Category Archives: Retirement Investments


What’s The Best Way To Save For Retirement In Your 50s?

The best way to save for retirement in your 50s is to set some realistic expectations, consult an expert, use catch up contributions, plan when to retire, pay off debt, and buffer for the unexpected.

If you have no retirement savings at 50 or are just starting retirement savings at 55 this post will help.  Many adults spend their lives working, paying for houses and cars, and may not have had the extra income to start saving early.

This guide helps understand how to crunch some savings for retirement into your 50s and be ready for retirement.  There are some critical areas to pay attention to if you’re short on time and trying to save enough for retirement.

Set Realistic Expectations

Hopefully you’ve been using a IRA or 401k to start saving on top of other savings accounts you have.  Ultimately, you’ll have to decide how much you’ll need to live with your expenses, medical bills, and your lifestyle.  Fidelity Investments states that you should have 10x your income by age 67.

One mistake that many seniors make is setting their retirement goal too low and then having to compromise on how they live in retirement.  Saving now means living larger later.

Consult An Expert

It can be challenging to come up with a plan of how to save in a short time frame in your 50s.  It can be very beneficial to talk to an expert, so you can set the right goals and have a plan to accomplish it.  Some employers have financial advisers on staff, if you don’t have one at your company it still can pay to go and meet with one.

Use Catch Up Contributions

If you’re over 50 and are behind on your retirement savings there are ways to catch up.  One great way to get a jump on it is to put money into tax sheltered retirement accounts.  IRAs and 401k are both strategies that can pay off big for saving in a crunch.  For adults who are 50 and over it’s possible to save up to $6,500 in an IRA and $24,500 in a 401k.

Learn more about: Safe investments for retirees.

Plan When To Retire

A big decision is when to retire, especially if you’re being on your savings.  In many cases your investments and savings will not be sufficient to fund your retirement.  Today adults are pushing retirement back to give themselves longer to save, or they are going part time.  Also, the earlier you start receiving benefits affects how much you’ll be able to collect.

Pay Off Debt

A large portion of adults will still have their mortgage to pay off in their 50s.  This can be a large hurdle in retirement.  Going into your retirement while still paying your mortgage isn’t ideal.  With that said the reality of it is that about 30% of homeowners over the age of 65 still have a mortgage payment.

Buffer For The Unexpected

Large unexpected medical expenses are unfortunately a reality that becomes a part of retirement.  Saving more than you need to live on is a good rule to follow.  It will help keep your retirement nest egg dedicated to living expenses.  While it means pull the belt tight now it gives you more freedom and protection later during your retirement.

Affordable Retirement Communities in Arizona

SLS Communities provides the full range of retirement community services including: independent living, assisted living, memory care, and home care in Arizona.  We strive to provide the best retirement living at affordable costs for seniors wanting to retire to the warmth and culture of Arizona.  We offer our retirement living services in Sedona, Surprise, Peoria, Mesa, and Youngtown, Arizona.

Best Low Risk, High Return, Safe Investments For Seniors

Best Low Risk, High Return, Safe Investments For Seniors

Are you searching for “safe investments for seniors“, “best investments for retirement income“, “best retirement investments 2019” or something of that nature? If so, this investment guide for seniors can help!

8 Best Safe Investments For Retirement Income


8 Best Safe Investments For Retirement Income

Most people will spend over 20 years in retirement. That is good news, but it could also be a problem as you try to make your savings last throughout your lie. Below are 7 investments that could help you get a decent return without a whole lot of risk for retirees.

1. Real Estate Investment Trusts

These are trusts that invest in direct equity positions or mortgages for various properties. They pay out dividends to investors, that are normally higher than what you could get from regular stock options. REITs are great investments to have when the stock market is in decline. This is because an REIT isn’t connected to stock exchanges, which means it is unlikely that they go down with the market.

2. Dividend paying stocks

Most established companies will pay out dividends on stocks that are higher than what you get with a safe investment like COD’s and security bonds. Because they are a stock, they aren’t as safe as a fixed income security, but it has higher potential for capital gain.

This gives those dividend paying stocks a combination of income and growth. Additionally, a high dividend will give you a longer ride for the decline of the stock market, since you may continue to get income from the stock if the price happens to fluctuate. Dividend paying stocks will often to better in a bear market since the investor can shift attention from growth to income. You can also buy and index fund that is made up of various dividend paying stocks. If you are just interested in preserving your capital during retirement, having a bit of your portfolio invested in dividend paying stocks will give you ongoing income and capital appreciation which helps with inflation.

3. Peer to Peer lending

P2P or Peer to peer lending has been steadily growing since 2005. P2P takes place online and then matches investors and borrowers in loans that would benefit them both. It is like lending without having to use a bank. The largest P2P lending platforms are Prosper and Lending Club. Most P2P investment will pay out a higher interest rate than you would get in stock investments. Although, the risk as well as the reward may vary based on who the money is lent to.

4. Immediate Annuities

Seniors that have retired may also think about investing in an immediate annuity scheme that life insurance companies offer.  Currently the annuity percentage rate is hovering around 6%, but is taxable.  There are about 10 various options for seniors to choose from with immediate annuities.  This a good option for those who don’t have the time or inclination to build or manage their own investing portfolio. For more aggressive investors who have the time to diversify this would only be a potential portion of a senior citizen investment strategy.

5. Municipal Bond

These bonds are securities that are issued by municipal governments, state, and county governments as well as various agencies. The main advantage is that the interest that is earned is tax free for federal income tax purposes. They could also be exempt from local and state taxes if you live where the bonds are issued.

A 20-year municipal bond will normally pay an average of 0.2% higher than what you get on a 30 year treasury bond. That is higher with a shorter maturity, when you add in the benefit of being tax free, they look even better.

6. Annuities

These are investment contracts that are between an insurance company and you. They will often come in various forms and may have a guaranteed return at a certain rate. Annuities can be either variable or fixed and the return rate could depend on the stock performance. Although, annuity contracts could provision that can limit the risk in an event of a declining market.

It is vital to pay attention to commissions and fees for annuity charges, which can be quite large. Most annuities will have complicated features, so take your time and really get an understanding of the product and get a second opinion before getting an annuity. Be sure to look at how annuities can change your tax liabilities.

7. US Treasury Bonds and Notes

The yields on a treasury bond or note is higher than what you will get on a COD and money market fund. This is because the bonds and notes will be longer term securities that will have a higher interest rate as a result. For instance, a treasury notes which are a debt security from the US Government that has maturities of 2 to 10 years, which pay out 2% yearly. A treasury bond will have a 30-year term, which runs at 2.5% of securities of all types and maturities which are purchased at the US Treasury portal Treasury Direct.

8. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities

These securities called TIPS are a form of US Treasury debt. What makes them different from other securities is that they pay interest and additional principal to help compensate for inflation.

TIPS will come in amounts of $100 or more for 5, 10, and 30 year terms. The yearly inflation adjustment is based on changes within the consumer price index. The percentage change with the security value will be added to principal value, instead of being paid out similar to interest. Whenever the TIPS mature, you will be paid the higher value based on the consumer price index. Although, the TIPS value may due to deflation.

Because of the inflation adjustment, the TIPS may begin to pay a lower interest rate than other securities that have comparable terms, but the adjustment can cause better results. Similar to other securities, TIPS can be purchased through Treasury Direct.

No Retirement Investments Are Perfect

There isn’t a single investment that is perfect for retirement. The best strategy is to have various types of assets within the portfolio to prepare the retirement investments for various market environments. Stay tuned for more from Senior Living Services Arizona.

Do I Pay Taxes On Social Security After Age 66?

Do I Pay Taxes On Social Security After Age 66?

Have you been searching “Do I pay taxes on social security after age 66” or “do you have to pay tax on social security“? If you have, then this article will help you to find those answers.  Paying taxes on social security depends on a number of income factors that we will explore below.

To inquire about any benefits from Social Security, you will need to make a statement of your personal account that will state what benefits you have or what the benefits will be. It can also show you a list of contributions of your benefits which allows you to check for accuracy.

Simply go to in order to create a personal social security information site where it can track your earnings and even verify them each year to get an estimate of future benefits if you are working.

Do You Have To Pay Tax On Social Security?

Americans that are working in retirement, and are making an income when combined with Social security can complicate a tax return.

If you have managed to retire before your actual retirement age and have begun collecting Social security early, the benefits are subjected to a reduction for beginning early and as your earnings increase. The recipients will have to deal with taxes on some of their benefits if the income exceeds certain amounts.

Being an early retiree, you have to decide if you should begin getting benefits early. Social security benefits will be reduced if they are started before normal retirement age. If you work, then you are subjected to more reductions. Social security may reduce some of your benefits once you earn over $15,720 in a year. You will lose $1 for ever $2 over this amount. A higher limit will apply to your benefits once your reach full retirement age. If there are any months in the year of your normal retirement that the benefits are reduced more due to the income earned during your early retirement, then your benefits will be increased in later years to make up for the reduction due to those earnings.

If you have income in excess of the base amount

You will be subjected to a tax on 85% of those benefits. If this income exceeds the base amount of $32,000 for a single filer or $44,000 for a joint filer, at least 85% of the benefits will be subjected to tax. The tax rate will depend on your tax bracket but it can be no higher than 35%.

If you receive Social Security benefits and work

The work limit for these earnings are $1,310 a month or $15,720 a year. If you collect Social Security before your full retirement age of 66 or 67, your benefits will be reduced by $1 for ever $2 that you make over that limit.

In the year that you reach your full retirement age, your benefit will be reduced by $1 for ever $3 made above that limit.

Note: For retirees that make high income, the benefits that you receive will be taxed; but this is a separate issue from a direct reduction of your benefits.

Your Social Security benefits and taxes that you may need to pay

Social security payments are going to be the main income for most retirees. You will need to check for other income to ensure that your taxes will be at a minimum amount.

In order to estimate if you may owe taxes on your benefits, you will need to add your adjusted gross income, one-half of your benefits, and tax exempt interest. If you happen to be married and your joint income is less than $32,000, you will not be taxed on your benefits; but if your joint income is above $32,000 but below $44,000, then up to 50% of your benefits may be taxed. If you have an income over $44,000, then 85% of the social security benefits may be taxed. If you are single filer, then those amounts will be $25,000 – $34,000.

This tax does come as a surprise for most.

If you are receiving benefits, and want to have taxes taken out of your benefits, then go to, and simply download the W-4V, which is a Voluntary Withholding Request. This form will give you a choice of holding 7, 10, 15, or 25% of your benefits. Sign the form and then mail it to your social security office, which you will find on your website.

After reaching age 66, you can earn any amount and still collect full benefits

In order to maximize the after tax income if you are single, or the head of household, you will want to keep your earned and unearned income as well as half of your social security benefits to under $25,000. If you are married, then you will want to keep the same figure under $32,000. This will keep your Social Security benefits from being taxed.

Once you reach the retirement age

Your benefits will not be reduced, but up to 85% of social security benefits can taxed if your income is above the base amount, which depends on if you file jointly or as single. In general, your benefits will be taxed up to 50% of 85% of the benefits.

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