Retirement 
5
comments

4 red flags of a bad 401(k) plan

Some 401(k)s have big red flags like these.One of the great advantages of working for “the man” is retirement benefits, including the possibility of contributing to a 401(k) plan that offers you the chance to save for retirement with pre-tax dollars.

But are all 401(k) plans created equal? Certainly not. Right now, Fidelity Investments is being sued by some of its current and former employees due to the nature of its plan. According to the lawsuit, Fidelity’s plan funnels employees into investments that have high costs, and might not provide the best bang for the buck. (Fidelity plans to fight the suit, and counters that there are plenty of low-cost choices available with its plan.)

Seeing a lawsuit like this hit one of the biggest providers of workplace retirement plans in the country should make you wonder: How does your own plan stack up?
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 Investing, Retirement 
8
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How to choose between a traditional 401(k) and a Roth 401(k)

401KIt’s been several years since the Roth 401(k) was introduced to the American retirement scene. As this retirement planning option has become more well-known, and as more employers offer the Roth version of the venerable 401(k), more workers are faced with making a decision about which is more likely to help them reach their retirement goals.

If your employer offers access to a Roth 401(k), it makes sense to rethink your retirement contribution plan. Here’s how to decide which type of 401(k) to use for your retirement investment.


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 Personal Finance 
7
comments

Your take: Fit all finance advice on a 3×5 card

What personal finance advice do you consider essential?
This week a fascinating exercise by University of Chicago professor and Incidental Economist writer Harold Pollack made the rounds in the blogosphere.

Asked by a reader “What is this simple free best personal finance advice that fits on a 3×5 card?” Pollack filled out an index card with what he thinks is all the knowledge you need to manage your personal finances.


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 Investing 
17
comments

The Basics of Annuities

One of the financial products that has been garnering a lot of interest lately is the annuity. Annuities can be very tempting because those providing them tout a “guaranteed income stream.” It is important to remember, though, that annuities can be very complex financial products, and that getting your money is not always straightforward.

For some people, annuities work well. They can be a way to ensure steady income, and they offer a degree of stability that many — especially retirees in an uncertain time — value. Before you decide on an annuity, it is best to consult with a financial professional, and also understand some of the tax implications that may come with an annuity. Study the ins and outs, and figure out if an annuity is right in your situation. The following is meant as a general overview of annuities:

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 Personal Finance 
22
comments

Average Years of Retirement by Country

I love reading statistics (I hate compiling them or drawing statistically significant conclusions, I prefer to make up stuff that sounds feasible) and so when I was introduced to this table of average years of retirement by country, I wanted to know more. The chart comes from data from the OECD and they have a lot more information, for more countries, if you’re interested.

The point of the chart was to explain that the French, who are protesting increasing the retirement age from 60 to 62, get the most years of retirement with nearly 25 years of retirement for men, over 27 years for women. We, in the United States, simply work too much (and the government spends only 6.0% on pensions).

Two things jump out at me –
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 Personal Finance 
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PFHour #24: Discussing Retirement Issues

This week’s Personal Finance Hour will feature a chat with Jeremy from GenXFinance.com. In his day job, he’s a retirement planning specialist for a large 401(k) provider. Participants of the plan that he services usually come to him for advice on what to do and today we, despite not being participants of the plan he services, will turn to him for advice on how to plan for a successful retirement.

The Personal Finance Hour is a riveting one hour online radio show broadcast live every Monday starting at 6 PM Eastern, 3 PM Pacific. At that time, you can listen to it by clicking on this widget below:

We invite you to listen in, call in (the number is (347) 327-9144), and join us in the chat room where we usually have a good time. If you are unavailable, we also offer the podcast on iTunes or through the BlogTalkRadio website directly.

We hope you’ll be able to join us!


 Personal Finance 
9
comments

Four Money Lessons from Nature

Squirrel Chewing Nuts!When you get down to the core of money, it’s really just an abstraction of natural resources. You accept money for your labor because, ultimately, it can buy you the things you want. Food and shelter, at the core of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, are just two of the things you can buy when you have money.

That’s why it’s not so much a leap to look towards nature for lessons about money. Is an acorn to a squirrel any different than a dollar to you or me? Nope. Animals deal with natural resources every single day, in such a simple and easy to understand way, so certainly there is something we can learn from our flora and fauna?

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 Personal Finance 
7
comments

Take Control of Your Financial Situation

This article is part of the series, The Summer of George- The Most Productive Summer a College Student Will Ever Have.

Do you think that you don’t earn enough money have to worry about managing your finances? If so you are dead wrong. If you get into the habit of properly managing your finances at an early age then these habits will hopefully follow you into your 30s and so on. Let this summer be known as the time where you finally took control of your financial situation.

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