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My Employer Sponsors a 401k Plan – How do I Get Started? What Do I Need to Know?

You know you should be saving for retirement but it’s difficult to make it a priority when it seems so far away.  You have current financial demands – living expenses, paying down student loans, rent/mortgage, etc. and it feels like you don’t have much to contribute to retirement right now, but all you have to do is start with something!  A 25 year-old who starts saving $100 a month, with a 7% rate of return would have close to $265,000 by age 65. One of the biggest advantages that we have is time.  We have time to save and time for our money to grow.  Creating these habits of saving now will pay off greatly when you reach retirement.   How Much Should I Contribute? Most employer 401k plans include a match up to a specified percentage of your contributions.  By not contributing to your 401k, you are turning down part...
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Why Retirees Need Equities

Interest rates have been declining since 1981.  Long-term U.S. Treasury bond yields peaked at 15.21% in October of 1981 and reached a record low of 2.11% in July 2016. In 1960, 41% of private-sector workers were covered by pension plans, but by 2008 only 20% were covered by a defined-benefit pension plan.  Most retirees now need to produce income from tax-deferred accounts or taxable investments in addition to Social Security benefits in order to meet retirement income needs.  Social Security was introduced in 1935 as a program to provide some continuing income after retirement.   However, the estimated average monthly benefit for all retired workers in January 2016 was only $1,341 per month ($16,092 annually).  The Federal poverty level for a family of two for 2017 is $16,240. Retirees are faced with several risks in their retirement years.   The first is longevity risk, the risk of outliving your assets.   Associated to longevity...
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