I'm going to be taking a 6-month hiatus from contributing to my federal TSP (401K equivalent) account. I know exactly what I am currently contributing each paycheck, and to which funds as a percentage and an actual cash amount. I want to be able to calculate hypothetical returns from an arbitrary date so that I can be sure when I have actually made up for the losses incurred by the break. [more inside]
I'm helping an early-older-age couple with their idea of possibly relocating from New Mexico to Southern California in the coming years. We are looking for thoughts about a region we're unfamiliar with. [more inside]
I am thinking of retiring early, relatively soon. Probably within five years, maybe much sooner. I want to make sure that I correctly understand various things, so I have several questions related to taxation, Obamacare, health savings accounts, IRAs, and SEPP. [more inside]
I'm finally out of school and in the working world, and now in the midst of trying to orient myself I'm trying to figure out if/how I should sock money away in a tax-deferred account with either TIAA-CREF or Fidelity. Should/can I try to figure this out myself, or should I find myself an advisor? [more inside]
I was looking around for information on long-term investment planning and I ran across this page, which says that after adjusting for inflation, long-term stock market returns are only 1.9% before taxes. The whole site seems to advocate this sort of really creepy gold fetishism that's been popping up lately, so my natural reaction is to dismiss it. But I still have doubts, and this plays into my anxieties about whether retirement savings is worthwhile at all. Help me debunk this? (Existential crisis inside.) [more inside]
How can I determine the hidden fees associated with my employee 401k through Prudential? [more inside]
I find this comparison really confusing. I'm starting the job in August. I'm an early 30s married woman who would like to become pregnant in the next year. The contract only lasts through the end of 2014. I do want to continue on working there, but I have no idea if additional grant money will become available at that time. Which plan would you choose? Or, failing that, which are the important factors to consider?
I am 28, have a $60,000 a year job in Accounting and expect to be making close to $100,000 in seven years (after that, raises more uncertain). I want to retire some time in my early to mid 40s. I have a wife who is 34 and works as a retail manager (making about $40,000 a year). I am planning on living off of 20% of our after tax income (excluding mortgage payments). We currently do not have a mortgage but are planning on a house soon. We would like to travel at will and have the (option) of not working ever again. We also do not mind retiring in a cheaper location (Costa Rica, etc) to save on costs. What investment vehicles should I be considering given that I am retiring early? What kind of jobs that are part time could a retiree easily perform? How much money should be going in employee 401k type programs vs. individual investment options and IRA contributions. [more inside]
I'm taking a new job with a very small company that doesn't offer a 401k. My spouse's job does offer a 401k. Based on what I see on this page, with our income, we would not be able to deduct any contributions I make to an IRA, and we're not eligible for a Roth IRA. So what is my best retirement investment strategy? [more inside]
Single retiree is selling a big paid-off house and asked me and huzzeh for help deciding whether or not it makes sense to rent an apartment or buy a condo. What questions should we consider to help make this decision? [more inside]
Do I need a (fee-based) financial planner, advisor, or tax accountant? Recommendations for one in San Francisco? I'm almost 30, almost debt-free, and feeling out of my depth as I try to figure out what to do about non-retirement savings. [more inside]
Asking for a friend. YANHL. A couple has divorced, wife has a local civil service pension and husband a federal civilian pension. The judge ruled they would split each pension 50/50, instead of letting them keep their own. She has sent her court order to his pension board and has received acknowledgement. She has been unable to get any answers from the pension board about what happens now. He has left federal service but has not retired. Does she have to wait until he retires to start receiving her monthly checks from the federal system? Can she start getting them when he reaches retirement age even if he's not retired? Who can she contact that will answer her questions? Would CC'ing her Senators/Rep on her emails help or hurt? Thanks.
Hello! I'm in my early 30s and am finally financially stable enough to start socking away some cash in a Roth IRA (my employer does not offer any retirement plans). However, I'm a little worried that, with the market being at such a high, that something will happen due to all the current BS going on with Congress and the market will crash again, and I will lose a good chunk of money. Is this fear totally unfounded? Should I just start my Roth and hope for the best?
How to save for retirement when my employer offers no retirement savings program and I cannot contribute to an IRA tax-free? Details inside. [more inside]
I recently rolled over my old 401K and Roth accounts through an old employer and held by ADP. Throughout the process, I was told the only fee would be the $50 "account transfer fee". But when the checks arrived half of my money was missing! [more inside]
If you were single, 53 and healthy and with an adult child roaming the Earth, where would you retire and why? Only limiting factors are 200K US in a retirement account and a pension of 40K US (with a COLA increase of $1600 each year).
My mom has what seems to be undiagnosed borderline personality disorder. For the last many years, she's burned bridges at work and let her self-loathing get the best of her, to the point that she's chronically unemployed, has alienated most of her friends, and has exhausted all her financial resources. She's hit rock bottom, with $0 in the bank and debts to pay. And she's turned to me for help, saying she doesn't know how to take care of herself. I'm 26. I'm struggling to pay back my own student loans. Please help me help my mom. This is in Canada. [more inside]
As I assist my recently retired parents, I'm finding I know very little about the practical parts of traversing this phase of life. How do I help them manage their financial future, particularly with life insurance? I've read previous posts but special *elder* snowflake.. [more inside]
I have a chunk of money just sitting in an account that doesn't even earn interest. I'd like to park it into an IRA, but would like to avoid spending many hours researching them. I'd love to just pick a place, transfer the money over, and be done with it. What bank/financial institution currently offers the lowest fees for the best results? Do you have one that you adore, and offers a good deal? [more inside]
I am suddenly making a grown-up salary, with a retirement plan and everything. I need to talk to a financial professional about optimizing my taxes and retirement and building a perfect(-ish) machine that I don't need to think about too much. I don't actually know what this person is called. Am I looking for an accountant? A financial advisor? A financial planner? Or something else? Please help me overcome my laughable naïveté. Thanks! [more inside]
I am a new graduate student and was hoping to put some money into a Roth IRA to start saving for retirement, but just read that contributions must be made from earned income and now I'm not sure if that is the best plan for my circumstances. [more inside]
You just retired from being a high school English teacher and are now about to embark on a long mutiple country voyage on a boat with your husband. What would be an awesome gift for you from a former student, assuming space on the boat is limited? [more inside]
I know timing the market is stupid. My previous attempts at it have never worked out in my favor. My 401K is all index funds. However, with the possibility of Congress going over the 'Fiscal Cliff," it is a horrible idea to go all cash until they get it sorted out? [more inside]
Starting from scratch at 45 years old, what's the best strategy for saving money & planning for old age? [more inside]
How high was your gross income when you felt able to make the maximum contribution to your 401(k)/403(b)? Is contributing close to half of my already modest income a bad idea? [more inside]
Should I quit my job? Much more inside. [more inside]
Anyone have recommendations on a hidden paradise to retire to in 10 years? [more inside]
Thinking of retiring in 10 years. Where? [more inside]
Moving to a better school zone. Should I do it? Tough decisions concerning moving, staying put, and financial future. [more inside]
Saving for retirement - the advice and calculators out there are too complicated and I constantly question my assumptions. Is there a good rule of thumb to use until I visit an advisor? [more inside]
Is it worth it to contribute to my small company's John Hancock 401K, given the high expense ratios and no employee match? [more inside]
I'm considering leaving the public sector for private. Please help me learn the smart way to negotiate employment offers and understand the real value of my current package.
I've been working in local government in a mid-level administrative job for six years. My satisfaction level is low, but the benefit package is generous (we're a small local entity contracting benefits through CalPERS), and the job is as secure as anything for the foreseeable future. Would I be crazy to leave it? [more inside]
What is the long-term freelancer outlook like? Where "long term" equals 10 years in until retirement? [more inside]
My 401(k) has changed - any financial gurus able to explain how I am going to be affected? [more inside]
Need to pay off upcoming credit card bill. Can I use any of my retirement accounts to pay them off without incurring any fees? [more inside]
I'm retiring after 35 years in 6 months.Any suggestions on good sites for retirement talk, hobbies,vocations etc...thanks
Inspired by this post about retirement savings, I'm using my question to ask something I've always wondered about: where did the trope about senior citizens eating cat food come from? [more inside]
My job is contract based, and tends to lead me around the world. How does one plan for retirement with such a job? [more inside]
What sort of things should an Australian living in Australia know about owning an investment (e.g., an index fund) in the USA? The investment would be part of a retirement fund that has a low (15%) tax rate in Australia.
Three questions: (1) How many current civil service employees are also reserve/national guard members, (2) How many current civil service employees were also active duty military service members, and (3) How many of both groups retired from the military? I've been to DOD, the Census, OPM ... I'm not having much luck.
Need help navigating the tedious Social Security retirement benefits maze for my mother. [more inside]
[Brainy accountant-type filter] 37yo expat Canadian has a public service pension plan and too many options! [more inside]
Canadian RRSP filter: Does the Home Buyers Plan actually make sense? Can you crunch the numbers on my behalf? [more inside]
My retired 60-something mother is a bit too fond of turtlenecks and "mom jeans". I'd like to steer her toward labels and stores that will be more flattering. I'm looking for something similar to Lucky Jeans or Ann Taylor, but for older women. What do you recommend?
I work for a public library and have 18 years of service. I can retire with full benefits at 30 years. I have the option of paying the state a lump sum of $10,000 to service purchase my four years in the Marines. This means I can retire earlier. I have to think this has to be worth it. It will put a dent in my 401k but to retire at 51 rather than 55 seems like a hell of a good deal for $10,000. Thoughts?
My dad is retired, 78, pretty on-the-ball - but he's a little depressed about his waning years. Any advice? [more inside]
I have $1000 in a 401k from a job at which I no longer work. The Personal Rate of Return right now is at -40%. Should I still roll this out into an IRA account or is there a benefit to keeping it in that 401k account?
I just checked my retirement account. Last year, I lost about 7% of the total after ten years of contributions. Is this happening to everybody? [more inside]
How do I pick bonds for the bonds portion of a retirement portfolio? [more inside]
Clark Howard fans--If you watched last week's show, what was his advice on diversification with lifecycle mutual funds? [more inside]