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Where Should You Invest First? Your Company’s 401k or an IRA?

Decoding retirement savings is as thrilling as an all-day cram session for a standardized test. I get that. But just like that grad school exam, your future depends on it. A few weeks ago, I sent my focus group a quick survey on 401k plans. I knew … [Read more...]

In an Emergency, How to Borrow Money From Your IRA

On Feb. 14, Money Under 30 ran my column about the five (and only five) times it might be OK to tap a retirement account. Little did I know at the time that I'd soon put one of those scenarios to the test. In that column, I interviewed Eleanor … [Read more...]

What To Do When You You’re Over Roth IRA Income Limits

If you're single and make more than $127,000 per year or married and jointly make more than $188,000 per year, you are over Roth IRA income limits and are no longer eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA. If this strikes a chord with you — c … [Read more...]

Retirement Saving: From $0 to $1 Million on $30,000 a Year

Ah, retirement. If you're square in the crosshairs of our Money Under 30  demographic, then "Money After 65" is all you can think about, right? We didn't think so. But the facts are beyond dispute for anyone who wants to accumulate wealth over … [Read more...]

Choosing Investments for Your IRA

Last week, a friend made a confession. “So this is terrible,” she said. “But I just realized that when I rolled over my old 401(k) over a year ago to a Fidelity IRA, I never invested it. It’s been sitting there as cash all this time!” At least she … [Read more...]

Making Prior Year IRA Contributions

Individual retirement arrangements, or IRAs, provide tax incentives for saving for retirement. If you can afford it, I strongly encourage everybody to contribute at least a little bit to a Roth IRA every year, even if you have a 401(k) or other … [Read more...]

The Roth IRA: A Saver’s Best Friend

Ready to start investing on your own? Then a Roth IRA is the first place to look. Jump to: Roth IRA Contribution Limits Roth IRA Income Limits Before I took a job at SmartMoney Magazine, terms like 401(k), Traditional IRA, and Roth IRA … [Read more...]

Six Financial Tips for 20-somethings From Financial Planner Cliff Caplan

It's tempting to think that journalists who write about money for a living have all the answers. (Ugh. You should see my checkbook.) By way of analogy, I'd like to suggest a different way of thinking. We all know Steven Spielberg ranks as one of … [Read more...]

The Five (And Only Five) Times it Might be OK to Tap a Retirement Account

Back in November, I spotlighted a letter from a reader who agonized over a debt dilemma that involved his retirement savings. "Nick from Michigan" wanted to tap his 401(k) to pay off $12,000 in credit card debt, but couldn't pull the trigger. I … [Read more...]

Roth 401ks vs. Traditional 401ks

Last week, we asked: 401k or IRA? So the obvious follow-up is: Roth or traditional? If you read that and say, “huh?” Don’t feel bad. Despite hundreds of articles I’ve read on the topic, I have yet to find one that explains the differences between R … [Read more...]