So I’ve been thinking …
Last year I wrote a post about how I was thinking about diverting some of the money we were contributing to our 403b retirement fund towards our dividend stocks instead.
This was somewhat of a controversial move because traditional personal finance advice is to invest in your tax-sheltered accounts, not your taxable accounts! After all, why would you want to save your money in an account where you have to pay taxes?
But it wasn’t that simple. There were several more alluring reasons why investing in dividend stocks would make more sense:
Over the last few years the name “Bernie Madoff” and the term “Ponzi Scheme” have been used almost interchangeably. Obviously we all know that this man was a crook and that he committed a very serious act of fraud by stealing millions of dollars from trusted investors. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself just what one is or what a Ponzi Scheme example would even look like?
Every now and again when I read through the headlines on my favorite money news sites, I see the same desperate-for-attention headlines proclaiming that “retirement is dead” and that we basically have no hope of ever saving enough money. How do they draw those conclusions? The usual suspects cited are the decline of pensions, the deflating of Social Security and the rise in costs as reasons why none of us can save and why we’ll all need to work until we are 80.
And then there is my personal favorite: The 401k. They talk about the 401k like it’s a James Bond villain. When they compare the pension vs 401k, they describe it as a horrible and inefficient means for retirement. Basically, their message is that the 401k killed retirement.
That is complete nonsense. The 401k didn’t destroy our chances at the American Dream … we did.
When it comes to planning for retirement, people both young and old always ask the same simple question: When can I retire? It’s a seemingly harmless question, but it is also one that can be ambiguous to find a direct answer for. The reason is because retirement isn’t something that simply comes with age. You could retire today or even ten years from now if you really wanted (with the proper plan in place). Unfortunately, I hate to answer a question with a question, but the response to “when can you retire” is simply “how badly do you want to”?
This post was a great suggestion from Alexa over at Single Moms Income. If you have a topic you’d like me to write about on My Money Design, please feel free to comment or send me an email.
Read any article about money and what will it tell you? Start an IRA! You know the benefits. You know it’s good for your finances. But what if you don’t have a lot of money to put in one? Where can you find the best IRA provider without having to open an account with thousands of dollars?
Never fear! You’ve got options. In this age of online accounts and competition, more and more IRA providers are willing to accept less money to get started. This just translates into more opportunities and options for you to choose from.
One of the biggest mysteries the average working adult faces when it comes to their personal finances is knowing what the right answer is when it comes to the question of HOW much they should be saving every paycheck for retirement? We’ve all seen generic articles that say to save 10% or whatever, but how do we know that percentage is really the right number to plug into our personal retirement formula?
Even if you did take the time to figure out how much money you’d need and what size nest egg to save for, how do you know what chances your savings target would have of surviving another economic downturn like we had this past decade? What confidence do you have that the number you pick will result in your savings being able to last through thick and thin?
Allow me to be your Dad for a minute and tell you that if you haven’t setup a Roth IRA yet, then what are you doing?!
Seriously, if you’re trying to figure out what to do differently with your money this year, how about putting in something that will grow tax free! Whether you know much about investing or money, read on as I explain all the essential Roth IRA basics and what you need to know to make the most of them.
I’ve got a confession for all of you: I’m getting impatient! It was approximately 10 years ago that I first learned what a 401k was (I had never even heard of one before) and began my first steps towards saving for retirement.
Like many of you, I knew the path to create wealth would be lined with hard work, lots of saving, and choosing the right investments. I took the conventional financial advice and began with a modest 10% savings rate. It wasn’t until the last few years that I’ve tried to accelerate my results by bumping my savings rate to extremely high amounts.
So is it any wonder that when I look at my 401k balance and see how long I have to go that I feel I’m playing a rigged game? Sure if I stay the course I might have a decent nest egg in 20 to 30 years? But what about NOW? What if I’d like to experience financial freedom sooner rather than later? Isn’t there a better way to build your wealth beyond simply saving for the next +30 years?
You’ve probably heard of both of these terms, but do you really know the difference between a 403b vs 401k?
Even though in the My Money Deisgn household we have both types of plans, to be honest there was a long stretch of time where I didn’t know what the major differences and similarities were between the 403b or 401k.
So like most things financially, I jotted down some questions and began looking into each one to find out the answers. Below are my notes on what I found out:
Not too long ago, I was trying to demonstrate how NOT taking full advantage of your 401k matching contributions offered by your employer was causing you to lose out on more money over the course of your career than you probably thought!
While it’s never too late to get your personal finances in order, one simple mistake I see people making all the time that kills me is when they wait as late as 5 to 10 years before they finally get with the program and start contributing enough to their retirement plan to get the full 401k matching from their employer. I beg you – Please don’t waste another year! Remember time is one of your greatest assets as an investor, so don’t squander it!
In this post, I’ll show you just how powerful taking advantage of your full 401k matching from your employer as early as possible can be for you.