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retirement savings


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

Yes, participate in a 401(k)

Apr 10, 2012
I have a Roth IRA, a retirement account from a previous job and a mutual fund. Shall I also begin a 401(k) with my new employment? Ivy, El Paso, TX
Posted In: 401(k), rollover IRA, retirement savings

Parents and graduate school

Apr 9, 2012
What do you suggest is the best way for middle-income baby boomers to support their children's post-bachelor's degree educations? Anne, Burlington, VT
Posted In: Graduate school, student loans, retirement savings, personal finances

Pension assets are coming back, sort of

Apr 3, 2012
Yes, public pension plans are ripe for reform. But overhauling these plans is an opportunity to improve pension design for everyone.
Posted In: pensions, 401(k), IRAs, retirement savings, public pensions

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 There is a 2 percent penalty if withdrawn within the first 5 years.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

Broken trust: A Ponzi scheme victim bounces back

Mar 21, 2012
After falling victim to Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, Carol Lovil is getting her life back on track. But she worries she may never be able to trust anyone again.
Posted In: New York Times, Allen Stanford, ponzi, scheme, texas, Investing, retirement savings

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

Malthus visits Wall Street

Mar 7, 2012
I don't think investors should fear the march of time. The specter of a baby boomer-driven stock and bond market implosion seems implausible to me largely because of the move toward market economies around the world. By the time retiring boomers are selling in earnest, markets will be even more global than they are now. There are a lot of foreigners to buy U.S. assets.
Posted In: baby boomers, Investing, Savings, stocks, bonds, retirement savings

To Roth 401(k) or not

Feb 28, 2012
My company just added a Roth 401(k) investment option to our retirement plan. I am currently saving 6 percent of my salary in my 401(k), with a 3 percent match from my company. (This is the maximum match.) Now that there is an option to invest in the Roth, with the same match available, I am not sure how to adjust my investments. I don't have any other retirement savings besides my 401(k). I have talked this over with a few of my friends and none of them seems to know the answer, either. Thanks for your help! Priscilla, Greenville, N.C.
Posted In: Roth-IRA, Roth-401(k), 401(k), retirement savings, Taxes

Insurance: It's complicated

Feb 23, 2012
My real question is about disability and long-term care insurance. I have some level of short- and long-term disability through work, but my husband has nothing (besides Social Security), and neither of us has long-term care insurance. I worry about what would happen if we lost one income stream. We've looked into these programs, but they are not cheap (especially the long-term care insurance). Is this something we should have? If we do, it will probably mean less savings in other areas (such as retirement). Is it worth the trade-off? Catherine, Princeton, NJ
Posted In: disability insurance, long-term care insurance, insurance, retirement savings