Personal Finance Advice and Commentary

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 6:00 am
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

With the return on bonds headed downward, are annuities a good alternative for investors seeking safety?

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

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

Monday, February 27, 2012 2:08 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Every time I write about annuities or other retirement planning tools that require people to turn over a chunk of their retirement savings in exchange for guaranteed income, a substantial number of readers respond vociferously, writing me things like, “Heck, no. Don’t even talk about it. We’re not interested.” So given that, I was surprised

Thursday, January 19, 2012 4:28 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Here’s some more retirement planning advice for people who are more concerned about safety than returns. If you have a fixed-rate annuity with a guaranteed minimum floor of 3 percent, don’t be in a hurry to surrender it, advises Investment News, a publication written for investment advisers. Six or seven years ago, that was a

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 11:15 am
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

This blog has been around for a while now but it began well after the Fed drastically lowered the federal funds rate in December 2008. Here’s a quick recap of the entire history of the CD rates blog: CD rates are low, what can you do? A column in the Winston-Salem Journal, “With CD yields

Thursday, August 11, 2011 1:43 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

End-the-Ponzi-Scheme, a regular reader who frequently comments, complained about the blog I wrote a couple of days ago. The blog said that the odds of being able to pull $1,000 per month from a $150,000 nest egg without running out of money after about a dozen years were 50/50.  End-the-Ponzi-Scheme said I didn’t provide enough

Tuesday, August 09, 2011 3:08 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

The market took a slide yesterday, leaving lots of people with retirement planning anxiety. Do we keep going along for the ride — or is now the right time to pull our retirement money out of the markets and put it under the mattress? I think Lowell Herr, a retired high school physics physics teacher

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

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

Friday, July 08, 2011 3:31 pm
By Barbara Whelehan · Bankrate.com

Automatic enrollment of workers in 401(k) plans may be backfiring, according to an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. Citing an analysis performed by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the Journal found that 40 percent of new employees are contributing less to their plans than they otherwise would if they had signed up on their

Friday, June 24, 2011 12:59 pm
By Barbara Whelehan · Bankrate.com

What would you prefer: A financial product providing a 4 percent return guaranteed not to lose value? Or would you rather invest in a product with an 8 percent return that is subject to the whims of the market and may lose principal as a result? Three out of four Americans (76 percent) voted for

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