personal finance

MyRA — Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

Posted on 01/30/2014 by | Senior Editor, Money Team | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsA 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 …

Average 401(k) Balances for 55-Plus: $255,000

Posted on 06/17/2013 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsHell-o 401(k). So nice to see you increasing in value. Here’s hoping for a record second quarter just like the first. Strong employee/employer contributions and a rocking stock market boosted the average 401(k) balance during the first three months of the year. It hit $255,000 for participants age 55 and older who worked at their current employer for 10 years or more, according to a Fidelity Investments quarterly analysis of its 401(k) accounts, which had more than 12 million participants. …

Debt Is a Taboo Conversation Topic

Posted on 05/20/2013 by | The Ultimate Cheapskate | Comments

Money & SavingsAs a young adult, my parents taught me to never discuss religion or politics in a social setting, especially if you know and like the other people in the room. I’ve since learned that sex is often included along with religion and politics in the trifecta of taboo polite conversation topics. Trust me, growing up 50 years ago in the farmlands of Ohio it went without saying that sex wasn’t something you talked about in public (or even in private, for that …

Thinking About Retirement Pays Off at Any Age

Posted on 06/6/2012 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

WorkWhen you hear the “R” word, what comes to mind? Your perspective on retirement planning depends on a lot of things, including your age bracket. If you’re 50+, you might say: “What retirement? My IRA has taken a huge hit, and now I’ll have to work way past 65.” Or, “I’m so behind I don’t even know where to start. I hope Social Security is there when I need it, but I’m worried.” A 40-something might say: “Retirement? We’re down …

Social Security for Dummies is Smart Reading

Posted on 04/17/2012 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & SavingsThe following is a guest post from author Jonathan Peterson, an executive communications director at AARP and a former national and financial correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.  Some folks think they have a better chance of bumping into a UFO or a zombie than getting a meaningful Social Security benefit by the time they reach retirement age. No wonder some people feel that way, given all the things that are said about this hot-button program. But if you’re like most …

Take the Pay Down Your Debt Challenge

Posted on 01/2/2012 by | Home & Family blogger | Comments

Money & SavingsThis is a guest post by Tara Finnegan Coates, editor for money and work content on AARP.org. I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. I’m not against setting goals, but I struggle sticking with them if I don’t see results right away. I lose patience with an exercise routine or diet if I don’t see any results within a week. My clothes either need to fit better or the scale needs to be nicer. A week probably isn’t long enough, …