Smart401k Blog

  • 3 Stages of Saving and Spending in Retirement

    Although you have probably calculated the value of your nest egg in terms of annual retirement income, what you will be spending immediately after leaving the working world will likely be very different as you move further into retirement.
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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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  • It's Never Too Late to Start Saving for Retirement

    Since the day I started working in the financial industry, there has been one question that seems to come up more than the rest. I hear it from family, friends, friends of friends and even complete strangers. The question is this: “I haven’t done anything to start saving for retirement, is it too late?” Whether the person asking is 30 or 50, the answer is always the same – NO!!! And if you haven’t already started, it’s more important than ever to get started now.
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  • Helpful New Retirement Planning Tools

    For the majority of Americans, who do not work within the financial industry, a lot of investment jargon can sound like the teacher in Charlie Brown cartoons (wa wa wa wa wa wa wa) – it just sounds like blather. Even if you understand the investment-speak, there are so many other obstacles to understanding your investments, like knowing your investor type, establishing your investor goals, ...
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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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  • Planning Your Ultimate Vacation: Retirement

    This is the time of year people plan a summer vacation, and I am reminded of a statistic I’ve heard a few times over the years: many Americans spend more time planning their vacation each year than they do planning for retirement.
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  • Planning Your Ultimate Retirement "Vacation"

    This is the time of year when many take their summer vacation. As I start to plan mine for later this month, I am reminded by a stat I've heard a few times over the years: many Americans spend more time planning their vacation each year than they do planning for retirement.
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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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  • Retirement Planning Myths Busted

    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 June 11, 2013 Out on the golf course, I've overheard some of the game’s greatest myths.
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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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  • What to Consider When Leveraging Your Home Equity for Retirement Savings

    The housing market has been a hot topic during the past several years, with mortgages and home valuation at the forefront of the conversation.
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  • Should You Have ETFs in Your Portfolio?

    New regulations require greater fee and expense transparency from employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k)s.
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  • American Funds EuroPacific Growth Fund: A Review

    The economic issues facing these countries caused quite a bit of investor fear in 2011 and helped lead many international mutual funds to experience losses of 10% or more.
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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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  • Preparing for the Ultimate Vacation

    With the new year comes a new set of vacation days for many workers. Perhaps some have already started planning their next trip, even if it is months away.
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  • Caution: Reading May Be Bad For Your Wealth

    If I could change one aspect of the financial industry it would be the media's attention surrounding financial news.
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  • 7 Ways to Blow Your Retirement Nest Egg

    This post is part of Smart401k CEO Scott Hollsopple’s contribution to the U.S. News & World Report Smarter Investor blog series. To view the original article. Original post date October 1, 2013. If you're within five to 10 years of retirement, you need to start thinking about how to preserve your retirement wealth.
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  • Are Annuities a Good Fit in Your Financial Plan?

    An annuity contract is a risk transfer agreement. That means annuities offer guarantees – like guaranteed income or guaranteed minimum investment returns.
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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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