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How to manage retirement plans as they pile up

Jun 26, 2013
In 21st century America, jobs for life are rare. For those lucky enough to have jobs with retirement plans, with the many jobs comes many retirement plans, which all send quarterly statements that need tracking.
Posted In: IRA, 401k, Retirement, retirement savings

Should the government limit tax-free retirement savings?

May 8, 2013
Allan Sloan, senior editor at large at Fortune magazine, explains why he thinks Obama's proposal to limit tax-free retirement savings is a bad idea.
Posted In: retirement savings, 401(k), IRA

You can't share an IRA

Jun 20, 2012
Can my wife and I share one Roth IRA and contribute as much as $10,000 a year to it, or must we each have separate IRAs with the normal $5,000-a-year contribution cap? Jake, Madison, WI
Posted In: IRA, Roth-IRA, retirement savings

Yes, take advantage of a rollover IRA

May 24, 2012
My wife and I have taught in Alabama public schools for the past 2 years and have made (forced) contributions to the state retirement system in that time frame. Together, we've got around $8,000 invested in the state retirement system. Realizing the limited income prospects for career teachers, we both applied and were accepted to a top 25 law school on full-tuition scholarship. My question to you is this: For my retirement account, I have the option of either a) taking a lump-sum payment of the $8,000, minus 20 percent in federal income tax, or b) rolling it over into a 401(k), IRA, or similar long-term savings plan. Should I take the money and run, or should I start building a retirement nest egg while I'm financing the rest of my life with borrowed money? Alex, Montgomery, AL
Posted In: Graduate school, law school, retirement savings, rollover IRA, IRA, student loans

Setting up a rollover IRA

May 8, 2012
My wife will soon lose her job after several years working in non-profit. I am confident in her ability to find another job, but in the meantime, we have been told that she will have to take money out of her 403(b), totaling about $45,000. What should we do with it? Roth IRA? Something I don't know about? James, Louisville, KY
Posted In: rollover IRA, IRA, Roth-IRA

Funding an IRA when retired

Apr 11, 2012
My wife and I just retired last June. She just turned 60 and I will turn 59 soon. We own our home and cars, we have no credit card debt and our savings (not including retirement accounts) is almost $100,000. Our kids both finished college without accruing debt (thank you very much!). As I completed our taxes this spring, the amount owed is almost $2,400. If we open an IRA for $8,000, the amount owed drops to under $1,200. Does it make sense for us, at this point in our lives, to invest in the IRA for the tax savings? Part of me says it is a no-brainer; the other part says that investing in an IRA when you are already retired doesn't pass the common sense test. What do you think? Mike, Blue Earth, MN
Posted In: Retirement, retirement savings, retirement work savings, IRA

To annuitize or not to annuitize -- with apologies to Shakespeare

Mar 29, 2012
I am ready to convert my 401(k) into an IRA. I am 61 years old and want to start taking annual distributions. The current balance in the 401(k) is $562,000 and I would like to withdraw 4 percent annually. Fidelity Investments is recommending a Guaranteed Annuity of $400,000 and the remaining in a managed portfolio fund (balanced). The annual fee for annuity is 1.90 percent of the balance and the managed portfolio 1 percent. These are the only fees. There is a 2 percent penalty if withdrawn within the first 5 years. Is this a good option, or should I keep the money in moderate conservative index funds? Emma, Las Cruces, NM
Posted In: annuity, immediate annuity, retirement savings, 401(k), IRA, pension

Is a CD a worthwhile investment?

Mar 21, 2012
Should I consider a CD as a worthwhile investment? I am 26, work for a neat nonprofit, paid off my car in 1 year and plan to be paying student loans for 20 years. I have about $5,200 invested in stocks and mutual funds (most of which is split between a Roth and a traditional IRA). I have another $1,000 I'd like to invest. Should I continue with IRA contributions and modest stock purchases or consider something like a CD? The thing is, my online savings account APY is higher than the CD rate. I guess a third option is paying down an additional $1,000 on my student loans. What should I do? Thanks! Michael, Salisbury, MD
Posted In: Roth-IRA, IRA, Savings, CD, student loans

A bleak snapshot of America's retirement future

Mar 13, 2012
Americans share little confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement. The 22nd Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefits Research Institute is stagnant at historically low levels.
Posted In: Retirement, retirement savings, 401(k), IRA, healthcare

The best way to own TIPS

Mar 5, 2012
Are there any disadvantages to purchasing TIPS through something like Fidelity's Inflation Protected Bond (FINPX) for my Roth IRA? Or would it be a better idea to just purchase TIPS directly from the Treasury? Thanks, Danny, Davis, CA
Posted In: Treasury inflation protected securities, tips, IRA, Roth-IRA, Mutual funds, exchange traded funds, ETFs

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