Why AARP Backs a New Retirement Plan Advice Rule

Yesterday was the due date for comments on a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor that would protect people with 401(k)s and IRAs from conflicts of interest in the financial services industry. AARP filed our official comments yesterday, one on the new rule and one on the new proposed best interest contract exemption. The rule, proposed in April, requires all retirement plan advisers to provide advice in their clients’ best interest. That is the simple goal underlying the …

The Fast Track to Saving Is to Pay Yourself First

Let’s face it, for most of us one of the biggest obstacles to saving is that sometimes there isn’t enough paycheck at the end of the month. Even for those of us who educate people about managing their finances, it can get hard when the budget is already stretched thin. Here are a few ways to get you started. Put Savings on Autopilot A good way to jump-start your savings is to pay yourself first. Do this and you will soon …

401(k) Fees Need More Transparency, Labor Dept. Says

Memo to 401(k) savings plan service providers: You’re ignoring the intent of Labor Department disclosure rules when you bury the expenses and fees for those plans in a mountain of paperwork, using language only legal experts can decipher. If investors don’t know or understand how much they’re paying in fees associated with different investment options, for example, how can they know if they’re overpaying for certain funds and limiting retirement balances from increasing more fully? Phyllis C. Borzi, the assistant secretary of …

Seven Easy Ways to Boost Your 401(k)

Sadly, 401(k)  plans may not be the best vehicle to guarantee us a secure retirement that will last through the years. Too many variable factors – the market’s performance, the timing of  our retirement, the cost of our plan, our asset allocation and so on – can influence whether we’re able to save the sobering amount financial planners say we’ll need. By the looks of it, we’re in deep trouble. Financial advisers say we need to have saved eight to …

401(k) Balances Hit Record High – $111,900 for Ages 50-54

Here’s some good news.  Our retirement plan balances are rising, so maybe we actually can retire in relative comfort, provided we continue to save and save some more. A Fidelity Investments analysis of 401(k) plans showed that the average balance rose to a record high at the end of last year  – $77,300. That’s up from $69,100, a 12 percent increase from one year earlier. Workers 50-plus did even better. Here’s the average breakdown by age group as of the end …