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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
Job Loss
401k loan

Transitions: What Happens to a 401(k) Loan When You Leave Your Job?

Did you borrow money from your 401(k) that you haven't paid back yet? You're not alone. According to a study by Aon Hewitt, one in every four participants in these plans has a loan. What happens to that loan when you leave your job? Whether you retire, are laid off, or move to another company, the o...

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Valentines blog

True Love=Savings

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. It is said that Valentine's Day came about because of an Italian bishop who married couples in secret. At the time Roman Emperor Claudius II was fighting a war and believed that married men were not good soldiers. He thought they would rather be at home with their families then off to war on behalf of their countries. So, he abolished marriage. Bishop...

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Transitions: Strategies for your 401(k)

Deciding what to do with your 401(k) when you leave your job could be one of your biggest financial decisions. Same goes if you have a 403(b), 457, SEP or SIMPLE plan. I'm hoping you already know that, unless you absolutely can't put food on the table without it, you do NOT want to cash out your 401(k) or any other retirement plan when you leave your job. You got that, right? An...

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Transitions: How does leaving a job affect your income taxes?

Most of us expect our income taxes to take care of themselves, except for filing that pesky return: money gets withheld over the course of the year, and then we hope to get some of that back as a refund. When you leave a job, income taxes can get a bit more complicated. If you're retiring or being laid off, the last thing you need is an unexpected tax bill or penalty. On the other hand,...

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Plan Well Retire Well Wins National Award

I'd like to take a minute to toot our own horn. The writing team behind the Plan Well Retire Well blog just won two awards for Internet Education Communications from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) at their annual conference held November 2-5, 2015 in White Sulfur Springs WV. We received first-place in the Central regi...

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Challenge Yourself To Save As Much As You Spend On Holidays

Please welcome guest blogger, Tammy Greynolds!! Tammy Greynolds works for America Saves, managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA), which seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at . Consumers are getting sa...

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Transitions: What Happens to My Health Savings Account When I Leave My Job?

When you leave a job, HSAs are simpler in some ways than the FSAs I discussed last month: there is no need to spend down the account while you're employed, or at the end of the year. The money is yours. You decide when to submit expenses for reimbursement, and you can decide which financial custodian you want to use for the account. If you wish, you can ro...

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Transitions: What Happens to My Healthcare Flexible Spending Account When I Leave My Job?

Healthcare flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are great ways to avoid income tax on money you use for medical expenses. The tax isn't just deferred – you never pay tax on the money if you use it for qualified expenses. What happens to those accounts when you leave your job? There are special rules for this situation, and ignorance could be costly. Say you signed up to pu...

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Transitions: Leaving a job, and the lesson my father taught me

For the past several months, I've been writing about the financial decisions that young adults face. This month, I'm switching gears to talk about a different kind of transition that could happen at any point in your working years: leaving a job. Whether you're taking a new job, being laid off, or retiring, there are probably more financial decisions and ramifications than you might thi...

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401k loans

401(k) Loans: Whose Advice Should You Trust?

I was stunned this week when I read a research article contending that taking a loan from your 401(k) is preferable to most other kinds of loans. That flies in the face of what we've all been told over the years. Two days later, I received my November issue of Consumer Reports Money Adviser, which had a sidebar titled Decision: Borrow from your 401(k)? And it began lik...

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Absorbing Life's Punches: The Importance of Saving for an Emergency Fund

Many of us may have heard of the importance of having an emergency fund, but the value it can bring to our lives is often severely understated. Just recently my fiancé and I finalized saving for our very own emergency fund. Less than a week later we realized just how invaluable having a financial cushion can be when we hit a patch of black ice driving, and hit a snowbank. Thankfully w...

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Looking for a job? What you need to know about your credit report

I'm sure you've heard many a time that you should check your credit report regularly to be sure that it accurately represents your credit history. In fact, you need to check your reports from all three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) as they are likely to be different from one another. And, you probably know that you should go to...

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Red Flags for Job Scams

Visiting with family at Thanksgiving makes this a special holiday. And, if your family is like mine, you may have been reminded just how many people are currently looking for work. Looking for a job is a stressful, difficult process. And then, on top of this, people need to be wary about job scams. Job scams make me angry! Being unemployed is difficult enough without having to worry abo...

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Are You Prepared to Separate from Your Employer?

Leaving an employer can bring about a range of emotions from elation to depression. Whether you are leaving your employer voluntarily or involuntarily there are key things you need to be aware of to make your transition as smooth as possible. 1. You may experience an emotional impact . I am currently doing a series on "Getting Through Tough Financial Times" at one of the...

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79 Weeks and Counting!

Currently the national law allows people to collect unemployment benefits for 79 weeks. 79 weeks is already an extension of the usual time limit for unemployment and, yet, legislation is being considered that would extend this benefit time. Why? Because many people have been unemployed for longer than 79 weeks, and the number of people unemployed continues to increase. According to a re...

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Think you might be getting laid off? Here are some questions to ask youself.

On Monday, according to the New York Times and others, US companies announced a total of 75,000 layoffs. I'm not sure I know anyone who feels totally secure in their jobs right now. If your job might be on the line, it would be smart to have an action plan together. It might include things to do now, and act...

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Preparing for a Layoff

Between my husband and I, we have received three "terminal contracts" or "pink slips" over the last several years, giving us notice that we would be losing our jobs. We were both fortunate that we were able to transfer to different positions with our employers and remain employed. But nonetheless, we went through the gut wrenching process of reviewing every expense to figure out where we could...

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Too Many People Losing Their Jobs!

When I write this blog, I usually choose to write about something that's on my mind due to my family or a workshop I've done or something in the news. And, what's on my mind today is people losing jobs. As you may have heard, many University of Illinois Extension offices are looking at a 50% reduction in their resources – which translates to many, many people losing their jobs. It...

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