A recent survey by HelloWallet has reignited concerns over the future state of retirement in the U.S. The survey reveals that 25 percent of people holding funds in a 401k or an IRA have dipped into them, and not just in a small way. Even more alarming is that the funds are being accessed through straight cash withdrawals rather than loans.
The need for retirement planning didn’t really exist until well into the 1970s. Up to that point, people worked until age 65, spent a few years in leisure through their life expectancy which was about 69. Many retirees of that era were able to coast into retirement with a cushy pension plan.
Along with fund performance and risk ratios, expense ratios are a critical factor in determining the potential of funds to outperform the indexes and their peers, but they are easily overshadowed by robust returns in strong markets. Now that the market is settling in, and fund returns are reaching relative parity with the market, expense ratios become even more important.
While the current stock market boom has some people rejoicing it doesn’t appear as though their level of anxiety has abated much. Investors sometimes have short memories, but a stock market rally s is not likely to make people forget the carnage left behind in their 401(k) s and stock portfolios after one of the worst market declines in our history.
401(k) plans were established by Congress to encourage individual savings towards retirement. Offered through employers, the plans are generally available to eligible employees who are allowed to contribute a percent of their salary to the plan.
If you listen to any of the world’s leading investors they will tell you that nothing is more important to long-term investment success than a clear investment philosophy. More important than a sound investment strategy? Yes, they will tell you, because strategy, while important, is nothing more than a manifestation of an investment philosophy.
Warren Buffet has made no secret of his successful investing strategy. “Buy into fear” he says, “Buy when everyone else is selling”. For most, average investors that may be much easier said than done. Perhaps if we all had a few billion dollars in the bank, we might be able to muster up more courage and take some more risks.
Let’s state up front that you don’t need a credit monitoring service to stay on top of your credit status. For people who are diligent and deliberate in monitoring their own credit, they can do so by accessing a free credit report from each of the credit bureaus once per year.
The decision to go forward with your plans to start a family is a joyous one, but it can also lead to increased stress especially if your financial house has not been child-proofed. Considering that, on average, the cost of raising a child now exceeds $300,000, there’s little margin for error for most young families that have other important financial goals to achieve.
For over 200 years, family businesses have been at the core of wealth creation in America. Family business founders take the leap of faith to launch their business venture, often risking everything, and then spend their waking hours to realize their vision.