retirement savings

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51%: An ominous number

Feb 22, 2012
More Americans are at risk of a lower standard of living in retirement.
Posted In: Retirement, retirement savings, sfaety net

Thoughts for a really good saver

Feb 16, 2012
I'm in my early 30s and work in the government sector. I contribute to a 401(a) and a 457 through my employer, and after discussing things with my wife, I have begun to think I may actually contribute TOO MUCH on a monthly basis. I contribute about 31 percent of my pre-tax income, including those two plus another ~5 percent after taxes to the 401(a). We have a mutual fund that had an acceptable return in 2011. Would I be better off lowering what I contribute to my 457 and 401(a) and increasing deposits into the mutual fund instead? I recently got a promotion with a substantial raise, so I thought now would be the time to reconsider where I am parking my money. Dan, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Posted In: Savings, retirement savings, taxable accounts

The allure of homeownership

Feb 13, 2012
My husband and I are both church pastors. We have been married for a year and half and we both work full time. Our gross income is about $84,000 and we tithe 10 percent to our churches and charities, which we will continue to do. We are trying to decide whether or not to purchase a home, and whether we are saving money in the proper places.... Is this a good time to buy a home? What if we needed to sell it in four years? Should we be putting less money into savings and more into the Roth IRA's? Thank you for your help! Emma, Beverly Hills, MI
Posted In: home, mortgage, Savings, retirement savings, Roth-IRA

The skinny on secondary market annuities

Feb 10, 2012
I am retired and would like to safely increase income. What is a secondary market annuity? Is it a suitable vehicle for putting a portion of retirement funds to safely increase guaranteed retirement income? Are there issues to be aware of with the secondary market annuities? How should this product be purchased? Thanking you in advance for any light you can shine on this topic. Ronald, Rhinebeck, NY
Posted In: retirement savings, Savings, annuity

Thrill seeker? Risk averse? It matters

Feb 6, 2012
What I like about the insurance money management framework is that it takes seriously the idea that how you save and where you save is all about what you want out of life -- your goals, your desires, your values, your lifestyle.
Posted In: Investing, insurance, portfolios, retirement savings

Good education. Good job. Now what?

Feb 2, 2012
After close to a decade in graduate school, a post-doc, 24 job interviews, and almost as many rejections, I am elated to have started my first bone-fide adult job. Which in this day and age is not only a blessing, but a miracle, for which I am truly grateful for. While I have mastered the manipulation of matter at the atomic and molecular level, I am pretty clueless about how to manipulate my finances. My question: what should my financial priorities be? repayment of school loans? saving for retirement? putting money into an emergency fund?... Romas, Berkeley, CA
Posted In: Savings, retirement savings, student loans

Putting a priority on savings goals

Jan 30, 2012
I recently bought a house for the first time. I am in my early 50s and have a son in high school. I don't have life insurance. I have been receiving lots of advertisements in the mail telling me I should have life insurance or mortgage insurance. Should I buy term life insurance to protect my son? It is very hard for me to save money, and I'd rather save what I can for future college bills and my retirement. Thank you, Erika, Salisbury, CT
Posted In: life insurance, term life, Savings, retirement savings, college savings

When money goals collide

Jan 19, 2012
We have achieved the goal of $10,000 in our emergency fund and now we're looking to put that extra money into retirement. However, in this uncertain market with dwindling returns, we're not sure that a long-term retirement fund is the best place to dump all our eggs. ... We have a fairly good mortgage rate of 4.75 percent. Our question is: Would it be better to focus on paying off our mortgage early while the market is so volatile instead of putting all that money into retirement? Every penny paid off to the mortgage early is money we aren't paying interest on, after all. Cathy, Bogart, GA
Posted In: retirement savings, home, mortgage, risk

Spending in retirement

Jan 18, 2012
I am 63 years old and hope to retire in 2 years. My wife and I have a 403(b) and a 457. Also we each have a Roth IRA and we both are covered by modest pension plans. By a lot of self-education (including Marketplace Money), we have done well accumulating our nest egg, but we're not sure how to transition to using our nest egg. Do you think we need a financial adviser to make this transition? If so, what criteria do we use to choose one? Perhaps more importantly, how do we learn to trust this person with our future? Thank you. Walt, Grove, IL
Posted In: Savings, retirement savings, retirement spending, Financial planner

The Roth 403(b) option

Jan 17, 2012
My wife and I both work for a state university that recently began offering a Roth 403(b) option. I am 52 and she is 47. We both contribute the maximum to the traditional retirement plan and to a traditional 403(b), as well as making the maximum contribution to Roth IRAs. I've used various online calculators to try to determine if we should switch new 403(b) contributions to the Roth option, but the result always comes out to just a couple hundred dollars or less monthly income difference one way or the other. I wonder if I'm missing some significant considerations or if the decision really is just a toss-up for people our age. I'd greatly appreciate some insight on how best to weight this decision. Thanks! Jerry, Hillsborough, NC
Posted In: Roth, 403(b), retirement savings, Taxes

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