Seeking New Investment Options in a 401(k) Plan

April 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Retirement Planning

new_dayRecently I wrote a piece on how a 401(k) plan can make lousy retirement plan. One of the reasons I cited is the lack of high quality investment options in the plan. The missing qualities can include low-cost, variety, and suitability to changing market conditions. Read more

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The Declines of 401(k) Matching and Mr. Ponzi

March 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Retirement Planning

I will be posting something tonight or tomorrow about yesterday’s volunteer tax preparer experiences.  One client visit was probably once-in-a-lifetime (for me) unique so I want to take a little more time to think and write about it. Read more

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Why 401(k) Can Spell “Lousy Retirement Plan”

March 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Retirement Planning

Mr. ToughMoneyLove doesn’t have have a pension plan or a golden parachute.  When I leave my job for good, my employer will say thanks (by then, probably more like “thanks for finally leaving”) and cut me a small check for the book value of my stock in the business.  

Our retirement income will depend on other assets plus Social Security.  A large (but shrinking) part of those assets is my 401(k) plan.  Discounting 2008 and 2009, I’ve been happy with it.  But for many people, 401(k) plans can make lousy retirement plans.  That’s why I will continue to do a lot of investing outside my 401(k) plan.  I actually have reasons, starting with…. Read more

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A Baby Boomer Interviews Himself

February 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Retirement Planning

Most of you know that Mr. ToughMoneyLove is a baby boomer.  (If you didn’t know that, you might want to read my About page.)

What some of you may not know is that I blog as a baby boomer on a different blog, Go To Retirement.  It is a blog that I started in late November 2008 in sort of a “soft launch” mode.  After working on the design and content of the site, and figuring out things such as how often I would be posting, I have decided it is time to more formally introduce readers of Tough Money Love to Go To Retirement.  I thought a good way to do that would be to have me, Mr. ToughMoneyLove, interview myself, Mr. GoTo.  So here goes.

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Charting a Path to Renewed Frugality

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Economics, Retirement Planning

You are probably thinking:   “Enough with the facts and figures already, Mr. ToughMoneyLove.  We want to read how we can save and invest in this awful economy.”  

Hey – I feel your pain.  I’m asking those same questions.  I don’t have confidence that the government can provide the answers.  Instead, I’m looking for answers in the data that are available.   At least the government can provide data.
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How Long Can Our Bear Market Last?

January 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Investing, Retirement Planning

Money Magazine published some interesting numerical data this month comparing the present state of affairs in our stock market with historical (and present data) pertaining to other market conditions.  The data is kind of scary for baby boomers like Mr. ToughMoneyLove.  Let’s take a quick look, then find something else to think about that might elevate our mood. Read more

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Save on Investment Expenses and Losses: Fire Your Financial Planner

If you read a lot of the right things about investing, you will be regularly admonished to minimize your investment expenses.  This includes choosing mutual funds with low expense ratios and finding ways to trade with little or no transaction costs.  In markets where gains are hard to find (like today), controlling these costs is even more important.

Depending on how you interpet and react to survey data, it seems we should add “firing the financial advisor” to the list of investment cost cutting moves. Read more

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A Glimpse into One Retirement Future

December 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Retirement Planning

Mrs. ToughMoneyLove and I are wrapping up our short visit with family in Florida.  This visit has exposed us again to the different retirement lifestyles available in one of the most popular retirement destination states.  Florida is attractive to retirees both for the weather and low taxes, including no state income tax.

My Dad lives in The Villages which has to be the largest retirement community in the world.  It has grown tremendously since our last visit.   I have decided to spend some time over the next few months writing more about it as well as a different retirement lifestyle that my mother enjoys. Read more

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Your Home as an Investment? Let’s Re-think this.

December 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Investing, Retirement Planning

Mr. ToughMoneyLove engages in many debates over “good” and “bad” debt and the logic of having substantial equity in your home or even paying off your mortgage.  Regarding the latter, some folks insist that their home is an investment and resist building equity through their own efforts (such as making a substantial down-payment.)  Instead, they want to rely on market appreciation to build that equity.  In other words, these homeowners assign their homes to the “capital appreciation” class of investments in their portfolio.  I think it is time to re-think that entire concept. Read more

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Sad Worlds Collide: The Unretired vs. the Unemployed

December 7, 2008 by  
Filed under Economics, Retirement Planning

The dramatic rise in unemployment (over 500,000 jobs lost last month) may be combining with an equally dramatic drop in the value of retiree investment accounts (40% and counting) to create a perfect storm.  More specifically, the recently unemployed may be competing head-on with the newly “unretired” for many of the precious-few open jobs that will remain in our economy. Read more

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