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Help your mother get ready for retirement
money ladder

Mother’s Day is Sunday, so start shopping for the flowers or candy. And this year, why not go beyond the traditional? Specifically, if your mother is still working but getting close to retirement, consider providing her with a gift that can help make her days as a retiree more pleasant.

Here are a few suggestions:

• Contribute to her IRA. As long as your mother is employed, she can contribute to an IRA, and she may already have one. If so, help her fund it for 2016. You can’t contribute directly to her IRA, but you can certainly write her a check for that purpose, and by doing so, you can make it easier for her to "max out" her account this year. Assuming your mother is over 50, she can contribute up to $6,500 per year. An IRA can be a great way to save for retirement because of the tax benefits. Contributions to a traditional IRA are typically tax-deductible, while earnings can grow tax deferred. Roth IRA contributions are not deductible, but earnings can grow tax free, provided the owner meets conditions.

• Give mom stocks. You you are probably familiar with the products she likes. By giving her shares of stock of the companies that produce these goods, you will provide her with a feeling of ownership that she may enjoy — along with the benefit of possessing investments.

• Discuss retirement income. Even if your mother has made smart financial moves, such as investing in a 401(k) or other sponsored retirement plan, she may still need advice on how best to initiate and manage her retirement income. To cite just one action she needs to take, she must start making withdrawals from her 401(k) and traditional IRA once she turns 70½. But if she withdraws too much each year, she could deplete them sooner in than desirable. To develop a solid strategy — one to help her avoid outliving her income — she will need to coordinate withdrawals from her accounts with her Social Security payments and any other income. Because it’s so important to put together an appropriate strategy, it’s a good idea to consult with a financial professional. If your mother does not work with one, encourage her to meet with someone you trust.

Of course, your mother may be married and have her finances mingled with those of her spouse. Nonetheless, every one of the suggestions mentioned above is applicable whether she is single, married, divorced or widowed. Women must be prepared to take charge of their financial situations, no matter their marital status.

Anything you give mom on Mother’s Day will be appreciated. But if you can add a gift that can help her make progress toward an enjoyable retirement lifestyle, you will be providing her with an enormous "thank you" for all she’s done for you over the years.

This article was written by Edward Jones and provided by Evans, your local Edward Jones financial adviser.

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