Add Adjusting Your 401(k) to End-of-Summer Plans

Now that we’re past the midyear of 2014, it’s a great time to review your retirement savings plan to make sure you’re on track. If you’re not contributing enough or haven’t rebalanced your portfolio since George W. Bush was in office, you have the remainder of the year to make some adjustments. You probably already know that you can sock away as much as $23,000, which includes $5,500 in catch-up contributions for people 50-plus, in your 401(k) plan. However, if you’re using …

Money Market Funds Just Got Safer … Or Did They?

After years of debate, the Securities and Exchange Commission this week finally adopted new rules designed to shore up the stability of the $2.6 trillion money market  industry. The question now is, will it help? While the changes largely affect institutional investors, one provision also applies to small investors by temporarily restricting their access to their money if a fund has liquidity problems. For decades money market funds were seen as reliably boring, investing in government securities or high-grade corporate debt. Though the funds’ …

The Cost of Not Expanding Medicaid

States have divided almost evenly on whether to expand Medicaid to millions more low-income Americans, many of them uninsured. Many Republican governors or state legislatures have rejected expansion, saying that although the federal government will pick up most of the tab now, states could be left on the hook in the future. Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter And although expansion aims for low-income people, “you’re expanding coverage for graduate students and Starbucks baristas,” says Edmund Haislmaier, senior research fellow at the Heritage …

More New Retirement Account Proposals

Americans are way short in their retirement savings, and President Obama’s MyRA plan, which he unveiled last week, isn’t the only new proposal that aims to help with that problem. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., also offered a savings plan. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has one of his own, which follows a report he released last summer. Of these three proposals, Harkin’s is the most ambitious. His Universal, Secure and Adaptable (USA) Retirement Funds would create a …

MyRA – Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

A day after President Barack Obama gave the go-ahead for the Treasury Department to create a “starter” savings account, experts are weighing whether it will be worthwhile or just another ignored investment tool. Critics note, for instance, that the so-called myRA will do little to overcome the huge shortfall in retirement savings among so many workers. The conservatively invested accounts, though they won’t lose money, won’t make much of a return, either. And the myRA is voluntary, so it’s unclear …

Managing Mom’s Money? Do It Right.

Stacks of unopened bills, calls from creditors, compulsive purchases from websites or TV shopping networks, donating sums of money to questionable charities – these may be the signs that it’s time to talk to Mom and Pop about managing their finances. It’s not an easy talk to have. And it’s not an easy job to do. Handling the finances for your parents, or other elderly relatives, involves more than just paying their bills. To understand what’s involved in carrying out …