Author: Stephen Gerrald

Required Withdrawals from Retirement Plans: What Should You Know?

You may spend decades contributing to your IRA and 401(k). But, eventually, you’ll need to use this money. Before that day arrives, you’ll want to be familiar with the rules governing withdrawals – and you’ll want to know just how much you should take out. To begin with, withdrawals from traditional employer-sponsored retirement plans like these fall under the Internal Revenue Service’s “required minimum distributions” (RMD) guidelines. (You aren’t required to take these distributions from a Roth IRA.) Here are some of the key RMD points to keep in mind: You need to take distributions by age 70-1/2. You...

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Does Market Volatility Scare You?

Halloween is almost upon us. Of course, on Halloween night, you may see a parade of monsters, demons, Transformers and other frightening individuals stopping by your house, exercising their right to demand candy. Fortunately, their appearance will be unlikely to cause you unpleasant dreams. But some people seem to have real fears about other things – such as what may happen in the financial markets. One way to keep those fears at bay is to avoid certain impulsive moves, such as the following: Avoid ducking out of the market – Consider this: In March 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial...

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Here’s Your Retirement Countdown | Stephen Gerrald

If you want to enjoy a comfortable retirement lifestyle, you don’t need to have been born rich or even to have earned scads of money during your working years. But you do need to make the right moves at the right time – which means you might want to start a “retirement countdown” well before you draw your final paycheck. What might such a countdown look like? Here are a few ideas:  • Ten years before retirement – At this stage of your career, you might be at, or at least near, your peak earning capacity. At the same...

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Five Tips for Women Business Owners | Stephen Gerrald

Women are an integral part of the workforce, but they have had to overcome many obstacles along the way. Of course, challenges still remain, but women’s success in the working world is worth commemorating – which will happen on American Business Women’s Day Sept. 22. Are you a woman considering “setting up shop” on your own? If so, here are five tips to consider: If so, here are five tips to consider: • Balance your goals. It’s possible – perhaps even likely – that your business goals will conflict with your personal financial goals. After all, if you’re purchasing...

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Brighten Your Grandchildren’s Financial Future

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day may get more attention, but National Grandparents Day observed on Sept. 10, has gained in popularity. If you’re a grandparent, you might expect to receive some nice cards, but if you want to make the day especially meaningful, you may want to consider giving some long-lasting financial gifts to your grandchildren. What might come to mind first, of course, is helping your grandchildren pay for college. You can choose from several college savings vehicles, but you may be especially interested in a 529 savings plan. With a 529 plan, your earnings accumulate tax-free, provided...

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