Usually, our staff Certified Tax Cat handles readers’ questions about taxes, but he’s currently at a Warby Parker showroom shopping for some even less fashionable glasses. Filling in for him is Laura’s dad, a retired accountant and real live independent tax preparer. Exclusively on Consumerist this spring, Tax Dad answers your questions. [More]
We know a lot of people simply stopped looking at their quarterly 401(k) account statements a few years ago, hoping and praying the market would eventually recover and they would someday see all that money lost when the economy went SPLLLAATTT!!. Well, it may be time to take a peek at your next statement, as the latest numbers show very positive signs of recovery. [More]
When you leave a job, it’s important to make sure the cash you stashed in your 401(k) follows along. Some are tempted to cash out the account and suffer the penalty, but the savvy choice is to roll it over into a new account. [More]
Just about every financial expert tells you not only to contribute to a company 401(k), but make sure you pay in enough to receive the company match. We can’t argue any differently, but tough times and changing priorities can make compelling arguments for dropping contributions. [More]
You’ll be excused for worrying more about your day-to-day financials than those of your future, 65-year-old self. But it’s important not to let your 401(k) or other long-term investments become afterthoughts. One reason to think big-picture is that decisions you make in retirement investments now will have ripple effects that turn into tidal waves in your golden years. [More]
Even though the economy has begun to demonstrate occasional signs of life, many Americans are still feeling the sting of those darkest days. Millions of homeowners are struggling to pay mortgages they can’t afford and those that have walked away from underwater loans now have battle-scarred credit reports. So in order to stay afloat, more consumers are taking loans from their own retirement savings. [More]
A recent study found that a record number of people (around 28%) with 401(k) retirement funds had loans (averaging $7,860) outstanding on them in 2010, meaning that these same folks will not have as much money set aside when it does come time to retire. That’s why a pair of Senators have introduced legislation that would make it more difficult for people to tap their 401(k)s. [More]
Douglas received an unexpected delivery from UPS last week: a check from Fidelity Investments made out to Vanguard Fiduciary Trust Company for over $300,000, along with a bunch of 401(k) rollover paperwork that included the real account holder’s address, date of birth, SSN, and phone number. [More]
Christian personanl finance blog Redeeming Riches offers four revelations on how you may be mistreating your 401(k).
Given the state of the economy today, is it better for me to reduce my 401k to a minimum and use the extra funds to pay off my credit card debt? This is a good time to put money into the markets, based on my admittedly limited understanding, but with interest rates going through the roof (my personal Chase card went from 12.99 to 23.99), I would like to kick down my cc debt (now at around $6,000) faster. I’m currently only putting 6% in my 401k, and I’m fairly young (35). Have you advice for me?
What impact does the Chrysler bankruptcy have on regular investors who hold bond funds? Most likely little to none, it turns out. Consumer Reports points out that most mutual funds have been avoiding Chrylser, GM, and Ford debt for years now—and if your fund does include Chrysler, it’s probably a tiny portion of your overall investment.
Our weekly roundup of the best personal finance news. Inside: Good charity-dar, scam detection, snow-removal tactics, rebuild your 401k, and warnings about store credit-cards.
WooHoo! I got a job! Right out of college and everything. With an awesome sign-on bonus! Now what am I supposed to do with all this money? I know I have options. Stock Market (HA!), bank, and under my pillow. I would put it in the bank but I have a wedding coming up in less then a year to pay for and I want to know my options for making good quick investments. Please help!
Four Ways to Improve Your Resume [Yahoo Hotjobs] “Here are four tips on how you can power up your resume for today’s more competitive job search arena.”
You’re dead: Where’s your 401(k)? [MSN Money] “If you should die before spending all your hard-earned retirement savings, any number of things could happen to the remaining money. Don’t let it fall into the wrong pockets.”
7 Secrets to Picking Great Funds [Kiplinger] “These methods will help you choose wisely and give your portfolio a boost. Some may surprise you.”
When Should You Downgrade Your Car Insurance? [The Simple Dollar] “How do you know when the time is right to downgrade your car insurance?”
4 Ways to Reduce a Gadget’s Power Drain [Smart Money] “Here are four ways to cut your gadgets’ energy consumption.”
— FREE MONEY FINANCE (Photo: PaulBarwick)
The Promotion That Got Away: 5 Ways to Bounce Back [Yahoo HotJobs] “Nearly everyone has been passed over for a job they ‘deserved.’ If and when that happens there are five important steps to take.”
If you’re entering the work force for the first time (although this probably pertains to lots of older employees too), all the details of insurance, taxes, and 401(k)s can be daunting/boring/confusing. Ron Lieber at the New York Times has pared away the extraneous bits and created a “primer for young people starting their first job,” including helpful advice like why it’s important to get health insurance, how to fill out your W-4, and why it’s good to take advantage of the built-in “raise” that comes from a company-matching 401(k). Sure, this is all basic stuff, but that’s the point. Ya gotta start somewhere.
The February issue of Kiplinger’s has advice for how to save a million dollars at any age from 25-55. The longer you’ve got the easier it sounds, of course…. and the more inflation will take a toll on your million. Even so, interesting stuff.