Considering Our Retirements

The Washington Post has a new-ish section focused on money, and most of it (as money sections tend to be) is currently focused on retirement. Their latest retirement column says that people who get advice on their 401(k) are generally better savers than people who don't.

A Windfall

Last October, The Billfold asked a bunch of people what they would do if they got a surprise $20,000 windfall. Most people said they would use the money to pay off their debt, then save and invest some of it, and then use a little bit of the money to travel. My thoughts then were pretty much in line with everyone else’s.

And then last week, I got a windfall. My parents were left some money by a relative, and they gave me $6,000 to use however I wanted.

Look At Your Old Self and Save for Retirement

Me in the future. Me save for retirement now.

Retirement Security Is Also About the People You Have In Your Life

Obviously we should all try to prepare our nest eggs for the kinds of lives we want to be living in the future, but I thought this interview by Chris Taylor in Reuters was interesting. The idea is that strong, secure relationships are just as important as socking money away because if, for whatever reason, your finances are wiped out, you'll have people who care about you who can help you turn things around. I don't always agree with Suze Orman, but I've always agreed with her mantra of "people first, then money, then things."

Can Americans Retire? (Part II)

In part one of my interview with National Institute on Retirement Security Director Diane Oakley, I mentioned that the Obama administration is endorsing an automatic IRA. The plan would mandate employers who do not already offer savings plans to provide a government-approved private alternative, with automatic enrollment. This is in many ways similar to the Affordable Care Act, also proposed in part by the conservative Heritage Foundation, and is a compromise from a more government-involved and subsidized proposal from the Clinton era. It's now mostly opposed by conservatives and industry groups.

In 2014 Our Government Is Still Filing Retirement Paperwork by Hand

In Boyers, Pa. there are 600 people who work in a limestone mine, but they're not digging out natural resources or anything like that—they work for the Office of Personnel Management, and their job is to process the retirement paperwork of U.S. government workers. They work in a mine because they need the space, and they need the space because they need room for 28,000 file cabinets. Though it's 2014, the majority of the paperwork is still processed and filed by hand. David A. Fahrenthold explains how this came to be in his appropriately titled story for The Washington Post, "Sinkhole of Bureaucracy."

Tim Armstrong Apologizes; Mother of ‘Distressed Baby’ Speaks Up

On Saturday, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong apologized for his comments about distressed babies being a part of the reason why 401(k) benefits were being cut for employees, and announced that the old retirement savings plan would be restored (somehow?).

Quitting 1 Career at 57 to Start Another

Bill Robson is 57 and lives in Sammamish, Washington. Last year, he quit his career in computer engineering to write a book and start a business. We spoke recently about his transition.

Get Rich Slowly “If You Can”

Bernstein's manual is as readable as his facts are sobering. (None of us have pensions! We're screwed!) The most important thing you can do is to save 15% of your income starting at age 25, he says. It will get you in the habit of saving, which is good because, get ready, there's lots more saving to do.

Investment Advice from Warren Buffett (It’s All About Low-cost Index Funds)

The latest edition of Warren Buffett's shareholder letter champions the low-cost index fund as the smart way to invest (as we've mentioned previously.

The Things Retirement Calculators Leave Out

In the Financial Times, "undercover economist" Tim Hartford talks about the unforeseen costs that retirement calculators seem to leave out.