Getting Real About Fund Fees

So it’s time to get real about mutual fund fees. Sure, they’re lower than ever for many funds, especially those that track an index. In fact, the average fund fee is now 1.25 percent, according to Chicago-based Morningstar. Still, even this amount is too high and needlessly gives away most of your expected future gains. To understand this, consider the following: You have to frame your gains in real, after-inflation returns. In other words, your portfolio must match inflation just to keep your spending power intact. You …

Miss Those Paper Social Security Statements? They’re Back

For those of you who liked getting your estimated Social Security benefits statements by mail, you’re in luck. The Social Security Administration says it’s planning to send out paper statements once again, beginning in September. Not everyone will get one, however. Only workers who haven’t signed up to review their statements online will be getting the paper version – and those will be mailed out only every five years rather than annually, says SSA spokeswoman Dorothy Clark. Related: When Should You …

Help for 50-Somethings Short on Retirement Funds

The following is a guest post from Barbara Friedberg. There is no shortage of people in their 50s with little retirement savings. Pension plans like the ones our parents’ generation relied on are few and far between. Those 401(k) balances aren’t as high as we hoped. Social Security still faces the possibility of the “chained CPI” COLA proposal. Most of us, like my friend Seth, haven’t saved enough. Seth lives in New York City and earned a mid six-figure salary …