Nobody likes to pay taxes, but it's especially hard for older Americans to deal with an unexpected tax bill. Given how many people live primarily on fixed incomes from Social Security and other sources, many don't have much extra cash to pay any more than absolutely necessary to the IRS.
You're interviewing for a new job, and you ask whether the company offers a retirement account. The employer says yes, and you move on to other topics. When you accept the job, you enroll in the retirement account and begin making contributions, but later on, you're disappointed by your savings.
Most of us want to save time and money throughout the day. Whether your schedule is jam-packed or you just wish there were a few more hours in the day, being able to do less on your own and still get things accomplished probably sounds nice.
If you are contributing to a 401(k) plan, you probably enjoy seeing those savings increase each year. When you change jobs, you may think of that money as a way to pay moving expenses and other costs connected to starting a new position. Or, you may think of the account as a way to save for a house or another large purchase, or to borrow money for your child's education.
The advantage of accumulating after-tax assets in a retirement account is that when they are distributed, the amounts will be tax- and penalty-free. However, this benefit is realized only if the necessary steps are taken.
Planning for significant life transitions is central to financial planning. As recent first-time parents, we can say with confidence that there may be no greater transition in life than starting a family.