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Retirement


  • Survey: 71% of Americans are Behind on Retirement Savings (9 comments)

    Knowing you aren’t saving enough for retirement isn’t a great feeling, but at least you are not alone. A full 71 percent of Americans say they are behind on their retirement savings and more than half, 54 percent, believe they will never pay off their debt fully, according to a new national survey commissioned by Experian together with Get Rich Slowly and other top U.S. personal finance blogs. Entering retirement with a large debt load…

  • Best Low-Risk Investments for the Average Saver (3 comments)

    Remember the thrill of bringing your savings account book to the bank when you were a kid? They would stamp it and — ta-daaaa — you had more money than when you walked in. Fast forward to today. Most of us don’t get that giddy feeling after making a deposit with the so-low-it’s-not-even-worth-it interest earned on traditional bank deposit accounts like savings accounts, money markets and certificates of deposit. Let’s look at CDs as an…

  • Retirement: How You Doin’? (20 comments)

    Ah, retirement. Dreaming of it is part of the evolution of life. As a 20-something, you spend time envisioning the amazing career you’ll have and the important work you’ll do. As a 50-something, what you picture is a hammock, an ice-cold beer, and a good book. You picture retirement. My vision of retirement consists entirely of not having the alarm go off every morning. Never. Not for any reason. For years, The Husband has laughed…

  • Senior Discounts: Adding to Those Happy Golden Years (16 comments)

    I turned 53 on Tuesday. My daughter made me breakfast. My husband gave me roses. AARP sent me another membership solicitation. Like many, when the AARP pitch arrives in the mail, I ditch it. I’M NOT OLD, I say to anyone who is listening (usually just the dog). Just this season on the Netflix series Frankie and Grace, one of the characters — who is in her 70s — noted that she refused to join…

  • How to live comfortably in retirement (18 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Richard Barrington.

    Your retirement depends on your financial success — but financial success is part reality and part perception. In fact, if you moderate what you perceive as financial success, you could improve the financial reality of your future. It’s particularly important to consider this as you approach retirement, but this dynamic actually starts well before you’re ready to retire. It has to do with what kind of…

  • Starting to save for retirement at 40 (27 comments)

    There’s something about reaching the big 4-0 that often causes you to re-evaluate your direction in life. And when you do, it’s hard to escape the fact that your day of retirement is indeed approaching faster than you ever thought possible. If you’re one of those who eliminated debt and made investing for retirement a habit since your 20s, there’s very little to do other than enjoy your 40th birthday and continue on with what…

  • Maneuver toward retirement: What to do in your 30s (25 comments)
    This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

    For most people in their 30s, life can feel like a breathless uphill run on a downward escalator. Everything seems to expand: families, homes, social circles, career responsibilities, and income. Managing it all requires more of your immediate attention, so it’s not surprising that retirement planning tends to fall lower on the list of high priorities. For many, just making it through the day is all…

  • Are you planning to retire to another job? (25 comments)
    This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

    People are living longer, healthier lives. Consequently, they need more income to cover a longer life span than initially expected. That may be what’s fueling an interest among boomers to continue working after retirement instead of pursuing a life of leisure. But it could also be that boomers just like to work. A recent AARP survey determined that 37 percent of nearly 5,000 workers age 50 to…

  • Do you practice retiring? (18 comments)
    This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

    I know quite a few people who are approaching retirement right now. And from talking to them, one thing is clear to me: There’s a lot of apprehension about making this transition. The pressure to make the right decisions doesn’t stop just because you’re nearing retirement. In fact, from what I can tell, it seems to intensify. There are still a lot of important decisions to make:…

  • How Social Security can help you catch up on retirement savings (36 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

    I was chatting with my dad on Father’s Day (he prefers phone calls to Father’s Day gifts), and everything seemed ordinary at first. He asked how Jake and I were enjoying our house and whether I still liked my new job. However, I was in for a surprise. When I asked him how his work was going, he said, “Oh, I retired a couple of weeks…

  • Financial benefits of being over 60 (16 comments)
    This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

    Do you dread getting older? There is no need to. Getting old is not all creaky joints and hearing aids. Above and beyond the joys of travel and sleeping in, there are many benefits awaiting those who cross the bridge of the great 6-0. I mentioned in an earlier post that our life expectancy is increasing with every passing year. Not only are we living longer, but…

  • How can retirement affect your health? (27 comments)
    This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

    My neighbors shake their heads and think I am certifiably crazy, but I have noticed that they are careful how they say it. You see, when we get snow, I am always out there shoveling the sidewalks for three or four houses each way down the street from ours. “Why risk offending the Energizer Bunny with the shovel?” I hear them thinking. “He might stop, and…

  • What you didn’t know about the RV retirement lifestyle (46 comments)
    This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

    The era of spending unending retirement days on a golf course in plaid pants and interminable games of bridge with the blue-rinse set seem to be on the wane. Younger people are looking for more adventure, with more activity … and lower costs. Few strategies deliver like (of all things) the recreational vehicle (RV) retirement lifestyle. A few years ago, my wife and I got a…

  • Life decisions that secure your retirement (55 comments)
    This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

    You’ve seen them before: 10 mistakes that could ruin your retirement, 6 things to avoid, and so on. But … I don’t know if you’ve noticed that many of those lists are copies of each other. Make no mistake: Common sense is common sense, and there’s only so many ways to catalog it. The common sense behind any successful savings or investment plan? Rhythm, or doing…

  • Heed the Ghost of Yourself Yet to Come (28 comments)
    This article is by staff writer Robert Brokamp.

    Back in July of 2013, I decided to move on from the turtle-logoed pages of Get Rich Slowly in order to devote more time to other professional and familial responsibilities. However, a few months ago I managed to find time to once again join this merry band of bloggers, which gives me the opportunity to pass along the results of a survey I included in my “farewell”…

  • 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? (35 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,…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Ask the Readers: How to Retire Early? (124 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…

  • Extreme Early Retirement in Practice: How Two People Did It (164 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Ask the Readers: How Much Should You Save for Retirement? (154 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Which is better: a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA? (53 comments)

    When the subject of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) comes up, the one question that seems to cross everyone’s mind is: Which investment vehicle is better, a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA? The subtle differences between the two types of IRAs are the source of all the confusion, but the answer depends largely on whether you expect to be in a higher or lower tax bracket when you start to draw funds out in retirement…

  • 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….

  • 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…