Despite the many financial benefits of Individual Retirement Accounts, for most Americans these investment vehicles are an afterthought when it comes to preparing for retirement. According to a TIAA-CREF survey out this week, only 18 percent of Americans contribute to an IRA as a part of their retirement saving strategy. When asked to rank their priorities in terms of how and where to allocate their savings, contributing to an IRA ranked behind putting money away for short-term goals, such as vacations or buying appliances. What do people see as their top priorities? Saving for a house or college ranked first, while No. 2 was saving through an employer's retirement plan, according to the investment firm. In short, the survey makes clear that IRAs are widely underutilized as a retirement savings tool. Indeed, 43 percent of respondents didn't even seem to know what an IRA is, while 39 percent said they don't know enough about the accounts to consider one. Among people who do have an … [Read more...] about One retirement plan more people should consider
Employer sponsored retirement plan types
Many Americans are taking the right steps to improve their retirement security -- and many aren't. That's one conclusion of a recent study about IRA usage from the Investment Company Institute (ICI). The mistakes and omissions people make fall into two time periods -- while you're working and while you're retired. See how the steps you're taking compare to other Americans. Many Americans aren't saving for retirement The biggest mistake you can make while working is not saving anything for retirement. The second-biggest mistake is not saving enough. One of the best ways to save is through an employer-sponsored retirement plan, in which you put money away via automatic payroll deductions and reap substantial tax advantages. Your employer also does the shopping for investments and administrative services so you don't have to. According to the ICI survey, only about 55 percent of U.S. households participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan. The remaining 45 percent are eligible … [Read more...] about Are you a retirement “have” or a “have not”?
By Cameron Huddleston/GoBankingRates "Steps to Maximize Your 401k." "How to Master Your 401k." "Ways to Increase Your 401k." Headlines such as these are common in personal finance publications, and tend to give the impression that a 401k account is the way to save for retirement. For most employees, it is. About 80 percent of full-time workers have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans -- the majority of which are 401k's, according to the American Benefits Council. But if you're not a full-time employee and don't have access to a 401k or similar workplace plan, you might be wondering how you're supposed to save for retirement. As a self-employed writer, I haven't had access to a workplace retirement plan for 15 years -- but that hasn't stopped me from saving. In fact, there are several ways to build a nest egg if you work part-time and don't have access to a retirement plan at work, are self-employed or have your own business. "It seems sometimes daunting to think about having … [Read more...] about 5 ways to save for retirement without a full-time job or 401k
As President Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House winds down, retrospectives on his eight years of achievements and failings -- from economic growth to foreign policy -- have been cranking up. For millions of older Americans, as well as those who someday hope to be in that category, a key consideration is what did Obama do to help improve American workers’ security in their retirement years? While he made much progress, some of the outgoing president’s accomplishments could be in jeopardy under the incoming Republican regime of Donald Trump, and Obama is also leaving behind some important, unfinished business. Let’s take stock of Obama’s legacy on retirement issues. Accomplishments Recovery of the economy and jobs. The economy’s strength and the availability of paid work are essential factors for a secure retirement. During Obama’s eight years in office, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, the official unemployment … [Read more...] about Weighing Obama’s legacy on retirement issues
It's a familiar dream: Start a successful company, sell it for big bucks and hit the beach while you're still young enough to enjoy it. But what if you, like most Americans, haven't struck it rich professionally or via inheritance -- is the dream dead? The short answer: not necessarily. Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider whether retiring early is feasible. LIST YOUR GOALS You'll have to define your retirement goals clearly. How do you envision your life after you hang up your spurs? Are you willing to overhaul where you live, how you spend your money and your daily activities? Are you planning to sell your house or travel? The average retirement costs more than $700,000. Retiring early may mean your costs will be higher. And, keep in mind, more people are living longer. A recent University of Michigan report showed the number of people living to the age of 100 in the United States has nearly doubled in the past 20 years (to roughly 72,000) and is … [Read more...] about Want to retire early? Here’s a few things you should know