The Takeaway: Americans Borrowing–and Not Repaying–Billions from 401(k)s

What's a worse financial plan than taking a loan from your retirement savings? Taking a loan from your retirement savings and not paying it back. Yet a growing number of Americans are doing just that, according to a new study from financial services firm Navigant Economics. Defaults on 401(k) loans totaled $37 billion in recent years.

The Takeaway: Anxious Investors Day Trading Retirement Savings

While most Americans with 401(k)s or individual retirement accounts embrace a "set it and forget it" philosophy, some anxious retirement savers are getting increasingly aggressive with their investments, according to the Los Angeles Times. Worried about the toll the past decade has taken on their savings, Americans nearing retirement are day trading mutual funds and stock options in a bid to make up for lost time.

The Takeaway: Americans Are Misusing Reverse Mortgages, Says Consumer Agency

Reverse mortgages are not being used as Congress intended, according to a new report from the government watchdog agency Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Reverse mortgages were created to provide an income options for retirees. But these mortgages are increasingly being taken out by younger borrowers, which could decrease long-term retirement security. Borrowers also tend to take lump-sum payments that can be used up quickly.

Financial Makeovers … We All Could Use One

Are you a caregiver, like me, who thinks about everyone besides yourself? Could you use a day to feel pampered? I know how it is, running around with to-do lists. At 41, I’m already beginning to think about my future, but with my crazy schedule I hardly have time to think about where I’ll be in one year, let alone 10 years…. Thankfully, I know some great folks inside AARP that are helping to make my decisions easier. And now …

The Takeaway: Keeping Your Estate Up to Date

If you have children, you've probably thought about who would care for them should something happen to you. But have you thought of who might care for aging parents? Today's society demands "<strong>new considerations</strong>" when it comes to <strong>estate planning</strong>, says the <a href="http://www.bmo.com/home/personal/banking/investments/retirement-savings/retirement-planning/bmo-retirement-institute/featured">BMO Retirement Institute</a>. The <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bmo-retirement-institute-report-estate-planning-in-the-modern-world—accounting-for-parents-pets-and-digital-assets-149467755.html">group's new report, "Estate planning in the 21st century: New considerations in a changing society,"</a> instructs Americans to review <strong>estate plans</strong> to factor in parents, pets and technology.

The Takeaway: Saving for Retirement? Why Not to Think Big Picture

When it comes to <strong>saving</strong> enough for <strong>retirement</strong>, it's important to keep the <strong>big picture</strong> in mind, right? Wrong, say researchers from Boston College's Center for Retirement Research; the <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/yourmoney/sc-cons-0426-started-20120427,0,1799363.story">best strategy is to think in small, concrete steps</a>.