thursday, October 25th, 2012

    It’s National Save for Retirement Week 2012! A week dedicated to building knowledge and taking action toward securing your retirement. Each day this week we are going to look at a different contributing factor to retirement and help you increase your understanding of it so that you can take action and be prepared. Today we are looking at money management and saving tips.

    Money management is critical to being able to save for retirement, or any financial goals you want to achieve.  But managing your money can be difficult.  Even when we make a budget, it is easy to get sidetracked by unexpected expenses or even just temptations to spend money on things we may not really need.  Successful money management requires discipline, but it also requires the basic know-how’s for creating a budget, managing debt, and avoiding costly mistakes.

    The first step in managing your money is tracking your income and expenses, seeing where your money is being spent, and making a budget that helps you live below your means so you have money available to save.  Use WISER’s Budget Worksheet to help you get started, and check out our Money Management fact sheet. For some tips on how to keep track of your spending click here.  If debt is a big obstacle getting in the way of your ability to save, also look at our resources on debt and credit.

    In order to manage your money effectively, it is also a good idea to know about some common money mistakes that women often make.  These mistakes can be costly! Read about 5 Money Mistakes Women Should Avoid and 5 Money Mistakes Women In Couples Should Avoid.

    Finally, managing your money is also about finding new ways to save. There are a number of tax credits that exist that too few people take advantage of. The Saver’s Tax Credit is a relatively new credit that helps individuals save for retirement through a federal government match for retirement contributions you have made to your retirement accounts. To learn more about this credit read WISER’s Federal Saver’s Tax Credit fact sheet.

    There is also the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This credit is one of the most beneficial tax policies for low-income families. It is a refundable federal income tax credit for individuals and families who work and meet certain requirements. To be eligible for the EITC, you must have earned income, which must be below a certain limit depending on how many qualifying children you have. For more information read our Earned Income Tax Credit fact sheet.

    If you want to read more on money management, there are some great additional resources on WISER’s Saving & Investing web page.  Join us tomorrow for our week’s final post to learn some important things about managing your money once you are in retirement.

    It’s National Save For Retirement Week! Today’s Topic: Investing

    Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

     

    It’s National Save for Retirement Week 2012! A week dedicated to building knowledge and taking action toward securing your retirement. Each day this week we are going to look at a different contributing factor to retirement and help you increase your understanding of it so that you can take action and be prepared. Today we are looking at investing.

    You don’t have to have saved a lot of money to start investing, and you don’t have to be a financial guru to start making smart investment decisions. Some good, basic information can go a long way. Whether you have $25 or $2,500 to spare, there are smart ways to invest your money to build your retirement savings. Once you have money saved up, it can be hard to decide where to invest your funds in order to see the greatest returns. There are many options, including I Bonds, mutual funds, CDs and IRAs. To learn more about these options, read through WISER’s guide, “I’m Ready to Save, Now What?”

    Read over our Investment 101 fact sheet to get a feeling for the three basic places you can invest your money: cash, bonds and stocks. Want to better understand the difference between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA? You can find that information here on the WISER Roth IRA fact sheet. Listen to our five-minute podcastsInvesting through Mutual Funds” and “Take Stock of Your Investment Options!” to learn more about mutual funds and how they work, as well as the difference between stocks, bonds, and cash investment options, and the investment risks that come with each. Also listen to our “Why How Long You Have until Retirement Matterspodcast to learn how your retirement horizon should play into your investment decisions.

    If you still want more information, peruse WISER’s Saving & Investing web page. And come back tomorrow when we go over the basics of money management to help you find even more ways to save.

     

     

    WISER

    About Us

    WISER is a nonprofit organization that works to help women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER creates a variety of consumer publications including fact sheets, booklets and a quarterly newsletter that explain in easy-to-understand language the complex issues surrounding Social Security, divorce, pay equity, pensions, savings and investments, banking, home-ownership, long-term care and disability insurance.

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