These days you’re probably thinking about the beach, the mountains, or a road trip with the family. But summer, when life may be a little slower and your mind a little less cluttered, is actually a good time to do a quick midyear financial reality check.

A midyear checkup can accomplish several things. You can stop and think about your financial goals, such as saving for retirement, a house, a child’s education, or a financial cushion, and then make sure that you are investing appropriately for those goals. And while you are looking at your accounts, take care of “housekeeping” items too, like checking beneficiaries, which isn’t complicated but can have serious consequences if neglected.

Here are 5 things to do in a midyear review:

  1. Review your financial goals
  2. Check your investemnets
  3. Get a tax break
  4. Protect what’s yours
  5. Review important paperwork

Click here to read more

Fidelity Viewpoints

See below 3 ways that may help married couples boost their lifetime benefits:

  • A couple with similar incomes and ages may want to consider maximizing lifetime benefits by both delaying their claim.
  • For couples with big differences in earnings, consider claiming the spousal benefit which may be better than claiming your own.
  • A couple with shorter life expectancies may want to consider claiming earlier.

Married couples may have some advantages when deciding how and when to claim Social Security. Even though the basic rules apply to everyone, a couple has more options than a single person because each member of a couple can claim at different dates, and may be eligible for spousal benefits.

Making the most of Social Security requires some strategy to take advantage of the basic benefit rules, however. After you reach age 62, for every year you postpone taking Social Security (up to age 70), you could receive up to 8% more in future monthly payments. (Once you reach age 70, increases stop, so there is no benefit to waiting past age 70.) Members of a couple may also have the option of claiming benefits based on their own work record, or 50% of their spouse’s benefit. For couples with big differences in earnings, claiming the spousal benefit may be better than claiming your own.

Click here to read more

Fidelity Viewpoints

There are many benefits to marriage, but one you may not yet have considered is the flexibility married couples enjoy when deciding how and when to claim Social Security. Even though the basic rules apply to everyone, a couple has more options than a single person because each member of a couple1 can claim at different dates, and may be eligible for spousal benefits.

Click here to read more

Fidelity Viewpoints

For much of the last decade, inflation has been low by historical standards. But, recently, wage growth and higher prices have sent signs that inflation may be making a comeback, serving as a reminder of the risks that come when the buying power of a dollar falls. Such risks always exist, even when they don’t seem so obvious.For much of the last decade, inflation has been low by historical standards. But, recently, wage growth and higher prices have sent signs that inflation may be making a comeback, serving as a reminder of the risks that come when the buying power of a dollar falls. Such risks always exist, even when they don’t seem so obvious.

Click here to read more

Fidelity Viewpoints

You saved for years to get to retirement—contributing to a traditional 401(k) or IRA. Now it’s time to dip into those savings—even if you don’t really need to. Because you got a tax break when you contributed to these accounts, once you turn age 70½ the IRS requires you to withdraw every year from your traditional IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan account, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), and start paying taxes on that money.1 It’s important to determine how these minimum required distributions—known as MRDs or RMDs (required minimum distributions)—fit into your retirement income plan.

Click here to read more

Fidelity Viewpoints

You’ve likely spent a good deal of time thinking about investment risk. But have you stopped to think about more personal security issues, such as the safety of your online financial transactions and information stored on your computers? While most people recognize that online fraud or cybercrime is a potential threat, few know how or why they may be at risk. Cybercrime can take many forms, and understanding who the enemies are and how they commit crimes, may allow you to better defend yourself.

Click here to read more

Fidelity Viewpoints

 

When planning for retirement, many people think that what they see in their retirement accounts is what they’ll have to spend in retirement. What they sometimes forget about are the taxes they will need to pay on certain withdrawals, like those from traditional 401(k)s and IRAs. “It’s not what you earn that counts but how much you get to keep after taxes,” says Matthew Kenigsberg, vice president in Fidelity’s Strategic Advisers. “Also, managing your tax brackets in retirement can help preserve more of your money for the next generation.”

Click here to read more

Fidelity Viewpoints

Learn to navigate the costs, shifting coverage options, and insurance policy features.

No one really likes to think about needing long term health care services. But the reality is that each year, an estimated 12 million Americans need some type of long term care.

Are you prepared? According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the average use of long term care services is three years.2

Long term care is a key risk to your retirement plan, and you need to plan for it. It will affect you and your caregivers financially, physically, and emotionally. Having a plan to address these concerns is critical to easing the burden of this risk on you, your family, and your friends. Indeed, 51% of caregivers said providing care reduced the time they spent with their children and spouses/partners as well as time to take care of themselves.

Click here to read more

Fidelity Viewpoints

 

Get answers to common questions on eligibility, claiming strategies, spousal benefits, and more.

What role do your Social Security benefits play as part of your retirement income strategy? Are you and your spouse or partner maximizing your benefits? What if you continue to work after claiming?

Answers to these questions were highlighted in a, “Make the most of Social Security,” webcast moderated by Kerry Sweeney Harris, vice president at Fidelity Investments. Panelists included Marcia Mantell, president of Mantell Retirement Consulting, and John Wells, a Fidelity planning and guidance consultant.

Key topics covered during the webcast included Social Security eligibility, benefits calculations, claiming strategies, and spousal benefits. Here are a few highlights, or watch the full webcast.

Click here to read more

Fidelity Viewpoints

 

Tax-free growth potential and tax-free withdrawals in retirement—the tax benefits of a Roth IRA are clear. If you aren’t able to contribute to a Roth IRA because of the income limits, a Roth conversion for eligible retirement accounts is another way to have a Roth account. But, does it make sense if you are in or within 15 years or so of retirement? The answer: Maybe. A Roth IRA, even via a conversion, has the potential to benefit your retirement and legacy planning. That’s why we believe everyone should at least investigate a Roth IRA.

 

 

Click Here To Read More

Fidelity Viewpoints