The series is full of good, basic information on the fundamentals of retirement planning — a great resource for those wondering how to plan for retirement as well as those who need a brief refresher course on the subject.
All-encompassing directory of retirement planning tools and calculators. [All Financial Matters]
The 401(k) is one of the best ways to maximize your retirement savings. After all, if the company matches your contribution, you start off with a 50% to 100% gain right off the bat. That said, many employees are not making the most of the potential locked in their 401(k)s. Here are some of the most common mistakes, according to Vanguard:
It’s easy to manage your finances when you close unnecessary bank accounts and credit lines and chisel down to the bare essentials. Blueprint For Financial Prosperity has compiled an excellent list of accounts that you need, and accounts you should avoid.
Mint has collated a collection of thirty free ebooks on personal finance and money management. The selection ranges from budgets to credit cards to mortgages to general consumer advice. Each one is in PDF format. Check ‘em out and get your learn on.
Maybe I won’t live long enough to retire. Life is so uncertain. Why should I miss out on the high life now when I might not even need to have money put aside for my old age? (If married, change pronouns in this reason to the plural.)
Bankrate has some nifty pie charts that show you how you should be allocating your retirement investments at different age groups. How you allocate your assets determines the risk in your portfolio. Of course, you don’t have to take these suggestions, your level of risk should reflect your tolerance for it. —MEGHANN MARCO
The personal finance rule-of-thumb regarding saving has historically been that each of us should sock away 10% of our salaries for retirement. But this old rule is coming under an increasing level of scrutiny from all sides — some saying we need to save more, some arguing that we’re already saving too much, and others replying there’s no one answer that fits everyone. Is it any wonder we’re all confused?
Smart kids start saving for retirement early.
All but the lowest earning men should have accumulated in a nest egg 12 times their income by the time they retire, EBRI estimates. That’s $900,000 for a man earning $75,000. A woman, because of a higher life expectancy, should have 14 times her income
Damn. Women live so long they can pull that “put one penny in a savings account and in the future you’ll be a zillionaire, but it’ll only pay for one dinner” thing from Restaurant At The End Of The Universe.—MEGHANN MARCO
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.
If you want to get a ballpark estimate of how much you need to save monthly to meet your retirement goals, and want a friendly painless internetty wayt to do it, Fidelity has the myPlan snapshot. It’s very Fisher-Price basic, but might be good for people who are terrified of the topic. —MEGHANN MARCO