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Retirement


  • 9 reasons you may never retire (45 comments)

    This article is by staff writer William Cowie. My mom passed away a little less than a year ago. All her life she was the picture of health: She walked every day and ate super-healthy. The extended family dreaded going there, because they knew there would be no sugary goodies, only healthy (boring) eats. We used to joke and say she was so healthy they’d have to shoot her on the Day of Judgment ……

  • 5 key retirement factors your financial plan may not address (29 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp. If you love cat pictures, today is your lucky day. Because I’m back! As longtime readers will recall, I contributed to Get Rich Slowly from 2009 to 2013. I often wrote about more “technical” (i.e., boring) topics, such as taxes and IRAs. In order to provide a reprieve from the technical-ness, J.D. occasionally sprinkled in cat pictures. I tried not to take it personally. Photo: ZUMA…

  • Approaching retirement: What now? (40 comments)

    This article is by staff writer William Cowie. Retirement, that magic day you’ve had in your sights for decades, is finally coming into view. You may be in your 40s or 50s, and the big day may be next month or in a few years. Whatever your age and whenever the day, the time is coming for the big question: What do you do now? I faced that question a few years ago, and I…

  • Reader Stories: How I am financing retirement (39 comments)

    This reader story comes from long-time reader and commenter Bill McFadin, aka Cybergeezer, who commented that he had submitted a story months ago that never ran. We asked if he would resubmit the article, which he kindly did. Some reader stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks with all levels of financial maturity and income. Want to submit your own reader…

  • Reader Story: Update on a dad in need of retirement help (27 comments)

    This guest post is by reader Mike in New Hampshire. Mike wrote an Ask the Readers article last year, looking for ideas to help his dad get set for retirement. He wrote to us recently and asked if he could update their story. We were only too glad to provide a forum for them. It has been a little over a year since I wrote in looking for suggestions on how I could help my…

  • Ask the Readers: Do singles need to plan differently for retirement? (33 comments)

    This article is by editor Ellen Cannon. I’ve been single since I was divorced in my 30s, and I’ve been planning my retirement on the assumption that I will be single till the end of my days. I’m feeling comfortable financially with where I am in my plan. Yet when I was offered the opportunity to talk to Jacob Gold, a Certified Financial Planner and retirement coach with Voya Financial, about women and retirement, I…

  • Coming to terms: retirement vs. financial independence (57 comments)

    Note: This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. J.D. recently launched the Get Rich Slowly course, a year-long guide on how to master your money. Last Sunday, I shared the transcript of a recent conversation between me and Mr. Money Mustache. We talked a lot about retirement and what it takes to get there. “You and I are both supposedly retired, and yet we’re doing this work here where…

  • Another visit with the real Millionaire Next Door (16 comments)

    Note: This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. J.D.’s non-financial writing can be found at More Than Money, where he recently wrote about how to be happy. It was sunny last Friday afternoon, so I decided to go for a ride. Because Kim has been riding motorcycles all her life, I took a training class last August and now own a used Honda Rebel. When the weather’s nice in…

  • Financing your bucket list (39 comments)

    This is a guest post from Mitch Anthony. Mitch is a sought-after financial services consultant, popular speaker, and host of The Daily Dose radio program. His RetireMentors column appears regularly on CBS marketwatch.com. Mitch earned Financial Planning Magazine’s “Mover & Shaker” award for his pioneering retirement and financial planning work. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, and The New York Times. His book Storyselling for Financial Advisors was acclaimed…

  • Success Stories (and the People Who Hate Them) (125 comments)

    Note: This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. J.D.’s non-financial writing can be found at More Than Money. I spent last week in St. Louis for the third-annual Financial Blogger Conference. In two short years, Fincon has grown into more than just a gathering of bloggers. The place was packed with 500 bloggers, authors, journalists, sponsores, and financial professionals. Naturally, the workshops and main-stage speakers were outstanding. Our keynote…

  • Reader Stories: How I retired abroad on $500 a month (76 comments)

    This is a guest post by Pauline Paquin, who blogs at Reach Financial Independence.  Born and raised in Paris, Pauline writes about how she has been traveling the world for the past 10 years while trying to build wealth and achieve financial independence. You can follow Pauline on Twitter @RFIndependence. Some reader stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks with all…

  • Reader Stories: Why, at 25, I made retirement my first priority (48 comments)

    This reader story is from Adam M. Shearer, whose story was prompted by comments from another post. Some reader stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks with all levels of financial maturity and income. Want to submit your own reader story? Here’s how. After I was challenged in the comments on a recent article, I was drawn into reassessing my personal…

  • 5 ways to cut costs to save more for retirement (48 comments)

    David Bakke is an author and blogger for the personal finance resource Money Crashers, where he discusses tips for saving money for retirement and generating long-term wealth. When it comes to saving for retirement, many Americans are woefully behind. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 56 percent of those surveyed said they had less than $25,000 in retirement savings, and 30 percent doubted they’d have enough money to retire. However, regardless of your situation,…

  • Is the Roth right for you? (58 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. This year, it happened — something many have been predicting for years: Taxes went up. And most likely, the hikes will just keep coming. There’s no other way to pay off the country’s debt and fund the ballooning entitlements due the baby boomers as they…

  • Ask the Readers: How can I help my father get financially set? (74 comments)

    Dealing with family members who aren’t as financially savvy or frugal as you are is a common problem. Reader Mike in New Hampshire wrote to tell us his dilemma, and he wants your thoughts on what he should do. Here’s his story (and here is the update to his story): In college I majored in Communication and Journalism, so when it came time to choose electives to meet the requirements for math and science I…

  • All you need to know about saving for retirement (71 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. Like many important entities – including Weird Al, the Empire State Building, and CombustionSafety.com — he’s on Twitter. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the “Tyranny of the 401(k) Industry Complex.” The post was a commentary on an episode of PBS’s “Frontline,” which argued…

  • The tyranny of the 401(k) industrial complex (68 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. Like many living beings – including turtles, snakes, and llamas — he’s on Twitter. If you never watch PBS’ “Frontline,” you’re missing out on some of the best journalism on TV. I don’t agree with every viewpoint they advocate, but each episode is thought-provoking and well…

  • Oops, I may have broken my nest egg (42 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. Financial success can be due to making good decisions or avoiding big mistakes. In many cases, the biggest mistakes happen after good decisions, because the stakes have become higher. As an example, let’s consider the dilemma of Motley Fool reader Jim, who emailed us this…

  • The most powerful ways to secure your retirement (34 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. Whether you can retire, and whether your money will last after you retire, starts with a very simple maxim: spend less than you have. However, once you start actually crunching some numbers, you find that the equation of retirement is actually quite complicated, with many…

  • Ask the Readers: Can you retire without a pension or 401(k)? (57 comments)

    This short reader post from GRS reader A Single Saver caught our eye. A 401(k) or IRA fund seems almost mandatory by personal finance standards, and yet, here a reader writes how her retirement looks good without them. What do you think? Would you be able to provide a retirement for yourself without retirement investment accounts? Can a single woman retire without a pension or a 401(k)? That was my dilemma. As a contract worker,…

  • And the winners are… (3 comments)

    To get your new year’s saving resolutions off to a healthy start, we ran a sweepstakes on the Get Rich Slowly Facebook page. More than 300 (310, to be exact) people told us what their new year’s goals were, and from those entries, we randomly chose winners to receive $50 gift cards. And the winners are… (drumroll): Linda Beuthe Michael Brewer Lynn DeRocco Erika Imhoff Amy Lee Andrea Neuschuez Congratulations! To collect your gift cards,…

  • Ask the Readers: What is your most pressing financial issue? (98 comments)

    As Election Day draws (mercifully) near, that old question “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” comes up again and again. I’m not going to talk politics. However, I think the better question at any time (and one that is worth asking a few times a year) might be “What is your most pressing financial issue?” Facing foreclosure? Deep in credit card debt? Shopping for health insurance? Lost your job? Can’t make…

  • Reader Story: From recession to best financial shape of my life (53 comments)

    This guest post from William Cowie is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. William has contributed to ConsumerismCommentary.com, BudgetsAreSexy.com and other personal finance blogs. Some reader stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks with all levels of financial maturity and income. Want submit your own reader story? Here’s how. Fresh out of college in South Africa in…

  • Reader Story: My Roth IRA Sprint (45 comments)

    This guest post from Vermont Moose is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success or failure. These stories feature folks with all levels of financial maturity and income. Want submit your own reader story? Here’s how. I’m less than a year into the real world and have been enjoying the ride on the personal-finance rollercoaster. After…

  • The Many Roads to Retirement (89 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. “Work, work, work, work, work, work. Retire.” That’s how New York University professor Sewin Chan described the traditional retirement path at a symposium several years ago. However, that path may be changing. Her…

  • The Retirement Outlook for 20-Somethings (159 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Tim Sullivan. Over Memorial Day weekend, a few friends and I took an RV to Banff, Canada. I’m from Chicago and have only been in the Pacific Northwest for a few short months. We Chicagoans are flatlanders and the geographical splendor of the snow-caps that now surround me is a source of a daily inspiration. While we were heading through Glacier National Park, I sat at the coffee table…

  • When a Woman’s Work Is Done (122 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. One of my jobs at The Motley Fool is to serve as the internal financial planner for Fool employees. Lately, however, I’ve been answering more questions my colleagues have about their parents —…

  • Why You’ll Likely Need Less in Retirement (125 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. Retirement planning is ultimately a math equation: Input several variables, and estimate whether what you’ll have will pay for what you need. The challenge is that many of these variables are…

  • Ask the Readers: How to Retire Early? (123 comments)

    Though many readers of this site have modest financial goals, others are more ambitious. Many want to get rich. (That’s not surprising; after all, this blog is called Get Rich Slowly.) But I think most GRS readers are aiming at something in between. For instance, Charlotte wrote recently to ask about a goal that many of us have. She wants to know how to make early retirement a reality. Here’s Charlotte’s message: My husband is…

  • How One Decision Can Help You Retire Faster (154 comments)

    This is a guest post by Dee Bauer from SmallHouseLife.com, where she shares information about abundant living in small spaces. Do you sometimes wonder if you’ll ever be financially stable enough to retire? Or maybe it’s not so much about retirement as it is about financial independence. Personally, I don’t want to wait until I’m in my 60s to enjoy financial freedom and extended leisure time! As a result of one decision, my husband and…

  • 11 Things You May Not Know About Retirement Accounts (59 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. Robert contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks, and photocopies his face and other body parts. I don’t know you personally (yet), but my guess is that you own an IRA or employer-sponsored retirement account such as a 401(k) or 403(b). Such…

  • What Really Makes Your Retirement Accounts Grow (77 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. As far as investing goes, 2011 won’t be a particularly memorable year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 began the year at 1,257 and ended the year at the exact same spot. So if…

  • How to Buy a Pension with a Lifetime Annuity (47 comments)

    This is a guest post from Mike Piper, a long-time GRS reader and the author of Oblivious Investor, where he explains how exciting things like 401k rollovers and tax brackets work. Previously at GRS, Piper wrote about earning extra income with a small blog. Would retirement planning be easier if you had a pension? It’s a silly question, I know. For most people, the answer is, “Yes, of course.” Here’s a less-silly question: Did you…

  • What Will You Get from Social Security? (99 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He also has a blog, Twittering thing, and other things that are supposed to be important but he often forgets about, such as good manners. Robert contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. I’m a big advocate of crunching retirement numbers to…

  • Engineer Your Retirement (50 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He also has a blog, Twittering thing, and other things that are supposed to be important but he often forgets about, such as hygiene. Robert contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. I get plenty of email from readers, usually filled with…

  • Managing Mom’s Money: An Update from Happy Acres (149 comments)

    I’m sitting in the lobby of Happy Acres waiting for the business manager to return from lunch. I just spent half an hour talking with Mom, who’s doing much better than she was a month ago. She still struggles to find words, and she’s still confused, but now she’s able to conduct conversations and (more importantly) recognize people and tell the date. Mom’s main concern now is finding an apartment to herself. She currently has…

  • Extreme Early Retirement in Practice: How Two People Did It (162 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He also has a blog, Twittering thing, and other things that are supposed to be important but he often forgets about, such as hygiene. Robert contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. I regularly recommend that people spend time with a good…

  • Risks That Can Derail Your Retirement (77 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He also has a blog, Twittering thing. Robert contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. We financial planners and financial writers love to trot out hypothetical illustrations along the lines of “If you save 20% of your income starting at age 40,…

  • Book Review: Early Retirement Extreme (212 comments)

    For over five years now, I’ve spent most of my waking hours reading and writing about money. I’ve learned a lot. Using this knowledge, I’ve been able to get out of debt, build savings, and even begin pursuing my passions. What’s next? As time passes, I find myself thinking more about financial independence and early retirement. No surprise then that over the last couple of months I’ve been obsessed with Jacob Lund Fisker’s Early Retirement…

  • Caring for Aging Parents (156 comments)

    As more of my friends enter middle age, they’re talking less about how to care for their kids and more about how to care for their parents. Our mothers and fathers are nearing (and, in some cases, surpassing) seventy years of age, and not all of them are financially prepared. A GRS reader named Shauna recently wrote with a typical scenario: My husband and I are in our early thirties and finally getting our finances…

  • Two Stories About Retirement Planning (106 comments)

    I never know where the personal-finance lessons are going to come from. Today, I heard two stories about retirement from my own family. First, my wife told me that her retirement program at work might be cut. Next, I learned that my family’s box company has had a bizarre retirement crisis of its own. Don’t count your chickens Kris came home frustrated tonight. She’s worked for the state government for almost twenty years (eight of…

  • Reader Story: Making the Move to Semi-Retirement (52 comments)

    This guest post from Jacq Jolie is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes. You can read more about Jacq’s story at Single Mom Rich Mom. On 31 December 2009, I finished what I hope will be…

  • More Women Participating in Retirement Plans (40 comments)

    This post is from staff writer April Dykman. There’s a lot of bad news during a recession: High levels of unemployment, foreclosures, and huge dents in the average Joe’s net worth. But one good thing to come out of the financial crisis is that more people, women especially, are making an effort to better understand and contribute to retirement plans. Participation increases in employer-sponsored plans The Hartford Financial Services Group, an insurance and wealth management…

  • Yes, You WILL Get Social Security (127 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. We hear a lot about the doubts over the future of Social Security. Here are a few I’ve come across: “Three-fourths of those 18 to 34 don’t expect to get a Social Security check…

  • When Will You Be Able to Retire? (52 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. Permit me to introduce a new term into the financial planning lexicon: goals-based budgeting. (Well, a Google search turned up a few other instances of its use, but they’re on government websites, so no…

  • What is Retirement? (76 comments)

    I just returned from my annual weekend trip to Oregon’s Opal Creek Wilderness area. Every year, I join five other friends to hike into the forest, pitch our tents on the banks of the creek, and sit around the fire talking about life. We drank a lot of whiskey this year, and spent a lot of time at the swimming hole. Paul and Tim at rest above the Opal Creek swimming hole This year, we…

  • Ask the Readers: Am I Being Foolish for Saving So Much? (132 comments)

    Some of my favorite questions come from readers who are worried that they’re saving too much. This is a great problem to have. For example, Henry wrote recently with this dilemma: I’ve been reading Get Rich Slowly since I was 15. At that time, it inspired me to save 20% of everything I earn for retirement. I’m almost 20 now, and I currently max my Roth IRA each year. (Well, I did in 2008 and…

  • Poll: How Much Do You Need to Save for Retirement? (54 comments)

    This post contains an excerpt from Chapter 13 of Your Money: The Missing Manual, my new book from O’Reilly Media. It’s also a part of National Financial Literacy Month. For the past several months, GRS has been running a new poll in the sidebar every two weeks. Mostly, these are curiosities to me. But the poll that just concluded produced an interesting tidbit of information. The most recent poll — which ran simultaneously at Money…

  • How to Be Happy in Retirement (63 comments)

    The March 2010 issue of Consumer Reports Money Adviser has an interesting article on how to avoid regrets during retirement. The article, which draws on a survey of nearly 25,000 subscribers, is simultaneously comforting and cautionary. While only about 20% of folks who haven’t yet retired are highly satisfied with their current retirement planning, 70% of actual retirees report they’re highly satisfied. According to the author, the lesson is: While many of us tend to…

  • Outsourcing Life: Unconventional Advice for When You’re Financially Secure (309 comments)

    This is a guest post from Erica Douglass. After selling her online business for a million dollars at age 26, Erica “temporarily retired”. She now writes an online business blog at erica.biz. This is very much an article about advanced personal finance techniques, and doesn’t necessarily reflect my own philosophy. You’ve pulled yourself out of debt, are saving a reasonable amount of income for your retirement, have built an emergency fund, and your daily needs…

  • Ask the Readers: Why Are YOU Saving for Retirement? (125 comments)

    As I shared yesterday afternoon, although I believe National Save for Retirement Week is important, I find the topic dreadfully dull when stretched out for a week of blog posts. Lesson learned. Still, I don’t think all retirement discussions have to induce snores or tears. In fact, when you think about it, retirement — especially early retirement — ought to be something to celebrate. When a person has managed to save and make smart choices,…

  • No One Cares More About Your Retirement Than YOU Do (38 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the advisor for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. In recognition of National Save for Retirement Week, let’s take a gander at some numbers: The average Social Security retirement benefit is $1,159 a month, or $13,908 a year. According to the Employee Benefits…

  • Should You Stop Funding Retirement to Focus on Debt? (81 comments)

    This article is by GRS staff writer Adam Baker. In addition to his work at Get Rich Slowly, Baker blogs over at Man Vs. Debt, where he compiles the most famous and inspiring quotes on debt. This article is a part of National Save for Retirement Week, and a sort of follow-up to yesterday’s post about the choice between retirement or a down payment. Whether you should halt your retirement contributions in order to focus…

  • The Personal Finance Hour, Episode 24: Saving for Retirement (6 comments)

    It’s National Save for Retirement Week! All week, Get Rich Slowly will feature articles about retirement planning. This morning, I wrote about how important it is to pay yourself first. April and Adam will share their thoughts on the subject in the days ahead. On today’s episode of The Personal Finance Hour, I joined my co-host Jim from Bargaineering to discuss saving for retirement. We spoke with Jeremy from Gen X Finance. Jeremy is a…

  • Ask the Readers: How Much Should You Save for Retirement? (153 comments)

    How much should you save for retirement? Carla dropped me a line because she’s puzzled where the standard “save 10% of your income for retirement” advice originated. She’s afraid that ten percent isn’t nearly enough. Carla writes: The financial experts always say to save 10% for retirement (for example, in your review of The 1-2-3 Money Plan). Buy why 10%? It doesn’t make sense to me. I’m 25. If I retire at the normal age…

  • The Best Ways to Boost Your Retirement (50 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the advisor for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. With the S&P 500 still down more than a third from its 2007 high, we’re all a little unsure about our retirement plans these days. So it’s time for some good old-fashioned elbow grease….

  • Why I Love the Roth IRA (49 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the advisor for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. Want tax-free investment growth? Want more control over your retirement savings? Want to leave a bigger inheritance? If so, you should consider contributing to or converting existing retirement savings to a Roth IRA. For…

  • How to Live Well on Less in Retirement (65 comments)

    Though I’m not close to retirement myself, one GRS reader recently sent me a link to an article from the monthly newsletter from AARP (the American Association of Retired Persons). In the April 2009 issue of AARP Bulletin, Elizabeth Pope wrote about how to live well on less money. Pope profiles three families who have structured their personal finances in order to pay for necessities — and luxuries — now that they’re finished working. One…

  • How Much Do You Need to Save for Retirement? (104 comments)

    I’ve had several conversations in the past month with people who are wondering how much to save for retirement. They’re worried they won’t have enough. (And the recent market turmoil only makes matters worse.) The problem is that nobody seems to agree on what assumptions to make when planning for retirement. How much should you assume for inflation? For investment returns? For rising health-care costs? How long should you expect to live? Conventional wisdom Most…

  • “Jumpstart Your Retirement Plan Days” Provides Free Financial Advice (8 comments)

    Mark your calendar! Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors are working together again to offer Jumpstart Your Retirement Plan Days. Here’s the low-down from the official press release: On Tuesday, January 13th and Friday, January 30th from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, NAPFA members across the country will be standing by to answer your financial questions. Normally these Fee-Only planners, well versed in investments, taxes, insurance, estate planning,…

  • The Saver’s Tax Credit for Retirement Savings Contributions (30 comments)

    When you don’t have much money, it can be difficult to save for the future. Last month I highlighted San Francisco’s Earned Asset Resource Network, a non-profit organization providing financial assistance and education to those who need it most. Believe it or not, the U.S. government also has ways to encourage people to save. The Saver’s Credit for Retirement Savings Contributions is one of those: One way for low and moderate income Americans to save…

  • How to Cope with a Lousy 401(k) Plan (42 comments)

    “The Mole” is a certified financial planner and public accountant who, in his spare time, provides a behind-the-scenes view of the financial planning industry for Money magazine. In his most recent column, The Mole explains how to deal with a bad 401(k) plan. “401(k) providers don’t actually care how they make money,” he writes, “just as long as they make a tidy profit.” The providers can make money by: Offering good choices to employees, but…

  • iPhone or Millionaire? (37 comments)

    Apple releases the second iteration of its iPhone today. The product ostensibly carries a lower price than the previous version. But how much does it really cost? Matt and Marnie both pointed me to the latest comic from The Joy of Tech, which explores this very subject. Would you forego an iPhone for a million dollars? Be sure to read the math behind the comic. Some of the assumptions are a little loose — 10%…

  • Indian Beggar Saves 200 Pounds of Coins, Opens Bank Account (41 comments)

    Richard from Richer and Better just sent me an amazing story from Calcutta (Kolkata), India. Sixty-year-old Laxmi Das began begging on a street corner in 1964, when she was only sixteen years old. Crippled by polio, she’s spent her life begging for change. But she didn’t spend it all. She saved what she could. In buckets. From the article: “I saved for the days when I cannot beg,” she told the BBC. “I knew one…

  • Thoughts on Retirement and Financial Independence (66 comments)

    This may seem strange coming from a fellow who’s not yet forty, but I’ve been thinking a lot about retirement lately. Now that I’ve repaid my debt, now that I’ve begun to save money, I’m curious how much a person actually needs in order to retire. How do you know when you have enough? Too many experts It seems like every expert has a different answer. Some say that you need 70% or 80% or…

  • Don’t Raid Your 401(k) to Make Mortgage Payments (27 comments)

    What’s worse than not being able to make your mortgage payments? How about tapping into retirement savings to make ends meet? National Public Radio’s Morning Edition ran a story on Friday about the growing number of people making “hardship withdrawals” from their retirement plans. From the story: “It’s a terrible choice on so many levels, because we shouldn’t be messing with our futures for the present,” says Jane King, a financial planner who serves as…

  • How to Take a Mini-Retirement: Tips and Tricks from Timothy Ferriss (56 comments)

    In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss proposes that we shift our focus from end-of-life “macro” retirements to more frequent mini-retirements, which might be spaced throughout a working career. Though similar to a vacation or a sabbatical, mini-retirements differ in some key ways: A sabbatical is a one-time event. Mini-retirements are meant to recur throughout a lifetime. A vacation is short, and often involves a tourist lifestyle with little immersion in a new way…

  • Early Retirement Requires Financial and Lifestyle Planning (31 comments)

    As I continue to achieve my short-term goals, my attention is turning increasingly to long-range plans. What is it I want to do with my life? I’ve always toyed with the idea of early retirement, and lately I’ve been reading more about the subject. Three books that have helped me so far are: Timothy Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek, which explores the notion of “mini-retirements”. (I recently recorded a phone interview with Ferriss on this subject…

  • Retirement Plan Rollover Chart (16 comments)

    After yesterday’s discussion of 401(k) rollovers, I did a little digging. While browsing the Internal Revenue Service site, I found this handy rollover chart [PDF]: Click image to open full-size PDF chart in new window. Notice that anything can roll into a Roth IRA (though sometimes with conditions), but a Roth IRA cannot roll into anything else. Obviously, this chart doesn’t provide details for each situation, but it can answer some quick questions. For more…

  • Which is Better: a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA? (50 comments)

    Every week, I receive more questions about Individual Retirement Accounts (which are more correctly known as “Individual Retirement Arrangements”, or IRAs). These are great tools to help the average American save for retirement. Most of the time I’m able to route people to one of my previous articles on the subject: The GRS Introduction to Roth IRAs series Part 0: How compound returns favor the young Part 1: What is a Roth IRA and why…

  • Daily Links: Golden Nest Egg Edition (7 comments)

    My pal David Hobby at Strobist, a great photography blog, occasionally gives assignments to his readers. For one recent project, David created a conceptual photo for me to use at Get Rich Slowly: a golden nest egg. I think this is awesome, and I’m grateful to David for having done this. I look forward to incorporating the nest egg into future GRS material. Meanwhile, here are some personal finance stories that have attracted my attention…

  • Ask the Readers: Quality Early Retirement Resources? (42 comments)

    Most of the advice at Get Rich Slowly is targeted to people like me: middle-class Americans in their mid-thirties who have struggled with debt. But many other people have money questions, too. Christine is 54 and her husband is 62. They’re seeking quality resources about planning for retirement: You and most of your readers are at a different life stage than I am.  I’ve done the heavy frugality thing already. From a couple of decades…

  • The Basics of RRSPs: Registered Retirement Savings Plans (28 comments)

    This morning we have a little something for our neighbors to the north. This is a guest post from Frugal Trader, who writes about personal finance from a Canadian perspective at Million Dollar Journey. J.D contacted me to contribute to his retirement account series with an explanation of Canadian RRSPs. An RRSP is the closest thing Canada has to a 401k or Roth/Traditional IRA. What is an RRSP? RRSP stands for Registered Retirement Savings Plan….

  • Free Professional Financial Checkup Tomorrow (23 comments)

    It’s the start of a new year, and many people have resolved to improve their financial situation. Meanwhile, another tax season is close upon us. Personal finance questions abound! Sure, money forums and blogs can help you with some of your problems, but sometimes you need a trained professional. Tomorrow — Tuesday, January 15th — Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and the National Association of Personal Finance Advisors (NAPFA) are teaming up to provide free retirement planning…

  • Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA: Which is the Best Deal? (23 comments)

    I’m often asked, “Which is best, a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA?” There’s no one right answer. Which option you choose depends on your goals, and it depends on what you think your income will be like in the future. In theory, there’s no difference between the eventual returns. In practice, there are a variety of factors that can affect your decision, of which tax rates are perhaps the most notable. Walter Updegrave at…

  • Early Retirement: Couples Who Made It Happen (56 comments)

    I recently mentioned two Liz Pulliam Weston articles in passing. They’re good enough to merit closer attention. Both articles profile couples who found the courage to save money when they were young so that they could enjoy the freedom of early retirement. Weston writes: Think it’s impossible to retire in your 40s? I’d like you to meet some ordinary folks who have done it. “Ordinary” may be a misnomer, because retiring after just 20 years…

  • Ben Stein: Keys to Retirement Savings (52 comments)

    In response to the earlier post on compounding, Dave pointed to the latest from Ben Stein, “Six key principles of saving for retirement”. According to Stein’s column, your retirement income is affected by: How much you save. The more you’re able to set aside, the larger the pool of money on which the other forces can act. There’s a significant difference between investing $20 a month and investing $200 a month. How long your savings…

  • Retirement Savings or Debt Reduction: Which is the Top Priority? (30 comments)

    Edited to correct mistaken math. Deep in the bowels of the internet, we personal finance bloggers have a secret hideaway where we gather to hone our craft. In a recent discussion some of us wondered which we ought to prioritize: retirement savings or debt reduction? This is a question that’s bugged me recently. As I’ve begun to get my finances under control, I’ve found it difficult to prioritize money allocation. Should I continue to pay…

  • The Wealthy 100: A Ranking of the Richest Americans, Past and Present (4 comments)

    The Wealthy 100: From Benjamin Franklin to Bill Gates by Michael Klepper and Robert Gunther attempts to compare the fortunes of various Americans across time. But how can you compare one of Bill Gates dollars with one from John Jacob Astor? There are various formulas you could play with, but the authors of this book chose to compare the individual’s wealth to the nation’s Gross National Product. So, for example, the richest man ever in…

  • Many Americans Forced to Retire Early (1 comment)

    Many people will not have enough saved for retirement, forcing them to work longer than they’d planned. But according to an article in this morning’s USA Today, many Americans are forced to retire years before they want to. Most of today’s middle-age workers who want to continue working after 60 or even 65 will need to find a new source of income. While nearly half of baby boomers expect to work past 65, only 13%…

  • Ten Tough Retirement Questions (2 comments)

    CNNMoney has posted the Fortune Retirement Guide 2006, which features ten expert answers to the most-often-asked reader questions: How much will I need in retirement? “The conventional wisdom is that you’ll typically need 70 percent to 85 percent of your working income. But there is no one-size-fits-all answer.” Where should I invest now? “Over the next five years or so, that’s simple. Unlike building a wardrobe, if you are starting a portfolio, you want to…

  • The Oldest Retirement Advice in the World (1 comment)

    Courtesy of last week’s issue of The New Yorker, here’s some retirement advice from before you were born.

  • 43% Won’t Have Enough in Retirement (5 comments)

    The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has released a report indicating that nearly half of all Americans won’t have enough for retirement. The [report] shows that, even if people retire at age 65 and households annuitize all their wealth including the receipts from reverse mortgages on their homes, 43 percent will be at risk. But the situation is not hopeless — if people choose to work longer — even just two years —…