Smart401k Blog

  • 3 Harmful Mistakes You Can Make When Saving for Retirement

    Retirement planning takes discipline and hard work. Even the best-laid plans can fall by the wayside, and even the most dedicated retirement savers make a few mistakes.
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  • 3 Ways to Make Your Retirement Strategy More Efficient

    Many Americans overlook the need to take a holistic approach and make sure all accounts are working together effectively. Failure to create a holistic, coordinated strategy that includes each retirement account could cause various problems, including:
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  • What to Do With 'Orphaned' 401(k)s

    Do you have custody of your nest egg? A 2013 survey by ING Direct USA showed that half of American adults who participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k), have left an account at a previous employer.
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  • 5 401(k) Mistakes to Avoid

    Setting up retirement plan contributions and choosing investments is the first step toward saving for your future. There are, however, mistakes that can derail the best retirement aspirations if investors are not careful.
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  • Are You Your 401(k)'s Worst Enemy?

    What do Congress, Barack Obama, fees and Godzilla have in common? A quick Google search will tell you that they’re all enemies to your 401(k) account. (We might have made up “Godzilla,” but you get the point.)
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  • What to Do With 'Orphaned' 401(k)s

    Do you have custody of your nest egg? A 2013 survey by ING Direct USA showed that half of American adults who participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k), have left an account at a previous employer.
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  • 401(k) Loans - What you need to know

    Recently I’ve been getting calls from people considering the loan option from their 401(k). They knew their plan offered a loan and wanted confirmation that it wasn’t a big deal to use this feature. With each call I explained the long-term effect taking a loan would have on their account; many were unaware of what this event could do to the long-term potential of their retirement savings.
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  • Is Your 401k’s Brokerage Option Right For You?

    Designing a retirement plan can be a very challenging task for an employer, as no two employees are exactly alike when it comes to investment knowledge and experience. Studies have shown that many employees feel overwhelmed if too many investment options are available in a retirement plan. On the other hand, some are experienced investors who prefer having a large number of investment options.
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  • Should You Put Your 401k Investing on Autopilot?

    Whether you travel regularly for business or just take the occasional vacation, chances are you’ve had reason to travel by airplane. If you’re anything like me, flying goes something like this: You find your seat, shove your carry-on wherever it will fit and begin the painful process of trying to get comfortable. Whether napping, listening to music (aka blocking out your neighbor), or skimming the in-flight magazine, few give a second thought to the fact that they are zipping through the sky 30,000 feet above the ground in a giant metal tube. No matter how you look at it, that is both incredible and frightening. We put our lives in the hands of pilots who, often relying on an autopilot system, get us safely to our destination.
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  • 7 Twitter Users Every 401(k) Investor Should Follow

    I know what you’re thinking. Why should I spend my time reading tweets about what people ate for dinner or their opinion on current news-making events? It’s a justifiable question to ask, but Twitter, like many things is what you make of it. Following the right people or entities on Twitter can transform the site from a time waster into a powerful news aggregator that can educate and inform of the important news, statistics and information on 401k investing and retirement planning.
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  • 3 Ways You Aren't Making the Most of Your 401(k)

    This post is part of Smart401k CEO Scott Hollsopple’s contribution to the U.S. News & World Report Smarter Investor blog series. Original post date July 30, 2013 You kept hearing that your employer’s 401(k) plan is one of the best places to save for retirement. So you enrolled, and you've been contributing. But, for some reason, things aren't going the way you hoped. What could be wrong?
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  • Retirement Contributions: Roth Versus Traditional

    If you’re caught in a no-man’s land somewhere between Roth and traditional contributions trying to figure out whether to pay taxes now or later, you’re not alone.
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  • Keep Your Hand Out of the 401(k) Cookie Jar

    If you frequent this blog or speak with any of our investment advisors, you know that at Smart401k, we’re not fans of 401(k) loans. They come with some pretty big negatives, such as the loss of compounded tax-deferred growth on the borrowed amount. Yet many plan participants still dip into the 401(k) loan “cookie jar.”
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  • Packing For Your Retirement Savings Excursion

    I love to travel. The idea of exploring different cultures, landscapes and ways of life has always piqued my interest. I’ve often envied hosts of travel shows who actually get paid to go to exotic places and try new things.
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  • 3 Important Takeaways from the Final DOL 401k Ruling

    If you are interested in some heavy reading you can check out the full details of the Department of Labor’s final ruling with 401(k) fee disclosure.
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  • Comparing Market Returns and Your 401k

    With 2012 underway, many of you have received retirement account statements or a notice to view your information online. (If you haven’t yet, you will soon.)
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  • Eight Dos and Don'ts For Your 401k

    Included in your 2012 goals should be getting the most out of your 401(k), and to help work towards that goal, I offer up eight dos and don’ts.
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  • 3 Highly Personal Threats to Your Retirement

    This post is part of Smart401k CEO Scott Hollsopple’s contribution to the U.S. News & World Report Smarter Investor blog series. Original post date September 3, 2013. Beware. There are real threats lurking out there, potentially jeopardizing your retirement saving efforts. A market crash? The next Enron? No. I'm talking about things that are a little closer to home. But happily, you can do something about them.
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  • Plan for Holiday Spending Now to Avoid Costly Mistakes Later

    It’s hard to believe October is already upon us, which can only mean one thing – the beginning of what can be one of the most horrifying times of the year. And no, I’m not referring to Halloween (or even Thanksgiving, which can be downright scary for the serious dieters and fitness buffs out there). Cooler temperatures, spooky costumes and colorful landscapes mean the holiday shopping season is right around the corner. Time to start thinking ahead!
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  • Watch Out for These 401(k) Monsters

    Whether on the big screen or in our living rooms, it seems that monsters typically associated with Halloween – like zombies and vampires – have become a big part of our entertainment these days. While we might like seeing them on television, we sure don’t want them getting close to us in real life, let alone letting them loose on our retirement plans. Let’s take a look at the things that go bump in the night. It’s easier to ward them off if you can recognize them!
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