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403(b) Plans: The Basics

403(b) Plans: The Basics

Retirement plans established under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, commonly referred to as 403(b) plans or "tax-sheltered annuities," have become a popular type of employer-sponsored retirement plan. What is a 403(b) plan? A 403(b) plan is a retirement savings plan, sponsored by a tax-exempt organization or public school, that offers significant tax benefits while helping you plan for the future. You contribute to the plan via payroll deduction, which can make it easier for you to save for retirement. One important feature of a 403(b) plan is your ability to make pre-tax contributions to the plan. Pre-tax means…
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Health Savings Accounts: Are They Just What the Doctor Ordered?

Health Savings Accounts: Are They Just What the Doctor Ordered?

Are health insurance premiums taking too big of a bite out of your budget? Do you wish you had better control over how you spend your health-care dollars? If so, you may be interested in an alternative to traditional health insurance called a health savings account (HSA). How does this health-care option work? An HSA is a tax-advantaged account that's paired with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). You cannot contribute to an HSA unless you are enrolled in a HDHP. Let's look at how an HSA works with an HDHP to enable you to cover your current health-care costs and…
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Choosing a Beneficiary for Your IRA or 401(k)

Choosing a Beneficiary for Your IRA or 401(k)

Selecting beneficiaries for retirement benefits is different from choosing beneficiaries for other assets such as life insurance. With retirement benefits, you need to know the impact of income tax and estate tax laws in order to select the right beneficiaries. Although taxes shouldn't be the sole determining factor in naming your beneficiaries, ignoring the impact of taxes could lead you to make an incorrect choice. In addition, if you're married, beneficiary designations may affect the size of minimum required distributions to you from your IRAs and retirement plans while you're alive. Paying income tax on most retirement distributions Most inherited…
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Myths and Facts about Social Security

Myths and Facts about Social Security

Myth: Social Security will provide most of the income you need in retirement. Fact: It's likely that Social Security will provide a smaller portion of retirement income than you expect. There's no doubt about it — Social Security is an important source of retirement income for most Americans. According to the Social Security Administration, nearly nine out of ten individuals age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits.* But it may be unwise to rely too heavily on Social Security, because to keep the system solvent, some changes will have to be made to it. The younger and wealthier you…
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IRA and Retirement Plan Limits for 2021

IRA and Retirement Plan Limits for 2021

Many IRA and retirement plan limits are indexed for inflation each year. While some of the limits remain unchanged for 2021, other key numbers have increased. IRA contribution limits The maximum amount you can contribute to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA in 2021 is $6,000 (or 100% of your earned income, if less), unchanged from 2020. The maximum catch-up contribution for those age 50 or older remains $1,000. You can contribute to both a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA in 2021, but your total contributions cannot exceed these annual limits. Income limits for deducting traditional IRA contributions…
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