More Investors Choosing Target-Date Funds for Retirement Savings

Target-date funds are growing in popularity among investors in workplace retirement plans because they’re so easy to manage. You pick a retirement date, and the mix of investments automatically adjusts to a more conservative allocation as you move closer to that date. No muss, no fuss. If you’re not investing in a TDF, chances are you will be. A new study says that by 2018, nearly two-thirds of all 401(k) savings contributions will go into these funds. TDFs have become …

Why I Like 529 College Savings Plans

If you want to help pay for higher education for a child or grandchild, consider using a 529 college savings plan. These plans allow you to put money aside for tuition and other college-related expenses, while getting some nice tax advantages as well. Since I have a son who will be college bound in a couple of years, I’ve looked at all sorts of ways to pay for it and can say the 529 plan is by far the best …

Estate Benefits of Roth IRAs Curtailed in Obama Budget

Buried in the details of President Barack Obama’s 2015 budget are tax changes that could upend many people’s estate and retirement planning. The president is proposing significant changes to the Roth IRA, which has become a popular way for higher-income investors to leave money to heirs tax-free. “The Obama team put this out in an effort to simplify tax law when it comes to retirement accounts,” says Matt Curfman, a financial planner with Richmond Brothers Inc. in Jackson, Mich. “Thank …

Stock Gains Push 401(k)s to Record Highs

Last year’s gangbuster stock market pushed 401(k) savings account balances to record highs, according to two major retirement account providers. Fidelity Investments says the average account balance at the end of last year reached $89,300, a 15.5 percent increase over the year before. For workers age 55 and older, balances averaged $165,200. Many workers roll over their 401(k) into an individual retirement account when they leave a job.  Adding up the balances of those who have both a 401(k) and …

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 …

Risky 401(k) Investments: The Supreme Court Steps In

Do you know just how much you’re saving for your retirement? If so, you’re not alone. AARP studies show that most Americans 50 and older are thinking about and planning for their future financial security. So imagine, for a moment, that your company has a pretty generous 401(k) plan. That’s great, right? Well, in a case that the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear, the plaintiff employees say, “Not so much.” Here’s what happened to them. Fifth Third Bank, a …