2015 IRA Contribution Limits Stay The Same

IRA Contribution LimitsA major step in the retirement planning guide is to understand all the savings tools available. The IRA is the most versatile tool in your retirement toolbox. To take advantage of it, you should stay on top of yearly changes to the IRA contribution limits.

Each year the IRS announces the inflation adjusted numbers for the traditional and Roth IRA contribution limits along with the traditional IRA deduction limits. These cost of living adjustments are made when the inflation index meets a certain criteria. In turn, the adjustments prevent inflation from eating away at the IRA limits and your ability to save for retirement.

2015 IRA Contribution Limits

The 2015 IRA contribution limits will look just like it did for 2014. Both the traditional and Roth IRA will have the same contribution limit, which will max out at $5,500. If you are 50 years or older, there is a $1,000 catch up contribution. Continue Reading…

2015 401k Contribution Limits Raised

401k Contribution LimitsThe 401k plan is the most popular retirement plan offered by companies today. One of the keys to retirement planning is knowing about the savings tools available to you. If that happens to be a 401k, you have one of the best tools available to save for retirement. Better make the most of it.

Every year the IRS must calculate cost of living adjustments for the 401k and other retirement plans. In keeping with tradition, the IRS recently released a slew of information for the 2015 tax year including the 401k contribution limits.

The decision to raise the 401k limits is based on an inflation index, specifically the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If the CPI meets a certain threshold the IRS adjusts the contribution limits accordingly. Some years inflation is high enough to call for a change other years it’s not. Either way, the point is to make sure the limits aren’t eaten away by inflation. Continue Reading…

A Saver’s Guide To Retirement Accounts

Guide to Retirement AccountsWhether you’re putting money in or taking money out of a 401k or IRA, understanding how retirement accounts work, the different rules around each, and how these tools fit into your retirement plan has become a big part of meeting your retirement goals.

Retirement accounts are the single greatest savings tools around because of the tax benefits. Delaying taxes on dividends, capital gains, and income lets your savings grow faster without taking a tax hit each year. That tax savings compounds in a huge way when combined with a long-term horizon. And the tax deduction, if you qualify, has the added bonus of lowering your tax bill. All you need is a basic understanding of how retirement accounts work to turn the tax code into more savings for you. Continue Reading…

How Much Money Do You Need To Retire?

What's Your Number?The million dollar question. Or is it two million? Either way, it’s hard to save for anything without knowing how much you need. When it comes to how much you need to retire, there’s no perfect answer.

The answer, in its entirety, is a series of educated guesses, along with dirty math, to come up with a fuzzy number you’ll need to live off throughout retirement.

I don’t say this to discourage you. Understand, we’re predicting the future based on past averages. You’re projections need to account for: inflation, expected returns (and an asset allocation to get you there), your ability to save, and your behavior along the way.

It’s simply not a perfect science. Retirement calculators work in a vacuum, reliant on fixed numbers. The economy and the stock market don’t move in a straight line or act rationally at all times. Continue Reading…

All The IRA Investment Options For Your Money

IRA Investment OptionsSaving for retirement is a goal with a limited number of ways to meet it. Did you know that your IRA investment options extend beyond stocks, bonds, and mutual funds? You have more choices than think.

An IRA (Individual Retirement Account) is just a tax shelter. You use it to store money for retirement, so it can grow tax-free. You see, when you open an IRA and fund it, the money just sits there in the form of cash. Some banks or brokers may offer an interest rate on that money, some don’t. But with rates at all time lows, that money won’t grow very fast. In order to boost that growth, you need to invest it in other assets. Thankfully, the IRS gives you some leeway with all the IRA investment options available.

That doesn’t mean you need to invest in each one. There is nothing wrong with taking a nontraditional approach when investing your retirement money. Just make sure you understand the costs and risks associated with any investment before you begin. And do your homework before jumping into something new. Continue Reading…