A 'Bad Timing' Tax? Mutual Fund Investors, Beware

Nobody likes to pay taxes, but its worse when you're stuck paying them on income you never earned. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happens to many of us every year around this time, thanks to a quirk in how mutual funds operate and are taxed.

4 Holiday Season Tax Moves That'll Pay Off in April

With Thanksgiving still three weeks away, taxes are probably the last thing on your mind. Still, much as you might groan at the thought, there are some smart steps you can take between now and Dec. 31 that will make a real difference when it comes time to deal with the IRS next spring.

11 New Rules for Fiscal Survival in a Weak Economy

That simple wait-and-see game plan we adopted when we believed recovery was just around the corner? Not cutting it anymore -- if it ever did. It's time for new strategies to win in the New Normal. Here's a rundown of ideas that once worked to which it's time to say goodbye, and the current wisdom for replacing them.

Retiring Solo: Singles Aren't Saving Enough

Most married people look forward to enjoying their golden years together -- at least in theory. But sometimes, reality is more bleak. For a host of reasons, millions of us may enter retirement on our own, and a large fraction of divorced, never-married, and widowed Americans aren't doing enough to prepare for it.

A 70-Year-Old Asks: Can I Afford to Retire?

Jack, 70, is still working full-time at an environmental agency for the state of Tennessee, earning $60,000 a year. He has no debt, and a good amount of savings, and an income property. What he doesn't have is a clear picture of whether he's in a good position to retire.

Planning for Retirement
Amid Market Mayhem

Planning for retirement? Don't panic. Here's why you should ignore the market mayhem: You have complete control over the most important component of your retirement plan, your contributions.

Are Annuities the Right Choice for Your Retirement?

With memories of the stock market's 2008 tumble still fresh in investors minds, many are scared of stock and are seeking "guarantees" instead of chasing returns. Because of this, for many, annuities have never looked more tempting. But is an annuity a good choice for you?

Retirement Savings, Part 3: Alternatives to Employer Plans

First, we covered how to manage employer-sponsored retirement plans like 401(k)s. Next, we explored what to do if you've lost your job, and with it your access to a plan. In part three, we explore options for the unemployed, self-employed and those who are otherwise locked out of employer-offered retirement plans.

The 10x Rule: Easy Math for an Easy Retirement?

Wouldn't it be great if you could plot your retirement with one simple mathematical equation? We're not there yet, but Lincoln Financial Group comes close. Their formula: Just save up 10 times your annual income for retirement. But does the 10x Rule really work?

Six Ways to Avoid Common Retirement Planning Pitfalls

More than half of American workers have less than $25,000 saved for retirement, but having too little set aside is just one of many ways you can sabotage your later years. We examine some oft-made financial planning traps -- and the safe paths around them.

Surviving an Accidental Retirement

Lots of folks have reached retirement by surprise, thanks to the Great Recession. So, if you're scrambling to come up with a Plan B and plug the financial gap created by an unexpectedly early end to your career, here are some good ideas.

Five Tax Moves That Could Save You Money in April

Here are five relatively painless steps you can take this month that could benefit you in a big way come tax time in April. So take a break from all the holiday hoopla and focus on maximizing your tax position for 2010.

Why Now's the Time to Convert to a Roth IRA

Although you contribute after-tax money to a Roth, the withdrawals are tax-free, giving Roths an advantage over traditional IRAs. And from now till year-end, several unique conditions apply that make converting from a traditional IRA to a Roth even more advantageous.

How to Take a Required IRA Distribution

Required minimum IRA distributions are back this year. If you're out of practice -- or making a required distribution from your IRA for the first time -- here's what you need to know.

401(k) Matching: Use It to Your Advantage

One of the biggest perks of a 401(k) is that most companies offer matching dollars. Although the amount of the match varies by company one thing is certain: It's free money, and that's something you never want to pass up.

Changing Jobs? Don't Leave Your 401(k) Behind

Changing jobs is always a bit of a stressful process, even if you're leaving your previous position by choice. But personal finance expert Jean Chatzky wants to remind you not to let this detail slip through the cracks: Roll over your 401(k).

How the Self-Employed Can Save for Retirement

When we talk about saving for retirement, we often talk about the importance of employer matching dollars. But what if you are your own employer? Are you behind from the get-go, a lost cause when it comes to retirement? Not at all, says consumer finance expert Jean Chatzky.

Why You Should Pay for College Without Financial Aid

A $15,000-a-year state college and a private one with much higher fees that are reduced to $15,000 by financial aid and scholarships -- paying for either is the same, right? Wrong! Find out why the cheaper option will save you many money headaches.

Is Converting to a Roth IRA Right for Your Retirement?

New rules lifting the income limit on Roth IRA conversions kick in this year, allowing more taxpayers to shield a bigger chunk of their retirement savings from Uncle Sam. Should you convert your traditional IRA to a Roth?

Retirement Tips for Creating Right Asset Allocation

No matter what retirement savings vehicle you're using, whether it be a 401(k), Roth IRA or traditional IRA, you can easily set up automatic contributions each month. But that doesn't mean your role in the retirement savings game is over. You will also need to determine how you want that money to be invested.