NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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Course Descriptions

Retirement Planning

Get the most out of your retirement years by discovering strategies designed to help maximize your income and potentially earn more from investments. In addition, learn how to avoid losing ground to inflation, lower your income taxes, minimize your estate taxes, and plan for the possibility of long term health care.

Section 1: Financial Planning Basics

  • Setting achievable goals.
  • Budgeting.
  • Establishing an emergency fund.
  • Risk management with insurance.
  • The three Cs of credit.
  • Types of debt.
  • Importance of investing.
  • Income tax considerations.
  • Saving for College and retirement.

Section 2: Investment Basics

  • What is investing?
  • The nature of investing.
  • Managing risk.
  • The types of investments.
  • Dollar cost averaging.
  • Asset allocation.
  • Pursuing your financial goals.
  • What is a preferred stock and a mutual fund, how do they work?
  • Understanding mutual funds.

Section 3: Retirement Basics

  • The changing face of retirement.
  • Basic questions and considerations of retiring.
  • Estimating retirement income needs and expenses.
  • Crunching the numbers.
  • The advantages of tax deferral.
  • Understanding 401(k) plans, IRAs, roth IRAs and annuities.

Section 4: Understanding Annuities

  • Annuities: What are they and should you own one?
  • Taxable vs tax-deferred growth.
  • Annuities vs. 401(k)s and IRAs.
  • Understanding fixed and variable annuities.
  • How does the guaranteed death benefit work on an annuity?
  • What is the best method to withdraw money from an annuity?
  • What are the tax consequences of annuity withdrawals?
  • Understanding annuity riders and variable annuity subaccounts.

Section 5: Retirement Income Planning

  • Retiring: What does it mean and when do you want to retire?
  • How long will your retirement last?
  • Can you retire early or should you delay retirement?
  • How much income will you need to retire? What are your sources of income?
  • Understanding social security .
  • Understanding pensions, which choice is best for you?
  • Defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans.
  • The best method for retirement plan distributions.
  • How to correctly transfer from your IRA.
  • Special tax treatment of company securities in retirement plans.
  • Annuity income and what to be aware of.
  • Pension maximization analysis.
  • Retirement distribution comparison.
  • Does your company plan allow in-service withdrawals?
  • Early withdrawals using 72(t).
  • Required minimum distributions.
  • What is a stretch IRA?

Section 6: Roth IRA Conversions

  • Various ways to convert a Roth IRA.
  • Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.
  • Calculating the tax on a Roth IRA conversion.
  • Converting employer plan distributions to a Roth IRA.
  • Recharacterize- undoing a conversion.
  • Is a Roth conversion right for you?
  • Qualified and nonqualified Roth distributions.
  • The "Five Year" rule.
  • Special 10% penalty recapture rule.

Section 7: Planning for Long Term Care

  • Why plan for long term care?
  • Long term care basics.
  • Putting together a plan.
  • Paying for long term care: out-of-pocket costs, government programs.
  • Medicare and Medicaid planning.
  • Why buy long term care benefits? Policy features and benefits.
  • Four ways to manage costs.
  • Taking advantage of tax breaks.
  • Comparing policies.

Section 8: Estate Planning

  • What are the proper objectives of estate planning?
  • Planning for incapacity.
  • Estate taxes and how to minimize them.
  • What if I die without a will?
  • Is a will enough?
  • Gifting while alive.
  • What are transfer taxes and what rates apply to you?
  • What are federal exemption amounts?
  • What is a trust, who should be trustees?
  • Uses of life insurance in estate planning.
  • What are dynasty, offshore and foreign trusts?
  • What is an estate freeze?
  • What is a family limited partnership?
  • Charitable giving.
  • What are donor advised funds?

New this year:

A section on Special Needs Planning!

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