Why 401(k)s won’t offer longevity annuities anytime soon

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Longevity risk – that is, the risk of outliving your retirement savings – is among retirees’ biggest worries these days. The Obama administration is trying to nudge employers to add a special type of annuity to their investment menus that addresses that risk. But here’s the response they’re likely to get: “Meh.” The U.S. Treasury […]

Twitterverse has questions about retirement; we’ve got answers

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The Twitterverse has questions about retirement. What’s the best way for young people to get started saving? Are target date funds good or bad? Should we expand Social Security to help low-wage workers? Those are just a few of the great questions I fielded during a retirement Tweet-up convened this week by my colleagues at […]

When to take Social Security? Employers adding advice to 401(k) plans

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Deciding when to file for Social Security is no simple task, and most Americans don’t handle it well. But increasingly, help is available from an unexpected source: your employer. The nation’s largest independent investment financial advisory firm is rolling out a service today that walks 401(k) plan participants through their Social Security claiming options, with […]

Warning: Not all ‘target date’ funds have the same target

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If you contribute to a target date fund in your 401(k) plan, you probably have a sense of how it works. The fund’s balance between stocks and bonds automatically shifts as you age, with less weight on equities as you get close to retirement. But it’s important to read the fine print on these funds, […]

Senator Rubio’s surprisingly bipartisan retirement saving idea

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When Republican politicians talk about how important Social Security and Medicare have been for their parents, it’s time to grab your wallet. These stories usually precede a proposal to cut benefits under the guise of “saving” the programs – and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida tore a page from that playbook this week. Rubio, a […]

Cruise control can drive your 401(k) – just don’t hit the gas

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401(k) plans are all about automation these days, especially target date funds, which keep workers’ accounts in balance for an age-appropriate level of risk. It’s the investing world’s version of cruise control, but a study released today finds that many investors are turning on cruise control while putting their feet on the gas pedal – […]

Funding a business with a 401(k)

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The stock market scares Jan Morris. So last year she and her husband Chuck took most of the money in their retirement accounts and invested it in something most financial advisors would regard as even more risky than stocks: a small business start-up, specifically, one making high-quality artisanal gin and whiskey from a renovated distillery […]

Should young retirement savers load up on stocks? Maybe not

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Millennials don’t seem to buy the traditional wisdom when it comes to investing. They’re the most risk-averse investors since the Great Depression, with the average portfolio 52 percent in cash, according to a recent report by UBS Wealth Management Americas. That runs counter to what most investment experts will tell you – that young people […]

Retirement confidence bounces back, but only among wealthy savers

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Americans who owned stocks in 2013 are feeling better about their retirement prospects than they did just a few years ago. For everyone else, not so much. The longest-running survey of American retirement sentiment shows confidence rose in 2013, the first increase since sentiment plunged following the Great Recession of 2008-2009. But the 2014 Retirement Confidence […]

How 401(k) cash-outs hurt down the road

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When you change jobs, do you take the money and run? A disturbingly-large and growing number of young and low-income workers do just that with their 401(k)s – and it’s damaging their chances of building adequate retirement savings down the road. Data released today by Fidelity Investments shows that 35 percent of all participants in […]