investing

Interest Rates Are Low Until You Do the Math

Posted on 05/1/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & SavingsI often hear that interest rates are awful and that it’s the worst time ever for retirees needing to live on fixed income. Yet when you look at after-tax, inflation-adjusted returns, a different picture emerges. Many people smile when I tell them that back in 1980 they could have earned 12 percent on a 10-year U.S. Treasury or certificate of deposit (CD). Depositing $10,000 would have returned $1,200 a year. But if a third went to taxes, that gain would …

Those Free Dinner Seminars May Give You Heartburn

Posted on 04/21/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & SavingsEver get those invitations for a free financial seminar at a restaurant? “Nothing will be sold — we only want to educate you on your financial future,” is the typical pitch. Most specify that “financial professionals may not attend.” However, I recently received one that didn’t exclude me, and decided to see what I might learn about my financial future. Here’s my experience and what you need to know. First, this wasn’t just some seminar at a local restaurant; this …

Planning for a Strong Financial Future

Posted on 04/15/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & SavingsBy Lee Baker, CFP One of my favorite things as a child was reading comic books. To be honest, if I had more free time, I would probably read them now. Like me, most of you probably remember the Charles Atlas ads in comic books and other magazines. You know the story: A bully kicks sand in a skinny kid’s face. Deciding to do something about it, the skinny kid sends for a free book from Charles Atlas that promises …

Lucky Workers Snare More Company Cash for Their 401(k)s

Posted on 03/24/2014 by |Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | WorkRemember when AOL announced recently that it would pay its 401(k) matching contributions to employees in a lump sum at the end of the year, rather than during each pay period, potentially costing employees’ retirement nest eggs thousands of dollars? If workers left in November, they’d lose out on nearly a year’s worth of company contributions. Those who stayed forfeited any gains made throughout the year. The tech company was forced to reverse its policy after an outcry by employees. (Criticism …

Facebook, Others Scale Back 401(k)s

Posted on 02/14/2014 by |Senior Editor, Money Team | Comments

Money & SavingsIt’s bad enough that employers are doing away with traditional pensions and adopting 401(k)s that foist all the investing decisions onto workers, leaving them vulnerable to the vagaries of the market. Now, according to an analysis by Bloomberg, it appears that many big companies have gotten stingier with their 401(k) matching contributions and vesting schedules. These include IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co., Oracle Corp., Caesars Entertainment Corp., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Whole Foods Market Inc.  and Facebook. (Facebook, Bloomberg reports, gave …

Computer Geeks Make Money. Literally. What You Need to Know

Posted on 04/11/2013 by |News, Culture, Sights and Sounds | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsNobody knows exactly who they are. But a group of computer geeks have created a virtual currency called “Bitcoins” that’s got everybody from the FBI to international bankers to the news media talking. Bitcoins are money that flows on the Internet — money that’s not backed by gold or governments. But it does buy things — like cars, pizza and guns. Starting from zero about four years ago, the Bitcoin economy was said to be worth about $2 billion earlier …