OPINION — Well, we’re back on the trade roller coaster this week — and as we’ve learned over the past year, it can be a bumpy ride that takes a strong stomach just to hang on. But here we are again, with the markets tanking on Monday as the Dow took a 2.4 percent hit and the Nasdaq, so dependent on big tech, dropped nearly 270 points, a 3.4 percent loss, raising new fears that stalled trade deals threaten to slow the country’s booming economy. As I write this on Tuesday, happily, the markets have recovered some of Monday’s losses. But this isn’t the first time investors have had to swallow hard. Last December, we went through a similarly unnerving experience. According to Fox Business, it was the worst December for stocks since 1931. But the first quarter of 2019 saw stocks gain back much of what they lost. More good jobs and GDP reports have also helped sustain public optimism about the economy. To investors, especially small investors, these … [Read more...] about Trump should say less on trade. The stock markets will thank him
What will my retirement savings be worth
Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday will sign a bill creating an entirely new retirement savings plan for private-sector workers who aren’t able to save through an employer-sponsored 401(k).The Secure Choice Retirement Plan aims at boosting New Jerseyans’ retirement nest eggs by automatically enrolling workers in an IRA that is managed by the state. The state has at least two years to get the program up and running. The goal of the savings plan is to promote “greater retirement savings for private-sector employees in a convenient-low cost, and portable manner,” according to the bill (A4134), which is modeled after the Illinois Secure Choice Program.It targets some 1.7 million workers in the Garden State whose employers don’t provide access to a retirement plan. Bill sponsors have said that of employees who don’t have a payroll deduction, only 5 percent save for retirement “on a consistent basis.”Here’s what you need to know:How do you … [Read more...] about You may be automatically enrolled in this state-run retirement savings plan if your N.J. boss doesn’t offer a 401(k)
Reading a few tweets from financial writer Helaine Olen was all it took for me to abandon a long-planned personal-finance column that was going to be about the smart practice of annually taking stock of household finances. It might still be a good idea, but you will have to read about it somewhere else. It no longer looked possible to write that kind of personal-finance advice piece and not become part of a far bigger problem Olen identified. Olen’s work can be found on the Washington Post opinion page and elsewhere, and she grabbed my attention with her angry reaction to a short TV news item before Christmas. It was about an 80-year-old part-time greeter at an Oklahoma Walmart who still can’t afford to retire. As CBS described, he had been laid off from his job as a machinist by an aerospace firm years before, the job loss coming just before he became fully vested in the corporate pension plan. His household then fell into a financial hole, and it’s never gotten out. … [Read more...] about Stop blaming yourself for retirement savings shortfalls
By Julie Jason | [email protected] | PUBLISHED: December 3, 2018 at 6:00 am | UPDATED: December 3, 2018 at 6:05 am Research firm Cerulli Associates asked 401(k) participants age 45 and older a simple question: “When you retire, what do you plan to do with your savings?” Here is the conclusion that the researchers reached, as reported by Cerulli Director Jessica Sclafani: 401(k) “participants are generally clueless as to what they will do with their accumulated savings.” I hope that’s not you. Let’s talk about why Cerulli reached that conclusion. When asked what they will do with their 401(k) account savings, one-quarter of respondents explicitly answered, “I don’t know.” Another one-quarter said they “will ask [their] existing financial adviser[s] for advice,” which, according to Cerulli, is a “marginally more prepared version of ‘I don’t know.'” An additional 8.5 percent believe the … [Read more...] about Jason: Are you ‘clueless’ about your retirement savings?
Dear Penny, I’m trying to figure out the best way to invest in my 6-year-old niece’s future. I’m 32, unmarried and child-free. I work full time for a decent salary and contribute to a retirement account, emergency fund — all that stuff. I want to put aside a little something to give my niece a boost in the future, but I’m not sure what my best option is. Her college will be paid for through the G.I. Bill, so a 529 savings plan doesn’t seem necessary. I’ve considered life insurance, but I’m not sure whether it’s worth buying at my age. Plus, I’d like something she can take advantage of when she turns 18 — or maybe after college. I’ve started investing in a mutual fund at a pretty low rate; it’ll only be a few thousand dollars by that time. Are there options out there I’m missing? Thanks for your help! -- I Believe Your Children Are Our FutureDear Believe,Cool Aunt is my favorite job title. It sounds like … [Read more...] about Dear Penny: Where should I put money now to help my 6-year-old niece later?