401(k) plans

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We all know that 401(k) savings plans are designed to help us sock away money for our old age. Increasingly, workers are tapping those funds for loans or cashing out altogether. Two reports released this month suggest that our retirement security could be undermined by our pattern of using those savings to ease our financial stress today.
How much income will 401(k) provide
You may be throwing money into your employer-sponsored retirement plan - let's hope you are - but do you know how much estimated monthly income your plan will provide over your lifetime?
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About to change jobs? If you have a 401(k) account, you're at risk of getting bad information when you ask the company managing your retirement plan about your options.
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Call it generational rebellion at its finest: It seems all the gloomy retirement forecasting for boomers has been inspiring their kids to save more. Workers in Gen X and Gen Y are both starting retirement savings earlier and more likely to make automatic contributions than members of the boomer generation, according to a new survey.
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What's a worse financial plan than taking a loan from your retirement savings? Taking a loan from your retirement savings and not paying it back. Yet a growing number of Americans are doing just that, according to a new study from financial services firm Navigant Economics. Defaults on 401(k) loans totaled $37 billion in recent years.
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If you give a worker (a cookie and) solid financial benefits, the worker has a much better chance of living comfortably in retirement. And if the worker understands and appreciate those benefits, the happier he or she will be.  And the happier the worker is, the more productive he or she will be. And that will boost the employer's bottom line.
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More 401(k) plan sponsors are offering to pay benefits in a form that guarantees a set level of monthly income, regardless of how long you live. And more employers are beginning to offer these plans,  Time's Dan Kadlec reports. "Before long your 401(k) may look a lot more like your dad's pension," writes Kadlec.
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401(k) plans were supposed to fill in the gap left by the decline of traditional pensions. But retirement experts largely agree that the 401(k) plan has been sort of a failure.
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Employees contributed more to their 401(k) plans in 2011, according to Fidelity Investments, and matching contributions from employers were up, too. But despite this uptick in contributions, the year-end average for Fidelity's 401(k) participants was down.
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Retirement savers, take heed"”these developments may not have made major headlines in 2011, but they're still important to your retirement planning efforts. And while a diet high in sodium does increase heart disease risk, even more important is the ratio of sodium to potassium in your diet.
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