Enter information about your retirement benefits
1. Enter Social Security information for yourself and your spouse, if your spouse is included in your plan. If you don't know your benefits or your spouse's benefits or the ages at which either of you will start drawing them out, click Estimate.
2. For Reduce the estimated benefit amount, select Yes if you believe that Social Security will be cut back or eliminated by the time you retire, or you simply don't want to rely on it. Then enter the percentage by which you think it will be cut back. (Optional)
3. Under Pension Benefits, click New to add a pension, or select a pension and click Edit to change the information about it.
- Tips about entering retirement benefits
Retirement benefits are incomes that you and your spouse will receive from Social Security and private or government pensions. Benefits commonly pay for less than 100 percent of your post-retirement living expenses.
- Tips about entering Social Security benefits
• Select the method you want to use to estimate benefits: If you haven't received a benefits estimate from the Social Security Administration you can select Use rough estimate to get an initial figure and then send away for the official estimate.
• When you receive the official estimate, come back to this section of the Planner, select Use mail-in estimate from SS Administration, and enter the amount on your estimate.
• Amounts in the Social Security rough estimate are provided by CCH INCORPORATED. A separate topic provides general information about Social Security.
- Tips about entering pension benefits
You may enter current pensions and pensions that you expect to receive or acquire in the future. Private pensions, railroad pensions, military pensions and government pensions all count as pensions. To obtain information about your pension, ask your benefits administrator.
- In the Lifetime Planner, a pension qualifies as a government pension only if it's from a branch of the government and you do not pay Social Security taxes on the earnings on which the pension is based. If this is a government pension but you DO pay Social Security taxes on the earnings on which the pension is based, select No.
- For government pensions, the Lifetime Planner automatically reduce spousal and survivor's Social Security benefits by two-thirds of the pension amount.
- If you receive one lump-sum pension distribution (A single payment of all your retirement money from an account, usually given when you leave a company or when you retire. Prior to retirement, lump sum distributions are usually rolled over into another retirement plan or into an IRA. There may be tax consequences when you take a lump sum distribution. You should consult a financial professional to discuss the taxes that may apply to any action you take with a lump sum distribution), and are not going to roll it over (Rollover is a transfer or distribution from one retirement savings plan to another. You can roll over retirement savings, such as 401(k) money, when you change jobs. Directly rolling over the money from one qualified retirement plan to another (such as your new company's plan or an IRA) avoids tax penalties; see your financial advisor or plan administrator for details.), enter it in the Current (or Future) Homes & Assets section of the Planner. Set the sale date of the asset as the lump sum distribution date.
- A good rule of thumb for estimating cost-of-living (COLA is an adjustment of wages or benefits designed to offset changes in the cost of living. It is often measured by the Consumer Price Index) increases is to follow the inflation rate (Inflation is a rise in the price of commodities and services. Inflation occurs when spending increases and supplies decrease. Moderate inflation is an expected result of economic growth).
- Tips about excess minimum distribution
At the age of 70 1/2, the law requires that you withdraw a minimum amount of money each year from your tax-deferred retirement plans. The Lifetime Planner automatically calculates the minimum distribution at age 70 1/2, and make sure you withdraw at least that much.
If after paying your expenses, you still have money remaining from this minimum distribution, the Lifetime Planner calls this amount the excess minimum distribution. It is reinvested into your taxable portfolio. This investment is considered an expense in calculating your cash flow.
- Currency tips
The Lifetime Planner supports only U.S. currency. If you use non-U.S. currency accounts, their balances will be converted to U.S. dollars for planning. All currency amounts that you enter in the Lifetime Planner should be in U.S. dollars. If you have a multicurrency Quicken file and are not using U.S. dollars as your home currency, you will need to have U.S. dollars in your currency list with a current exchange rate.