Retirement Savings and Investments

There are a lot of questions about retirement savings and investments.

With regards to savings, you need to know: How much to save (did you know that some people save too much)? How much savings you will you need for retirement? Where should you save? Should you save pre-tax (traditional, SEP & Simple IRAs, 401ks, 403bs, 457s, 529s, HSAs, etc…) or after-tax (Roth IRAs and 401ks)? How do you find more money to save?

And, there are probably even more questions about investments: What should you invest in (stocks, bonds, real estate, funds)? How should your investments change over time? How do your financial values impact your investment strategy? What is the ideal asset allocation for you? What should you do when the market swings wildly?

See below for articles covering the answers to these questions and more.

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self directed ira

What is a Self Directed IRA? Is it a Good Idea for Retirement Savings?

What Is a Self-Directed IRA? A Self Directed IRA is a type Individual Retirement Account (IRA)  that allows you to invest in a really wide variety of alternative investments.  Traditional IRAs require that  you invest in traditional asset classes — mainly stocks, bonds, funds, treasuries, annuities and certificates of deposit. Self Directed IRAs and Self…

December 17, 2020

How a Biden Presidency Might Affect Your Retirement

Joe Biden is now President elect. There are several ways a Biden presidency might affect your retirement, including lower tax benefits on 401(k) accounts and more generous Social Security benefits. Biden’s Plan for Older Americans gives specific details on what Biden would like to do as President to overhaul the nation’s retirement system, shore up…

November 11, 2020
qualified charitable distribution

How Making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) Can Save You Tax Money

Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) are not only a way to help great causes and those in need, but they are also a way to manage your tax exposure and avoid unpleasant surprises.  For people who are at least 70 ½, and who don’t need income (or who simply want to avoid the income tax) from…

November 11, 2020
effects of low interest rates

What Are the Effects of Low Interest Rates on Your Retirement?

You may have seen the news: Interest rates in the United States are at historic lows. That sounds great. But is it really? What are the effects of low interest rates on your retirement? Read on to see the pros and cons of low interest rates on your retirement plan. And, how to make the…

October 29, 2020
tax withholding in retirement

How Are Different Retirement Income Sources Taxed? And, How Does Tax Withholding Work in Retirement?

Retirement tax planning is a critical part of preparing for a secure future. The good news is that with so many possible retirement income sources, you have many different opportunities to potentially reduce your tax burden. And, you may even discover that reducing taxes can enable you to retire a little earlier than you might…

October 29, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Dividend Stocks for Retirement Savings

There are many guidelines around how to drawdown your savings in retirement (the 4% rule, the multiply by 25 rule), but what if you don’t have to spend your savings? You can generate retirement income with dividend stocks, and in a world where savings accounts produce less than a 1% return, dividends can provide a…

October 14, 2020

How Do You Compare? Average Cash, Savings, Home Equity and Other Balances

According to reporting from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, retirees have a wide variety of savings and investments.  Here are the average cash, savings, and home equity balances in the U.S. How do your financials stack up? Keep reading to see how your accounts and investment types compare to that of most retirees.  Use…

October 1, 2020

Podcast: Steve Vernon — Don’t Go Broke In Retirement

Episode 47 of the NewRetirement podcast is an interview with Steve Vernon — a writer and research scholar at the Stanford Center of Longevity — and discusses the Spend Safely in Retirement Strategy that Vernon came up with and, secondly, his new book, Don’t Go Broke in Retirement. Listen Now: Don’t miss out on future…

September 25, 2020

Big Wealth-Building Lessons From the 5 Most Recent Financial Crises

They say that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The bad news is that the last 50 years have seen 5 major financial, market, or economic crises. The good news is that each crisis has lessons that you can apply today to help you build more wealth and feel…

September 18, 2020

Podcast: Jerry Patterson — Making the Most of Your 401(k)

Episode 46 of the NewRetirement podcast is an interview with Jerry Patterson — Principal Financial’s senior vice president of workplace savings and retirement solutions — and discusses how to make the most of your 401(k), workforce savings trends, financial independence and retirement income. Listen Now: Don’t miss out on future episodes: subscribe on iTunes subscribe…

September 3, 2020
bad investments

The Unlucky 13: Bad Investments for Your Retirement

We have a lot of choices about where to invest our money, both before and after retirement.  Some options are clearly bad investments. Others seem like a good bet, but they probably aren’t. While we would all like to find a shortcut to massive wealth, a more steady approach is probably the best route to…

September 3, 2020
sample asset allocation

Sample Asset Allocations: What Is Right for You?

Diversification should be one of your retirement mantras. After all, if you have all your eggs in one basket, they’re more likely to all break if something goes wrong.  That is why you want to try to achieve the right asset allocation mix for your particular situation.  Continue reading for some rules of thumb as…

August 20, 2020
retirement investing tips

28 Retirement Investing Tips from Today’s Financial Geniuses

Were you the kid in kindergarten that secretly ate paste in the corner? Or were you the one solving all the math equations from the end of the book on your first day in class? (I knew those kids. Both of them were in my class, and I’m not yet admitting to being one of…

August 19, 2020

Podcast: Morgan Housel — The Psychology of Money

Episode 44 of the NewRetirement podcast is an interview with Morgan Housel — a writer, former columnist at The Motley Fool and the Wall Street Journal, and a partner at the Collaborative Fund. He and Steve discuss Housel’s new book, The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness, and his perspective on…

August 6, 2020
emotionally intelligent investor

Are You an “Emotionally Intelligent” Investor?

Ravee Mehta made a splash in 2012 when he published The Emotionally Intelligent Investor. The premise went against everything you learned about investing in the 20th century, like reason is better than emotion and that a few basic principles should guide all investors. While you never want to make an emotional decision with regards to…

August 6, 2020

Podcast: Christine Benz — Morningstar & 25 Years of Personal Finance

Episode 43 of the NewRetirement podcast is an interview with Christine Benz — author and Morningstar’s director of personal finance — and discusses the big financial and life lessons Benz has picked up over her 25-year career at Morningstar. They also talk about Benz’s works, 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances…

July 23, 2020
retirement withdrawals

Your Guide to Developing a Retirement Withdrawals Strategy

You’ve spent your entire working career saving and investing for retirement. Now it’s time to develop a retirement withdrawals strategy. When you are thinking about withdrawing money from your retirement accounts, it’s important to come up with a strategy that ensures that your savings are going to last for a lifetime, are used efficiently, and…

July 7, 2020
retirement investments

Should You Use a Financial Advisor Affiliated With Your Bank?

Pensions have pretty much gone away.  We spend 20 to 30 years in retirement.  And Social Security covers only a fraction of our retirement expenses. This means we are pretty much responsible for saving everything we need for retirement on our own. This may seem like a daunting challenge; some people might consider the help…

July 6, 2020
best retirement investments

10 Retirement Investments That Don’t Involve Stocks, Bonds, or Other Financial Products

Investing in ourselves doesn’t need to involve money. In fact, many of the best retirement investments do not involve greenbacks at all. Instead, they are investments that make the fullest use of our time, allow us to spend precious moments with the people we love, and enable us to focus on those things that make…

July 5, 2020
retirement target date fund

Pros and Cons of a Target-Date Fund

A retirement target-date fund is a  professionally-managed mutual fund that is strategically reallocated over time to achieve both growth and security for your assets. The key goal for a target-date fund is that your money will be available for withdrawal on a  targeted retirement date in the future. When you invest in a target-date fund,…

July 3, 2020
Robo Advisors

Robo-Advisors: Should You Automate Your Retirement Savings and Investments?

Robots: They answer the phones at our insurance agencies; they build cars in our factories. And if we are lucky enough to own a Roomba-brand vacuum, they even vacuum our floors. They now can now also make personalized investment decisions for you related to your retirement. Robo-advisors are a relatively new type of online investment…

July 3, 2020

7 Ways to Protect Your Retirement from Investment Frauds

Selling bogus investment products to older Americans is big business: In June 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Investor Advocate released a report on Elder Financial Exploitation. While they could not make a good estimate of total national financial costs to victims, in the state of New York, a rigorous study…

July 3, 2020

When to Roll Over Your 401(k) Plan Into an IRA

When you move from one place of employment to another, you’ll probably want to at least give some careful thought to taking the funds in your old 401(k) plan with you. In many cases, rolling them over into an IRA is the best choice. But then again, sometimes it’s better to leave your funds in…

July 2, 2020

The Best Investments for Children and Grandchildren: Consider a 529 Savings Plan

Many grandparents and parents strive to help their children pay for college. But there are smart–and not as smart–ways to assist them. The gratification of being a grandparent can stem from the ability to help shape another generation. Part of this gratification comes from helping grandkids pursue educational goals, including attending college. “We find a lot…

July 2, 2020

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