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 …

Could You Retire From Your Job in Debt?

Think about retiring from your job with no savings — not even a little bit — just debt. Unfortunately this is the case for one in five Utahans, according to a new study released recently by Notalys LLC. This news is troubling, to say the least. To make matters worse, with 45 percent of working-age households having nothing — zero dollars — saved toward retirement, what’s playing out in Utah could have significance nationwide. That’s why Utah and other states around …

President Proposes Rule to Protect Worker Savings

President Barack Obama called on the Department of Labor today to draw up a rule to protect people who save in IRAs, 401(k)s and other workplace retirement plans from hidden fees and expenses that may drain billions from their accounts. The president wants brokers and other professionals to be required to act in an investor’s best interest — instead of their own — when dispensing advice on retirement accounts. “Right now there are no uniform rules of the road that require retirement advisers to …

Tampa Forum Kicks Off Conversations on Aging

“Make this a national conversation,” Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, urged participants in Tampa at the first in a series of five regional forums preparing for the White House Conference on Aging this summer. The invitation-only forums allow older Americans and those who work with and for them an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns on various issues. Discussions aim to form a vision and agenda for the White House conference, held in Washington …

Are Longevity Annuities in Your Future?

I’ve been pretty critical of many annuities in the past, but there is one out there that might be worth a serious look. It’s called a Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (QLAC) — yes, that’s a mouthful. Recent technical changes to this annuity OK’d by the U.S. Treasury offer a partial solution to the not-outliving-your-money challenge. Unlike many other annuities, this one is fairly straightforward and easy to understand. It also has some tax advantages. In fact, in five years, says Stan Haithcock, aka …

There’s No Shame in the Senior Discounts Game

You can remove the girl out of the flirt, but not the flirt out of the woman. Thus, when an extremely attractive gentleman hovered near the department store counter and the sister ringing up my purchase announced all loud that there was a 15 percent discount for senior citizens, I demurred. I was buying a $25 lipstick and wasn’t about to blow my cover with cutie pie for a discount of less than five bucks. After a bunch of winking and …