When visiting a financial adviser for consultation about retirement savings one might assume those counselors have their best interests in mind. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. To better ensure consultants are working for consumers and not for fees, the Labor Department will propose new rules to increase standards for brokers who recommend investments for retirement accounts. [More]
Historically, our staff Certified Tax Cat has handled readers’ questions about taxes, but he took feline early retirement and hung up his oversized eyeglasses. Filling in for him is Laura’s dad, a retired accountant and real live independent tax preparer. Exclusively on Consumerist, Tax Dad answers your questions. [More]
Retirement, for many American workers, is so far off in the future and so far behind other, more immediate priorities that their savings are, well, nonexistent. In an age where employer pensions are vanishing every day and Social Security may not provide all the income a retiree needs, individual savings are key to making it through the golden years. Though many folks have 401(k) or IRA accounts, many more don’t.
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.
Silly tax payer! You’re not supposed to deposit your tax rebate into your IRA. You’re supposed to spend it on blu-ray players and expensive diet pills and GPS systems! No more maps for you! Sadly, if you asked the IRS to deposit your tax refund into your IRA, they’re going to deposit your rebate there too.
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.)
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.
The cock just keeps rocking at the H&R Block terrordome.