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You've Retired! Now Put Your Plan to the Test

Welcome to your first year of retirement. You made it! Hard work and diligent saving have paid off. Your financial plan should practically run itself at this point. Still, aim to check in periodically.

How to Withdraw Retirement Funds Penalty-Free Before 59

One of the biggest challenges for early retirees, aside from needing to save enough extra money that it can last though a longer retirement, is that there are early withdrawal penalties on most pre-tax retirement accounts. Luckily, there are many ways to dodge those penalties.

Are Swing States Doing Better at Retirement Savings Than the Rest?

When it comes to the economy, we tend to focus on our personal financial health -- things like how well our retirement savings are doing. Investment advisory firm FutureAdvisor's state-by-state breakdown sheds some interesting light on where people are getting ahead, and where they're falling behind.

Inheriting a Retirement Account? Learn the Rules or You'll Regret It

We all know how hard it can be to build up a big enough nest egg for retirement. But because many retirees leave their IRAs and 401(k)s untouched as long as possible to avoid paying taxes, you might someday face the bittersweet experience of inheriting a retirement account.

IRS Gives Your Retirement Saving a Little Boost for 2013

Saving for retirement has always been hard. But starting in 2013, the IRS is making it a little easier for you to put more money aside for your golden years. On Oct. 18, the IRS announced that it was upping the contribution limits for IRAs and 401(k) plans.

3 Ways to Beat the IRS in 2013 If America Falls Off the Fiscal Cliff

Tax planning is more complicated than ever now, thanks to the fiscal cliff we're hurtling toward and the tax increases it would bring. And while it's possible that Congress will steer us away from the cliff, if you're in a higher tax bracket, it's time to start doing some contingency planning.

The Rules of Retirement for Women

According to a GAO report, women have a tougher time saving for retirement than men do. But women of all ages can take some steps to improve their financial readiness.

The Big Retirement Lie

What if everything you were told about saving in your company retirement plan was bogus? What if the benefit of tax-deferred growth in your mutual fund based retirement plan was really a well-funded Wall Street marketing gimmick?

Your 7-Step Midyear Money Checkup

With six months of earning, saving, and spending under your belt, you've got plenty of data to project how 2012 is going to play out. So let's lift the hood on your finances and give everything a good once over.

Forget the 4% Rule: Retirement's Common Wisdom Is Obsolete

Get ready to play the retirement game even more cautiously: The common wisdom that a 4% annual withdrawal rate is the safe way to avoid outliving your money is increasingly coming under fire. In fact, it may well become a thing of the past.

Retirement Shocker: 60% of Us Don't Have $25K Saved

Concerns about job security and piles of debt have left American workers more pessimistic about retirement than ever. And many should be concerned: About 60% report total savings and investments of under $25,000 (excluding the value of their home and defined benefit plans.)

Get Your Taxes Done: Filing Early Has Real Advantages

Procrastinating on our taxes until the last minute is as American as apple pie. But before you resign yourself to running out to the post office at 11:59 p.m. on April 17, you should be aware of the benefits of getting your taxes done early.

If She Could Save $280,000, What's Your Excuse?

It may seem hard to save money for retirement: Fully 76% of Americans have saved less than $100,000, and 56% have saved less than $25,000. But once you learn how Oseola McCarty managed to set aside so much with so little, you'll see how few excuses you have.

How You Can Get a Taste of Romney's Low Tax Rate

On Tuesday, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney released his tax returns, which showed he only paid about 14% of his $21.6 million income in taxes. You'll probably never have that kind of money, but you can use some of his methods to save on your own taxes.

Retirement at Never: Are You Doomed to Work Til You Die?

Do you really want to work your whole life? An alarming number of workers think they'll have to -- and that number is rising. More than a quarter of workers age 50 and older expect to retire at 70 or later. Even worse, one in six Americans think they'll never be able to retire.

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?

Retirement Planning, Decade by Decade

Retirement planning is no slam-dunk. To make sure you retire in comfort, you have to start saving early and often. You need to pay attention to your...

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.