Silence Could Be Costly in Family Financial Planning

Parents and their adult children say they want to have honest conversations about finances and retirement issues, but they just don’t agree on when to talk, according to a survey released today by Fidelity Investments. And when these discussions do eventually occur, they often don’t get down to the details needed for proper financial planning, the Boston-based investment firm found. Lauren Brouhard, senior vice president of retirement at Fidelity, urges families to bite the bullet and talk – before parents retire …

401(k) Balances Hit Record High – $111,900 for Ages 50-54

Here’s some good news.  Our retirement plan balances are rising, so maybe we actually can retire in relative comfort, provided we continue to save and save some more. A Fidelity Investments analysis of 401(k) plans showed that the average balance rose to a record high at the end of last year  – $77,300. That’s up from $69,100, a 12 percent increase from one year earlier. Workers 50-plus did even better. Here’s the average breakdown by age group as of the end …

The Takeaway: Couples Need $240,000 For Health Care In Retirement

Oof. The latest estimate of an average American couple's retirement health care costs is $240,000. The calculation, from Fidelity Investments, is based on a 65-year-old couple with Medicare coverage, and factors in things like premiums, co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket prescription drug costs. It doesn't factor in things like long-term care, dental services, over-the-counter meds or hearing aids.

The Takeaway: 401(k) Balances Down Despite Higher Contributions

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.