Rolling Over Your 401(k) to a New Employer

It’s tough enough when you lose your job to think about anything but finding a new job, let alone searching out ways you can do a 401(k) rollover. Luckily, there are some options you have when and if this does ever happen to you. Here are some things you should consider when you are rolling over your 401(k) to a new employer.

First of all, congrats on finding a new job in this market, that’s not an easy task. Now you need to think about your new plan and the options that come with it. It doesn’t matter how much money you have in your 401(k), you will be able to transfer that money to the new 401(k). There are no charges or fees when you choose this option which makes finding a job more appealing.

The bad thing about rolling over a 401(k) into a new employer is that you are bound by the new investment options of the new employers 401(k) management. You may have had more options in your old account than this new one. Also, if you find a job with a smaller employer, the fees on the 401(k) may be higher – I’m talking about the investment management fees. So it all depends on who your new employer is and the options of that new 401(k) plan.

If you take these things into consideration when looking and choosing plans in your new 401(k) you should be fine. The fees may be higher in some cases, but maybe they have better investment options – you never know. It’s important that you set up a meeting with a financial advisor to make sure you are aligning your goals with the right investment decisions.

Easy-to-do Debt Reduction Strategies

There are a lot of people who are having troubles with their debt right and now and who probably feel lost and helpless with their situation. Being in debt is truly one of those situations that you would just wish could disappear in a snap of a finger. However, it is also a fact that properly eliminating debt will take time, sacrifice, and a lot of effort.  Debt reduction all begins with proper planning followed by strict discipline to be able to stick to that plan. If you are now determined to get rid of all of your debts, then you can pick up a thing or two from these easy and basic debt reduction strategies.

  • Use your savings to pay help pay off debt. There are a lot of people who have this mindset that they would rather put their extra money on their savings than use it to pay off their debts. Although it truly is advisable to start making an emergency fund or savings, it will benefit you more if you get rid of all of your debts first. Especially for those people who already have quite a few debts in their hand, it’s better to direct extra income towards paying off debt. Once you look at the whole picture, you will be able to save more money if you get rid of all of your debt the soonest time possible.
  • Transfer debts to lower interest rates loan. It is a fact that one of the biggest factors that can catapult your debt sky high is the interest rate it carries. If your debts carry very high interest rates, then you may definitely want to consider transferring it to loans with lower interest rates. Reducing the monthly interest rate can result to lower monthly payments and can help you catch up with your monthly payments.
  • Always pay on time. Whether you have small or big amounts of debt, it is always a no-no to neglect paying them on time. Most, if not all, debts are likely to incur penalty fees once payments made are late. The add-on fees may seem small, but when accumulated, they can already help to pay for your food and daily expenses. Always make it a habit to pay on time to avoid any penalty fees or added interest.
  • Try talking to your lenders. Most people would not even consider talking to their creditors about their debt. However, you can get a lot just by politely speaking with your creditors. You can try to negotiate lower terms or lower interest rate. You can even try to let them waive off your penalty fees if you start paying religiously. There are so money other proposals you can try to squeeze in when trying to negotiate with your creditors.

Having debt troubles is truly not the end of the world for you; there are so many tips and strategies that you can try in order to help eliminate your debts faster. Aside from the strategies given above, you also need to truly direct your actions into helping yourself get out of debt as soon as possible.

Why Are US Baby Boomers Considering Central America For Retirement?

According to Generation Mortgage Co, almost 80 percent of US baby boomers are afraid they wont be able to retire comfortably. They’re facing shrinking nest eggs, investment properties that have lost value, a weak job market, and a rising cost of living. Add to this expensive health care plans and under-insurance, and it’s no surprise that a growing number are starting to shift their perspective beyond US shores.

The US Social Security Administration reported that the number of retired Americans receiving benefits overseas has increased 32 percent since 2002. That number is set to grow. Many are bypassing Florida for their retirement and heading a little further south to countries like Costa Rica, Belize, Panama and Nicaragua.

The Central American region benefits from a close proximity to the US mainland and the number of direct flights from Miami, Houston, Los Angeles and Atlanta increases each year. But the key attraction is a massively reduced cost of living, making the promise of a full and rich retirement still possible despite the trying financial times. Retirees who have made the move say they can “live a life of luxury” for under $1500 a month. In Nicaragua, some US baby boomers scale that number down even further to $950 a month, and that still includes a full time maid.

Added to this are a host of extra benefits and incentives available to retirees under government designed retirement residency programs. In Nicaragua and Belize for example, the retirement age is just 45 and ‘retirees’ are eligible for exemptions on local taxes and are not taxed on income earned out of the country. In Panama the retiree program also offers discounts on a number of medical, travel and entertainment expenses.

The real estate in the region remains highly affordable. A report by international property site showed that Nicaragua real estate in particular stands out as offering very low cost property options, significantly lower than Costa Rica and Belize, for example. With beachfront property available for a fraction, even 1/10 the price of property in the US, that ocean side retirement dream is no longer out of reach for many US baby boomers willing to make the move.

Importance of Saving Money When You Are Young

We all understand the need to save money regularly. But do you know just how beneficial it can be? A 10 year old setting aside just $20 per week into a savings account until they are 18 adds up to $7,680. When interest and the time value of money is figured into the equation, the amount would exceed $10,000. Young people who understand the importance of saving money may never have to worry about seeking out fast debt solutions later on in life. Saving for our children’s futures ourselves is another option.

Teaching Kids About Saving and Managing Money

Kids who are taught how to save and manage money at very young ages often grow up with “money smarts”. A great way to introduce the concept of saving money to a child is by using a piggy bank and depositing money into it occasionally as a reward for good behavior. As a reward for diligently saving their money, the piggy bank can be emptied and partially (or even entirely) used for a special toy or game. Allowing kids to buy their own toys will show them the importance of making wise choices with their money; you can only spend that money once!

Kids who are slightly older can learn about saving money if they are given a reasonable allowance on a weekly basis. Opening a savings account for a child is also a good idea – especially with all the savings account incentives available for minors. Parents should encourage their children to save some of their allowance money for things they really want or need, rather than spend it all as soon as they receive it. When kids learn first-hand that money doesn’t grow on trees and that you generally have to do something to earn it, they may be less likely to get in debt for things they can’t really afford as they get older.

Saving Money Goes Beyond Putting Away Cash

There are lots of other practical ways to save money besides physically putting it away in a safe place. Parents can set good examples for their children by living frugally. This doesn’t mean doing without anything extra at all, but rather, making children understand that things that cost money shouldn’t be taken for granted or wasted. Some parents put this idea into practice by limiting “treats” like fast food to once or twice per month rather than multiple a times a week and reserving expensive gifts for birthdays, the holidays, or whenever a child has saved up enough money on their own to buy what they want.

Is A 401k Rollover The Right Choice, Right Now?

If you’re employed and your company offers a 401k plan where they match the contributions, you would be crazy not to participate. A 401k plan helps you secure your retirement years so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. You didn’t work hard for nothing, right? Not only is investing a smart choice but another great benefit of the 401k is that you can roll it over to a new employer if you ever change companies. This allows you the opportunity to keep your money moving as you move. There are however some situations where a 401k rollover to a new employer may not be the right option for you to take at this point. Maybe your new employers investments aren’t that appealing or they may have limited options to choose from. In a situation like this, you may consider these options:

o You can leave your current investments right where they are, so long as your previous employer allows it.

o You could cash out your 401k.

o You can enroll in an outside account such as an IRA.

The choice you make out of these 3 options is going to depend greatly on your current situation and financial needs, for example:

Not Sure What To Do

If you are not sure what to do or need some time to research your new employers 401k options, keep the money where it is if it’s allowed. You may have to pay some maintenance fee’s because you’re no longer employed but if your 401k is doing well you may be better off leaving it there for while or at least until you can get financial help from a professional.

Your Needs

Sure, you are saving for retirement but as we all know emergencies can show up on our doorstep uninvited and unexpected. This may be a situation where you would need to cash out your 401k. You will pay some big fines and penalties but sometimes you’ve run out of financial resources. Another option, a smart option, would be to roll it into an IRA account and withdraw money as you need it. The penalties you pay will be a lot less.

Your Choice of Investments

If the investment options that are presented to you from your new employer aren’t great, consider an IRA. Your portfolio should include stocks and bonds and mutual funds and so if you’re not satisfied with the 401k offerings an IRA may be the right place for you to rollover your funds.

Think carefully about your situation and remember that unless you absolutely have to, don’t cash out your 401k. Rolling over is a much better option to ensure that your money continues to be invested.

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