Over the last 30 years, the 401(k) plan has replaced the company pension as the primary method of financing a retirement in the U.S. In theory, 401(k) plans should have been a sufficient replacement for traditional, defined benefit pensions. In practice—and this has been especially apparent over the last decade—most retirement plans based on 401(k)s aren't up to the task.
The federal government has secret shoppers like Consumer Reports has, and they're not afraid to use them. Last year, investigators with the Government Accountability Office contacted the 30 largest 401(k) service providers to see how easy it would be to move 401(k) savings from one plan to another, as when one joins a new company. What they encountered, in a report the GAO released this week, was inefficiency, and occasional misinformation.
Sheryl Sandberg's controversial memoir and handbook for career women, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, argues that women can and should act more aggressively and proactively in the workplace to achieve the positions they deserve. Her philosophy resonates with me in another sphere of women's lives: Saving and investing money.
A New York appellate court's decision today to uphold most of the 2009 conviction counts against Anthony D. Marshall, charged with defrauding his mother, the late philanthropist Brooke Astor, calls attention to a crime that's growing nationwide: financial elder abuse.
The household bills and babysitter are paid. Food's in the fridge. So what's the smartest way to allocate the dollars left for savings?
An episode of "Dr. Phil" this week that focused on elder abuse—both financial and physical—struck a chord with a number of people, if the show's comments section is any indication. Numerous commenters reported abuse of their own parents by professionals in nursing-home settings and by relatives in the elderly people's own homes.
The IRS's recent announcement of new, higher limits on 401(k) and IRA contributions didn't make a lot of headlines. And no wonder, given that it was competing against both the presidential race and a looming hurricane.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced this week a national public inquiry into financial elder abuse. The CFPB says it seeks to learn more about the many ways that seniors are exploited into giving up their financial assets, and to find better ways to educate seniors on how and where to look for good, reliable financial advice.
One in five Americans over age 65 have been financially swindled, says a new report by Investor Protection Trust, a nonprofit organization focused on investor education. That estimate lends added urgency to the agenda of a White House symposium being held today in observance of Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The symposium brings together experts from the public and private sector to focus on preventing and prosecuting elder financial abuse and other crimes against the elderly.
If you think your employer knows more about your 401(k) plan's fees than you do, think again. Sponsors of some 401(k) plans don't understand the fees they're paying toward plan administration, says a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The GAO reported on one case, in fact, where a relatively large plan underestimated its recordkeeping costs by $58,000. And more than 90 percent of plan sponsors don't use free tools the government supplies to help compare costs among 401(k) plan providers, the report says.
Social Security's new online benefits statement is a useful new resource for anyone doing financial planning or future financial projections. And, as I learned when I signed up to view mine, the statements provide some interesting new information.
A survey released today by Country Financial puts a hopeful spin on Americans' retirement prospects. In a press release titled "Golden Years Look More Golden for Middle-Income Americans," the company reports that "35 percent of Americans now think it is possible for a typical middle-income family to save for a secure retirement.... up six points from this time last year and the first increase in five years."
Despite understanding the importance of planning for retirement, most younger investors have yet to develop a detailed plan for their finances in retirement, according to new research by T. Rowe Price.
Two reports released this week focus on how little Americans know about options for claiming Social Security retirement benefits, and how much they could gain financially by knowing more.
Even though the majority of small-business owners are concerned about their financial security in retirement, many have not estimated how much they will need, according to new research from The American College.
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: