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.
Here’s a horrible idea: a 401(k) program with a debit card. That’s right, you can go to the ATM and make withdrawals from your 401(k) retirement savings plan. [TheStreet]
If you’re single and earned less than 26,000 last year, or married and together made less than $52,000, then you can qualify for a tax credit of up to $1000 if you contributed to a retirement savings account during the year. To get the maximum credit, you’ll need to have socked away $2,000 and earned less than $15,500 as a single tax filer ($31,000 if married). And yes, this is a credit, not a deduction (something this writer has confused in the past), so it can make a significant difference on your final tax bill.
NBC is taking the “workplace comedy” concept to new levels of realism, by including a couple of scenes about a major character’s lack of a savings plan in this week’s “30 Rock” episode. After being awarded a $10,000 “GE Followship Award” for being such a great follower, Tina Fey’s character stuns her boss by revealing she doesn’t have a 401(k)—or, apparently, even a savings account.
According to Money, there are 13 big myths about retirement that you need to be aware of—and the sooner you know about them, the sooner you can make any necessary adjustments to improve your preparations for those twilight years.Myth 1: You need a big income to have a big nest eggMyth 2: You…
401k’s are critical long-term investments too often forgotten by job-switchers. They are vastly more important than the staplers and pens most people remember to box up.
Consider: Some 7.5 million Americans took about $440 billion in distributions from their 401k plans in 2004, according to Brightworks Partners research. Of the 7.5 million, 6.25 million were job changers and 1.25 million retired. Of the 7.5 million, 55% had 401k balances greater than $5,000.
Thanks to a law enacted in 2005, people leaving their jobs with less than $5,000 in their 401k automatically have their plan rolled into an IRA.
David DeSmitdt’s retirement plan with J.P. Morgan got hacked and emptied, and there’s no federal laws to protect him.