Archive for retirement planning

Miriam Goodman is a journalist, author, award-winning radio and television producer, and public relations consultant. She has interviewed more than a thousand people, from celebrities to diplomats, from Margaret Mead to Marilyn Chambers. She created, produced and hosted the first nationally syndicated feminist radio program, which ran for seven years from New York to San Francisco on the RKO radio network and dozens of other stations and earned several radio awards. She has been a frequent contributor to National Public Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Miriam was a television producer for Newsweek Broadcasting, a documentary producer for the San Francisco NBC TV-affiliate and received two EMMY nominations her television documentaries.

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You’ve Earned Your Money  Now Here’s How to Keep It!

“It’s easy for anyone to believe the government protects it’s citizens’ rights.  But the truth is, in matters of taxes, once the IRS gets its hands on your money, you can kiss that money goodbye.  You must act before that event takes place.  At the end of the day, it’s what your and your family get to keep that  counts.”  ~ Rick Rodgers, CFP

Tax efficient investing has always been important. It will become even more important if the Bush tax cuts come to an end on December 31, 2010. The top 2% of income earners with total family income above $250,000 will be hit especially hard. Some call it the largest tax increase in history.

Join us, Monday, December 2, 2010 as Lee Pelko, CFP from the firm Rodgers and Associates, shares Living Fully After 40 Radio,
some suggestions to consider to
prepare for 2011.

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By Anna D. Banks

The economy has most of us scared. We want to retire, but feel that we can’t. Housing prices are down. Tuition for your college aged children is rising faster than the surf at “Big Sur”, and even the “well-healed” baby boomer is feeling the economic pinch. Overall things may not feel full of promise, but take a look at the short video and be inspired.

To read more about Douglas Goodey – The 20 Million Dollar Man Click Here

Live Fearlessly,


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The 78 million-strong population of Baby Boomers currently represents as much as 40% of the American workforce. All, or most of these boomers are unlikely to look at complete retirement at the age of 65 and as many as seven in ten of the boomers who are eligible for retirement actually plan to work far past age of retirement or never retire at all. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says, that the total rate of growth of the workforce is on the decline. It will go from 12%, which is the current growth rate, to a mere 4% in the decade leading to 2020. In the very near future, employers will find that it has become crucial to hire, and keep mature workers happy within the organizations and the workforce.

However, it would astound the prospective employee to know that in spite of all this highly publicized research and the available statistics, 80% of companies have failed to make any changes in the organizational structure or work atmosphere to make special provisions available for older workers. This state of affairs needs to undergo a rapid sea change if these companies want to retain their competitive edge, minimize the impact of the declining workforce growth on their businesses, and if they wish to be seen as employers who are friendly to the increasing number of older workers.

By the same token, the over-50 candidate who is looking for a new job can improve his/her chances of landing the job they want by becoming more knowledgeable about the coming labor shortage, making sure they are the right choice, and demonstrating to prospective employers the fact that they can match and support the evolving needs of the company.

Now, the question is what the mature worker wants and how he/she can achieve these goals over the ten years or so. Some of the goals for a 50 plus worker may be:

1. Financial Stability: This is one of the main reasons that influence the decision of baby boomers to continue working after 60.

• The answer: Mature workers will have to look for jobs that will enable them to cover all their obligations. It is a good idea to speak to colleagues, various professional organizations, and recruiters, and research online about their current market value.

2. Different Employment Packages: Companies will find it necessary to recruit qualified candidates and create new strategies to retain baby boomers. Boomers want flexibility in their work arrangements, more meaningful and satisfying work, better and more comprehensive benefits, as well as opportunities for training and development.

• The answer: Boomers must find out about companies actively showing commitment to an older, more mature workforce through AARP surveys and magazines, newsletters, networking, especially in age-related discussion groups.

3. Age Bias: whether real or perceived, it is seen that hiring managers and even some decision makers have certain preconceptions about older workers.

• The answer: Older candidates ought to interact and work around changes, training, and relationships, and break the stereotypes.

4. Benefits and Pension Plans: Internal Revenue Code regulations prohibit any defined benefit pension plans from making payments or disbursements until employment ends

• The answer: If receiving a pension is important, working for an organization, including their old employer, as a consultant, may be a better idea so that the pension benefits are unaffected.

The labor situation is changing rapidly, and will continue to change in the near future. Keeping themselves informed about these changes and finding ways to better market their accomplishments will enable mature professionals to improve their future career paths.

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By Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Nothing in life is permanent. Everything is transient. That is why we must be secured, especially in financial terms, in case things go out of control. We must be always prepared for the future and that is why good retirement financial planning is most practical for a safe and secured future. Financial planning is very crucial like life planning and it requires lot of calculative and methodical moves, like choosing a home involves lots of tax factors like state and local taxes. Retirees should carefully study the tax matters before formulating the retirement financial strategies.

Retirees who wish to continue with their work during their golden years should be aware that the state taxation income varies widely for them and some states support their earned income and provide them extra privileges. Some states consider the retirees income like everyone else’s and some impose tax on all the earned income. Sometimes the taxation amount varies a lot between states. Retirees shifting to new domicile should watch out for the municipal income taxes.

Income from military, government, private pension and other retirement plans are increasingly important sources of income for some retirees. Some states exempt incomes generated from such sources, while some exempt only selected ones. Some place taxable limits on such sources. Some states even tax former residents on retirement plan withdrawals and create a possibility of tax in two states. Some states strictly adhere to the federal tax formulas under the social security benefits and others follow their own specified formulas, while some don’t provide any reimbursements at all.

Retirees should also consider the sales and property taxes, as some states offer tax deductions on properties purchased by retired seniors while others provide homestead benefits. Retired seniors should also study the tax exemptions provided on clothing, food, drugs and household goods. US tax code generally deems the retirement age and sometimes you might face the ugly tax brunt while tapping tax favored retirement benefits. It is very complex to avoid federal income tax, but it is possible to avoid the 10% penalty provided you plan way ahead.

Opt for the IRA withdrawals

If you use the Roth IRA withdrawals then when you withdraw your contributions, they are federal income tax free and penalty free, but sometimes this could be tricky if the source of income is from the following three sources:

• Money from annual tax contribution
• Money generated by converting tradition IRA into Roth IRA
• Earnings accumulated from your contribution

Tax deductions apply to only the first two sources and withdrawal before the retirement age from the third source is usually subjected to income tax.

Advantage of penalty free exemptions

If you have not opted for Roth IRA than the best option would be to opt for income tax withdrawal. Whenever you withdraw, you would owe some amount to the income tax. If you wish to break the rules, then switch to qualified retirement exemptions like 401(k).

Annuitize the Account

This is normally the surest and safest technique to legitimize for a penalty-free retirement account withdrawal, before the retirement age of 59 years and 6 months.

© 2008 Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Author’s Note:
Do you have any questions about career development or lifestyle changes for Baby Boomers, which you think others, like you, would want to know the answers? Email your questions to me at

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Anna D. Banks, Basic Author

By Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Most people nearing retirement age begin to think about what they can do next. Even though you may want to start a small home based business, but you could be stuck wondering if you are too old for entrepreneurship after retirement. You may even think that over 60 is an age that is too old for getting into entrepreneurship.

However, recent studies have shown that older entrepreneurs actually have the odds in their favor. As many as 22% men over 65 and 14% of the women over retirement age are self-employed, and entrepreneurs in the age group of 45 to 64 are a group expected to grow rapidly in the near future. Older entrepreneurs clearly have an edge because of their experience gained over many years of working life. They have also generally earned more financial stability, and assets that can finance a startup. Today, entrepreneurs over 50 are quite willing to devote the time and energy to build their small businesses.

There are more than 10 million businesses in the US alone that are women-owned, and employ 18 million people! Women-owned businesses are actually a good 28% of the total business world and total over 700,000 new startups a year! These statistics are a good reason to get ready for the transition from an employee to a business owner. As the Baby Boomer generation hits retirement age, people are living longer and healthier lives, making many of them want to continue an active and productive work life.

By the time you are 50, you have gained a number of skills and accumulated experience that really makes the difference in entrepreneurship. However, prepare well before you make the transition from an employee to a business owner. It requires some precautions that may not apply to young entrepreneur. Starting a new business at this stage can be more risky and you can afford fewer mistakes. There is simply less time to bounce back and the money you are investing might just be your retirement assets. So if you are an older entrepreneur, you need to plan and prepare, getting ready for the transition from an employee to a business owner, with caution.

Don’t stake all your reserves on this one venture. Borrow only as much as you need to start the business and try to avoid a personal guarantee or second mortgages. Pick a business that you have experience in, in a field that you know well. Failing that, pick an industry where your current skills transfer and translate easily. A totally different industry, based on a hobby or an interest, can work quite well if you spend enough time in learning the ins and outs of the industry and familiarizing yourself with the business.

Consider buying up an already established business. Starting a new business from scratch is risky. If you buy an established business, you get processes already in place, and a ready client or buyer base. A running business has a track record, and financial statements; check these out before you buy, with your lawyer and accountant. Also, another good idea might be to consider a franchise.

© 2008 Anna D. Banks, GCDF

ANNA D. BANKS, GCDF is an adjunct professor at Essex County College, career development and marketing coach, speaker, and author. Anna helps individuals design a game plan for an extraordinary career or business. Since 1996, Anna has helped hundreds of job-seekers, managers, business owners, and sales professionals achieve career success. For more information send an email to
Author’s Note:
Do you have any questions about career development or lifestyle changes for Baby Boomers, which you think others, like you, would want to know the answers? Post your questions on this website or email your questions to me at

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By Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Couples who are in marriages that have lasted through the years experience comfort, security, and a feeling of accomplishment. However, comfort and security can often also lead to married life becoming dull and couples taking each other for granted. Transitioning smoothly into married life after retirement requires planning. Apart from planning for financial sufficiency, couples also need to clarify matters like what expectations they have from each other after retiring, such as doing the household chores. One of the important aspects of adjusting to post-retirement life together is wives appreciating the fact that husbands lend an active hand in the house. Since retirement means that they will be spending more time together, weaknesses and strengths may become more pronounced. Soon after retirement, it is usual for couples to experience a period wherein there will be an increase in friction, which they must overcome to enjoy a fulfilling life together for the rest of their days. Here are a few tips that will help you to stay happily married even after retirement:

Avoid Criticism:
It is often the case, that in a companionship that has lasted long years, partners have a tendency to think that they can make negative or unkind remarks to each other. After years of familiarity, people tend to speak their minds regardless of the feelings of their spouses. However, irrespective of the length of a marriage, being gentle with each other is an essential element for marital harmony and strength. Gentleness includes avoiding criticizing each other, forgiving each other, being self-disciplined rather than finding fault with each other, as well as being kind to each other. You need to have self-control and an ability to be responsible for your own actions in order to give up criticism. Although this may often be difficult, even so, as you stop being critical of each other, you will find understanding and love growing in your marriage.

Being Best Friends:
Just like you ignore traits in your friend that you might find irritating, you need to look beyond your spouse’s flaws, focusing instead on the qualities that endear him/her to you. This includes giving each other love unselfishly and freely, without feeling that you are making a sacrifice. Having fun together, sharing your feelings and thoughts with each other, and laughing together are important to keeping your retirement life together happy and fulfilling.

Respect Each Other:
Respecting each other as individuals is an important aspect. Although long years of co-existing with each other may result in fewer conflicts, husbands and wives still need to acknowledge the differences that they have and respect them. The differences could even make the marriage more fun and interesting, adding a renewed spark to it.

Become Allies:
Long years of togetherness can make it easier to be a team. Although differences may still crop up, they may not seem as threatening with the growth of commitment and love. Partners can now appreciate each others differing strengths and perspectives. They can also pool each others corresponding traits together and achieve goals that they may not have been able to by themselves. Enjoy, build, and value this unity.

© Anna D. Banks, GCDF

ANNA D. BANKS, GCDF is an adjunct professor at Essex County College, career development and marketing coach, speaker, and author. Anna helps individuals design a game plan for an extraordinary career or business. Since 1996, Anna has helped hundreds of job-seekers, managers, business owners, and sales professionals achieve career success. For more information send an email to
Author’s Note:
Do you have any questions about career development or lifestyle changes for Baby Boomers, which you think others, like you, would want to know the answers? Post a question on this website or email your questions to me at

By Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Except for the wealthy, the basic goal for almost all retirement planning is to ensure that your assets last, and your cash flow remains steady, for as long as you live. At the end of a regularly earned salary, balancing your retirement income against your total household expenses must be the focus of all further financial planning. Due to an increasing life expectancy, keeping the cash flow going has become increasingly critical. The average American, retiring at 65, can expect to live for at least another 20 years. So, it is essential that you don’t let the cash flow stop, even after retirement. Although the details of the strategies to accomplish that would vary according to your income, your lifestyle, and state of health, there are some basic moves that will help you to live adjust your income and balance it against your expenses.

If you are about to retire, or have already taken the big leap, you must first gather and organize all of the pertinent information to help you to manage your cash flow during retirement. Gathering this information, will give you an overview of where your finances stand, as of now.

• Get the latest net-worth statement for a quick look at your total assets, debt, and cash reserves.
• Make itemized monthly and annual budgets, with details of your income as well as expenses.
• Make sure you include all expenses, including rare ones like insurance, and club membership fees, as well as what you pay for investment management.

This information should tell you if there are major problems you might have to deal with. This could be anything from lack of an emergency buffer to an income shortfall. This information may also throw up areas for improvement, like the possibility of finding additional cash by eliminating unnecessary expenses. One thing to keep in mind is that even if you make reasonable assumptions today about returns, inflation, and living costs during your retirement, all of these may change, affecting your cash flow. Monitoring your income and expenses on a regular basis can help you address these changes as they arise, preventing major glitches later. Look for developments with the potential to affect your cash flow. For example, interest rates may change, and stock markets vary, causing a change in your income from savings or investments. Adjustments may become necessary, like reducing your expenses or altering your investment mix to add alternate sources of income.

Relocation to another state may change federal, state, or local tax rates with a bearing on your cash flow. While changes in the benefits from or eligibility for Social Security and Medicare and private insurance coverage can have a huge impact on living costs, circumstances like marriage, and the increase or decrease in the number of dependents can also throw your cash flow out of whack.

Pay close attention to cash flow, make sure you budget and monitor your income and expenses, and take significant action. In addition, you need to find a way to make the most of your savings, and maximize the cash flow from your investments while maintaining your capital. Retirement should be a time of peace and contentment.

© 2008 Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Author’s Note:
Do you have any questions about career development or lifestyle changes for Baby Boomers, which you think others, like you, would want to know the answers? Email your questions to me at

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By Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Some employees hanker for retirement while some fear it and many are anxious thinking about the financial instability associated with it. The truth is that retirement is just another phase of adulthood and it gives a person an opportunity to relive life as and how he or she wants. But in reality retirement is a major event in a person’s life with today’s increasing life span, one that lasts for about a good one third of life!

Retiring at 65 is not archetypal anymore as people nowadays retire even at 60 and then they have to plan for around 30 years of not working. Retiring late means, you don’t get a chance to do everything you wish for. Like quoted in a poem written by William Shakespeare “Fear no more the heat o’ th’ sun, Nor the furious winters rages. Thou thy worldly task hast done, home art gone and ta’en thy wages”. Retirement generally brings in a change in the existing lifestyle and things that encompass retirement years include career changes, possible relocation and cutting back work. Hence planning is essential to lead a satisfying retired life. Retirement planning should be based on identifying what that term means to you and how the lifestyle change can be funded.

The strategy for retirement planning has changed tremendously. Now it is based on the terms of lifestyle changes, accomplishing or readjusting goals and changing or giving up work. Case studies state that the person who spends minimum 10 years in building the foundation with regards pre-retirement planning can lead a second fun filled career during retirement.

So enroll in a workshop to get guidance with regards pre-retirement planning or if you already have enrolled, enquire whether the pre-retirement planning also includes relocation. Relocation works well for employees who work for the Defense.

So start planning now if you wish to lead a quality life after retirement and the first step would be based on assessing the type of life you would like to live. So if you are retiring at 60 or 65 and wish to maintain the same lifestyle, then your retirement years should generally focus on building wealth to generate income from those investments made during the working years. By joining a workshop and enrolling with a financial planning program, you will be able to chart a well-defined path, which can make your retirement years more worthwhile and relaxing.

These financial planning strategies provide a series of advantages like those that boost retirement saving and legally minimize tax and access to preserve super benefits of tax relief or concessional tax. Once you understand your retirement portfolio, then you are sure to understand and control your clear course towards a successful and relaxed retired life. Retired life is a new chapter to relive and enjoy all those moments that you missed while barging ahead in a hectic work life.

© Anna D. Banks, GCDF

ANNA D. BANKS, GCDF is an adjunct professor at Essex County College, career development and marketing coach, speaker, and author. Anna helps individuals design a game plan for an extraordinary career or business. Since 1996, Anna has helped hundreds of job-seekers, managers, business owners, and sales professionals achieve career success. For more information send an email to
Author’s Note:
Do you have any questions about career development or lifestyle changes for Baby Boomers, which you think others, like you, would want to know the answers? Please post your question this site or email your questions to me at

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Anna D. Banks, Basic Author

By Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Many people put off planning for their retirement thinking that since it is years away in the future they can wait for some more time before giving thought to it. However, by delaying it you could end up losing substantial amounts of money. This, in turn, could be the decisive factor of whether your retirement will be a comfortable one or whether you barely get by.

Planning for retirement, therefore, ought to be begun as soon as possible. By beginning early, not only will it give you more time to create a portfolio of investment that will generate a comfortable income during your retirement, but also take care of other important matters like health.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning for your retirement:

Set Goals
One of the first things to do is making a list of some of the goals you have for your retirement. Are you planning on traveling? Do you want to move to another place because of the climate, or to be closer to family? Or perhaps you just want to stay in the same place and pursue your interests and hobbies. Irrespective of what your goals may be, you will require money for it from an income. It is projected that baby boomers will have retired lives that will last for 30 years, and perhaps even more. Hence, you will have to make a plan that generates income for that many years. It could include taking up another career after retiring, to augment your retirement income. You can use retirement calculators to find out the amount of money you will require for your retirement.

Make a Budget

In case you have not already done so, make a budget. If you have no idea about your monthly expenditure, start jotting down every dollar you spend for two to three months in a journal. You will be able to manage your expenses better once you find out exactly what you are spending on. Payments you make toward your retirement plan should be included in your budget.

Include other Members of the Family
Talk about your plans for retirement with your spouse and other members of your family. It is likely that both you and your spouse will retire around the same time, hence both of you should be in accord about the kind of retirement you want. If both of you are working, both will be making contributions to the funds you are putting aside for your retirement. Hence by deciding together, you will create a plan that both of you will find acceptable.

Don’t Bust your Plan
Regardless of how well you plan for the financial aspect of your retirement, it will come to naught, if you use it frivolously to buy yourself luxuries that you can do without. If you are going over your budget, it is probably because you are mistaking luxuries to be necessities. Does every member of the family really require a cell phone and a pager? Do you really require another phone line, or caller ID? Small things add up, making you go over budget. While you do not have to deprive yourself, it is always better to spend your money wisely.

Aim for Health and Fitness
Age related ailments affect your healthcare costs along with your insurance premiums for your retirement. Your premiums will be substantially higher, or you could even be denied coverage, if you have any pre-existing health condition. That will hit you hard when you will require funds for healthcare the most. Hence, plan for being healthy and fit into a ripe old age by eating well and exercising regularly.

© 2008 Anna D. Banks, GCDF

ANNA D. BANKS, GCDF, is a passionate advocate for baby boomers in exploring their priorities, planning and setting goals for the next stage of their lives. Assisting her clients to attract and build a professional and personal life consistent with their values is not just a goal of Anna’s, it’s her passion. Her diverse work experience in business, education and financial services enables her to help the diverse population of baby-boomers with their life, career, and personal finance coaching needs. Anna is currently Adjunct Faculty at Essex County College, where she teaches Career Development & Management. Please place a post on or email your questions to me at
Author’s Note:

Do you have any questions about career development or lifestyle changes for Baby Boomers, which you think others, like you, would want to know the answers? Please place a post on or email your questions to me at

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