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[Opinion] You'd Be Better Off Just Blowing Your Money: Why Retirement Planning Is Doomed
"The concept of retirement has robbed the public of the responsibility and accountability required with personal finance.... People fund retirement plans blindly. They don't focus on cash flow, they focus on accumulation. And when it's time for cash flow, they're heavily disappointed.... [H]ow, if it has been failing for so long, are we still buying into this? This retirement plan notion, that focuses on accumulation and setting money aside; and then one-day, someday, you might actually retire. It hasn't worked and it won't work." (Garrett Gunderson in Forbes)
Better Budgeting with 'Actuarial Budget Buckets'
"When selecting assumptions for future increases in your recurring expenses, it may be reasonable to assume, for example, that: [1] your current recurring essential non-health expenses will increase by assumed inflation in the future; [2] your current recurring essential health expenses will increase by a rate greater than assumed inflation; and [3] your current recurring discretionary expenses will increase by a rate lower than assumed inflation." (Ken Steiner, FSA Retired)
[Official Guidance] Draft 2019 IRS Form 8880: Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions (PDF)
"You cannot take this credit if either of the following applies. [1] The amount on Form 1040 or 1040-SR, line 8b; or Form 1040-NR, line 35, is more than $32,000 ($48,000 if head of household; $64,000 if married filing jointly). [2] The person(s) who made the qualified contribution or elective deferral (a) was born after January 1, 2002; (b) is claimed as a dependent on someone else's 2019 tax return; or (c) was a student." [Draft as of July 5, 2019.] (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Manage Your 401(k) Toward a Comfortable Retirement
"[1] Contribute at least 15% ... [2] Don't stop contributing ... [3] Always make sure you collect the entire company match ... [4] Make Roth 401k contributions ... [5] Get help with your investment allocations ... [6] Allocate your balance to target date funds if you desire simplicity ... [7] Rebalance annually if you aren't in a target date fund ... [8] Please do NOT sell when markets fall ... [9] Don't take participant loans ... [10] Don't roll over your account to an IRA." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)
Retirement Lessons from the Four Seasons
"Financial wellness is a thing, even if you have a lot of money ... Retirement may not be so bleak, even when you're in financial difficulty ... Retirement paths can be very different, even among friends ... Celebrities -- and everyone else -- are living a lot longer." (Cammack Retirement Group)
Retirement Planning Assumptions to Avoid
"[1] You can always keep working.... [2] You'll need only 70-80% of your pre-retirement income ... [3] You'll be in a lower tax bracket once you retire.... [4] The stock market will save you.... [5] There's always Social Security." (Charles Schwab)
Segmenting Retirement Expenses Into Core vs. Adaptive Buckets
"[W]hat defines more flexible 'discretionary' spending to fund wants (rather than needs) isn't just a function of certain categories of expenses, or funding solely the expenses necessary to ensure base-level safety and survival needs. Instead, retirees can upgrade their lifestyle across any number of traditionally 'essential' spending categories as well ... as long as there's a clear resource bucket to show how long that spending can be sustained, and when the retiree really may have to adapt!" (Nerd's Eye View)
A Mistake With Lingering Regret: Cashing Out Your 401(k)
"Each year, 5.9 million American women enrolled in 401(k) plans will change jobs. 2.4 million, or 41%, will cash out completely.... [W]omen ages 25-34 will change jobs every 2.7 years, and for women with 401(k) balances less than $5,000, cash out rates soar to 71%.... [A] typical 25-year old woman could change jobs three times prior to age 34 and cash out two of her first three 401(k) balances. At 34, she would preserve only $5,100 in retirement savings, which will yield just $13,900 in savings by age 67.... [H]ad she avoided cashing out, she would have $83,700 at retirement." (Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement [WISER])
Is This $136,852 Gift Hidden in Your 401(k)?
"60% of 401(k) plans now offer auto-escalation ... [Assume] you earn the median household income in the United States ... Visualize that you never receive any raises, that your 401(k) doesn't have a match, and that you save 6% of your salary in it every year for 30 years at a 7% annual return ... At the end of 30 years, your nest egg is worth $372,183.... [If you] have auto-escalation built into your 401(k) ... your savings are worth $576,545 ... Part of that is the additional contributions from saving more each year toward your 401(k) ... But the larger part is thanks to the compounding of those extra savings." (Fox Business)
Tax Law Fallout Changes Decisions for Retirement Savings
[I]increasingly, the only way for most people to reduce their taxes ... requires the make a retirement plan contribution.... The 199A deduction is based on net income (after retirement plan contributions) so the retirement plan contributions can actually reduce the tax benefit of the 199A deduction.... Over the last decade or so there's been a developing consensus around the concept of 'tax diversification' in retirement plans. This involves combining both tax-deferred and after-tax retirement savings into one coherent strategy." (Fiduciary News)
An Annuity Payment Option May Be Coming to Your 401(k) -- Should You Take One?
"People who should annuitize typically want higher levels of certainty with respect to their retirement income, are less concerned about leaving a bequest, have above-average health/life expectancy, and like the fact that they don't have to worry about figuring out how much they can withdraw from their portfolio each year during retirement (or having to pay someone to do it for them). Plenty of evidence suggests retirees don't like to spend down their savings, and therefore anything that provides an automatic paycheck (like an annuity) typically makes that process easier." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)
The Case for Taking Your Pension as a Lump Sum
"A lump sum affords complete control of your funds. It avoids dependence on the company's solvency. It also offers many distribution options. It gives the investor more control over their tax liability.... A lump sum rollover into an IRA also 'quarantines' the employee's funds, thereby mitigating the risk of a reduction in pension benefit, which may occur in the event of a company's bankruptcy." (Kiplinger)
How to Protect Your 401(k) Account from Cyber Crime
"Make sure your 401(k) service provider can connect with you.... All current 401(k) record-keeping platforms attempt to notify the account holder when changes are made to their contact information.... Your 401(k) account is likely one of your largest liquid assets. It deserves its own password.... Beware of phishing scams.... Dual factor authentication is now standard on most 401(k) platforms, with additional security available from certain service providers such as account lock features and biometric/voice recognition software.... If you have not taken any of the precautions described above, there is a very real possibility the service provider will not make you whole." (Francis Investment Counsel LLC)
Are You Prepared for Your Financial Future? Use the SEC's Investor Preparedness Checklist to Find Out
"[The SEC's] Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) ... developed an investor preparedness checklist ... [which] reminds investors to: identify goals and create a financial plan; pay off high-interest debt; participate in company retirement plans and take full advantage of employer matching; do a background check on any investment professional; understand risk tolerance; understand fees; research investments; maintain a diverse portfolio; and avoid investment opportunities that sound too good to be true." (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC])
Investing for Income in Retirement
"[1] Set aside 12 months' worth of expenses, after accounting for other non-portfolio income sources, in a liquid cash account ... [2] Keep an additional two to four years' worth of expenses in short-term bonds or bond funds in case of a market downturn.... [3] [C]onsider investing the remainder of your portfolio in assets that have greater potential for investment income and growth ... [4] [A] total return approach allows you to harvest some of your portfolio's gains -- including price appreciation -- for income as needed." (Charles Schwab)
How to Find Your Benefit from a Former Employer's Retirement Plan
"[1] [EBSA] provides help over the phone and online ... [2] The PBGC said there are more than 80,000 people who earned a pension who haven't yet claimed it.... [3] In some cases, the money is handed over to a state's unclaimed property division.... [4] The SSA will provide a notice alerting you to potential benefits when you are ready to claim Social Security, but the notice does not guarantee those funds are still there.... [5] The U.S. Administration on Aging's Pension Counseling and Information Program provides free legal assistance to those experiencing a problem with their pension, profit sharing or retirement savings plans." (San Antonio Express-News)
[Official Guidance] DOL FAQs for Participants and Beneficiaries Following the Nebraska Iowa and Alabama Storms in March 2019 (PDF)
22 Q&As covering health and retirement plan benefits, including: [1] I think I may lose my health coverage because of a Covered Disaster. How can I obtain other health coverage? ... [2] I lost my spouse. My spouse's employer has agreed to pay the premiums for my health coverage for 12 months. Will that affect my future eligibility for continuation health coverage under COBRA? ... [3] My employer did not pay my insurance premium. May I pay the premium to continue my coverage? ... [4] How can I make changes in the way my 401(k) plan account is invested if it was affected by a Covered Disaster? ... [5] Can I get money out of my retirement plan if I need financial assistance now? ... [6] All of the records concerning my employment with the retirement plan sponsor and my participation in the retirement plan were destroyed as a result of a Covered Disaster. What do I do? (Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL])
Generating Income During Retirement
"After you've determined a reasonable portfolio withdrawal rate ... [1] Set aside a cash cushion ... [2] Manage your retirement portfolio sensibly ... [3] Boost your potential returns by investing tax-efficiently ... [T]he next question is: Where should the money come from? ... Dividends and interest versus selling shares.... Bonds maturing in the coming year.... Which investments should you sell? ... Required minimum distributions.... Tax bracket ramifications.... Securities held for slightly less than a year." (Charles Schwab)
Why You Don't Want to Retire Retirement Planning
"[R]etirement has changed from the stereotype made popular in the 1960s. Better lifestyles and medical advances keep people active longer than used to be the norm and alive even longer.... [We'd] like the financial security and independence to be able to walk away and do other things, if that's what we prefer. Planning is required to reach that point, and it will resemble current retirement planning." (Forbes)
Have Multiple Retirement Accounts? Use Them in This Order
"Where you hold different kinds of investments -- whether in a taxable, tax-deferred, or tax-free account -- and which assets you tap first for retirement income are significant factors that can impact after-tax returns over the long term." (Barron's)
Should Retirees Expect More from Their Retirement Plans?
"Of course, retirees should consider the very real financial risks they could face on the road ahead. It's only natural that the closer they get to retirement, the more they worry about making their money last as long as they do. But too often, the fear of facing these risks paralyzes retirees to the point that they write off almost every dream they had about retirement to help prevent them from running out of money." (Forbes)
There Are No Guarantees If You Self-Insure Your Retirement, Part 2
"[T]he 4% Rule [and] IRS RMD approach (or any other Strategic Withdrawal Plan) don't work with [Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts (QLACs)] ... to provide a reasonable spending budget, as these approaches don't coordinate spending with other sources of retirement income. And while Monte Carlo models ... may be able to incorporate non-linear payment streams and indicate how a QLAC may positively affect the probability of success of meeting a certain spending goal, they will generally not tell you how to adjust your spending budget each year to keep on track." (Ken Steiner, FSA Retired)
What to Expect When You Do a Retirement Account Rollover
"Keep an eye on the process online and maintain any paperwork sent to you about the transfer.... [C]heck to make sure that the amount that left your old account lines up with the amount received in your new account. Consider leaving the old account open for a few weeks to collect any residual interest or dividends in the old account, then make sure those are transferred over as well. You should receive a Form 1099-R from the distributing firm the following year ... Use the paperwork and online history to make sure the transactions line up properly." (Financial Finesse)
Beyond the 4% Rule: How Much Can You Spend in Retirement?
"How do you determine your personalized spending rate? Start by asking yourself these questions: [1] How long do you want to plan for? ... [2] How will you invest your portfolio? ... [3] How confident do you want to be that your money will last? ... [4] Will you make changes if conditions change? ... [A table provides] an estimate of a sustainable initial spending rate.... Be sure to factor Social Security, a pension, annuity income, or other non-portfolio income, in determining your annual spending." (Charles Schwab)
2019 Guide to Retirement (PDF)
52 presentation slides cover topics and themes for retirement planning, including: [1] Older Americans in the workforce; [2] Managing expectations of ability to work; [3] Retirement savings checkpoints; [4] Income replacement needs in retirement; [5] The 4% rule -- projected outcomes vs. historical experience; [6] Effects of withdrawal rates and portfolio allocations; [7] Structuring a portfolio to match investor goals in retirement; [8] Structuring a portfolio in retirement -- the bucket strategy; [9] Tax implications for retirement savings by account type. (J.P. Morgan Asset Management)
Why Borrowing from a Retirement Plan to Pay Off Debt Is a Bad Idea
"Borrowing more doesn't address the issue of how the debt was acquired in the first place.... Some retirement plans require immediate repayment of loans if you change jobs, or else the entire loan is offset against your retirement plan account balance.... [B]orrowing from a retirement plan will ultimately reduce your income in retirement. The earlier in your working career you borrow, the greater the impact; due to the time-value of money." (Cammack Retirement Group)
A Beginner's Guide to Deferred Compensation
"For employees who do elect to participate in a deferred compensation plan there are two important choices to make -- when to take distributions and how to take them.... In most cases, these elections are difficult to change and require a five-year waiting period if changes are allowed under IRS rules governing deferred compensation plans." (Voya)
Personal Experiences Managing the Life Portfolio Beyond Age 60
"[In] practice, the key to retirement well-being is to have a balanced 'life portfolio' where the retiree focuses on 4 key areas: [1] Health (and the activities to maintain and support health); [2] People (family, friends, community organizations, and the ability to create new contacts as needed); [3] Pursuits (work, volunteering, hobbies, community activities, caregiving, travel, etc.); and [4] Places (home and community).... [E]ven with retirement finances well intact, retirees who have a gap in one or more of these areas may still struggle with their personal retirement well-being." (Nerd's Eye View)
Maximize the Benefit of Nondeductible IRA Contributions
"There are several reasons to choose making nondeductible amounts to an IRA ... For this strategy to make sense, you need to ensure that you are not paying tax on future IRA distributions of nondeductible (previously taxed) contributions. This will require you to calculate the portion of each distribution attributable to deductible and nondeductible contributions and file Form 8606 to track contributions with your federal income tax return." (ORBA)
Move Carefully When Consolidating Your Retirement Accounts
"A typical employee who has worked for 30 years likely has switched jobs six or seven times and may have just as many former employer plans ... Consolidating can help you manage asset allocation, diversification and rebalancing, and may help reduce taxes and fees.... You might want to keep a 401(k) plan that has lower-cost institutional shares of mutual funds and access to commission-free trading, instead of rolling it into another account that doesn't include those features." (Fidelity)
Recession-Proof Your 401(k)
"[1] Don't stop contributing ... [2] Resist the urge to sell ... [3] Never try to time the markets ... [4] Remain diversified ... [5] Don't look at your account balance ... [6] Stick with your plan ... [7] Get help if you need it ... [8] Don't panic -- volatile markets do not last forever." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)
[Official Guidance] Text of 2018 Instructions for IRS Form 8915B: Qualified 2017 Disaster Retirement Plan Distributions and Repayments (PDF)
"File 2018 Form 8915B if any of the following apply. [1] You received a qualified 2017 disaster distribution from an eligible retirement plan in 2018. [2] You received a qualified 2017 disaster distribution in 2017 that you are including in income in equal amounts over 3 years. [3] You made a repayment of a qualified 2017 disaster distribution in 2018." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
401(k) Loans: Why You Shouldn't Take Them
"You will likely forfeit some company matching contributions ... Job changes can force defaults of 401k loans ... The opportunity costs can be substantial ... Interest on a 401k loan is not tax-deductible ... Paying interest to yourself is not a good idea ... Easy access can lead to bad loans ... Double taxes are paid on interest payments." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)
[Official Guidance] Text of 2018 IRS Publication 575: Pension and Annuity Income (PDF)
49 pages. "What's New: Extended rollover period for qualified plan loan offsets in 2018 or later. For distributions made in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, you have until the due date (including extensions) for your tax return for the tax year in which the offset occurs to roll over a qualified plan loan offset amount." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Misperceptions Prevent Retirement Saving But These Remedies Can Alter That Reality
"The financial decisions people make can reaffirm their perceived reality.... Living below one's means requires a discipline many simply don't possess.... Rather than bailing out their children, perhaps parents should be leading by example." (Fiduciary News)
How Math Anxiety Ruins Retirement -- and What to Do About It
"The inability to visualize tomorrow's financial needs today may explain why we see so many statistics bemoaning the lack of, specifically, retirement readiness and, more generally, financial wellness.... The problem of math anxiety isn't solved by changing only one variable. Many factors go into properly preparing yourself in order to live a comfortable retirement. Math anxiety only makes it more difficult to juggle all these factors simultaneously." (Fiduciary News)
What to Consider When Buying an Annuity
"Assessing the long-term stability of an insurance company is a hard task even for professionals.... There are also risks with how annuities are structured as it can be difficult to make changes once a plan is in place.... Individual buyers have to think through potential life changes as well as total cost ... the total cost of buying an annuity may also be higher than what individuals are used to paying with mutual funds or exchange-traded funds." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)
4th Quarter Fallout: Mistakes 401(k) Participants Might Make After Reading Their Latest Statement
"The 4th quarter devastated the markets.... When employees see their losses, they may decide to 'fix' the 'problem.' This could be the worst mistake they can make regarding their retirement.... 'Going ostrich' worked following the 2008/2009 market debacle. It turned out the people who decided not to open their statements recovered faster than the people who did do better and decided to switch to 'safe investments.' " (Fiduciary News)
Market Volatility for Retirement Plan Participants
"[T]he average person with a retirement account ... should be thinking more about their overall asset allocation than the individual funds they hold.... It's a common psychological pitfall to feel that you are protecting yourself by exiting a market as it goes down, but ... when people take money out of the market, the timing is unlikely to be favorable, causing them to miss out on the upswing as the market corrects." (Bronfman Rothschild)
Does It Make Sense to Max Out Your 401(k) Plan Early in the Year?
"When contributions are front-loaded so that they occur early in the year, less 401(k) match may be received.... 401(k) participants that utilize lump sum contributions or front-load contributions early in the year can also expose themselves to higher levels of volatility." (NJ.com)
'KonMari' Your IRA
"Thrift shops around the country are reporting a large influx of donations as Americans reevaluate their homes and tidy up using the 'KonMari' method. While your retirement accounts may be a little different than your home ... [here] are 4 steps you can take to tidy up your IRA and other retirement accounts. [1] Consolidate ... [2] [R]eevaluate your investment strategy in terms of current market conditions.... [3] Review account information ... [4] Check your beneficiary form." (Slott Report)
Considerations Before Maxing Out Your 401(k)
"Get an employer match.... Pay down high interest debt.... Create an emergency fund.... Avoid high-cost 401(k) plans.... Balance other savings goals.... Consider the tax savings." (U.S. News & World Report)
Are Cybercriminals Targeting Your 401(k)? (PDF)
"[S]teps you should take now to protect your 401(k) assets: [1] Check your account regularly.... [2] Use a unique and strong password.... [3] Beware of phishing scams ... [4] Avoid using public computers and public Wi-Fi networks ... [5] Never share your login username or password ... [6] Inquire with your 401(k) service provider or human resources department about the availability of advanced security measures." (Francis Investment Counsel LLC)
Developing a 2019 Retiree Spending and Withdrawal Budget
"[If] you invested significantly in equities in 2018, it is likely that you experienced some investment losses last year. In order to avoid undesirable fluctuations in recurring spending, you may wish to consider some or all of the following actions: [1] Dipping into the Rainy-Day Fund that you previously established with investment gains enjoyed in previous years; [2] Reducing 2019 non-essential non-recurring expenses, or [3] Using the Smoothed Actuarial Budget Benchmark[.]" (Ken Steiner, FSA Retired)
A Precarious Existence: How Today's Retirees Are Financially Faring in Retirement (PDF)
97 pages. "For the majority of their working careers, 68 percent of retirees participated in some form of employer-sponsored retirement benefits ... The majority of retirees (61 percent) saved for retirement outside of work.... Two-thirds of retirees (66 percent) say their most recent employers did 'nothing' to help pre-retirees transition into retirement and 16 percent are 'not sure' what their employers did.... Three in ten retirees (30 percent) used a financial advisor before retiring ... [A]lmost three in four retirees (73 percent) agree they wish they would have saved more and on a consistent basis." (Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies)
How to Manage Your 401(k) Plan in a Time of Market Volatility
"For most people with 401(k) retirement plans, stock market volatility is taking its toll.... [R]ecent dips may feel like serious threats to one's retirement plans. But investment professionals suggest that rebalancing one's account is as radical a change as one should make.... That may be hard to hear at the moment for those experiencing 'account balance trauma.' But, despite the fact that the majority of 401(k) participants have exposure to equities, only around 8 percent are all in on stocks ... And if they have been keeping up with their accounts, they may just be closer to flat than seriously down." (Born2Invest)
What to Do with Retirement Plan Accounts After You've Left Your Employer
"Generally you cannot keep contributing to an employer-sponsored plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), if you have left that employer, but you do have several options when it comes to managing those savings going forward -- and they can all impact the size of your future nest egg.... [1] Do nothing ... [2] Roll into your current employer's plan ... [3] Roll into an annuity ... [4] Roll into an IRA ... [5] Cash out your retirement balance." (MassMutual)
Common 401(k) Plan Participant Misconceptions
"[1] I only need to contribute up to the maximum company match ... [2] It is OK to take a participant loan ... [3] I should stop making 401k contributions when the stock market crashes ... [4] Actively trading my 401k account will help me maximize my account balance ... [5] Target date funds are not good investments ... [6] Money market funds are good investments ... [7] A million-dollar 401k balance is enough." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)
How Millennials Can Maximize Savings for Retirement
"Someone who consistently saves 10% of pay for 40 years should have enough -- combined with Social Security -- to maintain their pre-retirement living standard without a significant risk of going broke over the following 30 years ... But people who start saving 10 years after they've begun working and save for 30 -- rather than 40 -- years would have to set aside 20% annually to reach the same goal[.]" (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)
[Official Guidance] Text of EBSA FAQs for Participants and Beneficiaries Following the 2018 California Wildfires (PDF)
22 Q&As covering health and retirement plan benefits, including: [1]  I think I may lose my health coverage because of the 2018 California Wildfires. How can I obtain other health coverage? ... [2] I lost my spouse in a wildfire. My spouse's employer has agreed to pay the premiums for my health coverage for 12 months. Will that affect my future eligibility for continuation health coverage under COBRA? ... [3] My employer did not pay my insurance premium. May I pay the premium to continue my coverage? ... [4] How can I make changes in the way my 401(k) plan account is invested if it was affected by the wildfires? ... [5] Can I get money out of my retirement plan if I need financial assistance now? ... [6] All of the records concerning my employment with the retirement plan sponsor and my participation in the retirement plan were destroyed as a result of the wildfires. What do I do? (Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL])
How to Contribute to Multiple 401(k)s
"If you are one of the over 7 million who have more than one job, you could have the opportunity to make salary deferral contributions to more than one 401(k) plan. When doing so, you must take care not to exceed the statutory limit of $18,500 for 2018/ $19,000 for 2019, plus any catch-up contributions for which you are eligible. This is a 'per person' limit.... If you participate in a governmental 457(b) plan, you may defer up to 100% of your compensation, up to $18,500 for 2018/ $19,000 for 2019, plus catch-up contributions of $6,000 if you are eligible. This is in addition to (separate from) any salary deferral contributions that you make to a 401(k) plan." (Denise Appleby, via Forbes)
Recognizing That All 'Rates of Return' Are Not the Same
"[I]ndividuals (or plans) that are in 'pay-out mode' can experience dramatically different results in their remaining portfolios -- even though they are all obtaining the same 'average rate of return.' ... [D]uring a 'distribution period' it is better to take loss in return later, when it will have a lesser impact on you overall savings.... Portfolio re-allocation may not be the same as portfolio insulation.... Be aware of, and honest about, your investment horizon." (Best Best & Krieger LLP)
[Official Guidance] Text of EBSA FAQs for Participants and Beneficiaries Following Hurricanes Florence and Michael (PDF)
22 Q&As covering health and retirement plan benefits, including: [1] I think I may be losing my health coverage as a result of the events of one of the hurricanes. What can I do to obtain other health coverage? ... [2] I lost my spouse in one of the hurricanes. My spouse's employer has agreed to pay the premiums for my health coverage for 12 months. What effect will that have on any future eligibility for continuation health coverage under COBRA? ... [3] My employer did not pay my insurance premium. May I pay the premium to continue my coverage? ... [4] How can I make changes in the way my 401(k) plan account is invested if it was affected by the events of one of the hurricanes? ... [5] Can I get money out of my retirement plan if I need financial assistance to help me at this time? ... [6] All of the records concerning my employment with the retirement plan sponsor and my participation in the retirement plan were destroyed as a result of the events of one of the hurricanes. What do I do? (Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL])
More Than 50% of Millennials Risk Never Being Able to Retire
"[N]early 52 percent of millennials aren't contributing to retirement accounts ... and ... they're putting themselves at risk of falling short later on. The good news, however, is that if they change their ways soon, they have ample opportunity to catch up.... [G]iving yourself a 45-year savings window will allow you to turn a total of $216,000 in out-of-pocket retirement plan contributions into a rather impressive $1.37 million. That's more than a $1 million gain." (USA TODAY)
How to Prioritize IRA and 401(k) Accounts
"[T]here are some scenarios where placing contributions in a traditional or Roth IRA ahead of your 401(k) could make sense. If you're able to save in multiple tax-advantaged accounts, getting the order of operations right matters.... Check the match.... Compare investment options and fees.... Think about timing.... Don't forget about your HSA.... It's not either/or." (U.S. News & World Report)
How Retirees Adjust Their Lives Once They Discover Their Pre-Retirement Assumptions Are Mistaken
"More important than anything else is the sometimes difficult transition from saver to spender. Retirement is, by definition, a negative cash flow event. That can be a challenge for many.... Health issues fall into two categories. The first is simply maintenance.... In retirement, purpose all comes down to two words: 'Get Involved.' " (Fiduciary News)
How You Can Become a 401(k) Millionaire
"Savers are choosing a lower standard of living now with the goal of saving enough money to finance a number of years of living without working. In other words, their retirement.... [1] Save as much as you can in qualified retirement plans ... [2] If you are married, contribute 15% for both ... [3] Capture all the company match ... [4] Invest aggressively ... [5] Do not sell when the stock market crashes ... [6] Be disciplined in your approach ... [7] Do not take 401k plan loans ... [8] Don't be afraid to get advice." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)
'Retire Rich!' -- Don't Believe the Sales Pitch
"Many of these exploitative videos are targeted to 20-somethings new to the financial world, who may be more vulnerable and persuadable. But perhaps they are also able to attract hundreds or even thousands of viewers because they offer easy solutions to what may be our most anxiety-producing financial challenge: Will I ever be able to afford to retire?" (Squared Away Blog, by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)
How to Avoid Hidden 401(k) Fees
"One of the easiest ways to lower your costs is to look for cheaper investment options. Typically, the biggest bargains will be found among index funds ... If you work for a large employer, you may have another low-cost option: institutional funds, which may include lower-cost share classes of retail funds or collective investment trusts[.]" (Consumer Reports)
 
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