5 Retirement Tips That Make Retirement Planning a Serious Issue
Retirement tips are for those who never think that retirement day will come, or don’t know the potential difficulties they face when they retire. It always seems so far away, but those who have retired tell me it came faster than they ever imagined.
Here are some actual examples of problems seniors tell me they’ve had because they didn’t take their retirement date seriously in their 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. Here are 5 retirement tips to include in your retirement planning.
Retirement tips #1 – Medicare + 20%
Medicare pays 80% of most of the senior medical cost. Because of this, senior citizens are required to take out a Medicare Supplement policy. The supplement pays the extra 20%. Some seniors planned so poorly that they can’t afford or pay for the Medicare supplement. Because they have no supplement insurance, they are required to pay the 20% each time they go to the doctor, have surgery, chemotherapy or any other medical treatment. If they have a home, the home will be attached to pay for their medical balances, usually if they sell it or pass away. If they don’t have an insurance supplement or pay the 20%, some medical facilities will not treat them. There are two types of medicare: Regular Medicare (government sponsored) and Medicare Advantage (private coverage). Regular medicare typically pre-authorizes and pays promptly. Medicare advantage includes
many “extras” to “induce” seniors to sign up, but does not authorize major
treatment in many cases, and does not follow through with the extras. Doctors I talk to recommend seniors sign up for regular medicare.
Retirement tips #2 – Social Security as a Supplement
Many employees, both young and old, can pay into a 401k plan but opt-out of it, because either they, 1. Don’t understand what it is, 2. Don’t get matched by their employer, or 3. Feel they have plenty of time to worry about it later. The fact is there are numerous articles to explain 401k plans, the match is a nice side benefit—but you still get a tax benefit when you contribute without a match. The amount of a monthly social security retirement check is small compared to your working retirement income. Because of this, social security is meant to be a supplement to your retirement, so think hard about creating your main retirement now. The earlier you start, the easier it is, and the less you need to put into your account, monthly.
Retirement tips #3 – 401k Protection
A popular retirement supplemental plan is the 401k, but you must protect it. Once you start to fund a 401k protect it with all your might. The protections include; 1. Leaving it alone for retirement – this means no borrowing. This is a provision that should not be allowed in a 401k plan since it is meant for retirement. Everything should be done to avoid borrowing from your 401k, including careful planning early in your career. Here are some protection ideas. Make yourself several “would if” scenarios and fulfill those scenarios early.
The examples are — “what if I lose my job”, “what if I need a large home repair”, “what if I want to go on a nice vacation”, “what if I have difficulty paying my mortgage”. All those issues can be addressed by 1. Creating savings accounts, 2. Cutting your living expenses now, 3. Make all major purchases affordable. You can come up with more solutions. The point is to come up with solutions to problems that don’t exist yet, so you never need to borrow against your 401k plan later.
Another protection is to keep your 401k balance to yourself. Scam artist prey on older people and sometimes younger people who have large 401k balances, because they know you can take that money out of your account anytime. A large lump sum withdrawal will trigger a large tax bill if you take it out at once. But, that is no concern of any sales person (many of whom are fake), when it comes to your 401k. You should be the only one who knows the balance. It’s not a good idea to share your balance with strangers.
The popular show, American Greed profiled the case of two ladies, not very old, but managed to retire with large 401k type accounts. One had $600,000 and one had $1 million. Both told friends, who told a fake investment person, who contacted them, talked them into investing with him, and he stole all their money. Their primary problem was that they should never have met with or believed in a stranger who claimed to be investing in the music production business with high returns.
The only thing they got was a huge bill from the IRS since they took the money out within a short period. The man went to prison, but they did not get their money back. Friends, family, and strangers have no right to the information in your 401k or 403b plan. Some elderly people have had their 401k stolen from them by their own relatives, including greedy children.
Retirement tips #4 – 403b Protections
The 403b is like the 401k, usually for non-profits. Fund the accounts, make sure you understand where to keep the money when you retire, you will have a few options. But, mostly understand that your balance is your personal business, and you must pay taxes on the amount you take out. The purpose of your 401k or 403b is to supplement a pension or other retirement plan.
Retirement tip #5 – Tax Shelter Annuity Movement
Many school districts offer tax shelter annuities as supplemental retirement accounts. After retirement, they are offered the right to roll over into an annuity outside their job. Be careful, make sure the costs aren’t prohibitive. Also, you can only take out a little at a time, otherwise taxes would be too high. Again, your tax shelter annuity balance is your business, no one else’s. Look at online investment banks such as fidelity.com, troweprice.com, schwab.com or others – call and discuss low cost annuities to roll over your annuity. You can also discuss other low risk options. Take your time and don’t allow anyone to pressure you.
This is only the beginning, but if you take these retirement tips serious, and include them in your retirement planning, you will be on the road to retirement bliss. Understand the limits of social security when you plan your retirement.
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Here are a few email scams you should be aware of going into the new year, think before you click on that email link. There are many ways to avoid clicking on email scams or links in email scams. The email scammers are going to great lengths to appear normal. There has been a lot of information about email scams and hackers harvesting information from your computer, but computer users continue to be victims of the email scammers.
1. Automatic Email Harvesting Scams:
If you have a website with your email address on it, someone with email harvesting software can scan the web and pick up your email address. Instead of using firstname.lastname@example.org, use myemail(at)me.com on your webpage, this will avoid automatic email harvesting software.
If you click on an email with a subject line that appears to be malicious computer code, it could include code that is unloaded onto your computer when you click on the email. If there are a lot of characters in the email, it is sure to include hacker code. When the code is unloaded on your computer, it allows the hacker to consume your email list from your computer.
When you open a bad email, you will be instructed to open a link in the email, to buy something, give personal information, or with a message to view something interesting. The link is usually malicious computer code. They usually appear to be a legitimate company.
If you click on a malicious link in the email, most of those links include code that will unload your entire email address book, along with your personal email address, onto the scammers computer database. With that information , they will send out millions of spam emails with your email address in the “from” line and your friends email address in the “to” line. Those emails will instruct your friends to open a link in the email
that is actually malicious code. The links unload something called a “bot” onto your computer, and allows them to control your email address book.
It will appear that the email is coming from a friend to you, but the message line is usually not meaningful, or the email will ask you to click on a link in the open email that will unload a “bot” or coded program to access your computer and computer email address book. Your anti-virus does not usually delete these email bots in due time.
The only way to avoid giving your email address and your email address book to strangers is to avoid opening trick emails.
2. Responding To Trick Emails:
Understand trick emails to protect your computer and your personal information, including your passwords.
Fake emails that respond to a product you are selling online, an ad you placed, for anything ranging from a job to selling a computer, will ask you to click the link in the email for more information, and the “bot”, is usually code to install a keystroke tracker. The keystroke tracker, records your pass codes on their computer. This is how online banking accounts are stolen. Large companies have had millions stolen by hackers, when just one employee clicked on a link in an email with a keystroke tracker installed. Employees must be educated, as well as personal computer users.
3. To Avoid Email Tricks and Downloading Malicious Code
Run an anti-virus update and full scan before you use online banking account.
4. Clicking on Links to Unsolicited Emails Sent to You
This sounds super easy to avoid. But, the email scammers have gotten very sophisticated. They will email you several emails that appear to be from companies. These companies we use all the time, so folks don’t get suspicious. The problem is when the emails look like an amateur put them up, and they have links that encourage you to click them. Clicking on these links will download a “hidden bot” or script also known as code that takes personal information off of your computer. Many times it disables your computer from working all together. This is serious, but if you are vigilant you can avoid being a victim of this scam. If you didn’t order anything from said company, you know it is a spoof of that company, so you don’t need to open the email. If you think you ordered something and can’t remember go directly to your account page on that website or paypal to check to see if you ordered something. But, absolutely NEVER click on a link in a suspicious email.
5. Do not open emails with [no subject], in the subject line
Do not open emails with email addresses you know are in your email address book or belongs to a friend, but that friend no longer uses that email address. This email came from a bot, downloaded from your friends computer to the email scammer.
Emails with any type of perverted information in the subject line; these are designed usually for men or those who are extremely “curious”. The information will tell the user to click on the link to get more perverted information, but the link is a malicious bot, to steal information off the users computer.
Emails that come from companies that you don’t do business with, they hope you will open the email and click on a bad link to be curious about why they are contacting you.
Emails that claim to be your bank or some other place you do business with—do not open–call the business instead, with a phone number you already have. These are called fishing emails. They are crooks, fishing for information from unsuspecting computer users. They usually send out emails appearing to come from hundreds of different banks, hoping they will land your bank name on your computer. Don’t fall for the trick.
When you place your email address on your website, place it as (at) instead of @.
6. Understanding Limitations To Anti-Virus Software:
Anti-virus software has limited use, be aware that it does not work when you answer a fishing email and/or click on a bad link to automatically download a malicious bot to your computer. The bot normally downloads information to your computer before the anti-virus picks it up. Get an anti-virus and a malware removal program.
Anti-virus usually works to keep viruses, worms, and bots off your computer hard drive, but you must be vigilant.
Update your antivirus and malware software a few times a day, and run a full scan, at least once a day. Don’t leave your computer off for extended periods, that is, weeks at a time. If your computer is not in use, turn it on at least once a week, update your anti-virus software, and run a full scan. If your computer is left off for too long, the hard drive can become overwhelmed with viruses, worms, and bots—and therefore the computer may not function in any capacity.
Become friends with your delete button. After you have taken a close look at each of your emails, and you are not positively sure it is from a trusted source, delete it right away.
7. This is a 2018 update to email harvesting and malicious bots. Your phone has also become a target.
Your phone has also become a target for home and business abuse. Many unscrupulous types use spoof cards to mimic a legitimate company on your caller ID. The ID can have both the name of the company and their number which has been spoofed by a spoof card used before the call is made to disguise the real caller’s information. You can get a hint that the caller ID is fake if; 1. The caller ask for a financial donation to a legitimate source, 2. The caller ask for banking information, or 3. A computer answers the phone when you pick it up. It helps to be suspicious of every single email and call. Do not give out credit card information, or any other confidential information when someone calls you. 4. Telephone calls are outrageous, always different scams asking for money for a created fraud — tell seniors – DO NOT ANSWER, they use fake phone numbers to match real businesses. Understand more about protecting yourself, in my new eBook, 67 Powerful Ways to Save Money, Now and Forever. The book is even more powerful with the companion “Budget Planner” you can instantly download.
Privatize Social Security, Update 2018 – It’s Getting Worse
Some lawmakers would have you believe that social security is a massive debt program in terrible trouble. A Ponzi scheme is how many have characterized it.
A Ponzi scheme is when a person runs a fake investment company that uses new investor funds to pay old investors, instead of actual investment returns. Most or none of the money is ever invested in anything. Because of this, Ponzi schemes collapse in a short period of time.
The Ponzi scheme collapses because the money is used to finance a lavish lifestyle of the Ponzi and runs out when the Ponzi can no longer attract new money or when the investors want their money back. An example of a well-known Ponzi schemer is Bernie Madoff.
How does social security compare to a Ponzi scheme? It does not. First of all, it has not collapsed in a short period of time; in fact, it has lasted for 72 years. Unlike a Ponzi scheme, where only a small number of investors are paid what they invest until the scheme collapses, social security has paid out what employees have invested.
Social security is a low-cost benefit program that pays inflation adjusted benefits, and has not had any missed payments.
Social security takes mandatory payments from employees while most 401k accounts have voluntary participation. Unlike 401k retirement savings accounts pre-retirees cannot take loans against social security accounts. These are a few reasons that social security is more secure than a 401k account.
Another problem with 401k plans is because participation is usually optional, many employees do not understand that they will have a limited or no retirement if they do not participate in their 401k plan.
Now lawmakers are trying to politicize social security due to the aging American population, the social security trust fund will run low in coming years. This has given some politicians the excuse to privatize social security, turning billions of dollars over to Wall Street in 401k type investments. This would be far more costly than the current system and the beneficiaries of the program would get far less money at retirement.
The solution to the social security dilemma is simple. The current social security payroll tax limit is based on the employees first $106,800 in earnings, if this limit is raised just a small amount, a large part of the problem going forward will be solved by adding substantial money to the social security trust fund. There are other viable solutions as well. Putting our social security taxes in private 401k type wall street funds is not a viable solution. Find out more about saving money here.
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