Annuity FYI is always on the lookout for retirement resources that investors may find useful. So we have compiled resources in 12 important categories for your perusal. We know they will prove helpful to you as you navigate your golden years, which are often the best time of successful people’s lives but not one that doesn’t require accurate and thorough answers to a host of questions about a wide array of issues.
Among the many questions that are often asked are:
- Should you begin taking Social Security at 62, 66 or 70?
- If you are a few years away from retirement, what steps should you and your spouse take to best prepare for it?
- What is the best place for you and your spouse to retire, and how much should state income taxes and differing state income tax rates factor into the decision?
- Given the uncertainty of your lifespan, should you live somewhat below your means or right up to the level you can afford?
- How do you sidestep typical fraudulent schemes, which target seniors disproportionately heavily?
- Should you add annuities to your investment portfolio, and, if so, what percentage of your investments should they be and what types of annuities are best for you and your spouse?
- What do you need to know about 401(k) rollovers?
- How do I get guidance on the best IRA for you and my spouse among three options?
- What do my spouse and I need to know about Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from IRAs?
- How do I find a lost pension?
- What do I need to know about estate taxes?
- What is the best Medicare or Medicare Advantage plan for myself and my spouse, and should I get Medicare Supplemental insurance?
- Does long term care insurance make sense for myself and my spouse, and how much does it cost?
For answers to these and many other questions, go to our expansive list of Retirement Resources below.
- The Fourth Pillar: Retirement Choices (PDF): Prudential developed the “Four Pillars of Retirement Choices” as a general framework of how future generations will choose to prepare and live off retirement.
- Retirees | MyMoney: A governmental database organization retirement resources to help educate younger generations before entering retirement.
- The Joint Committee on Taxation: JCX-44-11 (PDF): An extensive document detailing present law and background information related to the tax treatment of retirement savings.
- Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: The Center for Retirement Research promotes the research of retirement issues, transmits findings relevant to the policy community and general public, trains new scholars, and broadens accessible information to invaluable data resources.
- CNN Money: Retirement Calculator: CNN Money offers a free retirement planner that present estimates based on the development of a custom savings program. It includes sections to customize goals, savings, portfolio, and overall results.
- Planning for a Secure Retirement: Purdue University presents a ten-based module course on planning a secure retirement future. Each module addresses one of the following questions, including determining whether it’s time to retire, estimating how much the overall expenses will run, knowing when to collect social security, assessing a quick estimate of income needed for retirement, employment retirement plans, self-employed procedures toward retirement, individual retirement account basics, lump-sum retirement distribution options, and other concerns.
- A Special Guide for Seniors and Families: Information covering senior issues such as retirement strategies; how to avoid fraud; and investing in annuities.
- Financial Security in Later Life: Improve personal finance behaviors early- on, leading to financial security in later life. Enhance the capacity of local educators and their partners to deliver effective programs, increasing economic vitality for families and communities.
- Interactive worksheets to help with retirement planning
- Step-by-Step Retirement Planner: A step-by-step guide through the retirement planning process.
- Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Retirement: 10 basic steps to follow on the road to retirement.
- Understanding Retirement Fees and Expenses: Helps educate retirees about investment fees and expenses they will likely encounter.
- The United States Social Security Administration: The Social Security Administration delivers services through a network of 1,400 offices located throughout regional United States. The Social Security Administration offers retirement, disability, survivor, supplemental security income (SSI), Medicare, and business service resources to those who qualify.
- Publication 915 (2011), Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) produces a publication that explains the federal income tax rules for those collecting social security and railroad retirement benefits.
- Social Security Online – Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST): The Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) assesses the probable qualification of individuals seeking social security and related benefits.
- Social Security Disability. Secrets & Advice To Win Benefits: A website that offers advice and tips to those seeking answers to win existing disability claims.
- NCPSSM: Mission Statement: The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare aims to protect, preserve, promote, and ensure the financial security of future generations of maturing Americans.
- The Social Security Fix-It Book (PDF): A citizen’s guide to promoting solutions to fixing current problems with the social security system. It starts off with a summarization of the SSA’s functionality, presents methods on how to cut benefits, increase revenue, and time tables to fix these problems.
- United States Railroad Retirement Board: The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) administers survivor and sickness benefit programs for the nation’s railroad workers and families.
- Railroad Retirement Board (PDF): A snippet summarizing the functionality of the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), a unionized organization dedicated to providing benefits to survivor and unemployed railroad workers.
- The Railroad Retirement System: Benefits and Financing: An abstract paper examining the benefits and financing of the Railroad Retirement System, especially related annuities.
- Railroad Retirement, Black Lung, and Unemployment Insurance: The comprehensive segment of the “2010 Financial Report the United States Government,” covering the reasoning behind the United States Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), including the Black Lung Disability Act of 1969, sustainability of railroad retirement, income projections, unemployment insurance, and unemployment trust fund insolvency.
- USA.gov: Railroad Retirement Benefits: A quick reference guide to surviving or unemployed railroad workers who need to collect railroad retirement benefits.
- Section 5-Earned Entitlements For Railroad Employees (PDF): A comprehensive document detailing the earned entitlements for railroad employees, including tier 1 & 2 benefits, dual benefit payments, disability annuities, spouse annuities, supplemental annuities, survivor benefits, and lump-sum death benefits.
- 401(k) Rollover and Financial Literacy (PDF): An extensive document explaining the fundamentals of 401(k) rollovers, including background IRA information, factors affecting the rollover decision, and financial literacy of 401(k) rollovers.
- Inherited IRAs: Fidelity explains the definition and stipulations behind inherited IRAs as designed by IRA beneficiaries. Inherited IRAs allows policy holders to continue tax-deferred IRA growth, and a workplace savings plan.
- Rollovers from Other Retirement Accounts: The Ohio Public Employees Retirement Systems (OPERS) offers a set of answers to commonly asked questions about 401(k) rollovers.
- 2011 Rollover Chart (PDF): The latest rollover chart that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) deems permissible when rolling over retirement funds from one account to another.
- 401(k) Rollovers (PDF): A general overview of 401(k) rollovers, including a common scenario that prompts retirees or those aged near retirement to roll their existing retirement funds to a new account.
- 401K or Rollover IRA?: Issues to Consider (PDF): A pamphlet addressing the internal debate of rolling over current retirement funds into a 401(k) plan or an IRA.
- 72t on the Net: The IRC 72(t) plan helps eliminate the mandatory ten percent fee on early retirement withdrawals. This website educates individuals who wish to conduct an early withdrawal and use the Substantiality Equal Periodic Payment (SEPP) plans.
- Tax Penalty for Early Withdrawal of Retirement Funds: This site presents general information of withdrawing retirement funds early enough to incur a substantial penalty.
- Rules for Early Withdrawal from a Retirement Fund: A web page fully explaining the rules and penalties for the withdrawal of an individual’s retirement funds, including 401k, 403k, individual retirement accounts (IRA), and Roth IRAs.
- Withdrawals from Retirement Plan: Early retirement withdrawals should be considered as a last resort to a good savings plan.
- Retirement Plans and Saving for College: Students may want withdraw retirement savings in order to pay off school expenses. The IRS deems the early withdrawal of retirement funds as permissible if used for school expenses, including tuition, books, and dorm room rent.
- Retirement Plans: Penalty Tax on Early Withdrawals: Tax laws encourage individuals to pay penalties on early withdrawals. This web page explains the general rules, exceptions to penalty fees, and to accurately report all activity as seen fit.
- The State of the States: Dealing With the Other Estate Tax: A comprehensive report covering how each of the fifty states are dealing with the imposition of added estate taxes.
- Publication 575: Pension and Annuity Income (PDF): The IRS provides general information about pension and annuities, and other conditions regarding taxation on these assets.
- Pension and Annuity Income: Essential forms to fill out for pension and annuity holders.
- Pre-Retirement Guide (PDF): As the name implies, an extensive document providing all of the necessary information needed to utilize before officially retiring.
- What Do I Do With…Financial and Tax Records: A general guideline to filing financial tax records for previous years, including income tax records, home purchases, sales, improvements, investments or brokerage statements, retirement plan statements, IRA statements, ROTH IRA statements, bank account records, receipts, bills, pay stubs, and medical bills.
- Which IRA is Best?: Some information on how to choose the best IRA for you between three different options.
- Retirement Information Services: State Tax Offices: A comprehensive list of all state tax offices dealing with income based off retirement. Retirement account holders can contact the relevant state office for questions regarding the taxation of their retirement funds.
- Where do You Want to Retire?: A chart providing state-by-state links on how each state handles military-related retirement pay.
- Taxes during Retirement: Information on taxing retirement funds, and other sources of tax free income.
- Myths vs Facts about Federal Retirement Funds: The National Active and Retired Federal Employees organizations answers questions about federal retirement funds, including whether federal retirees pay state income taxes or if they are deferred.
- State Income Taxes on Pensions and Retirement Income (PDF): An extensive document providing information on how state income taxes affect pensions and other retirement income, including general retirement and retirement tax policy, limited retirement income exclusions, social security retirement benefits exclusion, and pension income exclusions.
- Taxes by State: The Retirement Living Information Center provides information about retirees moving to different states, including state income tax, fuel and cigarette tax, personal income tax, medical and dental deductions, federal income tax deductions, retirement income taxes, property taxes, and retired military pay.
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
- Navigating the Maze of IRA Distributions: Essential information on individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and how to maximize the returns on these accounts after taxes.
- Roth Retirement Accounts: A comprehensive guide for taxpayers with a modest income, and what they can do to maximize their Roth IRA account profits.
- Roth IRAs: The Department of Treasury constitutes the definition, rules and regulations, and overall regulation of Roth IRA accounts.
- What is an SEP IRA?: The SEP IRA consists of a customized retirement plan that benefits self-employed individuals and small business owners such as sole proprietors, S and C corporations, partnerships, and LLCs.
- Deemed IRAs: Final Regulations (PDF): The Federal Registrar defines the final regulations of deemed IRAs.
- Ultimate Guide to Retirement: Basics of an IRA: CNNMoney answers pertinent questions often asked by the uneducated looking to enroll into an individualized retirement account (IRA).
- Basic Types of Retirement Plans: A small business guide for entrepreneurs who wish to enroll into one of the two basic types of pension plans, including qualified and non-qualified plans as established by the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974.
- How to Find a Lost Pension (PDF): A comprehensive document providing concise steps to take in finding lost pensions, including defining one’s search, learning about legal protections, searching for documents, narrowing down potential allies, understanding the pension benefit, places to look for the lost pension, and a final word on the matter.
- QDROs: The Division of Retirement Benefits Through Qualified Domestic Relations Orders: An introduction to the division of retirement benefits among spouses in the event of a separation or divorce, and what to do to prepare for any losses incurred through the process.
- Veteran’s Death Pension: General information about fallen veterans’ pension plans, and what benefits surviving family members receive in return after their death.
- Overview of the Survivor Benefit Plan: The United States Department of Defense educates surviving veterans about their pension plans for themselves and their families.
- What You Should Know About Your Retirement Plan: The United States Department of Labor introduces a guide to understanding retirement plans, including defining the current types of plans available, how to earn retirement benefits, submitting plan information for review, collecting payment benefits, filing claim of benefits, what to do in the event of a problem, and more.
Annuities & Life Insurance
- Annuity Basics: The United States Boomers defines the characteristics of an annuity, life insurance stipulations, types of annuities, tax advantage, fixed vs. variable rates, and other considerations.
- Variable Annuities: What You Should Know: The United States Department of Securities and Exchange defines the stipulations of variable annuities, including how variable annuities work, the death benefits, variable annuity charges, bonus credits, and more.
- Replacing an Annuity or Life Insurance Policy under Section 1035: A general guideline to replacing old annuities or life insurance plans under Section 1035 for various reasons, including to avoid current taxation on an old contract, and to preserve the adjusted basis of the old policy.
- Understanding Life Insurance (PDF): A comprehensive guide to understanding the logistics and technical jargon of life insurance policies and what provide for retirees’ families in the event of their death.
- Supplemental Life Insurance: Supplemental Life Insurance provides individuals ample opportunity to purchase life insurance protection above the basic term life plan.
- Understand How to Solve Problems Related to Annuities: An annuity is a series of financial investments that an institution makes to an investor. Annuities can sometimes present problems for new retirees. This guide presents basic solutions to common problems retirees often face when it comes to annuities.
Medicare and Medicaid
- Medicare: The official government-sponsored website offering federal health benefits to retirees, including hospital coverage, medical insurance, Medicare advantage plus, and various prescription drug plans.
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid: A one-stop resource center for prospective enrollments into the government-sponsored health insurance and medical services.
- The Kaiser Family Foundation: Medicare: An organization providing Medicare resources to those interested parties who need an education of the state-sponsored program.
- Medicare Answers: An organization dedicated to educating those who collect Medicare about their legal rights while on the program.
- Medicare Supplemental Insurance: A coverage plant that fills in the financial gaps where Medicare refuses to get involved.
Long Term Care
- National Clearinghouse: Long-term Care: The United States Department of Health and Human Services created this website to provide information that educates families on future long-term care needs.
- Nursing Home Care (PDF): A general guide for families looking to enroll their elderly family members into nursing home care. It provides information on finding a nursing home, paying for nursing home care, getting admitted into a nursing home, assessing the overall quality of care, transferring and discharging once established, residents rights, safeguarding resident’s property, resident’s healthcare decision making, and problem resolution involving nursing home cases.
- Financing Long-Term Care: A resourceful website with aims of improving people’s knowledge of the financing long-term care, taking action before a crisis happens, and helping families plan ahead to make informed decisions.
- Understanding Long-Term Care (Example): An assessment of long-term care benefits for the faculty at the University of Washington. It provides general information about long-term health care benefits, and what individuals should do in certain circumstances regarding their policy.
- The National Planning Council: What is Long-Term Care?: A brief summary about long-term care, including its definition, who qualifies, where the individual will stay, what will be provided to the individual, and how will it be serviced to them.
- What is Long-Term Care?: The PioneerNetwork defines long-term care as living assistance to everyday daily activities when one’s medical conditions deem them impossible to function on their own.