Simple. Honest. Personal finance.

How Much Do I Need to Retire?

Investing for your future is a theme that's been beaten into your head so much at this point that you may not even think about it anymore. You have a 401(k), a Roth IRA and even a small brokerage account you play around with. You make monthly … [Read more...]

How Investing Just $50 a Month can Kick-start Your Retirement

The story of the tortoise and the hare is particularly applicable as an investment metaphor. Instead of trying to time the market and buying stocks that could either make you a fortune or lose you everything, a far more lucrative option is just to … [Read more...]

Should I Contribute More to My 401k?

One of the most common questions we get asked by budding investors is how much they should contribute to their 401k plan; more specifically, should they be contributing more? For most, the 401k is going to be a first introduction into retirement … [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...]

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...]

Q&A: What Rate of Return Should You Use for Retirement Planning?

Q: What rate of return should a 20- or 30-something use when using a retirement planning calculator? (They are often preset to 6 or 8 percent). And does that include inflation? Depending on the assumptions I use, I get drastically different answers. … [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...]

How Do You Balance Saving for Retirement With Other Goals?

It’s perhaps the biggest financial quandary facing every young saver: Personal finance advice –- including our own --- implores you to save as much for retirement as possible. But the younger you are, the more likely you have other important goals ahe … [Read more...]

What’s Your Number?

-- What’s your number? -- Excuse me? -- The amount of money you would need to be able to walk away from it all and just live happily-ever-after. See, I find that everyone has a number and it’s usually an exact number, so what is you … [Read more...]

Find Your Saving Sweet Spot

People who aren’t saving for retirement share a common excuse: “I want to enjoy life now. After all, I could get hit by a beer truck tomorrow.” On the flip side, compulsive savers max out 401(k)s and IRAs while living with six roommates and eating … [Read more...]