Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.  If you are one of the lucky ones, even a job you enjoy doing can become tedious after many years.  If you’re grinding through your days, what do you do?  Launch a new career, or plan for early retirement?  The U.S. Census Bureau states that the average retirement age in the United States is 63 years old.

One of the biggest challenges to early retirement is figuring out how to pay for health care.  Regarding health care coverage, “early” retirement would be before age 65, at which time most Americans become eligible for Medicare.  You’ll pay a hefty premium until you become Medicare-eligible.  If you’re exiting the workforce before age 65, plan on budgeting $500 to $1,000 a month per person to purchase health insurance.  Once on Medicare, you still pay premiums, but … Read More

Money from your 401(k) plan

You already know you shouldn’t tap your retirement plan to fund frivolous purchases, yet in a handful of cases it just might be okay to take a loan.  Retirement plans account for a large chunk of personal wealth and in order to get the most out of your retirement plan, you should let the money accumulate over the course of your career.  But, sometimes, emergencies will call for the more drastic step of taking a plan loan.  Here’s how to borrow from your 401(k) without ending up with a big tax bill.

Depending on whether your plan permits borrowing, you’re generally allowed to take up to 50 percent of your vested account balance to a max of $50,000, whichever is less. You have five years to repay the loan.

Your plan administrator will withhold 20 percent of the amount to cover income taxes and you’ll trigger a 10 percent … Read More

ID Theft Prevention

According to a recent survey, nearly half of Americans say ID theft is likely to cause them financial loss in the next year. Here are some tips to help you prevent and mitigate the effects of identity theft.

Monitor your credit report. You can request a free credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies once a year, including TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Additionally, some monitoring services allow you unlimited access to your credit information year-round. These services are there to help you spot inaccuracies, potential fraud and more on your credit report. This should also be done for children. Theft of a child’s ID may go undetected for many years such that by the time they are adults, the damage has already been done.

Don’t provide your Social Security number unless it’s necessary. A space for it on a form doesn’t necessarily mean that it is required. For example, … Read More