9 Things to Know if You’re Laid Off After 50

Tales from the newly laid-off have been overflowing my Facebook news feed of late. These journalist friends, all of them over 50, are gobsmacked by the idea that their publications will go on without them. I get it — the same thing happened to me five years ago — and I’m heartsick for all of them. On the dark day in 2009 when I was unceremoniously dismissed from USA Today, I was informed that my job had been “eliminated.” Of course, …

Is Your Employer Shortchanging Your 401(k)?

If you’re fortunate enough to get a company match in your 401(k) savings plan, you might be feeling lucky. Unless you’re in a plan that’s being shortchanged by your employer. According to a report from the Department of Labor, nearly 73 percent (or 2,677) of the plans it audited last year made the wrong employer match or made some other error. The upshot? A whopping $423.6 million was restored to workers’ 401(k)s last year. Among the more common mistakes: failing to account …

Beaches and Your 401(k) Plan

What do these two things have in common? They’re both subject to erosion – of the natural and man-made varieties. Obviously you have more control over your 401(k) than what your favorite beach destination will look like years down the road. Personal Finance Writer Sandra Block of USA Today recently highlighted five things that can sabotage your 401(k): loans, rollover decisions, hardship withdrawals, cashing out early, and fees. Some things  — like cashing out early and hardship withdrawals — can …