Personal Finance Advice and Commentary

Wednesday, September 03, 2014 1:30 pm
By Sheyna Steiner ·

After the rules go into effect in 2016, it will be possible for investors to lose money in money market funds -– mainly institutional investors.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 2:47 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps ·

Fidelity Investments says IRA contributions set a record for the 2013 tax year.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 7:37 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps ·

Asking your employer to buy your retirement annuity — and negotiate a good deal — can up your annual income by nearly 20 percent.

Sunday, February 05, 2012 6:00 am
By Jennie L. Phipps ·

Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department proposed changing Internal Revenue Service rules to make it easier for people saving for retirement — or actually living in retirement — to use some of the money in their 401(k)s to buy annuities that guarantee monthly payments until they die. These changes are a real retirement-planning boon. Here

Thursday, September 01, 2011 2:00 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps ·

I’m enamored with economic and political guru Dean Baker’s new book, “The End of Loser Liberalism.” In it, he advocates for — among many other things — letting all of us save for retirement in the federal Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP, which is the government’s answer to 401(k)s. Baker points out that 401(k) management

Sunday, July 17, 2011 7:00 am
By Jennie L. Phipps ·

Any congressional assault on 401(k)s in the name of deficit reduction seems particularly shortsighted as 72 million baby boomers rush toward retirement without much savings. Talk about the potential for economic meltdown. Fidelity Investments, which manages 401(k)s for 11 million workers, recently surveyed them about their retirement planning and discovered that 55 percent wouldn’t be

Friday, July 15, 2011 2:58 pm
By Barbara Whelehan ·

To ensure financial peace of mind, you need to accumulate as much wealth as possible, right? The two ideas are inextricably entwined, I’ve always thought. But SunAmerica’s recent poll segregated the two concepts and asked people age 55 and older which of the two more closely described their financial goals. Most of them — 82

Thursday, July 14, 2011 10:52 am
By Jennie L. Phipps ·

The disappearance of old-fashioned pensions is changing the way we think about retirement and how we pay for it. Prudential Retirement examined the financial impact of having a defined-contribution plan like a 401(k) compared to having a defined-benefit pension, which is the old-fashioned kind. I found Prudential’s conclusions troubling because they confirm the difficulty that

Wednesday, July 06, 2011 2:19 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps ·

More than 300 readers posted a comment on the retirement planning blog I wrote about the government’s flirtation with the idea of taxing, or at least removing, the tax-advantaged status of retirement accounts, including 401(k)s. As you can probably guess, almost everybody was against it. However, many of the posts were thoughtful — and Congress

Wednesday, June 01, 2011 2:51 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps ·

If you can’t find a job, consider creating your own. People ages 55 to 64 accounted for about one-quarter of new entrepreneurs in 2010, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. It’s a trend on the upswing. In 1996 — the first year the Kaufman Foundation did this survey —  the over-55 crowd represented

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