Should I Contribute More To My 401k?


You may already know that you should contribute as much to your 401k plan as your employer will match. But when is it time to increase your 401k contributions? And how do you decide between adding more to your 401k or funding an IRA?

How To Go From $0 to $1 Million In Savings On $30,000 A Year


Think you can’t become a millionaire if a salary of $30,000 a year? Think again. The tactics real people use to save $1 million or more even with modest incomes.

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. On the low-end, I’m saving too little and on the high-end, I’m saving […]

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

Eleanor Blayney

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 talked to a few financial experts who all said the same thing: […]

How Do You Balance Saving for Retirement With Other Goals?

Aim to allocate 50 percent of your savings to retirement.

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 ahead: Repaying student loans, buying a home, getting married, taking time for extended travel, […]

What’s Your Number?

What's your number: Figuring out how much you would need to stop working and live off of indefinitely is a useful financial exercise.

— 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 yours? That’s a quote from the movie Wall Street: Money […]

Which Retirement Account Is Right For Me?

Compare the differences between a Roth and Traditional IRA and 401(k) plan.

Unless you’re new to the personal finance scene, you probably already know that you should be socking away a good deal of money into one of those handy-dandy retirement accounts to prepare for your future. This is especially true for the twenty-somethings out there who have years upon years for our money to ride out […]

Should You Borrow Money to Invest for Retirement?

Two Yale Professors want you to borrow money to invest in the stock market. Economists Ian Ayres and Barry Nalebuff first pitched the idea in a 2005 Forbes column called Mortgage Your Retirement. Their philosophy is this: Young people should take advantage of the stock market’s propensity to deliver long-term gains by trading on margin. […]

How to Start Saving For Retirement

Perhaps you heard it from your parents, some guy you know who “really has it together” or maybe you’ve read it on a blog like this one. Regardless of where you got the advice: You know that it’s never too early to start saving for retirement. That means if you have a steady job, you […]

Should You Save First for Retirement or a Down Payment on a House?

Last week, a long-time reader e-mailed a superb question: If you must choose, should you save first for retirement or save for a down payment on your first home? Obviously, both are important. The younger you are when you start contributing to a 401(k) or IRA, the longer compounding interest will work its magic. At […]